Saturday, May 27, 2017

The revival of Twin Peaks doesn't work at all.


Even though I'm someone that likes to watch tv shows and movies, I've always had problems watching stuff that is a bit out there. I've never been that big of a fan of shows or films that try to be weird for the sake of being weird.

As a writer, whenever I have my television on, I tend to watch shows that are fairly simple and that have a relatively straightforward premise. I expect that the stuff that I watch makes enough sense and that it can keep me entertained.  

Nevertheless, a couple of days ago I noticed that a somewhat 'weird' series was being revived on television. David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' was coming back after its 25 year break, so I thought that I should give it a chance and see if it's any good.

Having now seen the first three episodes that have aired, I have to say that the relaunch for 'Twin Peaks' hasn't been worth the wait. The new series hasn't been good and the positive reviews for it seem to be based more or less on hype.

When it comes this new season, the biggest problem with it has to do with how it's written. The screenplays for the first three episodes have been incredibly lacking and haven't had almost anything interesting going on in them.

As fortunate as it is, this new Twin Peaks simply doesn't have coherent storylines that you could follow. The murder storyline and our main character (Kyle MacLachlan) being in some kind of existential limbo doesn't work at all.

As weird as it is, every episode so far has mostly consisted of scenes where almost nothing happens. There's very little dialogue, sounds, action, music or anything in any of these scenes that tend to go on forever.

For example, when it came to the latest episode that aired, the third episode had like fifty-five minutes of static nonsense and only like four minutes of actual story. This is completely ridiculous and totally unacceptable even for a weird show like this.

In comparison, the original series that aired during the early nineties wasn't this much about being weird for the sake of being weird. It wasn't this empty and so utterly lacking in content compared to this revived series.

As far as I can still remember, the original Twin Peaks was about actually having interesting characters and solid storylines. It was about a murder mystery and about who had murdered Laura Palmer in cold blood.

All those fascinating things like the haunting music, the atmosphere, the weird settings, the characters and the mysteries were just the icing on the cake. They were not the only things that mattered in the original series.

In any case, when it comes to this new series, I don't see how I could go much further with it. I don't see how I could see myself watching through all the fifteen remaining episodes that are still going to air and that haven't been shown on tv.

As far as I'm concerned, this revival is pretty big failure based on the first three episodes that have aired. It's hard to imagine how the show could start to get better and how it could start to magically make sense again.

In that sense, if you haven't seen this new season of Twin Peaks yet, I guess you have been warned. As unfortunate as it is, this new season isn't any good and is something that can't really be recommended for almost anyone.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hollywood's so called 'liberals' still don't get it.

Like many others, I wasn't happy at all about last year's presidential election in the U.S. There's almost nothing good or positive to say about what happened during the 2016 election cycle and how things eventually turned out.

I was especially disappointed when it came to the primaries and how Bernie Sanders got cheated out of the nomination for the democrats. It was absolutely pathetic how the 'elites' in the party and the so called 'liberal media' treated him.

Nevertheless, now that Donald Trump has been our new commander in chief for about four months, things have changed at least a bit. There are certain things that have given me hope and that make me feel optimistic about the future.

For example, senator Sanders who got cheated during the democratic primaries, hasn't given up and hasn't taken a step back. He hasn't given up his fight for a better and a more fair America for the poor and for the middle class.

On the contrary, Bernie, who has been touring the country, now has actually become the most popular politician in the country. He has a +24 favorability rating, which is huge compared to president Trump (-15) and Hillary Clinton (-20).

Not only has Sanders become even more popular, his ideas and his platform have become more popular too. His fight for single payer health care system has become so popular that even the majority of republicans are now for it.

Yet, it seems that there's one faction in the U.S. that hasn't learned anything about the election and its aftermath. The elites of the democratic party and the liberal media still don't have a clue about what's going on.

Instead of taking a good look in the mirror and trying to change the party's direction, all the democratic establishment now talks about is Russia. Whether we're talking about Bill Maher, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah or Rachel Maddow, it's all Russia 24/7.

According to them, Russia 'hacked' the election and made Clinton lose against Trump in swing states. It was the Russian influence that cost her the presidency and that Hillary's own scandals had absolutely nothing to do with how things turned out.

The only problem with this kind of rhetoric and propaganda is that it's simply not true. Whether we're talking about wikileaks or internet trolling, there's no evidence that Russia itself managed to have any kind of influence on the election.

I mean, when it comes to Trump's connections to Russia, it's probably true that he has some shady business dealings with them. These dealings that might have to do with money laundering, are probably why he fired FBI's director James Comey last week.

Still, these 'connections' have likely nothing to do with how the presidential election turned out. These murky Russian deals don't explain why the electorate decided that it was time for an outsider and why the swing states voters rejected Hillary Clinton.

In reality, the real reason that Trump won the election against secretary Clinton was that she stood for absolutely nothing. Her campaign was simply based on protecting the establishment and not changing the status quo at all.

As unfortunate as it is, Hillary and the rest of the elites lost because they didn't pay attention to the problems of the poor and the middle class. They didn't have any kind of respect for the ordinary people who are not well off and are suffering.

For her and her establishment supporters, the election was more or less a vanity run and an attempt to show how precious and wonderful the establishment is. It was about showing how they are better than the rest of us peasants.

In that sense, everytime that I turn on shows like Real Time with Bill Maher or Rachel Maddow's program on MSNBC, I can only roll my eyes. I can only laugh and feel pity when I look at their condescension for us 'purists' that didn't support their Queen.

For them, the problems with the country don't have to do with the democractic party or how deeply corrupt and bought the politicians are. None of their problems are the kinds of things that actually matter to us normal people.

For them, the only 'real' problems that exist have to do with Trump, third party voters and Russia. None of the problems that they acknowledge have to do with healthcare, education, Wall Street cronies, fracking, jobs or minimum wage increases.

In that sense, when it comes changing direction in the country, most of these media elites and career politicians don't have a clue about what the problems in the country are. They don't care because they aren't connected to reality anymore.

In the end, when it comes to this whole thing, we can only hope that honest politicians like Bernie Sanders and his progressive supporters manage to bring some change in the system. We can only hope their efforts start to pay dividends at some point.

After all, the truth is that there are so many major problems with the political system and how policies are being implemented. These are the issues that need to be addressed, before things can finally start to get better.

Unfortunately for us, as long as these liberal sellouts stay in denial, the country and its citizens will continue to suffer. Things in congress won't get any better and progressive legislation has no chance of getting passed in the house and the senate.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How good has Prison Break's 5th season been?

Like many others, I was a pretty big fan of the series 'Prison Break' when it aired ten or so years ago. I used to love watching Wentworth Miller's main protagonist doing his best to get himself and his brother out of the prison.

During the show's later seasons, it's true that the series started to run out of organic ideas and started to get implausible. Especially when it came to its 4th season, it was a bit hard to get interested in our characters anymore. 

So in that sense, I was a bit surprised when I noticed that Prison Break was being revived as a limited series. I was a bit puzzled about getting the show back, especially knowing what had originally happened in the series finale.

In any case, having now seen the first six episodes of 'Prison Break: Resurrection' that have aired, I have to say that the relaunch has been a bit of a mixed bag. The series definitely hasn't been as good it was during its first, or its first two seasons.

By that I mean that there have been quite a few moments that haven't made enough sense or that haven't been well made. Many of the moments during the first episodes have felt forced and have felt like the writers didn't think things through first.

For example, when it comes to stuff not making sense, there's no way that Dominic Purcell's character and his companions would have been able to fly to Jemen to help Michael Scofield (Miller). There's no way this would actually be possible in real life.  

Moments like Theodore Bagwell getting a new mechanical arm have felt too convenient too. It's a bit too much to ask that our favorite anti-hero would magically get rid of his handicap that he got from the initial series.

Also, like probably many others, I haven't been a big fan of the Dr. Sara stuff. The twists and turns where we have been guessing whether Dr. Tancredi's new husband is one of the villains haven't been interesting.

Still, having said all these things, it can't be denied that the best part of the series has had to do with Wentworth Miller's character. He, as a man with a plan - who always finds ways to get himself out of trouble, is why we watch the show

At least in my opinion, Miller's protagonist is the most likable character on television. He is what makes 'Prison Break' so inherently watchable and what makes millions of us root for him and for his plight every week.

His incredible likability is why the latest episode that aired this week was so watchable. It was so utterly entertaining to watch Scofield being alone in the middle of the desert trying to come up with solutions to his problems.

Situations and moments like these - at least in my case - make me forget that this new season hasn't exactly been that well written or that plausible. All those moments where his character gets to use his genius mind make me overlook the show's flaws.

In that sense, knowing that there are still three more episodes that are about to air, we can only hope that there's going to be as much stuff as possible about Miller's character and that the series is going to keep its focus on him.

As far as I'm concerned, the more the show focuses on him, the better 'Prison Break: Resurrection' works. The more we get plotlines about Scofield figuring how to get out of harm's way, the better that is for all of us in the audience.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Don't end scenes with jokes that don't fit in.

One of the things that bothers me about comedy shows is that too many of them try way too hard to be funny. Too many of them try to make you laugh even when there's no need for that and when the situation doesn't warrant comedy.

As unfortunate as it is, a lot of producers seem to think that no matter what the situation is, you always need to have jokes. Regardless of whether they make sense or fit in, these jokes have to be in there anyway.

For example, yesterday I watched an episode of HBO's comedy series 'Silicon Valley'. This episode S4E02, 'Terms of Service', had a lot of things in it that made me scratch my head and made me wonder what the writers were thinking.

By that I mean that the episode had moments in it, where it was clear that the scenes and how they were wrapped didn't make sense. It was clear that the writers were cramming in 'funny' stuff just for the sake of it and without thinking things through first.

For instance, when Stephen Tobolowsky's character started to get serious about what to do with the company, it felt like the episode was going somewhere and had a purpose. We in the audience started to get interested in what was going on.

After all, 'Silicon Valley's' problem as a series has been that it has felt too much like a sketch show instead of a series that you could believe in. In too many cases it has been difficult to believe in the characters and the storylines on the show.

So for once we had a scene and a moment where it felt like something might actually happen and that the stuff would make sense. It was exciting to see Tobolowsky's character start talking about the 'middle-out' idea and how it would help the company.

Yet, when the scene reached its conclusion, the attention was diverted from the idea to a weird joke about Matt Ross's character wearing a wig. The writers simply moved on to stuff that made no sense, which took the energy out of the scene.

Later on in the episode, things didn't really get any better when it came to these jokes. At least in my opinion, things got even worse when it came to 'buttoning' scenes with stuff that didn't fit in and that came out of nowhere.

Especially when it came to the Indian looking guy making a fool of himself and dropping those sauces in the cafeteria, you just had to facepalm in embarrassment. It was so obvious that the writers had no clue what they were doing.

As a whole, all these things happened because the writers either didn't believe in their characters and storylines enough, or because they were too confident about their ideas and thought that it wasn't possible to make mistakes with these scenes.

Unfortunately for them, these scenes stuck out like a sore thumb to the audience. They were so easy to spot, that any reasonable person who was paying attention to the episode was probably able to pick them up without any effort.

In the end, when it comes to unnecessary jokes like these, I'm not saying that this is just a problem for a show like Silicon Valley. Having scenes that end with horrible jokes is not something that only this series does all the time.

On the contrary, this kind of writing can frequently be found on other shows too. Popular sitcoms like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory have also been guilty of making these kinds of amateurish mistakes lately.

In that sense, I just wish that writers for comedy shows in general would take their jobs a little bit more seriously. I just wish that they would respect us in the audience a little bit more than they're currently doing.

As far as I'm concerned, all these needless jokes only hurt these sitcoms. These awful 'jokes' make these shows worse and make us in the audience feel that our needs aren't being met when it comes to getting quality entertainment.