October TV Favorites

It is already almost the end of October, so please excuse the lateness. I actually wrote this a while ago and it has been sitting here not getting posted, what the hell! I have been procrastinating a lot lately and feeling really bogged down with work, so much that writing for fun has been proving difficult. I have probably seen in the past two weeks, seen a good 10-12 movies. Now the problem is I am having writer’s block in getting anything written, do you guys ever feel like this? What do you do get yourself on a good writing schedule? Tips would be appreciated. I also have so much catching up to do on your guys’ blogs too, so please forgive! Ok I put it out there and admitted my inadequacies (insert sad face here). Moving on here are the shows that I loved for the month of October.

The Affair: Season 1 (Showtime)
I have been loving this new series on Showtime, it is both a romance story and thrilling drama in one. The show centers about writer Noah Solloway (Dominic West), he has three kids and a wife, who live a bustling busy life in New York City. As many New Yorkers are accustomed to doing, they leave for the summer to Montauk to get away from the city and to stay with his wife’s family. Her family is beyond wealthy and  infamous in town. Her father Bruce (John Dorman) is a very accomplished writer, he has sold millions of books and of course this only adds to some frustrations between Noah and him. If you are a fan of The Wire, then you will be excited to see McNulty and his old boss Rawls, back in action, battling with one another. In town he meets Alison (Ruth Wilson), a local woman who works in the town restaurant and is married to Cole Lockhart (Joshua Jackson). His family also has a legacy in town, as they have a ranch that has been in the family for many years. Noah and Alison launch into a steamy relationship, as the title states and with every episode we get two viewpoints of their love affair. From his perspective, we see Alison as flirty and sexy and in hers, she is much more reserved and sees him as a bit sex starved and anxious to rip her clothes off.

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Under this town lies deep seated secrets and relationships and that is what is at the core of the story. A local accident or murder takes place and everyone is being questioned. At this point in the show, the audience does not know who the victim is or what exactly happened. Slowly the story is coming together and I have to say it is pretty exciting to watch. If you like love stories mixed with crime drama, then you will enjoy this show. Also Wilson And West are great in this show and if you are a fan of either, you will like seeing them in these roles.

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Sons of Anarchy: Season 7 (FX)
After seven seasons, Sons of Anarchy is soon coming to an end. This has seriously been one of the best seasons ever! Not all final seasons are ever that great, sometimes they are bit underwhelming as if the show has run out of ideas, but not with SOA. Kurt Sutter has been pushing the envelope week by week and keeping audiences on the edge of their seat. The final season has focused primarily on the culmination of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), who he is as a person, how he has matured and grown over the series and who he now is as a man. How he deals with problems in his personal life and the club are at the heart of the matter and primarily his relationship with his mother, Gemma (Katey Segal). If you are a fan of the show and you are up to date with the series, then you will know how exciting it has been. I don’t want to give out too much, but I will say if you have not see this show, do yourself a favor and binge watch it because you will not be disappointed at the end.

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Boardwalk Empire: Season 5 (HBO)
This last season just ended and it was also the series finale for the show itself. I have to be honest, I do not think this show was ready to end, unlike SOA which timing wise feels right, but with Boardwalk, I feel that it could have had another 2 seasons to finish telling the complete story. To date, Boardwalk has never disappointed, it has to be one of the best shows in my opinion ever created. One of the primary reasons I love it, is because it has Martin Scorsese’s touch. The writing is exceptional, every scene flows into the next and the cinematography is beautiful. Rarely do I say that about television shows, but every shot is executed perfectly and arranged in a way that the symmetry and composition of the frame is on point. It is obvious that meticulous precision goes into the camera shots. The costumes are gorgeous and only add to the exacting of the show.

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This final season flew by quick and gave us a look into Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi) past and how he grew up and came to the point in his life where he is in the present. Again, I don’t want to give away too much here, because if you haven’t seen the show, but plan on watching it I don’t want to ruin anything. What I will say is that in this final season, we see how the main characters all end up, so I can tell you that every story is finished and shown, including Nucky, Capone, Chalky White, Van Alden, Eli, Gillian and Margaret. Also because the show is tied into historical events and people, we see the culmination of Al Capone’s ruthless career and how he got caught, the status of prohibition, trade with Cuba, Joe Kennedy’s rise to power and the stock market crash. I love that the show highlights and weaves historical moments with the narrative of the main characters and everything blends together seamlessly. Regardless, this was a great season and I have to admit the ending was a bit disappointing and felt rushed, but overall the show is fantastic, so if you haven’t seen it you should give it a shot.

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}}Melissa

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Boardwalk Empire Recap: Season 4, Episode 12: Daddy, You Bring Bad News

Boardwalk Empire Recap
Season 4, Episode 12
** SPOILER ALERT
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OMG last night’s episode, “Farewell Daddy Blues,” was bananas! The season finale was awesome to say the least and really we cannot expect anything less than perfect from this show. The writing is impeccable and can’t be matched; their ability to tell and weave so many stories into one episode each week can’t be beat.

Nucky finally came head to head with Eli and literally put a gun to his head, to which Willie interrupted and set that play awry. The question still remains would Nucky really have pulled the trigger or was it just a scare tactic? My feeling is that he would have killed him for having almost ambushed him.

Knox was obviously really pissed off when he realizes that the supposed meeting doesn’t take place. Eli was ready with a wire and the room was set up to listen in on them, but of course Nucky has his ways of finding everything out and he knew something wasn’t right.

IT seems as though Knox has issues with everyone, no one really believes in him or wants to see him succeed, or at least that is what his paranoid mind thinks. Hoover has issues with him, it’s almost as if he can’t stand him, but who can? The other agent thinks he’s off his rocker and asks him to turn in his weapon because he is unstable after discovering that Eli did not show up at the hotel room for the tap in as planned.

He proceeds to rectify the situation by going to Eli’s home, allowing himself in the house due to the fact that his wife believes he is an insurance salesman. This time around she senses that something isn’t right and asks Eli what the hell is going on.

Eli and Knox go head to head in one of the grittiest, well made fight scenes I have seen so far on this show. It was very Scorcese-esque (yeah I just made that word up), with lots of screaming, choking and fighting all wrapped up into one. Eli in a rage does the unthinkable and kills him.

I guess Knox didn’t realize he was dealing with real gangsters, that or he was just too presumptuous to think that they would never turn the tables on him.

With his tightly pursed mouth, every week he grew more annoying, but I have to say any actor who can make the viewer hate the character as much as we hated him shows us what a good job Brian Geraghty did with his portrayal.

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Let’s move to Chalky land now, O M G, that’s all I can say about him and Narcisse coming head to head. Nucky makes a deal with Dr. Narcisse to allow Chalky to come and meet with him at the club, on the premise that he has information about Daughter Maitland.

Nucky calls in a favor to Richard Harrow, since he gave a tip to the police to the whereabouts of the body of Jimmy Darmondy. This leaves Gillian in jail and Harrow and his wife free to raise Tommy.

When Chalky and Dr. Narcisse sit down to speak, Narcisse says that he has leveled the playing field and he must tell him where Daughter Maitland is or his daughter, Maybelle, will be on the line as well. Harrow positions his gun, from the top, where he is acting as the sniper who will take down Narcisse, and in the moment of repositioning his fingers accidently shoots Chalky’s daughter. She comes into the scope’s view at the last second and she dies in awful death in front of Chalky’s eyes. Gasp, I really just started crying at this point.

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In the middle of all this shots are fired and Harrow is shot. He makes it to a spot under the boardwalk, where he lays to dream and die. Seriously I was so sad at this point; he was my favorite character hands down.

Let’s get to Chicago now, Joe Torrio is corned and gun down, most likely by Al Capone who believed he was a conspirator in the shoot out that happened last week. Surprisingly, he lives and tells Capone that this gangster life is for the young and he is retiring and passing it on to him. In that moment, does Capone feel bad for what he did? I am sure he does not as he is the most ruthless thus far.

Agents know that Knox has been killed and are charging Eli with his death. Nucky, being that he still is his brother, shows his true colors and helps Eli go into hiding. Van Alden pulls up to pick him up, looks like he is going to Chicago!

In the end, we also see a scene of Margaret moving into her new rent free apartment with her kids, with Rothstein in tow with the new keys. Where will this relationship go?

Off his rocker, literally Chalky returns back to Oscar Boneau’s home and takes his space in the rocker he once sat in.

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Throughout the whole episode, I felt like we were replacing the old with the new version. Chalky/Boneau, Nucky/Willie, Gillian/Julia and Torrio/Capone. This reformative nature of one person transforming into the new version, better than the last is what seems to be cropping up.

Now we will get to see how all of these worlds are going to collide and connect even more. What will happen with Chalky? How will he deal with his death? As for Willie, will he be of more assistance and delve deeper into the gangster world by Nucky’s side? There are so many questions left to be answered and if we know anything about Boardwalk Empire, we know that next year will be even better.

Richard-Harrow (pour one out for the homie Richard Harrow, RIP)

Boardwalk Empire Recap: Season 4, Episode 11: Getting Skunky

Boardwalk Empire Recap
Season 4, Episode 11
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Last night’s episode, “Havre de Grace”, brings us one step closer to the end of the season, with lots of stories left to be rounded out. Chalky, fresh from his bout with almost being killed, arrives at the house of Oscar Boneau, played by Louis Gossett Jr. He gives a great performance as the man who taught the strong willed, street smart Chalky everything he knows.

Although he is blind, he has a keen, almost 6th sense about what is going on around him. He immediately has a distaste for Daughter Maitland. He can see that she is more trouble than she is worth to Chalky. After dutifully being assigned to cook a meal for Chalky and the boys, to which the food is not to the old man’s liking, she realizes that this is not the life she wants for herself.

She looks nostalgically towards the past; perhaps wanting to go back to the life she once lived with Dr. Narcisse. On that note, in the middle of the night she leaves. Chalky realizing she is missing goes outside to find Boneau, sitting on his porch, gun in hand, warning him that something is out there.

The old man is not crazy and there are henchmen lurking in the woods ready to pounce, to which they do and a gun fight ensues. The young men shoot down the assailants and the old man is killed. Chalky looks as if he will shed a tear, an emotion we rarely see him emit.

Throughout the season, Gillian has slowly been falling in love with a man who literally turned up out of the blue when she was at the lowest point in her life. Roy Phillips, a man who initially came to speculate about buying her home and staying in town to open up some shops. He on the outside appeared to be lonely and out of sorts just like her. When he realized she was a heroin addict, he stuck by her and saw her come out restored and sober. Just how he wanted her.
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The whole time I have been watching it I felt like he was lying to her. At first I thought he was maybe a scam artist or someone after her money. Turns out the truth is revealed after he shoots a man dead, in order to help him cope with the distress he is facing over what he has done, she tells him to forget about the ordeal and that he can live with this pain.

She says that she knows this pain because she once killed a man, drowned him to death and she has put it behind her. She tells him, “You can just let it go.”

Cue dramatic music and spoiler alert, he is a detective sent to get her confession about the murder. Slowly and surely her demise has set in and all her misgivings of the past are coming back to haunt her. Although part of me is saddened for her, she has been through so much pain in her life.

Nucky mysteriously gets a phone call from Gaston Means, who tells him that there is a skunk in the cellar and before he can tell him who it is, he is seized and arrested. Nucky seems to want to brush it off, but he just can’t shake the feeling and suspicions arise.

Eli is divulging more and more to Knox and is pressured into getting Nucky to set up a meeting with all the head guys involved in the business, Joe Masseria, Lucky Luciano, Vincenzo Petrecelli, to name a few. The Thompson clan then goes over to their uncle’s place for a dinner, to which Eli’s wife has to prepare. What a horrible way to get invited to a dinner by the way!

Knowing that this is a difficult task, Eli presents it Nucky who at first eschews the idea, but then decides to go through with it and asks Eli to set it up. Nucky proceeds to ask Eli if he thinks there is anyone on board whom he doesn’t trust, which makes Eli grow even more nervous.

At the dinner table, Eli’s wife proceeds to everyone about the visit they recently had from the boy faced insurance salesman, aka Knox. In a rage, Eli tells her to shut up and stop talking.

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The whole scene was tense and we can tell that Nucky knows something is up. With each passing day, Eli is growing tenser and tenser. Nucky asks Willie about the man that was at his home, we see Willie and his uncle lighting a cigarette, facing away from one another, tense, pondering, it was almost as if he was mirroring his moves.

Willie is becoming more and more like his uncle than his father. Will he be the asset that Nucky needs to figure out what is going on with his brother and the skunk between his legs? Next week concludes what we have been waiting for and the truth shall be revealed and perhaps set Eli free.

{{Melissa

Neither Here, Nor There: Sons of Anarchy

Does anyone truly care about The Sons of Anarchy and where it’s headed next?? Does the show still muster enough of a fascination with this motorcycle club that tends to get mixed into anything and everything? The answer seems to be “YES”, but why?!?

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The show has lacked a truly great and /or interesting storyline since season 2 when we were all introduced to the skinhead version of Henry Rollins and what was a worthy adversary in the meth-distributing white supremacy group called the “The NORDS”, led by Ernest Darby. This was the last time I remember feeling that Charming was up for grabs.

The last time I felt “wait, maybe the club is done and is in over its’ head.” I’ve yet to experience those same feelings of doubt and excitement that season brought me. Now that’s all a distant memory.

I’ve arrived at a point where I really don’t care what happens or to whom it happens to on the show. At times it has seemed to drag on and it is continually in search of a dynamic storyline to give the show the proper kick in the ass it’s needed.

We’ve had the trip to Belfast, a stint in jail that wasn’t televised and one that ended in Opie’s death, dealings with the Mayans, the “One-Niners”, the IRA, and Clay’s ego at every end.

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All twisted and enthralling to a certain extent, but never anything that made me go BEZERK or put me on the edge of my seat. Nothing that’s made me care or at least kept me that interested in these fictional characters that somehow just keep on ticking and ticking and ticking.

It just seems to always go in circles with Jax and his indecisiveness to leave the MC, Tara and her attempt to make a better life for her kids and Gemma, well, being Gemma. Maybe I’m being too harsh? Maybe I’m expecting way too much?

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This is a world in which shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones exist. These shows punch you in the mouth with twists and turns at every corner and are filled with extraordinary characters.

Ones that you instantly fall in love with or hate with an indescribable passion. Think Walter White or the Lannisters.

But maybe that’s what Sons of Anarchy is, just a “filler” show that can sit there on my DVR for when I’m done watching “quality” shows. Therefore, maybe I am being too harsh and have expected way too much.

Maybe, just maybe I should just shut up and watch. I might just get that punch in my mouth that I was hoping for!

{{Drew

Boardwalk Empire Recap: Season 4, Episode 9: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Boardwalk Empire: Episode 9

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This week’s episode, “Marriage and Hunting,”brought back the return of the real Slim Shady, I mean the real Van Alden who had been posing as the meek, head in the sand Mueller. In order for his ties to grow stronger with Al Capone, he must prove to him that he can get kill off O’Banion. As Mueller approaches the daunting task, he starts to reveal himself as the sadistic, controlling freak he once was in Season One. The job is done for him instead by 3 men who enter the flower shop. They shoot O’Banion and Mueller walks over him and steals the money from the register like a boss.

Mueller goes home, throws a wad of money on the bed a la’ 2 Chainz and 50 Cent and asks his wife to take off her clothes. This is obviously a turn on for her because she has probably been waiting for years for this man to make a move on her and show her who’s in charge. Go Mueller!

Meanwhile, down at the old corral, Chalky White is caught in the cross hairs of fighting Dr. Narcisse and keeping his family appeased. On one hand he is the doting father who is taking care of his family and the other a man in love with the “Daughter” of his enemy. It’s a story for the ages like Romeo and Juliet, yet this Romeo will not go down without a fight and he is very willing and capable of showing Dr. Narcisse who is in charge.

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Chalky tells Nucky that last year he saved his life, but Nucky refuses to get involved with his business. Dr. Narcisse is a man comfortable in his own Libyan skin and believes in a forward thinking sense that he is an equal amongst the Nordics. Is he really smarter than everyone else or is he just comparing his aptitude against the junkies he has been supplying?

It’s funny how Nucky won’t take some heat for Chalky, but he was sure as hell willing to promise him anything last year when he was held up and his head was on the chopping block.

Just as Chalky has the heat coming down on him, Nucky knows he needs to watch his back. The feds are nearing and Eli is very close to making the wrong move. We are left with the image of Sally and her shotgun, an endearing moment overshadowed by the reality that both she and Nucky need to be careful with the ties they make in both business and life.