REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 6

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)
John Francis Daley (Game Night)

David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Tamara Taylor in Bones (2005)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Michael Grant Terry (Grimm)
Carla Gallo (Superbad)
Dylan Bruno (The Rage: Carrie 2)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
Eugene Byrd (Arrow)
Scott Michael Campbell (Shameless)
Justina Machado (Final Destination 2)
Karina Logue (Scream: The Series)
Katheryn Winnick (Vikings)
B.J. Britt (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Joel David Moore (Avatar)
Antonio Sabato Jr. (General Hospital)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Lisa Marcos (On My Block)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans Go To The Movies)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Pej Vahdat (Shameless)
Kerry O’Malley (Annabelle: Creation)
Robin Riker (The Glades)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Ryan Cartwright (Alphas)
Frederick Koehler (Death Race)
Cedric Yarbrough (The Boss)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Francis Capra (Izombie)
Mark Famiglietti (Terminator 3)
Deirdre Lovejoy (The Blacklist)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Tiffany Hines (Nikita)
Matthew John Armstrong (Heores)
Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)
Laura Regan (Minority Report TV)
Scoot McNairy (Batman V Superman)
Elizabeth Ho (Disjointed)
Leslie-Anne Huff (The Vampire Diaries)
Billy Gibbons (Two and a Half Men)
Marisa Ramirez (Spartacus: Gods of The Arena)
Michael Papajohn (Spider-Man)
Scott Lowell (Adoptable)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Sarah Baker (Young Sheldon)
Geoff Stults (Wedding Crashers)
Saffron Burrows (Deep Blue Sea)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpian King)
Mini Anden (Chuck)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Carlo Rota (Saw V)
McKenzie Applegate (The Best of Enemies)
Sean O’Bryan (Vantage Point)
Tina Majorino (Veronica Mars)
Annalise Basso (Ouija: Origin of Evil)
Denise Dowse (Starship Troopers)

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)To resuscitate a dead team out of their scattered disappearance is not an easy task. Luckily the DA in Washington DC is a powerful woman, stubborn and resolute, and she generally gets what she wants. So she brought Agent Booth back from Afghanistan, and Temperance Brennan, aka Bones, from the exotic place where she was trying to get some archaeologically interesting bones with Daisy, Dr Sweet’s girl friend, and Dr Sweet from his hideout somewhere in Paris where he was having a showbiz career as a cabaret singer. They all come back, change clothes and back in the business in a jiffy. Angela and Dr Hodgins are also back though from not so far away and Angela is pregnant.
As usual one case per episode, clean and neat, always dealing with a lot of bones, gross and dirty, soaked in a lot of decomposed muck with a tremendous number of maggots, worms and other corpse parasites. A series not to watch while eating anything more delicate than dry cookies.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Angela and Dr Hodgins have a full plate with the pregnancy and the delivery of the baby. For them that’s enough and that will require some help from a friendly psychiatrist because it is hard for the father not to become overprotective and it is hard for the mother to accept the physical handicap this pregnancy may represent. Yet they decided that working with the people they are used to work and live with was the best thing for the pregnancy, the mother and the child. Angela was not alone at any moment of her days or nights.Agent Booth brought a journalist back from Afghanistan, a sort of love substitute for Temperance. But will that not cause some problems, like conflicting interests between the two professions? And Booth with his own son is already very busy in life. Will that new woman in the picture be able to cope with a child, what’s more the child of another woman? And the question of marriage will come up sooner or later and how are the two going to react to that eventuality? Probably not very well, maybe not too bad. A decision that is always difficult to take for someone who is constantly in the field of police investigation and for a journalist just back from a war zone.Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)You have the interns still rotating, the four of them. They are the surprise of each episode because they are so different and they can be so funny, though at times they are just funny for us because they are mismatched with what is happening around them, but that’s what interns are all about. Unluckily one will end up very badly. That’s not the first case, but so far none had ended up that badly. But a song will carry him through: lime and coconut, sung in a chorus all together, mellow and heart stirring.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)There will be a case that will run over the whole season, the case of a sniper who had been a colleague and friend of Booth in Afghanistan and who came back slightly berserk and decided that what he did over there was good enough for the USA too and he started killing those who were rotten, and those who were in his way for his type of justice and these were only collateral victims for him, hence justified by the end. It will take the whole team to stop him and it will bring a lot of suffering and even mourning to that team.

REVIEW: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (aka The Poker House)

CAST

Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Danielle Campbell (The Originals)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)

Jennifer Lawrence in The Poker House (2008)

The film focuses on one single day in the life of three abused and neglected sisters, Agnes (age 14) (Jennifer Lawrence), Bee (age 12) (Sophi Bairley), and Cammie (age 8) (Chloë Grace Moretz). Their mother, Sarah (Selma Blair), a woman who has turned to prostitution to support the girls, but is forced into alcohol and drug abuse by her pimp, Duval (Bokeem Woodbine). Because of this, Sarah is unable to care for the girls, forcing Agnes into a position of being a mother to her two younger sisters. The three girls live in the mother’s whorehouse, the Poker House, where neighborhood pimps and criminals gather to play poker as well. Agnes believes Duval loves her, as a boyfriend would, despite his abuse towards her mother.The movie starts when Agnes arrives home, very early in the morning. She begins tidying the house and wakes Bee, after preparing her paper route for her. The conversation between the two reveals there is another sister, Cammie, and that Cammie often stays the night at her friend Sheila’s house. The movie reveals that the girls and their mother once had a real family. Their father, a preacher, used to beat Sarah and the girls. The four fled, and Sarah, struggling to make ends meet, became a prostitute. The day shifts from girl to girl. There is little interaction among the three. Bee speaks of moving into a foster home, hoping to be adopted. Cammie spends the day at a bar, making friends with Dolly (Natalie West), the bar owner, and Stymie (David Alan Grier), an alcoholic. Agnes rides through town, talking with a few friends, playing a game of basketball and picking up a couple of paychecks from her part-time jobs.Towards the end of the day, Agnes climbs through Bee’s window, avoiding the living room, which is full of gamblers, pimps and drunks. Bee has locked herself in her room and, like Agnes, avoids the downstairs chaos. Agnes makes Bee leave the house, telling her not to come back for a while. She then makes her way into the living room, and a stranger begins to talk to her. He asks her why she is there, and she responds by telling him that this is where she lives and that Sarah was her mother. When the man finds out that Agnes is a star basketball player for her high school team with an important game that night, the man gives her a sympathetic look and tells her to get out of the house and go to the game, but she ignores him.Later that evening, Duval and Agnes begin kissing again, Agnes narrates over the entire scene, after a few minutes Duval then rapes Agnes. As Duval releases her, she runs to the bathroom to clean herself, horrified by the thoughts of the violence and possibility of pregnancy. She is completely traumatized. Her mother enters the bathroom, and as Agnes reaches for her in utter distress, Sarah refuses to touch her and instead tells Agnes to go to the store to pick up alcohol after reminiscing on Agnes being a handful as a young child, showing intelligence even when she was a one-year-old.  Soon after, Agnes overhears Duval telling Sarah that he will begin pimping and selling Agnes as well. Agnes threatens to shoot Duval, firing a couple of shots to prevent Duval from leaving, screaming to her mother that he raped her and deserves to be shot for what he does to Sarah as well. Sarah only tells Agnes that she’ll defend him. Agnes leaves for her basketball game.

After scoring 27 points in the second half alone, a record that lasts for years to come. Agnes fell when she was making the last goal and then leaves and limps to the car and has a meltdown. She then wipes her tears and puts the horrific events of the night in the back of her mind. She drives off and finds Bee and Cammie at a nearby bridge. The two get in the car with Agnes not telling her young sisters of events that took place that evening, and instead takes them to get dinner. Bee reveals that she went to the bar after she went to a friend’s house and that she found Cammie. Cammie then plays “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, and the movie closes as the three girls sing together. At the start of the film end credits, it reveals that Agnes left Iowa to go to New York and became an actress and artist. It also reveals that 20 years later she directed the movie, and that the movie is the true story of director and actress Lori Petty’s childhood.A Tragic true life story told through the eyes of the eldest of three daughters living with their drug fuelled mother who had lots of different men in the house along with booze, sex and beatings. Brilliant acting by the daughters who tried to spend as much time as they could away from the house. One of Jennifer Lawrences movies before she became a huge star, you can see her talent even back then.

 

REVIEW: BAD TEACHER: THE TV SERIES

Kristin Davis, Sara Gilbert, David Alan Grier, Ari Graynor, Ryan Hansen, and Sara Rodier in Bad Teacher (2014)

 

MAIN CAST

Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call…)
Sara Gilbert (The Big Bang Theory)
Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls)
Sara Rodler (The Future)
Kristin Davis (Atomic Train)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Madison De La Garza (Desperate Housewives)
Grace Kaufman & Ari Graynor "Bad Teacher" CBS
NOTABLE / RECURRING GUEST CAST

Brett Gelman (30 Minutes or Less)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Yara Shahidi (Alex Cross)
Stuart Allan (Son of Batman)
Alison Miller (17 Again)
Virginia Williams (Fairly Legal)
Andrew Leeds (Bones)

CBS’ adaptation of Bad Teacher throws so many talented people at the question of how to turn the Cameron Diaz movie into a TV show that it will inevitably come to a point where it’s at least relatively good, if not excellent. The show’s cast is headed up by the reliably entertaining Ari Graynor, who shows a surprising talent for being an amusing reprobate here, but she’s ably backed up by the likes of Ryan Hansen, Kristin Davis, David Alan Grier, and secret weapon Sara Gilbert—who’s basically playing her character from The Big Bang Theory, but with better lines. And the series has been brought to television by the writer Hilary Winston, best known for her work on Community and Happy Endings.bad-teacher-premiere-ratingsOne of the secrets of TV comedy is that nine times out of 10, if you just get enough funny people together and let them work at it long enough, they’ll come up with a reliably entertaining and funny show In its first three episodes, however, Bad Teacher isn’t quite there. It comes close on enough occasions that it’s an enjoyable watch, but it’s struggling with the question all sitcoms built around awful people struggle with: How do you find a way to make a terrible person not just funny but somehow identifiable to the audience? For Bad Teacher to work, the audience has to, on some level, want Graynor’s Meredith Davis to succeed in her quest of tricking the school she teaches at into thinking she’s qualified for her job. But because Meredith is such a superficial, shallow, and self-obsessed person, the show’s core ends up feeling rotten, even as its many surfaces are often hugely entertaining.The key change from the film version of Bad Teacher is that the sitcom turns Meredith into a fraudster who fakes her credentials, taking a middle-school job so she can hit on the rich fathers of her students. Winston leans heavily on her Community experience here, and she’s letting Meredith play a page right out of the Jeff Winger-playbook, in that she thinks this is only a temporary thing and doesn’t want to get too attached to her fellow teachers or students. The difference, however, is that if Jeff doesn’t get with the program, he only hurts himself. If Meredith continues down her path, she’s ostensibly depriving her young charges of a valuable education. It’s a problem Bad Teacher has yet to solve in its first three episodes, despite Graynor’s considerable talents at delivering flippant dialogue with a hint of acid wit.The answer to this is so predictable that it ends up shooting the show in the foot. Meredith, inevitably, will learn in every episode that she really does care about her students or fellow employees, and she’ll use her considerable life experience and street smarts to help them navigate the tricky labyrinths of social situations, even if she’s not giving them the best education in social studies. It’s a formula that’s worked for so long that it’s become threadbare, and Bad Teacher seems so perfunctory in its approach to this particular story point that the episodes inevitably run out of gas in their third acts. They’re much more amusing in the early going, when Meredith is misbehaving and the other characters are being kooky. Inevitably, Bad Teacher will reach a point—just as Community did—where its protagonist isn’t looking for an escape route from her situation in every sports car that pulls up to the school, and it will almost certainly be a stronger show at that point.Despite the structural problems, there are considerable delights in each one of these episodes. All of them contain a handful of belly laughs, and the dialogue is sharp and pointed even when it’s not riotously funny. Graynor is a treat, and the supporting cast surrounding her—both teachers and students—finds new notes to play in familiar types. Gilbert and Hansen, in particular, offer up new spins on the socially maladjusted nerd the hot girl takes under her wing and the stand-up guy hiding in plain sight whom the heroine will inevitably end up with. The show benefits whenever they’re on screen, particularly when they’re sharing the screen together as a couple of unlikely oddball friends. Surrounding adult actors with kids is always a gamble, but Bad Teacher has a bunch of unexpectedly funny 11- and 12-year-old students to offer quips and occasional sight gags. Even better, Winston and her writers seem to be quickly figuring out exactly what sorts of gags all of their talented actors are best at delivering, which is a good sign for the show’s long-term health. Plus, any time it seems like the show is introducing something that will be drawn out for seasons to come, it’s just as quickly dispatched. That’s encouraging as well.bad-teacher-premiere-ratingsSadly Bad Teacher lasted 13 episodes and was pulled very quickly, had the series been given time to shine, I believe it would of been a huge hit.