Bates Motel: "Midnight" Review
Wow, that was quite a finale. Bates Motel pulled out all the stops in “Midnight,” revealing insight into all the major characters, while showing us how White Pine Bay really operates. In typical finale fashion, the episode ends with one hell of a cliffhanger that really changes the rules for Season 2. There are so many things to touch on here. The episode opens with Norma approaching Sheriff...
Bates Motel Season Finale Tonight at 10pm →
Who else is excited? Only about an hour to go! Check out Season 1 episode reviews at the above link to catch up before the finale. How do you think it’s going to end? As always, I’ll be sure to post a review shortly after it airs. -MP
Bates Motel: "Underwater" Review
“Underwater” isn’t quite as thrilling as recent episodes of Bates Motel, but it really feels like a setup for next week. Many television shows pull out all the stops on pen-ultimate episodes, but others save it all for the finale. The latter feels like the case with Bates, as numerous plot points are foreshadowed for a confrontational finale. That’s not to say “Underwater” is a bad episode at...
Bates Motel: "A Boy and His Dog" Review
Well, it’s safe to say that White Pine Bay is the craziest fictional town in America, and all the insanity somehow falls within the block surrounding the Bates Motel. Tonight’s episode, “A Boy and His Dog” seems slower-paced in comparison to this fast-moving show, until we get to the ending. More on that later because the end reveal will certainly be polarizing; after all, it pushes Bates Motel...
Bates Motel: "The Man in Number 9" Review
If last week’s “The Truth” felt like a season finale, tonight certainly felt like a season premiere. “The Man in Number 9” definitely has the elements of a reset, as old plot lines are tied up and new ones are introduced. In a way, this episode feels a little disjointed at time, especially since so much time is covered. But thanks to a truly lovely ending, “The Man in Number 9” ties it all...
lets-get-mildly-suggestive asked: I love your theme! Anyway, talk to me about Bates Motel!
Bates Motel: "The Truth" Review
Wow, that was quite an episode. Last week, I criticized “Ocean View” for packing too much into one episode. “The Truth” moves even faster, yet it is far more successful and gripping. The reason? “The Truth” is focused on one situation, and it brings all the episode arcs to a head, while also containing some major revelations. I admire how this show has become hyper-serialized, like Breaking Bad....
Bates Motel: "Ocean View" Review
This week’s episode of Bates Motel certainly packs in a lot of content. For better or worse, “Ocean View” answers almost all the questions we were asking at the conclusion of last week’s episode. Will Norma go to jail? What’s really going on with Shelby? Was that girl in the basement real? It’s amazing how much ground is covered here. The beginning of “Ocean View” is especially strong. Norma is...
Bates Motel: "Trust Me" Review
I’m a huge Hitchcock and Psychofan, but when I heard about Bates Motel coming to A&E, I laughed a bit. It sounded clunky, and I thought it would be yet another cash-in on a classic piece of cinema. But then I started to see some of the footage and early production information, and the show began to catch my attention. I watched the pilot, loved it, and after only four episodes: I’m hooked....
Bates Motel Renewed for a Second Season! →
Good news! Bates Motel - my favorite new show this year - has been picked up for a ten-episode second season. I think I may start reviewing it weekly. Episode 4, “Trust Me” airs tonight at 10 on A&E. Will you be tuning in? For television reviews and more, check out Review Hub Central. -MP
The Killing Returns June 2nd →
The Killing will return to AMC on June 2nd for a two hour premiere. I know, it’s crazy that it’s coming back, but I’m excited to see where the show goes from the events of Season 2’s finale. The press release says that the new season will pick up one year after the finale, which sounds like a good idea… to step away from all that drama and start fresh. If...
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Review
Poor, Luigi. He got his first shot at going solo in Luigi’s Mansion back in 2001, providing a truly unique launch title for the Nintendo Gamecube. The game garnered a cult following over the years, but it was hardly considered a beaming success back at launch. Many unfairly compared the mysterious, brooding gameplay of Luigi’s Mansion to the happy-go-lucky platformer, Super Mario 64. The game...
Celebrity Ghost Stories Review
Celebrity Ghost Stories is a little known shown on The Biography Channel that’s been on for nearly five years and has featured well over two hundred celebrities. I’ve seen almost every episode and didn’t realize how much I enjoy this show until Season 4 wrapped up a few weeks back. Until Season 5 begins, my DVR is rendered unemployed on Saturday nights. Celebrity Ghost Stories is simple in style...
Fringe: Series Finale Review
Ah, Fringe. Tonight marks the resolution of FOX’s five year science-fiction series. What began as a typical freak-of-the-week pattern emerged into something entirely different and ends with a two-part episode that neatly wraps up the series. “Liberty” and “An Enemy of Fate” have big shoes to fill in a show that managed to reinvent itself every year. Part I, “Liberty,” is all about Olivia, who...
The Killing Was Renewed for Season 3?! →
This news came yesterday, and I meant to post about it: apparently The Killing will be back for a third season. This news has been hovering around for some time, but AMC made the official announcement yesterday. I’m quite surprised, considering the Season 2 finale worked so well as a series finale. Rumors point towards a May premiere. Feel free to catch up on all my The Killing reviews...
Fringe: "In Absentia" Review
I’m a week behind on my Fringe reviews, but I still want to post a quick article on Season 5’s second episode, “In Absentia.” This episode works to ground the new dynamic by reintroducing us to old series’ staples in a new, very different world. I enjoyed this episode a lot, as it effectively collides two different worlds. “In Absentia” is essentially about recapturing the Harvard lab....
Fringe: "Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11"...
Once again, Fringe has re-invented itself as the series moves into its fifth and final season. “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11” serves as a strong setup to a very different season. Last year’s polarizing “Letters of Transit” laid just enough groundwork for “Transilience” to establish itself without alienating the show’s audience. The year is 2036, and the observers have taken...
Breaking Bad: "Gliding Over All" Review
Breaking Bad wraps up part one of its fifth and final season with a very different episode. “Gliding Over All” is a brilliant hour of television that manages to reflect on the series in a quiet, subdued manner. That being said, this one still ends big and dramatically changes the scope of the series. Before getting into specifics, I’d like to start off with this: “Gliding Over All” has lofty...
2 Hours Until the 2012 Breaking Bad Finale!
Can’t wait. I’ll post a review shortly after tonight’s episode, “Gliding Over All” airs. While we wait, feel free to catch up on all of my Breaking Bad reviews right here. How do you think it’s going to end?
Breaking Bad: "Say My Name" Review
“Say My Name” - the penultimate episode of 2012 - is another strong one with a big ending. Season 5 has not been the tension-ridden nightmare of last year, but it certainly brought about some huge changes for Walt thus far. Things are different now. This year has not been about the external threats caused by Walt’s choices. No, instead we’ve been stripped of those threats and provided with a...
Breaking Bad: "Buyout" Review
“Buyout” is a transitional episode of Breaking Bad. It’s definitely not the strongest hour we’ve seen this season, yet it manages to move the story forward in all the right ways. More importantly, “Buyout” looks back just enough at Walter’s roots, revealing some of the underlying motivations behind his behavior. The episode begins with Walt, Mike, and Todd disposing of the body in - you guessed...
The Closer: Series Review
A few summers ago, I turned on the TV one morning. I saw a woman with a southern accent screaming at a young, pregnant teenager to confess. The pregnant teen had apparently murdered an innocent family execution style to protect her imprisoned boyfriend. After tricking the pregnant girl to confess by using her unborn child as bait, the southern woman went home to her husband and cried about her...
Breaking Bad: "Dead Freight" Review
Why can’t things ever end well on Breaking Bad? Though I suspect that’s why we love the show so much. “Dead Freight” continues the traditional Murphy’s Law, while we continually question how the biggest heist in Breaking Bad history will fail. “Dead Freight” is in many ways like the season premiere, “Live Free or Die,” especially in its containment. But, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a...
Breaking Bad: "Fifty-One" Review
Happy Birthday, Walt. “Fifty-One” is a big episode in the series; it’s been exactly one year since the pilot, and this episode manages to take us full circle and show us who Walter White has become. And, for the first time in the entire series, I think my lingering sympathy for Walt has vanished. That’s a huge step, and I suppose it means the writers have succeeded in their original vision....
Ordinary People Review
I’m not sure how I’ve been writing reviews for two-and-a-half years without posting about one of my favorite novels: Judith Guest’s Ordinary People. Dramatizing the tale of an upper-middle class family, Ordinary People is a story about love, loss, and healing. The story is a refreshingly honest work that manages to show a seemingly ordinary family’s struggle through grief. Ordinary People...
Anonymous asked: Walt's not thick enough to not fully understand why Victor had to die. He flaunted the icarus analogy in front of Jesse to continue to keep him under his thumb. Walt has shown himself to constantly have a dangerous mindset, but that doesn't mean his thinking is clouded. He knows and does exactly what he wants to do. Yes, it's incredibly dangerous, but that's been the...
Breaking Bad: "Hazard Pay" Review
The logistics of cooking crystal-meth are often taken for granted on Breaking Bad. Thinking back, the RV from Seasons 1 and 2 and the super-lab from Seasons 3 and 4 were staples of the series, and they helped define the aesthetics of Breaking Bad. “Hazard Pay” introduces us to the new ways in which Walt’s business pushes forward, further defining Season 5. “Hazard Pay” begins with Mike visiting...
AMC Cancels The Killing →
The Killing has officially been cancelled by AMC. I suspected this might be the case, with the Rosie Larsen investigation neatly wrapped up. The Killing was not always perfect, but it was still a fine show and had an enjoyable (and dark) run on AMC. It’ll be missed. All of my The Killing reviews are available right here. What are your thoughts on AMC’s decision? -MP
Breaking Bad: "Madrigal" Review
“There’s no better reason than family,” Walt whispers in bed to an emotionally dead Skyler. This is the kind of storytelling that makes Breaking Bad so great, and it’s been somewhat absent in Seasons 3 and 4. This year, the show has hit a bit of a reset, and Season 5 already resonates as strongly as the early days of Breaking Bad. With Gus out of the picture, we can finally breathe again, and...
The Sixth Sense Review
M. Night Shyamalan’s movies have become a bit of a joke in contemporary cinema, but let’s all think back to his first and most successful film: The Sixth Sense - a powerful thriller and ghost story. With this one movie, M. Night Shyamalan established a name for himself, allowing a multitude of inferior twist-ridden stories to follow. None of his follow-ups have matched the success and poignancy...
Breaking Bad: "Live Free or Die" Review
Breaking Bad returns for part one of its divided final season with “Live Free or Die” - a strong set-up introducing us to the rules of Season 5. There’s a lot to touch on here, so let’s jump right into it. “Live Free or Die” opens with a flash forward, somewhat reminiscent of the pink teddy bear back in Season 2. I suspect these images will continue to reappear throughout the rest of the...
Check out the New Review Hub Central! →
Hi, loyal Tumblr followers! Just wanted to let you know that I revamped my website. I thank all of you that have been following. Feel free to check it out at the link above; you can also read about some of the changes right here. And, no worries, I’ll still be posting all of my reviews right here on Tumblr, as well. I’m just glad I finished it in time for the new season of Breaking...
AMC just released a great little promo for the upcoming Season 5 of Breaking Bad. Only about a week to go until our favorite meth manufacturers return! Check out the video above, and feel free to check out all of my Breaking Bad reviews right here. See you next Sunday with a review of “Live Free or Die.” -MP
Nintendo 3DS: VVVVVV Review
This marks my first 3DS eShop review. VVVVVV (the game with the unpronounceable and annoying name to type) is a surprisingly addictive and challenging platformer for the 3DS. This one immediately pulled me in, and I couldn’t stop playing until I finished. VVVVVV has a simple and elegant structure. You play as Captain Viridian (the adorable little sprite depicted above), captain of a spaceship...
Breaking Bad: Season 5 Cast Photos →
Today, AMC released promotional photos for the upcoming Season 5. I don’t know about you, but three weeks can’t come soon enough. Until then, feel free to check out any of my Breaking Bad reviews. I’ll see you fellow fans on the 15th. -MP
1171592-deactivated20121001 asked: I like your blog very much, I haven't seen one like this before :)
"The Raven" Review
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is one of the most recognizable tales in American literature. It’s difficult to review a poem so ingrained in our culture, but I’d like to share my thoughts, and hopefully, inspire some of you to check it out who haven’t read it before. Let me start by explaining why the poem is in the Short Story Review section of my website. You could say that I’m lazy and don’t...
The Killing: "What I Know" Review
The Killing tested some fans last year with a cliffhanger Season 1 finale. It’s clear that the writers wouldn’t let that happen again, and “What I Know” provides a clear and definitive ending that works wonderfully as both a season and possible series finale. Before going into that, here’s a quick warning: If you haven’t watched the finale yet, stop reading, as spoilers follow. The Killing has...
The Killing: "Donnie or Marie" Review
The Killing winds down to its finale in just under thirty minutes. This season, AMC promises that Rosie Larsen’s killer will be revealed and it’ll be interesting to see exactly how the writers tie up the case. Will there be loose ends? Will the killer get away? It’s anyone’s guess after last year’s polarizing finale. But before tonight’s episode airs, I’d like to share my thoughts on last...
The Killing: "Bulldog" Review
As The Killing winds down to its finale tonight at 9pm, I will be posting reviews of the previous two episodes. Let’s start with “Bulldog,” a very strong episode taking place on Halloween, filled with revelations and strong character moments. The strongest aspect of “Bulldog” involves Richmond’s campaign. At the start, everything is looking good for the councilman; his numbers are ahead of the...
Novels don’t always depend on the extraordinary to inspire. I recently stumbled upon an excellent read, John Williams’ Stoner, and would like to recommend it to any readers who follow this site. Here is a book that abides by the less-is-more conceit and manages to present an honest portrayal of an ordinary man in ordinary times. John Stoner is our protagonist - a man who, as we learn in the...
The Killing: "72 Hours" Review
Last week’s “72 Hours” provided an interesting shift in The Killing’s mythology, finally pulling back the curtain on Linden’s previous case. The hour is powerful and well-acted, though the series’ structure inhibits “72 Hours” from reaching the brilliance it aspires to. This episode is all about Linden. We get some insight into Gwen and Richmond’s relationship and a bit of closure for Stan, but...
Breaking Bad Ghost Stories:
The great Giancarlo Esposito (drug kingpin Gus Fring on Breaking Bad) will kick off Biography Channel’s new season of Celebrity Ghost Stories this Saturday. I know I’ll be tuning in at 9pm. In other Breaking Bad news, Season 5 is set to premiere July 15th, so mark your calendars. And for those of you still catching up, Season 4 will be released on DVD and Blu-ray June 5th. For the...
The Killing: "Sayonara, Hiawatha" Review
Last week’s episode of The Killing put the emphasis back on the Rosie Larsen case, while taking the story in some exciting new places. Though the excellent previous episode, “Off the Reservation” brought some big changes, “Sayonara, Hiawatha” doesn’t feel all that different from what we’ve seen on The Killing thus far. The biggest change - Linden’s suspension - should take the series in a new...
Fringe: "Brave New World" Review
Season 4 was an interesting shift in the Fringe mythology. Overall, I enjoyed the season; it wasn’t quite up to par with last year’s excellent Season 3, but it included some memorable transformations and character arcs harkening back to the series’ roots. “Brave New World,” however, closed out the season in a strange manner. While I throughly enjoyed Part 1 of “Brave New World,” I was left...
The Killing: "Off the Reservation" Review
Last week’s episode of The Killing was excellent - perhaps the strongest of Season 2. “Off the Reservation” moves quickly and fundamentally changes the scope of the series. This episode is successful for not only delivering a nice character-driven piece, but for pushing the series forward in notable ways. “Off the Reservation” starts big. Linden is panicked and demands a search for Holder, who...
Fringe: "Worlds Apart" Review
I know my Fringe reviews are way behind, but let’s think back to April 27th, when the bridge between both universes closed in “Worlds Apart.” This was a highly successful episode that upped the stakes from the very beginning and continued along at a break-neck pace. I appreciate the time and effort the writers gave to this big change on the show. If Season 4 can be narrowed down to one central...
The Killing: "Keylela" Review
“Keylela” essentially works as a transitional episode of The Killing. Though not quite as emotionally satisfying as the previous episode, “Openings,” there are still plenty of great moments throughout “Keylela.” While this episode might not be as memorable as a whole, it moves the pieces into all the right places. I like that we get to see Jack spend time with Holder. It’s one of the few times...
The Killing: "Openings" Review
I mentioned in my review of the previous episode, “Ghosts of the Past,” that The Killing was re-entering a frustrating territory; the Rosie Larsen case was starting to border on the absurd, and character was being sacrificed for plot twists. I am happy to say that “Openings” brings the show back to a more character-driven place, and the show is stronger for it. First off, this episode works...