Summer TV recap

Hubby and I got into several TV shows this summer that we watched on a weekly basis and now that the series/seasons are over, I thought I'd post my thoughts on them.

Below are season summaries of 3 shows that aired this summer - Persons Unknown, Entourage, and True Blood.

Persons Unknown

http://mcclure.with-this-promise.org/PersonsUnknown_S1.jpgI blogged about this show awhile back and we really enjoyed it up until the last episode.

This was a 13 episode summer mini-series that aired on NBC. Originally it started out on Monday nights, but halfway through the series it was moved to Saturday night - didn't matter much to us though as we usually watched it via onDemand Sunday evenings since hubby worked both Monday and Saturday evenings anyway and we enjoyed watching it together.

In this one, a group of strangers with seemingly nothing in common are all abducted from their everyday lives and wake up in a hotel in an unfamiliar town. As they get accustomed to their surroundings and try to figure out where they are and why, they come to realize they are in an isolated town with cameras watching their every move 24/7 and an electric current surrounds the city electrocuting anyone that tries to go through it, keeping them trapped. Aside from the abductees, the only other people in the town are the hotel's night manager and a staff of Chinese workers who prepare meals for everyone at the Chinese restaurant in the center of town.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2010/06/07/alg_persons_unknown.jpgThere are several twists in this series as some people in the town are not who they seem to be. At the end of the series when it seems mostly everyone has escaped the town, the last episode leaves more questions unanswered than answered. What is level 2? What is "the program"? How is Mark going to fit into the town with Joe and Tori both being in his group, knowing all about them and the information he has gathered on "the program"? What will happen to Kat and Ambassador Fairchild?

I agree with some of the reviews that they should have ended it with episode 12, where we can assume they got out and draw our own conclusions from there - the way they ended the series with episode 13 really makes you wonder as it felt more like a season finale with the cliffhangers rather than a series finale which really isn't fair to the viewers. The series was shot back in early 2009 and was picked up by NBC a year ago - while the crew behind this one admitted they would like to turn it into a full series, at the time NBC agreed to the show, there was no telling if it would get a second season and NBC always marketed it as a summer mini-series stating that all questions will be answered by the end of the series. Well clearly that didn't happen! This show needs a second season at least just to tie up all the lose ends that were opened in the last episode, however it supposidly had low ratings so there's little to no chance it will get picked up for a 2nd season next summer.

It was a pretty good mystery/thriller/drama though, as it kept you guessing at what was going to happen and some of the twists were just jaw-dropping. It comes out on DVD this week I believe so be sure to check it out if you missed it!

Entourage (season 7)

Hubby and I started watching this one at the beginning of the year when SpikeTV started running it in syndication, however with 2 episodes a week and constantly switching what night it was, it was getting too difficult to keep up with it so we just watched all the previous seasons on the computer and got caught up prior to this season - season 7.

The season started off strong...
Vince was wrapping up a major movie, Johnny Drama seemed to have a promising network show just for him in the works, E was newly engaged to Sloane and planning their wedding while his job at the management group was going well, and Turtle was running his own limo business. Ari also seemed to be on top of the world as he was now the biggest agent in Hollywood and was in talks to bring an NFL team to LA which he would be the proud owner of.

But all that soon went downhill...
Vince started dating porn star Sasha Grey and began doing drugs other than weed, including cocaine, which caused him to almost lose a major movie role as the director was convinced he was on something during their meetings and was afraid he'd be a liability; Johnny Drama gets his show pulled out from under him after the network casts John Stamos as his co-star and Bob Saget demands Johnny's role as him and Stamos have been looking for a project to do together and Saget claims the network passed him the script months prior; E struggles to keep Vince in line and for awhile feels threatened by co-worker Scott who starts spending lots of time with Vince; and Turtle gets involved with a tequila company out of Mexico who wants Vince as the product's face - after spreading the word about how great the tequila is, Turtle starts getting demands for it that the supply cannot meet until they build another $5million factory - in an attempt to solve that problem, Turtle ends up angering the owner for going behind his back to get investors, including ones that are willing to buy out the company if the owner won't take their money. Ari also loses his NFL team after angering employee Lizzie Grant (who had an affair with Ari's good friend in the previous season) when he denies her a promotion and she leaves to company to work for Ari's rival Amanda Davis who threatens to blackmail him with recorded tapes of him berating his employees. Somehow the tapes get leaked, leaving Ari embarrassed and ashamed for the embarrassment he's brought upon his wife and kids.

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/13242/2010/08/thumb160x_explore_gawkertv_videos_1065.jpgThe season ends with E and Scott getting along and Sloane's father tells E that he and E's boss (who happens to be his Sloane's godfather) doesn't think he's motivated enough and wants him to sign a pre-nup before the wedding - this angers E and he agrees to join Scott and other managers in an overthrow of their boss as they're all fed up with the fact that the man is never there. Thanks to some persuasion from E's beautiful assistant, Johnny gives in to doing a cartoon by Billy Walsh called "Johnny's Bananas" which depicts Johnny and the cast as gorillas in comedy format similar to that of the Simpsons and Family Guy. Turtle is still dealing with the mess from the tequila company as he tries to get the owner and potential investors to agree. Ari attempts to make things right with his wife by planning a big surprise party with Christina Aguilera singing to her, however after spending a day out drinking with her sister and finding out, she decides not to show, calling Ari instead and telling him she needs to take a break from him and rethink their marriage.

Vince spirals out of control - after a night of hard drinking and drugs, he joins Sasha on the set of her latest porn movie (which he didn't want her to do in the first place) and acts like a complete jerk to everyone, forcing her to break up with him; after finding a huge bag of coke in the house and worried that he never came home the previous night and can't reach him the next day, Johnny insists that E, Turtle, Billy and Ari all join him in an intervention for Vince, which only upsets him even more. Vince spends the night at a hotel, snorting lines of coke and crashes a party that Eminem is having downstairs. Johnny shows up to bring Vince home, but not before Vince harasses a young starlet who turns him down and security gets involved. Eminem is about to let Vince stay, but then things escalate and end with Eminem punching Vince out as several of his posse gang up on him. The season ends with everyone gathered at the hospital, Johnny with some battle scars from the fight and Vince coming out of a hospital room with his face all black and blue; when a cop asks him to make a statement and Vince tells him to talk to his lawyer the cop points out that he better be able to explain the small bag of coke that was found on him.

This season was alright, although it was 2 episodes short of a normal season. It showed just how quickly things can go downhill for celebs and the like, as Vince had some promising opportunities but got involved in some bad things or how Ari was on top until his own words resurfaced and came back to bite him in the butt, not only causing problems at work but in his family as well.

Season 8 is rumored to be the last with a movie in the works to wrap the whole thing up (kinda like HBO did with Sex and the City). It'll be interesting to see what happens - will Vince and Ari be able to get their stuff together and rise back up to the top or are they both pretty much done for? Will E and Scott be able to take over things at work and if so, how will that affect his pending nuptials to his boss's goddaughter, Sloane? Will Turtle make something of himself with this tequila company or will that all fall through and leave him with a reputation that he can't deliver on a product? Will Billy's cartoon of Gorilla Johnny be the hit that everyone seems to think it will be, reviving Johnny Drama's career and redeeming Billy from the dreadful Medellin?

It should make for an interesting final season!

True Blood (season 3)


http://www.blogcdn.com/www.tvsquad.com/media/2010/06/true-blood-bad-blood-s03e01.jpgThis season picks up where season 2 left off with Bill suddenly going missing after proposing to Sookie. With the reluctant help of Eric, Sookie travels to Jackson, Mississippi with good werewolf Alcide to see if she can't find more information about Bill's whereabouts. It seems Bill was taken by some mean gang of werewolves (in which Alcide's ex Debbie has recently joined) under the orders of Vampire King of Mississippi Russell Edgington and is now being held captive by him and Lorena. Sookie begins having encounters with a magical female named Claudine and she learns she's part Fae, which means her blood is like crack to vampires and if they drink enough of it, they can last briefly in the daylight. Eric, Pam and Vampire Queen of Louisana Sophie-Anne also have troubles of their own as the Vampire Magistrate is onto them for selling V.

After the death of Eggs, Tara gets herself mixed up with new vampire Franklin Mott, who comes off a bit psychotic and deranged. He is also trying to dig up any information Bill has on Sookie for Russell and he intends on making Tara his vampire bride.

http://screencrave.frsucrave.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/True-Blood-26-7-10-kc.jpgSam has found his birth mother and learns he also has a shifter half brother named Tommy. He tries to help his hillbilly family out, but unfortunately all they care about is money. Wanting a better life for Tommy after he learns his mother's boyfriend makes him shift into a pitbull to dogfight for money, Sam invites Tommy to stay with him and work as a bus boy at Merlotte's. Things go well for the most part until Sam gets drunk one day and tired of being the nice guy everyone walks on, he gets mean with all his employees and fires his brother, prompting Tommy to break into the safe in the middle of the night and run off.

Lafayette is still selling V for Eric and in an attempt to help Tara after Eggs death, takes her to meet his mother in a mental institution where he meets her Hispanic (and gay) nurse Jesus. The 2 guys instantly hit it off, bonding, and eventually start a relationship. After an evening of doing V together, Layfayette freaks out a bit and learns that Jesus is also a witch.

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l129/tonilost/true%20blood/truebloodjasonuntitled.jpgJason, who shot Eggs at the end of last season when he saw him coming towards Detective Andy with a knife, is under a bit of guilt as he knew how much Tara loved Eggs and he considers Tara to be like a sister to him. He's also afraid of going to jail, so Andy helps him out by taking responsibility for the shooting. Andy however is soon promoted to Sheriff and seen as a hero in the community. Jason begins to get jealous and in an attempt to keep him quite, Andy does what he can to get Jason on the police force to help him make something of his life. Jason helps with a drug bust in the nearby community of Hotshot and soon after meets resident Crystal Norris whom he is instantly attracted to. The problem, he learns, is that not only is she betrothed to an abusive man from Hotshot, but that Hotshot is actually a community of werepanthers, Crystal included. When Andy and the DEA are about to raid Hotshot, after a tip from Jason that was made as a way to get Crystal out of there for good, he realizes that a raid on the community could be a bad thing as Crystal points out there are many innocent women and children who won't be able to defend themselves against the attack.

http://www.buzzine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/true_blood_2seas3_20090331.jpgArlene learns that she is pregnant and at first is thrilled as she thinks it's Terry's baby, but then freaks out after going to the doctor and learns the child was conceived before she was with Terry and that it is mostly like the child of her ex-fiance Rene who turned out to be a killer in season 1. Although she doesn't believe in abortion, Arlene is scared the baby is evil and will turn out to be a killer like it's father and hopes for a miscarriage, despite Terry's declaration that they will shower the baby with so much love that that won't happen. After learning that new Merlotte's waitress Holly is a Wiccan, she has her perform some Wiccan ritual with her in hopes that it will cause something like a miscarriage to happen.

http://images.broadwayworld.com/upload3/120133/tn-500_true-blood-season-3-hbo.jpgBaby vampire Jessica is still struggling with her new way of life and it doesn't help that Bill has gone missing. After accidentally draining a trucker since she doesn't know how to control her thirst, she turns to Pam for help. She also takes a job at Merlotte's as the evening hostess, since the legal age to serve alcohol is 18 and Jessica is stuck being forever 17. While there, she struggles to deal with Hoyt and his new girlfriend Summer (whom he was set up with by his mother) when they come in to eat, but is comforted by Sam's brother and the bus boy Tommy, who tells her he thinks it's hot that she's a vampire. Despite Tommy's come-ons, she still misses Hoyt. Much to Tommy's dismay and the disapproval of Hoyt's uptight mother, they eventually reconcile and end the season back together, in a home of their own, with Hoyt saying he plans on marrying her.

The first season followed the first book very well, keeping almost exact to the original main storyline and adding in the other character subplots in a way that still fit with the continuity of the main storyline.

The second season followed the main original storyline in the book, but changed some of the details and extended the entire Maenad storyline quite a bit. It still worked though and wasn't too far of a stretch from the book. Also, Lafayette was kept alive, as in the book he's found dead in the first few pages, although I understand them keeping him around for the series, so altering his storyline works as the books are only from Sookie's point of view so anything really can happen with the other characters, so long as the main continuity still works.

This season though... it's VERY loosely based on the book, which is sad as I really enjoyed Club Dead (book 3 in the series).

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_TyGGVkFpFb0/TH7Bldu7cZI/AAAAAAAAJM4/ax1XFJlKvqQ/s1600/TBS03E11.avi_002948278.jpgIn the book, Bill was working on a CD database at the request of Sophie Anne that listed all known vampires and their lineage, etc so that they could sell it to other vampires and make money for the Queen. Bill was kidnapped by Russell as some vampires didn't want their information included on the CD database. Sookie goes to Jackson with Alcide and Eric keeps watch on the situation from a distance as they need to get Bill back. Debbie is actual a werelynx instead of a wolf, but she hunts in Alcide's pack with the other werewolves. Alcide and Sookie make an appearance at the supernatural hangout Club Dead on the night of Debbie's engagement party, which Alcide suffers through, although Debbie gets jealous seeing him with Sookie. They visit Club Dead twice in the book, 2nd time she runs into Eric who is undercover and conversing with Russell as well as Franklin who is with Tara. Sookie joins them and hangs out with Tara, the 2 of them having a girly moment of dancing together. Later, Sookie saves Russell from getting staked as she recognizes Steve Newlin in the bar and reads the thoughts/plans of him and his cohort - seeing the stake, she screams it out and instead gets staked herself. Russell has her brought to his palace where his staff and Eric works on healing her. Eric tells her that Bill is being held in a shack out back, being tortured and starved and provides Sookie with keys to one of the cars outside so she can make a break for it during daylight. While rescuing Bill, she comes face to face with Lorena, learning that she had lured Bill to Mississippi in the first place. She stakes Lorena and throws her remains in the pool which is covered for the winter. She puts Bill in the trunk of the car and drives him back to Alcide's Jackson apartment. While standing over the trunk, figuring out how to transport Bill inside, she gets pushed into and locked in the truck by Debbie. Bill wakes up, overwhelmed by thirst, and not realizing it's Sookie, he beings to rape and drain her. Fortunately he comes to before it's too late, giving Sookie some of his blood to heal and breaking open the truck. They soon get back to Bon Temps and Sookie, after learning from Pam and Eric that Bill had intended to stay in Mississippi with Lorena and had arranged for his estate in Bon Temps to be taken care of, is furious with Bill at the fact that he had left her to go run off and cheat on her with Lorena and decides to break up with him (throughout the book she admits she enjoyed waking up to Alcide cooking breaking for them and hated acknowledging that she would never have that with Bill). The book ends with Sookie kicking both Bill and Eric out of her house.

http://www.sliverofice.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/True-Blood-3x09-07.jpgIn the book there was no subplot of the Sophie Anne forcing Eric to sell V. We never really meet Sookie's cousin Hadley (who is Sophie Anne's human lover) and we don't meet Hadley's telepathic young son Hunter until book 9. Book 6 is when we learn that Sookie is part fae, as one of Sophie Anne's subjects senses something different about Sookie and asks to taste her blood to confirm his suspicions. It's also in book 6 that Eric forces Bill to tell Sookie the truth of why he originally returned to Bon Temps, causing Sookie to break up with Bill for good and finally begin to get over him. Also, in the book, Russell was never really that bad a guy and him and Sophie Anne don't get married - we learn in book 6 she has a civil marriage with the Vampire King of Arkansas although he is jealous as he knows her heart belongs to Hadley and not him, and in book 7 we see Russell happily marry the vampire King of Indiana. Franklin also doesn't die in the book - him and Tara seem to have a good relationship as he is referred to as her "sugar daddy" buying her expensive gifts, although we learn in book 5 that he lost interest in Tara and passed her off to the mean, abusive vampire Mickey to settle a debt.

I'm curious to see how season 4 develops - they've already said there will be witches, which is consistant with the story, as the main plotline revolves around a pair of sibling witches moving into Shreveport wanting a cut of the local vampire businesses, including Eric's Fangtasia - when he refuses, Hallow puts a curse on him, giving him amnesia. Sookie comes across him first, as she spies him running naked on her way home from Merlotte's one night and he appears scared of her and everything, having no memory of who he is.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to watch Entourage and True Blood. I guess I'll have to rent the earlier seasons from Netflix so I can be caught up for the next season!


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