Bad Boys for Life
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Season 3 pit Nucky Thompson against the Italian mafia and, more specifically, Gyp Rosetti. Like last season, the action didnt pick up until the last few episodes, but when it did, it was all-out war. Most exciting were the kick-ass actions of Richard Harrow and the rise of Al Capone. Also surprising and unexpected (wait, thats the same thing) was the killing of Owen Slater, who, like Jimmy from seasons 1 and 2, appeared slated for a more grandiose role on the show.
I must admit, most of season 2 was quite a downgrade from an already just mediocre series (by season 1s account). It took until about the final three episodes to shock me and maintain my interest further. The bad: there was a LOT less action and intrigue this season. Everything was about court appearances, getting out of jail, strong-arming each other nudge-by-nudge, political strife, and so on. Sure, there was the intermittent killing, but season 2 was packed with just too much drama. Then came the last three episodes. [Spoiler Alerts] First, the shocking death of Jimmys wife Angela. What a sad moment when we see the Butcher exclaim that your husband did this to you before shooting her dead. Then, the shocker of all shockers. I was beginning to feel that Jimmy was going to secretly become the star of the show, taking over Steve Buscemis Nucky Thompson as the king of the Boardwalk. He was definitely positioned that way through the first two seasons. And yet, the seemingly usurper star of the show, a show that is to last another three seasons, mentored from childhood by Nucky Thompson, gets a bullet to the dome delivered by none other than Nucky himself. And the star of the first two seasons is no more. So, at least these shocking moments entice me to watch further. And from my review of season 1, remember, it was the lack of shocking deaths that compelled me to feel meh about the show. These shocking moments have at least turned that switch, and maybe theres somewhere for this show to go, to excel. Looking forward to what season 3 brings, even if one of the more exciting characters has been removed.
When watching a show about gangsters/mobsters, lets be honest, we watch for the violence and the killing. And Boardwalk Empire certainly had its share of such. But, it wasnt a perfect show. And what I disliked most revolved around its killings. I was looking forward to seeing some surprising moments; some shocking deaths. But every death in season one is ever-so-predictable. I could tell you instantly who wasnt surviving another 5 minutes into the series. How? Because the only characters they killed off were those who got very little screen time. Their roles werent heavily involved and emphasized. What they should have done was build those characters, regardless of how irrelevant they are to the world. Show their small-time criminal acts, at least to establish them. Give us an episode where they survive and seem like they may become a bigger part to the show, then go and off them. Shock the audience a bit. And I think theyll do this as the seasons move forward. Some of the highlights so far, I enjoy the musical score, theres a lot of intriguing characters, I cant wait to continue seeing the evolution of Al Capone, the masked sniper is such an interesting character, love the way Arnold Rothstein conducts operations and carries himself, Im looking forward to seeing what transpires with the oddball Prohibition agent, and want to see increased bad-assery from Enoch Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi). Theres definite improvement to be made, but a lot of promise.
More strange shifts in powers, including one (male) character that has to have sex with people to take away their unwanted power? That includes the GUY who was turned into a demon. Yes, they literally showed these two straight guys have sex so that one would rid himself of satans spawn. No joke. And that was just the first episode. Episode 3 was really interesting, about a girl who brings her imaginary friend to life, along with Scary, her childhood fear. This could have turned out to be a great storyline, but, unfortunately, like the bunny man episode the previous season, Scary is killed WAY too easily. Then there was the episode where one of the gang is asked, and almost goes through with, having sex with a turtle. Thats what this show has turned into? Kind of funny, I guess (sorry, PETA). Glad it ended here, not sure any more seasons would be bearable.
The first half of the fourth season was awful and it looked like the show was jumping the shark, fast. They killed off the last original cast member, had other early characters just written off the show with no mention whatsoever, and presented the new crew in some odd ways. And theyre far less interesting than any of the original members. The good thing, though, was that they gave some pretty interesting episodes towards the end of the season. The Bunny Rabbit, tux wearing, golf club killer was neat, could even make for a good horror film by itself, but was defeated way too easily. Anyways, the show is clearly running its course, and gladly the next season is its last. Lets see if they can make these characters more interesting and put together a sensible storyline.
If the tv show Heroes and the Suicide Squad had a baby in the universe of the X-Men, youd breed something similar to Misfits. Despite some really stupid superpowers (like the girl who has the power to make any guy try to rape her?), the show is actually quite intriguing. Its a short season (just 6 episodes), and the stories are as varied as can be. Theres a really neat Butterfly Effect type episode, and a lot of really strange, stupid (but funny stupid) situations these dorks find themselves in. Plus, we get to see Game of Thrones most hated Ramsey Bolton in an early acting role. The last episode was a letdown, but the final scene was hilarious and keeps you wanting more.
Not quite as fully on-board as just about everyone in the world, but I found Stranger Things to be decent enough, but not extraordinarily incredible. Maybe I expected too much. Its like a mix of X-Files and Goosebumps, neither of which I was much into when I was younger. I think I just wanted more. One monster, not enough for me. It was entertaining and all, and I really like the characters, but each episode kind of hit one climactic moment only, and that just wasnt enough. Im glad I watched it, and Im looking forward to season 2. I just hope they build on this first season and give us more.
WHA???? Very shocking ending to the series. So anyways, the two best seasons of Prison Break are when theyre not in prison at all. Season four was very good (not as good as two though), with more twists than you can count on all fingers of the Fox River escapees, even if you include T Bags missing five. It was definitely an action packed season, as the episode count doubled that of previous seasons. That being said, that was also its biggest flaw. It was TOO much, TOO long, TOO repetitive. I mean, honestly, who remembers the black assassin Terminator-like dude from the early part of the season? He made for a great villain, but is taken out of the picture with like a dozen episodes left, maybe more. The back-and-forth between the Company and the Others (so as not to spoil it) wasnt done well either. But the action made up for it all, as season four sees a hell of a lot of it. A good conclusion to a rather good series. That ending, WHOA
A HUGE letdown from last season. Season 3 of Prison Break, or what I liked to call Prison Break, Barbarian version, toppled off the mountain from its stellar season 2. Lets start with Jodi Lynn O Keefe (sp?); her acting was terrible. Talk about a cartoonish character. Theres was nothing convincing about her, her role so one-dimensional in its attempt at being the great bad-ass of the show. Didnt work. Like, at all. Then the prison. Fine for a Steven Segall or Jean Claude Van Dam movie, but for this show? It was chessy. Oh no, prisoners so ruthless that not even the guards will set foot in the place. Ummm, yeah, theres kind of like ways to fix that. It was like watching a Mad Max movie for a full season. Then, every episode was basically the SAME THING. You can literally watch any random episodes from season three, and theyre ALL the same exact thing, just rehashed in various forms or stretched out. You could almost say the same thing about season one, but at least the show kept you vested and interested. This time, not so much. The actual break out wasnt nearly as cool as it should have been, in fact, quite childish/amateur considering nobody can escape this prison. But I guess blinding a guard with the sun for like 4.8 seconds and rolling under some jeeps was just what they needed. Now, it wasnt all bad. I stayed interested, theres some good internal strife and fighting to watch, some crazy pairings that you wouldnt expect, the Whats-in-the-boxish stealing/borrowing from the movie Seven, and some neat new characters (although, theyre gone by seasons end too). So I dont totally dismiss watching it, just go in knowing it falters greatly from the previous season.
At first I laughed, a show called Prison Break that is no longer dealing with a prison break. Now theyre on the run, trying to prove their innocence. And it turned out, them on the run was exciting as hell. I loved season 2. Watching each characters storyline play out on the outside, eluding capture, reviving family storylines, some wreaking more havoc, the delusions, the naivety, the greed. Season two was a ton of fun. Kept me glued to every episode. Well done, Prison Break, you kept the stories fresh and inviting. And we got an always awesome William Fichtner role for this season.
A few episodes in, I thought the show was setting up to be pretty darn corny. The whole tattoo of the map shtick, rather ridiculous. But, the prison drama/escape turned out to be quite entertaining. Like most escape films (since theres really no shows I can think of that feature that genre, closest being Oz for the prison aspects, but not the escape plan), with the right mix of prison brutality, corruption and crime, Prison Break kept me interested and intrigued all the way through. The riot episodes were top notch, the writing kind of smart, the characters well established and different. A good show indeed.
As per the consensus, the final season of Dexter sent this series out with a whimper. Below average characters (villains, heroes, background, etc.), below average storylines. Emotional enough ending, but adding that final scene? Copout. On a whole, Dexter was a good show. Flawed, sure. But entertaining enough to recommend to anybody. They could have made this final season much more explosive, but its a good way to see Dexter realize the hurt he causes all around him and let Hanna and Harrison lead lives without him, for their own good.
Another exciting season, this time with a lot more stories going on. You had the Russian/Ukranian mafia storyline that seemed to be the biggest story going, with the Terminator-esque gay dude kicking serious ass. Then, the story abruptly ends many episodes before the season finale. Seems strange at first, and I thought it was going to be a letdown, but then we got LaGuerta zeroing in on who Dexter really is, and the show explodes, with the incredibly shocking finale that was totally unexpected for me. The Hanna story was also damn riveting, with the beautiful, malicious Yvonne Strahovsky (sp?) playing the part wonderfully. Shes always a joy to watch, and wondering if she would destroy Dexter kept interest levels high. Im so glad this show got better as it went along. Its far better than the campy crap from the early years.
DAMN! Finally, a perfect season for Dexter. Despite the weird incestial elements with Deb falling in love with her brother Dexter, and the predictable dead-all-along Geller (I called that one, about Edward James Olmos character being dead all along, in either the first or second episode; pretty obvious when nobody acknowledges his presence in any way in any of his scenes), this was still such a nail biter, edge of your seat season. Also had some anti-religious themes that Im not crazy about, but Colin Hanks brought this show to new heights. He was creepy as this seasons bad guy, far better than even previous seasons John Lithgow. The macabre of this season was like nothing done on television before. It felt like you were watching the movie Seven in a 12 episode format. The last episode felt unfulfilling for most of the runtime, but is saved by that shocking final image of Deb walking in on Dexter doing his thing to the Doomsday Killer. You also get a great performance from Mos Def in the early episodes, but the intrigue of the DDK almost forces those early stories out of mind entirely.
After about 3 episodes, I finally thought Dexter was going to be this unhinged maniac, no longer following any code. I thought he lost it, and was gonna be really exciting to watch. Then, nope. Around the 4th episode or so, normal Dexter was back, with his boring code and all. They also started out with what seemed like it would be an interesting storyline with the Santa Muerte case. It was an intriguing start to what could have been their most compelling case. Then, nope. It almost literally disappeared. In fact, it was used for the stupidest purpose on the show, to pit Laguerta against Deb for maybe an episode and a half. Really stupid. And again, the main villain was such an easy prey and target for Dexter. Not one villain has put up a meaningful fight yet, against this supposedly geeky lab nerd. I mean, Jordan Chase this season had everything working in his favor, and still blew it. But, it was actually still a pretty good season. Helping out a lot was a good casting choice in Julia Stiles, who did a really nice job as the rape victim turned vigilante and Dexter protégé. Peter Weller was also a nice addition to the story, as one of the smarter individuals to realize that Dexter wasnt all he seems. So, a very good season, but Im still waiting for the ultimate baddie that really puts Dexter to the test. 8/10
The Good: Best villain the show has had. John Lithgow can make anything good, right? He was evil. Unimaginably evil. And Dexter made so many mistakes this time around. The good vs. evil of this season was incredible. Plus there was the hottie reporter/Trinity daughter. She made for good eye candy. The Bad: That eye candy? a) She got annoying, quick and often. And b) well, she blew her head off, so no more her to look at. Also bad this season, can a storyline get any more boring than Laguerta and Bautistas? Those two need to exit the show fast. I was hoping their office romance would mean at least one would have to leave the department, really meaning the show. Instead, they do the corny marriage b.s.? Their scenes were perfect. Perfect for what? Perfect to go to the bathroom or make yourself something to eat. Get those bores off the show. Stepfather voices also sucked this year. So Harry went from caring figure in the early seasons to douchebag ha-ha-told-you-so a-hole now? And hes in it WAY too much now. He should just go haunt Bautista and Laguerta, offscreen someplace else. Hell, take Deb and her annoying cursing with you. So really, Dexter and Trinity are the only reasons to get into this season, but boy was this storyline explosive. The Ugly: Wow, I knew she didnt make it through the series, but I was still shocked by that conclusion. I didnt know Rita was parting so soon (theres still four more seasons). That was sad, and really, you cant help but blame Dexter. In all, a very good season, just get rid of the fluff.
Not as good as season 2, not as bad as season 1. This time around, they experiment with giving Dexter a partner for his murderous reign. Only Miguel Prado quickly ditches the code and kills the innocent. But this season was slow on the action, with fewer kills and slower plotlines. Then to top it off, Dexter eliminates the seasons truest bad guy, his partner, a whole episode before the finale? That just doesnt bode well for a show like this. Needs improvement.
MUCH better than season 1. I like how they didnt revolve around one villain like they did in season one (well, they do The Bay Harbor Butcher, but thats Dexter himself, not some third party character villain). The character development was so much better this go-around, especially Sergeant Doakes (unfortunately we wont get more on him; I was interested in his Special Black Ops storyline, and I guess well never know much about that). It was refreshing that not all scenes revolved around Dexter, instead giving us reason to become attached to some of the others. And Lila made a good pyro-crazed nutjob.
I'm a little worried, since everybody's been telling me Dexter starts off great, then becomes a total letdown by the end of the series. And I didn't care for season 1 all that much. I don't get the fuss. So does that mean I'll REALLY hate the later seasons then? Or will I hopefully have the opposite reaction and learn to love the show? Because I found season one a little childish/amateur. I know it came out YEARS before Hannibal, but you can't help comparing the two. And Hannibal, maybe learning from Dexter's mistakes, is LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than Dexter. A show like this needs to be dark, ominous. Like Hannibal is. There's nothing cute about Lecter's origin story. Dexter is MOSTLY this, but sprinkled with unnecessary and very out-of-place humor. It doesn't fit the encompassing story. Another problem with Dexter is character development. They did a great job with Dexter himself, but they did a poor job with all the other characters. They're just strange people all around. And I didn't feel anything for them. But damn if they tried, because they did. Just not effectively. I'm hoping all my gripes can be chalked up to it being their rookie campaign on the show, and I did actually enjoy the last episode of season one (I think I ranked it higher just because of that). But I want to see more compelling storytelling, less awkward humor, less flashback to sometimes creepy, sometimes sweet stepfather. And better characters - or an evolution of those already present. Overall impression, Dexter needs improvement, but it's not horrible by any means.
The culmination of a very series ends with a pretty amazing final season, but one that ultimately left me slightly disappointed with the final episode. I expected so much more from the finale. But the entire season five was packed with such an intense thrill ride, where we see once lovable Walter White become king of prick a*holes. Just about everybody meets their maker; poor Mike, poor Hank, poor Jesse's girlfriend (another one). Many deserved it - Todd, the woman from Madrigal, Walter White, aka Heisenberg, aka The Danger himself, while others are just got caught up in it all (Walt's family). Very sad demise of all those in White's life. A wonderful show, kudos to seasons 2 and 5. Just wish the last episode gave us more.