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Wednesday, 1 of March of 2017

Category » DVD Rewatch

Catchin’ Up with Breaking Bad – The Rest of It, Pt 2 (Episodes 3.07-3.13)

I would say my verbosity on the subject of breaking bad knows no bounds but WordPress took care of that for me. The rest of season 3 below:

The Hospital Stretch (3.07-3.09)

Jesse smiles at Hank's fate when Skinny Pete picks him up.

Can Jesse make it through a season without his face getting massacred?


I hate it when Jesse and Walt are in a fight. It felt like after that last episode that they might be on the same page again, after Walt tried to save Jesse and they watched their history crushed into a little wood-paneled cube, but Hank ruined everything by coming down on him with the wrath of the ancients. Hank is not a dude I want beating on my face. Not that I want anyone to beat on my face — I’m just saying those meaty fists would crush me in an instant. As they do to Jesse and he’s carted away on a stretcher. Thus begin the hospital-heavy episodes as karma sweeps its Fujisawa Fist of Justice through the Land of Enchantment.
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Catchin’ Up with Breaking Bad: The Rest of It, Pt 1 (Episodes 2.10 – 3.06)

Jesse debates whether to shoot Gale.

Crybaby.

My original plan was to watch three episodes of the series at a time and then write about what I saw, grouping them together under clever little headings according to what I felt was the story arc for that part of the season. There were inherently two problems with that: (1) the process of watching, stopping, writing, publishing was a little slow and cumbersome and (2) once I got to late season 2, I couldn’t stop. For anything. At some point I managed to get out of the house to get supplies so I didn’t starve but, beyond the trip to Trader Joe’s, Breaking Bad and I spent a good 14 hours together this weekend.

That you people had to wait so long for tonight’s premiere is mind-boggling.

For those of you that’ve watched and are at all interested in my thoughts ongoing throughout the series rewatch, I’ve put them all here in shortened form. For those of you that haven’t watched, what exactly is it that you’re waiting for? Huh? You think someone’s gonna come to your house and put the DVD in for you? Bitch?

Sorry, got a little Jesse there for a second. You should totally watch this show though. Read more »


Catchin’ Up with Breaking Bad – The Cost of Doing Business (Episodes 02.07-02.09)

“I am a blowfish!”

Walt and Jesse relieve themselves facing a New Mexico sunset.

Nothing says love like two dudes whizzing into the sun.

Sadly and inevitably, I’m going to compare this show to Weeds (since Breaking Bad is a clinic in how to turn a mild-mannered person into a kingpin) in every post and I’d rather not start every piece I write by bashing Nancy Botwin. It feels repetitive to me and I’m sure it’s tiresome to you. So I’m going to compare it to Houseinstead.

Obviously, the two men, Walt and House, are not the same kind of character, particularly since Walt is a man of strict discipline and House spends a good portion of his time flouting the sanctity of such a thing. House tends toward entropy, convinced nothing can be achieved without a little bit of chaos, while Walt works best when working through a plan. What the men share are inspired moments by their cast sidekicks. How many times have you seen House, after a conversation with Wilson, do what Walt does in “4 Days Out” after Jesse mentions “battery.” To House, this is a Sherlock Holmes moment, his revelation where the puzzle finally fits together. Breaking Bad is (clearly) less procedural but his supernatural understanding of nature (comparable to House’s) allows him to have what I’ll call a Mr Wizard moment where he cobbles a plan together based on science.

I’m at once pleased to see these moments, disappointed they don’t come up more often, and glad that they are so rare. Walt’s revelation caps a nice arc where Team Heisenberg starts to feel the cost of doing business, not only with the business itself but also in how it affects them personally. And it all starts off with a great cold opening featuring the ballad of our friend Heisenberg and flashed images of Breaking Bad future. Read more »


“Chuck vs The Honeymooners”: One Year Later

Chuck and Sarah answer the door on the train.

I wouldn’t leave the room either.

With the Season 2 premiere of Treme on HBO last night, NBC apparently wanted us to observe one of their own man-made disasters. Instead of using an off-night for the networks to catch people up on recent episodes of Chuck, we’re being subjected to a repeat of what I consider to be the worst episode of the series, one that I malign more often than I call for the dissolution of Huddy, more than I champion Peggy on Mad Men. We call that festering, weeping mess “vs The Honeymooners.”

The episode comes right after a high point of the season as the Shaw storyline comes to a close (or at least a temporary hiatus), Chuck defending Sarah by firing an actual gun as a live human being. “vs The Other Guy” was an inspired episode ending with the event even a non-shipper was happy to see: Chuck and Sarah getting together. A lot of complications were in front of them and they brought a lot of baggage into their relationship but, finally, we had some level of real consummation.

And then there was “vs The Honeymooners.”

Some might think I’ve been too hard on the episode, that it was a necessary romp to let the audience have a breather post-Shaw. Perhaps my expectations for the first episode of an official Chucknsarah were too high. I’m a man willing to learn. So I decided, in honor of NBC deeming this particular episode important enough to show you on a break, that I would take another look, enlightened as I am with the gift of hindsight.

And you know what …

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DVD Rewatch: Mad Men – Season 1

Round and a round, and back home again. To a place where we know we are loved.”

Sexism and wood paneling. Pretty much sums it up.

I gave Mad Men a run back when the first season came out on DVD in 2008, but the show and I weren’t connecting, and I didn’t feel compelled to at least finish the series, a rare occurrence for me. So my rewatch of Mad Men is technically just a rewatch of the first 6 episodes. Everything after episode 6, “Babylon,” was a never-before-watched, and thus brand new. (I kept the term “rewatch” just for the sake of organization.)

My decision to revisit Mad Men was motivated by a number of factors. First and foremost was simply that it had been on my list of things to watch for some time, and to stay at least somewhat up-to-date on “quality” television , and I opted for Mad Men over The Wire (off the air) and Breaking Bad (wrapping up its most recent season). Second was a desire to try and see why I didn’t like the show, despite the fact that it is incredibly well-made. Third was simply to get recaps on the blog in the lead up to the show’s fourth season (which Nick will review).

So, light up that unfiltered cigarette and have your secretary hold your calls. Read more »


True Blood – Season 3 Preparation

Note: This is a retrospective of a television season in preparation for an upcoming season premiere, like one of those “previously seen on” sequences before the show starts (maybe with a bit more snark), basically a reminder to those that have already watched. I warn you: there are spoilers below. If you want to catch up naturally, now is your time to leave and pick up the recorded media of your choice and catch up. Then come back later.

Let’s just get this out there off the bat: I had a huge aversion to True Blood initially. It’s not because I hate vampires. Interview with the Vampire is a favorite book and film of mine. I’m even somewhat interested in the Twilight films. But the huge and rabid fandom of the show was off-putting to me. And I don’t like Anna Paquin. But when it was given to me as a summer assignment for the blog, I put all that aside and actually gave it a try. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Read more »


Chuck – Seasons 1 and 2 Rewatch

Chuck: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray]

Please don’t sit on Tiny Chuck. That would be awkward.

Note: This is a retrospective of a television season in preparation for an upcoming season premiere, like one of those “previously seen on” sequences before the show starts (maybe with a bit more snark), basically a reminder to those that have already watched. I warn you: there are spoilers below. If you want to catch up naturally, now is your time to leave and pick up the recorded media of your choice and catch up. Then come back later.

With Season 3 of Chuck coming our way Sunday, January 10, I thought it would be nice to post a nice Season 1 and 2 (heavy on the 2) retrospective. Now: when you read this, know that I do this out of love. I love Chuck, with all its will-they-or-won’t-they, tough-shell-exterior-grunting, whiny-non-spy-but-kind-of-sort-of-a-spy-at-heart stuff. So I don’t make fun from a place of disdain. I make fun out of love. With that in mind, here are few things you might need to know.

Season 1

Chuck is a dude that works at the Buy More (a green-colored version of Best Buy) at the Nerd Herd desk (think Geek Squad) trying to get his life in order. He’s carved out a simple life for himself with his buddy Morgan and ostensibly still lives with is “parents” Ellie and Devin “Captain Awesome” Woodcomb (his mom ran out years ago as did his father so he and his sister, Ellie, raised each other). One day, and old friend/old nemesis Bryce Larkin sends him an email with ALL THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE WORLD encoded into a video of horrific and adorable imagery (usually not horrific and adorable at the same time). They call this the Intersect (also the name of the computer that is able to crunch all this data which Bryce ‘splodes in the first ten minutes of the first episode). Chuck watches the video and is suddenly able to recall the images when seen and understand the meaning behind them (sees a terrorist at the store, suddenly “flashes” with images of the bomb the terrorist is setting up). The NSA sends their top agent (John Casey) to retrieve the Intersect. CIA does the same (Sarah Walker). They end up becoming his handlers (to protect the Intersect Person until a new Intersect Computer can be built) and Team Chuck is born. They get into all kinds of whacky situations where this “normal” guy is leaned upon to do extraordinary things (for which he occasionally has a natural aptitude). He crushes on Sarah (but it’s Yvonne Strahovski so, gay or straight, who wouldn’t?) and Sarah sends him some vibes back but they don’t do anything about it due to it being “unprofessional” (making their cover of being in a relationship that much more complicated — and horribly frustrating). All Chuck wants to do (besides whine about how his life sucks since he is no longer mediocre) is get the Intersect out of his head and run to the suburbs to have puppies with the out-of-his-league Sarah but the new Intersect needs to be completed for that to happen.

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