Galavant Season Finale: “Here All Week Unless I die”

How can one not love the two-part season finale of Galavant, when it starts with such a brilliant recap song by the Jester, “Thank you. Here all week…unless I die.”

KAREN DAVID, JOSHUA SASSE, GENEVIEVE ALLENBURY, STANLEY TOWNSEND, TIMOTHY OMUNDSON, VINNIE JONES

How can one not love the two-part season finale of Galavant, when it starts with such a brilliant recap song by the Jester, “Thank you. Here all week…unless I die.” Followed by a running argument between Gareth and Madalena (with interjections by Wormwood) and a rousing speech by Isabella.

Galavant and Richard lead their army of  “half-dead” soldiers onto the battlefield while Chef and his “bae” realize they are right in the middle of everything.  Chester Wormwood turns into an evil, and male, Mary Poppins for the “Do the D’ew, D’ew D’ew” (which may, or may not be the title but it looks right…) just in time to keep Madalena from changing her mind about using dark magic.

Chester turns the zombie army against everyone. “You make a cake, you break a few eggs,” is his response when  Madalena complains. Later, she goes to save Gareth who is taking shelter from the dead soldiers with Isabella, Galavant, and his old pal Richard.

After the first half of Galavant’s season finale ends, the second half starts with a musical flashback where Richard and Gareth are children. (Keep an eye out for a splendid in-joke.) The entire opening takes a leaf from “The Kid” with Richard playing Bruce Willis’ part.

The zombies surround Gareth and Galavant while the “one true king to rule them all” goes after Wormwood.  In the interim Madalena and “Tiny Tot” do battle and Sid arrives with reinforcements (but no one famous due to budgetary reasons) and viewers with keen hearing will notice a Wilhelm scream at the end of one comic fight.

DARREN EVANS, SOPHIE MCSHERA
Chef and “bae.”

Happily ever after is a low key affair for one couple, or two if one includes a certain former royal staff member and his “bae” while the other two lovers manage to have a happy ending that could be termed a ball of fire.

There is one last surprise guest on the series as Weird Al Yankovic shows up as a marital monk, who sings what just may be the best song of the second season, and also performs a musical marriage ceremony.

Galavant, in its finale,  manages to have some really excellent sequences: The armies all rushing together to do battle. Gareth and Madalena expressing how they really feel.  Wormwood and Richard with their confrontation and the physical followup to the “cat-fight” song by Isabella and Madalena.

It is no secret that this show took some getting used to.  However, repeated viewings and a steady appreciation for what Menken and the writers were striving for (under the guidance of show creator Dan Fogelman) turned this reviewer around. 

VINNIE JONES, JOSHUA SASSE
Gareth (Jones) and Galavant (Sasse).

The season finale, where the players break the fourth wall repeatedly, brings up that Galavant may not be renewed for another run.  If that is the case, then fans can take comfort in a cracking end to a series that entertains and is able, just like the finale itself, to make the viewer laugh and perhaps shed a little tear.

(Although that could have just been me…)

The stars of the show,Timothy OmundsonJoshua Sasse, Vinnie Jones, Karen DavidMallory Jansen and Luke Youngblood all do  brilliantly in their respective roles. (Praise is also to be lavished on the Welsh actor Darren Evans who kills it every time he is on screen.) In terms of guest starring roles, Galavant has proffered the “creme de la creme” of talent from across the pond.

The actors who all appear in cameos, guest roles and recurring ones (Robert Lindsay for example) all went above and beyond the call of Galavant and apart from thrilling at least one certain fan, made the show a lot of fun.

WEIRD AL YANKOVIC
Weird Al and his Monks…

Galavant sails off into the musical sunset tonight after another rapid round of episodes. May the network demigods approve the show for further seasons and make room for even more great guests. After all, at least one character did not get her happy ending and it would be brilliant to see where this storyline could lead.

ABC airs the season finale tonight, tune in and see how many musical homages you can spot.

 

 

Dr Ken: DK and the Dishwasher – Daddy Issues and Sex With Pat

KEN JEONG, DANA LEE

Dr Ken delivers more comic platinum with D.K. and the Dishwasher, where Ken reveals a few “daddy issues” and Damona has sex with Pat…as Clark says, “Eww.”  Ken Jeong, the writers and cast all step up over the bar and deliver a great episode. Dana Lee kills it as the father who is fixing every little thing on Ken’s “to do” list.

The show starts with Ken’s mother off to Korea and an awkward phone conversation with her where he asks for nothing to be brought back, “We still have three pounds of roasted silkworm!”

After the phone call, the family Park talk about Ken’s father, who the entire family agree is gruff. Molly says:

“Oh, yeah. Tell us again about that time when you were a kid and you thought you saw him smile.”

Ken’s response is that his sister saw him smile too.

Grandpa shows up and explains that while the wife is in Korea, he will be staying. The family are not excited by this turn of events. Back at work Dr Julie comes in with a hangover after “Lisa’s party” and Damon arrives with disturbing news, she slept with Pat, not once, but twice.

Clark’s reaction?

“Eww?”

Ken manages to hear about the awkward confession and is delighted, “Man, did I pick the right day to come in late wearing quiet footwear.” As Damona explains what happened, Dr Ken does a comedy riff on her revelations.

Damona (to Clark): “Child please. When I’m driving the train, it always gets to the station.”

Ken: “To the station! …Choo Choo!”

Pat then shows up and tells everyone that he is getting back with his estranged wife and to add insult to injury then tells Damona that their sexual event meant nothing. He also explains that he mailed her bra to her and gives her the tracking number.

Later in the episode, Damona and Pat sort things out…

DAVE FOLEY, TISHA CAMPBELL-MARTIN
Pat and Damona the morning after…

Back at the Park home, D.K. is fixing everything. Even going so far as to replace the loud dishwasher (Dave: “It’s the soundtrack of my youth.”) with a European model that has WiFi and can be turned on “from your car.”

Ken’s frustration builds as his family suddenly realize that far from being gruff, D.K. is fun, useful and wise, just like a grandfather should be. Even Molly is swayed by his sage advice. Allison is overjoyed:

“He even fixed Molly!”

After being bested by his dad with the dishwasher, Ken sabotages the new machine and ends up in a confrontation with his father. The two clear up a few misconceptions and, in an almost tear-inducing moment, D.K. and Ken show how much they love and respect each other, sans hugs:

Ken: “Thanks, Dad. Should we… hug?”

D.K. “Nah. We hugged at Thanksgiving.”

Each episode of Dr Ken gets funnier.  D.K and the Dishwasher was sidesplitting both in the workplace setting and at the Park home.

Standout Moments:

Damona (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and Pat (Dave Foley) interacting after their sexual escapade. The dream sequence “permission to come aboard…again,” and Damona screaming herself awake.

Dr Julie (Kate Simses) and her pleased reaction after learning that she does not have a virus but a hangover:

“Wow. I’m kind of a cool-a** b*tch.”

JONATHAN SLAVIN, TISHA CAMPBELL-MARTIN, KATE SIMSES
Slavin, Campbell-Martin and Simses rocking it…

Julie and Damona’s conversation after the Pat “sex” reveal:

Dr. Julie: “Oh, girl… We all does cray d’s when we’re gettin’ krunk. It’s all good.”

Damona: “That’s got to stop right now.”

Clark’s reaction to the Pat news and his double “Eww” along with:

Clark: “Oh, my God, I have so many “filling the void” jokes in my head right now.”

Dana Lee kills it in this episode, full-stop. Example:

D.K. (to Ken): “Allison told me about your to-do list. You write fiction?”

Ken’s imitation of his father’s laugh that sounded remarkably like a “Scooby-Doo” laugh.

Dave Foley…as usual.

Honorable Mentions:

Dave’s line about the dishes being “licked clean by angels.” (To quote Clark: “Ew?’)

Allison’s riff on Ken about his “to do list,” and the finish :

Allison: “Yeah, we dug it out of the family archives.”

Ken: “Mm, ooh, good one.”

Allison: “The first thing on it was ‘assemble Molly’s crib.'”

Ken: “Ha ha.”

 

Overall Thoughts:

Dr Ken has found its feet and has moved into full comedy mode. All the cast have melded into a cohesive comic unit.  The gags are brilliant. Kudos to Suzy Nakamura, Krista Marie Yu, Dave Foley and Albert Tsai, Jonathan Slavin, Kate Simses, Tisha Campbell-Martin and of course Ken Jeong for providing a steady stream of laughs on a Friday night.

KEN JEONG, SUZY NAKAMURA
Ken Jeong and Suzy Nakamura, great comedic give and take.

Mad props to Dana Lee who proved that his comic delivery and timing was spot on.  The perfect combination of Lee’s expression, which is full of implied gravitas, and the unexpected humor was just brilliant. Hopefully “D.K.” will be on the show more often as the chemistry between the character and the Park family is just brilliant.

Dr Ken airs Fridays on ABC. Tune in and enjoy this funny series, let ABC know how great this show is by shooting up those viewing numbers. Ken Jeong and his crew  (“Yo!”)  must return for a second season…

 

 

Here Lies Joe (2016): A Review

Directed and co-written by Mark Battle (with Pamela Conway) and produced by Sweven Films; Here Lies Joe is a short look at depression, suicidal tendencies and two people who connect as they each compulsively seek death.

Dean Temple as Joe Barnes

Directed, shot,  edited and co-written by Mark Battle (with Pamela Conway) and produced by Sweven Films;  Here Lies Joe is a short look at depression, suicidal tendencies and two people who connect as they each compulsively seek death. Dean Temple is Joe Barnes and Andi Morrow is “Z” two disparate souls who meet at a suicide addict meeting, chaired by Bill (Timothy J. Cox). Bill attempts to have the small group talk about their feelings. 

At the start of the film, we see Joe taping his passenger window around a plastic hosepipe that he attaches to the exhaust of his car. After securing both ends of the hose, Joe starts his engine and the film shifts to the meeting.

In the group, the somewhat timid “chair” Bill prompts the members to talk. Carol (Mary Hronicek), who talks about her suicidal fish, is a flake who becomes aggressive when the younger Z comes in. The late arrival to the meeting zeroes in on Joe whom she calls “new guy.” 

When the meeting ends, she coerces Joe into giving her a ride home and the two spend an afternoon together.

Director Mark Battle gives us a look at some intensely unhappy people who are dealing with their feelings as best they can. Z is flip and dismissive of other people’s pain. Joe cannot communicate his thoughts at all and yet, the younger woman and the older man, who is “in transition,” manage to find common ground.

The film is quiet. Here Lies Joe is a contemplative look at these two characters who would not have met except for the suicide prevention organization session. A program that is, as Bill obliquely points out,  not too successful.

Each character, Z and Joe, never specifically state why they are drawn to thoughts of suicide, although with Barnes it appears to be a reversal of fortune. Z just seems to be absorbed by death although later more of her inner thought process is revealed.

The humor in Here Lies Joe is low key but all the more effective because of it.  There is a scene in a cemetery where Barnes is lying in front of a gravestone while Z sits in a tree. Battle gives us a visual gag that is simple and amusingly apt.

Temple gives an excellent low key performance as the man whose life has overwhelmed him. Morrow is funny, quirky and able to show that all her affectations hide a deep pain. The couple connect and by the end of the film, there is a splendid twist that will make the viewer smile.

Andi Morrow as Z
Andi Morrow is Z

Morrow is, at turns, impish and adorable with her slanted look at life and her flirtatious approach to Joe.  She and Temple have a odd chemistry that works. His character’s reluctant acceptance of the younger woman, and Z’s  interest in  him, does not stop either from their pursuit of death.

Timothy J. Cox, as the awkward “chair” at the beginning shows, perhaps, what all these people have in common; an inability to really connect with others.

The cinematography is just as low key as the performances. With each scene, apart from the one at the meeting, has a sort of darkness to it. While the picture is clear and crisp there is the feel of a blurring of the light. It suits the storyline brilliantly.

Here Lies Joe deals with a somber subject with gentle humour and a sweetness that is touching. A 5 star short film so effective that after it ends one wants to immediately  watch it again.

 

Stitchers Second Season Premiere Date Set by Freeform

It is near perfect timing by ABC Freeform that they announced the premiere date of season two of the massively popular series Stitchers on Friday January 29. Freeform’s release stated that the show’s “sophomore” season will begin on March 22, 2016.

 SALLI RICHARDSON-WHITFIELD, KYLE HARRIS, EMMA ISHTA, ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI, RITESH RAJAN

It is near perfect timing by ABC Freeform that they  announced the premiere date of season two of the massively popular series Stitchers on Friday January 29. Freeform’s release stated that the  show’s “sophomore” season will begin on March 22, 2016.  MikesFilmTalk just returned from spending a day on set as the Stitchers cast and crew worked on the season finale.

Cast members were interviewed, and selfies taken (pics can be seen via mikesfilmtalk on Instagram or @mikesfilmtalk on Twitter). Every cast member was excited about the upcoming season and revealed a lot about how the new season was going to be even better than the first.

(Interviews will be appearing as the premiere date gets closer.)

Stitchers  follows Kirsten Clark (Emma Ishta) a young lady who is “stitched” into the brains of the recently deceased to access their memories.  A team of  talented colleagues, Cameron (Kyle Harris), Linus (Ritesh Rajan), Camille (Allison Scagliotti), Det. Fisher (Damon Dayoub) and head of the lab Maggie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) all work together in the secret lab.

The first season saw relationships built and placed under strain. Secrets were  revealed about the one young woman, as well as other characters,  who could enter the minds of the dead and learn who had killed them and why. Entering memories of the deceased is just the tip of the iceberg in this secret government facility, as no one yet knows the real purpose behind the mission.

Speaking to the show’s stars and the creator Jeff Schechter it looks like season two is going to “up the stakes”  and be even more exciting than the first season.  Without going into detail, as the actual interviews will be up shortly, everyone on the show is pleased with how the series and their characters are developing.

As more answers to questions from last season are answered, more mysteries crop up as Kirsten, along with her friends and colleagues, tries to learn more about her past.  The entire cast bring their roles to life and the writing of the series allows a depth to these character that are often missing in science fiction shows.

On March 22, ABC Freeform will give fans their second look at Stitchers with a season that promises to amp up the storyline, character development and provide a number of surprises along the way.  As the cast and Jeff emphasized, this will be Stitchers 2.0.

More will be revealed in the coming weeks, like interviews with the cast and the creator Jeff.  Stitchers will air Tuesdays, do not forget to tune in and see what happens next.

IMG_3832
MIkesFilmTalk was there…More to follow.

 

Shades of Blue: Episode 104 – Loman’s Folly (Recap/Review)

In Shades of Blue things are moving on at a rapid pace as episode 104; Who Is It That Can Tell Me Who I Am.

 Shades Of Blue - Season 1

In Shades of Blue things are moving on at a rapid pace in episode 104; Who Is It That Can Tell Me Who I Am. While Harlee tries to sit on the fence and not give up Woz as she attempts to keep Stahl appeased, Loman proves he has not learned anything after his colleagues stage an intervention and his folly may get him killed.

A number of things are revealed in this episode.  Woz is apparently in over his head with Donny, who is keeping a lot of things secret from his lover.  Wozniak  is also promiscuous when stressed and after a quickie in the alley, wrecks his car and gets injured severely enough to be put in hospital.

After Harlee leaves James’ apartment and returns Stahl’s wire,  she comes across a robbery taking place and once she calls for backup,  intervenes. The shop owner is stabbed and the two robbers escape.

Loman goes to the funeral service of the drug dealer he killed and starts to speak to the mourners. His fellow officers drag him away from the podium and their actions almost start a riot.  The neighborhood becomes violent and the police barely get Loman out, although not before being attacked.

Michael’s colleagues take him to a vacant lot and hand him a gun, telling him to shoot himself if he is really  suicidal. (Earlier, Loman tried to throw his service weapon in the river and it fell short. Police came by as he stood on the railing, they brought him in thinking he was attempting to kill himself.) Loman fights and his fellow cops think he has learned his lesson.

Woz sends Harlee to collect that van needed for Donny’s big job, the one he was hesitant to included Santos in, and she discovers C4 and counting machines hidden in a false floor.  Harlee then calls Stahl but hides the incriminating evidence before he and his assistant Molly  (Annie Chang) arrive.

The two robbers, one of whom stabbed the shop’s owner, are tracked down and Harlee  shows that she still bends the rules wherever possible. The second suspect, who abuses his spouse is at home is given up by the one robber in custody. (an amusing scene where Tess comes in as bad cop)  Bernard, the man who stabbed the shopkeeper is protected by his  battered wife who will not let the police in. As they begin to leave, Loman and Harlee can hear him beating on the woman.

Loman is upset and Santos tells him that they can go in if he heard the woman cry for help.  Michael says that he did hear her and the two enter the apartment.

After tricking Stahl, Harlee gives Woz the C4 and cash counting machines. Much later the FBI agent finds them in Matt’s lock-up.

After the hospital visit from Harlee, where Wozniak learns of the C4, he punches Donny and demands to know what is going on and what his partner in crime is not telling him.

Shades Of Blue - Season 1
Harlee visits Woz and tells him about the C4

Ray Liotta delivers in this episode as the cop with many layers. A married man who is secretly gay, a crooked cop and a man consumed with his daughter’s suicide, so much so that he has built a shrine to her in his lock-up. Liotta’s Wozniak is a man of many secrets and issues.

Warren Kole keeps Stahl in the role of unlikeable and stalker-ish douche.  Molly, who is the bipartisan observer to her boss’ behavior, learns that Agent Stahl is focussed completely on himself and his goals on the case. 

Dayo Okeniyi  is consistent with his portrayal of the guilt ridden cop who feels pressure to be a good guy while trying to cope with his murder of an unarmed suspect.  At the end to the episode, his character shows up once more where he has no business being.

Jennifer Lopez still manages to look that bit too glamorous to be a homicide cop, but she pulls it off with a committed performance. As Harlee Santos she convinces as the woman and mother desperate to not rat on her friend and protector Woz while trying to keep Stahl at bay.

Shades of Blue, episode 104 continues to keep up the tension. Santos is still fighting her handler every step of the way and Stahl  is beginning to look more  like the stalker that Harlee accuses him of being.  Nava and Santos take a step back after their amorous evening  while Nazario and Espada get too close.

Sidenote: The reason that Woz wrecks his car is because of a stray dog that he first sees while receiving oral sex in the alley behind a bar. As he drives off, Woz spots the dog again and become distracted. Later in the show, as Loman gets his hand treated and Harlee and Nava talk, Woz brings the dog a scrap of food.  It seemed that, for one moment at least, the crooked cop was going to poison the dog, but it seems that Woz is not as bad as Stahl believes him to be. Although it was surprising that there was not a shot of a dead stray at the end of the show.

Shades of Blue airs Thursdays on NBC.  The show seems to have found its feet and, in this episode at least,   creator Adi Hasak  prevented any further disconnects that detract from this interesting story line. Tune in and see how much longer Harlee can keep Stahl at bay and how long Loman can hide who he is.