CBS-Time Warner dispute-Part 2

OK. So it seemed to me that the CEOs of Time Warner & CBS simply hated each other and would rather die than give an inch. Although I still feel that way, I did a Tarot reading at about 11:25 am on 9/2/2013 to see what the chances of a quick resolution would be. I did a quick three card spread to answer yes or no to “Will the CBS-Time Warner dispute be resolved within the next 10 days?” Surprisingly enough the cards came up like this:




5 of cups – upright, 6 of Wands upright, and 6 of pentacles – upright.  Although the upright position of all three cards indicates that it WILL likely be resolved in the next 10 days- that is by 9/12/2013, and with two SIxes involved, probably within six days  or by 9/8/2013, it seems that there will be a LOT of disappointment and emotional loss involved – also – CBS will likely get more money, but guess who else will have to pay more?  Yes. You and I and the rest of the public will end up paying more- (6 of pentacles). The 6 of wands also suggests to me that some kind of new structure/arrangement has been made between CBS & Time Warner which will impact the larger Television/Cable industry.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…



Game of Thrones-Season 3 & Beyond Reflections

It was a stunning season by nearly all accounts, but it wasn’t until the season finale – entitled “Mhysa”, that I had an idea of where the show and the books OUGHT to go in the end. How do I think the series should end?  Drum roll…

A power marriage between Stannis Baratheon and Daenerys  Targaryen. I know, I know, Stannis is already married and Daenerys marries the ruler of Mereen, but relationships don’t always last for long in Westeros. It will be interesting to see how these two interact, and although I realize the two have and will marry others in the books thus far, I think it would make a lot of sense for these two to unite – at least in name only. It would be the marriage of the old ruler house and the new – one that the people could accept.

But there are other reasons I think this could be a winning combination –

The common threat of the White Walkers (called “The Others” in the books) as icy zombies could easily be overcome with the help of three fire-breathing dragons.

Stannis Baratheon has a religious zealot  who worships a god of fire and light in his corner, a faith which is likely to excite lots of people being attacked by White Walkers- and seeing Melisandre marginalized and at odds with Daenerys’ supporters would make for such delightful palace intrigue. Stannis has a bit more experience governing than Daenerys does, but she has much more of the common touch for everyday people, whom Stannis seems to disdain.

From the books we know that both Joffrey and Tywin Lannister bite the dust in the near future, so it won’t be surprising if this is depicted in season four or five. Needless to say, many viewers will miss Charles Dance. Not many actors this side of Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing can do forbidding, patrician menace quite like Charles Dance. With those two Lannisters down, the rest wouldn’t be able to hold the kingdom together or withstand the combined forces of a united Stannis Baratheon & Daenerys Targaryen.

I’m not sure whose comeuppance I want to see more- Walder Frey’s or Ramsey Bolton’s. Sadistic a-holes don’t inspire much love from this viewer.  We can expect Catelyn Tully Stark to dish out punishment to those loyal to the Frey, Lannister, and Bolton households in the coming seasons as she takes the form of Lady Stoneheart.

Speaking of revenge; it surprised me a bit that Balon Greyjoy,Theon’s father, didn’t show any outrage toward the Boltons upon receiving Theon’s severed manhood in a box. We already knew that Balon didn’t think much of his son, but as a matter of family honor and the essential theft of any grandsons via Theon, that Papa Greyjoy would have wanted to punish the offender to show that no one can touch his offspring with impunity. His daughter, Yara, as we saw, seems to have more that perspective.

Game of Thrones has a lot to say about societal relationships; gender roles, class struggles, generational, family and religious conflicts.

Life in that world is very difficult for a woman. Either you need prophetic powers with a pretty face and good body like Melisandre, that you willingly share with a high-status warrior male, have fire-breathing dragons, male advisors and an army behind you like Daenerys, a rich daddy and  warrior brother like Cersei, or be built like a mack truck like Brienne, but even that might not be enough if the guys decide to throw you into a bear pit since they can’t beat you fairly.

Truly, Game of Throne is a show that has something for everyone- action, adventure, fantasy, family drama, royal pomp and circumstance, sex, and violence. Keep writing Mr. Martin, and let’s keep watching…

V-the series 2009-?

I’m a late convert to this series, which has worked out well since I didn’t experience any lag time between broadcasts. (Courtesy of

First, let me say that I hope the lovely Morena Baccarin gets more starring roles and doesn’t fade away like predecessor Jane Badler . This character, named Diana in the old 1983/84 series is Anna here, and she’s everything you’d expect in a reptile dressed in top-model  synthetic skin & clothing. She could teach Machiavelli a few things. Want public sympathy & that of a specific person? Beat your daughter and have her legs broken, then have her taken to an FBI station and place her bruised face on television worldwide. Oh, and did I forget to add that you have to pressure said daughter into naming your political enemies as her attackers in order to get the public to help do your dirty work?  It almost seems like overkill that Anna has some kind of psychic power over nearly ever member of her species to make them feel “bliss”.

It’s interesting that this extraterrestrial, reptilian species is unable to feel “human emotions” with the exception of this quasi-religious rapture.  I guess we’re to assume that it’s a kind of psychic drug that helps Anna manage the emotions of other members of her species and adds to her already considerable powers of persuasion, not to mention duplicity.

The way she looked forward to her encounter with Ryan (a fine Morris Chestnut), whom she saw as merely a challenge to her duplicitous and psychic powers. “You killed her. Didn’t you?” Ryan accuses,  (referring to his lover, Valerie, who birthed his child) as he begins to choke her, she calmly removes his hand and replies that she and the medical staff have done everything to save her and would have succeeded had Ryan gotten to her ship sooner. She then cradles his face in her hands and emits the bliss inducing psychic state-symbolized by a burst of blinding white light-before introducing Ryan to his child. (Yes. Anna had in fact murdered Val, the baby’s mother.)

Casting a white female as the principal villainess and an African-American male as one of the heroes made me wonder whether  this was an oblique  way of tapping into Obama-Clinton-Palin tensions.

Other standouts in this series are Scott Wolf, channeling Michael J. Fox’s Alex P. Keaton as an ambitious television journalist, and Elizabeth Mitchell, whose adroit shifts of mood and persona would be even scarier if she were a reptile…

The resurrection of Joshua, played by Mark Hildreth was an interesting twist at the end, not to mention a brilliant set up for season 2. Will he be tortured for information or will Marcus, (a sinister Christopher Shyer )turn against Anna as her daughter Lisa is slowly doing. Marcus & Lisa were both seemingly pleased with Anna’s show of human emotion after learning that virtually all of her eggs were destroyed.

One of the underlying philosophical questions posed by this show is :How long can you pretend to be something that you’re not before it changes who you are? (Whether you’re an FBI agent pretending to be tolerant of the Visitors, or a Visitor pretending to be human).

V’s midseason return

Finale recap 1

Finale recap 2

Finale recap 3

Damages – Great beginning, then slowly deteriorated…

I was completely blown away by the first season of this show. Patty Hewes, as superlatively played by Glenn Close, was large and in charge. She had won an award, hired a new associate, and eventually, won a multibillion dollar case against Arthur Frobisher (played by a manic and effective Ted Danson). Mr. Frobisher sold off all his own stock just before his company went belly-up, you see…The acting and writing of that first season was exemplary.  Season two concluded with Patty losing her husband and her teenaged son. Season three finds Patty alone, and at times, seemingly struggling to maintain her sanity.

I have several problems with season three. Firstly, there were too many people were killed in rapid succession. An interesting character would get introduced, then killed off right away.  Secondly, there are just too many subplots.  (Martin Short’s Leonard Winstone/Lester Wiggins character being blackmailed by his father, Ellen’s possible adoption during early childhood and making Carol Tobin the killer of Danielle Marchetti, just to name a few). The strongest of them have been: Tom Shayes story as another of Louis Tobin’s fraud victims, which is interesting and credible, as is the impending parenthood of Patty’s son Michael and his much older girlfriend, Jill. Nonetheless, there have been too many double-crosses, lies, and manipulations for viewers to keep track. Even in a world of cops, robbers, and lawyers, you need to be able to follow the story – if every single character is double-dealing – it makes it hard for the viewer to follow what’s going on, and it seems less and less credible as a narrative.

Another thing I felt was inappropriate was Ellen jumping into the sack with Josh Reston far too quickly. From “I’ll think about it” after he asked for leads for his column at the Manhattan Observer newspaper to them sleeping together in their next scene. I thought Ellen was supposed to be more guarded and reflective after her stint with Patty Hewes?

I also have trouble with some basic details in the script. Patti initially offered Jill $100,000 to “walk away” from Michael, then $200,000. Jill balked at the notion and walked out. In a later episode; however, Jill agreed to $500,000 to disappear.  My criticism? In 2010, in New York City, half a million dollars might be a nice chunk of change, but it’s chump change in terms of setting someone up for life, especially an expectant mother. For that, if you’re not talking at least  the mid-seven figures, then you’re not seriously talking, and someone as worldly-wise as Patty Hewes is very well aware of that…

More screen time for Lily Tomlin and Len Cariou and less for Campbell Scott would have pleased me, too. One of my co-workers thinks it’s because some of these actors are movie stars and I’m used to seeing them in larger parts with more to do that I’m noticing the relative deprivation, which may be part of it, but I honestly don’t find the Joe Tobin character, played by Mr. Scott, to be very interesting.

What is interesting, is to see that the bossier Patty gets, the more people seem to defy her and do just the opposite of what she wants. I was half-expecting Jill to play off the windfall as Patty’s pre-wedding gift to the new couple. This would have been rich over a dinner with Ms. Hewes, I can just imagine her turning about six different shades of red;)  Patty has succeeded in one way; however, she has Jill and Michael lying to each other…

I have to give Jill credit for having moxy to openly deceive Patty, too.

Neither Patty nor Marilyn Tobin will be winning the Grandmother of the Year Award. The former wants to send the grandchild away forever, the latter stood passively by while she was killed.

The finale? We’re supposed to believe that Tom Shayes staggered back to his home bloody in broad daylight through the streets of New York the entire time while  instead of seeking medical attention? And his killer, Joe Tobin, (ugh!) just happens to arrive the very same moment? Why couldn’t Stuart Zedeck’s henchman, Mr. Falco have killed Tom off? That would have been far more credible. But to have Leonard Winstone shoot him, and then have Mr. Falco jump up and seemingly choke Winstone to death a few seconds later seemed absurd. And the way that manila envelope with the proof against the Tobins got passed around like a baton? Come on!!!

And don’t forget the homeless guy who only sleeps in the abandoned loft building -instead of a cardboard box when it’s time for someone staying there to be conveniently frightened for the camera…

This season felt very contrived and derivative of other films/television shows and I was very disappointed with the finale.

All things Damages

Q & A in re the season 3 finale

Nurse Jackie

This is another show I love – this season has our titular heroine besieged on all fronts. As a mother, she’s finally realizing that Grace does indeed have some psychological problem that needs to be addressed, and finally took the phone number of a good child psychiatrist from Mrs. Akalitus in the last episode.  The latest episode – “Candyland” – had her dealing with the inflated ego of Dr. Cooper, the suspicions of Zoe regarding her access code for the automated drug dispenser, and an oddly migrated set of testicles.

Some people feel that Eddie, Jackie’s lover from last season, should simply move on and get over their break-up. Others may feel that Jackie brought on Eddie’s stalker-like behavior. I’m of mixed opinion. I wish Eddie would find someone new for his own well being, but on the other hand, I think that since Jackie cheated on her husband and broke her lover’s heart, she has to face the consequences. Eddie now is a friend of Jackie’s husband, Kevin, and  in a position to make Jackie squirm. Let the dramatic guilt and deceit games begin anew!

Nurse Jackie link 1

Nurse Jackie link 2

Nurse Jackie Summary 1

Nurse Jackie Summary 2

Big Love – Season Finale…

Well, that’s all folks. At least until January of 2011, rumor has it…This was some horse and pony show…here are my random thoughts:

One of the things bothered me about the finale – how the hell could Bill have Tom & Jerry removed just like that when they’re equal partners???

Other things that bothered me? Let’s see – JJ managed to steal eggs from his sister, his daughter, and use them to impregnate his ex-mother-in law and tried to impregnate his ex-wife. His son Roquet and his sister Wanda knew about it and neither of them said anything until Wanda miraculously regained the power of speech in the last episode.

One of the most positive things about this episode was Barb telling Bill that she wanted a different life and that she didn’t think she needed him anymore.

I guess Margene now has ANOTHER polygamous family to live with, eh? Will another guy be invited to join?

I sure hope the writers don’t figure a way to keep JJ & his creepy wife Malinda alive- that would totally suck. Who in their right mind would get on the wrong side of Adaleen or Nicki?   I do wonder; however, who it was that intercepted JJ when Adaleen was chasing after him, and helped her to tie him and Malinda up.

When Marilyn Densham was in Bill’s office about to break down into tears – saying “you can’t do this to me…” I really felt like we lost a moment of disclosure – WHY is Marilyn Densham so emotionally invested in Bill’s future???  She can’t seem to stay out of his face and we weren’t given a reason why that is…

“I thought when people saw you, they really saw you, they couldn’t help but love you.” Remember what happened to Jesus Christ when he was loved by Judas Iscariot, Bill? Loving someone doesn’t guarantee good decisions or treatment – just ask your wives…

Although this season has definitely been entertaining to put it mildly, overall, I have to agree with the assessment of the Star-Ledger’s Alan Sepinwall:

Big Love Season 4 Finale Review

Mary McNamara from the L.A. Times has an interesting theory about why this season seemed so wild and wacky: the shows producers like all the cast members so much they wanted to give each character something interesting to do. You know what they say about too many cooks spoiling the broth?

Big Love Season 4 -Mary McNamara’s Analysis

What do YOU think happens next??