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Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup: April 8

Weekly Roundup is a feature posted each weekend on I Wonder if You Wonder. It gives me a chance to react to the week’s industry news and to provide some quick thoughts about the films and TV shows I’ve been watching. (Plus it’ll give you some idea of the sheer amount of stuff I watch!) Let’s dive right in.

Wait, you mean I actually get to write about something other than Alien? Hooray! Let’s not waste any time.

News:

Obama is a Trekkie: Geekgasm! Lieutenant Uhura herself, Nichelle Nichols, visited the White House this past week and snapped this picture with the President:

The President reportedly told her that he’s a major Star Trek fan. Why am I writing about this, you ask? Because as far as I’m concerned, it’s noteworthy any time the sitting President of the United States does the Vulcan hand salute. Awesomesauce.

Viewings & Reactions:

TV:

Game of Thrones: Great to see Game of Thrones back on my screen for a second season. The ratings on HBO were through the roof, and while the serialized nature of the show makes it hard to judge any single episode on its own, things seem to be off to a roaring start. Peter Dinklage’s work continues to amaze, and I’m thoroughly impressed with both Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), who hold everything together as the matriarchs of the two warring families. Can’t wait to see tonight’s episode.

Californication: A strange ending to an impressive season from Californication. Hank Moody (David Duchovny) continues to be one of the most complex and fascinating characters on television, and this season he was cast in the role of the unlikely voice of reason, with many of his friends and family making increasingly questionable decisions. I still can’t really tell you exactly what happened in the last scene of the final episode, but Californication has already been renewed for another season, so I’m sure that next year we’ll find out exactly how Hank made out.

The Killing: Oh boy. The reaction to last season’s finale was downright hostile, with many viewers upset that the show failed to resolve the murder investigation at the heart of the show, and critics upset with The Killing’s increasingly convoluted and implausible storylines. Both reactions were valid, and while the producers have vowed to reveal Rosie Larsen murderer at the end of this season, it’s the implausible plot twists that are far more harmful to the show’s future. In last week’s Season 2 premiere, the problems continue, with new evidence and suspects seemingly popping up at random while existing suspects are cleared by way of ridiculous coincidences. It’s all a bit tragic given the show’s promise; you’re unlikely to find a more atmospheric or better acted show on TV. But sometimes the writing just doesn’t live up to the other aspects of a show… and I’m normally the guy who DEFENDS the writers.

Best Friends Forever: Not much to say here after only one episode, but I’m giving this show from the creators of Happy Endings a cautious thumbs-up. It’s nothing mindblowing, but there were some legitimately funny lines, and it’s certainly more inventive and contemporary than the spate of single-comedies that have debuted this year.

Scandal: The ratings for this new ABC show were promising, and Kerry Washington looks and acts like a star. The show’s concept – a group of lawyers who work as problem-fixers for Washington, D.C. bigwigs – is a unique twist on the legal procedural genre, and while the style of the show got a little cheesy after a while (cutaways for dramatic effect, lines spoken directly into camera, and so on), at least they’re trying to do something different. The show’s superb cast also helps, including Henry Ian Cusick from Lost and Guillermo Diaz of Weeds fame. I’ll definitely give it at least one more episode.

Community: Another brilliant parody from Community, with the most recent episode serving as a send-up of Ken Burns-style documentaries. If you didn’t like the show, I have only one thing to say to you:

Okay, so I only wrote this little Community review so that I had an excuse to post that picture. It’s worth it, though, right?

Coming Soon:

Previewing features and articles I’m working on for I Wonder if You Wonder, some of which will be posted this week, some in weeks ahead, and others that’ll be abandoned due to laziness or frustration. (Hey, at least I’m up front about it.)

  • More articles in my “30 Days of Alien” series, with a new topic being explored every day until the end of April. Give them a read… I promise there will be at least something you’ll find interesting!
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About A.J. Simpson

Creator and moderator of I Wonder if You Wonder.

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