The New Chicken Takeaway

American Horror Story Freakshow: Bullseye (Episode 6 Recap & Review)

It seems the direction has taken a turn and decided to stop being confusing because this week’s plot is as straight forward as it gets. Which is good, because it was actually my favourite episode so far in this year’s Story.

This time around, we are shot back into the singular, non-ambiguous reality. Seemingly, it is the latter fate of the twins from the previous episode that has occurred. Although instead of thinking it a dreadful spot, Bette is loving the attention and Dot actually sees a positive light in her captivity with the man-child Dandy (in terms of monetary gain and eventual surgical escape from her twin). Dandy too finds himself in an ideal position as his mental state (a byproduct of his family’s history of inbreeding) feels matched with both Bette and Dot’s congenital predicament – and thus spirals him into the realms of love.

Back at home base, the troupe lavish Elsa with gifts as it is her birthday week, only to bring the mood down with their long faces as they carry long their saudade for the twins. Elsa’s ruse du jour is that the girls, ungrateful as they were, slid away during their shopping trip. I suppose I’ve been playing the role of viewer so keenly to be out of touch with what the troupe may feel – I straight up don’t trust Elsa but the troupe seem to. They’ve had history – one where Elsa plays the part of saviour from their non-freak show life, I grant them that. Perhaps they’re caught up in their second-classness, in both the societal and freak show act spheres, that Elsa’s illusions of grandeur just seem both prophetic and godly.

In Scooby Doo land, the dynamic duo plot at grabbing their first freak sample – much to Mystic Mag’s chagrin as she too has found herself in the realms of love, more specifically, with Jimmy oh-so-Darling. Denis O’Hare insists on the impossible, wanting the twins lured away when they aren’t even there. (Again, were the pink cupcakes a scene from a parallel universe? Or was it a glimpse of the future? The confusion from last week is echoing, still.) As consolation, he asks for Jimmy’s hands – not going to happen. Mystic Mag, instead, offers a smaller, more passive option. Ma Petite. In full American Horror Story Freakshow fashion, we are presented two alternate versions of Ma Petite’s kidnapping and embalming – neither of which actually occurred as we see in the gleaming end where Mystic Mag emerges as one with the troupe.

Simmering in the back is Elsa and Paul’s unassuming and very much illicit affair. Realms of love, this was definitely not – but as the meme goes: don’t care, had sex. Similarly on the down low is Paul’s actual love affair with Nurse Laverne (admittedly, I don’t know her name) of first episode gangbang fame. With Elsa being the unreasonably delusional and jealous type; and Paul being the no-nonsense, completely untrusting of Elsa, one can only expect an outburst along the way. The Story being not one to disappoint us, has both Paul and Dandy bump into each other in a pharmacy – Paul, discriminated against whilst trying to procure perfume for his lady friend; and Dandy buying two of each girly items in hand for his lady friends. Ever the sharp one, Paul notices this and sees that Elsa must be part of this twin-disappearance conspiracy.

Back at the tents, Paul confronts Elsa about the runaway and so the troupe is met with a whirlwind tantrum. Again, in a strange response to Elsa’s unreasonable bitterness, the troupe tries very hard at calming the situation and proving their utmost trust in her. Elsa decides the only way to do this is to allow her to row knives at one of them whilst strapped to a spinning bullseye. Paul volunteers himself and with held breaths, the troupe watch as each of Elsa’s knives miss Paul’s person by mere inches. Of course, the star of the show is one for theatrics – she fakes a mistake and gives Paul a very much life threatening bodily wound, then again, fakes calling an ambulance which will never come.

Straight forward, wasn’t that? I’ll be anticipating a Jimmy and Dandy shoot out in the next episode. Perhaps also Paul’s eventual death? We all know very well that Murphy and Falchuk have no qualms about killing of characters, especially this far in the season. As a favour to me, I’m hoping the double-vision when it comes to event presentation will either explain itself or stop. We’ll soon find out.

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Newsroom: Boston (Season 3 Premiere Episode Review)

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where it all started. The last Newsroom review was of its pilot and here I am again, in for the entire season. Sadly, its final season.

Newsroom had seduced many a viewer in its first season and unfortunately, the seduction seemed to have stopped at the second when the show seemingly and unexpectedly changed format. I stuck for the sole reason that this show makes me feel smart. I’ve just finished watching episode one of the third season now, and all I can say is that it is back (but again, I must say, not for much longer) and I, for one, actually cheered at the end of it. And I feel immensely energised by the entire spectacle – the journey was rocky but here we are now.

The introduction played with the standard Newsroom fare and the shot of spilled coffee over notes and then that one scene with me wondering how much news researchers are paid as one chick is clearly wearing Louboutin heels at work. Anyway, the words ‘Created by Aaron Sorkin’ flashed across the screen and made me scowl and internally scream ‘AND DESTROYED BY!’. Bitterness aside, I can’t fault the man for he has written some truly good stuff (see Pilot: Act One).

Similar to the greatness that was Season 1, Season 3 (or grimly known as the final episodes) sets up shop, right in the middle of Mac and Will’s conversation about their upcoming wedding, with the Boston Marathon bombings. In an effort to regain the trust of the public post-Genoa (I still shake my fist and yell ‘Damn you, Dantana!’ every time I think about it), the newsroom is set abuzz and so were the telephones as at this point no one knows what exactly has happened. And when they do get some sort of news, Will starts a tirade about credible news and refuses to report anything that is less than confirmed. Other media outlets are seen to be hot on the heels of whatever it was that went down in Boston and again the ACN newsroom erupts as CNN had to retract an earlier statement about something or another – to which Charlie and Will go on yet another tirade about humility (then secretly high five each other). Cutesy stuff like this makes for great television.

The bombshell (pardon the pun) drops when throughout the meandering episode, which had managed to flawlessly pack in every character we’ve grown to love in the past two seasons, a) Neal is caught up in a secret-military-files share (soon-to-be scandal) and in very big trouble; and b) Sloane uncovers a plot for a takeover of ACN by Reese’s Paris Hilton-esque step siblings. In a delightful end to the first of the final episodes, the deafening crescendo on the ACN terrace will definitely make you raise your arms up in triumph. It all looks terrible for our newsroom crew, but damn will it be a good next-five-episodes!

How do I feel about this all? Quite bittersweet. What can one make of a season that has only six episodes? I love my share of British television, but this is one format I wish the Americans not to adopt – I suppose we’re lucky to get these final episodes. An entire period over the last year was spent refreshing Google over the term ‘Newsroom Season 3’ and the whole Jeff Daniels proclamation of Season 3 being without HBO commentary. Then when there was no news, the search term changed to ‘Newsroom cancelled?’ It was a tough time. Perhaps we should just celebrate its brief and fleeting comeback.

American Horror Story Freakshow: Pink Cupcakes (Episode 5 Recap & Review)

This week has been an interesting one to say the least. As ever, this episode comes at you through various angles and in true American Horror Story fashion – with multiple timelines. The former, quite interesting; the latter, tad bit confusing.

We start off this episode with a special viewing with society types at the Morbidity museum – where we see the Scooby gang (Denis O’Hare & Emma Roberts, for the uninitiated) dressed to the nines and the crowd that surround them applaud to the museum’s newest addition – Seal-boy in formaldehyde. Imagine a raggedy, non-pristine Damien Hurst piece… with tattoos. It is indeed the Seal-boy we have come to know, but will the rest of the episode tell us how he got there? No. I can tell you out right, it certainly does not. My trouble with this episode begins here. Although I thoroughly expect AHS-storytelling to make me jump through hoops, I feel a bit iffy about knowing about the timely demise of the characters I’ve come to know and root for in the past four episodes. Four episodes – I can’t believe it either, I feel like this season has gone on for ages.

Then I suppose, we are catapulted back on the show’s main timeline and we see Emma Roberts in her Mystic Mag persona trying to warn Jimmy about her clandestine partner-in-crime (who we see in the last episode is roaming about the Freakshow tents disguised as a Hollywood scout) and telling him to leave to New York via phoney palmistry. At the end of this desperate scene, Jimmy (similarly desperate) tries to kiss Mystic Mag and fails – he then makes his way in a huff towards the now-AWOL Dell Toledo’s tent to which he cosies up to resident three-boobed hermaphrodite Desiree. In Daddy Dell’s trailer, Jimmy manages to get his peen-hands in Des’s foof… her bleeding foof. Cue shock, horror and panic as Jimmy carries Des through the field and have Ethel bring her to her ever sympathetic doctor, who tells us she is in fact not a hermaphrodite but all woman. A woman who just had a miscarriage. Oh my.

Our attention now shifts to inbred and wealthy man-baby Dandy who is in the midst of a Patrick Bateman moment, comparing himself to America and telling us of his hate for his mother and want to be thespian. Naturally, the American psycho bit kicks in as he charmingly strolls into a Jupiter gay bar and picks up Dell’s for-hire lover (oh yes, Dell is gay). In after his seemingly in-the-closet sprip tease, Dandy, now in Twisty’s trailer of horrors, knifes him. Repeatedly. And in a comic moment, frustratingly so for Dandy, it takes him a while to die (“Why aren’t you dead?!”). Covered head to toe in blood, the next scene we see him in is at home, confronting his dear old mother, still, in his underpants, covered head to toe in blood. How exactly does Dandy do this without anyone seeing him? How does he seamlessly run through the woods and back home? It’s a teensy bit plausable, but I’m all out looking for faults now, because this whole episode made my head hurt.

Having an existential crisis of her own, Gloria questions her mothering methods. When faced with a telephone call from now-murdered maid Dora’s daughter, she is further confronted by her past as a non-mother. What does one do? How do we make our child love us again?

In this episode, we suddenly go back to caring about Dot and Bette. The same Dot and Bette who opened the show, the same Dot and Bette that were background characters in the last few episodes. Seriously, am I the only one who’s freaking out at the fact that this season seems like it’s been going on forever but is really only on its fifth episode?! Weirdest thing though, we’re transported back through our mysterious time loop and are now, again, standing in the museum of morbid curiosity (or whatever) and have Denis O’Hare’s character (I’m too exhausted from the show to remember his name now) with the museum’s curator whilst looking straight at the conjoined severed heads of the Sarah Paulson twins whilst going through the story of their demise. Lie: Pneumonia; “Truth”: Homemade poisonous pink cupcakes. The truth is true for Bette the optimist, at least, who dies a blue-veined death next to concerned Dot, who dies at Denis O’Hare suffocating her with his bare hands. And that, is the last we see of the twins. (I lie. It is not.)

Anyway, as the kaleidoscopic storytelling continues, Dell comes home to Desiree who tells him she’s all woman, is capable of actually bearing babies and that her pseudo-penis is actually an enlarged clitoris that will be surgically reduced for purposes of self-esteem. Dell, the gentleman he is, feigns interest. Of course, he runs to the doctor telling him that if the good doctor ever touches his good wife’s glorious penis, he’d personally break his hands. In full Dell fashion, he breaks the good doctor’s hands anyway. La. Dee. Da.

Now, I haven’t even begun to talk about Elsa. In truth, the woman bores me with her delusions of grandeur. She goes on about how television is the death of art and how she is above the black and white box that would place her importance next to toothpaste and shampoo. Suffice it to say, she is my least favourite Jessica Lange character in the American Horror Story universe. Well anyway, after berating Denis O’Hare about how she’s so much better than television, she performs to a bored and disengaged crowd. Knowing that Dot and Bette are also given the same superstar treatment by our sham Hollywood scout, Elsa takes them on a passive aggressive car ride to ‘the city’ only to detour at super mummy Gloria’s house.

End-freaking-scene. No, seriously. That was the episode. Please console me and tell me I’m not the only one thoroughly confused by what has just happened. Or perhaps what may have just happened…? Confusion. I have so many whys to ask.

Red Band Society (Pilot review)

I live off the internet and I work as a teacher. My days are busy with lesson planning, actual teaching, occasional food and as the year is about to end, setting up next year’s curricula. I hardly watch television. So today, a Sunday, I decided to treat myself to some television. As a child, I grew up with television – it was my friend, babysitter and personal mentor – which explains my love for the odd series and these reviews I’ve been writing. Today, I came across an ad for Red Band Society, it looked good and as of that point, I was unsure of what it was – so I turned off the tv and back to the clutches of the internet, I went.

Right off the bat, we are introduced to a bevy of characters – mostly teens living in the paediatric ward of a yet unnamed hospital in an unnamed city, and some of the hospital’s adult workers and notable hypochondriac man-child, Ruben. Whole lives are spent and friendships made within its white-walled constraints. The show is narrated by Charlie, a child in a coma who acts as the all seeing eye of the hospital, following the lives of the much older and rowdier kids – who we get to know personally throughout the episode.

This, being a hospital-based show, and I, being an oversensitive person (I’ve been known to cry watching Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy), a scene at the in-hospital school for resident-kids made me lose it. This isn’t completely uncalled for as we should expect that these kids are where they are for a reason – they are sick. Some, very much so – and this is exemplified in said scene with a clever play on Henry V juxtaposing the show’s two teenage erstwhile semi-lovers, Leo (who has cancer) and Emma (who has an eating disorder) what with lines about keeping the love in for fear of losing it. It is heartbreaking, but I suppose that is the point. Also the point is how we watch these kids cope with these situations. Drama!

As new as the show, new kids rock up in the paediatric ward: mean-girl cheerleader and enlarged-heart sufferer Kara, and familyless, cancer-ridden, soon-to-be one-legged Jordi. At this point, I should be more clued in to what exactly their ailments are called, but I am not one of those viewers – so let me just introduce you to the next main character in our hospital ensemble, also seemingly long-term peadiatic resident, Dash… who has some sort of serious lung thing.

On the eve of Jordi’s amputation, Leo and Dash decide to throw him a rooftop party in celebration of life and living. As a long term resident, Leo has seen his share of the inside of the operating theatre and tragically feels his imminent end is soon to come. In 90s kids’ adventure show blood-brothering fashion, Leo distributes his red bands.

The series has started out very strong and one can only hope that the only way is up. The list is choc full of interesting characters who are themselves growing up and it will undoubtedly reveal more about their lives – we all love semi-tragic teenage drama. I could be jumping on it much too enthusiastically so early in my viewership but this could as well be the Instagram generation’s answer to the Breakfast Club.

American Horror Story Freakshow: Edward Mondrake, Part 2 (Episode 4 Recap and Review)

The two world’s finally collide in Freakshow’s Halloween special as Jimmy and Mystic Mag try to hide as their motorcycle runs out of juice as they hit the brink of the Jupiter-wide curfew. Needless to say, the Jupiter crowd are staying in as a result of the disappearances of children, so we can guess rightfully who the dynamic duo stumble across – in yet another attempt to escape, Bonnie is foiled as Twisty tackles her to the ground and fireman’s-lifts her back to base camp. Of course, in true Jimmy Darling fashion, he runs after the fridge-like clown to find out exactly what is up… Because it is the decent thing to do.

Back in the Freakshow, right where we left off (and I definitely called it), Edward Mondrake and his evil parasitic back-of-head face twin float about the tents accompanied by his fog machine, revealing to us depressing stories of cruelty, prejudice and down right depression of the freak show performers.

Snow queen Elsa Mars herself was deserving of the long grainy black and white theatrical dramatisation of her past, all while transporting us back to the days when the Weimar Republic was an actual force… Naturally, not before glorifying her glamorous present and vocalising her glimmering future – to the exhaustion and frustration of our Judge, Jury and Executioner Eddie M., who does after quite a bit of eye rolling go, and I’m paraphrasing,’Bitch, I don’t give a shit – tell me about the legs!’ Long story short: Famed dominatrix was drugged and put in a snuff film (this is true Halloween horror). However, did this story of sadness deter Elsa’s vehement pride? Never. And for that reason, back-of-head face put his executioner’s voice on. At which point I thought, we’re only four episodes in – Jessica Lange can’t possibly go just yet, we’ve barely been introduced to the rest of the cast! And right enough was I as back-of-head face’s spidey-senses tingled as some other party dared to hold a show on Halloween.

With Jimmy and Maggie hot on the heels of Twisty, who else should appear but Dandy behind them to do what he does best – clobber the two over the head… And hold a special magic show for the captive kids, new and improved with he addition of dick brother from previous episode and our dynamic duo. To be fair, Dandy is far from being carnie folk to know about the horrors of murderous Edward Mondrake and goes ahead to attempt chainsawing Mystic Mag in half. So far in this episode, we know that no attempts in the present actually follow through – true enough, Jimmy and his bound peen-hands run up on Dandy’s makeshift stage and clobbers him. The kids and Mystic Mag make an escape whilst Twisty is met by Eddie.

You see, what the past episodes have made me question were all relevant. Is Twisty just misunderstood? Completely. His back story is revealed and it shows his disdain for ‘freaks’ who constantly made fun of him, and his methods of keeping relevant within society after being accused on being a child-botherer. He just wants to make people happy and make toys to keep people happy. With his efforts rejected, this led up to an attempt on his life which ended up with just a large portion of his mouth blown off. His unrelenting claim to innocence (and we can totally relate, at this point) makes him prime sacrifice. And thus he is killed off and is sent to an afterlife where he is welcome and celebrated. Trust American Horror Story to make me feel sad over a clown’s death.

Dramatics aside, where does this leave our troupe in the present day? Well celebrated. Jimmy is deemed a town hero by the Jupiter townsfolk for saving and returning their children from the cell of horrors. Similarly, they warm up to the Freak show’s presence and thus Elsa takes full opportunity to ring in ticket sales, all whilst Denis O’Hare (one half of his and Emma Roberts’ Scooby Gang double team) rocks up with another ruse, this time pandering to Elsa’s fame whore inner and outer self, as a Hollywood scout.

What ever will happen next? More horrors as Dandy is playing key villain. Do we care about Sarah Paulsons one and two? How does Elsa all short of kill her way to the top (or will she indeed kill)? What exactly is a Dell Toledo?

So many questions still need answering, but am I the only one who thinks the end of the Halloween double could have may as well been a good ending to the season? All is well though, as we get more episodes. Till next week.

American Horror Story Freakshow: Edward Mondrake, Part 1 (Episode 3 Recap and Review)

The 1950s as a time period is as much a character as those who live in it. It was one where the human curiosities of the earth stood as mere entertainment, placed sub-par to the regular white picket fence types. A time where variants of the human norm were grotesquely exhibited to induce more shock than it does thought. This is indeed the setting to this entire show. That, and this week’s opener – a museum of curiosities, of sorts, where we are introduced to a Scooby Doo-esque clad duo (Emma Roberts and Denis O’Hare) intent on making big bucks through gross fraud and PT Barnum-like taxidermy. Luckily for us and the plot, their ruse was debunked by the crack team behind this museum of delight.

Back under the big top in Jupiter, our happy carnie folk run amok, taking in the Halloween joys of living in a freak show. Jimmy, ever the brooding one, is mourning over the loss of Meep and this is made even worse by the lack of interest given by the rest of the troupe. Keen love interests Dot and Bette take notice and give the tent a yelling at for not respecting the moment and to question why in the hell they aren’t practicing for the night’s show.

Ethel, who has now found out from the first sympathetic doctor she’s ever met that she has only months to live, pours herself multiple drinks whilst informing the twins of a freak show lore where Halloween has become a taboo show date as it would summon the murderous wrath of Edward Mondrake, a man with a face at the back of his head which whispered malicious thoughts. Presented in true American Horror Story fashion, that being through black and white school play acting with vaudevillian musical interludes, we watch a montage of Edward Mondrake’s life and death unfold, telling of his imprisonment and escape into a freak show and the eventual murder of his troupe mates and suicide. As unfazed as Jimmy was by this episode of campfire storytelling, the rest of the freak show were happily welcoming their off day.

To merge the two worlds together, Emma Roberts enters camp via taxi and introduces herself as Mystical Maggie Esmerelda, a fortune teller – yet another ruse, you dubious character, you. Of course she manages to entice Elsa into letting her in her freak show by pandering to her ego and reading about the reignition of her superstardom in her substantial crystal ball. Of course, with this apparent revelation, Elsa throws caution to the wind and forces the freak show band to play back up to her singing, a now customary part of this season of American Horror Story – probably a nod at Murphy and Falchuk’s now concluded platform for acceptance and happiness, Glee. Of course, this goes against carnie lore preventing shows from performing on Halloween, as we see apparitions of Eddie Mondrake himself before Elsa, then mysteriously disappear once her rendition of Lana Del Rey’s Gods & Monsters finished.

In a nice touch of allowing for the episode to move on into the second part, concluding the Halloween double, Edward meets with Ethel in her trailer, obliging her to tell of her stories of misfortune and despair, playing judge, jury and executioner in this trial against Freak show oddities. After all, one does not simply summon Edward Mondrake without putting the whole camp at stake. Eddie’s back-of-head face (and voice of suspicious reason) decides Ethel is of good spirit and worthy of continuing living. It will be interesting to see each character go through a similar emotional gauntlet in the next episode.

In other news, Twisty and Dandy play against everyone’s Coulrophobia and appear everywhere in full clown face. This is especially apparent as Twisty is seen quietly terrorising a little girl with a clear fear of clowns – so much so, her dick of an older brother felt it a duty to dress up as one for Halloween because of it. Again, the moral angle is played with in this episode as Twisty seemingly comes to the rescue in his own twisted way. He appears in her hallway behind big brother (who was taunting her and hatching a candy-for-chores deal) and eventually kidnaps the boy and escapes through the little girl’s window.

What exactly is Twisty’s game? I’m still very much unsure of this, apart from the fact that superficially, he is still the stuff of nightmares. Also, Dandy’s sadistic man-baby persona is further fuelled by the more captive children Twisty forcibly procures, which brings about this thought: Is Twisty actually sentient? Does he just want friends? Does he accept Dandy as one? I have so many questions!

The Knick: Crutchfield (An honest review of the season finale)

OH MY GOD!

Bleakest, most heart-wrenching, and shocking end to a phenomenal season ever known to man.

I am weeping. That is all.

American Horror Story Freakshow: Massacres and Matinees (Episode 2 Recap and Review)

Welcome back to the Freak Show. I find it absolutely astounding how we are only two episodes in and yet so much has happened.

In the last episode, we saw Jimmy and his band of friends murder a police detective snooping as a string of disappearances occur in the town of Jupiter. We now hear a radio news broadcast being told in the most 1950s way imaginable reporting on both the missing children and said detective. Now scrambling, Jimmy and friends further disposed of the body, all whilst pocketing his police badge, because that should be melted – and if we know our tv cliches well, we know this will never happen. Back at the dinner tent, we see a pensive and ever agitated Jimmy at the head of the table whilst the rest chant ‘kill the copper’. Now, I don’t know about you, but chants tend to get loud for the sole reason that chanters come in seemingly great numbers… and this isn’t the sort of thing you want to say even in a whisper, even in a freak show tent, even in a field. Although all is well as Jimmy tells them to shut the hell up.

In other news, Michael Chiklis and his strongman persona, Dell Toledo, drives up to the tent with Desiree (Angela Bassett), literally in tow. This looks well and good (there were boobies, three, in fact) even up to the point where we find out that they both ran away from Chicago after Dell broke a man’s neck for enjoying the wonders of Bassett’s supreme hermaphrodite vagina. We are endeared by this story and how Dell would do anything for a gig in the tent. Star-of-the-show Elsa Mars begrudgingly lets them in and thus we enter the age of agitation as Dell manages to piss everyone off because, as it turns out, he is a massive cock. Although he came up with a successful matinee plan which does benefit the troupe, he is single-handedly to blame for Meep’s arrest and, ultimately, death by police brutality. Of course, there is argument that it is Jimmy to blame as Dell merely replanted the damned police badge in Meep’s trailer, but at this point, there really are very little redeeming qualities in Dell’s behaviour to place blame on Jimmy. I am ever the biased viewer.

Outside the freak show tent, Twisty strikes again by killing Mr Hanley the toy shop owner (presumably because Twisty is a clown who likes both toys and casual homocide). On his way back to his trailer of torture, he is stopped by Frances Conroy’s rich mammy Gloria Mott who is keen to get her man-baby happy and stay at home with her. So far, my trouble with the 50s is how unfazed people are by not just clowns, but ridiculously shady looking ones like Twisty. Episode one had the now-captive sex-deprived Bonnie readily facing him as if he were a puppy chasing its tail. And now we have Gloria stopping for him and inviting him into her car. To bring him into her home, no less. I know I’m marginalising a large community of friendly clowns out there (shudder) but let’s admit, they’re the stuff of nightmares. Mine, at least. As if his presence in the show isn’t enough, Falchuk and Murphy decided that what we needed were lingering close ups of Twisty on more than one occasion during this episode. Suffice it to say, I had to look away every time this happened. It is beyond unnerving.

Our rich and spoiled man-baby Dandy has throughout the episode attempted to both run away and join the circus. Both attempts resulted as successfully as his previous bid to buy Paulson & Paulson’s Dot and Bette (yes, I’ve made an effort to learn names this time around). As he storms into his room, Gloria shows him his brand spanking new personal clown. As Twisty feigns interest in Dandy’s deluded thespian dreams, he makes a run (or rather menacing serial killer movie unstoppable brisk walk) for it after clobbering Dandy over the head with a bowling pin. Ever headstrong, curious for the curious and the macabre, Dandy gets up and follows behind Twisty’s brisk walk.

In the terror trailer, the heroic captives figured out an escape plan. As Twisty makes himself comfortable in their cage, he hands out sweet tokens of kiddy joy, like a crank toy robot. Of course my heart melted just a tad. Perhaps the series is taking a moralistic turn in telling us we are all good inside despite our appearances, or at least that we are not what we first seem. This came as an epiphany as this scene played out – I thought back on a scene earlier in the episode when Jimmy and gang made a benign trip to the diner and got abuse from the good townsfolk of Jupiter for the mere fact that they were born different. As this joyful message played out in my mind, Twisty pulls out from his sack of tricks, Mr Hanley’s severed head. Sunshine and rainbows over, it seems. Twisty is just a messed up mother lover. This time, Bonnie thinks fast and clobbers our deranged clown over the head and escapes into the woods to bump into, ironically, the non-mother loving Dandy for help. At this point, our man-baby just wanted to play with his clown friend and his pet people.

Despite the orgy of Twisty scenes in episode two, I found it thoroughly enjoyable. Question is now: where does this story actually go? Who is Twisty? Will the up the ridiculousness soon? Meep!

Gotham: Arkham (Episode 4 Review)

We’ve been continually teased with the idea of Arkham. Because we know that ultimately it will mean the onset of the crazies epoch and thus bring to light our favourite supervillain Joker. This week’s episode will continually tease you with that thought as it seemingly meanders through every character without definite vision of what is to come.

And again, we are confronted with a villain of the week. The idea of Gotham as a cesspool of political scum has been greatly defined in the first the first three episodes. Week four welcomes an assassin with possibly the most intricate and delicately design spike ever conceived for purposes of killing, and yes he kills council types.

We find that the assassin, who I will now for purpose of ease call Spike-Man, has inconceivably hit two public figures with ties to opposing groups – big bosses Falcone and Marconi. We are privy to insider information, as is Jim Gordon, with compliments of who is now my favourite antihero, Oswald. He’s slickly climbing up that ladder and damn is he smarter, more awesome (and cooler) than he lets out.

Down the line, we see the Mayor in danger as Jim finds a connection to him being Spike-Man’s next target via some arbitrary clue. The Mayor gets saved and Spike-Man dies, as these flavour of the week baddies seem to always do.

As a result of his life being spared, the Mayor acts in a way in which he seems to also always does – spin stuff completely the wrong way and be a complete scumbag. With both Falcone and Marconi being the separate masterminds of the spiked assassins hits, the Mayor can only repay the both of them by messing about with city planning (Arkham will now also house a landfill and low-cost housing) and ultimately making young Bruce Wayne upset.

By some miracle, young Bruce Wayne is still in the picture – I suppose his bond with Jim Gordon actually grew through what we had thought were some throw away Jesus-in-his-teens years. As nice as this is, I could do with more of Alfred being a badass in every scene he appears in. And less of the garbled up Michael Caine impression we are met with this week.

In other news, Jada Pinkett Smith has toned down with the crazy accent she began with in the pilot and has found a kickass wing woman in some chick named Liza. Who is Liza? Do we know? Is she Harley Quinn? Do I even know what a Harley Quinn is or does?

Till next week! Same bat-time, same bat-place! And I’ll be here with my pom poms for Oswald.

The Flash: Pilot review

Admittedly, I know very little about the Flash apart from the fact that he is a he who is fast and also a superhero. Despite the first sentence uttered on screen being that of him saying his real name, it has escaped me. As I know very little about the Flash, a whole series touching on origin and adventures that follow should be a brilliant introduction.

So why do I feel like I care even less for the character now that I’ve seen the pilot?

It all comes down to its cartoon like colour and too obvious character bits. Perhaps it’s just me – after all don’t all comic book heroes have cliched beginnings?

Pre-Flash Flash, little Flash, even lost his mother to a mysterious electric storm that is curiously confined to within his living room and as a consequence to the entire mysterious nature of it, little Flash’s dad is convicted of murder and sent to prison where he still sits today.

Fast forward to the present and we find now adult still-pre-Flash Flash as a bumbling yet brilliant but also apparently often late-to-the-scene CSI (ooh, I do like CSI) who has a somewhat catalogue-like memory of car tyres. At this point it was all new and I was still in wonderment of what was unfolding before me and it was alright. We find out that little Flash was adopted into a police family of which has a daughter about the same age as him who swiftly pulls the like-a-brother-to-me line which made for squirmy viewing as Flash doesn’t obviously see her the same way. Cringe.

Anyway, we get news of a meltdown in some nuclear/radioactive plant in town which immediately sends a blast across the city. Obviously this was the radioactive spider bite our hero needed. Unfortunately it sends him into a months-long comatose state, of which we don’t fully observe, thankfully because that would be a great cause of boredom. Lucky for us, he wakes up just as we get a glimpse of him in his hospital bed.

We find him in a room with a likeable nerdy scientist and a Panabaker sister (who, for purposes of this series, is also a scientist). Now, the last time I saw a Panabaker sister was in another superhero series, a now-cancelled superhero series, albeit one I really enjoyed because it didn’t take itself too seriously. This show is different. This one was serious. This one felt an absolute chore to watch. Digression over, he was sent to the very ones behind the meltdown because his foster daddy wanted extra attention on our Flash. So there. Ugh.

And I haven’t even got to the bit where we are introduced to the Professor X-like head scientist behind our Flash’s recovery research. And I haven’t even got to the bit where we’re transported to the rooftop where he’s explaining his life story to the Green Arrow for…reasons. And they both find each other “cool”. They actually both utter this upon reflection of their rooftop encounter. To which I go: what The hell is happening in this show?!

I’m literally half way through the episode and it’s just been a series of misses. And we haven’t even got to the part where we are met with the series’ weather-fiend villain. Their encounter is at most forgettable.

I didn’t enjoy this. But perhaps it’s just me.