Tuesday, December 31, 2013
2013 has been a great year for television and as we head into 2014 we here at BeyondFandom wish to put the spotlight on some of our personal favorite TV episodes of the year.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Filler episodes of American Horror Story are a very peculiar creature. They look good but they truly put the faults of the season on display. It isn’t that nothing happens--the entire episode was based around a special ritual called the Sacred Taking wherein the coven can produce a new Supreme through the sacrificial suicide of the current one so there was a great deal of plotting and manipulation--it’s just that nothing means anything by the end of the episode. The status remains quo and this season remains The Fiona Show with occasional special guests. This is something I brought up last week, but yet again the focus on Lange’s character far beyond all others is starting to turn Coven into the lesser of three seasons.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Well who would have thought that a simple case of ‘she’s just not that into you’ could go so far as to help create a major player in the End of Days? It’s a common occurrence that men often fight wars for their women. But in this case it’s on an apocalyptic scale as we found out the true identity of the Horseman was someone quite important in the shared past of both Ichabod and Katrina Crane--his ex best friend and her former betrothed. I just wish the reveal would’ve been a little more thrilling as it became pretty obvious halfway through that the random suddenly important guy in Ichabod’s flashback would serve a purpose in the episode that was solely focused on Headless himself.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
When Cordelia Foxx performed her snaketastic fertility ceremony with her husband Hank in last week’s episode, people probably assumed it would work. Magic, we've been taught throughout the pop culture landscape, is the ultimate problem solver and just as Delia’s doctor said when he informed her that she could never be pregnant, ‘if I could wave a magic wand, I would’. We've already seen Cordelia try this along with every other method that’s more medically legitimate and still nothing. Tonight’s episode proved the point in several storylines that magic is far from a problem-solver and its consequences are dire in a world where the realms of science and even God preclude what nature can sustain. Or put simply, everyone dies, some people can’t give birth, and never ever fuck your son. These may seem like common facts of life but in the world of American Horror Story there are few, if any limits.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Sometimes a game-changing episode is touted as such in the promos leading up to the episode's air date. Other times, it occurs under the radar and genuinely provides a bit of a shock to the audience. If Once Upon A Time is suggesting what I think they were in tonight’s episode, ‘Nasty Habits’, then this situation definitely falls toward the latter. You'll never look at this version of Peter Pan the same way again.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
‘People are surveying themselves.’
This is Agent Coulson's line during a mission briefing after a bold daylight heist in Stockholm puts the team on the trail of a former agent who at first it seems might actually have a power, but the truth is far more nefarious. While he’s referring to the fact that the nature of this particular diamond transport was flashy enough to gain the interest of several tourists and natives as great Instagram fodder, it’s also a great bit of wordplay and foreshadowing when we learn the true nature of former agent Amador’s immense capabilities. As it stands, it was moments like this one which made ‘Eye Spy’ possibly the finest hour of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Even with Victoria Grayson now bankrupt we don’t have to worry about the Hamptons suddenly having a lack of theme parties. Nolan takes up the reins this week with his very own nautical-themed housewarming party and it results in sparks flying everywhere.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Even though things on American Horror Story:Coven kick off in the past all the way back in 1834 with the introduction of perhaps the most malicious baddie in all three seasons of AHS, the slave-torturing sadist Madame Delphine Lalaurie, it isn’t until the middle of the episode where the true themes of this season emerge and explode on screen. Newly awakened teen witch Zoe Benson (S1 returnee Taissa Farmiga) attends a local frat party with her classmate, witch bitch Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), and together they experience a real life horror story as Madison is drugged and the frat boys take turns forcing themselves on her. Kyle (Evan Peters), the only pure boy in the fraternity, was downstairs flirting with Zoe unaware of her deadly secret and when he discovered what his brothers were doing, promptly lost his shit and caused them all to head for the hills so they wouldn’t get busted for their crime. As Kyle gets into a fight with the lead frat boy over the assault of Madison, she wanders out of the party in a daze to stand next to Zoe as they watch the bus drive away. Until that is, Madison lifts her hand and uses her telekinetic abilities to flip the bus over in the blink of an eye--killing several and injuring two of its male passengers inside. This is basically what would have happened at Duke if their victim was a witch and it’s the idea of women struggling against oppression that is the impetus of Coven more so than any other series of American Horror Story.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Tonight marked the second episode of The Originals, on its regular night and time and what I hope will prove to be the true format that will run through the season. Where the first episode felt like recap/retcon hell, this episode provided quite a few origin stories when it came to the relationships the original family had with each other and Marcel in New Orleans, and it was freaking amazing.
When someone mentions Marvel Comics, the instinctual first thought that comes to mind most likely involves superheroes in tights using their powers to fight off supervillains that have a similar fashion sense. It’s the image of the more popular adaptations from Marvel and likely what some expected to get on the small screen from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But the reality is that in many books Marvel has produced over the years what is more commonly seen usually has to do with the concept of global conglomerates pushing the ethical limitations of what nature and science should be allowed to do. These leaders of industry are then aided by genius scientists and the like that either embrace the megalomaniacal ambitions that come from such power, or come to realize that the discovery is too much and mustn't be allowed to continue. Dr. Franklin Hall, a former mentor of Agents Fitz and Simmons, is firmly in the latter group when the discovery of a powerful rare element leads Dr. Hall to make his own ‘hard call’.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Tonight we’ve seen what I can only describe as the first genuine feeling of regret Emily Thorne has ever had about taking down someone from her list. It was only a matter of time before someone she targeted was either entirely innocent, or did everything they could to atone for their sins.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I’ll admit that, inspite of the magical baby wank last season, I was still excited for the proper premiere of The Originals. The backdoor pilot was almost entirely flawless so that only makes me all the more disappointed in the recut version with new scenes that they aired tonight.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Step Nine: “Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
When we rejoin our duo in season two, it doesn’t seem like much has changed in their day to day life. With the exception of Joan being fifty percent more badass than previously when she single-handedly takes down a runner that Sherlock lost sight of. So when Sherlock receives a mysterious call that sends them to London we hit the ground running with the introduction of several new characters and Sherlock’s attempt to make amends with at least one of them along the way.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Hudson Valley, New York. 1781. The scene: a battle rages on between the redcoats and the patriots. Ichabod Crane (a dashing Tom Mison) fights for his life against... that's not a regular redcoat soldier. Two hundred fifty years later, Crane awakens in a cave and to find himself alive in a very different world than the one he once occupied. Meanwhile, a routine police call turns into a double homicide perpetrated by the very same redcoat solider that should be dead but you can't truly kill the Horseman of Death headless or not.
So it goes for Fox’s latest genre entry Sleepy Hollow, a surprisingly engrossing occult apocalypse conspiracy tale woven around two main figures from that legend (Crane and the Headless Horseman) and police lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) who's more than willing to believe as recent events involving both figures bring up dark days from her past while forever changing her future. After watching the pilot it would be impossible not to compare this show with quite a few others currently on the air (Elementary) or have since long ago left our screens (The X-Files). To me, it immediately established itself as a sort of horror-fantasy version of Fox’s most recent genre phenomenon that didn't get canceled after one season Fringe, which makes sense since Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are involved in both shows. Which is nothing but a compliment when a pilot is this strong, well-plotted, and filled with disturbing imagery right out of the gate.
Monday, August 5, 2013
There’s a heartbreaking moment in tonight’s episode of Teen Wolf, ‘The Overlooked’ where in the midst of this ongoing chaos the full emotional onslaught of his situation starts to break Stiles down. He’s alone in an ambulance with Cora Hale who’s not long for the world at the rate of tar-like black vomit she’s hacking up, at least when she actually is conscious enough to do so. A sudden storm has overtaken Beacon Hills and turned the local hospital into a warzone of the first degree as the nearly empty environment plays host to a cat and mouse series of showdowns involving our heroes, the Alpha pack, and Jenny the Darach. Yes, Derek even knows and she’s still alive to saunter around but let’s get back to Stiles before I go off about that. With tears in his eyes and the closest thing he’s likely felt to a sense of defeat in his heart in a while, Stiles tells Cora that maybe she was right about him and about the others--maybe they really only do show up in time to find the bodies.
In that moment it’s clear that Stiles is referring the most about himself than he is anyone else in their group. Scott the werewolf, Allison the hunter, Lydia the banshee, and now and forever Stiles the human. A situation like his kidnapped father would have served to make Stiles feel helpless enough, but tonight he and the others were coerced by Darach Jenny into helping her get out of dodge before she would reveal the location of Sheriff Stilinski or help heal Cora.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Now that I’ve written separately about the problem with Jennifer Blake and Derek Hale, reviewing this episode can be done without the distraction of random love-making scenes with the mortally wounded. Aside from that, ‘Motel California’ might well be one of the best episodes outside of last season’s ‘Battlefield’ and easily a stand-out for season three so far. The entire cross-country team plus Lydia and Allison are in the middle of nowhere forced to stay at a sketchy hotel with a history of violence that fuels an exploration of the inner demons of three of our increasingly tortured Were boys: Scott, Boyd, and Isaac. It also gave Team Human a chance to show why they continue to be the most capable characters on the show.
Throughout the hiatus the whisperings of Derek getting a love interest this season got louder and louder until there was actual confirmation. We knew who it was going to be and those of us willing to give the development a chance were eager to see how it all played out. We’re now halfway through the first part of the third season and so far, the development between Derek Hale and high school English teacher Ms. Jennifer Blake has been quite underwhelming. But in ‘Motel California’ it became downright ridiculous as their scenes together hit all the wrong notes and proved that if this pairing is ever to be saved then there is so much work left to be done by Jeff Davis and co.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Anytime a show has to deal with bringing in new characters, expanding the relationships of its core crew, and balancing new storylines there are difficulties in doing so smoothly. Four episodes in and ‘Unleashed’ had a few more issues with handling concepts such starting new ships for known characters. Last week, Derek saved Scott and co’s new teacher Ms. Blake from a rabid werewolf thrashing. Now he’s showing up before school in her classroom checking on her well-being (good), trying to impress her with his knowledge of the metaphorical nature of The Crucible (she’s an English teacher Derek you’re not impressing her), and Ms. Blake responded in kind with suspicion and nervous twitchiness.
The problem with creating a pairing out of this situation is that it feels so random. We barely know anything about Ms. Blake outside of the fact she’s a hot young teacher with a penchant for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Monday, June 17, 2013
One of my favorite things about this show is that not only does Jeff Davis make you pay attention so you can often come to the correct answer before one of his own characters does, but he is perfectly comfortable with allowing a central mystery within one character drive more than one plot while staying a mystery. Take the saga of Lydia Martin for example; we’ve only been given glimpses of why she’s such a unique player in all of this. She’s immune to the bite, she seems to be drawn to some sort of mystical force, and she has a habit of hanging out with corpses accidentally or not. This week’s opening felt strongly reminiscent of a plight suffered by another television character, Hannibal’s Will Graham, in that Lydia too wound up in a place without a sense of why she was there or how long it was since she left home. Somebody get her a piece of paper to see what her drawing of the nearest clock looks like.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Now I know that for some younger viewers of MTV’s Teen Wolf the original Scream film is a bit of a dusty entry in the horror genre. Something that older siblings would mention but not something that they have personally seen. Well there’s a character in the first couple of Scream films played by Jamie Kennedy whose purpose was to keep viewers abreast of the meta rules of the very film he was in—the rules of a horror movie. One of the most important rules of this canon has to do with girls losing their virginity. It’s a play on the perception, especially in a girl’s teenage years, that the women who are liberated sexually are courting trouble. Put simply, if you’ve had sex or are going to have sex then you’re probably going to die. New character Heather learned this fact the hard way in tonight’s episode.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Typically the worry with a hit show is the sophomore slump but in Teen Wolf’s particular case the show actually popped in its second season so the worry would be that the third couldn’t live up to the standout episodes of last year. After watching tonight’s premiere, it’s quite clear that Teen Wolf is interested in taking what they learned from last year and growing from there as represented by a thrilling, mystery-laden, action-packed episode that proved why this show is quite possibly the modern-day heir to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer throne of thematic genre storytelling. Oh and don’t worry, there’s still plenty of shirtless guys and a Stiles cracking wise so don’t think this is Teen Wolf suddenly going grim. That said, things are quite dark from the get-go in a season that seems poised to deal with its latest threat with a little more maturity and readiness than in the past.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Vampire Diaries has had a rocky season, but in the end it actually managed to pull off a finale better than any they’ve done in years.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
This week, Norman found a father figure much better-suited to his unique temperament and interests, Norma fought to play some kind of hand against her many obstacles, and Dylan showed what kind of potential leader he could be for Gil and the organization.
Once it was clear through the promo photos and the episode title that part of this story would deal with Norman learning the craft of taxidermy, it would have been too simple to overplay his new hobby for purely a sinister effect. Instead, his tutelage under Emma’s father brought the boy a sense of purpose along with another male figure in his life—don’t worry because Norma still tried to step in on what she deemed a less than normal activity for her son to partake in.