REVIEW: TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES – SEASON 1

Starring

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Thomas Dekker (The Secret Circle)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Richard T. Jones (Santa Clarita Diet)

Thomas Dekker and Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Owain Yeoman (Supergirl)
Sonya Walger (Lost)
Nick Wechsler (Roswell)
Charlayne Woodard (Glass)
Dean Winters (Rough Night)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle: Creation)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
Omid Abtahi (The Mandalorian)
Aldo Gonzalez (Anger Management)
Jonathan Sadowski (Cherbnoyble Diaries)
Sabrina Perez (Rebel)
Brendan Hines (Lie To Me)
Jesse Garcia (The Green Ghost)
Adam Godley (Breaking Bad)
Bernard White (Kidding)
Catherine Dent (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Alessandra Torresani (The Big Bang Theory)
Floriana Lima (Supergirl)
Tiya Sircar (The Good Place)
Brian Bloom (The A-Team)
Andy Umberger (Deja Vu)
Lee Thompson Young (Smallville)
Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave)
Kristina Apgar (90210)
Neil Hopkins (The Net 2.0)
Brian Austin Green (Anger Management)
Jonathan Jackson (Nashville)
Ally Maki (Cloak & Dagger)
Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Andre Royo (The Collection)
Mackenzie Brooke Smith (Supergirl)
Karina Logue (Scream: The Series)
Craig Fairbrass (Cliffhanger)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Ryan Kelley (Teen Wolf)
Luis Chávez (Ocean’s Thirteen)
James Urbaniak (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay)

Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)When I heard that a TV series based on the Terminator franchise was in the works, I didn’t holding out much hope that it would be very good. Don’t get me wrong, I like the franchise. I was blown away by Terminator when I saw it during the original theatrical release and was astounded that the second film was as good, if not better, than the original. The third film was wretched however, and I just couldn’t see how they could work a TV series around the premise without it getting silly. After a bumpy first episode however, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles surprised me. It turned out to be an intelligent yet fun look at the Terminator universe that works quite well.Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Starting a while after the events that took place in Terminator 2, Sarah (Lena Headey) and her son John Connor (Thomas Dekker), the boy who will end up being mankind’s only hope in the future have still not settled down. After running for years and years Sarah doesn’t know how to stop. When her current boyfriend proposes she takes John and runs away, one more time.Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)John ends up in yet another new school where he meets Cameron (Summer Glau) a cute girl who seems to genuinely like him. It turns out that she doesn’t have the hots for him so much as that she’s been programmed to protect him. Yes, she’s a Terminator sent from the future, and where there’s a good Terminator, there’s a bad version too, sent to kill John. With Cameron’s help John escapes from a substitute teacher/Terminator but he’s one the run once more.Luis Chávez and Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Cameron has a unique idea to get away from the Terminator that’s been assigned to John once and for all: They rob a bank. Inside a series of safety deposit boxes are the ingredients for a time machine. In Cameron’s time, a group of resistance scientists were sent in the past to fabricate a time travel device and hide it in the bank for just such an escape. The small group of Sarah, John, and Cameron lock themselves inside the vault while the robot from the future creates the device and a T-800 Terminator tries to break in. They manage to leap to the year 2007 just at the last moment, but unbeknownst to them the head of the Terminator travels with them.Thomas Dekker, Lena Headey, and Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Neatly bypassing the events of T-3, the series jumps to the present time where Sarah is still alive and John isn’t a drug addict but the war with the robots still impending. Of course there are still dangers. The head that came into the present with them goes about trying to refashion a body for itself. There’s also a group of fighters sent into the past to aide John and Cameron, but when they are located, it’s too late; all but one of their number has been slaughtered by a Terminator.Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)With several interesting subplots that carry through the season, included finding the maker of a chess computer that may have started the great war and staying one step ahead of an FBI agent who has been chasing the Connors for years, this show packs a lot of excitement into the nine episodes (the season was cut short by the writer’s strike.) It definitely gets better as it goes along too. The writers become more familiar with the characters and the writing gets tighter and the show more enjoyable.The acting is very good across the board. Lena Headey isn’t a Linda Hamilton look-alike but she manages to capture the strengths of the character as Hamilton did and still make it her own. Over the course of the series she manages to show Sarah’s vulnerable side, something that surely exists but rarely peaked out in the movies. Though Sarah’s name is in the title, the show would have crumbled without a good actor playing John, and Thomas Dekker manages to pull off the difficult role. He has to be strong and independent, but not fool-hardy. Dekker gives John those traits, while still making him act like a teenager with an over protective mother. Some of the best scenes are where John is trying to deal with his mother, something that every teenager has problems with.Thomas Dekker in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Summer Glau will be instantly recognized from Firefly. I loved her in that show, but was a bit disappointed that she basically plays the same role in this series. She has the same “not sure what’s going on” look as River did, and I was hoping to see her play a different role here. Even if it is the same character essentially, Summer pulls it off well. Though not at all Summer’s fault, the writers did put the “small waif-like girl kicks the big burly man’s ass” scene in the series a bit too often. Yeah, it’s funny, but after a while it becomes trite.Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)I wasn’t expecting much from this show. After all, how could you make a weekly series that could compete with the first two movies? The creators managed to pull it off and made a show with some intelligent plots and interesting stories. There are a few surprises along the way that add a lot to the show, and make this a must-buy for fans of the Terminator franchise.

REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT – SEASON 2

 

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)

Selma Blair (Hellboy)

Shawnee Smith (Saw 3D)

Daniela Bobadilla (Justice League vs The Fatal Five)

Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)

Michael Arden (Bride Wars)

Derek Richardson (Hostel: Part II)

Barry Corbin (The Ranch)

Laura Bell Bundy (How I Met Your Mother)

Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)

Charlie Sheen and Selma Blair in Anger Management (2012)

Recurring / Notable Guest Stars

Meredith Salenger (Race To Witch Mountain)

Brett Butler (The Walking Dead)

Michael Boatman (The Good Fight)

Martin Sheen (The West Wing)

Carolyn Hennesy (Click)

Mimi Kennedy (Mom)

Kristen Renton (Marriage Killer)

Kate Reinders (Work It)

James Black (The Starter Wife)

Aldo Gonzalez (Sons of Anarchy)

Darius McCrary (Transformers)

Toby Huss (Dickinson)

Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)

Stacy Keach (Prison Break)

Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)

CeeLo Green (Hotel Transylvania)

Ken Lerner (The Running Man)

Denise Richards (Valentine)

Bryce Johnson (Popular)

Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)

Eddie Shin (Westworld)

Ashley Fink (Glee)

Don Stark (That 70s Show)

Slash (Private Parts)

Marion Ross (Happy Days)

Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)

Steven Krueger (The Originals)

Nicole Travolta (The Middle)

Carol Kane (Scrooged)

Mircea Monroe (The Change-Up)

Brian Gross (Red Tails)

Rizwan Manji (THe Dictator)

Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)

Adam Wylie (Child’s Play 2)

Robert Gant (13 Reasons Why)

LeAnn Rimes (Logan Lucky)

Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)

Kristina Anapau (Cursed)

Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust)

Patrick Cox (2 Broke Girls)

Brea Grant (Heroes)

Anna Hutchison (The Cabin In The Woods)

Bob Clendenin (That 70s Show)

Andy Mientus (The Flash)

Ajay Mehta (Life of Pi)

Meera Simhan (New Girl)

Gina Gershon (Red Heat)

Odette Annable (Supergirl)

Ron West (3rd Rock From The Sun)

Schuyler Helford (Indoorsy)

Cheech Marin (Machete)

Ana de la Reguera (Cowboys & Aliens)

Carla Gallo (Bones)

Julia Duffy (Newhart)

Brooke Lyons (Izombie)
Dominic Rains (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Fred Stoller (Fred & Vinnie)

Chasty Ballesteros (The Ranch)

Barry Livingston (Argo)

Isaiah Mustafa (IT: Chapter 2)

Ginger Gonzaga (Ted)

Shannon Welles (Inception)

Aly Michalka (Izombie)

Tiffany Dupont (9-1-1)

Kelly Frye (Criminal Minds)

Michael Gross (Tremors)

Elaine Hendrix (Dynasty)

Ethan Erickson (Jawbreaker)

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Final Destination 5)

Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)

Eric Steinberg (Terminator: TSCC)

Will Sasso (Mom)

Arden Myrin (Insatiable)

Mercedes Mason (The Finder)

Gilbert Gottfried (Problem Child)

Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers Megaforce)

Robin Riker (Alligator)

Jeff Doucette (Doctor Dolittle)

E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)

Cheryl Ladd (Poison Ivy)

Izabella Miko (The Cape)

Corbin Bernsen (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

 

Charlie Sheen and Daniela Bobadilla in Anger Management (2012)Charlie Sheen is in heaven. ‘Anger Management’ was the perfect show for him. He gets to walk around a set, cracking badly written jokes while a laugh-track validates them. The entire show is laden with attractive women who were probably in grade school when Sheen was doing ‘Major League.’ He gets to pretend to have a sex-filled no-strings-attached relationship with Selma Blair. And, to top it all off, the man who once pronounced “I’m different. I have a different constitution. I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man,” is playing a psychologist. One of the world’s greatest ironies I guess.Charlie Sheen and Ken Lerner in Anger Management (2012)The problem – well the show has a ton of problems, but the biggest – is the fact that ‘Anger Management’ doesn’t play on the Charlie Sheen is batshit insane. It tries to make him a level-headed psychologist who happens to simply be way too addicted to females. At least one thing carried over from Charlie’s real-life shenanigans. Whenever one of his patients professes something crazy, or over-the-top, Charlie rolls his eyes, the laugh-track guffaws, and then he tries to set them straight. How much funnier would a show be about a therapist who happens to be just as crazy as Sheen is in real-life?Lindsay Lohan in Anger Management (2012)The show’s formula hasn’t changed from the first season. Sheen begins almost every episode gathered in his living room with his group of patients. Season two features maybe one or two semi-interesting storylines. In one episode Charlie’s father (played by his real-life father Martin Sheen) comes to visit. The gimmick is light-hearted fun for the first 10 minutes. There are a couple other episodes that focus more on the patients, which is a nice respite from chronicling Charlie’s endless female conquests. Yet again, most of the season revolves around Charlie trying to get into the pants of (extremely) younger women. Yes, it’s just as sleazy as it sounds even if there is a laugh-track trying to lighten the mood.Charlie Sheen in Anger Management (2012)Anger Management is neither a bad show, nor a great one. Though there are some fairly talented people involved, the show is mediocre at best, happy to recycle the same gags repeatedly. This third volume picks things up partway through the series’ second season, but you could pick up this series at any point and not miss much. The show continues to try and find comic gold in the interactions between therapist Charlie Goodson (Sheen) and his ‘interesting’ array of patients including cantankerous old codger Ed (Barry Corbin); sexpot Lacey (Noureen DeWulf); passive Nolan (Derek Richardson), who has an unreciprocated crush on Lacey; and gay, disingenuous Patrick (Michael Arden).Since the characters haven’t been developed much beyond a surface level, generating any genuine, lasting laughs is near impossible.Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, and Noureen DeWulf in Anger Management (2012)To be fair, even a mindless show like Anger Management can muster a laugh or two on occasion, and I always enjoy Martin Sheen’s appearances as Charlie’s father. By and large though, Anger Management has the feel of a show that’s put together on the fly, so as to not interfere with Charlie Sheen’s busy social schedule. A Nice addition to the series was Anna Hutchison who played a reformed hooker who Charlie falls in love, this kept my interest for the remainder of the show as she is one of my all time favorite actresses.

REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT – SEASON 1

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Shawnee Smith (Saw 3D)
Daniela Bobadilla (Justice League vs The Fatal Five)
Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Derek Richardson (Hostel: Part II)
Barry Corbin (The Ranch)

12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214

Recurring / Notable Guest Stars

Brett Butler (The Walking Dead)
Michael Boatman (The Good Fight)
James Black (The Starter Wife)
Aldo Gonzalez (Sons of Anarchy)
Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)
Darius McCrary (Transformers)
Stephen Monroe Taylor (The Connors)
Kerri Kenney (Superstore)
Mikaela Hoover (Super)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Alexandra Ella (Mad Men)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Kristen Renton (Marriage Killer)
Christine Estabrook (Desperate Housewives)

 

12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214If there is anything that can be said about Charlie Sheen it’s that he lands on his feet, even when having very public melt downs. After losing his job on Two and a Half Men the fact he managed to find himself another show where he was the star is surprising in ways, but in others it could be said to be a cheap attempt to cash in on the fact that he is quite a huge public figure. Anger Management Season One is a show that rests firmly on Sheen’s shoulders and relies on his talents, which is both a good and bad thing.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214Charlie, played by Charlie Sheen is a failed baseball player who ended his own career when he lost his temper and tried to break a bat over his knee, doing more damage to himself than the bat. Having to find another form of employment he becomes an anger management therapist ranging from a group that meet every week at his house to a group in prison who are in need of the therapy to curb their violent actions. Managing his patient’s therapy while trying to control his own anger issues he finds things further complicated by his own therapist that he’s sleeping with, his ex-wife and their daughter who suffers from OCD.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214It’s quite interesting that Anger Management starts with an opening scene where Sheen shouts into the screen with a blatant message to his past employers over at Two and a Half Men, because Anger Management is very similar to his past show. His character, although he drinks less and actually seems quite a smart guy but he is very much Charlie. The other characters also have that oddball appearance about them that you expect to see in Two and a Half Men, it’s just missing the people he left behind. In the defence of Anger Management defence though I found the show to be quite likeable and the fact that Selma Blair, who is very easy on the eye spends most of it in various stages of undress is nothing to be complained about. Of course she also provides sound advice as his therapist and constantly challenges him to do the right thing.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214If we further compare the show to Two and a Half Men the reason that show worked and continues to survive is down to the characters themselves, although most recently it seems that not only Charlie Sheen are causing it issues. Looking to Anger Management though, with a more well behaved Sheen, a guest appearance from his father Martin Sheen and a good ensemble cast and we have a show that Sheen can work off quite well. Shawnee Smith as his ex-wife pulls off a suitably fiery performance, verbally sparring with Sheen and holding her own, she’s the type of actress who seems to effortlessly have that edge to her characters, and in this she does it to good effect, though it’s obvious she still cares about her ex-husband. Daniela Bobadilla as his daughter Sam is one of the quirkier of the characters, with her OCD giving her quite a few episodes when she’ll get herself into strange situations just as part of her daily life.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214The highlight of the show though is arguably Charlie’s patients, Lacey (Noureen DeWulf), Patrick (Michael Arden), Nolan (Derek Richardson) and Ed (Barry Corbin) who display different varieties of anger that needs to be managed. The sessions where they tell their tales of being in “control” are some of the funnier moments and I’d say for me Barry Corbin (Ed) is the stand out with his hatred of everybody in equal measure. There are even episodes where the theme actually looks at ways for them to curtail their anger, which is a nice change.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214Anger Management is a show that is enjoyably, but it does rely on Charlie Sheen which is always a risk. It’s interesting that the show plays off the events that took place in Sheen’s life, which does include the shadow of Two and a Half Men. It will be nice to see in the second season if the show can pull itself out of that shadow and Sheen can move on with the success, and it is believable that both he and the show can.