premiere week review

I know I said I was only going to review Empire and Bull, but a few short blurbs never hurt anybody.

Sorry it’s been a while—when I started this post I forgot to take into account that premiere week had to actually end.

BULL (CBS)

Like, it’s fine. This pilot episode (“The Necklace”) felt nothing like a pilot episode in that virtually nobody besides Dr. Bull (Michael Weatherly) was introduced by name. The other characters were just tropes: youthful punk hacker, tough ex-cop, lawyer lady (though all three are women, which is a plus)… The defendant and his father were more fleshed out than the series regulars. This felt more like the sixth episode of the season and not the first.

However, Chris Jackson is a funny, funny man. I can’t decide if his outfits are great or terrible.

Nonetheless Weatherly is hilarious. I am so, so glad he got his own show. He is also being dressed much better than he was on NCIS, and blue is really his color, it seems. I’ll keep watching. (6.7/10 with room for improvement)

EMPIRE (FOX)

Okay, I won’t spoil anything about this episode but it was really intense. Edge of my seat, grasping at my face, gasping, etc. Songs were eh this week, but there’s a new voice that I dig. Luscious is as terrible as always, there is no end in sight to our torture. Jamal brings up the garbage can incident YET AGAIN. But good stuff overall; hopefully the show is back on track. (8.5/10 needed more lion imagery)

BLACKLIST (NBC)

Solid and classic. Gave a good amount of procedural B-ish plot while keeping the serial story going. Acting on point. Use of actual newborn baby a HUGE plus. This episode picked up right where we left off and it benefited from the steady action. Thing I liked/that stuck out: Samar’s (Mozhan Marnò) very valid enmity towards Liz (Megan Boone) for faking her death. I don’t know, I feel like these sorts of plot points (i.e., big earthshaking decisions by the protagonist) sometimes don’t get addressed properly or just get passed over and forgiven, so this was nice. But I don’t want what is literally the only female friendship in the show to implode because of this. I don’t think it will, but who knows. Best line:

KIRK: I have a blood disorder.

LIZ: Good.

(8.7/10 Spader’s hat game is unreal)

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC)

This episode totally surprised me. Again, I won’t spoil anything, but what I thought would be the prevailing mystery this season was solved in about five seconds. Wes is still a sad boy, Connor’s long hair is weird but okay, and Laurel also did something with her hair and I a) can’t tell what it is and b) dislike it? This episode was light on OMG-style drama and heavy on emotions and relationships (Wes-Laurel, Connor-Oliver, Annalise-Keating 5) and the consequences of last season’s choices. Wes is also being a real jerk to Laurel. I honestly thought his girlfriend didn’t exist until she actually appeared.

A structural note: not only do we get flashforwards this season, we also get flashbacks! The flashbacks are not in this show’s characteristic teal mystery light, but rather in a warm glow that made me think that I’d left my computer’s night mode on. Over the summer, each of the five students met Annalise in some way, with some encounters ending amicably and others not so much. For a while I wondered if we were in fact going to get a big mystery because nothing was happening on that front, but I guess of course we had to, right? My big mystery theory (not spoiling anything, but for those of you who’ve seen it): it’s Wes, Nate, or Bonnie. I think. But I could be proven completely wrong next week, so.

Last thing: there’s a scene where Annalise is on the (flip!) phone with someone at the end, and I feel that it was shot very well.

True last thing/trivial detail: the opening credit where it shows the chalkboard now says “CREATED BY PETE NOWALK” after the show name disappears. Was he tired of his big work being mistaken for Shonda’s? I don’t know (yes).

(9/10 thank god these kids have finally reached their second year)

NOTORIOUS (ABC)

Goodness, this one is pretty bad. I have an idealistic hope that it’ll get better, but right now it is awkward and strange. Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata are charismatic enough to be fun to watch, but the writing is so stilted and cringeworthy (“Boss lady? How do you like your meat?”) that I found myself, well, cringing. Though when Louise dramatically tossed her phone behind her I laughed a good bit despite it all. The mystery in this episode was interesting, but they cut off in the middle in a weird, non-cliffhangery way. That is, they dropped a surprise, but then they ended the episode in an amicable and boring way. I want to know what happens! Also I want to know why this is so bad! One of the writer-creators worked on CSI:Bones, AND The Blacklist, so I am very, very confused as to why he’s (currently) failing at what should be a simple execution of an edgy procedural Sports Night. This show has a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m tempted to fly to L.A. and run/write Notorious myself. (4 or 5/10 for their version 10/10 for my theoretical one)

QUANTICO (ABC)

This premiere was the best episode of television I watched this week. I know, right? Quantico, of all things…

Firstly, I like the new thing they’re doing with the time jumps. The first ones said “THEN” and “NOW,” and from there they said either “1 YEAR LATER” or “378 DAYS LATER” with other figures on the periphery. These jumps came with a Blacklist-y sound effect.

As for the plot of this season, the present (with Alex at the Farm), involves her, and Ryan, because he had to be in there somewhere, trying to uncover a conspiracy of rogue agents who’d like total autonomy and no Patriot Act/laws governing espionage/what have you. This intrigues me. It’s super Jason Bourne-ian in that it’s the old free-range guard versus the new “constrained” set. Blair Underwood’s character, instructor Owen Hall, is supposedly the recruiter for this conspiracy. (Blair is great, but he sounds just like Miranda and Liam did last season. I guess that’s the point, though.) Aside: I always think of the “present” stuff as the past and the “future” stuff as the present, but I’ll stick to the official story to save confusion.

In the future, there’s another explosion in New York, and wouldn’t you know, Alex is there to witness it! Also there is drama between her and Ryan. The writing implies Ryan is dating someone else, but they could be tricking us (I initially thought the “she” Alex kept mentioning was the First Lady, but, well, decidedly not). Alex and Shelby’s equation seems fine, if a touch cool, but I think that’s imposed by some superiors or something—Alex says “I know we’re not supposed to talk” during their conversation.

The terrorist group behind the explosions calls itself the Citizen’s Liberation Front, which I will be calling the CLF for the rest of the season. They wear funky masks with depressions for the eyes. Actually, how do they see through those? They look like solid carbon fiber… Anyway, there’s a bunch of mystery behind them as well, obviously.

Nimah’s outfit was on point, and apparently she speaks Swahili. Other than that, she didn’t have a lot to do this outing. There was no sign of Raina. I’m interested to see who in the supporting cast will get the most screentime given that there are like six new characters.

Also, what is it with this show and people jumping out of windows?

I saved my big peeve for last (this is just stream-of-consciousness rage folks): they changed the opening logo it is ugly and squat and it reads QUAN2CO. QUAN2CO! I thought this was just the hashtag they were using (read: something dumb Priyanka thought up) but boy was I wrong! There it was, on international television for everyone to cringe and laugh at! But the logo at the end was the same one! Seriously though why didn’t they use the same font as the original logo for this QUAN2CO mess? It’s so much nicer. I am mad as HECK. (9.5/10 0.3 points subtracted for lighting Priyanka in a way that made her look pinkish)

Okay sorry but are they going to do QUAN3CO? That doesn’t work! And this program is going to at least five seasons (knock on wood but also don’t because Priyanka needs to do a Bollywood movie), so QUAN4CO? Or will they just change it to THE 4ARM? What about season five?

___

Anyway. Two book reviews this week, hopefully, and maybe I’ll finally review my new pen. Next week I tell you what-all is in my pen case (so much, just so much stuff). Get excited, tell your classmates, GPs, Twitter followers, etc. Good night.

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