“Monkey Slut!”

[Contains a pile of dead fridges and SPOILERS!!!]

Lauren Socha as ‘Kelly Bailey’ in “Misfits” (S2)Despite several good-to-great episodes, some very clever story ideas, brilliant performances from the cast, and a ton of hilarious jokes, the second season of Misfits (2010) is where the show’s limitations start to become more obvious, with the characters bouncing around an insular little bubble of reality, disconnected from the wider world. For example, in ep #2.4, the gang encounter a man who’s become convinced that he’s living inside a Grand Theft Auto-esque video game, and drives around in a cherry-red sports-car, firing off guns and running down grannies, leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake… and yet it seems as if the show’s heroes are the only ones who’ve noticed this menace, because the police are nowhere to be seen on the estate, despite the fact that this careless crime-spree lasts for several days, at the very least. I mean, if this is a result of the same storm that we saw in the first episode, then that means he’s been tooling around in that same altered-state (off-screen) for the length of the entire first series!

Lauren Socha as ‘Kelly Bailey’ in “Misfits” (S2)Likewise, when a faithless vicar ditches his dog-collar in ep #2.7, and starts buying traded powers so that he can become a counterfeit-Christ and attract a flock of groupies with his water-walking antics, no one outside of the community centre’s immediate vicinity seems to take any notice of his flashy “miracles”! In most countries, the face of Jesus appearing on a piece of toast is big news… but apparently a dude claiming to be the second coming and teleporting around at will isn’t worth the video-tape or newspaper ink!? The longer the show went on, the less sense it made that the rest of the country could or would just turn a blind eye to what was going on in Wertham, with super-powered freaks crawling out of the woodwork on a weekly basis to f*ck shit up. Even when the gang were finally outed in ep #2.6, ‘Curtis’ (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) just reversed time at the end of the episode so that they could take out the one super-freak who’d managed to attract and sustain the general public’s attention, thus allowing them to return to their implausible anonymity. GAH!!! Much as I enjoy Misfits, I can’t help thinking this concept would have worked much better as a comic book, unconstrained by the sort of budgetary concerns and “square one” story-resetting that an ongoing TV series has to deal with.

Lauren Socha as ‘Kelly Bailey’ in “Misfits” (S2)As a card-carrying Kelly-crusher, I was also annoyed by how harshly her character’s disrespected here, with several characters commenting on how (comparatively) unattractive she supposedly is… a scurrilous slur that’s reinforced by the rather cruel crack that the only man who fancies her on-sight this series turns out to be an escaped gorilla who’s magickally taken on human form! That’s not only insulting to the character, but also ruined what could have been a decent tragic-romance storyline for Lauren Socha. I mean, maybe if he’d turned into a more convincing gorilla after he was gunned down by the police, with expressive features aided by top-notch CGI animation, it might have been quite moving… but his face-mask was so rubbery and fake here, that it really undercut Kelly’s big emotional scene. Feh!

Lauren Socha as ‘Kelly Bailey’ in “Misfits” (S2)Then, of course, there’s the “Christmas Special”, in which the characters all decided to sell their powers to a mysterious broker for quick cash, only to realise their error after a potentially-preventable tragedy, and then rush to buy them back again! Of course, it wasn’t that easy, because the laws of supply-and-demand were against them… but when they do eventually acquire enough cash to power-up again, Kelly floats the idea of them all getting different abilities from the character-specific ones they were previously blessed/cursed with… which, imho, is where the show really jumped the shark (or “shat its coffin”, if you will). Fun fact: When I first watched this series back in the day, I was convinced that ‘Nathan’ (Robert Sheehan) was going to turn out to be a werewolf, because of the shadowy canine that follows him in the opening titles… but after all these years, I’ve finally been clued in by the show’s wiki contributors, who point out that in English folklore a big black dog was often regarded as a portent of death. So, his healing powers had nothing to do with being a lycanthrope after all… he was just plain old immortal!

Ruth Negga as ‘Nikki’ in “Misfits” (S2)Anyhoo, enough of my grumbling… and onto the laundry list of supporting actresses: Evelyn Hoskins appeared in ep #2.1 as ‘Lucy’, a shape-shifting stalker ‘Simon’ (Rheon) met while undergoing psychiatric assessment. Meanwhile, the unfortunate Alex Reid returned to play ‘Sally’s frozen corpse-ical… which can’t have been much fun for her, can it? Ruth Negga made her debut as ‘Nikki’ in ep #2.2, appearing first in a confusing flash-forward that Nathan has when his powers are reversed, and then encountering the gang in the present, when they break into her flat in pursuit of the mysterious Super-Hoodie! Her character recurred throughout the second series, until her death-by-gunshot in the finale… which was rather a bummer, because she was a very welcome addition, and they’d spent so long setting up a pretty awesome origin story for her. Of course, since then Negga’s moved on to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a superhero show with far less swearing, shagging, and cigarette-smoking… but where’s the fun in that? The same episode also featured Catrin Stewart as ‘Lily’, a cute bar-worker who could freeze stuff with her fingers, and died in an exploding car shortly after befriending the gang. Poor thing. Her ghost seems happy enough when Nathan sees her later on, but still… she went too soon, dammit! And Sydney White (aka Sydney Rae White) appeared as ‘Tanya’ a punky club-goer who becomes fascinated with Simon after his invisibility power is reversed.

Gwyneth Keyworth as ‘Marnie’ in “Misfits” (S2)Susy Kane appeared in ep #2.3 as a news presenter in a future video clip that ‘Alisha’ (Antonia Thomas) watches on Super-Hoodie’s computer, after tracking him back to his lair, and discovering that he’s actually a time-travelling Simon! Zawe Ashton appeared in ep #2.5 as ‘Jessica’, a charitable fun-run organiser with a psychotically over-protective father and a cute crush on Simon. Although the two of them “deflower” each other in a cupboard at the community centre, Jessica breaks up with Simon after the truth about her father’s crimes comes to light… as seen in a short “webisode” elsewhere on the DVD! Anna Wilson-Jones appeared in ep #2.6 as ‘Laura’, a manager/agent-type who offers to represent the gang after their money-grabbing probation worker sells them out to the press… while Natalie Klamar appeared as ‘Daisy’, a lovely lady with healing powers who unwittingly steals their spotlight. Finally, Gwyneth Keyworth appeared in ep #2.7 as ‘Marnie’, a pregnant girl with an adorable grin, who forms an instant shag-happy bond with Nathan. Bless. Keyworth also cropped up in the most recent season of Game of Thrones, playing ‘Clea’, the cynical prostitute that ‘Tyrion’ (Peter Dinklage) befriends in a Volantis brothel. (ep #5.3)

Posted in Action shows, Comedy shows, Crime shows, Drama shows, Horror shows, Rants about TV, Sci-fi shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bending Over for Destiny

[Contains a selection of antique clocks and SPOILERS!!!]

Caroline Dhavernas as ‘Jaye Tyler’ in “Wonderfalls” (S1)I can’t help feeling sorry for Bryan Fuller sometimes… I mean, he’s enjoyed more professional success than I ever will, but it seems like every time he manages to get a new show on the air everyone just starts counting down under their breath to its inevitable cancellation! Speaking of which, just a couple days after I admitted I was hooked on Hannibal, NBC sadistically dropped the axe on it, and Fuller slouched off to start work on his next project.* He’s like the Littlest Hobo of showrunners… down the road is where he’ll always be…

But where was he in 2004? Why, working on Wonderfalls, of course! This quirky comedy-drama starred Caroline Dhavernas as ‘Jaye Tyler’, an Ivy-league-graduate turned tourist-trap-sales-clerk who has a near-death experience near the “wishing well” outside her workplace, and starts receiving oblique prompts from the universe to help people in need, via various stuffed animals and cartoon mascots! Personally, I found this premise pretty charming for the first few episodes, but it really started to chafe as the season wore on… mostly because the “messages” that Jaye received were often unnecessarily obtuse, suggesting that the writers simply needed to jerk Jaye (and the audience) around for a while so that their episode would reach the required running time, even if that meant the script creaked with contrivance and chicanery, rather than puckish ingenuity.

Caroline Dhavernas as ‘Jaye Tyler’ in “Wonderfalls” (S1)I think the show worked best when Jaye was given a direct instruction (such as spitting her chewing gum out on a hospital corridor floor), which then set off an unforeseeable chain of events resulting in a positive progression or “happy ending” for multiple people. When the animals simply told her to “Save him from her!”, without specifying (or even hinting) who either party might be, it just led to an increasingly irritating series of misunderstandings and misfires, that had my finger hovering over the fast-forward button. Sadly, this intentional vagueness also had the knock-on effect of hobbling the central romance between Jaye and her unhappily-married man-candy ‘Eric’ (Tyron Leitso)… though his whole estrangement from a newly-wed wife was pretty problematic to begin with, and seemed like yet another needless complication in their star-crossed romance… as if her belief that God and/or Satan was talking to her through inanimate objects wasn’t enough of an obstacle already!

One thing you can always say in Fuller’s favour – even when the vast majority of the American viewing public are cruelly indifferent to his work – is that he always manages to attract a top-notch cast to flesh out his characters! Although Jaye could be a little dickish at times, Dhavernas made for a very amusing, adaptable, and appealing lead actress… especially when she deployed that irresistible smile of hers! And she was ably supported by Katie Finneran as Jaye’s uptight elder sister ‘Sharon’, Lee Pace as her philosophical slacker brother ‘Aaron’, William Sadler as their fogey-ish father ‘Darrin’, Diana Scarwid as their waspy mother ‘Karen’… plus Tracie Thoms as Jaye’s bolshy BFF, ‘Mahandra’! They all played their parts to perfection, and a lot of my favourite scenes from the series involved two or more family members just hanging out and bantering/bickering together!

Sarah Drew as ‘Bianca Knowles’ and Caroline Dhavernas as ‘Jaye Tyler’ in “Wonderfalls” (S1)The episodic cast was equally stacked with talent: Kari Matchett debuted in ep #1.1 as ‘Beth’, a woman Sharon starts dating after Jaye tries to set her up on a blind-date with Beth’s ex-husband! She then recurs in two more episodes, as Sharon tries to hide their relationship (and her sexuality) from her family. (#1.4/9) Meanwhile, Kathryn Greenwood appeared as ‘Ronnie”, a rude customer who complains about a misshapen wax lion she’s received from a vending machine in Jaye’s store, which then becomes our heroine’s first muse… and Chelan Simmons made her first appearance as Jaye’s girly frenemy ‘Gretchen Speck-Horowitz’, but I’ve already raved about her in a previous post. Sarah Drew appeared in ep #1.3 as ‘Bianca Knowles’ (aka “Binky”), an insecure identity thief who tries to “Single White Female” Jaye.* Carrie Preston appeared in ep #1.4 as ‘Sister Katrina’, a cheese-obsessed nun who’d lost her faith, and taken to living in Eric’s bar. Audrey Wasilewski appeared in ep #1.5 as ‘Yvette’, the Tyler family’s beloved French-Canadian housekeeper, who turns out to be an illegal immigrant… while Joan Gregson played her emotionally/geographically distant mother ‘Helen’. Beth Grant appeared in ep #1.6 as ‘Marianne Marie Beattle’, a muffin-bakin’ neighbour of Jaye’s who would later crossover into an episode of Pushing Daisies! Rue McClanahan appeared in ep #1.6 as ‘Millie Marcus’, a local legend who claims to be the first American woman to travel over Niagara Falls in a barrel (and live!)… even though it was actually the far-less-fame-hungry ‘Vivian Caldwell’ (Louise Fletcher) who really took the tumble.

Kellie Waymire as ‘Penelope’ in “Wonderfalls” (S1)Magdalena Alexander appeared in ep #1.8 as ‘Katya’, a lovesick Russian “mail-order bride” who was wooed over the internet by a precocious 13-year-old boy (Spencer Breslin). The late Kellie Waymire made her final professional appearance in ep #1.9 as ‘Penelope’, a super-cute ornithologist at the local zoo, who gets demoted and then loses her job altogether thanks to Jaye’s meddling. This episode also saw the debut of Jewel Staite as Eric’s cheating wife ‘Heidi’, who made for a very implausible and unsuccessful love rival, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever (besides looking like Jewel Staite, I mean). Meh. She returned for three more episodes (#1.10-11/13), but there was really nothing keeping her and Eric together, beyond his misplaced sense of duty, and the writers’ desire to screw with Jaye (and the audience) some more! Patricia Zentilli appeared in ep #1.12 as ‘Angie Olsen’, a crazy lady looking to frame Jaye for the murder of their therapist (as well as the “dirty protest” left in his desk drawer). Finally, Alex Rice appeared in ep #1.12 as ‘Deanna Littlefoot’, a hard-ass lawyer riding roughshod over the residents of a local reservation, while Kyra Harper played ‘Gentlefeather’, the spirit of a recently-deceased seer trying to temper Deanna’s dictatorial attitude.

Katie Finneran as ‘Sharon Tyler’ in “Wonderfalls” (S1)Verdict: Despite my frustrations , I found Wonderfalls quite enjoyable, and even got a little teary now and again… so I’m glad I watched it all the way through, but it’s not a series I feel any desire to own and relive on DVD.

———–

* A TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel  American Gods… which I haven’t read, but Gaiman’s work is never less than awesome, so it could be a pretty great show… while it lasts…

** The resolution to this story was especially disappointing, as throughout the episode Jaye was instructed to help Binky find her “voice” as a journalist, but then ended up writing the pivotal magazine article by herself without any reference to Binky’s notes… so how was that Binky’s voice, exactly? Tch!

Posted in Comedy shows, Crime shows, Fantasy shows, Rants about TV, Romance shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Let’s Make Babies!”

Paloma Faith @ Glastonbury Festival 2015Last night I caught Paloma Faith’s Glastonbury set on BBC4, and thought she sounded fantastic… while also looking super-foxy in her stage outfit, as you can see! She seemed to be enjoying herself too, shaking her booty and jiving across the stage with her back-up singers.

It’s always great to hear Faith belting out her own tracks, of course, but the highlight of the show for me had to be her cover version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”! In the introduction Faith claimed that she’d been listening to the song a lot recently as inspiration for her next album… and I know she was only joking, but I’d love to see her put out a harder/heavier record sometime, because she really rocked this tune!

If nothing else, this show reminded me that I should make more of an effort to tune-in whenever Faith appears on TV… she’s easily the most entertaining and adorable pop-star we have.

Posted in Jazz music, Musical shows, Rants about Music, Rants about TV, Rock music | Tagged , | Leave a comment

(Capelli Rossi e Piccole Corna)

Lucy from “Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil”Trawling through the “refurbished” DVDs in my local Poundland, I chanced upon a copy of Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil (2007)… which I would’ve happily picked up for the title alone, but I also knew that the show shared a significant amount of creative DNA with Bob’s Burgers, which made it a must-buy in my book!

First the premise: This computer-animated comedy centres on the relationship between the eponymous Anti-Christ – a 21-year-old art student/slacker living in San Francisco – and her father The Devil, who keeps interfering in her life by setting her up on blind-dates with powerful politicos who could help her fulfil her infernal destiny, and siccing hell-hounds on boyfriends he considers unsuitable… such as a rather familiar-looking D.J./street-magician/escapologist named “Jesus”. Meanwhile, a pair of “Special Fathers” and a psychotic “Special Sister” are on a Vatican-approved quest to identify and destroy Lucy, using ancient religious artefacts and high-powered modern weaponry. Uh-oh!

Lucy from “Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil”As for the connections to Bob’s Burgers: The show was created/written/produced by Loren Bouchard, who serves much the same function on BB’s… some episodes were also co-written by Holly Schlesinger who went on to work as a writer/co-producer on BB’s… ‘The Devil’, ‘Special Father #1’, and various other characters were voiced by H. Jon Benjamin (aka ‘Bob’ in BB’s), who also received a consultant credit for the series… ‘Special Sister Mary’ was voiced by Eugene Mirman, who voices ‘Gene’ in BB’s… ‘Lucy’ and The Devil’s assistant/advocate ‘Becky’ were voiced by Melissa Bardin Galsky*, who went on to provide various character voices in BB’s, while also working as a “production co-ordinator” for several episodes… and the story-specific title sequences (as well as various in-episode special FX) were hand-crafted by Nora Smith, who is now a writer/story editor/producer on BB’s!

Lucy from “Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil”Of course, the tone of LtDotD is a lot darker than BB’s, with bleeped-out swearing, bloody violence, and horrific imagery… and the animation/artwork seems a lot cheaper/cruder here… but I think the two shows are still recognisable as relatives, with a similar sense of humour (albeit taken to a more irreverent and profane extreme in LtDotD). As a fan of Satanic horror flicks, I found this show very funny, and I enjoyed all the references and parodies… but I’m also kinda glad it got cancelled, so that Bouchard & Co. could move on to bringing the Belcher family to life…

———–

* In the pilot ‘Lucy’ was voiced by Jessi Klein, who has since gone on to write for Samantha Who?, Michael & Michael Have Issues., Kroll Show (S1), and is now head writer and executive producer for Inside Amy Schumer!

Posted in Action shows, Animated shows, Comedy shows, Horror shows, Musical shows, Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Whom the Custard Bell Tolls

Riki Lindhome as ‘Beatrice Bellacourt’ and Natasha Leggero as ‘Lillian Bellacourt’ in “Another Period” (S1)At one time or another I’m sure we’ve all wondered what would happen if someone smooshed The Real Housewives of Wherever together with Upstairs Downstairs… right? Well, wonder no longer, dear reader, because Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome have kindly provided us with the answer to that weighty conundrum! Another Period, which debuted on Comedy Central this week, is a period reality-show parody, starring Leggero and Lindhome as spoiled-rotten sisters belonging to a ridiculously-rich family in Newport, Rhode Island. All of the characters, from the lowliest servants to the snobbiest nobs, seem to be harbouring dark soapy secrets and/or long-simmering grudges, and the pilot is stuffed with secret affairs, incestuous snogging, homoerotic bathing, old-timey drug abuse, casual class-based bullying, random stabbings, and hysterical screaming. Fun! This show’s probably not for everyone, because a lot of the jokes were quite distasteful, while others were just plain silly… but it really hit the sweet-spot for me, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season has to offer.

Christina Hendricks as ‘Chair’ in “Another Period” (S1)Aside from a fun premise and hilarious scripts, the show also boasts an all-star cast, with Paget Brewster and David Koechner playing the leads’ pampering parents, Artemis Pebdani as their resentful “asymmetrical” sister, Michael Ian Black as a pompous head-butler, Beth Dover as an unstable housemaid, and Christina Hendricks as a cynical new addition to the staff. According to an interview with Leggero and Lindhome at Co.Create, all of the characters were written with their eventual actors in mind, and Hendricks is a particularly interesting choice because she really commits to her role as a serious and sane outsider/observer stranded in a sea of madness… which just makes everyone else’s childish nonsense even funnier!

Guest stars in the pilot episode included Thomas Lennon as the posturing ‘Marquis de Sainsbury’, Kate Flannery as ‘Annie Sullivan’, and Shoshannah Stern as ‘Helen Keller’. Normally, I might disapprove of misrepresenting real-life historical figures in such a disrespectful way… especially when they’re as admirable and blameless as Sullivan and Keller were… but I was laughing so hard at the “cocaine-wine”-fuelled carnage that I forgot to frown! Oops.

Posted in Comedy shows, Crime shows, Historical shows, Rants about TV, Reality shows, Romance shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fifty-One Shades of Fave…

Ali Wong circa 2015I was idly Googling t’other day, when I stumbled on a recent Buzzfeed article in which 51 TV writers were asked to identify a favourite line/scene/episode from their previous productions. Highlights include a sweet anecdote from Chris Carter about meeting a young X-Files fan on holiday in Hawaii, Bryan Fuller explaining why working on the Pushing Daisies “pie-lette” was probably his most enjoyable job to date, Ali Wong’s glee at being able to channel her own mother’s pop-culture confusion into an episode of Fresh Off the Boat, and Natasha Leggero confessing how nervous she was about having to improv with Tom Lennon on Reno 911.

The lowlight is undoubtedly Michael Patrick King singling out the two-part finale of Sex and the City as something of which he is still “very proud”. WTF!? It’s bad enough that such an idiotic, jingoistic, Euro-phobic piece of dreck ever got made/aired in the first place… but to actively brag about it years later like it’s some sort of cheer-worthy achievement!? GAH!!!

Posted in Action shows, Comedy shows, Crime shows, Drama shows, Horror shows, Musical shows, Rants about TV, Romance shows, Sci-fi shows | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Kind of Crazy 1: Abby-Normal

[Contains hard-core food pron and SPOILERS!!!]

Caroline Dhavernas as 'Dr. Alana Bloom' in "Hannibal" (S1)I’ve already mentioned one of my reasons for being wary of the Hannibal TV series, but I was also a little put off by the male-dominated cast… so kudos to showrunner Bryan Fuller for gender-swapping a couple characters from the novel on which this show was loosely based (Red Dragon by Thomas Harris), to help balance things out a little. First up was psychology professor ‘Dr. Alana Bloom’ (Caroline Dhavernas), who in a lesser show might have simply been a “love interest” for the show’s hero, FBI consultant ‘Will Graham’ (Hugh Dancy), but here retains her autonomy and “professional distance” from a man she diagnoses as too unstable for any kind of healthy relationship. She also gets some fantastically feisty scenes arguing with Graham’s boss, Special Agent-in-Charge ‘Jack Crawford’ (Laurence Fishburne)… though obviously she does lose some points for being so chummy with her former mentor, ‘Dr. Hannibal Lecter’ (Mads Mikkelsen), and not spotting him for the creepy cannibalistic serial-killer he really is. Stop eating his food, woman! It’s people!! IT’S PEOPLE!!! That disappointing lapse aside, Alana’s a great character, and Dhavernas is very winning in the role, so I’m glad Fuller kept her details in his address-book after Wonderfalls went down the tubes. Next up was ‘Fredricka “Freddie” Lounds’ (Lara Jean Chorostecki), an unscrupulous crime “journalist” with a prominent website, who cheerfully defames Graham and compromises several investigations, much to Crawford’s consternation… which made her quite a fun antagonist, even if she exhibited similarly poor judgement when it came to spotting the saner of two crazies (eps #1.2-3/6/9/11-12).

Kacey Rohl as 'Abigail Hobbs' in "Hannibal" (S1)Meanwhile, there was also a high calibre of actresses in supporting roles: Kacey Rohl appeared throughout the season (eps #1.1-4/7/9/12-13) as ‘Abigail Hobbs’, the distraught daughter of a cannibal/killer who used her to bait his victims, as a way of saving her own skin (and other vital organs). I enjoyed Rohl’s comedic turn in Working the Engels, but here she gets to go a lot darker and deeper, and I was very impressed by her performance. At this point her character is “missing presumed murdered”, but I notice she’s credited for a couple future episodes, so I’m guessing she returns in the form of a ghost/vision? Gillian Anderson appeared in five episodes (#1.7-8/11-13), as Lecter’s personal therapist of choice, ‘Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier’… and it was great to see her again, playing such a smart and sophisticated character… but I couldn’t help wondering how long it would’ve taken Agent Scully to spot her patient for the monster he really is! Of course, in her case, he probably would have been a literal monster, with stretchy limbs and funny eyes or something, so it probably isn’t a fair comparison.

Anna Chlumsky as 'Miriam Lass' in "Hannibal" (S1)Anna Chlumsky appeared in several black-and-white flashbacks (eps #1.6-7) as ‘Miriam Lass’, an FBI agent-in-training, who Crawford “lost” to the Chesapeake Ripper (aka Lecter), back in the day. What a waste! Of all the characters we met this season, she came the closest to uncovering the eponymous psychopath’s secret identity… though ultimately she didn’t live long enough to share her insight with anyone (as far as we know…). Ellen Muth appeared in 2 eps (#1.10/12) as ‘Georgia Madchen’, a young woman afflicted with the delusion that she’s already dead, as well as an inability to see human faces as anything more than a vague blur… which, again, is rather pesky since she actually caught Lecter red-handed at one point, but then confused him with Graham! Gah! I’d been looking forward to Muth’s cameo since the start of the season, but then (ironically?) I didn’t recognise her when she first appeared on-screen! In my defence, she was lurking in the shadows and wearing heavy “zombie” make-up… so it was only the name that tipped me off, after I made the connection between her character here, and the one she played in Dead Like Me. Gretchen looked a lot better (i.e., more human) in her second episode, after she’d had the chance to heal/clean herself up… but sadly, Lecter couldn’t risk leaving her alive, so she ended up as a crispy-cooked corpse. Boo!

Ellen Greene as 'Mrs. Komeda' in "Hannibal" (S1)Gina Torres also appeared in a couple episodes (#1.4-5) as Crawford’s terminally-ill wife “Bella”, whose medical condition was (literally) sniffed out by Lecter… though Crawford also figured it out for himself, after handling a conveniently corresponding case. Finally, Molly Shannon appeared in ep #1.4 as a maternal ‘Kidnapper’, who acted as a Fagin-like figure to a gang of runaway boys, encouraging them to kill their own birth-families to prove their love/loyalty to her… and Ellen Greene appeared in ep #1.7 as ‘Mrs. Komeda’, an out-of-town friend of Lecter’s, who harangued him into throwing an extravagant dinner party, and inadvertently spurred him to commit a series of murders in order to gather fresh ingredients! Eep. Oh, and Hettienne Park had a regular role as gabby Special Agent ‘Beverly Katz’, but frankly I found all of those CSI bods rather annoying, so… meh…

Verdict: Generally speaking, I prefer supernatural horrors to gory slashers, but Fuller brought enough macabre humour and surreal imagery to the table to make all the blood-and-guts much easier to swallow. Overall, I ended up enjoying this season far more than I expected to, and am eager to crack on with the next “course”…

Posted in Crime shows, Drama shows, Fantasy shows, Horror shows, Rants about TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment