DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers from TV Shows of the past week. So if you haven’t SEEN the episodes of the week, and you detest spoilers, then I suggest you leave while you can. If you haven’t and you don’t mind spoilers, feel free to enjoy. If you have seen the episodes, then by all means read on and lets ki-ki.
In the past, some of you have joked about how this column is basically HTGAWM/Game Of Thrones and “others”. Well, that is true. HTGAWM is actually the most fun for me to recap because – besides it being quality TV series – there is a sheer ridiculousness to the show at times that makes it easy to poke fun at. Game Of Thrones is my all-time favorite show, and while it’s harder to make funny, I genuinely enjoy trying to accomplish that. Also in the past, when I have included other shows, they haven’t gotten enough feedback. So I assumed that not many people watch them. If I wrote about every show I watched, y’all will get tired and so will I. So it seems this is what works, so I’ll be sticking to this formula (adding something extra every other week to keep things fresh) unless you guys have something you want me to talk about. If so, you can suggest that in the comments.
With that said, ITS GREAT TO BE BACK!!! LET’S GET INTO IT!
So, summer has gone and fall is here. That means we have old TV shows returning and new ones vying for places in our hearts. I have watched a bunch of the new shows that’s out there and I’ll be talking about the ones that I have been most impressed with. Also, I’ll mention the shows I watched this summer that kept me company, while the fall shows were off the air. The Emmys also just happened, TV’s biggest night; I’d have to talk about that too. So it is going to be a long one. Bear with me!
REVIEW OF THE WEEK: How To Get Away With Murder – S03E01 (We are good people now)
Last we left our band of murderers, Wes was spilling the tea to his father, Wallace Mahoney, and because death follows this pikin everywhere he goes, Oga Mahoney got shot right in front of him. Subsequently, Frank disappeared, Caleb Hapstall killed himself (or was he murdered?), and Oliver deleted Connor’s Stanford acceptance mail.
We pick up right where we left off. EMTs are wheeling a gurney away with a covered dead body, while Wes gives the police a false statement – you know, as one does on a regular Friday night. He doesn’t even flinch as he spins this web of falsehood, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call experience. You don’t get away with murder two semesters in a row without learning a thing or two.
Outside the station, waiting in a car, is our resident expert in all things murder – Annalise Keating. It’s funny how these kids are constantly berating her, but then at the first sign of trouble, she is number one on their speed dial. Yeye children! She drives them into the woods so they can talk murder. She tells Wes, “Tell me exactly what he said. Not your father. Frank!”
And I’m like huh? And then, boom! We have our first reverse-fast forward-brain fuck of the season.
So it turns out that after Annalise tells Wes who his father is, Frank drives him there, right to the man’s doorstep. Frank is so nice. Wes steps out to go meet his father, and we all know how that turned out. Wes tells Annalise that he tried to look for Frank, but his car was gone. So this means Frank murdered Oga Mahoney, yes? If I hear! Annalise certainly thinks so. She seems so sure, and all I can say to her is:
Until then, nice try, Peter Nowalk. I’m not falling for this misdirection.
Annalise actually grabs Wes’s lap here, and we have our first confusing Annalise-Wes interaction. The sexual tension between this two will surely get resolved at some point, yeah?
Biko is this HTGAWM or Scream Queens? Mtcheeew!
Because how Frank manages to take of that beard off and look ten times hotter is beyond me.
Fast forward to September (4 months later), and it’s a new semester, everybody! You know what this means! A murder is imminent! And oh look, it’s Laurel, accosting Wes! And from their conversation, it would seem Wes has been avoiding her. He mentions a Meggy and I am like:
They head to class and it’s nice to see that some things haven’t changed, as Asher is still a mumu. Michaela however sounds like she’d rather be anywhere else. Connor has a heap of hair on his head, and while I am processing that, I am interrupted by a filler bitch called Drake. HTGAWM has taught us that filler bitches are only there to make it look like the Keating 5 aren’t actually the only ones in class. So here we have this Drake fellow already throwing shade this new semester? I look at him and I am like:
Annalise saunters into the situation and I am expecting her to announce that Criminal Law 201 (aka How to get away with murder again) is in session. Instead she mentions something about a legal clinic; I wonder what that is about. Annalise starts talking about the course, pulls down the board and proceeds to tell the students with a smirk on her face: “You finally get to be me.” Unbeknownst to her, behind her on the board is a poster with her face on it that says ‘KILLER’. This show isn’t meant to be funny, but that actually made me laugh.
Annalise being Annalise is unfazed by this. She carries on with the class like nothing just happened. She presents our case of the week – an immigrant family consisting of a father and his two children from Iraq, where the dad is in prison for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The justice system is taking it further by attempting to deport him, and so that’s where Annalise and co. come in.
After class, the Keating 5 gather round Mama, looking worried. She calms them down and delivers the joke of the decade: “We are good people now. Say it to yourself until you believe it”
Like seriously, when did this show become a comedy?
Annalise heads home, barely says hi to Bonnie, goes upstairs and picks up a flip phone. Why are flip phones only used for shady business on TV/Movies these days, eh? As suspected, she is involved in some shady business, texting someone that’s playfully flirting with her. That had better be Nate on the other end, Annalise – or else!
Then there’s a flashback to May, and Annalise is gardening. Please, I have to ask: what show is this because I don’t buy this; the Annalise I know would be downing several shots of vodka, not down on her knees digging through manure. Anyway, Laurel shows up to tell her that she’ll be spending her summer in Mexico and tells Annalise that Frank is dead to her. In present day meanwhile, Miss Thing has been leaving Frank voicemails. LOL! That’s how you treat someone who is dead to you, abi? Okay oh.
Back in class, Drake the filler bitch presents his strategy for this knotty immigration case before them. And his grand idea is for their client to say – wait for it – “I’m sorry.”
The rest of the class all float their nonsense ideas around and poor Annalise actually has to listen to their mediocrity, until Laurel comes in and tells them that the marijuana wasn’t actually the father’s but his daughter’s (who is a dealer oh), and that he claimed ownership to protect her. Annalise shoots down Laurel’s idea all the same. And then, her crush, Wes speaks and she is impressed. She ends up picking Wes and Drake.
Outside class meanwhile, there are more of the ‘KILLER’ flyers about campus. Annalise decides to see the positive and says, “At least, they a chose a good photo.” And she saunters off.
Back in June: Connor is tanning. Annalise shows up and Connor makes her promise not to hire Oliver. Annalise is supportive of his line of thinking – “We’ll ruin him,” she says – when really she is like:
Because in present day, that’s exactly what she does – hire Oliver. But not before he confesses that he deleted Connor’s acceptance mail.
Back in July, Asher shows up at Annalise’s to ask for a loan, seeing as he is now broke. Annalise does the needful and tells him to get a job. And then, in present day, Michaela and Asher are about to get down, until they are interrupted by some girls. It turns out Asher’s new job is being a super. How fitting. Michaela meanwhile does the most Michaela thing she has done all episode; she steals Asher’s idea and heads out, her mind set on a mission.
Then the next day in court, Wes presents his opening statement, only to be interrupted by Michaela (she’s officially back!). She said she has an idea on how to win the case. So Wes does all the stalling he can, so that Annalise and Connor can go and try to get a miracle done. Just in time before they make the colossal mistake of getting the guilty daughter to testify, Annalise presents a new plea deal to the judge. And just like that, it looks like they may have pulled a miracle. But the judge chooses to deport the dad, breaking the family apart. To this verdict, Annalise says to Wes, “Justice is the exception. You should know that by now.” It’s a sad reality.
Meanwhile Annalise informed Connor that she’d gone ahead to hire Oliver, at least this way, they can keep an eye on him. And then, on to the worst (but low-key best) scene of the episode, for obvious reasons; Connor tells Oliver that he knows what he did and he forgives him. But for some weird reason, Oliver sees this as a reason to be unsatisfied, and this is me when he decides to break up with Connor:
So let me get this straight, he was wrong for being understanding, loving, caring and forgiving? Oliver is actually officially the worst. Having said that, this scene is actually the best scene of the episode, because of the acting; both actors are incredible here, so much so that it sells the entire contrived breakup, and the scene ends up packing a punch.
Flashing back to August (and remember my confusion at Annalise teaching a different course?), well, it turns out that this was due to a compromise that was reached with the new president of the school, who turns out to be both scary and nice (I’d watch out for her). She had planned to “transition” Annalise to a research position due to the performances of the Keating 5. And by God, are they all doing poorly in school! Chai! Look at their GPAs biko! Laurel is the best of the bunch because she is obviously the smartest one (2.25), then Michaela (2.00), followed by Connor (1.97), then Wes, and finally Asher the mumu. Annalise suggest a pro bono legal clinic, hence where we found ourselves earlier in the episode.
Laurel goes to confront Wes on his attitude toward her. And he says it is because she reminds him of Frank. Um, okay, let’s go with that and pretend as if it’s not because you two shared that awkward kiss last semester and you’re so obviously attracted to each other. They are still talking and in breezes Meggy. Who would have thought?
I actually thought she was imaginary. She seems nice. Wes went from one end of the spectrum to the other. Rebecca was annoyingly annoying, and Meggy already seems annoyingly sweet. Let’s see how long she lasts.
So turns out, it was just some regular PI guy on the other end of the suspicious flip phone conversation with Annalise (how disappointing), and he calls to let Annalise know he’s found Frank. He asks her what she wants to do next. She hesitates and Frank creeps up behind PI guy – and kills him?
Flashback to earlier in the episode where the EMTs are wheeling a body away; it turns out that was a flash-forward scene, and it didn’t happen on the night when Oga Mahoney was killed. (Peter Nowalk and his brain-fuck attempts, I see you o!). This scene is set two months later, in November, and we see a panicked Annalise approach the crime scene. She breaks free and runs to the EMTs, who allow her to see the body after she says she lives there. She sees the body and cries out, bursting into a shrill scream of devastation. The camera pans to what’s in front of her, and the visual we see is the headquarters on fire. That’s right! The Keating House is on fire!
Rating: 6/10: Uneven pacing held this episode back. Between the flashbacks showing us what the kids did last summer, the case of the week and the overarching storyline, it was all over the place and not in the way that creates the trademark HTGAWM tension, but in a way that seemed unfocused. Still, a decent start to the season; I expect things to pick up as we go further into the season.
- Frank with buzz cut and no beards or Frank with full hair and beards? I’d go with the former.
- Also, do we realize that Frank is actually responsible for two women never reaching their full term pregnancies? Annalise’s wasn’t directly his fault, but Lila’s? Damn.
- So the Hapstall case ended up being one of the weaker parts of last season. They dragged it on for too long and ended up closing it hastily. This episode is set four months after all of that. Surely the show has plans of revisiting that somehow?
- The fuck is going on with Laurel’s hair? Please, fix it!
- One of HTGAWM’s weaker areas is their cases of the week. This is where The Good Wife, for all its flaws, excelled at. The characters (and cases) featured as the cases of the week on HTGAWM tend to be painted with broad strokes and end up being one-dimensional, half-realized characters, and so the stories rarely resonate with the viewer. As such, by the end of the episode, one has completely forgotten who they were. The Good Wife painted their stories and characters carefully and with such detail, from the judges to the clients, the jury sometimes, and the opposing counsel, resulting in memorable characters and stories. I know the cases of the week aren’t exactly why we tune in to watch this show, but if they are going to keep doing them, they may as well do them well.
- It is actually a cliché to have the one stable relationship on a show have troubles just to create drama, especially if the reason for the trouble is as contrived as this. I was pissed when Suits tried it with Mike and Rachel. I hope this break-up is only temporary and that Connor and Oliver get back together fast.
- I’d have to assume that Connor used his previous semester result to get into Stanford, because suggesting this result is what he used is a REACH!
- PS: The shooter is so obviously not Frank. So get this: he plans to kill Wallace Mahoney as payback for Mahoney killing Annalise’s baby. Why the fuck then does he take Wes along? To try to frame him? That does nothing but create more problems for Annalise, which is the last thing that Frank wants, seeing as Annalise is already pissed about the knowledge of his involvement in the loss of her baby. Also Mahoney was definitely killed by a sniper shooter. Last I checked, Frank was in the car after dropping Wes off, so it’s a reach to suggest Frank is responsible here. Or is this a case of the obvious answer is the right answer?
- So who do you guys think is in the body bag? My three suspects so far are Nate, Bonnie and Ophelia (Annalise’s mother).
- The song played at the end of the episode is perfect, as it helps to really up the ante and sell the intensity of Annalise’s discovery and anguish. It’s titled We Are The Ones by Son Lux.
- Peter Nowalk has said each episode until the finale will involve crossing people off the suspect list until we find out who it is that died. Sounds like fun. Let’s see how it plays out!
THE 68TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS
Anyone who knows me knows I stan for three main queens – Adele, Viola Davis and Tatiana Maslany (star of Orphan Black). I stan for others, but these three are my favs. I stumbled onto the show Orphan Black by complete mistake. I was searching online for info on Orange Is The New Black and mistyped, and my typo was corrected to “Orphan Black”. By then, the show had just wrapped up its first season and so I looked into it and saw that it was sci-fi, and there were critics foaming at the mouth with praise for its protagonist, and fans fuming at what they considered a snub by the then Emmys. Out of sheer curiosity, I downloaded 5 episodes, and by the time I was done, I was a full-fledged convert. Tatiana Maslany was incredible. I had seen actors portray multiple characters before; Nina Dobrev did it well in The Vampire Diaries (playing Elena, Katerina, Amara and Tatia). But this was a different level. These characters (they are clones) Tatiana Maslany played weren’t just gimmicks; they were well-rounded, fully-formed characters, played with such detail and nuance that it looked like pure art or a magic trick. And I suddenly got why the critics raved and why the fans were pissed at the snub. I still feel her work in that first season was her best on the show, but since then, she has maintained a consistency that one would be forgiven for taking for granted, considering how easy she makes it look.
Make no mistake though, Tatiana is arguably the hardest working actress. She plays four main clones (in total, she has played about 18, each of them distinct creations). In an episode, she is in almost every scene, sometimes she is playing off herself in scenes. I dare you to watch this show and not forget at least once an episode, that it is the same actress that’s playing all these characters. The show itself is a B+ show but Maslany’s performance elevates the show and everyone around her.
So having gone four seasons sometimes without nominations (she got her first nom last year) or a win has been maddening for the Clone Club (that’s what the show calls its fans). Now imagine our glee when she won in a year where we were least expecting it. I had pure joy for her. And no one in the last decade has arguably deserved this more. What makes this even more of a big deal is the fact that these award shows rarely ever recognize shows that are sci-fi, let alone her actually winning. And then winning in that category with Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Robin Wright, Claire Danes and Keri Russell? Damn! It’s something of a miracle, and all I have to say is: ABOUT DAMN TIME!
The rest of the show was also a win for me. Jimmy Kimmel was a serviceable host. He had a good opening monologue and kept a certain consistency throughout the show. Low point was a Cosby joke that fell horribly flat, and one of the high points was the skit with Matt Damon.
The remaining winners ensured that this was my favorite Emmys ever. Almost everyone I rooted for won. American Crime Story: People Vs. OJ Simpson deservedly swept all but two awards in the miniseries category, with Sterling K. Brown, Courtney B. Vance and Sarah Paulson winning in their respective categories. They all had magnificent speeches too. The comedy categories were dominated by Veep, with Julia Louis Dreyfus winning her fifth consecutive Emmy for Leading Actress in a Comedy. I haven’t watched the show and frankly I am tired of seeing Julia win year after year, but her speech had me in tears. Transparent dominated also, with Jeffery Tambor winning for the second year in a row for Best Actor. Louie Anderson and SNL actress Kate McKinnon won in their respective categories. Supporting Actress/Actor in a Drama went to Maggie Smith and Bloodline’s Ben Mendelsohn.
I love Downton Abbey and Dame Maggie Smith to bits, but if there was a year when she shouldn’t even have been nominated, it was this one. Every other actress in that category had better work. I get that the Game Of Thrones actresses split the Game Of Thrones votes amongst themselves (hence why they didn’t win and will always have a problem winning). But how about The Affair’s Maura Tierney and Unreal’s Constance Zimmer, who was a revelation in the first season?
Other than that one gaffe and the Guest Actress in a Drama gaffe (which I shall not even bother talking about), this Emmys was the most memorable ceremony for me in recent years. Great speeches and great winners! Also shout-out to American Crime’s Regina King (another embarrassingly good show) for winning her second consecutive Emmy, and also Mr Robot’s Rami Maleek for a deserved win.
Also Archer won its first Emmy (YAY!) and RuPaul won her first also (see why I enjoyed this year so much?).
But the night belonged to Tatiana Maslany. All hail the Queen!!!
New Falls Shows You Should Check Out:
- Finding Prince Charming: It would be almost incompetent not to talk about this one. A big deal has been made about it, seeing as the show is about the first ever Gay Bachelor. So here is the thing: since watching the TV series, Unreal (check it out, the first season is a must-see TV: an education), I have a whole new perspective for this genre of Television. I have never seen an episode of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette; I find the concepts to be seriously ridiculous and misogynistic. However, if you go into this show expecting anything less than a mess, you’re wasting your time and energy. It’s a mess, and in the first episode, you already have one suitor being effeminophobic towards another one. Yeah, gay folks will still discriminate amongst ourselves. The Gays think the Bis are fake and untrustworthy and selfish. The Bis think they are somehow better than the Gays. The Lesbians will be looked upon by the Gays as having things easier. The rest of the community will the look at the Transgenders as outsiders and discriminate against them also. And this shit happens in real life. So expecting something different from a Reality TV show is a reach. This show will not paint the Gays in a good light; shows like the Real Housewives franchises don’t exactly paint women in a good light, and they are still watched by millions. It’s stupid TV, watch it for fun and try not to take it seriously or don’t watch it at all. Lol. Something that crossed my mind is that this is a same-sex TV dating show. You have 13 attractive guys in one house and they are supposed to be suitors for a Prince Charming; but what’s to stop them screwing each other or falling for each other instead? I wouldn’t blame them, seeing as Oga Prince Charming barely has a personality and you can tell he just wants to unwrap most of these guys and eat them up. Add his “less than ideal” past (which I hope the show brings up), and the drama should be mouthwatering. (*smiles gleefully*)
- Pitch: New show on Fox about the first female pitcher in the Major Baseball League. I’ve seen the first episode and it looks promising, but there is room for improvement.
- This Is Us: This is the best of the bunch of new shows I have checked out. It airs on NBC and is a family dramedy. I hope it doesn’t burn out quickly though, because it’ll be hard to follow up its first episode.
- Bull: This is very Scandal-like in the way it is set up. It follows the same formula basically. It works so far and it looks promising.
Summer Shows That Kept Me Company That You Should Definitely Watch:
- The Night Of: Watch this show sweep the Emmys next year. Just watch. The show follows Naz (played by Riz Ahmed, who I now have a massive crush on!) as he experiences a night that changes his life forever. Sounds cliché, yeah? Well, it’s anything but. I’ve used this chinkili description so as not to give anything away. Go see it for yourself!
- Braindead: Weird is the best way to describe this show. It’s a one season show and wraps up wonderfully. It takes a few episodes for the viewer to settle in with the show’s weirdness, but it is a lot of fun after that.
- NARCOS: Worth the watch because of Wagner Moura (the actor that plays Pablo Escobar). He’s scarily good. The series is about Pablo Escobar, his rise and fall, and also that of the Medellin Cartel.
That’s it for this week guys. Sound off!
Written by Deola