Sunday, October 30, 2016

'How to Get Away With Murder' Losing Its Thunder?

Can #HTGAWM bounce back?
How to Get Away With Murder, last part of Shondaland's Thursday lineup, is a killer mysteries and mayhem stunner. With a magnificent, inclusive cast led by Emmy winning Viola Davis, episodes frequently end on juicy, jaw-dropping cliffhangers. Yet since the clumsy finale to season two's big Hapstall case, something seemed amiss about the guilty pleasure drama. Unveiling Caleb as both snitch/murderer and Michaela's nonsensical drunken hookup with prep boy Asher while she was still technically Caleb's girlfriend were limply put together-- sadly unappetizing for a show relying heavily on shock value twists.  

The writers expect us to buy that oddly paired Asher (Matt McGorry) and Michaela (Aja Naomi King) have a romance. Nothing more than tawdry sex mentioned or shown every episode. Are we expected to believe that smart, intelligent, self-sufficient, strong Mrs. Pratt would go for a sleazy, douche-y character who back ends people with their cars? Asher, intolerable, bad-dancing, run on pun, is easily the lamest pick of the Keating 5. Michaela could do so much better.
A bland opened and closed case that left little excitement.
Season three opened with an anonymous person posting Annalise murder posters all around Middleton University's Philadelphia campus. Promos teased for an exciting revelation. The answer to this tawdry riddle, however, was nothing more than a fizzled, predictable outcome. Whereas the other mystery this season is "Who's Under the Sheet." For the first time, the series is showcasing events to the murdered victim as opposed to the events leading to why the person was murdered. So far, it holds steady interest, each episode closing with an alive person. At this point, Oliver, Bonnie, Michaela, and Asher are still breathing with under hospitalized supervision pregnant Laurel (a "Who's the Daddy" came up, but again another easy answer with red flag Meggy being the one who provided the information that Laurel had a bun in the oven).

Wes (Alfred Enoch) and Meggy (Corbin Reid) served nothing more than filler-- at least in Wes's eyes.
The introduction of good girl hospital intern Meggy as Wes's mysterious girlfriend seemed to provide the troubled man distraction away from horrendous events. He had witnessed a bullet strike his rapist father's head, learned his mother really did commit suicide, and gradually no luck came in the romance department. In finding himself a sweet, afro haired bike riding lady (a mirror to his own bike riding ways), he did refrain from being completely honest with her, using their relationship primarily as a scapegoat. Last week's breakup, which he provided all the ammunition to end things, he exhibited cold callous behavior to Meggy (despite her embarrassing "I love you" confession) and had the nerve to bed his friend Laurel seconds after.

Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) broke things off with Connor (Jack Falahee) in the first episode of season three.
Breaking up Connor and Oliver (beloved Coliver) remains to be a complete travesty.
Perhaps it's to ensure that these two characters grow on their own, separate from one another for the time being. Yet Connor has resorted back to his compulsive sex loving ways while Connor, who wanted to be alone, has started seeing someone. This is logical how?

In season three, episode 5's "It's About Frank," Bonnie (Liza Weil) and Frank (Charlie Weber) awkwardly got it on in Coalport, PA.
In the very next episode, "Is Someone Really Dead," Wes (Alfred Enoch) and Laurel (Karla Souza) take a turn between the sheets-- which just as foul as Bonnie/Frank. This results in Laurel's pregnancy. Disgustingly atrocious, but not at all surprising.
The real miss this season is that close platonic bonds have turned grossly sexual. For example, strangely incestuous quadrangle of Bonnie/Frank/Laurel/Wes is a sickening, utterly vapid story line that makes little sense. Chemistry is not something that should be forced down viewer's throats, but each passing episode promises flavorless chewing and vitriolic stomaching. The rotten icing on the cake is Officer Nate getting it on with Annalise's current nemesis, ADA Atwood. Talk about heinous.

A few people hope that Atwood (Miluana Jackson) meets an ala Emily Sinclair demise. That would look suspicious. Best keep her alive and with Annalise besting her in the courtroom time and time again. After all, there are worst things than murder, right?
Well, pushing uncomfortable revolving bed partners aside, two episodes remain before winter break. Prayers that the hugely promoted "Who's Under the Sheet" unravels to a delicious, worthwhile outcome. The other plots are messy and undesirable to watch, in fact cringeworthy is the genuine feeling here. In order to get back to the secret ice cream pint consuming binge joys of yesteryear, it's up to Pete Norwolk and his team of once gutsy writers to invent jolting catalysts that keep a viewer attentive and engaged. Let's wrap up catapulting viewers with unnecessary, baseless hookups and keep them entertained via dark mysteries and tantalizing whodunits. Please.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Memorable Glenn Rhee Moments

In memorium: Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) from The Walking Dead, one of the most watched television series on earth right now.
It's been a while since a hard ugly cry over a character death, a barbaric character death at that.
The grisly chill of seventh season premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead contained heartbreaking tragedy as the survival group lost one of its most imperative core members. Glenn Rhee, a major character since season one of the zombie apocalypse series, was definitely one of the highlights, an instant favorite. Sweet, affable, funny, and badass, the former pizza delivery boy matured from funny wisecracking sleuth who drove getaway vehicles to compassionate moral compass of the group (family in other words) to a expectant father with true love Maggie Greene. In the scope of six years, he came into his own, earning the respect and support of his fellow survivor friends, showing strength, vitality, even leadership.
Everybody loved him.
Here's a few reasons why he'll be forever missed:

1. The "come with me if you want to live" introduction to Rick Grimes and the start of the nickname "Dumbass."
From the day Glenn saved the horse riding Rick out of danger, Glenn became an unlikely hero. Always the first to volunteer for the food/supply run, he proved to savvy on the road and off, kicking zombie butt and getting whatever was needed.

2. His strategic capability, bravery, and resourcefulness.
Often Glenn got left in a bind (a somewhat running joke of the series). Still, he knew how to not get killed. Adept and courageous, he was always quick on his feet. Whether finding a shelf to slam into a zombie skull or ripping out bones from a dead body, he could make a weapon out of anything and escape to safety.

3. His great post-apocalyptic romance.
The moment the group found Greene's farm (a temporary sanctuary), Glenn fell for the strong, resilient Maggie Greene. Their love story, filled with triumph and tragedy, brought a deeper maturity to Glenn's character. Yes, he valiantly fought hard to rescue his family from danger, saving Rick and Co. countless times over. With Maggie, however, his heart was on the line. He wouldn't lose that for anything.
He treated Maggie with courtesy and reverence, especially demonstrated after The Governor's disgusting assault of her. Glenn regarded Maggie gently. He broached this terrifying situation carefully, this monstrous added element of surviving horrific mistreatment. This wasn't zombies, this was man. Glenn didn't turn away or revolt from Maggie. He stayed, waiting patiently for her to come to him on her own.

4. His inclusion into a third family.
Hershel Greene, although showing earlier reluctance and disapproval, grew to care about Glenn. In a rather humbling scene, the older man gives Glenn a gold pocket watch heirloom (the opening credits posts this alongside Steven's name). Hershel sees Glenn as a surrogate son, worthy of his daughter, of being an honorary Greene member. It is a passing down of respect and gratitude, thus welcoming Glenn into the cusp of another group of people who love him.

5. His forgiving nature.
Glenn liked to believe in the goodness of humanity, that not all people should die for making mistakes, which perhaps brought on his glistening tears as he murdered people in their sleep in "Not Tomorrow Yet."
Earlier on, Tara was part of The Governor's group that had Axel and Hershel killed, but Glenn (still healing from the flu outbreak and having snuck out of the bus unbeknownst to Maggie) saved lonely survivor Tara from the zombies overtaking the prison. In return, she saves Glenn countless times.
Nicholas, a resident of Alexandria Safe Zone, was a liar who got Aaron and Noah killed. He tried to murder Glenn too. Even then, Glenn didn't retaliate, instead keeping a wary eye on him.
In "Thank You," Nicholas makes the ultimate sacrifice, which in turn, kept Glenn alive.

6. His riot gear.
No other words beyond that, Ladies and Gentlemen.

7. Metaphoric meaning behind his fateful last words, "Maggie, I'll find you."
When they were separated by The Governor's minions to leaving the prison to being abandoned beneath a dumpster, Glenn found his way back to Maggie. He always found her. They always found each other.
Yet this time around, happy endings will be in dreams and afterlife.

Steven Yeun played Glenn with compelling versatility that must be applauded. The Saturn nominated actor delivered a tremendous depth in this phenomenal character journey. With upcoming roles in the animated Chew based on Rob Guillory's comic book series about a Cibopathic detective (psychic visions whenever eating) and action thriller Mayhem about a framed corporate lawyer in the middle of a virus outbreak, may Yeun continue finding more roles breaking away from Asian racial tropes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Five Prime Reasons to Check Out Issa Rae's HBO Show "Insecure"

Sunday nights are about to be super lit.
HBO took a chance on debuting a hip hop girl empowered television comedy called Insecure.  Created by Awkward Black Girl's Issa Rae and funnyman Larry Wilmore, the modern day series follows in the path of a working black woman, Issa and her best friend, a hotshot corporate lawyer, Molly. It's pretty badass, rated R raunchy with heart, and laugh out loud funny. Plus, like Queen Sugar, inclusivity is featured behind-the-scenes as well. That's wonderful!
Here are five prime reasons to fill your Sunday nights with Insecure:

Issa Dee (Issa Rae) finds her life on display instead of the organization she represents.

1. Kids honestly can't understand our conscientiously fluid adulthood.

When Issa stands in a stuffed classroom of misbehaving, badmouthed fourth graders, embarrassment levels are up on full blast. They dis her speech, her singleness, her clothing style. She takes their offensive darts left and right, standing tough, a big golden smile on her face. Yet as questions become more invasive with cruel clapbacks, how can anyone not feel sorry for poor Issa?
Plus the haunting (albeit vexing) question “why do you talk white?” has hounded most intelligent, well-educated black women for almost our entire lives. We're taught by our own race that being articulate is a crime against ebonics. And that “why is your hair like that?” given specifically to black women with big chops and short TWA's tells us that our unique version to white girl pixie cuts are not allowed.

2. Microaggressions at the workplace are common. Find ways to cope.

Issa hates being singled out for ideas, especially the click-and-bait. She decides not to help them out by pretending she has no idea what ghetto linguistics are. It's quite hysterical.
Even if her white co-workers have the best intentions, they're delivering inflammatory remarks (often spoken in an over-saccharin dripping tone in how one asks for a cup or sugar). That should always be taken into serious context.
Issa handles their racism like a snarky, tea-sipping boss.

Out of all the lipsticks, Issa decided a clear gloss was best. That's all of us.

Nothing wrong with being your own cheerleader.
3. Love yourself 101.
When Issa preps for a night out, switching lipsticks and personalities, the scene felt like a powerful, celebratory statement. Overall honest and candid, a rare look at how black women see themselves when alone. A black woman can be anyone she chooses to be-- sweet, sexy, goth, funky, and innocent all in the bathroom mirror.
Issa's reflection was everyone's reflection.
She loves herself. And we are falling in love with her too.

No one should be resting in one place.

4. Relationships hit rough patches. Things will only worsen over time or evolve into something profound.
Each scene featuring sweats clad Lawrence, Issa's boyfriend of five years, showcases a man's potent fluency in laziness limbo. The handsome couch occupier goes from sleeping like a hibernating bear, to canceling birthday dates to “stay in,” to eating a big bowl of cereal whilst having the audacity to call out Molly's "high standard" taste in men. However, appearances are deceiving. Lawrence is looking hard for a job. Real hard.
Yet Issa is fed up. Perhaps that explains her being drawn to an old infatuation, her long time crush, Daniel (Y'lan Noel) who Facebook/text messages her constantly and ignites hilarious impulses.
Still, without distractions (and a job) causing strife, maybe Issa and Lawrence can work it out somehow.

Girls just wanna have fun. Go Molly (Yvonne Orji) and Issa (Issa Rae)!

5. Don't ditch your surrogate sis for a man. Ever.

We all have a ride-or-die best friend that we love hardcore. They're usually depicted as our long lost sibling, our better half, perhaps even our real soulmate. At the same time, we have moments of pure selfishness.
Issa and Molly have an amazing friendship, a real, genuine chemistry igniting the screen.
It was only right that Issa hilariously sang a bit of The Girlfriends theme to her. Their vibe is as fresh as a bite of peppermint gum.
Towards middle of the episode, Issa commits the ultimate friendship code wrong-- planning a “girl's night out” solely for intentions of seeing a guy-- Daniel of course. With Daniel's cheerleading, she bravely takes open mic freestyle stage and spits female empowerment song "Broken Pussy" over a slick beat. However, Molly is not celebrating Issa's bravery. She only sees it as a hurtful slap in the face.
In the end, admirable that though prospect tempted our coilly coifed protagonist, she declines a Daniel's indecent proposal. Issa instead (and rightfully so) spends the night with her bestie, bonding over junk food, slyly ensuring an allegorical promise that this half-hour comedy will become addictive guilty pleasure as the season progresses on.

The-Oh-You-Just-Go-Leave-Me-Hanging is the worst. Great save Issa! Not awkward at all.