Category Archives: Sunday Night

On Television: Game of Thrones (HBO)

Season 2 Ep. 1 – ‘The North Remembers’

After a whirlwind first season, this acclaimed television show (and one of my current favorite shows on TV) has returned to HBO for a second season and I could not be more excited about it.

In the days leading up to the premiere, I watched all ten episodes of the first season, viewed every featurette HBO OnDemand had available and finished reading the second book of the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings, from which this second season’s events is based. You can’t imagine how eagerly I anticipated this episode to air! But now that the first episode is over, I am unsure how I feel about the prospects for this sophomore season.

One thing that makes the television show so successful, in my opinion, is the filmmakers level of faithfulness to the original text. The worst thing when transfering a beloved work of literature into a television show or movie is to change things frivolously and therefore alienate the fans. Granted, there always have to be some minor changes to translate written words and internal thoughts/exposition into a screenplay, but so far they have stayed as true as they can be to the novels…and I commend them for it.

‘The North Remembers’ is no exception. Running straight after the events of the first season (and first book), it picks up during the height of the war for the Crown of the Seven Kingdoms: Dany is traversing the Red Wastelands across the Narrow Sea with her newly hatched dragons and her khalasar; Catelyn stands faithfully by her son’s, Rob Stark’s, side as he fights to rescue his sisters, avenge his father’s wrongful death and secede from the rule of the Iron Throne to become the true King of the North; Sansa is being held captive in the Red Keep of King’s Landing by Cersei and the incest-born, child-king Joffrey; Tyrion arrives to King’s Landing to take his interim seat as Hand of the King while the Lannister’s patriarch (and appointed Hand), Tywin, leads his army against the other kings; Stannis Baratheon, the rightful king by succession and a new addition to the show’s cast, is making plans to leave his keep at Dragonstone to claim his seat at King’s Landing; Bran handles life ruling Winterfell as war continues across Westeros; and Jon Snow, moving farther north of the Wall to handle the amassing Wildings, arrives at Craster’s Keep with the other men of the Night’s Watch.

As you can tell by that short synopsis of the episode above, a lot happens in ‘The North Remember’s’ but in actuality nothing really happens. Because each of these storylines and characters are important to the overall story and the continued faithfulness to the books, the filmmakers need to show them, but I fear that the sheer number of these characters and arcs is going to be the downfall of season 2.

In season 1, the cast of characters is similarly HUGE; however, in the start of the first season the events around all these characters are consolidated in a few key locations – King’s Landing, The Wall, Winterfell and Across the Narrow Sea – so even though there are a lot of characters, the events of multiple characters center around larger conflicts and is easy to digest. Now, because every main character is scattered across the four corners of Westeros and beyond, the filmmakers are only able to focus so much on each character within the sixty minutes they have for an episode, and each character has a distinct story arc that needs developing. As a result, I felt, there wasn’t enough time devoted to any one character’s story arc to really get any real investment in what happens to them in the next episode.

I know that with this series, the events that take place compound episode after episode to create a more holistic and captivating end, but with so much going on, I don’t know how effective it will be this time around.

I am still a huge fan of the books and the show and will obviously continue watching, but I definitely am concerned that season 2 will not hold up to the greatness that was the first season. I will just have to continue watching and see.

Rating: B

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On Sunday: The Pacific, Brothers & Sisters and The Amazing Race

Ep. “Part 5”

Like I was with Band of Brothers, I have fallen in love with this HBO miniseries. I must say though that The Pacific has a very different tone compared to that of Band of Brothers. In Band of Brothers, I felt like the story was more associated with the camaraderie and connection that was present within the 101st Airborne Division during the European Theater of Operations. The Pacific, however, has a much heavier tone. It seems to be a commentary on the psychological and physical tolls war take on soldiers of the US Marine Corps. Not to say that Band of Brothers didn’t touch on the subject, because it did, but I wonder if that the fact that we are now in two wars, which we weren’t in during Band of Brothers, has affected the directorial direction of the miniseries compared to ten years ago. Either way, the show is still great.

This week, Eugene Sledge finally joined up with the 1st Marine Division after boot camp. It reminded me of “The Replacements” episode on Band of Brothers in that there was that bit of division between the veterans of earlier battles and soldiers fresh from training. It also really highlighted the fear and insanity of the battlefield and the breaking of that division in the heat of battle.  The battle that allowed for this unity was the Battle of Peleliu. Based on the introduction narrated by Tom Hanks and the veteran interviews, Peleliu was a vicious battle during the war where many many soldiers died and were wounded, and the conditions of the camp were just as demoralizing as the battlefield.

Ep. “Time After Time”

First, I will lead with the fact that this is the best ensemble cast on television right now. Every single member of the principle cast plays off of each other so well that it makes the show. If you think about it, it isn’t nearly as far fetched as shows like Grey’s Anatomy and they aren’t as crazy as many other popular shows on television because in reality, this show is basically following the lives of a large California family. Granted, they are a quite wealthy and connected family, but family none-the-less.

In this episode, we finally get to find out what Dennis York has on the family. To tell you the truth, I didn’t find it that shocking or appauling. It ended up being that Kevin accidentally paralyzed a kid in 1986 during a fight at Ojai foods and the Walker family has been paying them off ever since. Kevin doesn’t take it well, however.

The more entertaining part of the episode came in the “Thelma & Louise” mission run by Nora and Holly. It was hilarious watching Holly try to find information on Narrow Lake in York’s hotel room while Nora distracted him downstairs. And even more hilarious to see Nora and Holly steal York’s car! But the crowning glory was to first see them walk in on Justin and Rebecca, who eloped in the episode by the way, as they consumate their marriage and then get arrested. On a side note, Kitty goes in for her first check up after her cancer treatment, and it is good news; she is in remission.

The episode ends with Kevin realizing that “Narrow Lake” is an anogram for “Nora Walker.” Does this mean that there is nothing to the extensive search Nora and Holly have been on for a secret parcel of land? I hope not!

Ep. “Dumb Did Us In”

I am beginning to realize that is very difficult to drill down into the details of this episode, so I will be very high-level. Teams went from Malaysia to Singapore for this leg of the race. Teams had to find the Amazing Race Asia hose, Allan Wu, learn a complicated drum routine, sell ice cream sandwiches, fly down a zip line and fun up a winding ramp to get to the pit stop this week. Dan & Jordon won a Fast Forward after climbing from one observation car to another on the world’s largest ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer, and came in first this week.

#1 at the end of this leg: Dan & Jordan

And after being U-turned by Brent and Caite, the “lesbians” Carol and Brandy were eliminated when they checked into the pit stop last.

Eliminated: Carol & Brandy

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On Sunday: Kings

KingsEp. “First Night”

This show is still proving to be very interesting and entertaining to watch but this episode was not nearly as engaging and dramatic as the previous two. This time, the Queen and Jack conspire to shift public opinion of David after they realize that is popularity is beginning to exceed that of the royal family. As such, the Queen uninvited him from the first artistic performance ever performed in Shiloh and Jack takes him and a group of sodliers out for a night on the town. For Jack, however, the night on the town was actually a platform to catch David in a lust-filled stupor and then leak pictures to the press.

The other part of the episode went around King Silas and his illegitimate son. Basically, the son is sick and Silas has to secretly go to his aid in the hospital. He seems very concerned about his secret child but in the end I believe he ends up walking out on the son and the mistress. It was very confusing.

I still am very excited about the entire Biblical story unfolding on the series and I am interested to see how the character profiles develop over the course of the season. Also, I was brushing up on the story of David this weekend and I came across some of the less than honorable bits of his past (mhmm, Bathsheba). I wonder if the show will last long enough for these bits to come up and how they will address them in the modern setting.

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On Sunday: Kings, Desperate Housewives, The Amazing Race & Rock of Love

KingsEp. “Prosperity”

This week, peace talks were in session between Gilboa and Gath, but tension arises when David is not found amongst the Gilboa party present. This causes major issues for Silas since he has ordered David’s death while David continues to prove essential for the continuance of his kingdom. All the while, Crossgen withdraws their gold from the kingdom’s treasury causing further misfortune for Gilboa. Also, David struggles to figure out what he is supposed to do. Much like any rising hero, the path he must take is wrought with uncertainty and he must “follow the signs” to find the correct way.

After watching this second episode, I am even more into it. I love that there is a king stricken with fear of losing his kingdom, a son wraught with rage against his father, a humble servant of a king whom he is destine to usurp, a princess stricken with forbidden love, a pair of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-esque comedic figures and a series of events destine to be of Biblical proportions. Also, the writing is very refreshing. It has a somewhat Shakespearean rythmn that I love. I cannot wait for the next episode, and you should be awaiting next Sunday with as much anticipation as I am.

Desperate Housewives

Ep. “A Spark. To Pierce the Dark”

This week’s major point was . Just like last week, I have decided to just comment per housewife.

Edie Britt: Edie may be dead! The entire episode basically revolved round her getting the message that would reveal David’s entire plan. It also would be the message that would instigate her inevitable demise.

Gabrielle Solis: Gabby deals with an uninterested husband the entire episode. No matter what she does, she cannot get Carlos to have sex with her and it begins to drive a wedge in their marriage. It seems like the issue is taken care of by the end of the episode.

Katherine Mayfair: This week Katherine is almost killed. She is on a camping trip with Mike and Dave and as part of Dave’s plot to destroy Mike, he plans on shooting Katherine while on a hike with a hunting rifle. However, his plot is foiled when Edie calls him immediately before he pulls the trigger. Katherine you are one lucky bitch.

Susan Mayer: Susan deals with her ex-husband’s child enrolling in the private school she teaches at. The real issue though is dealing with a child who seems to be dealing with some major psychological issues and it results in some interesting confrontations with the ex.

Lynette Scavo: Lynette has some issues at work with the second in command, but through a few Lynette like actions, the woman is fired for improper decorum.

Bree Van de Camp: Bree is once again dealing with her emasculated husband, and as a result, almost sells her business away to a competitor. In the end, Bree decides that Orson needs to suck it up and figure out how to get past his issues without destroying her legacy. You go Bree!

So the promotions state that this episode was the beginning of a 5 week sequence of events leading up to the “biggest finale ever.” At the moment, Edie is still alive, but by the end of the season I believe her death is inevitable. I mean Nicolette Sheridan is leaving the show so I would expect her to die by finale end. But I guess she could always move away again after dealing with her insane husband.

The Amazing RaceLet me say that I would love to know what went on this week in The Amazing Race. It is the one reality show that comes on on Sundays that I look forward to; however, this week I had stupid March Madness to destroy my television enjoyment. As with the NFL season, the programming on CBS on Sunday is plagued with delays due to sporting event overages. For some reason, CBS can’t just cancel 60 Minutes and let the primetime programming run like it should. Since they don’t do that, all the programs are pushed back, which kind of destroys your programs you plan on DVRing. This week, basketball games pushed the start of the Amazing Race to the last 6 minutes of its regular time. I believe that we, the masses, should start a petition to request that CBS at least post all their programming for free on On Demand in order to allow its loyal followers to watch the shows they enjoy. So just like with the NFL…I hate sports on Sunday. I hate Comcast. I hate CBS.

Rock of Love BusEp. “Lyrics”

This week the final four, minus the entire Blond-tourage, were tasked with writing lyrics to a Brett Michaels song and perform it for him. The prize: an overnight date to Texas to watch Brett perform at a festival and then party all night. In the end Taya wins the date but Beverly is granted an extra seat on the date because of her great showing in the challenge.

This week, however, was less about the dating and more about the drama. Taya has major issues with Mindy because she makes a comment during the competiton…”And you all thought she came on this show to promote Penthouse, haha.” And Mindy gets all sort of crazy and self-conscious as the realty of the competition sets in. It was hilarious watching Beverly’s face as Taya and Mindy made ridiculous comments and remarks, and even more hilarious listening to Jamie comment on the situation in her confessionals.

In the end, Beverly was the one who was left off the tour bus as the final three head down to Miami.

I am still behind on Brothers & Sisters and forgot that Tough Love began on VH1 tonight. I will definitely ammend this post when I finally get to watch them.

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On Sunday: Amazing Race, Kings, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives & Rock of Love Bus

The Amazing RaceEp. “She’s A Little Scared of the Stick”

This week the contestants remained in Syberia while attempting to obtain a lead on the other contestants. In the midst of the race, Michael identified a new archetype; the “sinister deaf kid” has now entered the mainstream. This label was created after Luke and Margie were identified as the ones who used the “blind road block” in the previous leg. Also, Tammy and Victor have put themselves on the radars of other teams as they have employed less than ethical race tactics. I think that they were kind of idiotic when dealing with the situation. Since they had already said that they were going to work with the other two teams, to decide to break from the pack even though continuing to work with the other teams would have been more beneficial to them in the long run. Also, the ened up getting ot the location after the others anyways. Bad move Victor and Tammy!! Now none of the teams trust you.

In the end, Christie & Jodi were the last to arrive at the pit stop in the Russian ballet but they were lucky that this was the first of who knows how many non-elimination rounds. As such, Christie and Jodi are able to move on to the next leg but they will encounter a speed bump that could cause them to not achieve their goal…beat one other team.

Desperate Housewives

Ep. “The Story of Lucy and Jessie”

So apparently Orson’s kleptomania cannot be stopped. Just like last week, I have decided to just comment per housewife.

Edie Britt: So this week, Edie begins to really investigate the past of David Dash. She goes to the newspaper archives and discovers that both David’s wife and child were killed in a car accident three years ago. She has yet to realize the connection to Mike in the incident.

Gabrielle Solis: Gabby has to deal with the death of Carlos’ boss and is pleasantly surprised when Carlos is promoted to the president of the company. However, not everything is dandy in the Solis house as Carlos decides to hire one of his old flames as his vice-president. The woman isn’t what Gabby would peg as a threat but when she finds out that Carlos loved her even with the weight, she begins to freak out.

Susan Mayer: Susan’s story this week was actually pretty interesting. She has to deal with her accidental lesbian advances on her boss at the school and the uncomfortable tension was palatable. The best part was watching them discuss the incident in metaphor while trying to teach an art class. Which is it? The rhinoceros or the gazelle?

Lynette Scavo: Lynette spends the episode looking for a job. She has a bit of difficulty in that she appears to be too old for the advertising industry. She does end up landing a job, but turns it down to work at Carlos’ firm as the director of marketing. She now has a good job and is Gabby’s spy.

Bree Van de Camp: Bree is still dealing with Orson’s kleptomania even though she thought the issue was dealt with in the previous week. She decides to take Orson to counseling and secretly replace the items in the appropriate houses under the guise of neighborly visits…”Can I borrow a screwdriver?”

One of the major points in the episode is in discovering why Daniel hates Mike so much. The car accident that drove Mike and Susan apart was also the accident that killed his wife and child. Now, David, Katherine and Mike are headed to the woods and David’s plan is being set in motion. Next week someone is supposed to die! Can you say, “EXCITED!!”

In other news, I must apologize for my poor posting in the past few days. This was the end of my finals week and coursework had to take priority. I do plan on amending these posts as I get to watch the shows so come back to see what I have to say about Kings, Brothers & Sisters and Rock of Love.

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On Sunday: The Amazing Race, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives & Rock of Love Bus

The Amazing RaceEp. “It Was Like a Caravan of Idiots”

This week the contestants traveled to uncharted land for The Amazing Race…Siberia. On top of it, a new twist was added to the game; the U-Turn is now “blind.” First, I found it interesting that they decided to name this new U-Turn the “Blind U-Turn” after there is already a handicapped contestant…so now there is the deaf and the blind. Second, it turned out that it was the deaf contestant who decide to Blind U-Turn Amanda and Kris. Third, due to the U-Turn, they were not able to come back from having to do both of the roadblocks and were eliminated.

I must say though, that the luge/rollercoaster thing they did this week looked like so much fun. I mean I would have signed up for that challenge instantly. Also, that challenge would finally allow me to showcase the skills I have developed after hours and hours of Scrabble and Twirl (Facebook app). “Chekhov” it would have been staring at me like a fat kind on a diet stares at the dessert cart.

Eliminated Team: Amanda & Kris

Eliminated Team: Amanda & Kris

It was definitely a good strategy on Margie & Luke’s part to roadblock probably the most physically threatening team. They have showed their ability to power through the challenges quite a few times in the earlier legs, but they just weren’t able to power through this one.

Desperate Housewives

Ep. “Crime Doesn’t Pay”

So what is with Orson’s kleptomania! Like really, he is stealing all this little stuff and it makes so sense. Dude’s weird…that’s all I’m saying. Because this show has so many characters and so many plot lines, I am just going to comment per housewife.

Edie Britt: The one noteworthy thing surrounding Edie this week was that while at a liquor store with David, they run into a priest who is apparently from David’s past. David shoves him off but Edie later confronts the priest at church and inadvertently learns of David’s former last name, Dash. Now, she is really beginning the investigation into her husband’s past.

Gabrielle Solis: Gabrielle dealt with the infidelity of Carlos’ boss and with keeping the secret from his wife. In the end, she gives him an ultimatum that he will either tell his wife or she will. As a result, Carlos is to lose his job. Tables are turned, however, when the wife ends up stabbing her husband after he tells her about the affair. Now we will have to wait until next week to find out what is going to happen next.

Susan Mayer & Katherine Mayfair: Their story lines this week were basically interwoven. Katherine is moving in with Mike and planning a homecoming party. The drama starts when Katherine finds out that the painting she liked on the mantel was painted by Susan. They get in a fight about competing for the same man, past love, all that, and in the end Susan goes and takes the painting out of Mike’s house to appease Katherine.

Lynette Scavo: Lynette spent this week’s episode dealing with her grieving husband as he sells off the family restuarant and coming to the realization that the wants to pursue her career again. The best scene related to her portion of the show was when her and Tom bicker over a job opportunity while at Bree’s house for dinner. Boy did it get ugly!

Bree Van de Camp: Bree wasn’t in a very prominent role this week. Basically, she was just there to instigate the other characters plots. She deals with Orson’s theivery as well as organize the dinner at Katherine’s homecoming party and Tom/Lynette’s  job opportunity. Apart from that she was basically not in the episode.

It was a very good episode and it seems like next week’s will be pretty interesting.

Brothers and Sisters

Ep. “Taking Sides”

This show is AMAZING. I mean to have an episode with so much tension and drama to occur directly following the “movie special” last week was awesome. I mean not only was Tommy being arraigned and Robert dealing with his invalid status, but the entire family was trying to prepare for Ryan Lafferty’s dinner without telling Norah about Tommy’s situation (talk about an elephant in the room!).

In the beginning of the episode, when I found out that they were going to have another “half-sibling” dinner, I got really excited. For some reason, the blowup dinners are my favorite part of this show and to have one at such a trying time in the family just created so much anticipation. Oh they did not disappoint! The torrent that blew through the dining room after Ryan accidentally told Norah about the embezzlement was something to be remembered.

Unfortunately, Rebecca and Justin break up over the difficulties between their two families in relation to Ojai Foods. It is really sad because I really liked them as a couple but who knows what the future holds. There is a chance they will be able to get back together after the drama is over, but not if Ryan gets to her first.

Rock of Love BusEp. “Panama City”

So this week the ladies went to the “Redneck Riviera” that is Panama City Beach, FL. Before I get into the commentary, I must say YAY FLORIDA and let you know that Ithink I have actually been to that resort. To start the episode,  the girls are made to watch a group of children while at the pool. I must say I was really impressed by Ashley’s maternal skills. She might not be the whore I thought she was. Afterwards, the girls go to Coyote Ugly Saloon with Bret and OMG did you see it when Beverly crotch-crunched Bret’s face into the bar?! HILARITY!

Also, the girls are really starting to hate each other. Beverly can’t stand to watch the other girls with Bret. Mindy and Taya get in an altercation with Farrah and Ashley. The dates weren’t that exciting. In the end, Farrah gets eliminated. Apparently she fell into the FriendZone.

I also watched Celebrity Apprentice but have so much to do this week I just can’t take the time to comment on it tonight.

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On Sunday: Brothers & Sisters, Amazing Race & Rock of Love Bus

It is always nice to close out the weekend with a bit of television. And the best thing about Sunday night television is that there is such a variety of shows on. Shows that are captivating dramas, thrilling reality competitions or hilarious dating shows (Thank you, VH1!).

The Amazing Race Ep. “I’m Not Wearing That Girl’s Leotard”

Since the first season of this show, I have wanted to be a part of it. I want to send in that audition video and take my chances in a race around the world. We are now in season 14 and I have yet to send in my tape (I will get to it eventually).

This week the teams were sent off to Romania to perform some gymnastics (their national past-time). Preceding that event, a large number of the teams were held up with flight delays and cancellations due to a thick fog. Now the gymnastics they had to do didn’t seem like the most difficult moves. There were some hilarious moments though when they blurred out the men’s junk when they were wearing the leotards. It is a family show, but they don’t blur it during the Olympics. But if they didnt, it wouldn’t been as hilarious.

Transylvania proved to be quite an interesting place. I would have definitely selected the Vampire Remains road block, and on that subject, I felt so bad for Tammy when she could not convince Victor to re-evaluate their path up the mountain.

And here who was eliminated…

Eliminated Team - Brad & Victoria

Eliminated Team - Brad & Victoria

I am really sad they were eliminated. They were one of those old couples that seemed so full of life and happy together. I am going to miss their excitement during the race and their unwavering joy at the experience.

Brothers and SistersEp. “Troubled Waters”

2 hour “movie special” episode! I am not going to lie. This was my most highly anticipated show of the night.

When the show began in 2006, I was unsure if it would be any good. I mean it is a show that is simply about the lives of a huge California family, where is the overlying plot? Where’s the intrigue? But now that I have watched the show since its inception, I am utterly and inconsequentially hooked. The cast is amazing and their chemistry on camera is, in my mind, unprecedented. The twists continue to come and it is always enthralling.

For this week, the promos said that it was going to be an exciting episode. The birth of Kitty and Robert’s adopted child, the death of a family member, they definitely made you want to watch. And boy they didn’t disappoint. To start, the show opens with a pulse-building scene showing one of the Walker’s in V-Fib (ventricular fibrillation, if you don’t know).

Amidst company take overs and gubernatorial candidacy announcements, the birth of Robert and Kitty’s baby was definitely the “upper” in the episode. From car seats to musical selections, it was a lot of fun watching all the family members freak out over the labor.

And oh my God, I cried tonight. It wasn’t even that Robert had a heart attack but the gut-wrenching emotions of the Walker family. Those Walkers can act!

To conclude, Robert lives, Evan Walker is a healthy boy, Tommy Walker has been arrested for embezzlement, and Ryan Lafferty has come to the Walker home.


Rock of Love BusNow this is the epitome of white trash TV. Old strippers, washed-up porn stars, and all-around trashy hoes vying for the heart of a dead-beat rocker whose doing his damndest to hold on to the glory days.

Oh the truck stop games. This was an inaugural challenge for the Rock of Love show but it was HILARIOUS! Did you guys see Beverly’s face plant into the beer pool?! Or Taya work that stripper pole?! Best quote: “I’m like Scooby and Shaggy…solving a mystery…that girl’s a stripper!”

And during that “Fan Jam” Kelsey went all sorts of crazy. She as a drunken fool crying on a speed bump. Once again…HILARITY!

In the end, Kelsey was the one eliminated and she was sent back to Salt Lake City, UT.