REVIEW - True Blood - S06E07 - 'In The Evening'

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This week's episode of True Blood, 'In The Evening', dealt with the fallout of last weeks action-packed episode. Although there was some plot progression, it was all very slow. There were two main foci to the episode: Terry's death and the revelation that the Tru Blood supplies have all been contaminated.

Eric escapes from the compound with Nora, requesting that Willa stay behind and warn the others of the Tru Blood contamination. He seeks out Bill in the hopes that Bill can save Nora with his blood, but Bill believes they need Ben/Warlow. To find Ben, Bill needs to find Sookie.

Upon learning of Terry's death all of the humans, including Sookie, have gathered at the Bellefleur mansion to comfort Arelene. This is where Bill finds her, and scares everyone with his day-walking. Bill tells Sookie that unless she helps him, her friends will die (vampire and human - Bill is looking at Andy as he says this so that Sookie understands the threat).

This 'all-powerful Bill' thing is really wearing thin now, so I'm hoping they have a way to either get rid of Bill or restore him to his former self. I know that killing Bill would turn a lot of fans off the show, so my money is on the latter (for the moment, anyway). It was however interesting to see that even though Bill has Lillith's blood he could not stop the Hep V from killing Nora, so Bill does at least have one 'weakness'.

Back in the compound Jason organises for Jess to meet with James (the vampire she met last week) so that she can warn him about the Tru Blood, and then they share a moment. While Jason is guarding the door for the two vamps, Sarah Newlin comes by (uh-oh). She tells Jason that the Governor is dead, and that she is now in charge (she has organised it so that the public does not know of the governor's death, meaning she can call the shots and pretend to be acting on his behalf). Sarah gets the other guards to remove Jason's ID chip, and then throws him in with the female vampires. Tara is there and tries to protect him, but one of the other female vampires claims he is hers. I don't know how Jason is going to fare in a room full of hungry vampires fighting over him, but as long as they fight amongst themselves (or this other vampire is powerful enough to keep him safe), he should be fine. He almost always is...

Speaking of being in sticky situations, let us turn finally to the realm of werewolves and shape-shifters. Alcide returns to his pack to tell them Sam and Nicole are dead. Rikki calls him a liar and produces Nicole and her mother, bound and gagged (earlier that day Sam decided to return to Bon Temps when he learnt of Terry's death, and Nicole was being taken home by her mother). The pack starts to surround Alcide and the two women, so things aren't looking good for those three. Poor Alcide, he finally does the right thing and then something like this happens. I can't predict the fates of the two women, but I am assuming Alcide will escape and perhaps learn a lesson and be Mr Nice Werewolf again. Maybe. It's hard to tell with True Blood, they like to keep you on your toes.

Anyway, that's it for this episode. Given that this season is only going to have ten episodes instead of the usual twelve we are getting pretty close to the season finale, and things all seem to be falling into place: Jason is in the vampire compound ready to help; Sam is making his way back to Bon Temps; the humans are all together; Sookie is on track to help the vampires; the vampires know what's going on; some vampires are on the inside, and some are out. So we know the what, we just need the how. How is Sam going to go getting back to Bon Temps? How will Alcide get out of this one? How will the humans cope without Terry? And how are the vampires going to stop Hep V? Guess we'll have to keep watching.

Review by Heather Bale.


REVIEW - Teen Wolf - S03E08

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The best way to describe this week's episode of Teen Wolf is underwhelming. It was entertaining enough as I was watching it but when the credits started rolling I found myself wondering what the point was. The performances were moving and the direction was solid but most of the story consisted of boring clichés that's sole purpose was to deliver exposition.

"Visionary" involves two of Teen Wolf's biggest bads reminiscing about an unknown period in the past (I say unknown because we have no idea when these events took place). There are two stories, one is about Derek's tragic first love and the other is the events that led up to big bad Alpha Deucalion's blinding. There are a couple very unsubtle hints to the season mystery but otherwise this episode was mostly filler.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of flashback episodes, they are generally lazy and very rarely add anything of substance to the actual story. And that's a pretty good description of this episode. My guess is they needed to give the lead actor's a bit of a break so they headed into the past for two of the most cliché origin stories ever.

Deucalion - who is this season's big bad - was just like Scott, idealistic and naive, until Gerard Argent betrayed and blinded him during a peace summit. Giving the villain and the hero similar beginnings is a staple of pretty much ever hero's journey. It's fairly predictable and doesn't really add much to Scott's character arc but it's not as bad as what they did to Derek.

Derek had a really interesting origin story. He's your classic anti-hero but his tragic back-story was essentially a rape narrative (whether you want to read it literally or metaphorically).  Presenting a classically masculine character as a rape survivor was one of the most interesting things
Teen Wolf has ever done. With this week's episode they pushed that aside to tack on the most cliché white hero origin story ever.

A jock jerk falls for the quirky outsider, she sees through his arrogant exterior but it all ends tragically when she dies in a way that is either directly or indirectly the jerk jocks fault. He then carries her death with him as the basis for his heroic manpain. If that sounds familiar that's because it is. That is the origin of pretty much every white male hero ever (occasionally it's his mother or his sister).

It doesn't matter whether this storyline has a greater significance, it's still awful and frankly I expected better from
Teen Wolf, although I don't know why. I'm starting to hope that all the people that have died for Derek's manpain band together in the afterlife to kill Derek so that no more innocent women and POC are harmed in the name of mangst.

Anyway, next week it's back to the actual story and again they promise answers, yeah I'll believe that when I see it.

Review by Yvonne Popplewell

More of Yvonne’s work can be found at her blog.   


CN Review - Beware The Batman S01E02

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So I was cynical about this show, and I did enjoy the first episode, the second episode not only builds on it, it made me fall in love with this show. We have a new baddie, the femme fatale Magpie, who is a welcome addition to the new range of villains we are seeing on this interpretation of Batman.

The Magpie is a diamond thief who loves shiny things (in particular Batman's belt, draw from that what you will). The competition between the two is worth watching as Magpie proves a worthy adversary against Batman as he cannot defeat her in their first couple of fights.

Jim Gordon is more prominent this week, but is still a lieutenant very early in his career, but he does have a young daughter Barbara so our hopes of seeing Batgirl in this show just got higher! Both characters show an obsession with Batman and discovering who he is.

Tatsu Yamashiro has taken the job offered to her last episode of being Bruce's bodyguard and driver. We see her inquisitive nature, and Bruce determined to put her through a series of tests before he reveals his secret life to her.

The great thing about this show apart from the different Gotham City characters, is the progression of Bruce Wayne's detective skills. Every conversation is starting to feel like an interrogation to piece together character's back stories and this only adds to the show.

If you haven't jumped on to this show yet, make sure you do, this is a MUST for all DC and Batman fans.


REVIEW - Futurama - S07E20 - 'Calculon 2.0'

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This week's episode of Futurama, 'Calculon 2.0', sees the return of a few familiar (robot) faces.

It has been a year since Calculon (the robot actor) killed himself in order to make a death scene more believable and secure his place as the greatest actor of all time, and Fry and Bender are missing his presence on their favourite television show 'All My Circuits'. Fry wishes they could bring him back, which the Professor says they can. One grave-robbing and pagan ritual later, Calculon is back and just as much of an over-actor as ever.

Calculon tries to get his old job back, but predictably the network executives won't hear of it. He then tries to re-launch his career by starring in a one-man play, but that receives negative reviews. Finally realising that he may never be a successful actor again, Calculon decides to quit, and gives a moving speech about his life. Leela says that being humble makes Calculon a good actor, and convinces him to disguise himself and audition for the role of Calculon on 'All My Circuits'. He is hired, gives a moving speech, impresses everyone, and reveals himself as Calculon... Only to then be killed by a falling set. What? They bought Calculon back only to kill him again? Futurama can do touching, but this certainly was not it ('Jurassic Bark' anyone?). Perhaps if they had another storyline going they could've cut some excess Calculon plot to make the audience actually feel sorry for him, rather than having the whole episode focus on Calculon going from arrogant to humble like a yo-yo. It was kind of endearing at first, then it just became annoying.

Despite the uninteresting plot, it was nice to see the return of the Robot Devil (voiced by the talented Dan Castellaneta), even if he only appeared briefly. Also, the 2001: A Space Odyssey references and Professor's idea of the "science" needed to bring Calculon back are certainly worthy of a few laughs.

While this episode is by no means the best of the series, there were just enough jokes and familiar characters to keep me watching. Here's hoping there are more 'Saturday Morning Fun Pit' episodes and fewer 'Calculon 2.0' episodes as the series winds to a close.

Review by Heather Bale.


REVIEW - True Blood - S06E06 - 'Don't You Feel Me'

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Okay, True Blood may have lost all semblance to the books (which made for a somewhat underwhelming fifth season and a shaky start to this one), but that does not stop this week's episode, 'Don't You Feel Me', from being just as good as some of the earlier episodes. There are deaths and drama galore this week, as well as lots and lots of plot progression!

This episode kicks off with Lafayette, possessed by the spirit of Sookie's dead father, trying to drown her. Bill senses her danger, and since he needs her blood, sends Ben/Warlow to save her. Once that's done Bill tries to summon Ben back, but Sookie won't have a bar of it, and transports them to another plane where Ben is safe from Bill. Ben asks Sookie to tie him up lest he feed off her, which she does. They have a big ol' heart-to-heart, which culminates in the two of them sharing blood and having glowing fairy sex. Odd. I'm sure the significance of this will be revealed soon enough... if there is any significance that is...

Anyway Bill, frustrated that he can no longer sense Ben, turns to Lilith for guidance. Annoyed with her cryptic remarks he has a go at her, and she forbids him from seeking her counsel anymore. Discovering that Jessica has been taken to Burrell's 'research facility' Bill drinks what little he has of Ben's fairy/vampire blood, and goes out in the daylight to kill the governor. Before his death the governor warns Bill that there will be always someone to take his place but Bill, in his arrogance, does not seem to care. Bill just wants to rescue Jessica, but he's not the only one.

Jason joins Burrell's anti-vampire task-force, and just when you think he's in another anti-vampire phase, it is revealed he is doing so in order to save Jessica. Aww. Of course Sarah Newlin knows what he is up to, and decides to make Jason watch while they force Jessica to have sex with another vampire. This other vampire refuses, so Jessica is taken away. The fate of this other vampire is not revealed. Based on the few minutes of screen-time he had I certainly would not object to him being introduced as a new character (and potential love interest for Jessica...).

Elsewhere in the vampire research institute, Eric, after killing some guards with Pam, is forced to watch as they inject Nora with "Hep V" (a strain of Hepatitis deadly to vampires). Just as it looks like Nora is about to die, Eric summons Willa, and they start to make their daring escape... but not before Eric finds out what Burrell's master-plan is, and boy is it good. As we learnt way back in the first episode Burrell purchased a factory in order to bottle Tru Blood, and now we know why: Hep V is being put in every single bottle of Tru Blood. It seems the only option may be to blow the place up, but then there's the problem of all of the vampires inside...

Outside of the world of vampires the tiff between Sam and Alcide finally came to a head this week when Alcide caught up with Sam and Nicole. Alcide demands Sam give him Emma, but thankfully Sam has already given Emma back to her grandmother, who has agreed to take her away from the pack. Alcide is angry (surprise, surprise), but lets them go, warning them to never return. Although they're trying to show that deep-down Alcide is still the same man he used to be, it doesn't stop me from disliking who he has become. The only interesting thing I took from this is that Sam cannot return to Bon Temps (admittedly he hasn't been there much lately). I'd just assumed once the whole Emma debacle was over he would be free to go back. I guess they're not done with the whole Sam-Nicole thing (whatever it is), but I just hope they're not writing Sam out.

Back in Bon Temps Andy finally names his fairy children to make his one surviving daughter happy. She hasn't seemed to age anymore recently (they obviously want to keep her young and attractive), but I still don't understand why they are keeping her around when they so easily could have written themselves out of the rapidly-aging-fairy-daughters hole. Maybe it was more to keep Andy sane than anything else. They don't need another less than stable Bellefleur, not after what Terry has been going through lately.

As regular viewers know, Terry (the other Bellefleur) has organised for one of his army buddies to kill him since he cannot bring himself to do it. Arlene does not know this, and with Holly's help organises for a vampire to come and wipe all of Terry's bad memories. This is done and just when everything is looking up, Terry is shot. In one of the most touching scenes of this season, Arlene rushes to his side and cradles him in her arms while she reminds him of all the good things in his life and sings to him. Terry dies, and Arlene continues to hold him while she sobs. Although this is a somewhat cliched death scene, it still didn't stop me from tearing up. Although Terry and Arlene may not be the most interesting or likeable characters in the show, the love between them felt real and the loss of Terry's character is certainly going to be felt by all.

So, what did you think? A seventh season of True Blood has already been announced, was this episode enough to keep you watching, at least for this season? Or has the departure from the books been too much to bear? Let me know in the comments below!

Review by Heather Bale.


Comic-Con Round Up

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Comic-Co has happened this weekend and a lot of TV news has been revealed! Please find the latest tv news below!

Arrow - what's changing in season 2? The cast spill it all!

Hannibal cast and crew sat down to discuss their renewal and what we can expect from season 2 of the creepiest shows on television

Breaking Bad more your thing? Check out this interview below

Our friends over at IGN put on a HILARIOUS interview with the women of Community

True Blood could be shifting next season, with show runner Brian Buckner saying that " "I think that you're going to feel that the show is going to return back to its roots. While we acknowledge that we have a very large cast, we're going to try to condense the number of stories, and hopefully it will feel like we're coming home."

Once Upon A Time creators Edward Katsis and Adam Horowitz are recovering after back to back panels with Once Upon A Time and new show Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. A CGI clip showed some improved special effects after some truly terrible clips in the past made it look cheap and tacky. They did confirm that you don't need to know Once Upon A Time to watch the spin-off show, but they do exist in the same universe. 

Futurama is saying a final farewell at the end of this season, and what better way to go out than with a Simpsons crossover episode. It's what fans have been wanting since the show began and we are finally getting it! 

How I Met Your Mother hit up Comic-Con ffor the first time to discuss their final season. Show creators confirmed that the entire season will be set across a 56 hour wedding weekend and an in depth back story on "the mother" will take place, so expect flash backs and forwards! 


Review - Burn Notice - S07E06

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This week's episode had a lot of confusion and twists that I'm not sure the audience would really appreciate. With Burke now being gone, Michael is clinging to Sonya as his only chance of completing his mission and keeping his loved ones out of incarceration, and the CIA are following right in suit, doing anything neccessary by any means in order to keep the mission alive. This desparation leads the CIA to blackmailing Fiona into helping with the mission, as they cannot deny her skills. When Michael hears that Fi is being forced into this mission, he refuses to let it happen in a desparate attempt to keep his promise to her, however, the CIA couldn't really care less about his personal morals and override his decision.

This leads to Michael and Fi working as a team together back in Miami, which gives a sense of home to the audience. It begins to feel as though nothing has happened and everything is as it was between Michael and Fiona, however, Fiona constantly gives Michael very clear messages that the past is the past, and once she has dealt with it, she is gone. This constant reminder of Fi and Michael's failed relationship kills a little more hope of their revival within the audience, however, I for one know I am not giving up on them.

The storyline takes an unexpected turn as Sam, Jesse, Michael and Fi end up doing Sonya's dirty work. The job requires taking down some big time criminal hackers, which makes it seem right, like it is one of Michael's jobs he used to do as a favour for those in need, however, it is for Sonya's selfish reasons, who is a highly wanted criminal herself. 

As Fi is recently single, and she begins to work with Michael more closely, the audience are givin just a little hope for their relationship, however, (SPOILER!!) Michael finally cracks under the pressure of the sacrifices he has made in regards to his family and friends, and more specifically Fi, and sleeps with Sonya. The audience are never given a clear insight into his true motives, whether they be to advcance in the mission, or due to his own desires, but we are definately given a rare glimpse into Michael's introvert self, that is, his feelings, desires and regrets.

This portrayal of Michael deepens his character and thus the audience's connection with him, however I'm not so sure the path to this insight will be favoured.

Review by Emma Laarkamp


REVIEW - Pretty Little Liars - S04E06

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Last week, Hanna was caught in the act of attempting to bury a gun found in Ashley’s wardrobe. Now Hanna is under investigation with the police and has drawn more attention towards her family. Got to feel bad for Hanna, the girl tries to fix problems but A is always waiting with something worse in mind. Ashley is on edge with the investigation because they have not heard anything and Hanna attempts to process her father’s sudden involvement in their lives once again. Unfortunately, the Marins will definitely need a lawyer after Ashley is arrested for the murder of detective Wilden.

Mona is back and outs Spencer for lying to the rest of the girls about the RV (that Toby traded for info). Naturally, Spencer and Toby find themselves in a mysterious town called Ravenswood to look for Grunwald (the old sorority House mother) who Spencer believes use to call ‘A’ and we get the first introduction to the PLL spinoff series. The place is completely creepy and the townspeople definitely are hiding some huge secrets. The only thing that came of the time spent with Toby and Spencer was keeping the secret search for answers of his mum are coming between the girls.

Emily fell for A’s tricks and now she is also on Tanner’s radar after leaving a DVD (of Jenna and Sharna with Wilden). Little did Emily know is A had switched the DVD with a new one and to Em’s horror ‘A’ is the footage wearing a mask with Emily’s face hold a sign that says ‘Guilty’.

Aria helps the jerk Connor with an English essay, only to have it back fire and is instead slut-shamed at school by him. Even Mike believed the rumour about his sister and was quick to judge her as usual. As strong as Aria’s character is, you get to see her hurt and Ezra who should just leave the girl alone, came to comfort her only to be rejected. Mike actually turns around and apologizes. Although, in a misguided attempt to stand up for his sister, Mike smashes Connor’s car and runs off.

On a side note, Sharna has become a student at Rosewood High and replaces Emily on the swim team. Sharna seems to be everywhere this week at the coffee shop, school and even Ravenswood. Is she helping ‘A’ or got her own plans?

Review by Jessica Tisdell


REVIEW - Teen Wolf - S03E07

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It actually hurts me to say that this episode was not great. I could just be that the last couple of episodes raised the bar too high but that would just be making excuses and that doesn’t help anyone. We have pasted the halfway point for this storyline and I am starting to worry that Teen Wolf might have bitten off more than it can handle.

The dark druid is after healers this week so it’s bad luck for the doctors of Beacon Hills, including Scott’s mysterious boss, Alan Deaton. While Scott searches for Deaton, Boyd comes up with a (completely ridiculous) plan to stop alpha Kali from killing Derek and for some reason Cora ends up hanging out with Lydia and Stiles. In the end everyone fails. The Sheriff saves Deaton (with some help from Melissa McCall), Lydia’s powers don’t work and Derek is forced to kill Boyd.

This week Teen Wolf threatened a major character death and it delivered, kind of. They certainly killed a character, but whether he was major is debatable. Vernon Boyd (Sinqua Walls) didn’t get much development beyond being the third member of Derek’s pack and in the end his death didn’t really add much to the overarching narrative and as a result fell flat.

The actual death itself was emotional enough but because there was no build up after the initial impact it almost felt cheep. To their credit, Tyler Hoechlin and Sinqua Walls acted the hell out of the scene but not even great performances could save this episode. The logic that led up to Boyd’s death was inherently flawed and at this point Derek’s manpain has reached a point of diminishing returns. His life sucks, we get it. It really doesn’t get much worst that having his family burn to death in a fire that he believes was his fault. Everything after that is superfluous.

Very little about this season has made much sense so far but in episodes like “Frayed” (305) and “Motel California” (306) that general sense of confusion and mistrust worked to an advantage. But as of “Currents” the mystery has reached the point where we need proof that this story is actually heading somewhere worthwhile. I can no longer tell the difference between intentional confusion and bad writing and if I don’t get something soon I’m going to lose interest.

Luckily next week is the episode that many fans have been waiting for since it was announce. It’s the flashback episode. While I’m not a fan of flashbacks generally, I am a fan of the answers they can provide. Hopefully “Visionary” will give us enough answers to make me want to keep watching (I’m going to watch it regardless but the longer it takes to get a hint of explanation the more resentful I will become). Just please tell me you have a plan Teen Wolf.

Review by Yvonne Popplewell

More of Yvonne’s work can be found at her blog.


CN Review : Beware The Batman S01E01

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Cartoon Network shook things up last year by cancelling two outstanding series Green Lantern and Young Justice. While fans are still campaigning to save these admirable shows (which I totally support and agree with!) the network have pushed on with their two new shows for the DC Nation hour, one of which is titled Beware The Batman, the latest batman reincarnation.

Being the sixth version of Batman on tv, it could have been a little tired and over-played. Fortunately this is a completely fresh take on the dark knight franchise and instead of taking the route of the typical villains and sidekicks, the producers have gone down a different road enlisting Professor Pyg and Mr Toad as the main villains, and a Jason Statham like Alfred who helps fight with Batman.

It all sounds a little strange, but is the greatest adaption of Batman on the small screen I have seen. The characters, in particular Alfred, is very Jason Statham like and the ex-MI6 angle sees a younger, guns-a-blazing character who isn't afraid of getting involved in the action. Professon Pyg and The Toad are serious criminals who have an intent on kidnapping billionaires for ransom. Their use of traditional weapons like small black, circular bombs with fuses add the old school charm with a big bang. Even Bruce Wayne himslf is a young, impressive incarnation who is more Nolan Dark Knight than any previous version.

Animation wise, using the same CGI as the Green Lantern animated series actually suits this show, yes at times it looks a little plastic (ok A LOT!) but the explosive action looks gorgeous with the dark tones and colours of the show.

Overall everything in this show works together to produce one of the finest pilots in animation history. If the show continues to be like the premiere episode, then we can look forward to a fantastic series ahead. If you are a fan of Batman you will enjoy this new Dark Knight, if you like superheroes in general this is still worth checking out.

Review by Alaisdair Dewar


REVIEW - Pretty Little Liars - S04E05

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Following the last few episode that have lacked the action and excitement until usually around 35 minutes in. Don't get me wrong, Pretty Little Liars is a great show but the endless mysteries and new evidence is gettign frustating.
This week Hanna is still convinced Ashley killed Wilden especially when she goes snooping her mother's locked closet only to find a gun that could possibly be the murder weapon. Hanna reaches out to her friends to help her but of course they are busy trying to solve the whole A thing and Hanna takes matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, Spencer and Emily get there at the last minute before they could prevent Hanna's completely blonde moment that has resulted in her arrest.
Whilst this was all going on, Spencer and Emily work on getting into collage. They visit Cicero College but Spencer spends majority of her mocking the place. Emily on the hand, is desperate to get into college after injuring herself couple weeks ago and has screwed up her chances for Standfors. Em instead flirts a little too much (ahh... did anyone else forget she was gay?) and Spencer is playing Nancy Drew. She ends up discovering the phone in a sorority connected to the number the bird was repeating. Best scene is probably when Spencer approaches a geek on campus and makes Game Of Thrones references to try to relate him.
Aria is determined to get her mother to still go away but Mike convinces Ella to stay. Yes thats right, Mike is finally back. Where has he been all this time? Is Aria's little borther also part of the A team?
Just to quote 'A'-"Looks Like Hanna and Mother could share a lawyer now."
Review by Jessica Tisdell


REVIEW - Burn Notice - S07E05

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This week’s episode was very much welcomed after a week of absence. All of the explosions and cunning really felt like home. This, combined with the recruitment of Fi, makes the show even more familiar and gives you the feeling it will never end.

This episode centres around a new Russian woman, Sonya, who rivals the wit and cunning of Michael himself. When you add this to the viciously clever policewoman who is after Sonya, Michael certainly has his work cut out for him, but once again, he succeeds in the seemingly impossible task of smuggling Sonya past the entire Russian and Columbian police force, slipping out right under their noses. 

Sam and Jesse are again involved, and although Burke is now gone, their mission continues. Their teamwork and friendship really shine through in this episode, as all of their lives depend on each of them working perfectly together and reading each other. 

Fi is recruited against her will, so even though she is mad about it, it looks like her contact with Michael is going to become a whole lot more frequent, as Michael’s mission takes him back to Miami (yay!). There is a little conflict in what seems right for Fi, as Carlos lets her go lovingly, however, I think everyone would agree with me in saying, it doesn’t matter how nice the guy is, he isn’t Michael.

This episode held true to the brilliant show we have all come to know and love, with big unnecessary explosions, cleverness and lots of deception, and ended with the excellent promise of the return of the old team back together, blowing up things in Miami.

Review by Emma Laarkamp


REVIEW - Teen Wolf - S03E06

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Last week I claimed that “Frayed” was the best Teen Wolf episode ever it seems I spoke too soon because this episode might have been even better, it was certainly more traumatizing. Not that I’m complaining, I want Teen Wolf to keep getting better and for a dramatic television show causing your audience emotional trauma is basically the goal.

After the meet is postponed the cross-country team, as well as Allison and Lydia, are forced to spend the night in a motel that looks at though it belongs in a CSI cold-open. It turns out about as well as you might expect. The werewolves, Scott, Isaac, Boyd and Ethan all suffer from hallucinations that drive them to attempt suicide. It’s left up to Lydia, Allison and Stiles to save the day. Meanwhile Derek gets a little sexual healing from Beacon Hills High’s new English teacher, Jennifer Blake.

There were two seemingly unconnected storylines in this episode. The first was The Shinning-esque horror plot at the suicide hotel and the second was Derek’s recovery process and romantic interlude. I say seemingly unconnected because there is more than likely a very significant reason that these storylines were placed side-by-side but as it stands, with the information we have now, the shift in tone was jarring at times. That said it was nice to see a softer, not to mention sexier, side to everyone’s favourite brooding alpha Derek Hale.

While there were a number of exceptional performances in this episode, it was Tyler Posey (who plays the teen wolf himself, Scott McCall) that stole the show for me. His emotional breakdown, and the beautiful broment between Scott and Stiles, had me in a puddle of tears for far longer than I should probably admit. The powerful moment is also a perfect example of the jarring cuts between the murder motel and Derek’s loft. As a said above, I’m sure there is greater purpose for this but sometimes it’s better to stay in the moment and leave the significant edits for another time.

The other fantastic thing about this episode is that the female characters were in charge of driving the plot forward. Lydia, Allison and even Jennifer were all in the position of power throughout the story. The men had things happen to them, the women actually did things, which is a fabulous reversal of gendered expectations of narrative agency. I also have to give them kudos for a make-out scene between two male characters. I complain about the soap opera dramatics and excessive slow motion but Teen Wolf actually does some seriously cool stuff.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I enjoyed this episode, if you can call crippling emotional distress enjoying, which I do. Anyway if things are heading the way I think they are this season is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to watch it happen.

Review by Yvonne Popplewell

More of Yvonne’s work can be found at her blog.


Review - Twisted - S01E01-04

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The truth can be a killer.

The ABC Family have done it once again with another drama mystery-thriller series that will be sure to draw you in.

Although not a lot happened in the pilot episode, the storyline has potential for Twisted to become the next Pretty Little Liars minus the runway look. Instead, Twisted is about a boy named Danny Desai played by Avan Jogia from Victorious who as a child supposedly murdered his aunt by choking her with a skipping rope. While, his two best friends Lacey Porter (played by Kylie Bunbury) and Jo Masterson (Maddie Hasson) play in his backyard. It’s pretty messed up.

Move into the future, five years later and Danny has been just been release from juvenile detention. Danny’s father has died on a boat trip and his body has yet been recovered. He now has to struggle with the reality of a whole town automatically hating him because of his past and of course in fear of his presence in the local community. Not even his old friends Jo and Lacey are happy to see him but Danny’s mother Karen really just wants their old life back (played by Denise Richards).

Danny is given nickname ‘Socio’ by the students but his mysterious exterior is attractive to Regina (Lacey’s current best friend). Regina is throwing a party and invites ‘Socio’ aka Danny to come along. With the past still haunting Jo and Lacey who never ever got over what they witnessed, begin to talk again after all the years of ignoring each other. Danny, who has begun to reconnect with Jo, convinces her to come to Regina’s party together. Jo is trying to handle this strange situation in her own way, by getting wasted and just letting go for once.

Although, Danny has won over Jo, Lacey on the other hand is reluctant to be friends with him again.
When Lacey notices a Danny assisting a drunken Jo along the road, she gives them a lift which leads to Lacey stopping at Danny’s house for a chat. A long one to be precise that results in Lacey sleeping over.

Around midnight, Danny receives a message from Regina asking him to cover over (the girl really wants him) but he rejects her proposition. Regina responds by stating that she knows why he killed his aunt. It’s all strange but Danny ignores it and goes to bed. At least, that’s what is implied. Then Regina’s housekeeper discovers her dead body… Was it the Socio?

Friends and family gather to celebrate the life of Regina after the shocking discovery of her dead body. Jo has become annoyed that Lacey with holding important information that I crucial to the murder case-she had slept over Danny’s house that night. I am guessing she didn’t want Archie (her Boyfriend) to have another excuse to hate the guy.

At school, the students are grieving and also questioning the motivation of the murderer. Is it Danny or someone else?

Mr Masterson on the other hand is on a mission to find solid evidence to put Danny in jail for good and keep him away from Jo. Mr Masterson, who has been calling in all witnesses in for interrogation, brings in Danny’s mother and tests a theory. He shows hers a photo of Regina wearing the same necklace (the aunt used to wear before she was murdered) to see Karen’s reaction. She obviously cannot hold a poker face and flinches at the sight.

It was the only thing missing from her body,” Mr Masterson says.

Jo wants to patch things up and convinces both their families to get together for a dinner. Jo’s friend Rico surprisingly doesn’t have a problem with Danny and tags along to this interesting dinner. Mr Masterson takes matters into his own hands and goes snooping around the Desai house for anything that can prove Danny Killed Regina but he is quickly interrupted by Danny himself. The situation quickly escalates as Mr Masterson protests to Jo and Danny hanging out again. Karen defends her son and announces that she is still upset about the Mastersons not allowing Jo to be a character witness for Danny when he was trialled as a child.

Lacey attends a grief support group to mourn her best friend. At first she is angry because all these strangers were claiming to be Regina’s friend. Lacey leaves the group and Pheobe an old frenemy comes to aid her.

Tess tells her husband about a strange coincidence, at the dinner party she noticed a family photo with aunt but at the end of the evening the photo was gone. The episode ends with Danny outside burning photos of his aunt and about to destroy to necklace but doesn’t the will to do it.

In episode three ‘PSA de Resistance,’ the students of Greengrove are learning about teenage sobriety and are given two choices-write an essay on the topic or participate in the play. Most people take the safe choice but when Danny jokes about Jo and Rico’s lack of fun/ evolvement, Jo decides to shake things up. Jo impulsively switches lab groups and teams up Scott/Serita to find out information to help Danny.

Karen gets a visit the Sheriff, Mr Masterson in regards to the missing photograph from the other night at dinner. However, Karen has no idea what he is talking about but comes forward about Lacey staying the night of Regina’s murder.

Jo and Danny offer to help out with Pheobe’s play (that involves Lacey and all her friends) and lacks any enthusiasm. Danny says to Jo that he could write a better script and Pheobe agrees to use it. She also agrees to give Jo the lead role.

When Danny arrives home, Karen is waiting for him and asks him “did you move a photo from the dining room?” he replies no.

Rico is upset with Jo because of her sudden change in attitude. Serita, Lacey’s friend is not the most welcoming girl and is willing to insult anyone, especially Jo. Serita who previously had the lead role is not happy about being replaced by the ‘freak’ aka. Jo. Archie who was supposed to play the male lead ditches it and Danny has no choice but to act also. The play ends with educational video of PSA but Serita switches it with footage of Jo getting drunk from Regina’s party. Upset, Jo runs off stage and Lacey confronts Serita.

Karen and Danny discuss the missing photo once again.

What chance do I have if my own mother doesn’t believe me?” Danny said.

Danny joins the soccer team. Jo and Rico realize that there are flaws in Archie’s alibi. Mr Masterson finds a photo with Aunt Tara wearing the necklace.

Continuing from last week, Jo and Danny work on socialising with the other students. Things work out well for Danny on the soccer team and he proves to have the skills to help them win, although, his team player Archie is reluctant to accept him. Danny and Rico try hanging without Jo, it’s about time Rico got himself a guy friend.

Girls are horrible snarky monsters. Give me guy friends any day.”-Jo said.

Despite Jo’s comments about girls when Lacey’s mother invites her to a sleepover with Lacey and the other girls, she says yes. The sleepover is incredibly awkward and you warm up to Pheobe’s character a lot more but as for Serita, she is still frustratingly mean. Whilst the girls are asleep, Jo brings herself to search through some items that belonged to Regina and discovers a DVD for Archie with footage of him playing soccer. It’s pretty suss. Jo takes the DVD to show the guys but little did she know Serita was awake watching.

Serita tells Lacey about Jo stealing from the box of Regina’s things and Lacey is furious. Jo explains to her that the DVD seemed to imply that something more may have been going on between Archie and Regina. Lacey asks Archie and he says Regina was just helping him out for an audition. I am not sold on Archie’s innocence. What do you think?

As much as Karen has defended her son Danny, you can tell she has been second guessing herself. The episode ends with Karen finding the missing necklace hidden in the cup holder of husband’s arm chair.
Did Danny Kill Regina and his aunt? Or did someone else?

Twisted is a great thrilling show with refreshing friendship dynamics and the character Danny grows on you. His wit and willingness to change his imagine, makes you hope he's not guilty.

Don’t forget to catch this week’s new episode!

Review by Jessica Tisdell


REVIEW - Pretty Little Liars - S04E04

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This week’s episode called ‘Face Time’ saw the return of Emily’s father who was called home after Family Services were notified of Emily’s bruises.

Where ever A is, she must really be enjoying the drama. Emily’s family is becoming the centre of attention throughout the town for their new reputation as the dysfunctional family. Unfortunately, for Emily even though she protests that her parents are not hurting her, A seems to be one step ahead.

As for the Hastings family, Spencer announced that she didn’t get accepted into UPenn but Melissa (the so called perfect daughter) has offered to help her sister out. For ages now, we have questioned whether Melissa was involved with A and to what extent. When the girls discovered the mould of Melissa’s face last week, it was just more proof that she was connected. To test this theory, Spencer and Aria decide to return the mould to Melissa in her suitcase and watch for her reaction from an outside window. Just as they expected, Melissa was smart and knew she would lead them to some answers.

Later, Aria and Spencer watch as Melissa retrieves a sack filled with copies of her face moulds and begins destroying them. Spencer approaches her sister and Melissa shares must needed information. According to the frustrated Melissa, she has been involved in past ‘A’ activities to protect Spencer and detective Wilden was the one who started the fire in the lodge. At least we now know Melissa and Wilden were both on the Halloween train but working for different people? They didn’t even know about Mona being there.

You would think the girls would have learnt by now not to lie but no. Spencer is still withholding the fact that Toby was the one who moved Mona’s “lair” and is secretly on the hunt for information on his mother’s death. Toby is lead to a Doctor Palmer who was the doctor who worked with Ms Cavanaugh the day she died but the Doctor’s memory is sketchy. However, he mentions a blonde girl who used to visit. Was it Alison?

Aria finally tells Jake the truth about her last relationship (with Ezra) and claims it’s over. Jake on the other hand, doesn’t believe the Aria and Ezra story is over just yet. “You have to figure out if you’re hurt or injured,” he says.

Wilden’s safe deposit box at the bank is opened and inside is thousands of dollars. Not to mention a gun and passports. “Normal people don’t keep that stuff in safe deposit do they?” she asks the detective. Hanna is determined to keep her mother from going to jail but the conversation backfires. Instead, Hanna’s so-called investigation has created more suspicion towards her family, especially for Ashley.

On a side note, Emily’s swimming carer could be possibly over depending on whether she has to get surgery for her shoulder injury. What happens to the whole Stanford dream?

The episode ends with Hanna expressing her biggest fear… “I think my mum killed Wilden and A knows it.” Personally, I think Ashley is not the killer because it’s way too obvious. What do you guys think?

Review by Jessica Tisdell


REVIEW - Teen Wolf - S03E05

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I’m probably going to regret saying this but I’m pretty sure “Frayed” was the best episode of Teen Wolf ever. Considering the episode was almost all flashbacks that is a big deal because I am really not a fan of flashbacks (I think they’re often lazy and very rarely done well). As a warning this review is going to be obnoxiously positive but I am just so excited that after a few false starts Teen Wolf Season 3 is finally starting to live up to my expectations.

Scott and Stiles are on the bus heading to an out of town cross-country meet. Scott was injured in a terrible confrontation that happened the night before. He’s not healing and that’s not all, he believes that Derek is dead. As the episode progresses the events leading up to “Derek’s death” are revealed through a series of flashbacks.

Logically I knew that Derek wasn’t going to die. Tyler Hoechlin in the opening credits, and the synopsis for future episodes show that Derek is around for a while yet. But the part of my brain that enjoys Teen Wolf isn’t all that logical so there were a few brief moments when I started to wonder if maybe this was the end for my favourite brooding alpha. It wasn’t but it is a testament to this episodes excellence that there was a moment that I thought Derek might actually be dead.
Tucked between the emotional trauma were some of the funniest moments of the season. Coach Bobby Finstock (Orny Adams) is always a wonderful addition to any episode and he had some fantastic lines this week, especially his hilarious interactions with Stiles (Dylan O’Brien). The star of the episode though was without a doubt Crystal Reed who acted the hell out of Allison’s stress induced emotional breakdown.

The time shifting format could have been incredibly confusing but the use of colour, lighting and music made it reasonably easy to follow. It also added to the overarching feeling that nothing is as it seems. It’s pretty clear that the audience is missing some vital clue that will help decode the increasing web of mysteries threaded through this season. The answer is there we just don’t know how to find it yet. I’m not sure yet who is behind the mysterious happenings in Beacon Hills but I know enough not to trust anything or anyone.

Words can’t really do this episode justice because much of what was great about it is indescribable. All I can say is that I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time (I almost fell off at one point). Before this season began I said that it looked like Teen Wolf had finally grown up, well with “Frayed” it proved me right.

Next week promises to be an emotional rollercoaster sending us swinging from slight arousal to debilitating despair. Bring it on.

Review by Yvonne Popplewell

More of Yvonne’s work can be found at her blog.


REVIEW - True Blood - S06E03

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After a long season 5 of craziness surrounding the Lilith storyline which I found to be less intriguing compared to past seasons. The whole Lilith scenario is beginning to pay off as Bill 2.0 has changed the rules and has made it his mission to save vampires (especially Jessica) from the humans.

This week Bill is feeling a lot more motivated and has teamed up with Jessica to capture a professor that has the skill to synthesise Sookie’s faerie blood for the vampires. Jessica was sent to attend a class and to seduce the professor. Jessica turns up in a hot school girl-like outfit the poor guy didn’t stand a chance. The next step was for Bill to convince Sookie to help him by donating blood but despite their past. A lot has changed and Sookie does not want to go with him. Plates are thrown and Bill uses his new super powers but she still refuses. Then Bill says “You are dead to me Sookie Stackhouse”. It looks like Bill and Sookie will not be getting back together anytime soon.

As for Sookie’s own storyline, she has been bonding with Jason and preparing for Warlow to come for her. I have a strange feeling that Warlow may be closer than we think and he is hovering in the bushes waiting at night. The Faerie godfather chases after the vampire but loses him due to his swift movement. The godfather wonders out to search for Warlow only to find the damage the vamp has already caused including a massacre of all the fareies at the secret nightclub (where they had been hiding). Ben who came into the picture last week has crossed paths with the godfather and agrees to help protect Sookie from Warlow to thank her for her the kindness.

Eric has a change of plans instead of killing the Governor’s daughter Willa (played by Amelia Rose Blaire); he instead holds her as a hostage to gain all the information he can around his enemy. Pam doesn’t think it’s the best idea and would prefer to kill Willa. As Fangtasia is no longer in Eric’s possession, the group (Pam, Eric and Tara) have to leave and take any that holds value to them. Eric takes a little pause to take a last look at his throne whilst I had my own nostalgic moment of remembering the first time his character was introduced. They take refuge in Ginger’s house to sleep during the day and Willa shares a coffin with Eric. Although, for a girl who has just been taken by vampires she seems to be a little too enthusiastic. Later the Governor calls Eric and traces their whereabouts but Eric is smart and leaves straight after.

The Wolves are struggling to stay under the radar as more people are slowly becoming aware of their existence. Not to mention, the police are on to them about Emma’s disappearance. Alcide as a character is becoming far less appealing due to his behaviour lately (helping kidnap Emma from Sam, who supposedly was a friend). Alcide is supposed to be likeable! The Vampire unity society has introduced us to the character Nicole wright who is the co-founder of the society and wants to help all the supernatural creatures basically live in peace with each other. Nicole visits the Alcide’s wolf pack with other members of the society to talk to them but when a camera is discovered recording, all hell breaks loose. The wolves turn, attacking them and the only one to escape is Nicole. That we know of anyway. While this is all going on, Sam who was the owl watching over, transforms into his human form and saves Emma from them.

On a sidenote, Andy Bellefleur is struggling with parenthood as his four girls are growing at a rapid rate over only a few days or so. Andy has turned on the charm to help teach Holly some shooting so she can protect her boys from the vampires at night. It must be a pretty messed up town now that Andy has the most normal life at the moment.

Can’t wait for next week, hopefully we finally get to see Warlow’s face and the question on my mind is: Will Eric fulfil Willa’s vampire fantasy that obviously she seems to have? It’s about time we see some True Blood nudity and maybe a couple that we can root for.

Review by Jessica Tisdell