Category Archives: TV Block

There is Only One Tree Hill and it will Live on in Us All

I have just completed One Tree Hill, the last season; the series in its entirety. I will never see these characters again. I have been with some of them for nearly a decade. I grew with them since I was in high school to adulthood, through my own heartbreak and passion, my own struggles and success, sadness and joy; a life of my own, but mirroring all that Mark Schwahn created and the show embodied and maintained in this series. It’s over. And I’m strangely okay with this. The series ended strong and without realizing it was the last episode at first (the last season only has 13 episodes for its 22+ episode norm per season), it felt right. I didn’t want anything to touch or tarnish this slice of perfection that the last episode portrayed with such understanding.

The last season had a huge impact on me. One Tree Hill was my favorite show for years. Somewhere around season 7 life got in the way and I got behind on the show. It was actually a year or so before I had the chance to catch up. Season 8 was extremely emotional and heartfelt and helped remind me why I loved the show so much in the first place, that raw emotion through characters that felt so real. It is remarkable that the show managed to stay strong besides some bumps in the road. Season 5 was definitely the biggest bump, but they took a huge risk with it so I can’t blame them too much. This was when the WB became the CW and One Tree Hill was one of the only shows that made the transition. Post-high school most shows end anyway since most people don’t end up in the same place after high school and the creator clearly didn’t want to start over with fresh characters in the same town either. So it took place 4 years later, after college, when the characters had accomplished and fallen from their dreams, realizing new desires that urged them back to Tree Hill. It was an off season, cheesy at times even and a lot of rehashing and some characters at lows, but it was a huge risk even continuing the show. It made it past this hurdle. Season 6 was a definite improvement and from there it went on to material and new characters that challenged the show and brought it to new levels, at the very least restoring the best things about it.

So few shows are able to end with dignity. They’re pushed past their limits and all the greatness is drained from them. When Chad Michael Murray and Hilary Burton, who play two of the leads and were always my favorites in the show left, there was definitely danger of this. While I miss them, the show rose up without them and reminds us that this One Tree Hill is not about one person or relationship, it’s about this small town which is just a slice of life; the life we all go through. It’s the pain and terror that we pray never happens to us or the ones we love, a perfect representation of the love we all crave and deserve, and the determination and dreaming within us all that can be realized. The show is about life and it portrays it in such a poetic way that is both tragic and inspiration, depressing and heartfelt, dark and beautiful; all of the darkness and light in this life. While these characters do come across a great deal of luck and success, more so than you can argue is realistic (NBA player, best selling novelist, touring singer, record label owner, high end fashion line designer, or even the couple who marries at 17 and getting pregnant at 18 happening to both have great success and fame and being able to afford a very nice and comfortable life which is certainly not the reality to most who marry or get pregnant in their teen years), I would still argue One Tree Hill is one of the most beautiful, vivid, and life-like series that we have had at least in this generation. It has certainly touched me greatly over the years in so many ways.

Season 9 was a definite change for the series; it is extremely dark and bleak. There’s abduction, mafia-induced pain and suffering, child abuse, police corruption, self-loathing punishment, mental and psychological conditions surface, attempted rape, harassment…the list goes on and on. There is so much physical and emotional scarring and suffering that these characters we love and feel for so deeply are forced to deal it is heartbreaking. It’s so real, it more or less feel that you are experiencing it. During the viewing their emotions become yours. I don’t know how many tears I have cried over the years during One Tree Hill viewings, but especially towards the last seasons. Since we feel these feelings of heartbreak and bliss, we think of what this reality would mean to us and those in our lives we care about most. These moments make us count our blessings and realize the magic and love we have in our lives. Not many shows or art forms of any kind can really have this type of an impact.

The last season was a huge shift in tone, sometimes hard for me to believe all of the darkness that was encompassing my beloved characters. Then again, the show has always had its shades of darkness. There has cheating, lying, and deception that happens in mankind, especially in high school, but there was also school shootings, suicide, murder (one brother to another), control, kidnapping, stalking, abandonment, death, and loss of all kinds. The show began to bring out inspiration, finding yourself, and the complex people that all young people are, whether they seem this way or not. Just look at Nathan or Brooke. They both were popular and seemingly had everything they could have wanted. They both had great family issues that pushed them down and prevented them from being themselves or finding happiness for quite some time until they were able to embrace themselves and what they wanted for their lives. One Tree Hill was always a show about complexities and taking a deeper look at things than seem to be there. By season 3 it just took a darker route with it. While season 9 felt darker than most seasons, it still felt right. It didn’t feel like the writers were trying to just do something completely different for the sake of being different and the need for other material for ratings or to keep the audience’s attention. All hell broke loose in ways I never imagined could have happened on this show, wrecking havoc to those who were really pushed to their edge, dangerously nearly the breaking point. It wasn’t relentless and without reason though. There was resolution, the calm reached them, and a completely new and fitting tone resurfaced when chaos had left.

***This will be the one and only SPOILER!!!

Some of the most dominate and intense feelings this series has invoked in me over the past 10 years was my hate for Dan Scott, Nathan’s controlling father and Lucas’ illegitimate and shameful father. He was very selfish, egotistical, and fueled with paranoia and hate. Every life around his that he touched was worse off because of it. He murdered his own brother, Keith,  then moved in on the woman Dan abandoned years ago who said brother was engaged to and was going to start his life with. He abandoned Lucas as a son and Keith was there to raise him and ensure he turned in to the man he should be. Dan was vile and tormented his wife, making her fear her life for some time. Dan pressured his son so much he put him in the hospital and once Nathan had the sense to get away and start a better life with Haley he set out to ruin their lives at any costs. Let’s not forget the murder! He was a disgusting man that fueled you to hate him with every ounce of your energy simply as a viewer let alone the people who really knew and had to deal with this man. So many lives were shattered because of him. Even before he killed Keith, you couldn’t help but hate him. Then once the dirty deed was done and he was the mayor and deceived everyone around him, this hate only grew, even when he got out of prison after only 4 years, he tried to get back in Nathan and his grandson’s life.

Up to the moment he was hunting for Nathan who we needed to be okay and come back so bad, I still couldn’t forgive him for what he was. I understood the need for him to be in Jaime’s (his grandson) life and I felt for Jaime who wanted him to be there. Everything he ever did was for Nathan, fighting to give him the best life he could have, even if it was all terribly misguided and the wrong approach to say the least. I have always known this, but even when he was putting his life on his line, hunting relentlessly for his son, I still didn’t forgive him. I have spent 10 years hating this man and I know for a fact that he’s a monster at his core; this is certainly what his actions have shown. Yet, somehow after all this time hating him and wishing for him to die, that seeming like the only just thing, when his time came, and he was about to die, I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for Dan Scott! I cried for him, I wished that somehow he would make it out okay. I wanted Dan Scott to be saved! I spent 10 years hating this man with such passion. Even a few episodes ago, but definitely a few seasons ago I would have been glorying in the man’s death and cheering it on. Instead, I had tears and remorse for him, not because he deserved it, I know he didn’t, but because he proved that even monsters have shades of gray in them. We all have a heart no matter how tainted and buried it may have been in the past. It is our last moments, in the heat of danger and death that truly define who we are and our love for others. I never thought I would be typing or even thinking these words but Dan Scott surprised me and passed the test.

Bravo to one of the best developed and complex characters and to Paul Johanson who through this character has given the best performance he will ever give. He has fueled so much hate in me and yet he still won me over in the end. Even before he did I could still see how real his emotion, remorse, regrets, and love were. He has hit every angle with this character. If nothing else he has invoked a hell of a lot of raw, fierce emotion through the character. Whether you hated or loved him, he made Dan completely real.

***SPOILER END, It is safe to read!

I’m a huge romantic at heart, but I rarely feel like true love is really captured in movies or television. The love I have seen in this show is one of the most overwhelming things I have witnessed in my life. It is so genuine, unconditional, and stands the test of endless complications. One reason for this is these characters are so well realized; they’re complex, multi-dimensional, and real. Who they are, their pasts, their passions, and their desires in life and in love are what make them who they are and are what makes the other person understand them so fully. Most of them took them quite a while to get there and a lot of heartbreak. Again, that’s life. We get it wrong, we take time to find ourselves, but we end up with such a passionate, all consuming, and understanding love that we know everything else that led to this moment was worth it to get here, to know ourselves and the person we’re blessed to call our other half. They fill our world while still shining bright in our own skin.

I remember the first time I ever watched One Tree Hill. It was the summer after the second season had aired. I heard a commercial on the radio about the episode, “Dare Night”. I was amused by it so I decided to check it out. From that point on I was completely and utterly hooked. Of course, I didn’t know all the history and reasoning behind it (when I did go back and watch the first season it was shocking, entertaining, and like I was discovering a past secret that put everything in to perspective). I remember thinking Brooke was such a cold bitch. My opinion now? I think she’s one of the strongest characters on the show:  beautiful, bold, immensely loving, ambitious, but ultimately a girl with simple desires such as the love of her friends and family and to give this love just as much as she receives it. Julian was a Godsend to her. He brings out the best in her and gave her every ounce of love she always desired. In return, she shows that unconditional love to him even when she’s scared, protective, and given reason not to. They have chemistry, such belief and inspiration in each other, and a love that is constantly bursting out of them. This is true of every relationship on this show, each shown in their own way, but always ringing so true and igniting so much emotion in the viewer.

 

I was a Peyton and Jake or “Jeyton” fan, but I can even appreciate Peyton and Lucas’ love. He was in love with her since he was 17. There was always something between them and they understood each other in ways most others never could. They certainly had many complications, fighting for each other at the wrong times constantly. I did get a bit aggravated with the Lucas-Peyton-Brooke love triangle, which was rehashed time and time again. Lucas would be with one of them and things would move towards one or the other developing feelings again, Brooke and Peyton’s friendship always at risk and worked to be mended every time he got in between them. Of course there were other things like Peyton following her dreams of pursuing music that could touch lives the way they touched hers, Lucas sometimes thinking more with his heart than his head and sometimes not with either as he had to go down the wrong path to find his way back to himself. Lucas’ book ended up bringing their love back again with Peyton putting everything on the line and fighting for him like hell even when it seemed he was the one who got away. That same book made Brooke and Julian realize their live and proved to be a great representation on how they all touched each other’s lives and what those early high school memories meant to not only their lives, but how relatable, human, and beautiful these moments were even to the masses (the eventually made a movie and TV show based on the book based on the lives we witness on One Tree Hill).

I can’t even think about mentioning One Tree Hill’s great perception and portrayal of love without mentioning Nathan and Haley. It is one of the strongest fictional examples of love I have ever witnessed. Most of the intensely emotional moments rely on Haley James-Scott in particular, a testament to the character and Bethany Joy Lenz clearly touching, real, and outstanding portrayal over the years. I have felt so much of her love and pain in the past decade. I think there’s a piece of Haley in us all, if so we should be so lucky. She is an incredible artist, wife, mother, friend, and woman all around. Most of her greatness is brought out through her family, especially her husband, Nathan Scott. He was the classic popular and talented jerk who got away with hell because of who he was; a basketball star with a guaranteed bright future ahead of him. He was just trying to get to his illegitimate and equally talented ball-playing brother, Lucas, by trying to get close to Haley in the beginning. She didn’t cut him any breaks and she never accepted any less than the kind of man she knew she deserved and she knew Nathan was deep down; eventually the man he became.

We all have our demons, she exorcised his and fought by his side every day to make sure they stayed away. They didn’t always. Post NBA and his drunken bar fighting recklessness years later, she had to take care of him when he didn’t take care of himself and didn’t care about anything anymore. Much like Haley when she had to deal with loss of a loved one that was like a best friend, guiding her, a loss that was so heavy on her heart that life didn’t seem to have any meaning or purpose any more, even those she loved and needed. They never gave up on the other no matter how bad things got, they were always there for each other. Haley saved him when he was 17 and she continued to save him, especially the terror and trauma that he endured in the last season. She struggled and fought for him, desperately needing things to turn out okay, for her to have him “always and forever”. There were troubles in them trying to figure out getting married and started a life out together so young and still having ambitions of their own, especially for Haley. She realized no matter how fulfilled, a life without Nathan, her first and only love, was no life at all. She fought for him and would continue to for the rest of her life. Luckily, it didn’t take that long and they started the next chapter of their lives together with their family and pursuing their passions with embracing their love for one another. They had everything together, but it took them awhile to get it right as well. They’re human like we all are. They just happen to be two humans that are so well suited for each other, keeping each other on track, loving and supporting one another, and embracing the romance and spark that will always glimmer in their eyes and surely their hearts.


The show started as a high school teen drama. I was this age when I started watching the show. I felt very misunderstood in high school, perhaps part of me always will. There was something in One Tree Hill that spoke to me, it was an outlet, it understood part of me that I might not have even understood myself. I always thought of myself as a bit of a mix of Peyton and Haley. At least at first they were both somewhat of artistic loners, they had their group of friends and Peyton was actually in the “popular crowd”, but they were pretty solitary people and unique in their desires, interests, and mindsets to those around them. I had Peyton’s style and personality, but Haley’s determination, belief, and heart. I think that remains very true today. I’m honored to embody a piece of the best of these amazing characters. Even more interesting though is despite both their lives changed throughout the show as well as my life and how much I have changed since then, those fundamentals of identity, who I am at my core, and more or less the people we all strive to be is still just as true 10 years later.

That speaks to the incredible characterizations on the show, but it captures something a bit deeper at the same time. In the last episode they’re reliving who they all were 10 years ago. Brooke is the one who seems to capture better than any of them that they’ve changed and went down the paths they were meant to in order to get where they are with all of the struggles and blessings. We change a great deal especially between high school to post-college to figuring out who we are and the lives we will live. Brooke acknowledges this, but also realizes that who they were then is more or less who they will always be deep down. As someone whose life has drastically changed in so many ways, I can honestly say who I was at my core then is the same girl I am today and who I always will be.

 

The show couldn’t have ended on a better note. In the last season, it challenged itself and was pushed to the brims of darkness and back to a much lighter, nostalgic, and loving place. It showed the worst and the best that life is capable of and will likely experience in great quantities, it has a way of being unpredictable like that. The TV show of Lucas’ book on their lives starting in production and the 10 year anniversary of Tric was the perfect opportunity to allow the viewers that closure that we desperately needed to say goodbye to such a remarkable show that we spent so much time with. For the anniversary of Tric, we get a goodbye from Haley, thanking us for being with her and performances from Chris Keller, Haley, and the one and only Gavin DeGraw. This show made me fall in love with Mr. DeGraw and his music and I ended up meeting him and you better believe the words One Tree Hill left my mouth during my brief moment with him. His music meant a lot for the show. He sang of being yourself among struggles whoever that  person is. His music embraced the love on the show. Whenever I hear “More than Anyone” I will always think of Haley and Nathan passionately kissing in the rain as Nathan professes his love shortly before they get married and replayed when they got re-married after combating struggles and grow closer. Even in their toughest times, the rain which signifies gloominess for most of us, was a romantic, thrilling representation for them that washed away the bad, replaced with their love powering over all else. Gavin DeGraw’s music and wisdom continues to inspire me in a number of ways as did many things that surfaced on this show.

Through the TV show some of the characters look at their past selves directly and really take in this journey, while realizing it is far from over. Gifts and dreams are passed on and the magic of believing is put in to action for the spirit of Tree Hill to live on as strong as it always has. This show has meant a great deal to me for love, life, human complexities, ambitions, understanding, and so much more. We all have experienced and craved these things and dread the inherent evil and suffering that will hunt us down. With the strength and love that characters have embodied in this show, we too will fight. One Tree Hill was a great show because it embodied so much of what life is, the good, the bad, the struggle, the hope, the people, the love, finding yourself and everything in between. It’s good to remember while we find all this and fight and embrace so much that we will always have a home and understanding in One Tree Hill. It was not a perfect series, like us all it was flawed but breathtaking, one beautiful depiction of life in the small town of Tree Hill, North Carolina. I know it will always have a place in my heart.

Michael Rooker returns as Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead!

AMC’s The Walking Dead ranked in as one of the highest rated shows on network television last year, but what makes it such an appealing show? It’s not the zombie apocalypse devastating the world, or the action between the living dead and the survivors, nor is it about the horror element all together. What makes TWD so appealing is the human element, the will to see these variety of people from different backgrounds push on through life in a world turned upside down and somehow make it through it all.

Last season we were given a teaser of what’s to come next for Rick and his group, but more importantly, we were given a few hints at the introduction of a few interesting (Michonne), yet sinister (The Governor,) characters from the comic as well as the promise of the return of past characters including Merle Dixon (Played by Michael Rooker) brother of Daryl Dixon. . When last we saw Merle he was handcuffed to a poll on the roof top of a building in Atlanta with vengeances in his eyes for being left behind by Rick and the group. However if this still is any indication about Merle’s wellbeing, it’s that he alive and well and is itching for some payback.

The new season of The Walking Dead returns Sundays this fall on AMC.

Extra Tidbit: So do you think Merle’s reintroduction around the same time as The Governor coming into the picture merely a coincidence, or is there something much more sinister at play here?

Source: AMC

The Full Trailer for True Blood Season Five!

We’re just under a month away from the premiere of the new season of HBO’s True Blood, but like a drug addict addicted to V itching for another hit, June 10th feels like a life time away. Last season left us aching with many questions over so many heart-stopping moments that it’s felt like an eternity since we’ve seen the mystical hick town of Bon Temps.

However for those who tuned into HBO just before the airing of the new episode of Game of Thrones tonight got themselves a little taste of the new season in an extended look of what’s to come this season of True Blood, but fear not my fellow Truebies and Fangbangers alike, I come bearing gifts and words of good tidings, in case you missed it when it aired on HBO tonight you can watch the video below!

True Blood Season 5: Trailer

The new airs Sunday, June 10th, only on HBO.

EXTRA TIDBIT: Is Sookie and Bill’s relationship truly dead? Will she go back to Eric? Or will Alcide get a taste of what he’s been missing out on these last two seasons? Also, what do you think Roman’s introduction will bring this season and exactly what is Russell Edgington’s plan for revenge?

SIDE NOTE: I once tried to make vacation plans for Bon Temps, Kokomo and La Isla Bonita, and was told all three didn’t exist. Some fucker’s been telling me lies. What next, the North Pole is just ice and polar bears? Fucking crazy, I tell you.

What’s on the Tube: The Walking Dead, S2, EP10 – “18 Miles Out”

[Editor’s Note: This review was written for Feb. 26th episode of The Walking Dead]Episode 10: “18 Miles Out” – In last Sunday’s episode, “18 Miles Out,” we began with the promise of action put forth by Lori as she set’s into motion an event that would turn her husband Rick against her former lover Shane by convincing Rick that he’s dangerous. This of course pumped viewers up for what would be the showdown of the season, pitting Sheriff against deputy. As the episode begins we find Rick and Shane driving with Randall, the man they rescued in town, tired up and in the trunk of their car driving him out as far as possible away from the farm before releasing him to fend for himself. But before reaching their designated location Rick decides to have a little heart to heart moment with Shane and confront him on his recent change in attitude and behavior, but more particularly wanting answer as to why Lori would feel he is dangerous to the group.

While the tension between the two was sharper than a finely sharpen blade, it certainly did not escalate into the rage filled fight we were hoping for, but rather played forth as a pregame show before the main event. However when it was revealed that Randall not only knew about the Greenes, but also the location of their farm, it forced Rick and Shane to contemplate a dangerous thought; what do with Randall? Kill him? Or don’t? It’s beyond obvious we know what side of the railroad tracks Shane is on with this one, but Rick of all seemed to be in a real battle within himself on this one. While Rick won’t condone the act of murder in cold blood, he can’t completely dismiss it either when the safety of his own family comes into play. I felt this interesting concept being introduced into the show was indeed perplexing, because it not only questions the morals of each person’s character, but also they’re humanity. This concept also left me questioning myself long past the episode was over. If placed in Rick’s possession and the people you loved and cared for were potentially in danger… there wouldn’t be many who would be quick to dismiss the notion of going above and beyond to protect those they care about, and this fact goes much further than human emotions, it’s animal instinct to protect what in your eyes, is rightfully yours.

Their actual throw down was good, but not great. It felt completely underwhelming to what we were teased in the previous episode with, though that’s not to say it wasn’t good. However, for those who’ve complained that this season was lacking in zombie action can stop right there and prepare to rejoice with glee as the episode gave us quite a zombie-filled show of affection in the form of lots and lots of zombies placing Shane, Rick and Randall in hot water, unarmed and out matched. Such a pulse pounding experience it was that also gave us a few fantastic kill scenes. And while their fight was a tad bit underwhelming in my opinion, I did however enjoy the fact Rick saved the day once again over Shane.

Meanwhile back at the farm, Lori has discovered that Beth has fallen into a deep state of depression and has attempted to take her own life. After notifying Maggie of Beth’s plans, we then find both Maggie and Beth in a shouting match over her suicide attempt. I won’t deny that both women both had valid arguments, and it should be someone’s right if they choose to opt-out from the current state of life; it’s the one thing about Andrea that I still cling to liking even though I loathe her character with a passion. However, with that being said, Beth is a kid, who still has a loving father and sister who loves her with all their heart, and for her to even contemplate suicide knowing all too well what kind of pain and suffering it’ll cause her family is downright selfish of her, she needs to think about her family’s needs before thinking of her own as they are doing the same for each other.

Now while this hubbub is going down, Lori and Andrea have words of their own; the discussion being their place among the group as women. Now I I’m no fan of Andrea, I’ve already made point of that, the love I had for her character died the moment she blamed Dale for her still being alive. However I am equally not as pleased with Lori, especially when she has decided that the women’s place in all this is in the kitchen preparing meals and washing cloths while the men protect them… what!?! Are you f****** kidding me? this was not only a low blow to herself as a woman and to women everywhere, but does she seriously think all the women of the group should just cover their eyes and pray they’ll always be protected by the men of the group? However despite my feeling to this moment Andrea could not grant me a moment to like her one bit as she did something completely irresponsible following this scene which thankfully came back to bite her in the ass. While Rick and Shane’s part in this episode is where all the action is, unfortunately the only action you’ll get out of the scenes at the farm are entirely verbal.

Though 18 Miles Out was good, there was certainly lots of room for improvement. I did have one major issue with this episode, Daryl was completely absent in the picture. Not even a mention of him was uttered which I thought was very disappointing seeing that he’s one of the most popular characters in the show, he’s certainly one of my favorites that’s for sure.

KILL OF THE WEEK: This week’s kill of the week goes to Rick for taking out a walker by shooting it in the head through the mouth of a second walker. The whole scene reminded me of Gimli taking out a Warg that collapsed on him, the killing it’s Orc rider on top of that one right after in “The Two Towers”.

Official Site: http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_(TV_series)

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A Sneak Peek of THE WALKING DEAD Episode 212: “Better Angels”

Can’t get enough of AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD? Well here’s a sneak peek at Episode 212 “Better Angels” airing Sunday, March 4th at 9/8c on AMC.

Rick and the survivors are gearing up for something big. Find out what the group is making preparations for in this sneak peak from episode 212. Watch the full episode Sunday, March 11 at 9/10c. Only on AMC.

A Sneak Peek At THE WALKING DEAD Episode 211 “Judge, Jury, Executioner”


Can’t get enough of AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD? Well here’s a sneak peek at Episode 211 “Judge, Jury, Executioner” airing Sunday, March 4th at 9/8c on AMC.

“Let’s talk about this like men.” Dale confronts Shane about Randall’s fate in this sneak peek. Watch the full episode Sunday, March 4 at 9/10c. Only on AMC.

What’s on the Tube: The Walking Dead, S2, EP9 – “Triggerfinger”

[Editor’s Note: This review was written for Feb. 19th’s episode of The Walking Dead]

Episode 9: “Triggerfinger” – Last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead was a real nail biter. Picking up where we left off last time; After losing control and flipping her car, Lori is lying unconscious inside the wreck, surrounded by walkers trying to break in. Meanwhile; Rick, Glenn and Hershel are held up in the bar in town  when a group of men show up looking for their now deceased buddies following the shootout in the bar just moments earlier. Tensions are higher than they’ve been in a while and things are about to get loud and fast very soon. Rick is hoping to avoid further bloodshed and turns to reason with the men. But after discovering their partners are lying dead by the hands on Rick, they arent intersted in reason and only want one thing; an eye for an eye. Back at the wreck, Lori comes to and quickly discovers she’s in a real pickle as one of the walkers have broken through the windshield and is only within inches of her. After a moment of panic and some quick action on her part, Lori is able to subdue the walker with a screwdriver to the face. Once out of the vehicle she takes down a second walker.

While this is going on, Shane realizes Lori’s absence and asks everyone of her whereabouts, but when no one can recall the last time she was seen, Daryl reveals that she asked him to go into town to help Rick but refused and told her to go herself. This leads Shane to go out looking for her, after finding her on the side of the road walking he try’s to convince her to return to the farm with him. However he soon learns she won’t return back to the farm with him until she finds Rick. This leads Shane to flat out lie to her about Rick and Glenn already returning with Hershel. His lie later backfires right in his face (which I took great pleasure in) when they return and she discovers Rick has not returned… I’d like to think that it’s here, in this very moment, the seeds Dale planted when he confided in Lori his theory about Shane, and what he believes really happened to Otis, finally blossomed. You can see it in her expression, the look of upset and utter discontent, but more importantly; the loss of trust. I believe Shane had this coming for a while now, all things considering what’s happened last season and all of this season. As Dale put it best; “This world, what it is now, this is where you [Shane] belong. And I may not have what it takes to last for long, but that’s okay. ‘Cause at least I can say when the world goes to shit, I didn’t let it take me down with it.” Shane has darkness in him brewing and there’s no bounds to what level he’ll stoop to, if it means it’ll benefit his own interests… we’ve all seen how far he’s already gone. Now the real question is will he attempt to take the next step in betraying his friend and partner Rick?

Now with that being said, Lori is no angle either. One could argue that while Shane is a threat to the group, Lori can prove to be an even bigger threat. Have we not forgotten how she went running into the arms of Shane before Rick’s body was thought to have been cold? Lori is a survivalist, and as a survivalist she will do what is necessary to protect her children and herself, this makes her no different than Shane to say the least. The only difference between them in that respect is she’s able to adapt. Andrea continues to annoy me, especially in this episode where she not only agrees with Shane wholeheartedly, but she’s apparently playing the role of influencer to his crazed insane antics… the love I once had for her character is now dead and gone, she doesn’t deserve the care and worry Dale has for her,  how he’s always looking out for her best interests despite how much she hurts him.

I was a little disappointed with Glenn in this episode. I understand he doesn’t want to be selfish and think of his own needs and Survival when the mess hits the fan and freeze up, I understand that and it’s quite noble of him, but Maggie poured her heart out to him and said she loved him, and he couldn’t have said it back? Is it that hard to just accept what little good there is left in the world? Even Rick told him he should cherish these rare moments life throws our way, especially in a zombie apocalyptic turned world… I’m sorry, I’m still a big fan of Glenn and maybe it’s just me wanting to see their relationship blossom into something much more then friends with benefits, but that is the definition of being selfish in my book. I’m glad Hershel has finally come to his senses and now agrees that his wife and the folks locked in the barn were in fact dead. I really didn’t want him turning into one of those southern clichés so many films dealing with the south likes to go with. Also, he won me over when he told Shane off. At that very moment, I literally wanted to shout out “You the man, Hershel!”

Carol’s attempt to bring Daryl out of the dark place he’s in was truly one of the most memorable moments of this whole episode. The tension was high between them and you couldn’t help but feel both their pain. Whether or not Daryl agrees with it, he and Carol share a bond, a sort of kinship that no other member of the group has, and you could see it in his eyes that he truly was remorseful for the things he said to her. Showing up to the house at the end was proof of that. The closing scene of last week’s episode has left some questions as to what will happen next for the group: What will become of them at the farm? What will Shane and Andrea have in store for the captive outsider? And more importantly, what will happen when Rick and Shane have their confrontation?

Kill Of The Week: This week’s KOTW goes to Lori killing a walking with a screwdriver

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What’s on the Tube: The Walking Dead, S2, EP8 – “Nebraska”

[Editor’s Note: This review was written for Feb. 12th episode of The Walking Dead]

Episode 8: “Nebraska” – Last Sunday, while most of us were busy watching the 54th Grammy Awards, the rest of us were tuning in to the long awaited mid-season return of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’. And oh my, did it return with an epic bang! When we last left off; the whole group was divided into multiple search parties looking for little Sophia, only to discover her tragic fate, and her surprising location. Picking up only moments after discovering the tragic fate of poor little Sophia, the group has been deeply demoralized by this shocking revelation that she’s been within reach of them all along.

Over the course of the first half of season 2 Shane began revealing his true nature to us, his actions to leave Otis to die made it perfectly clear what kind of man he was and how far he’s willing to go for selfish needs. The mid-season return continues with that momentum as Shane continues to question Rick’s decisions at every turn. Meanwhile Rick has become unsure of himself as being the one to lead following the events of last fall’s mid-season finale. I personally feel Rick proved to be more of a leader than anyone else after having the guts to step up and be the only one who was willing to do what was needed to be done, even though it went completely against what he wanted. In that defining moment Rick displayed not only true leadership, but also compassion. He didn’t want to do it (no sensible human being would want to truth be told,) but he did it anyway because no one else was going to. Such action takes more than guts, it takes a certain kind of bravery very few have within them, and even then the act alone will still cost you a heavy price; a piece of what makes you, you. And Rick knew that and still went ahead with doing without hesitation. But now adding on to the fact he’s failed Carol in protecting and returning Sophia back to her unharmed he’s more stressed than ever, adding into the fact he’s trying to deal with the stress of almost losing his son and his wife’s pregnancy (to which we’re still unclear of who the father is.)

My least two favorite characters on the show thus far is easily becoming T-Dog and Andrea, whom have clearly aligned themselves with Shane in this episode after siding with his decision of unlocking the barn as being “justified” for the sake of their survival. This both angered me and left me feeling disappointed, especially with T-Dog, because I really liked his character in the first season and for the first half of the second. But now I’m starting to lose some of that fondness for him character, and in my opinion, he’s starting to become an annoyance. I’ve gone from loving Andrea to feeling bad for her to undeniably hating her guts (Shooting Daryl was the final straw for Me.) it seems she’s making all the wrong decisions and deliberately burning the bridges between herself and those who truly care about her, like Dale for exempla; he’s been like a father figure to her and her sister since the first time the show introduced the whole group in season 1. Hell, he was willing to die with her in the CDC lab in the season 1 finale for crying out loud. If that isn’t unconditional love I honestly don’t know what is then. But she just keeps pushing him away like he was nothing to her, and it only pisses me off every time she does this to Dale.

Dale however is heading down a different path of exposing Shane’s true nature as he is rightfully convinced what really happened to Otis. Dale more so than anyone else is cautious about Shane because he knows what kind of monster Shane is deep down inside and this might put him in harm’s way further down the road with Shane. I can’t be certain just yet, but I have a feeling before this season is done one of them will have the other in a compromising situation that may prove fatal.

Carl seems to be taking Sophia’s fate pretty well all things considering, though Lori seems to be disturbed by this notion because Carl’s attitude about the whole situation seems to display a sense of emptiness for a child his age. In this rare occasion I can’t help but agree with her on this, if Carl is lacking the emotion a child his age should over death, what will this do to him in later years, how will this affect him?

Carol is clearly in shock over discovering her daughter’s unfortunate fate; she’s lost her abusive husband and now her only child, in short she’s lost her entire family since the start of the zombie apocalypse and you can’t help but feel for her, I’m not sure where this will take her in the show now that she has nothing to live for, but I cannot help but wonder if Daryl will play some part in her own salvation. This brings me to Daryl. He above everyone seems to be in a really dark place following the events of Sophia’s discovery. It seems prior to the events that followed, he was really starting to open up. More importantly, he was starting to feel accepted among the group, but now it seems all that was destroyed the moment that barn door swung open. Now more than ever he is alone, will he stay with the group? Will he return hunting for his good for nothing brother Merle?

KILL OF THE WEEK: this week’s kill of the week no doubt goes to Rick in the standoff scene with Glenn and Hershel in the bar scene facing off against the two strangers. Everyone was pumped up on adrenalin and you could cut the tension with a knife. The quick drew was breath taking to say the least.

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What’s on the Tube: Smash, S1, EP2 – “The Callback”

Episode 02: “The Callback” – We open to Karen (McPhee) in a (character-filled) pub in what appears to be a laid back tryout session at first. All of the brass is there, overseeing and apparently enjoying her cover performance of “Call Me” before we are whisked back into reality with Karen at her job. I found her performance fresh, but at the same time, a little on the amateurish side. Her vocal range is great, but not perfect and it can easily be noticed when up against someone like Ivy Lynn (Hilty), who excels at the vocal aspect of the show. There is a plus though, as I can relate to her still being “fresh” and not “seasoned” like Ivy is. So in this aspect, I can forgive Karen’s lack of range.

One thing I did enjoy even more so than I did in the Pilot episode was the presence of Julia (Messing), who’s story is really starting to take shape, while her struggle to adopt an immigrant baby is beginning to tear into her relationship with her husband Frank (James), who is torn between wanting to adopt a baby and going back to work. That on top of Julia going to work full-time on the Marilyn project should really make for some interesting story progression in the near future. Also interesting to see is how Eileen’s (Huston) appending divorce from Jerry (Cristofer) will factor into the play’s budget.

One thing I found myself NOT enjoying was the poor move on Ivy’s part when she decided to personally ‘interact’ with Derek (Davenport). I found that to actually lessen her character’s entire persona by making it seem as though she only got the part in the end because she ‘performed’ better in places that Karen could not. I understand that Derek is supposed to be pretty much the a-hole of the series, but to turn Ivy into an easy sellout so early on in the show’s run just, to me, seemed a little too predictable. I saw her win coming a mile away after that particular scene. Bad move writers, bad move.

In closing, I find myself being able to relate to Karen’s struggle to become a star in a world of seasoned performers and producers. I am really enjoying Julia’s storyline and finding her to be one of the main reasons why I like the show. Her partnership with Tom is perfect because they go together so well, although I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of problems could and may arise from Tom’s new assistant. I want to see how someone like Eileen will fund the show with Jerry so close on her tail, searching for answers, and finally… Ivy needs to redeem herself for the bad choice she made here.

Again, stay tuned each week for my official “What’s on the Tube” segment featuring NBC’s SMASH, and feel free to chime in with your viewer thoughts and opinions in our comments section. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the show, should you decide to become a regular viewer.

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