REVIEW: NO GOOD NICK – PART 2

Starring

Siena Agudong (Star Falls)
Lauren Lindsey Donzis (Liv and Maddie)
Kalama Epstein (The Fosters)
Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina: TTW)
Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)no-good-nick-2-1024x683

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Christine Ko (Upload)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
Kyla-Drew (Peppermint)
Sanai Victoria (The Paynes)
Gus Kamp (All Night)
Gigi Rice (Madison Air)
Ben Azelart (Brobot)
Charisma Carpenter (Angel)
Marco Sanchez (Super 8)
Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13)

nogoodnick001-696x392No Good Nick is exactly what it advertises itself as… A family show and like any family show there are moments that are downright cringey. I mean first off with Sabrina the teenage witch (Melissa Joan Hart) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) playing Mr. and Mrs Thompson we already have two VERY big talents showing us exactly why they are some of our favorites every time they are on the screen. With some new faces joining them we can’t help but fall for the Thompsons, and feel compassion and empathy for Nick and the Farelli family. On top of that it is a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times, and there is some EXCELLENT top notch beautiful cinematography. I remember a couple of times thinking….wow that was a beautifully shot scene the cameraman nailed it….and then there was also some scenes where I was left scratching my head wondering what they were thinking. All in all though it is most definitely worth a watch the Thompson family just might be your new favorite television family.no-good-nick-siena-agudong-ftrThough you can feel the inexperience at times with some of the newer actors and actresses we are seeing on this show, they still manage to do an excellent job drawing you in. That being said, addressing the “Cringe” in the title there was times when extras, or even the main core actors just felt stiff and forced and it would really take you out of the moment. Now typically we see this a lot in family shows aiming at a wide aged audience, as you do tend to need to spell it out a bit more for some of the particularly younger audiences. That being said it would come across as a bit of…and I don’t even want to say it but…overacting…yayomg-no-good-nick-quiz-2If your still with me though, those moments aren’t the heart of the show and they pass as quickly as they come. It took me some time: I initially found the character Molly grating, however by the end of the show my heart was breaking for her and I think this was done intentionally after all she is supposed to be the social justice warrior (note that I’m necessarily saying that is a bad thing!!) versus her brother who was more reserved, and Mitt Romney like, a future presidential candidate perhaps, so the point was for Molly to be a bit in your face, and guilt tripping but ultimately a voice for a better tomorrow and without spoiling anything I believe they even address issues like blind belief in your values without taking into consideration how that would also affect others on the other side of the fence, with Molly learning a few hard life lessons about herself. (As well as the rest of the Thompson family but again I don’t want to go too in depth, you’ll enjoy it more watching it for yourself) Even smaller rolled characters from the first season really shined in the second. For example Jeremy’s friend and….lets call him security guar(perhaps in the future: vice president) truly shone with some comedic gold moments.1av53I4F5ftHjHKNUOF5q61f7BsSiena Agudong who plays Nick Farelli, makes her debut as head lining star in this show and though she comes off a bit doe-eyed, and she is definitely one of the actresses that has a few (and I truly mean few) cringey acting moments. I would write this one off to inexperience though and on the whole she did an amazing job and it very well may have been in the script or acting directions anyways. By the end of the show you can’t help but feel attached to her character and rooting for her. All in all it’s definitely worth a watch, I don’t however seeing this show having a very long run, the story has already ran most of its course but does setup for a potential third season leaving a few questions unanswered BUT I think this story still has more life in it and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it ends after only a few seasons. After all how many shows did we see drag on too long until they became shells of what they formerly were and with endings that left us unsatisified? If it ended right here and now at season 2 they wrapped it up quite nicely and we would have some closure, but I for one actually am looking forward to more. Everything I have criticized was improving as the show went on so it stands to reason it would continue that trend.

REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 12

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)
John Boyd (Argo)

Emily Deschanel and Eric Millegan in Bones (2005)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Eric Millegan (Phobic)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Michael Grant Terry (Grimm)
Ravi Kapoor (Flight)
Sara Rue (Mom)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Carla Gallo (Superbd)
Patrick Gallagher (Glee)
Jed Rees (Deadpool)
Edward Asner (elf)
June Squibb (The Big Bang Theory)
Pej Vahdat (Arrow)
Laura Spencer (Sleepy Hollow)
Joel David Moore (Avatar)
Guy Boyd (Sharpo Objects)
Marsha Thomason (Lost)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Dave Thomas (Rat Race)
Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder)
Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Brit Shaw (Limelight)
Gerardo Celasco (Moneyball)
Eddie McClintock (No Good Nick)
Wolfgang Bodison (A Few Good Men)
Stephen Fry (V For Vendetta)
Ignacio Serricchio (Lost In Space)
Jaime Bergman (Boa vs Python)
James Earl (Scream Queens)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Eugene Byrd (Arrow)
Meagen Fay (Thats My Boy)
Tiffany Hines (Nikita)
Cyndi Lauper (Vibe)

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)One of television’s most beloved crime series draws to a close with even more suspense, fun and sexiness than ever. Brennan’s (Emily Deschanel) uncanny forensic skills help resolve even grislier cases, including a retirement home murder, a possible death by robot, and the slaying of a close friend. Along the way, family tragedy strikes and Booth (David Boreanaz) lands in the crosshairs of a serial killer.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)And a former Jeffersonian accused of murder kidnaps Brennan, prompting a shocking move by Booth. The fascinating storylines, heart and humour of Bones is here in all 12 episodes of the final season. David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Fans here have just twelve more opportunities to revisit Washington’s (fictitious) Jefferson Institute Laboratory. As ever Brennan and all painstakingly probe gory human remains to identify not only corpses but those who caused their demise. No matter how far-fetched such activities may seem, all are based on work creator Kathy Reichs does in real life.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)There is the usual successful mixture of “yuk factor” and much that is very funny (especially when Brennan and Booth are amongst lumberjacks and lumberjills, not to mention when undercover at a car demolition darby). Far more serious is a very real threat with explosive developments. Not all key characters to survive intact! The Suspense is genuine.David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Dave Thomas in Bones (2005)Treats abound. They include the welcome return of former apprentices, one in particularly dramatic circumstances. A care home episode allows veterans to demonstrate their ability still to deliver the goods – Ed Asner in his late eighties, Hal Holbrook over ninety. Elsewhere Betty White, another nonagenarian, mischievously contributes.David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Dave Thomas in Bones (2005)All cast are on fine form. Over the twelve years their characters have evolved. That marriage of Brennan and Booth gave Emily Deschamel and David Boreanaz a rich new vein for comedy, they often at odds about the best way to bring up their young (Brennan insisting fairy stories be the violent originals).Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Modest extras, it interesting to see Kathy Reichs herself participating. Movingly the stars look back over the years, tears evident as they realize this truly is the end. No series can please everyone all the time. (Some may have found much of the music track surplus to requirements.) BONES, though, consistently succeeded more than most. 246 episodes. This final season, shorter perhaps than many would have wished, represents a fitting fond farewell. Thanks go to all responsible for a show that for so long many have looked upon as special.

REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 2

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Eric Millegan (The Phobic)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Christine Estabrook (Spider-Man 2)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Ann Cusack (Stigmata)
Sam Witwer (Supergirl)
Alex Hyde-White (Pretty Woman)
JoNell Kennedy (Dreamgirls)
Jessica Capshaw (Valentine)
Leah Pipes (The Originals)
Kathleen Gati (Arrow)
Heath Freeman (Skateland)
Christie Lynn Smith (The Crazies)
Jim Jansen (A.I.)
Keri Lynn Pratt (smallville)
Lamont Thompson (Evan Almighty)
Danny Woodburn (Watchmen)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
John Kassir (Pete’s Dragon)
Cerina Vincent (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
Kali Rocha (Man With A Plan)
Lisa Thornhill (After The Sunset)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Amanda Carlin (Superhero Movie)
Grace Fulton (Shazam!)
John Marshall Jones (Con Air)
Nelson Lee (Blade: The Series)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Benito Martinez (Sons of Anarchy)
Julie Ann Emery (Better Call Saul)
Charles Mesure (V)
Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend)
Kristoffer Polaha (Ringer)
Amanda Fuller (Last Man Standing)
Joshua Leonard (Bates Motel)
Michael Trevino (Roswell, New Mexico)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Loren Dean (Apollo 13)
Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Ryan Cutrona (Changeling)
Ty Panitz (Because I Said So)
Stephen Fry (V For Vendetta)
Eddie McClintock (No Good Nick)
Alex Winter (Bill & Ted)
Eric Jungmann (Not Another Teen Movie)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Meredith Monroe (Dawson’s Creek)
James Earl (The Lazarus Effect)
Jonathan Slavin (Santa Clarita Diet)
Chris Conner (Walk of Shame)
Steve Braun (The Trip)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Deborah Theaker (A Mighty Wind)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
George Coe (Kramer vs Kramer)
Wendy Braun (Atypical)
David Burke (The Tick)
Johnny Lewis (Sons of Anarchy)
Tom Everett (Dances with Wolves)
Derek Webster (Stargate)
Ian Anthony Dale (The Event)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)
Brian Hallisay (American Sniper)
Hillary Tuck (Life as a House)
A.J. Buckley (SEAL Team)
Roxanne Hart (Highlander)
Joe Nieves (How I Met Your Mother)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Billy Gibbons (Two and a Half Men)

David Boreanaz, Jessica Capshaw, and Ty Panitz in Bones (2005)The start of the season sees a new boss, Cam, arrive at the Institute. Not only is she very hands on, she is a former love of Booth, and Tempe and Cam do not hit it off in the early episodes. The new character is well written and softens as the season progresses until it is hard to imagine the team without her input. Meantime Zac undergoes a make-over in order to secure a permanent place on the staff once he gains his doctorate, and Hodkins and Angela begin a tentative office romance.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Booth and Brennan continue to spar verbally with each other and some of their exchanges will have you laughing out loud. When a fellow agent, Sully, begins a relationship with Tempe, Booth’s feelings are confused – but as is observed, Tempe “is rubbish at being a girl” and her own complicated life does not bode well for a permanent relationship. Tempe continues to put her foot in it socially, particularly when a case involves Booth’s Catholic religion.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Among the classy episodes are ‘The Girl with the Curl’ about child beauty Queens, (with a wonderful scene of Tempe trying to talk to a group of 8 year olds at a dance class!), ‘Aliens in a Spaceship’ which has Tempe and Hodgkins buried alive by a serial killer, and ‘The Headless Witch in the Woods’ which has more than a nod to The Blair Witch Project. David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Guest stars this season include Stephen Fry as a laid back, insightful Psychiatrist whom Booth must see after he shoots an ice cream van, and Ryan O’Neal as Tempe’s estranged and mysterious father whose elusive character comes into his own when Booth is targetted by the Mob. And, once again, Angela’s instantly recognisable father – from ZZ Top – pops up!

REVIEW: NO GOOD NICK – PART 1

No Good Nick (2019)

Starring

Siena Agudong (Star Falls)
Lauren Lindsey Donzis (Liv and Maddie)
Kalama Epstein (The Fosters)
Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina: TTW)
Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)

maxresdefault

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Ted McGinley (No Tomorrow)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
Kyla-Drew (Peppermint)
Tiana Le (Just Add Magic)
Sanai Victoria (The Paynes)
Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13)
Josie Totah (Jessie)
Troy Winbush (John Q)
Ricco Ross (Aliens)
French Stewart (Mom)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)

6e688f8c-f5a8-407d-8d66-62821baba17a-nogoodnick_101_unit_00008rAn above-average premise mostly fails to elevate an otherwise average sitcom. New on Netflix today, No Good Nick (which is apparently the first of two parts) is a run-of-the-mill sitcom with an admittedly intriguing premise. The Nick of the title is a teenage con artist played by Siena Agudong who ingratiates herself into the well-off Thompson family with the intention of rinsing them all once she’s gained their trust.No Good Nick Review MainThere’s some moderate star power to lure in viewers. The family’s parents, Liz and Ed, are played by Melissa Joan Hart (the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and therefore kids’ TV royalty) and The Goonies’ and The Lord of the Rings’ Sean Astin. Their kids are plucked straight from the new generation of family-friendly television; Kalama Epstein plays the serious and suspicious Jeremy, and Lauren Lindsey Donzis his woke activist sister Molly. The talent and their well-trodden archetypes are all present and correct, then, as is the general trajectory of the ten-episode first season, which is what makes No Good Nick instantly familiar despite its fresh-feeling setup.maxresdefault (1)Naturally, then, you can predict most of the major beats. The Thompson family are initially skeptical of Nick — who poses as a distant relative fresh out of foster care — but warm to her general enthusiasm and interest in their mundane hobbies or careers. At the same time, Nick warms to the Thompsons, beginning to realize that what she’s doing just might be wrong and that the immoral puppeteers pulling her strings are not worth her loyalty. There are plenty of ways that No Good Nick could have made more of its premise, but it never really stumbles on a compelling one.no-good-nick-netflix-serie-sitcom-comedia-adolescente-6All that’s left, really, is the usual teen-focused sitcom fare, with a particular focus on liberal hot-topics. The gags range from surprisingly funny to horribly cringe-inducing, with no real consistency either way. There’s an effort made to have the characters break out from their archetypal molds, but it never really amounts to much. Despite potential here for a second part that makes good on the promise of its hook, as things stand No Good Nick is, fittingly, not much good.

REVIEW: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – SEASON 2

CAST

Clark Gregg (When A Stranger Calls)
Ming-Na Wen (Stargate Universe)
Brett Dalton (Killing Lincoln)
Chloe Bennet (Nashville)
Ian De Caestecker (Filth)
Elizabeth Henstridge (Reach Me)
Nick Blood (Identicals)
Adrianna Palicki (G.J. Joe: Retaliation)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Hayley Atwell (Cinderella)
B.J. Britt (Veronica Mars)
Neal McDonough (Arrow)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Henry Simons (No Good Deed)
Patton Oswalt (Blade: trinity)
Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Kenneth Choi (Street Kings)
Simon Kassianides (Quantum of Solace)
Brian Patrick Wade (The Big Bang Theory)
Ruth Negga (World War Z)
Maya Stojan (Castle)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
Kyle MacLachlan (Dune)
Brian Tee (Jurassic World)
Monique Gabriela Curnen (The Dark Knight)
Joel Gretsch (V)
Tim DeKay (Swordfish)
Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse)
Lou Ferrigno Jr. (The Young and The Restless)
Jamie Harris (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Blair Underwood (Gattaca)
Christine Adams (Batman Begins)
Edward James Olmos (Green Hornet)
Luke Mitchell (Home and Away)
J. August Richards (Angel)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Jaimie Alexander (The Last Stand)
Eddie McClintock (Bones)
Kirk Acevedo (Arrow)

For many, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD in its first season  became a forgotten and/or overlooked series, which was too bad, and yet understandable. This was Marvel’s first TV series, coming off of an amazing run of movies and it just didn’t deliver when it debuted. The initial episodes felt unfocused and badly paced,but many people people felt the show improved when SHIELD notably improving in the wake of Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s events.In season 2 the pacing was hugely improved, with storylines no longer taking forever to bubble up again and secrets no longer being kept both from the audience and the characters that no one on screen seemed in a hurry to deal with. Instead, there was payoff to big plot threads happening consistently, as both lingering questions from Season 1 and newly introduced plotlines were deftly dealt with and tied up, while paving the way for new mysteries. On the villain front, there was some nicely done twisting and turning regarding who the Big Bad would be in Season 2. We began with a focus on Hydra leader Whitehall and while Reed Diamond had fun in the role, Whitehall rarely had moments that made him feel like a truly credible threat. When he was killed in the midseason finale, it seemed Kyle MacLachlan’s Cal would take center stage as SHIELD’s main foe… but there was yet another swerve in store.The fact that Skye’s mother, Jiaying (Dichen Lachman), was alive at all was a surprise and we soon saw that she was the leader of the Inhumans and could be pretty strict and cold when it came to doing what she felt was right to protect her people… but that was all hiding just what a zealot she had become, convinced war with humanity was inevitable and willing to begin it herself (via a staged attack) to get all her people on her side. The fact that Jiaying was the true main villain of the season was a subtle, slow reveal and much appreciated for how it was pulled off. We understood the tragic events that had changed her, even as we came to see she, and not Cal, who was the most dangerous.Oh, and did I say Inhumans? This was also a huge part of the season, which was especially notable because it indicated that behind the scenes, Marvel had decided Agents of SHIELD could lead the way in a much more notable way than before, rather than being simply reactive to the events of the films. We know an Inhumans film is coming in a few years, but now this series has already introduced the concept into the MCU. Presumably the film will focus on the Royal Family and a very different group of Inhumans than the ones we met here, but this show was still allowed to be the first part of the MCU to give us Terrigen Mist, the Kree origins and all the major background elements of the Inhumans.
Hayley Atwell in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013)In general, SHIELD felt less restrained this season. The first couple of episodes utilized the notable Marvel villain Absorbing Man, while the reveals that Cal and Skye were, respectively, Mr. Hyde and Daisy Johnson/Quake, rooted this show much more into its Marvel Comics roots.While it began in the latter half of Season 1, SHIELD: Season 2 also benefited from much stronger characterization. While there were so many characters they all didn’t get as much time as might have been ideal, they still all felt much more distinct and specific than the show’s early days, and the fact that several members came and went and shifted allegiances kept things interesting. Ming-Na Wen was always a great presence on the show, but Melinda May was given a lot more depth, as we met her ex-husband, Andrew (Blair Underwood) and finally got the dark details of that incident in Bahrain that we kept hearing about in Season 1. The rift between Fitz and Simmons added a lot more textures to both of them, and was beautifully played by Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge, while Coulson, now the director of SHIELD, had to reevaluate his approach, making much harsher decisions that pained him, but felt more involving and believable than the overly sappy, often naive approach that he began the series with.As for Skye, the writers and producers certainly still were determined to make her the most important and revered character on the show, but this season, it actually felt like they were earning her that position. Sure, we had to accept that she’d apparently gotten one hell of a crash course in being a badass fighter from May between seasons, but it felt good to see her actually be such a formidable presence in the action scenes – and Chloe Bennet really rose to the challenge of her characters new dynamic. And by making Skye both an Inhuman and Daisy/Quake, we at least had tangible reasons she would be important to us as viewers, beyond Coulson simply saying she was awesome over and over again. Bennet and Kyle MacLachlan also were able to build a strong rapport together as the estranged father/daughter duo. Speaking of MacLachlan, what a job he did. While Dichen Lachman brought the perfect pained righteousness to Jiaying, who truly believed what she was doing was right, MacLachlan had the freedom to go absolutely crazy as the absolutely crazy Cal and wow, was he fun. He expertly conveyed his character’s wish to be a happy, doting husband and father intermixed with his violent rage and gave the season some of its best moments – goofy Mr. Hyde makeup/visuals in the season finale aside.The new additions to the SHIELD crew were also appreciated, with Nick Blood’s Lance Hunter, Henry Simmons’ Mack and Adrianne Palicki ‘s Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird all fitting in very well. With such a big group of agents, someone was bound to be overlooked, and unfortunately, that was Trip (B.J. Britt), who never really got a storyline of his own – except to be the big midseason death. Which wasn’t as impactful as it could have been because he felt like a character with potential that was never fully utilized in any capacity (Remember when he and Simmons were flirting?).The “Other SHIELD” storyline was an interesting inclusion, with Edward James Olmos bringing exactly the gravity you’d expect him to as Gonzales. I liked the idea of he and Coulson being so opposed and yet very respectful of one another, in their own ways. I just wish we’d gotten a bigger payoff to that, as Gonzales was killed by Jiaying before he and Coulson really came to any sort of conclusion in their own conflict except on the “very begrudging/wary allies” level.I went into Season 2 very concerned about Grant Ward’s continuing presence on the series. His betrayal was a shot of Adrenalin the bland SHIELD crew needed and his actions had been too extreme and lethal to be forgiven or excused – but this is TV, where it seems any character can be redeemed. And I really didn’t want to see Ward redeemed, especially since Brett Dalton really found the character when he was allowed to play him as a villain. Thankfully, Season 2 didn’t try to bring Ward back onto the SHIELD team – in fact, by the end, he was more delightfully despicable than ever, torturing Bobbi and setting a trap to kill any SHIELD agent that attempted to rescue her and shooting and killing May, point blank, the first chance he had.SHIELD: Season 2 benefited from a show now unafraid to shake up the dynamic. Perhaps having to completely change everything about the series two thirds into the first season served as an inspiration, but from Simmons’ double agent status, to Gonzales’ crew taking over, the show rarely felt stagnant. The show’s always been in a difficult scenario – people love the interconnectivity of the MCU, but because the movie’s have the big superheroics covered, SHIELD felt hindered by not being able to deal with a lot of the bigger name heroes, in a way a series like The Flash (which isn’t connected to DC’s movies at all) doesn’t have to deal with. The decision to have Coulson and Skye begin to form a team of superpowered members seems to indicate those involved have decided its time to bring some more ongoing flash  to the series, even if it won’t be with the biggest name characters. Things will no doubt change in a big way again as a result, but right now, it’s exciting to ponder what’s coming next.