The Road to the Emmys: Our Dream Ballots

It's almost awards season (again)! In celebration, the writers at Just About Write have crafted their dream 2015 Emmys ballots. You can check out who we feel is deserving of some love this year and -- when announcements are made -- see if we've predicted correctly!

The Strong Women Series

Here, you'll find a collection of posts from my talented female friends, each defending the women in their favorite television series. These posts contain some of the most intelligent discussions ever featured on this website. I highly recommend that you read them all.

Jenn's Pick: My Top 15 Episodes of 'Psych'

Do you like meta humor? Movie references? Pineapples? If you do, you were probably also a fan of USA's hit comedy 'Psych.' In this post, I count down my fifteen favorite episodes of the series. Do your favorites make the cut? And, bonus: Can you find the pineapple in my post?

Character Appreciation Post: Felicity Smoak ('Arrow')

Felicity Meghan Smoak is one of the most captivating, optimistic, endearing characters on The CW's smash hit 'Arrow.' And in this post, I list all of the reasons why she is. Read, dear friends, and fall a little bit more in love with our blonde hacker.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rookie Blue 6x06 "Home Run" (Out of Left Field) [Contributor: Hope]

"Home Run"
Original Airdate: July 30, 2015

This was a sneaky little episode. It distracted me with the chaotic baseball shooting. It kept all the characters on my screen and while it started off suspiciously cheery, it made me think the catch was the case of the week. It wasn’t. Here’s the truth: I knew both of this week's big surprises would happen, but I didn’t know when. It’s hard to avoid spoilers when Canada has been ahead of ABC all summer. I’ve steered clear of specific details, but huge things like this… they have a way of finding their way onto your screen and being read before you can avert your eyes. But knowing these things were coming didn’t detract from their impact or element of surprise, and that had a lot to do with the storytelling and pacing.


Gail had to betray Steve in this episode, which was rough because he’d just done really good by her and given her a great recommendation to the adoption woman. But it really came down to what "the right thing" was and their differing opinions. She wasn't going to compromise her good judgment just so her brother could look better in the eyes of his boss. She had to, in turn, convince Michie to betray her own brother and turn him in. Yes, it would have been good to get the gang leader off the streets. But Gail’s conscience wouldn’t let her say the case was closed when she knew better.

Gail was just great with all the kids in this episode. It wasn’t her forte, pretending to be in charge of the baseball game and acting all friendly with the kids to impress the adoption woman. Because when she pretends, it’s a painful struggle and it’s obvious. She’s snarky and doesn’t pass out sunshine and rainbows to those she doesn’t feel merit them. But when she talked to Michie or Sophie, her whole demeanor changed. There’s nothing wrong with her snarkiness – that’s just who she is – but there’s a lightness that these kids bring to her that was there all along, only hidden. Snarkiness often acts as a wall, a weapon. She opens up around these kids and it’s fantastic character growth.

Andy and Sam

HOW did I not see this coming? The whole episode, Sam’s insisting he needs this weekend away to go well. Well, of course it didn’t, and that was to be expected. They hit what Sam insisted was a rock with their windshield, but he got out of the car with Andy to check the bushes for injured critters anyway. And then they both got poison ivy. Andy was preoccupied with her new information on Juliet, who was caught meeting with her handler when Andy and Chris were running that morning (you never see Andy and Chris hang out anymore. That was nice). Then, they get to Oliver’s cabin by the lake, and it’s been ransacked by wild animals. If Oliver wasn’t SUCH A GOOD GUY, I’d wonder if he sent them there just so someone else could clean up the mess.

We got to periodically check in on these two and their bad luck, but when the episode cut back to them by the dock, where they were finishing cleaning up the mess, we’d spent a good while focused on what was happening over in Toronto. Sam and Andy have a real heart-to-heart, and Sam admits that he just wanted the weekend to be perfect, but it’d just been a condensed version of their lives recently. And you know how Andy replies? "This is better than perfect. It’s us." I thought that would be the ending of their little storyline this week, because that line was perfect. But no.

Andy’s turning away with a rug in each hand when Sam gets down on one knee, right there on the dock. She was shocked. I was shocked. I was also reminded once again what a complete and total soft spot I have for proposal scenes. There were very few words, but let’s face it, they’d all been said already. Words weren’t needed. A major speed bump in their relationship has been a lack of communication (specifically on Sam’s part). Now they’re at a point where they DON’T need to say anything. It was perfect.

The Evidence Locker Explosion Investigation

So long story short: Sam was the reason Juliet came to town. He talked to Noelle, who showed up at the baseball game earlier in the episode and wow, it’s been SO LONG since she was on the show. Anyway, she apparently is now in charge of some internal investigating unit, and sent Juliet in to find out more info (I CALLED IT LAST WEEK!). Here’s who Juliet suspected:

Chris – She also knows about him and Jarvis’ wife, which didn’t faze Noelle in the least. Noelle was firm that it wasn’t him who planted the bomb.

Duncan – To which Noelle replied: "Do you think [his stepfather] would trust him not to screw things up?" Juliet agreed. We all agreed.

Oliver – Whose keycard was swiped before the bomb went off. He's now suspect number one.

He was clearly set up. The question is, how will all the characters react to him being the suspect? Will they defend him to the end or begin giving him the side-eye? Will battle lines be drawn, or will everyone stand by Oliver's side?

  • Running backwards burns more calories or something, according to Diaz. You must burn those extra calories when you accidentally run into something. Or someone.
  • "I was just walkin’ the dog." *silent moment when absence of said dog is highly apparent*
  • "That’s what I love about you…Your lack of enthusiasm."
  • Gail: "It’s in our genes [to be mean]."
  • "My passion project." Not.
  • Gail: "There’s this strange sensation… No, I actually think it’s gratitude." She started this episode off in such a good place.
  • Ukulele practice = "selfish improvement"?
  • Chloe: "[We get to help people…] Plus they’re serving hotdogs at lunch, so…"
  • Noelle and Oliver reunited was fantastic. It felt SO real, probably because the actors were reuniting as well. It FELT like two old friends who go way back meeting again, picking right back up where they left off, and it was such a great moment. I hope their friendship isn't damaged by her investigation.
  • "No, we killed a rock."
  • "HOW are you not scratching now?"
  • Ever wonder who still reads the paper? Gang leader dudes, apparently.
  • Andy: "Usually it’s me who’s the one over-enthused about terrible situations."
  • Oh Chloe and Dov, you poor lovesick creatures.
  • "Man that’s just cold." Dude, you live in a glass house. Although I guess it’s nice you draw the line at shooting up baseballs games, mayyyybe you could still reevaluate your line-drawing skills?
  • Sam: "It’s kinda been like the last six months in a little bottle… But you’re still here."
  • Gregory Smith directed this episode (his second one this season) and it was another fantastic job. Notably, that shot of Dov’s feet running across the baseball field, complete with the thudding sound, added to the chaos of the moment.
  • This week’s edition of Hope’s Unedited Notes: NOT OLLIE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. IT WAS NOT OLIVER SHAW.
  • We're past the halfway mark now and I can't believe there are only 5 episodes left. However, they're setting everything into motion for what has got to be an amazing conclusion to the season.

Jenn's Pick: 10 Movies That Actually Need To Be Remade

There are so many unnecessary remakes out there. Did we really need another Footloose with Julianne Hough? Was it truly necessary to remake Scream into an MTV series? And really, should The Karate Kid have been touched? (No, the answer is NO.) There are a lot of bad movie remakes out there, because... well, I think some studios are just running out of ideas, frankly. And the truth is that a lot of the movies that are being remade are ones that were created in the 80s and early 90s. The problem is in the translation -- how do you tell a story that everyone (or a majority of everyone) already knows but tell it in a way that is fresh? How do you create a remake without causing everyone to long for the original? The execution is one thing. The timing is another. And the casting is a major component, too.

I watch a lot of romantic comedies -- I'll watch anything cheesy, sappy, funny, etc. really. I like falling in love with characters as they fall in love with each other. The cool thing is that a romantic-comedy, unless it is bound to a period in time (we'll talk about You've Got Mail soon, don't worry), is usually pretty timeless and adapts well to a remake because the main component is love. And love is something not shackled to time. My friend Laura and I have been semi-joking for about a year that we need to write a remake of one of the movies in this list, and the reason that we totally could is because the comedy and the heart of the film originally wasn't based on the technology from the time period or the city or anything like that. The movie worked because it was well-written and fun.

So I thought about ten different movies (none from later than 1999 appear on this list, actually) that are in desperate need of remakes. But I didn't just stop there. As I said above, remakes work in part because of the cast. And -- with some help from my wonderful friend Chelsea -- I came up with my ideal casts for each of these remakes. Feel free to add your own or comment on these in the comments section or by tweeting me!

Let's get to it, then. Here are ten films that actually need to be remade in the near future.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Orange is the New Black 3x07 "Tongue-Tied" (Story Time) [Contributor: Rae Nudson]


Norma. Sweet, amazing, beautiful Norma. This is one of my favorite back-stories because it just seemed to fit Norma so perfectly. She was lost when she was younger, and while searching for ways to empower herself, she stumbled into an unfortunate cult where the leader marries just about every one of his woman followers (think Reverend Wayne Gary Wayne from Kimmy Schmidt). Norma struggled with her stutter, and the cult leader made her feel so welcome and accepted. He told her she’d never have to speak to him again because he could feel her spirit, and he liked it. So of course she would feel good about being a part of this, even if he essentially took away her voice.

But Guru Mack had one thing right: If you don’t like yourself, change your story. Norma changes her story when she decides she’s had enough and pushes Mack right off a cliff. After years of abuse, she became someone who fought back and spoke up for herself. She still finds leaders to follow in prison, like Red and Gloria, but she is also beginning to stick up for herself again.

Norma may have given up performing Santeria magic, but she still gives blessings and hexes people, and allows the women to come to her with their problems. So now instead of following, she is someone people turn to. But when Red comes back into the kitchen, and back into Norma’s day-to-day life, Red immediately takes over, as she always does. When Norma walks away from Red and the kitchen crew at the end of the day and takes credit for punishing Red, it was triumphant. She takes that self-confidence, plus what she learned from her cult and from Gloria’s Santeria magic, to lead her own followers, who she meets in the chapel. Norma may seem like a quiet pushover, but she takes charge of her story.

Suzanne is also learning the power of storytelling by literally writing stories. Her erotic fiction is a little, um, nonsensical, but her writing provides both her and Poussey and escape from the loneliness of prison. And it’s funny. It was too good watching Berdie learn that a Pangolin is a mammal with scales, and seeing Suzanne calmly explain that she was actually using it to mean—well, you get it.

Back at the cafeteria, Piper and Morello play MASH. Morello is using it to create the story of her future life — she’ll marry Gustov, and live in an apartment in Maui with 13 children. As Yoga Jones and Big Boo try to keep Morello’s suitors straight (is that the fatty?), they get to the heart of what Morello is doing by seeing all these men. She’s providing them with an empathetic ear, yes, but also the fantasy of having a prison girlfriend — in exchange for some money for her commissary. As Morello says, “Who cares if it’s a fantasy? If they get what they want, and I get to make a buck, everybody wins.”

Facing reality in Litchfield is sometimes too much to bear, so the inmates have to create fantasies to be able to survive. Some of the inmates are even creating the story they are Jewish so they can get better food to eat in the cafeteria. The inmates have to be all about survival — and sometimes that includes imagining about how things could be better.

Daya is struggling with the future she is creating for her baby as she tries to decide to keep the baby or give it up to Pornstache’s mother. She asks Piper if being rich made her a better person because she had access to things like music lessons, and a big home. Love is the most important thing, Piper says, and after all, they both ended up at Litchfield. But money sure does make life easier. Daya imaging a rich life for her child is another fantasy escape for her, but I do hope that kid’s real life turns out better than Daya’s has been.

Piper was on fire this episode — and that might be the only time you’ll ever hear me say that. Piper’s character works the best for me when she leans into how ridiculous she is. Between denying her five-bathroom house was a mansion and telling her brother her plan to sell panties, she was so funny and enjoyable to watch. Her selfishness and obliviousness create a great foil to the other inmates who have much bigger problems than Piper, even if they are all in the same miserable prison.

Other notes:
  • In a surprising turn of events, the inmate of the episode is Piper, for being really funny this episode. 
  • “Do you hear yourself, sometimes? Like when you speak?” – Morello to Piper. 
  • That new CO who sprayed pepper spray into his own eyes is going to be in way more pain when Alex is done with him.
  • “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Suits 5x06 "Privilege" (Gone Rogue)

Original Airdate: July 29, 2015

I'll admit something to you: sometimes I enjoy going rogue on projects or in life in general. I'm the kind of person who likes to take charge of situations, especially if I'm used to being in charge. I'm also an introvert, which means that being around people for too long or too often drains me of energy. So I understand the concept of "going rogue" -- of forging your own path that runs away from other people. But I also place a lot of emphasis and a lot of value on the idea of community. The only way you can build trust is by being surrounded by others; you can't form trust alone. You can't really grow as a person if you're not constantly challenged or constantly engaged. The best you could hope for in those instances is stagnation.

In "Privilege," we see how valuable community is, how valuable trust and communication is, and how important it is for our characters to grasp the idea that in order to build healthy relationships, you need to have healthy foundations. So let's examine where each of our Suits characters were at emotionally, mentally, and physically this week, shall we?

'Pretty Little Liars' Rosewood Roundup: "FrAmed" [Contributor: Megan Mann]

Rosewood Roundup: "FrAmed"
Original Airdate: July 28, 2015

Welcome back to this week's Rosewood Roundup! You guys, we got so close last week to seeing Charles’ face and also managed to get even more clues. Let’s not waste any time and jump right in!

The news has caught wind of Charles being alive and also being the kidnapper and torturer of the Liars. The news then goes on to question if he was also the killer of Ali’s mom, as Ali looks at the screen with sadness. She wonders how all of this could have happened to Charles, when the boy in the video she saw was so sweet. Hanna, who has been on fire lately, wonders how Alison can see good in the person who has been torturing them for so long. In fact, she wants to know how any of the Liars are allowing Alison to feel sad. “I’m not gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. I hope the police catch him.” *Hanna drops the mic*

Hanna and Ashley can’t seem to get ahold of Papa D., so they decide to go to his office and see what he knows about the scholarship money. Ashley doesn’t understand how it’s possible for it to be from Charles. “A gives so A can take away.” How doesn’t Ashley understand that that’s the name of the game by now? When they round the corner to enter his office, they see the doors swarmed by news stations and Ashley doesn’t want Hanna in the spotlight, so they decide to leave.

Clark and Aria are chatting in the coffee shop with Ezra not-even-remotely-subtly lurking in the background. Seriously, it’s like he’s not even trying to hide. Clark rolls off a laundry list of questions about A and can’t seem to understand that Aria does not want to answer them. Since Aria isn’t allowed to go to the gallery for the photo contest, Clark gives her the invite that has her photo on the front. It’s sweet. I still don’t know what his deal is, but that was really sweet. Ezra strolls up literally the second Clark leaves and points out that he was asking far too many questions. Aria reminds him that he’s harmless, but as Ezra intelligently points out, “I’m suspicious of everyone these days.” (GOOD JOB, EZRA.) They talk briefly of the gallery and how her mother fears it’s a terrible idea and he offers to be her date in the event that it would get her there. She basically doesn’t hear him and says he gave her a better idea. He’s visibly sad and my little heart still misses the two of them together.

Ali is at Lorenzo’s apartment and she tells him that her dad won’t talk to her and Jason since the arcade incident. Lorenzo says that “It must be hard to know that all of this has been your brother.” Ali seems really shaken up about Charles getting hurt and that’s really weird. He tried to kill her when she was a baby! Anyway, Lorenzo seems to be getting a little too close for comfort and he’s giving me a ton of weird vibes. Back at Aria’s house, Tanner is helping her convince Ella that it’s okay for the girls to go to the gallery. As she looks at Aria’s photos, she says, “You have an eye for detail, Aria.” (Sounds like another thing to add to the “Is Aria A?” column.) But it’s nice that Tanner is finally starting to work with the girls now that she no longer suspects them.

But when the girls finally get the go ahead for the gallery, we see, as we all suspected, that Charles was watching the space. But it’s not just that, you guys! A buzzer sounds and he presses a red button letting someone in. Who is that someone? RED COAT. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? RED COAT?! Now we know that A is certainly not working alone and his accomplice is most certainly a girl. This is almost too much to handle.

While Aria is getting ready for the night, Emily lets us all know that the girls will be there with her for her big night. Of course, with A watching, this feels like a colossally bad idea and I feel like this isn’t going to end well for anyone. Emily reaches into Aria's closet to grab a garment bag, and Aria says she can’t see it. It’s her prom dress. (For the record, I find it rude and inappropriate that I’m not allowed to see it.) Emily talks about her dress, too, and says that she hopes that they even get to wear them. Turns out the girls' parents all got an email saying that they may not be allowed to attend as many parents feel they will be endangering their children. “After all we’ve been through, we deserve to go.” TOO RIGHT, EMS.

Spencer and Hanna go to the Carrisimi Group to do some recon. Hanna is automatically suspicious and tells Spencer not to speak as it could be bugged and the mirror could be two-way. Spencer thinks she’s absolutely nuts, but I mean, can you even blame Hanna at this point? Rhys Matthews comes into the room and looks eerily like a DiLaurentis. Ugh.

Back at Lorenzo’s apartment, he tells Ali that her father is participating with the investigation and is in no way involving his attorney. This seems slightly fishy. Does he know more than he has lead us to believe? What else has he been hiding? He also says that Tanner has called in a profiler to fill in the blanks of what the cops have so far. Meanwhile, back at Aria’s, she and Emily are having normal, regular, everyday girl chat and it’s just so cute. They’re actually allowed to talk about normal things like Emily kissing Sarah and Aria not knowing what to do about prom, and I’m totally in love with this very rare moment.

Aria asks if Sarah knows about the trackers and this is interesting to me. Emily says that she won’t tell her about them but shouldn’t she? Shouldn’t she also be worried about her being tracked? Does this mean that she might be the girl in the red coat? Especially seeing as how she wasn't in this episode and she mysteriously went "home" last week. And to add to it, Aria mentions how Clark had too many questions and basically admits to being thrown off by his need for answers. Why would she want to be interviewed? Something feels really off about that and it’s not sitting well with me.

Spencer and Hanna sit down to talk to DiLaurentis look-alike “Rhys Matthews” (I will say that that’s a great fake name if it is fake because it’s just really good). He’s very suave and all business. He doesn’t hesitate when answering all of Spencer’s easy but strategic questions, but there’s definitely something lurking underneath. He says that all applicants who receive the scholarships are chosen by his employer, a man who doesn’t frequently interact with most people. Hmm. Tell me that that doesn’t sound super sketchy. Hanna snaps a shot of him before they leave and says, “He’s definitely hiding something.”

While the other girls are at the gallery supporting Aria, Ali swipes Lorenzo’s police ID card. Bad move, girl. Ugh. Hanna wonders if the Carrisimi Group isn’t “some elaborate black hoodie” and they aren’t sure whether to tell the others what they know, but Emily gets them to spill the beans. Hanna shows her the picture and Emily asks why she has a picture of Jason on her phone. When they tell her it’s a photo of Rhys, they’re all clearly thinking the same thing.

Aria sees Ezra, who came up to support her, and be still my heart, okay? Call me crazy, but I really miss those two being together. She asks Ezra to go to prom with her and I’m sitting here like, “Isn’t that super weird? Like, aren’t there rules and age restrictions? And he was totally a teacher, so. No, Aria.” Before he can answer, Emily’s friend Nicole walks up to Ezra, and Aria sprints towards Clark to avoid her embarrassment. All I can think about when they’re talking is that something just isn’t adding up with him. When Aria asks if Clark has any family there to support him on his big night, he says he doesn't. “I didn’t want them [my parents] to feel obligated to come in case I didn’t win.” I sense a lie right there and it’s not even a good one.
It’s time to reveal the contestants’ photos and when the lights come up, Aria’s display is front and center and they aren’t Aria’s photos; they’re the girls on the autopsy tables in the dollhouse. WHAT A BOMB. I didn’t see that one coming, that’s for sure.

Of course, that shuts down the whole gallery, which has now become a crime scene. A has called the photos “Stolen Dolls” and Ella wonders where this will end. Tanner tells Ella and Aria that the rest of the title (in Spanish) has a double meaning and one of the meanings says that basically the girls aren’t Linda’s (hers). Ella wonders if Charles feels like Tanner took something from him when they rescued the girls from the dollhouse. She says that not only did A want to ruin Aria’s big night and exploit the girls, but to send her a personal message. “That he thinks we belong to him? We already knew that. We lived that.” Good point, Aria. Tanner says that Charles wanted to prove that the more she uncovered about his life, the more he could uncover about hers.

Ella rightfully freaks out and wants to know when any of them are going to be safe. She’s irate that he made a display out of the girls and wanted everyone to see the control he has. He was there in that room and they still don’t have him. Tanner says that they’re dusting for fingerprints and they have security footage to review, but this is A, guys. Do we really think he’s going to leave a print? Or be on camera? Ella just wants to know when they’re going to find A, and I’m like dude, get in line.

While Ali sneaks into an eerily empty precinct, everyone but Aria is outside waiting at the valet. They look across the street and oh, look who we have here! It’s Rhys Matthews! You just decided to casually roll up on this place and talk on your phone right outside where the girls are? Coincidence? I THINK NOT. He’s definitely playing some sort of role here. The girls get in the car and follow him to a weird factory and decide, for once, not to follow someone into a sketchy building. Good job. Meanwhile, Ali walks into the room in the precinct housing the A investigation and is surrounded by, as Spencer put it two episodes ago, “A’s greatest hits.” Of COURSE Tanner walks in and finds Ali where she’s not supposed to be.

Tanner is obviously livid with Ali. No matter what Tanner says, Ali is still trying to find the good in Charles. Again, he tried to kill you when you were a baby, so you should take a step back and reevaluate, girl. She asks why Charles would have Ali’s things and though Ali wants to assume it’s to have something of the family that left him behind, Tanner says that maybe she’s not looking at it the right way. Sociopaths are just as easily as sentimental and will have anything that will give them hair or skin. Duh, of course the dude’s a sociopath. For Ali to think otherwise is totally bonkers to me.

- “What will happen when you find him?
- “We’ll bring him to justice. With lethal force if necessary.”

Ezra comes out to talk to Aria and she apologizes for interrupting his date. He explains that it wasn’t a date and that he just wanted to learn more about what Aria was doing. Cool. Can we take the cuteness down a notch? Like, I’m not impressed if you two don’t get back together. The two wonder why A did what he did. “He’s so close to being caught. He has nothing to lose.” While that might be true, Aria thinks that it’s more that he wants the girls back and he’ll stop at nothing to prove that. For the first time, Aria really discusses her time in Iceland and how she thinks back to when she was there and how none of this could touch her. There, none of this could have happened. While it was freezing there, Aria hasn’t been able to feel anything but cold since she left.

At the doll factory, another car rolls up and I think we’re about to see A’s accomplice BUT NO. Instead, who gets out of the car? CLARK. I TOLD YOU GUYS HE WASN’T RIGHT. There was something off about that that dude and him walking into that factory after Rhys just cements that. Ali is back at Lorenzo’s apartment and he’s also furious with her when he discovers what she did. She’s put his whole job in jeopardy but she doesn’t care. All she cares about is the fact that the police are going to kill Charles on sight once they see him. Again, WHY DOES THAT MATTER? I’m over Ali already.

Ashley offers to make Ella tea, as she can see something is wrong with the woman. Ashley obviously doesn’t know what happened at the gallery. They discuss the girls not being able to go to prom and then Ella says that the police aren’t doing enough; that they have to figure something out... but what? As she tells Ashley what happened at the gallery, the shot pans out and RED COAT is standing there. Totally casual. NOT.

Aria opens the door for the girls and no one wants to say anything. Finally, Emily says, “Your friend Clark. We’re not so sure he’s a friend.” They tell her what they saw as Tanner reviews the security footage and sees Rhys changing out Aria’s photographs. Would A be that careless and not hide his identity? Methinks not. We see the shot of a trunk and a bag of viles. You know, VILES OF DRUGS TO KNOCK THE GIRLS OUT. A gets in the backseat of a car, knocks on the window and Red Coat hands over an envelope with tickets to prom. So, wait. The girls are going to prom? Boy, this has been a whirlwind of a dance dilemma!

We are only one more episode away from coming face to face with A on August 11th! From the previews, can we assume that A speaks to Alison directly? Could the girls be right? Could Rhys be Charles? Why would he take a meeting with two of them and give himself up like that? And why would he allow his face to be on security footage? Wouldn’t he take more precaution? Or is that actually Charles, and A is just someone pretending to be Charles? And who is Red Coat? It can’t possibly be Cece. I’m leaning more towards Sarah. What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments or over on twitter @MissMeganMann!

See you next week! We only have one episode after that until we FINALLY SEE A’S FACE! (My money is still on Wren. Shhh!)

Monday, July 27, 2015

#JennAtSDCC: Roundtable Interviews (Cast & Producers of 'Limitless')

Press room interviews, featuring EPs Craig Sweeny, Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, director Marc Webb, Jake McDorman (Brian Finch), and Hill Harper (Spelman Boyle)

I'm slowly making my way through transcribing our San Diego Comic-Con CBS roundtable interviews. (I'll be working on coverage from SDCC for the next few weeks, it seems like.) In case you missed our first interviews and transcriptions with the cast of Scorpion, you can listen to/read them here!

I absolutely loved sitting down with the cast and EPs of CBS's new fall series Limitless (loosely based on the movie of the same name). We were treated, as I mentioned in my Thursday recap, to a screening of the pilot which definitely exceeded my expectations and solidified a place on my watch-list for the fall. The pilot is beautifully directed, the cinematography and integration of graphics is stellar, and the acting is fantastic. (Though I'm really a sucker for anything and everything Jake McDorman-related after watching him for years in Greek and Hill Harper was my constant high school TV companion in my days of CSI:NY obsession.) Below, I've linked off to the audio of our interviews via Soundcloud, as well as transcribed them.

Enjoy and be sure to check out this new series on CBS in the fall!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hannibal 3x08 "The Great Red Dragon" (Madness is Waiting) [Contributor: Rae Nudson]

"The Great Red Dragon"
Original Airdate: July 25, 2015

It’s been three years since the insanity at the Verger farm, but Hannibal and company have not been able to leave the horror behind. With Hannibal the Cannibal in a jail cell, Jack has returned to solving murder cases, and, boy, does he have a good one to sink his teeth into. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)

The Tooth Fairy aka the Red Dragon aka Francis Dolarhyde has finally come on the scene, in one of the most horror-like episodes of Hannibal so far. Without ever saying a word, Dolarhyde is one of the creepiest, scariest villains the show has ever created. And when the title character is a man who eats people, that is quite an accomplishment. I haven’t read the books or seen all of the Hannibal movies (I’ll remedy this ASAP), so I didn’t know what was coming and couldn't connect all the references. But you don’t need much background to understand the fact that the Tooth Fairy is a bad, bad guy. Everything — from his obsession with a painting of a dragon, the old teeth he buys on the black market (I mean, buying teeth isn’t legal, right?), to the reptilian way he moves — adds up to a truly memorable monster.

And the public seems to think so, too. This is no serial killer with fancy illusions and fussy aesthetics who will always have niche appeal (*cough* just like the show *cough*); this guy is the real deal. He is the Boogeyman who sneaks into homes to kill entire families, and the Boogeyman has wide appeal. (Don’t worry, Hannibal, you’ll always be my No. 1.)

Hannibal’s trial ended sometime in the three years the show skipped. Somehow, he was found criminally insane, even though he is the sanest of them all — perhaps because the atrocities he committed never bothered him, so he was never pushed over the edge like Alana or Will. Alana is in charge of the Baltimore hospital for the criminally insane, and Dr. Chilton has moved on to writing books and presumably appearing on talk shows. Both of them, though, are still bound by Hannibal and the lies they told to get him into jail. There is a slender Wendigo statue with antlers in Alana’s new office — antlers appear everywhere in this episode and have always represented the evil in Hannibal — because, after all, she couldn’t have gotten this job without Hannibal. He is a part of Alana’s psyche now, just like her bold red lipstick and her power suits.

In fact, Hannibal is even closer to Alana now that he’s been caught. Hannibal is jailed in Alana’s hospital, in the most beautiful prison cell. Bryan Fuller said on Twitter that Hannibal’s cell was similar to Alana’s office and inspired by Stanley Kubrick. And it really does fit with Hannibal’s aesthetic. He passes the time in his cell using his memory palace to imagine places he’d rather be, like a church in Florence, listening to an angel singing. Hannibal also has ample time to practice drawing and keep up with his correspondence. (It is a great mystery to me why Hannibal is allowed things like a sharp pencil — and did he cook in his jail cell? But Hannibal has never been that concerned with logic, so I’ll let it slide.)

While Hannibal is busy practicing his arts, he never stops missing Will. But Will has moved on. He’s found a lovely wife, Molly, and he’s a stepdad to a sweet kid. He even has a brand new cabin in the woods. But no matter how deep in the woods Will is, it won't stop his old life from finding him. Jack intrudes on Will's sanctuary and invites himself to dinner. In a cruel move, he plays on Will and Molly’s empathy by showing them pictures of a family that was killed. And how could Will say no to helping Jack, once he learned the family had a pet dog?

So Will enters the crime scene home of the family who was killed to see what he can learn. And then things got truly terrifying. With every step into this family’s house, Will descends slowly back into the life of horror he knew before. His flashlight illuminated the house, and also his imagination. Around every corner, he saw more blood and was able to piece more together about how this family died. These scenes were Hannibal at its chilling best, and needless to say, I was very creeped out. Will’s flashlight and the blood spatter connected him to the crime scene in a visceral way, reaching out from his body and his mind to touch the blood that was spilled. Will fell right back into his old habit of picturing himself as the killer, and he got to reprise that old line once again: “This is my design.”

And with those four words, the show has reverted back to a format akin to season one. Jack, Will, and the FBI staff work on solving a murder. Will looks at clues and pieces together the persona of a killer. And Hannibal and Will talk like old friends.

I’m excited to see this return to form, though I’m sure there will be some new and terrifying things to come.

  • Will’s sweater game is still on point.
  • The scenes of the family being killed reminded me so much of In Cold Blood, the book by Truman Capote about a family in Kansas being murdered. Also, the only book to ever give me bad dreams.
  • It’s been two episodes since we’ve seen Bedelia, and now one since Margot. They did mention Freddie was still poking around though, so hopefully we’ll see at least one of the Hannibal women soon.