Sleepy Hollow: Freedom – Highway to Hell (Review)

 Sleepy-413_SCN9_TR0014_f_hires1

The season four finale of Sleepy Hollow (titled “Freedom”) could have been called “Highway to Hell” with its connection to the devil and the bartering of souls as its centerpiece. It was a wrapping up of all the new characters introduced in this season and the possibility of a return of the grown up Molly if the series returns.

Sleepy Hollow saw the death of Crane’s fellow witness at the end of last season and this year Ichabod moved from his old stomping grounds to the country’s capital. Lt. Abbie Mills bid the show adieu and a new witness was introduced; Molly Thomas.

The change of partner and locale did not bode overly well for the series as its viewing figures dropped from just over 3 million to 1.92 million. The season average for the show’s targeted demographic also dropped from .83 to .50 this year.

Once again, the show’s overall storyline dealt with an impending apocalyptic event, referred to as “the Apocalypse” which implies that the end of the world really applies only to America and the United States. (Or at  the very least that the end of days will start there.) This gives the US a rather imperious significance in the world of the supernatural.

Since the script for Sleepy Hollow was written before the advent of November 8 and the election of the newest POTUS, it seems almost prophetic that this season’s storyline deals with an egotistical madman who becomes the newest leader of the “free world.”

(All the season four bogeyman lacks is a bad orange hairdo and the advanced age of the current POTUS.)

The season has faltered however. Despite bringing back the brilliant John Noble, who never really had the chance to chew up great bits of the scenery as he did in earlier seasons, and introducing the delightfully talented Seychelle Gabriel as the grown up Molly, Sleepy Hollow has lost its spark.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: L-R: Guest star Seychelle Gabriel and Tom Mison in the ÒFreedomÓ episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Friday, March 31 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

The last episode of season four has Malcolm Dreyfuss (a rather impressive baddie who manages to cheat the devil out of his due) taking over the White House and holding the real president hostage.  He has raised the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and is ready to bring things to a nasty end.

Henry Parrish is the God of War and he is persuaded by his father, Ichabod to lay down his fiery sword. Crane reminds his son that freedom, the title of the episode, is more important than revenge or selling one’s soul to a tyrant. This, more than anything else, helps to save the day and allows the rest of Team Crane to stop the Horsemen.

Crane and Diana defeat Malcolm, much to the satisfaction of Jobe who immediately collects the megalomaniac’s soul. Ichabod defeats Dreyfuss because he placed a “lien” on his soul in exchange for the Philosopher’s Stone. This made Malcolm’s immortality vulnerable for a moment, long enough for the two to kill him.

By the end of the episode, Alex shows Jake just how much she cares for him, Lara/Molly decides to go walkabout and get her head straight and Crane has gotten a new partner in Agent Thomas. Jenny and Ichabod are also made part of Thomas’ new team.

The move to bring things to full circle, having a supernatural task force that reports directly to the president (just as George Washington had his own task force) was a nice touch. (Although it does feel a bit “Agent X.”)

Sleepy Hollow finishes with a kraken and a new bond between Thomas and Crane. It also sees the present day Molly released from her role as witness. If the show does somehow manage to be given another season it will be interesting to see what direction it takes.

With such low viewing figures, however, it seems that another season may not be in the cards. If you missed the season four finale head over to Hulu to catch up on all the episodes.

Cast:

Guest starring Seychelle Gabriel as Lara/Molly, Edwin Hodge as Benjamin Banneker and Terrence Mann as the Devil and John Noble as Henry Parrish.

Rosewood: Fairy Tales & Frozen Truths – Family (Review)

FFRosewood-Ep118_Sc33-RM_0145_f_hires1

Rosewood “Fairy Tales & Frozen Truths” re-addresses family and how we never really know everything about those in our bloodline.  Villa has to face issues that her brother Marcos has and Rosie finally accepts that the newest member of his familial world should be allowed to give up a kidney.

A female children’s entertainer is found frozen solid in a freezer. Mitchie realizes that the dead woman is dressed in a Cinderella outfit, right down to the glass slippers, and it is clear that she did not die of hypothermia. It is also obvious that the young woman was murdered.

Mitchie takes a personal interest in the case as the dead woman also lost her parents at an early age. Team Rosie learn that the victim had been hit with a heavy object and it was this that killed her, not the intense cold.

The suspect list includes:  A father suspected of abusing his child, another children’s performer, the dead woman’s legal guardian and the woman’s boss. At the end of the episode it turns out that the murdered “Disney Princess” was killed by an evil “step sibling.”

Rosie and Slade argue throughout the episode about that kidney and Donna Rosewood steps in to help out Daisie Villa when her son Marcos refuses to see her. We find out that Marcos has been taking pictures of Annalise’s friends and family to facilitate getting to know them.

Hornstock also intercedes on Annalise’s behalf when he finds out that Marcos is avoiding Daisie. They find out about all those photographs and Villa tells her brother off. At the end of the episode, Marcos explains what is happening in his life and why he was avoiding his mother.

Slade and  Rosie have a talk about family and the captain putting himself at risk. Rosie also explains that since the condition was self inflicted he feels that Slade’s risk is unacceptable.

This was a good episode. It took a long time to find out who the killer was and when the reveal came it was the sister who not only killed the princess but she was also poisoning her mother.  It was a Disney-esque twist based on sibling rivalry  and greed.

Rosewood has always been about the charismatic Rosie, the relationship between he and Villa and the family he has built around himself. Villa’s family also figure into this equation and everyone in the circle is a part of Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr’s extended family.

It looks like next week will see the transplant take place and it will be interesting to see the outcome. Slade, who revealed to Rosie this week that he is more sinner than saint, has a doomed air about him that does not bode well.

While it took some time for the new captain to fit into Rosewood’s verse, he has finally become a fixture that works well in this Miami based crime show. Hopefully he will not expire “mid operation.”

Rosewood airs Fridays on FOX. Tune in to watch the dynamic duo of Morris Chestnut and Jaina Lee Ortiz. They are the hottest “non” couple on television at the moment. Do not miss out on their splendid chemistry.

Cast:

Guest starring Manny Montana as Marcos Villa, Ginifer King as Veronica Collins, Gina Hecht as Paula Benjamin, Ellen Wroe as Gretchen Benjamin, Kim Matula as Leanne Forrest and T.J. Linnard as Vince Hanna.

MacGyver: Compass – DNA (Review)

Lucas Till as MacGyver

“Compass” starts out with a bit of a disconnect by showing Bozer back in the field in the MacGyver teaser segment. Wilt made it pretty clear in an earlier episode that he preferred to stay back in the lab and would be doing so in the future.

The opening sequence had Jack and Mac in a garbage compactor and they were about to be crushed. While Dalton talks about Star Wars and the compactor scene, and solution in that film, Mac works out how they can really escape.

In the process, however, Jack is injured and later Matty questions whether or not Dalton should still be partnered with Mac. During the short conference, Mac learns that his best friend in Uni has been killed. He jets off to attend the funeral where he is met by Dalton.

Jack has his injured arm in a sling but he still manages to accompany his friend to the service. Later they spot someone taking pictures of the mourners and after some hacking by Riley, they learn that Mac’s friend Frankie is still alive.

Her project; a new DNA analyzer, has uncovered something that someone wants hidden. There are the usual MacGyver tricks and he even makes a centrifuge out of cardboard.  We learn that Frankie was a romance that he knew could never happen and that Matty really does care for Dalton.

On the romantic front, it appears that Bozer has to live with Riley falling for the Hawaiian Kalei that she met in the Hawaii Five-O crossover episode “Flashlight.” He is jealous of all the “text time” that the two are engaging in and later, after talking to Jack, decides to keep being friends with his crush.

This episode really brought nothing new to the table.  On the plus side, those annoying subtitled split screen “builds” have disappeared.  However, there is very little time spent with anything that Mac now manufactures for any particular storyline.

There needs to be some middle ground where we can actually see how clever MacGyver really is. Having other characters point out what he is making, in this episode it was Frankie who asked if he had really made a piece of lab equipment from a cardboard box, is going too much the other way.

MacGyver has always been about improvising and not using guns to take out the bad guys. Sure the series was annoying as hell in the beginning but with too much emphasis on what Mac was making but now it is beyond vague.

Complaints aside, the team are still working well together, Tristin Mays has been allowed to ditch that bird’s nest hairdo she was lumbered with in the beginning and Meredith Eaton has slid nicely into the position of severe but caring new boss at Phoenix.

Till and Eads are a respectable double act, although Eads manages to fit in well with whomever he works with, and Hires as Wilt feels as comfy as an old pair of shoes.  While the original MacGyver was less about teamwork and more about Mac’s going it alone, this new iteration is hitting the mark with a good cast and some standard scripts.

MacGyver airs Fridays on CBS. Head on over and check it out and see what you think. Good or mediocre?

Cast:

Guest starring Aly Michalka as Frankie and François Chau as Richard Sang.

Dr Ken: Ken’s Big Audition – Cameo Cornucopia for Season End (Review)

DAN HARMON

The season finale of Dr. Ken “Ken’s Big Audition” offers up some great cameos, some life changing events and a lot of laughs. As we said in our preview of this episode (which was a tad secretive, we admit) there “is a positive cornucopia of performers from Ken Jeong’s career and there are a few surprise cameo’s thrown in for good measure.” At the time of publication, there was a slight problem with revealing too much of who would be appearing on the last episode of season two.

Now, however, we can gleefully point out the blink and you’ll miss him cameos of not just Seth Rogen but his producing partner Evan Goldburg. We can also sing the praises of the oh so beautiful (and wildly talented) Alison Brie, Nia Vardalos – who pops up at the very end as Pat’s wife who suddenly wants to reunite with her ex.

“Ken’s Big Audition” spells change and leaves the audience with a bit of a cliffhanger. (Will John Cho take the call?) Ken’s life changes when he gets a call from Dan Harmon. Harmon wants Ken to audition for a new television pilot and the wannabe performer is over the moon.

Before that bit of excitement, Molly reveals that she has gotten into Stanford.  (This was a brilliant bit of comedy. The eldest Park child bursts into the kitchen announcing that “I got in!” D.K. responds “Congratulations! You can use a swinging door.”)

Dana Lee
Congratulations…

Dana Lee managed, once again, to bring some brilliant bits to this packed episode. His short, and loudly delivered, line about not using stereotypical accents was perfectly timed and very funny. Kudos to the actor and the writers for that one.

While Allison has to deal with her first born moving away from home, Dave and D.K. both vying for Molly’s room and Ken’s new change of fortune, Pat and Damona almost take their new relationship to the next level; matrimony. Clark talks Pat into possibly popping the question and he seriously considers it.

The episode itself, however, belongs to Ken Jeong and his cast of many cameos. (See what we did there?) Some of the highlights included Ken enlisting Damona and Clark to help him learn his lines for the audition. Later, when he meets with Alison Brie to read with her, she apes Clark’s “baby voiced” deliver of “I have a tummy ache.”

Dr. Ken reacts just as badly to Brie’s interpretation of the line as he did when Clark did it. Ken’s over the top audition leaves him feeling very uncertain and ready to turn his back on the whole thing. As he calls Allison to complain about Hollywood and to grumble about the business, Rogen and Goldberg appear just long enough to Seth to insult the depressed doctor.

Ken’s distress is uncalled for though as Harmon actually casts the doctor as a Spanish teacher with an attitude (a riff on a character Jeong played in Community.) and it looks like Dr. Ken’s new career is off and running.

KRISTA MARIE YU, SUZY NAKAMURA
Molly and Allison share a touching moment.

At the end of the episode Ken looks to be dangerously close to being replaced by John Cho because he cannot stop laughing at Alison Brie and spoiling take after take.  Molly and Alison become even closer with their upcoming separation and Pat gets the surprise of his life when Tiffany turns up to ask for another chance.

There are a number of obvious funny moments in the show. There are also  some bits that one has to look at closely to find the humor. For instance: Just before Ken bumps into Seth and Evan, he is on a stereotypical Hollywood “lot.”

There are actors, makeup artists and so on scattered throughout the scene. What almost slips past the viewer are the external sets themselves. Each building facade is “Ken” sized. Just as funny is Ken’s “mark” (where the actor must stand in order to be in the shot). It is clearly visible and it is a big yellow square; a clear indication that Ken Park is afraid that he has blown his big chance.

KEN JEONG
Ken Jeong

Ken’s concerns are groundless though as Harmon, who apparently likes to punish his fans, hires Ken even though the audition was horrendous. Ken gets the part and then spends his first shooting day blowing the scene because he cannot stop corpsing at Brie’s character.

The kicker of the episode though is Tiffany returning to get Pat back into her life. This leaves things hanging with his new relationship with Damona and we wonder if he loves her enough to turn Tiffany down.

A lot of things could be different in a third season of Dr. Ken. Molly could well be absent (and we would be heartbroken if this were the case as Krista Marie Yu is a personal favorite) Pat and Damona could break up and last but not least, Ken could leave Welltopia all together.

While there would still be room for the delightful brand of comedy that Dr. Ken brings to the table each Friday night, it would be…different.

Questions and musings about season three aside, this was a brilliant end to the season. Dave getting one up on D.K. and Pat’s dilemma were all part and parcel of the overall storyline and that familiar feel of comedy done just right.

If you have not seen the season two finale, catch it later via Hulu or On Demand. Tune in and see why this is a topnotch comedy offering from Ken Jeong and his brilliant ensemble cast. Or stop by to catch the always watchable Alison Brie…

DAN HARMON, ALISON BRIE

Cast:

Ken Jeong – Ken
Albert Tsai – Dave
Suzy Nakamura – Allison Park
Krista Marie Yu – Molly
Tisha Campbell-Martin – Damona
Jonathan Slavin – Clark
Dave Foley – Pat
Dana Lee – D.K.
Justin Chon – Jae
Stephen Guarino – Connor

Guest starring Dan Harmon, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Alison Brie and Nia Vardalos

 

Dr Ken: Ken’s Big Audition – Season Two Finale Fun (Preview)

TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, JONATHAN SLAVIN, KEN JEONG

The clue is in the title of this season finale of Dr. Ken. It appears that Ken Park’s dream to perform may just become a reality. He has a big audition (there is that hint in the title after all) that may just become a game changer.

“Ken’s Big Audition” is the perfect ending for the show’s second season.  There are a bevy of special guest stars in the final episode. Dan Harmon (creator, and rumored sourpuss, of Community) and there are a few “in-jokes” as well as some other special guests from Ken’s past (and present) who appear.

Another theme, one which has been prevalent throughout season two, is “change.”  As evidenced in the most recent episodes (Clark’s Big Surprise and Ken and the CEO) romantically, at least, things have changed dramatically for some of the characters.

Pat and Damona are now a couple and Clark just tied the knot with Connor. Prior to that, Molly and Jae went through their first, and second, argument, and are now a couple who seem to know what they want. (On a sidenote, Jae has moved into the background for the time being.)

The season finale of Dr. Ken keeps the comedy factor high as several things happen almost at once. As the title implies, Dr. Ken gets an audition, based upon someone seeing his open mic stand up, and this runs parallel with all the other events that crop up in the episode.

Everyone, sans Clark, has a life changing event of some sort and there is a delicious twist on the Pat/Damona romance. Molly learns something important and D.K. works to outmaneuver Dave at the Park house.

In terms of guests, this episode is a positive cornucopia of performers from Ken Jeong’s career and there are a few surprise cameo’s thrown in for good measure. (Hint: Keep your eyes open for two guests in a “blink and you will miss it” spot midway through the episode.)

There are some very funny cringeworthy moments mixed in with the usual dose of Dr. Ken comedy with its touch of poignancy. One gets the feeling that, like the rest of the series, that Ken and his team have amped up his real-life story to good effect.

After watching the season finale, which airs Friday; 31 March on ABC, one is left wondering about the future of the series.  If it comes back for a third season who will be left on the roster. More importantly, however, is the question of where will the show head next?

The finale, with its comic cliffhanger ending, can be interpreted in several ways. It will be up to the fans to decide whether this is the prelude to an end or a comic misdirection to titillate viewers who wonder what will happen in season three.

Dr. Ken has managed to keep an average viewing audience of 4.426 million. The last two episodes have kept an even demographic rating.  However, there has been a drop in figures from the first, shortened, season despite the show’s comedy output increasing.

It could be argued that the loss of Kate Simses as series regular hurt the show early in the season and that this, more than anything else, affected the overall ratings.  However, the family friendly comedy and that signature “touch of poignancy” in so many episodes has made this season far superior to the first outing of Dr. Ken.

The Dr. Ken season finale airs Friday on ABC. Tune in for some guest star fun and the usual quotient of comedy with just a touch of tears.