Thursday, September 30, 2010

Survivor: Nicaragua - "Glitter in Their Eyes"

It's a mad dash for immunity on 'Survivor'.
Photo Credit: CBS
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 21 - Episode 3
"Glitter in Their Eyes"

Jealousy reared it's head on last night's 'Survivor'. For some reason Marty and Jimmy T. have had it in for Jimmy Johnson from day one. They both hated the fact that the rest of the Espada tribe looked to the NFL coach for leadership and not to either of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stargate Universe - "Intervention"

Lt. Johansen (Alaina Huffman) wakes up to find herself not aboard Destiny.
Photo Credit: Syfy
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Stargate Universe'
Season 2 - Episode 1

One of the dangers of having a cliffhanger between seasons is the chance that any production changes will be noticed. Despite the fact that only a few minutes have transpired between the final episode of season one and the first episode of season two of 'Stargate Universe', there have been months between the production of the pair. Luckily, none of the main cast look noticeably different. However, there are a few new faces hanging around the Lucian Alliance that weren't there before, plus one obvious absence.

The Event - "To Keep Us Safe"

The President (Blair Underwood) wants some answers.
Photo Credit: NBC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'The Event'
Season 1 - Episode 2
"To Keep Us Safe"

This will probably be the last review that I write about 'The Event', because "To Keep Us Safe" will most likely be the last episode that I watch. After two hour-long episodes, the creators of this show just haven't done enough to retain my interest in it. It lacks originality and the storytelling is clunky.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rubicon - "In Whom We Trust"

Will Travers (James Badge Dale) and Katherine Rhumor (Miranda Richardson) finally meet to compare notes.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 1 - Episode 10
"In Whom We Trust"

Ten episodes into the first season and we finally (finally!) have our first real meeting between Will Travers and Katherine Rhumor. They had briefly bumped into each other at a party about six episodes back, but this time they've done enough independent digging that circumstances have brought them together. Unfortunately, this is a potential alliance that is killed quickly in the crib thanks to the intervention of Donald Bloom. Will has some protection and resources thanks to Kale. Katherine is completely powerless and alone, so Bloom's threats on her life, her parents' lives, and that of Will, too, are more than enough for her to cut ties with young Mr. Travers.

Mad Men - "Hands and Knees"

Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Trudy (Alison Brie) enjoy a kick from their baby.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Mad Men'
Season 4 - Episode 10
"Hands and Knees"

Don Draper, or should I say Dick Whitman, has been carrying around the secret of his dual identity for about two decades. Due to unforeseen circumstances, a few people have learned about it. Two of them, Betty and Pete, have the burden of this knowledge creep unexpectedly into their own lives. For the first time, we actually get to see Don deal with the very real possibility of Army finding out that he deserted all those years ago.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fringe - "Olivia"

Dr. Anderson (Gabrielle Rose) tries to convince Olivia (Anna Torv) that this is her world.
Photo Credit: FOX
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 3 - Episode 1

Run, Olivia! Run!

After the lackluster premiere of 'The Event', I was really looking forward to the third season premiere of 'Fringe'. Not that I wasn't already, but despite some stumbling during the middle stretch of the second season, 'Fringe' still a really solid mythology show. Also, I was eager to see what was going to happen to our Olivia Dunham that was trapped over in the Alt-Fringe universe.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Survivor: Nicaragua - "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All"

Holly deals with the stress of the game by filling Dan's shoes with sand and hiding them in the water.
Photo Credit: CBS
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 21 - Episode 2
"Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All"

Let's get the obvious out of the way: Shannon is a complete d-bag and I'm very happy to see him voted off this week. I knew he was trouble with the misogynistic comments he made during the premiere. This week he tries to "bro" and bully his alliance into voting out Brenda, verbally attacks Chase right after Jeff's first question at Tribal Council, and then questions Sash's sexuality. Plus, he has the nerve to whine about loyalty and someone's word. He was so bad, that two members of his alliance, Kelly B. and Benry, quickly jumped ship and voted him out. Good riddance.

Castle - "A Deadly Affair"

Castle (Nathan Fillion) is entranced by a stripper while Beckett (Stana Katic) gives her freak flag a teasing wave.
Photo Credit: ABC
Review by Matthew Rasnake
Season 3 - Episode 1
"A Deadly Affair"

How much do I love this show? I mean really? Within the first few minutes, I went from the edge of my seat to rolling in the floor. The "flash-forward" intro to this episode sets the tone for the first half of the episode, and turns the soil for the little jokes and bits of psychological character development, all while placing Castle's status in question, and his life in very real mortal danger. This is great stuff, and immediately reminded me why I watch this show!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Event - "Pilot"

Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) has misplaced his girlfriend.
Photo Credit: NBC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'The Event'
Season 1 - Episode 1

'The Event' is NBC's attempt to establish the next big serialized mythology television show. The network is hoping that 'The Event' will fill the void left behind by 'Lost', similarly in the fashion that ABC had hope to do with 'FlashForward' last year, but ultimately failed. At the moment, Bad Robot cousin of 'Lost', 'Fringe' has been able to make it past two seasons and is about to start of third. Luckily, the creators of 'Fringe' realized that you have to try an entirely different sort of myth show, and went with a far smaller cast than 'Lost' and a more focused concept. The people behind 'FlashForward' cast too wide of a net, and by the looks of the first episode of 'The Event' NBC may be poised to do the same thing.

Rubicon - "No Honesty in Men"

Andy (Annie Parisse) and Will (James Badge Dale) are having a very odd first date.
Photo Credit: AMC 
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 1 - Episode 9
"No Honesty in Men"

I'm not sure about how I feel about Andy, Will's across the alley neighbor. If she is not someone keeping tabs on him, as Will and our paranoia may have been led to believe due to the various scenes of Andy looking from across the way into his apartment, then she's kind of odd. A guy shows up in the middle of the night with a bottle of wine, a tomato, and a story about a bugged apartment and she takes it all in stride. This might be a case of one's attraction to another overriding the common sense center of his or her brain.

Castle - An Introduction

Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) disapprove of Esposito's collection of mid-twentieth-century wood paneling.
Photo Credit: ABC
By Matthew Rasnake

Just in time for the third season premiere, Matthew Rasnake gives us a little warm up for those not familiar with one of the best shows on ABC.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mad Men - "The Beautiful Girls"

Joan (Christina Hendricks), Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), and Faye (Cara Buono) enjoy an uncomfortable silence together.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Mad Men'
Season 4 - Episode 9
"The Beautiful Girls"

As the episode title and the picture above suggests, this episode of 'Mad Men' focuses on the three most powerful women at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Joan is in charge of the secretary pool and is charge of the day to day operations of the office. Peggy is a copy writer that works directly under Don Draper. Dr. Faye is a freelance researcher, but has become an important resource for the firm. Oh, and they got man troubles, bad.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Buffy Rewind Review - "Nightmares"

Can Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) escape the nightmare world created by the boy in the coma?
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
Season 1 - Episode 10

Nearing the end of season one, 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' has finally entered a comfortable rhythm and the writers now seem to understand what kind of show they are making. One the surface, there's a very playful, and frequently silly, nature that is more than willing to have fun with and make fun of the horror genre. Also, there has been an increase in character development, especially for the show's star. Throw in some mythology momentum during the standalone episodes, and this show is starting to develop into something resembling the later Joss Whedon shows that I enjoyed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Survivor: Nicaragua - "Young at Heart"

Jeff Probst - Emmy winning baseball cap model and host of  'Survivor'.
Photo Credit: CBS
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 21 - Episode 1
"Young at Heart"

'Survivor' has been a guilty pleasure of mine for about the last seven or eight years. I blame my wife, since I started watching when we began dating years ago. What elevates it above most competitive reality shows is the unpredictability and the social strategy needed to win the game. I personally think that it's an ingenious concept that to win the game you have to earn the votes of the people that you had a hand in eliminating over the course of the season.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eureka - "I'll Be Seeing You"

Past-Grant (James Callis) and past-past-Carter (Colin Ferguson) chat, while past-future-Grant and -Carter watch from the past-and-future-tree-line.
Photo Credit: Syfy
Review by Matthew Rasnake

Season 4 - Episode 9
"I'll Be Seeing You"

The 'Eureka' "mid-season finale" is a doozy, but parts of it felt rushed, like they were trying to pack a two-hour story into a one-hour show.

Rubicon - "Caught in the Suck"

Tanya (Lauren Hodges) and Miles (Dallas Roberts) get to witness the wonders of information extraction at a undisclosed location.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 1 - Episode 8
"Caught in the Suck"

I so hope that 'Rubicon' gets renewed. I know the ratings aren't that stellar, but this show is fantastic. I would hope that AMC will give the show at least another season. I would really hate to see the main story thread rushed to a conclusion or just left hanging there at the end of the season due to cancellation. This show continues to be a wonderful surprise that's unlike anything on at the moment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

True Blood - "Evil is Going On"

Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) still have issues.
Photo Credit: HBO
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'True Blood'
Season 3 - Episode 12
"Evil is Going On"

'True Blood' has never been highbrow television. Honestly, if it were not for violence, sex, and the beautiful people causing the violence and having the sex, I really don't think this show would be the sensation that it has become. At times, 'True Blood' has felt like 'Heroes', a tangled mess of too many characters and unrelated plot threads. This wouldn't be so bad if most of those character arcs were either interesting or had some sort of natural progression.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mad Men - "The Summer Man"

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) making looking good seem so damn easy.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Mad Men'
Season 4 - Episode 8
"The Summer Man"

While Don still has the occasional drink, it appears that he has turned the corner after last week's wonderful  episode "The Suitcase". Now he is writing down his thoughts in a journal, exercising regularly in the form of swimming, and not getting plastered every couple of hours. His change in pattern is rewarded not once but twice, when both Bethany and Dr. Faye get physical with him. Even they have noticed a change.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Terriers - "Pilot"

Britt (Michael Raymond-James) and Hank (Donal Logue) in 'Terriers'
Photo Credit: FX
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 1 - Episode 1

Terriers are that group of small dogs that were bred for digging into holes and chasing out foxes and vermin. They're scrappy and lovable, but like some little dogs, can get into big trouble.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DS9 Rewind Review – “The Nagus”

Quark (Armin Shimerman), in his new role as the Grand Nagus, takes a walk on the Promenade with his brother Rom (Max Grodenchik).
Review by Paul Steven Brown

‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’
Season 1 – Episode 10
“The Nagus”

Oh, the yearly Ferengi episodes. It will become a regular presence during any given DS9 season. Few would be good. Most would be train wrecks. Fortunately, the original DS9 Ferengi episode, “The Nagus”, was one of the better ones.

Buffy Rewind Review – “The Puppet Show”

Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicolas Brendon), Giles (Anthony Head), and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) discuss the horror know as the high school talent show.
Review by Paul Steven Brown

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
Season 1 – Episode 9
“The Puppet Show”

As with the demon robot episode, “The Puppet Show” continues a trend of mixing the absurd with the humorous self-awareness. As the characters become more conscious of the ridiculousness of their lives and continue to comment on these events in very funny ways, the show has gotten better. ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ at this point in time is learning to still provide exciting and suspenseful stories without having to take itself too seriously.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rubicon - "The Truth Will Out"

Miles (Dallas Roberts) feels the pressure as he begins his polygraph test.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 1 - Episode 7
"The Truth Will Out"

I'm not sure if Will Travers if very brave or completely stupid at times. One thing's for sure, he's turning into a risk taker. Maybe to crack the mystery of the "unsanctioned op" as David Hadas' voice on a CD puts it, Will is going to have to take a lot of chances that could potentially get him caught or even killed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mad Men - "The Suitcase"

Hang in there, Peggy (Elisabeth Moss)! You're gonna make it after all!
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Mad Men'
Season 4 - Episode 7
"The Suitcase"

While the episode title "The Suitcase" refers to the Samsonite campaign that Don and Peggy bang their heads against during most of the hour, it's also a reference to another word: baggage. Boy, do these two have some baggage. Some of it, the pair are aware of, but during this episode Don and Peggy slowly begin to reveal even more to each other.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cultural Wormhole Presents: X-Nation Episode 3

In this installment of X-Nation, Antony, Elizabeth, and Paul discuss the upcoming X-Men movie in the X-Buzz, take a look back at the Month in X for August 2010, check in with Corwin and the Deadpool books in the Merc Report, and take a stroll down memory lane with Days of X-Men Past.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Catching Up With... Project Runway Season 8

Not even Mondo's mad skills can help Peach with this design.
Photo Credit: Lifetime
By Paul Steven Brown

'Project Runway'
Season 8 - Episodes 1 - 6
"And Sew It Begins"
"Larger Than Life"
"It's a Party"
"Hats Off to You"
"There IS an 'I' in Team"
"You Can Totally Wear That Again"

Despite being one of the few reality shows that I watch on a regular basis, I really had no intention of watching the eight season of 'Project Runway'. I think I was just burning out on the concept. However, my wife is still a fan and well... if the television is on... I can't turn away. And like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III, they pulled me back in. Damn you, Heidi and Tim.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fringe – Looking Back at Season 2 and Ahead to Season 3

Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) on 'Fringe'. Photo Credit: FOX
By Paul Steven Brown

In anticipation of the September 23rd season three premiere of 'Fringe', I take a brief look back a the second season and forward to the third.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rubicon - "Look to the Ant"

Will (James Badge Dale) is invited over to Kale's (Arliss Howard) place for a little dinner and information dissemination.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 1 - Episode 6
"Look to the Ant"

It appears that my (or should I say my wife's) recent speculations about Kale were correct. I wouldn't say he's exactly a good guy just yet, but he's certainly not one of the bad guys. In this episode he makes a mean white bean salad, complains about Hot Chip, and starts funnelling intel to Will. Of course, this was after a little B & E at Will's apartment and a look at his homework.