Sunday, January 4, 2009

Carpe Reviews Random Crap

So where was I?

Last time on Leverage, the team had been running a two week scam on a corrupt judge in a small town when Nate and Sophie were taken hostage in a bank right before the jig was supposed to be up. In response, Hardison, Parker, and Eliot made moves to rescue them before Nate called them off, instructing them that these weren’t usual bank robbers. The game now included helping this father and son team-oh, wait, that’s on cable.

Last time on The Mentalist, Patrick Jane and his magical hair discovered who was responsible for two cyanide poisonings at a university through his usual blatant deception and magician trickery. We also learned that he was institutionalized for a nervous breakdown after his wife and daughter were brutally slain by the serial killer Red John, and that his-no, that’s not right either. I need a guy and a girl.

Last time on Gossip Girl, Chuck’s dad Bart had just passed away due to fatal injuries sustained in a limo crash. Obviously poor Chuck despaired at the news that the man he had both loved and loathed for so many years was gone, and Blair stood by his side, refusing to let the man that she loved suffer alone. As she confronted him at his limo, Blair finally let Chuck know that-dammit. I need a guy and a girl on a show with horrible writing.

Last time on Days of our Lives, Zombie Dallas EJ was stumbling around at room temperature while Fifteen Year Old Sami was walled off with Rafe the Lucas Clone in a Bobby and Britney plot from The Young and the Restless circa 2005. In addition, Nicole had broken the laws of physics in order to be in every scene at all times with nuBrady characterized as the Austin to her Carrie Reed. And I was actively avoiding watching because as a general rule, I do not engage in self-torture. You can’t unsee something, so I try to swerve around out of character scenes and situations as much as possible. However, I did catch a few things around Christmas:

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

“Word is that Nicole Walker is carrying your child and has moved into the DiMera mansion.” Not exactly.
“That's right.” No, that’s what you think. Silly zombie. Brains are for kids!
“My advice - throw the bitch out on her ass.” Hear, hear, Victor!

“Don't ever speak that way about Nicole again. You hear me?” Oh, I think you’ll be saying much worse things about her soon enough.
“Nicole is poison.” That’s insulting to poison.
“She will turn your life into a nightmare.” Actually I think that’s Dena and the writing staff.

“Who are you to tell me what she's gonna do with my life? Your marriage to her was completely disastrous. You're old enough to be her grandfather. You didn't love her. She doesn't love you.” Not everyone marries for love, Zombie Dallas EJ.
“Your naiveté is astounding.” Which is why no one is buying this. EJ is many, many things but never utterly dense. The hair gel is strangling his neural net.
“Nicole and I are deeply in love.” Yeah, right.

“Nicole doesn't love anyone but herself. And if you think she's changed, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were.” Yeah, he is. It’s sad.
“So, let me just get this straight-you're the person who believed that a woman 80 years your junior was in love with you, but me-I'm the fool, right?” Man, zombies can’t add either apparently.
“I knew Nicole wasn't in love with me. We had an arrangement. We both got exactly what we wanted till Nicole screwed it up. There's only one thing that Nicole likes more than herself, and that's money. Now, deep down, you know that. And sooner or later, you're gonna have to face it.” Preferably during a sweep month, eh?

“Fine. Don't take my advice. Just don't come whimpering to me months from now when, heartbroken and bankrupt, your relationship with Nicole blows up in your face, because I can assure you, it will. It's just a matter of time.” Which is part of the problem here. You don’t want to telegraph your entire plot for your audience months ahead of time. Why should we watch the current scenes when they don’t mean anything, especially when EJ is completely unrecognizable?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Yeah, chicks really want to watch other chicks sleep. Is it any wonder the ratings are down?

Oh, hey, it’s Dream Not Evil EJ! Nice jeans.

How do we know this is a dream? Evil EJ would have inserted a joke here.

He’s also not a volcanic hothead.

Oh, shut up, Carrie.

Yes, this is a “nightmare,” but even so, this is not Evil EJ. First off, he should have said something funny. Inappropriate moments are when he breaks out his best material, like when he was about to kill John. Moreover, Evil EJ runs cold, not hot. When pressed, he crystallizes into deadly calm. He’s the icy chill down your spine, the sense of dread in the air, not generic yelling. Bottom line, TPTB, less Two Face, more Joker next time.

And once again Days is behind the curve. Who isn’t psychic on television right now? You have Patrick on The Mentalist, Alison on Medium, Pamela on Supernatural, Melinda on Ghost Whisperer, Sookie on True Blood…

I know having a kid with autism is extremely difficult, but damn, you two are awful parents.

Oh, you gotta love soaps. Remember only a few months ago when Stefano and Marlena were trying to kill each other? Ah, good times, good times.

“It’s okay, Theo. This plot scares me too.”

Yup, Luloe is screwed. The Horton Christmas tree is written in stone…except where Johnny and Ali are concerned. Heh, us Ejami fans can get out of any writing box, can’t we?

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

There are a million things wrong with this scene.

“Santa?” Santa? Santa?!! Are you kidding me?! Damn, I hope Days got a half-way decent dialogue writer for Christmas.

Ah, Rafe, I had such hope for you…such dreams…all shattered.

This is the equivalent of the local serial killer enjoying your kids’ Christmas recital.

Show, Zombies can’t read.

Damn it, Nicole, it’s knit one, purl two.

And zombies can’t dress either. Half off sale at men’s Express, eh?

You know Days is bad when you’re not entirely dismayed to see Lucas. And Ali looks so cute.

Ugh, the hair. Still way too much product, and that cut is horrific. I prefer short and spiky, but if you want to do the longer look with EJ, you have to change the part and shave some volume off the sides.

Sami looks so pretty in captivity.

“How is this even possible?” Well, there’s this snappy doodad called a webcam that hooks up to your fancy laptop there and transmits voice and audio over the global network that is the Internet. Welcome to 2001.

OH NOES! Poor wittle Nicole…blech. Dena, you can try all you want, but there is no way I am going to sympathize with Nicole, much less emphasize with her. You’ve turned her into Carrie, and I’ve always hated Carrie.

Sheesh, pregnant women sure are emotional. It’s not like your kids are going anywhere.

How long was this? One line? Man, good thing I recorded this. My Ejami history wouldn’t be complete without EJ complaining to Sami about Roman talking to her too much.

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Yup, it’s nuLumi. He’ll be yelling about his shoes soon. Just you wait.

The Killer, may I entice you to shoot Rafe instead of Sami? I have some tasty Christmas cookies with some blood red frosting I think you’d enjoy.

Okay, I see what Days was going for here, but seriously, what works for a long sleeved t-shirt does not necessarily translate into a sweater. Ugh.

Yeah, that’s exactly what the show needs, fantasy time spent on Carrie and her shady doctor.

See, it even has similar electric orange piping! Such an insult to the original top here.

“EJ, I’d attempt to give you some decent advice here, but since I’m off the show so soon anyhow, why should I pretend to care?”

After watching you in action, nuBrady, I hereby dub thee Austin. Now go find Carrie, and go somewhere far, far away from Ejami. Or hook up with Chloe, I’m flexible.

Gotta be careful with those rollover minutes, Carrie.

When I grow up I want to be as beautiful as Sami.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t think this is an appropriate place to watch your old porn vids.

“I’m starting to think EJ will always have feelings for Sami.” Gee, you think? This is like when Hope used to wish that Shelle would get back together. Obvious weak sop to the rooting couple.

Yet another sign this is Zombie Dallas EJ. Even Evil EJ would not make Mary wear this ill-fitting and totally not cute work uniform.

“What, are we just quitting naps?” No, we’re quitting this damn limp dialogue that’s what we’re quitting. Those rumors about it improving were clearly false.
“He misses his mother. That's the problem.” As do you. If only the plot would show it.

Meanwhile, on General Hospital, Jason “Stone Cold” Morgan searches for-oh wait.

Seriously, The Killer, can we keep you? I admit you’re a sad excuse for a sniper, but you seem decent with your handgun, and I’ve found your 15 seconds of screentime more interesting than the rest of the show. What can I say? I like the violence.

Johnny is adorables.


“It can get pretty lonely in this big, old house, can't it?” With the girlfriend you purportedly love living with you who is supposedly carrying your baby? Red flag!
“But guess what. In the next month or two, you are going to have your very own brother or sister to play with.” Just not the one you think.
“How does that sound? Pretty cool?” Very cool.
“You know what else you have to look forward to? This little boy or girl is going to have his very own, or her own, mummy. Someone who's very loving. Very loving and very caring and who's crazy about you, you little lady-killer. She's gonna be a part of our family.” *evil cackle* Ah, you slay me, Zombie Dallas EJ.
“Well, I suppose she already is a part of our family.” If you have to think about it, she never will be.

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Hey, Patrick, can you use your mad mentalist skills and send me into the future for a few minutes?

The future, Carpe?

Yes, all the way to tomorrow, and its one slightly not pointless scene.

Now that I’ve been outfitted with my flying car and silver jumpsuit, let me take a moment to say that while I much prefer Sami to Carrie, the only person I actually want to watch sleep is Evil EJ.

“Whenever I close my eyes, all I can think about is EJ-trying to talk to me, walking away from me…” Show and don’t tell? More like “we’re too incompetent to actually film any of this, so let’s just have some exposition.” Think about how powerful that imagery could have been in a dream sequence, even a very short one. Ah, this Ejami break is so purposeless.

Grade: Back in the present, the verdict is self-evident. F, of course. What’s worse here, the abysmal dialogue, the unbalanced screentime, the ludicrous scene choices, or the out of character actions? You make the call! Moreover the sheer lack of surprise is astounding.

There’s foreshadowing, and there’s paint by numbers. This plot is a grocery list at this point. EJ “involved” with Nicole, check. Nicole lying to him, check. Only a matter of time before this all collapses, check. Show dragging it out forever anyway, check. What I wouldn’t give for something unexpected to happen.

Seriously, don’t waste your time. You’d get more out of a broken Zune at this point. Instead watch some good television (I’d recommend the above three programs if you need suggestions) with actual writers who care about their characters and keep an eye on the spoilers so when Days decides to start not sucking again, you can jump right back in. That’s my plan. But why listen to me when you can listen to Michael Logan of TV Guide, who lists the entire show in The Worst in Soaps 2008 in the January 5-11 2009 issue?