Monday, September 29, 2014

New TV Shows to Watch

My favorite TV shows, Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars, are on hiatus right now, so I need to find some new shows so that I won't die because of boredom. I've searched for and read a lot of previews and reviews about new television shows for the fall season. There are three TV shows that I've chosen: GothamThe Flash and How to Get Away with Murder. I've seen the pilot episodes of all those new shows, and here are my thoughts about them.


New episodes on : Monday (in US), Tuesday (in Indonesia)
Creator : Bruno Heller
Cast : Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Camren Bicondova, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Erin Richards, Robin Lord Taylor.
Genre : Crime Fiction

When you hear the name Gotham, the first thing that pops in your head must be Batman. Yup, the Gotham that is referred to in this new TV show is that Gotham, the hometown of the Dark Knight. However, this show isn't going to tell the story of Batman. Instead, it will follow young James Gordon, Batman's future ally, as he cleans the dark streets of Gotham from bad guys in his early days as a detective. James Gordon isn't the only familiar face that you'll see in this show. We'll get to see other popular characters from the Batman universe when all of them are still young, such as the Batman himself, Bruce Wayne; Selina Kyle aka Catwoman; Oswald Cobblepot aka Penguin; Edward Nygma aka The Riddler; and Ivy Pepper aka Poison Ivy.

The pilot episode follows Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as he investigates the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. He meets their son, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), and promises to catch "the man who did this". With his grumpy partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), James is able to solve the case and kill the murderer. Case closed? No. It turns out that the person that they've killed is framed by other people who don't want the truth to come out. When the idealistic James Gordon finds out about this, he tries to find the real murderer, only to find an ugly truth about how things work in Gotham.

I was sooo excited to watch this show before it premiered on September 22nd. When I finally saw it, I was... a bit disappointed. Well, it's not a bad episode. It's just not as good as I expected. Probably because my expectation is too high. The first half of the episode is kind of boring. The case seems too easy and some actors, especially Ben McKenzie and Erin Richards (who plays James' girl, Barbara Kean), show bad acting. The dialogues are kind of... cheesy, especially when Barbara tells Jim to "swim" when he says that he's "out of his depth" (Errr swim?). 

But everything changes as it starts its second half. Well, maybe they try to deceive the audience with the first half, like Gone Girl. The story gets darker after James finds out about the frame-up. Ben's and Erin's performances suddenly escalate. Dude, they're awesome during the second half. The other actors show their best performances too. My favorite is David Mazouz, the kid who plays Bruce aka Batman. There's something about his expression. He looks really wounded and angry. Grrr I love his performance. The guy who plays Edward Nygma is also great, even though he only has one scene. I hope we'll get to see more of him in the future. Robin Lord Taylor is really scary as the young Penguin. His last scene in this episode, where he rips an old man's throat with a knife just to get his bread, made me shiver. That scene lets me know that he's dangerous.

So the pilot episode is good enough to make me decide to watch the next episode. The show has big potential, which I hope will be developed well in the following episodes. I hope the show can be more consistent and get the cheesy dialogues fixed too.

Rating : 3/5


The cast of The Flash

New episodes on : Tuesday (in US), Wednesday (in Indonesia)
Creator : Greg Berlanti
Cast : Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin.
Genre : Superhero

After the huge success of Arrow, the people behind the hit series try their luck for the second time with The Flash. In order to "test" their new project, they even introduced the show's lead character, Barry Allen, in Arrow last year. Grant Gustin was cast and debuted as Barry in two episodes of the second season of Arrow. Fans loved him. So they decided to give a green light to the project.

In Three Ghosts, an episode of Arrow in which Barry appears, we've seen him get struck by lightning. So the pilot episode of The Flash takes place around nine months after that incident. Barry (Grant Gustin) wakes up after being in a coma for months. Soon after that, he realizes that the incident has given him some super strengths. He's suddenly able to run really (REALLY) fast and heals his physical wounds faster than normal people do. In the episode, we also get to learn more about Barry's dark past. When he was a kid, he saw how his mother got killed by a mysterious blurry figure yet couldn't prove it to the police to stop them from blaming his father for the murder. From this, we know why Barry feels like it's his responsibility to use his new powers for good. It's because he knows how it feels like to be helpless and to see people that he loves suffer because of his helplessness.

Actually, the pilot episode will not be aired until October 7. However, the episode was leaked a while ago and I watched it online. Anyway, the pilot is fun to watch. Grant Gustin truly stands out in this show. His version of Barry Allen is smart, pure-hearted and charming (I just can't resist a guy who is smart AND cute like him). His dark past and the wound that it leaves makes him very human too. Besides Grant's flashy performance (I love using the word "flashy" to describe this show), there are pretty cool action sequences too in the pilot. 

The minus point of the pilot for me is the storyline, which, I think, is too fast. Well, of course it's fast; it's a show about the fastest man alive. But I think they have too much to tell in this episode. It's like they cram all of them in it. Because of this, it feels like things are rushed in the episode. I personally think that they shouldn't let Barry put on his red suit in the first episode. I think it would be better if they let him take his time to adjust with his new powers until he is finally ready to put on his suit and take down the bad guys like his fellow hero, the Arrow.

Overall, the pilot episode of The Flash is fun and worth to watch. I'm definitely going to see its second episode.

Rating : 3,5/5


New episodes on : Thursday (in US), Friday (in Indonesia)
Creator : Peter Nowalk
Cast : Viola Davis, Alfred Enoch, Aja Naomi King, Jack Falahee, Katie Findlay, Karla Souza.
Genre : Legal Drama

There is a lot of buzz around this new show because Shonda Rhimes, the creator of hit shows Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, is involved in this project. Well I don't watch those two shows so I'm not really affected by the Shonda Rhimes factor. I decided to watch the pilot episode of this series simply because the reviews are good and the trailer is intriguing.

So the show is about a law professor named Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) who teaches her students "not to study law, but to practice law". She has high demands for her students, which make some of them overly excited and even willing to do extreme, risky and dangerous things to impress the professor. Four of the students are involved in a dangerous murder plot that is related to Annalise. Details about the murder itself are still mysterious; it seems like this murder plot is going to be the main case throughout the season.

The pilot episode is basically an introduction to the characters and the background of the story. We get to see how Annalise runs her classes; how she does her job; her students and their complex characteristics; her personal life; and the mysterious, not-yet-solved cases that are related to the professor. I think an introduction like this is necessary for an original show like this; you know, to "set the scene". This show is totally new, right? It doesn't have millions of fans who've been familiar with its characters and their backstories like Gotham and The Flash.

The best thing about the pilot episode for me is the acting. Academy Award nominee Viola Davis delivers a very powerful performance as Annalise Keating. She's totally unreadable. You just can't tell when Annalise lies and when she tells the truth. There's this scene with Annalise and her student Wes (Alfred Enoch) where the professor breaks down and apologizes to the young man for a nasty action she does that he accidentally witnesses. In the scene, Wes looks puzzled. Maybe it's because he just doesn't know whether she truly feels sorry for what she does or just tries to silence him.

I also enjoyed watching Annalise's four students in this episode. There's Wes, the heart of the story who is likable, pure-hearted and sweet, played by Alfred Enoch (aka Dean Thomas from the Harry Potter series). And then there's Michaela Pratt, a beautiful girl who is very opportunistic and cunning, played by Aja Naomi King. Karla Souza plays Laurel Castillo, an idealistic girl who always looks very serious. And the last one is Connor Walsh, played by (the very hot and handsome) Jack Falahee, a gay student who is like the male version of Michaela. Despite all the characteristics that I've mentioned, they all possess one other trait: ambitious. I love watching ambitious students. They kind of remind of myself (haha).

The negative thing about this show for me is probably the fact that it is about law. They use a lot of law terms which I don't understand AT ALL. Well, I'm a literature girl; how am I supposed to know what those law terms mean? I read somewhere that people who are familiar with law think that the actions that the characters do in the show are too unethical and don't actually make sense. Well I don't know about that. As a literature girl, I'll just focus on the story and the character development.

I enjoyed the pilot episode of How to Get Away with Murder so much. Can't wait for the second episode!

Rating : 4/5

I actually didn't want to make this post too long but I just can't help it. I enjoy doing this too much. Hope you enjoy reading this post :)

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