31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: GOOSEBUMPS (2015)

CAST
Jack Black (School of Rock)
Dylan Minnette (Lost)
Odeya Rush (The Giver)
Ryan Lee (Super 8)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street)
Halston Sage (Bad neighbours)
Steven Krueger (The originals)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)
Zach Cooper and his mother Gale move to the town of Madison, Delaware. While settling in, Zach meets his new neighbor Hannah and her father, known as “Mr. Shivers”. Zach and Hannah become quick friends, but Mr. Shivers frequently warns Zach to avoid contact with them. At Madison High School where Gale works as the vice-principal, Zach befriends Champ, a socially awkward student. The next night, Zach hears Mr. Shivers and Hannah arguing, followed by Hannah screaming. He calls the police, but Mr. Shivers assures the officers that the noise came from his television. Fearing Hannah is in danger, Zach tricks Mr. Shivers into going to the police station for further questioning and breaks into his house with Champ’s help. The two find a shelf containing many Goosebumps manuscripts, all of which are locked. Zach unlocks one of the books, but when Hannah discovers them, Zach drops the book, releasing the titular character of The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena that breaks out of the house. They pursue the monster to an ice skating rink, where Mr. Shivers appears and imprisons it back into the book.
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On the way home, Mr. Shivers reveals that he is Goosebumps author R.L. Stine. He created the stories as a child to terrorize the people that made fun of him, but the monsters came to life and became uncontrollable, so he had to trap them inside their manuscripts. Returning to the house, they find Slappy from the Night of the Living Dummy, which was accidentally unlocked before, waiting for them. Angry at being imprisoned, Slappy burns his own manuscript and flees in The Haunted Car. They are attacked by the lawn gnomes from Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes, but when Stine and the kids try to smash them, each of the gnomes reform, making them realize that they can only run away.
Slappy releases several monsters, letting them rampage under his command. Zach suggests Stine to write a new book that will trap every monster, but he can only do it with his special typewriter which is at the high school. On the way there, Brent Green from My Best Friend Is Invisible and the giant praying mantis from A Shocker on Shock Street attack Stine’s car, so they are forced into hiding. The titular Werewolf of Fever Swamp pursues them into an abandoned supermarket, only to be run over by Zach’s aunt Lorraine.
As they cut through the cemetery, Zach notices that Hannah glows blue in the moonlight. After evading the Graveyard Ghouls from Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls, they manage to make it to the high school. There, Zach privately questions Stine about Hannah, and Stine reveals that she is a Goosebumps character (from The Ghost Next Door) he created to cope with his loneliness, of which she is seemingly unaware. Stine finds the typewriter and starts writing a new story based on the events around them, while Zach leads the students in fending off all the released monsters that are storming the building. Slappy confronts Stine and breaks his fingers with the typewriter case before the story is finished.
Stine, Zach, Champ and Hannah board a school bus and go to an abandoned amusement park. There, Slappy lets out the blob from The Blob that Ate Everyone. Stine then hands the book and typewriter to Zach, and distracts the blob by allowing it to devour him alive. Zach finishes the story, but is reluctant to open the book because Hannah will also be sucked inside it. Revealing she knew the truth about herself all along, Hannah opens the book, sucking Slappy and all the other monsters into it; she bids farewell to Zach with a kiss before she is also sucked in.
Sometime later, Stine has started working as Zach’s English teacher. After class, Zach is surprised and delighted to see that Hannah is there and Stine reveals to Zach that he wrote her back into existence with another book. She and Zach kiss and leave school together while Stine burns Hannah’s manuscript, making her permanently real. As he prepares to leave the school, he sees the typewriter typing by itself inside its display case. To Stine’s horror, Brent Green has evaded imprisonment and begins writing a story titled The Invisible Boy’s Revenge.
It’s a fun story even if you are not aware of Goosebumps, but I’m sure if you are a huge fan, you’ll get a real kick out of seeing some of the monsters from your favorite books/TV epoisodes make an appearance on the big screen.
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REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT – SEASON 1-2

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MAIN CAST

Charlie Sheen (Machete Kills)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Shawnee Smith (Saw)
Noureen DeWulf (American Dreamz)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Daniela Bobadilla (The Middle)
Derek Richardson (Hostel)
Barry Corbin (Windsor)
Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire)
Michael Boatman (Hamburger Hill)
James Black (Kick-Ass 2)
Darius McCrary (15 Minutes)
Aldo Gonzalez (Sons of Anarchy)
Stephen Monroe Taylor (Texas Rising)
Kerri Kenney (Role Models)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Martin Sheen (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)
Stacy Keach (Two and a Half Men)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
CeeLo Green (Sparkle)
Ken Lerner (The Running Man)
Bryce Johnson (Popular)
Lindsay Lohan (Scary Movie V)
Eddie Shin (That 80s Show)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Steven Krueger (The Originals)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Nicole Travolta (House of Dust)
LeAnn Rimes (Reel Love)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Kristina Anapau (Black Swan)
Brea Grant (Heroes)
Anna Hutchison (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Bob Clendenin (Birds of Prey)
Ajay Mehta (Spider-Man)
Meera Simhan (Miss India America)
Gina Gershon (Ugly Betty)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Ron West (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Bary Livingston (Argo)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Julia Duffy (Looking)
Brooke Lyons (Izombie)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Isaiah Mustafa (Chuck)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Tiffany Dupont (Greek)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Elaine Hendrix (The Parent Trap)
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Arrow)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Arden Myrin (Shameless USA)
Mercedes Mason (The Finder)
Gilbert Gottfried (Aladdin)
Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Robin Riker (Big Love)
Izabella Miko (The Cape)

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If 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.
Charlie, 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.
It’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.
If 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.
The 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.
Anger 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.
Charlie Sheen is in heaven. ‘Anger Management’ is 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.
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?
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.
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.
This volume also has a handful of episodes continuing the “will they or won’t they” angle of Charlie’s relationship with Dr. Kate Wales (Selma Blair). It’s worth noting that Selma Blair look utterly uncomfortable in her appearances, making the storyline seem ridiculous. As many with an interest in entertainment news are aware, Blair complained that Sheen was a menace to work with…Charlie subsequently fired her, and she was soon replaced by eventually replaced by Laura Bell Bundy as Dr. Jordan Denby, a rather airheaded psychologist.
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.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE ORIGINALS – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Joseph Morgan (Hex)
Daniel Gillies (Young Hercules)
Phoebe Tonkin (Bait)
Charles Michael Davis (Battle Scars)
Leah Pipes (Sorority Row)
Danielle Campbell (Behind Closed Doors)
Yusuf Gatewoood (The Interpreter)
Riley Voelkel (Prom)

GUEST CAST

Sebastian Roche (Odyssey 5)
Chase Coleman (The Americans)
Steven Krueger (Goosebumps)
Nishi Munshi (Jane The Virgin)
Sonja Sohn (Luke Cage)
Daniel Sharman (Immortals)
Colin Woodell (XOXO)
Andrew lees (Carlotta)
Oliver Ackland (100 Bloody Acres)
Rebecca Breeds (Home and Away)
Tracy Ifeachor (Doctor Who)

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LIVE AND LET DIE

The werewolves who have aligned themselves with Esther and Finn, led by Aiden, crash a party the newly formed vampire community are having in Marcel’s loft. Aiden gives Marcel a final warning telling him that he and his army must leave the city as their old deal no longer applies. Camille is talking to her advisor Vincent, unaware that he is actually Finn Mikaelson. She tells him that New Orleans is a city of death and that the people party to distract them from the inevitability of death. Finn asks her about her relationships with the people in her life who are still living. She tells him that she’s attracted to the wrong kind of guy. She talks about Marcel and how she was just a rebound girl for him and that they’re not compatible. She then talks about Klaus, how nothing ever happened between them but he got under her skin. She says that in spite of Klaus’ dark past, there was good in him. Finn remarks that Camille wanted to save Klaus; Camille states that some people don’t want to be saved.  Elijah storms into the compound in search of Klaus only to find Hayley instead. After arguing over some of the wolves decisions to choose to side with Esther and wage war against the vampire community; Hayley threatens that those wolves are still her people and if Elijah chooses to hurt any of them, Esther would be the least of his problems.
On a busy street Camille finally manages to get a hold of Davina, who has been missing for a few days after choosing to take Mikael to her family cabin in the woods. Davina tells Camille that she’s fine and that she would return soon before hanging up on her. Unaware that Klaus had been behind her listening to the whole conversation, Camille is surprised when he remarks that it was rude for Davina to hang up, She chastises him because she hasn’t seen him in months and just decides to show up. He tells her he needs to find Davina because she has brought Mikael back from the dead and is controlling him. When Camille says that Davina didn’t say where she was, Klaus deduces from listening in on the phone call that Davina is at her family’s cabin in Terrebonne parish. Camille agrees to go with him to try and reason with Davina.
Elsewhere, Esther and Kol are busy trying to find where Davina is hiding. After attempting a locator spell which quickly goes wrong, Esther remarks what a clever girl Davina is having managed to block their spell. Enter Finn, who quickly begins to argue with Kol over each others failures to keep track of Davina and get information out of Camille. Esther silences them both, then voices her suspicions that Davina holds the white oak stake and encourages Kol to find her and get it back.
At the cabin, Mikael is busy purging himself of the werewolf venom he contracted from the fight in Rousseau’s. He asks Davina how much longer must they have to hide like cowards. Davina remarks that both Elijah and Klaus now know that he is alive so they must remain hidden until she is able to break the link between Klaus and her friends. Mikael retaliates that confrontation is inevitable and her fear would prove to be their greatest weakness. Davina reminds Mikael that while she might be weak, she is still in control having spelled the bracelet, that allows her to control Mikael, so that it won’t fall off again. Mikael scoffs at her, reminding her that magic can only fight half of her battle. Davina then asks Mikael to teach her how to be strong.
Live and Let Die was another high watermark for what is officially one of the best shows on television.
A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
On the latest episode of “The Originals,” Marcel got the opportunity of his life- literally- when he was invited to a highly exclusive gala thrown by the mysterious Strix from the elusive Tristan (Oliver Ackland) himself, in “A Walk on the Wild Side,” with promises that he could make something more of himself and gain more power and knowledge than he ever dreamed possible.  Meanwhile, the Originals struggled to make more sense out of the elusive prophecy that predicted the downfall of their family. To that end, they sought out Lucien (Andrew Lees), in hopes of getting more information from the psychic Alexis (Stephanie Cleough, “Sleepover Nightmare”). However, much to Lucien’s shock, she was nowhere to be found, leading him to fear she’d been kidnapped, so the search was on. After calling in a favor with Freya (Riley Voelkel, “The Newsroom”), they were able to pinpoint her location, which Lucien identified as the headquarters of Tristan and the Strix, so a party-crashing was clearly in order. However, Elijah had no need to do so, as he was likewise invited to the soiree himself, opting to take Hayley along as his date, after he and Klaus filled her in on everything that was going on. It turned out that was only part of the story, though.
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It would seem that the Strix wasn’t Tristan’s secret society at all, but Elijah’s, who had founded it long ago, as a way of bringing together the best and brightest of the vampires he’d turned over the years. Unfortunately, he’d eventually realized that such elite types could be rather insufferable, and, as such, had abandoned the experiment altogether at a certain point, leaving Tristan to pick up the reins. This, of course, meant that the Strix were strictly comprised of Elijah’s sire line. Given that, then, Elijah wondered, why had they extended an invite to Marcel, who was sired by Klaus? He feared that it was to get to him or, at the very least, to Klaus, through Marcel, by promising him the moon and the stars in order to get him to let his guard down just enough to weaken him, as Klaus’ right-hand man, thus leaving Klaus vulnerable in the process. Or perhaps simply to kill him, as Marcel was the biggest threat to Tristan from Klaus’ side beyond Klaus himself. In some ways, it was a little of both, as Marcel discovered the hard way, when, upon his arrival at the gala, he was told that he had two options: either he played a little game, or he wouldn’t be leaving that night at all. The initiation rite, as it were, in order to become a member of the Strix, was to determine who stole his daylight ring at a certain point at the party. Once Marcel did so, then he would have to fight that person to the death to retrieve said ring, or die in the process. Further, if he couldn’t determine who had stolen his ring, he would also die in the process, so there was no choice but to participate once he had opted to go to the party, despite Elijah’s warnings to the contrary.
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 This last part might have actually been a challenge if the person- or persons, as it were- who took the ring weren’t so obvious. It was clearly Aya (Tracy Ifeachor, “Crossbones”), and since she had made it a point to introduce Marcel to her “mentor” Mohinder (Jaylen Moore, “The Host”), who she noted, had a penchant for not only killing the people he fought, but to bite them as a sort of finishing move, it was likewise obvious that she’d given the ring to him after stealing it from Marcel. So, when the time came to reveal his answer, Marcel had that answer, at least. However, that still left the fight to the death with Mohinder, and the guy was one tough customer, to say the least. Though at times it seemed that Marcel might be doomed, least of all when Mohinder bit him and prepared to finish him off, it turned out that Marcel had a finishing move of his own. Taking Hayley aside at one point, after having determined who the ring thief was, he had her bite him on purpose, knowing that her bite would prove deadly to Mohinder- at least if he didn’t get the proper antidote in time. Of course, the same applied to him as well, but Marcel bet the farm that he’d be able to get Klaus’ help in that matter, which proved ultimately to be true, though Klaus warned him that he would be a keeping a closer eye on Marcel as a result, lest he end up being the friend-turned-foe that the prophecy warned of. However, after informing Mohinder of his impending fate, he also turned to Tristan and informed him that he might join his posh club, but he would not be killing Mohinder to do so. That, he said, would be up to Tristan. However, Tristan had no problem doing just that, as it seemed there was another reason at hand that Mohinder had been chosen for the final fight. Mohinder was apparently plotting against Tristan and the Strix, so it was a two birds, one stone kind of affair. If Marcel lost, then one of Tristan’s biggest competitors on Klaus’ end was out of the way, and if Marcel won, then he would have taken out someone Tristan felt he could no longer trust. So, to that end, Tristan killed Mohinder, returned Marcel his ring, and welcomed him into the fold, as the first member that wasn’t sired by Elijah. All’s well that ends well, it would seem. Or did it?
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 Unfortunately for the Originals, the other element in the party, Alexis, had a far less happy ending in store for her. After Klaus and Lucien crashed the party and diverted the attention of Tristan and company by acting boorish- not that they needed any reason in that department, mind you, but still- Freya tracked down Alexis on the property, only to discover that Alexis wanted to be there, and had no intention of leaving. Indeed, she placed a choking spell on Freya, nearly killing her, but not before kissing her and telling her that her family would be her undoing. Freya was able to sucker punch Alexis, knocking her out, and thus, removing the spell, and abscond with Alexis back to the Originals’ compound. There, the plan was for several of them to feed on her in order to further determine elements of the prophecy. However, it would seem that someone had poisoned Alexis at some point, and she dies before she can relate much of anything to all concerned, nearly taking them with her. Thankfully, Hayley realized quickly enough of the danger and had everyone back off before Alexis could do them any harm. But who did the deed? Naturally, Tristan claims that Lucien actually did it, in order to keep any further information about his intentions secret, while Lucien maintains it was Tristan. Either way, Alexis won’t be imparting any more prophecies any time soon, but as it turns out, it was actually neither Tristan nor Lucien, anyway. It seems that New Orleans has yet another new visitor, and it’s none other than Aurora (Rebecca Breeds). That was about it, really, but it was a fun episode, nonetheless, with the knock-down, drag-out fight between Marcel and Mohinder an undeniable highlight. I also got a kick out of Klaus and Lucien’s party-crashing antics, especially when Klaus told Tristan he lacked the “flexibility” to be in his little club, because “he could never get his head that far enough up his own ass” to qualify! Lol. Good stuff.
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Also, it should be noted that Hayley looked fabulous in her red dress that Elijah picked out for her from sister Rebekah’s private stash, and the gala itself was something, a true feast for the eyes and senses. It was sort of like the “Eyes Wide Shut” party crossed with the kind of shindig Gatsby would throw. Pretty cool stuff, and an enjoyable episode all around. Also very much looking forward to seeing what sort of havoc the psychotic Aurora will wreak, especially once she gets back in touch with old lover Klaus.

REVIEW: THE ORIGINALS – SEASON 1 & 2

MAIN CAST

Joseph Morgan (Hex)
Daniel Gillies (Young Hercules)
Claire Holt (Mean Girls 2)
Phoebe Tonkin (Bait)
Charles Michael Davis (The Game)
Daniella Pineda (The Detour)
Leah Pipes (Sorority Row)
Danielle Campbell (Prison Break)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Nathaniel Buzolic (Significant Mother)
Shannon Kane (Brooklyn’s Finest)
Eka Darville (Power Rangers RPM)
Callard Harris (Dallas)
Sebastian Roche (Odyssey 5)
Malaya Rivera Drew (The L Word)
Steven Krueger (Goosebumps)
Raney Branch (Ringside)
Todd Stashwick (Gotham)
Shannon Eubanks (The Patriot)
Yasmine Al-Bustami (Nashville)
Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries)
Elyse Levesque (Stargate Universe)
Peta Sergeant (Winners and Losers)
Chase Coleman (Boardwalk Empire)
Nathan Parsons (The Roommate)
Natalie Dreyfuss (2 Broke Girls)
Yusuf Gatewood (The Interpreter)
Daniel Sharman (Immortals)
Nishi Munshi (Bones)
Sonja Sohn (The Wire)
Colin Woodell (XOXO)
Alice Evans (102 Dalmations)
Lloyd Owen (Apollo 18)
Riley Voelkel (Prom)
Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Legends of Tomorrow)
Keri Lynn Pratt (Veronica Mars)
Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)
Meg Foster (Masters of The Universe)
Claudia Black (Stargate SG.1)

The Originals is a spin-off series based upon characters created and introduced in The Vampire Diaries, and it is a creation of writer Julie Plec, who is the head-writer and showrunner of both series. The concept of the show revolves around a group of characters referred to as being the ‘originals’ – i.e. the first vampires to ever exist. They also happen to be family. These original vampires have existed for centuries and have the longest history of all: a complex back-story which unfolds over the course of the series storytelling, which alternates back and forth with telling the long-running back-story of these original vampires while focusing on a modern day setting in New Orleans.The world of television has spawned an immensely high number of series that take on some sort of science fiction or supernatural aspect, and one of the most popular staples has been found in vampire tales: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries being popular series chiefly placed amongst the pop culture echelon. Then there’s the fact that vampires are popular in films, too (including the teen-sensation series Twilight). Can another show join a lineup of other successful vampire-lore creations? It seems so, as The CW network has once again teamed with the creative mind behind The Vampire Diaries for another successful and entertaining entry in the genre’s growing list of successes.The cast consists of Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies), Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), Camille (Leah Pipes), Davina (Danielle Campbell), Sophie (Daniella Pineda), and Rebekah (Claire Holt).

The basic plot of the series is to revolve around the story of the original vampire family after they decide to return to their former home in New Orleans. Upon returning, the originals find that the land they once knew has changed a great deal and their home and rule has been replaced by a character they once considered their own: Marcel. Meanwhile, there is also a war is brewing between vampires and witches and things complicate with Marcel working with a powerful young witch named Davina, who has abilities that could pose a threat to all the vampires.

Image result for the originals house of the rising sunKlaus, Elijah, and Rebekah are the main characters of The Originals. They are each returning characters from the Vampire Diaries universe. Klaus continues to make things difficult for everyone with his typical brooding self getting into the way of other vampire’s own agendas. Klaus finds a friend in Camille, a psychologist major who starts to have an unlikely connection to him. Meanwhile, Klaus’s blood-line as a werewolf/vampire hybrid (and his one-night stand with Hayley) results in Hayley’s pregnancy and a cult following for a baby born to a vampire. Elijah acts as if a guardian vampire of sorts who keeps his word (but who can also go totally vampire-bananas at times, as “necessary”), and Rebekah is a insecure and lonely vampire who gets into lots of mischief, causing problems for the originals (amongst others), but who really just wants a friend by her side and to be a normal human again. Of course, these characters (and their back-stories) lead to lots of surprising revelations and storytelling detours over the course of the show.

Marcel is a past connection to the original vampires who is now calling himself ‘the king’ and is ruling over New Orleans vampires as a sort of leader-vampire who calls the shots and has a big company of “minions” working for him (so to speak). Marcel makes vampires do his bidding to keep New Orleans a vampire-safe haven. Vampires will do his bidding to try and earn ‘daylight rings’, which allow for a select few to live in the day. There’s a big history between Marcel and Kalus, too, as Klaus raised him when he was a boy.

Aside from the pilot, which combines too much footage found in the “backdoor pilot” produced on The Vampire Diaries Season 4 under the title “The Originals”, the series finds a distinct and interesting creative voice. The first episode is a bit disappointing for fans of both series as it had borrowed so much (some scenes were basically “copy and paste” versions already featured upon the former), The Originals is interesting, original, and well-made with quality writing/directing. Assembling a hugely talented group of people for the production, the series reunites many of the same behind-the-scenes crew who made The Vampire Diaries a huge success, from some of the cinematographers, to the costume designer, o the composer to the production designer. It’s a big family of creative talents who united to create this compelling drama series.

The Originals has many things in common with its predecessor – starting with the fact that the characters that predominately reside are many of the same characters featured on The Vampire Diaries, but now with expanded roles – and that the group of writers and directors responsible for making the program are largely from the same creative pool. Yet it’s still a standalone series that newcomers who aren’t as familiar to previous lore should be able to discover. It offers a slightly different storytelling approach, though stylistically it shares a lot in common. If one can like The Vampire Diaries then they will surely enjoy The Originals, and vice-versa, so there’s certainly room for the show to both be followed by longtime fans of the characters and perhaps by new audience members.

There have been so many vampire series and films that the market seems flooded with them and it can be a bit frustrating to see so many stories being told simultaneously with this concept. It’s certainly a concept that has been done again and again, and shows no signs of going anywhere. Yet the good news is that there are still writers who are telling vampire stories with writing of note, who are drawing forth more interesting elements by focusing on the dramatic elements more than anything else. This is a perfect example of what is happening here: the writing is elementally the main key to the quality of the program, and in this case, that’s a good thing. The writing here is solid. Fans of quality storytelling who have an inclination towards the supernatural genre will find this to be a well-produced, written, directed, and acted program. Without a good storyline backdrop, one could easily see The Originals being a faltering series. Yet there was more than enough storytelling potential for the core group of characters as seen in the storyline its parent series offered, and the writers have expanded on that universe of ideas so that a fully-fledged program can exist. This is a series well worth seeing out as one of the more interesting programs currently on air. Television viewers who enjoy a well told story will find much to appreciate.

Now that The Originals has made it to season two, the writers aren’t wasting any time with formalities. “Rebirth” brings back some familiar names with brand spanking new faces. This episode doesn’t really introduce viewers to the returning characters, as it makes the broad generalization that you’re already familiar with them from The Vampire Diaries – despite their dramatic new looks. Instead, it delves right into the setting the stage for a reunion that is sure to be memorable.

The Originals branded its second season a family reunion, and that’s exactly what the season premiere sets into motion. The Guerreros are out, and once again the Mikaelson’s are back in – all of them. It’s only a matter of time before Rebekah (Claire Holt) is lured back to New Orleans, and then the fun will really begin. In the meantime, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) has both parents and all his other siblings to occupy his schedule – good thing he doesn’t have changing diapers to distract him from whatever is coming.

Having Claire Holt leave the show full-time was hard last year, but there was a definite sense that she would be coming back, if only for an episode here and there (as has been the case). Now, that’s not a feeling The Originals mid-season finale leaves you with – Claire Holt is no longer occupying the role of Rebekah Mikaelson, and it seems that the whole body-jumping plotline was just leading us to this point.

Rebekah has been around since season three of The Vampire Diaries and, while she never got as much of the spotlight as Klaus, she has been a huge presence ever since. I wrote last week that Claire Holt gives the character something that can’t be replaced, and I honestly don’t know if the show can make me accept another actress as the face of Rebekah. It’ll be hard to keep an open mind, even I’m a little ashamed to admit it.But the episode Map of the Moments was great, with vintage moments for every single character. The long-awaited reunion between Hayley, Klaus and baby Hope didn’t disappoint, for starters, and provided a brief moment of happiness and contentment for a family so often at loggerheads. The moment in which they took a family photo mere moments before having to burn it should have been jarring and ridiculous, but it was actually the highlight of the hour. Looking back on that knowing what would happen to Rebekah by the end makes it even more heartbreaking, and a little bit of sunshine and happiness, albeit still tinged with sadness, was welcome in a show.The Revelation about Freya (the other Mikaelson Sister) being alive was a brilliant revelation along with Esthers sister Dahlia who is hellbent on taking baby hope. this leads to a series of events that brings us to the finale of season 2 . Season two of The Originals puts to rest the oldest family war and instills in its place a familiar mark between warring siblings. Lullabies are spoken and promises are made for the good of innocence and the threat of new evil likely to rear its head in New Orleans come the fall. All in all, the king of wolves and vamps settles in, ready to settle into fatherhood unaware of the future, but believing he has control of it.

There was some gorgeous imagery that fit in quite nicely upon the climax of “Ashes to Ashes.” The episode stood on its own and provided a much needed finality to the old generation of Mikaelsons and their sophisticated rival, Dhalia. The most fascinating aspect was of course how the battle played itself out, leaving the final segments as all too familiar approaches to goodbyes and promises of sardonic revenge. In many ways, it was the highlight of the season saving the best for last.

After linking with Dalia, Klaus stabs himself with the dagger and the two are returned to torpor. Elijah recovers Hope with Freya as Rebekah returns to her original body as a vampire once more. Convinced of Klaus’s plan, Elijah burns the body of their original mother and swaps the ashes with Kol’s when Davina attempts to user her “one time” ability to harness the coven’s power and use resurrection. Instead of Kol, Esther is brought back and captured immediately by the Mikaelsons. Dalia, still possessing power, melts the dagger in Klaus, awakens, steals Freya, and escapes. Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah later confront Dalia but are subdued by splinters of the white oak stake being ingested through Dalia’s power. Esther distracts Dalia long enough for Klaus to impale the two of them finally killing them both. In a final scene with the pair as their younger selves, Esther relents that she should have stayed by Dalia’s side. The two forgive each other and perish together. Later, during the full moon, Hayley makes Elijah promise to look after Hope even though he had no intention to remain at Klaus’s side. Freya magically heals Rebekah’s human body and Rebekah once more inhabits it with plans to decide which she intends to stay in at a later time. Klaus and Camille share a drink as both are essentially still awkward around each other but later, Klaus settles in with Hope in his arms, commenting on a new chapter in their lives.I had fun watching this season and it leaves you wanting me, with season 3 shapeing up to just as fun, it shows that a spin-off can work.

REVIEW: COLD CASE – SEASON 1-7

CAST

Kathryn Morris (Mindhunters)
Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy)
Danny Pino (Law & Order:SVU)
John Finn (True Crme)
Jeremy Ratchford (Angel Eyes)
Thom Barry (Texas Chainsaw)
Tracie Thoms (Looper)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Brett Cullen (Lost)
Jimmi Simpson (Date Night)
Daisy McCrackin (Halloween: Resurrection)
Lacey Beeman (Power Rangers Time Force)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Vincent Ventresca (Dollhouse)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Barbara Tarbuck (American Horror Story)
Laura Regan (Minorty Report TV)
Christina Cox (Arrow)
Silas Weir Mitchell (My Name Is Earl)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
Jeffrey Nording (Flight 93)
Josh Hopkins (The Perfect Storm)
Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck)
Blake Shields (Heroes)
Chelsea Field (Masters of The Universe)
Marc McClure (Superman)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)
Leslie Silva (Odyssey 5)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Autumn Reeser (The OC)
Amanda Wyss (Highlander: The Series)
Robin Riker (Big Love)
Nichole Hiltz (Bones)
Amber Benson (Buffy)
Maggie Grace (Lost)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Marisol Nichols (Felon)
Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl)
Cameron Dye (Smallville)
Lee Garlington (Flashforward)
Michael Pare (Bloodrayne 3)
T.J. Thyne (Bones)
John Kassir (Pete’s Dragon)
Patty McCormack (The Bad Seed)
Barbara Niven (The Rat Pack)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Sam Witwer (Smallville)
Mae Whitman (The Duff)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Shirley Knight (As Good As It Gets)
Ian Bohen (Hercules: TLJ)
Jenna Fischer (The Office)
Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War)
Rance Howard (A Beautiful Mind)
Nicholas D’Agasto (Gotham)
Roxanne Hart (Highlander)
Chad Lindberg (Teh Fast and The Furious)
Daveigh Chase (S. Darko)
Virginia Williams (Fairly Legal)
Chad Donella (Smallville)
Nicki Aycox (Roadkill 2)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Johnny Whitwroth (Empire Records)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 2007)
Michael O’Neil (Roswell)
Amy Sloan (The Aviator)
Brigid Brannagh (Angel)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Clare Carey (Hercules: TLJ)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Dee Wallace (ET)
Jay Acovone (Stargate SG.1)
Bradley Stryker (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Piper Laurie (Carrie)
Tessa Thompson (Veronica Mars)
Karina Logue (Bates Motel)
Sarah Brown (VR Troopers)
Brooke Anne Smith (Misschief Night)
Kristin Richardson (Lost)
Lindsay Hollister (Bluberella)
Nick Wechsler (Roswell)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Thomas Kopache (Stigmata)
April Grace (Lost)
Edwin Hodge (The Purge)
Jon Huertas (Sabrina: TTW)
Phillip Jeanmarie (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Michael Grant Terry (Bones)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Mean Guns)
Robin Weigert (Deadwood)
James Handy (Alias)
Megan Follows (Reign)
Zachary Ty Bryan (Fast and Furious 3)
Alona Tal (Cult)
Meagen Fay (The Big Banng Theory)
Priscilla Pointer (The Flash 90s)
Tina Holmes (Taken)
Jeremy Davidson (Roswell)
Brennan Elliott (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Zeljko Ivanek (Heroes)
Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood)
George Coe (Smallville)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)
John Rubenstein (Angel)
Meredith Baxter (Family Ties)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
K Callan (Lois & CLark)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
Peter Graves (Airplane 2)
Stacy Haiduk (Superboy)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Mageina Tovah (Spider-Man 2 & 3)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight)
L. Scott Caldwell (Lost)
Neil Jackson (Alexander)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Rutanya Alda (Amityville 2)
George Newbern (Justice League)
Annie Wersching (The Vampire Diaries)
Eugene Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita)
John Aylward (Alias)
Bobby Hosea (Xena)
Charles Mesure (V)
Conor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Sonja Sohn (The Originals)
Thomas Ian Girffiths (XXX)
Polly Shannon (Lie With Me)
Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Lucinda Jenney (Rain Man)
Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Greg Finley (Izombie)
Paula Malcomson (Caprica)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files)
Whitney Able (Monsters)
AnnaLynne McCord (Excision)
Drew Powell (Gotham)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Carolyn McCormick (Enemy Mine)
Michael Massee (Flashforward)
Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2)
Lynda Boyd (Sanctuary)
Justina Machado (Final Destination 2)
Cynthia Ettinger (Thirteen)
Bonnie Root (Home Invasion)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Shailene Woodley (Divergent)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
Monet Mazur (Blow)
Justin Bruening (Knight Rider 2008)
Daphne Ashbrook (The Love Letter)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
James Black (Anger Management)
Ralph Waite (Bones)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
Jamil Walker Smith (Stargate Universe)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Justin Hartley (Smallville)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creeprs 2)
Nikki Deloach (The Net 2.0)
Deirdre Lovejoy (Bones)
Keone Young (Crank)
Kim Coates (The Amityville Curse)
Timothy Omundson (Xena)
Jeffrey Combs (Gotham)
Kathleen Munroe (Stargate Universe)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries)
Brea Grant (Heroes)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Nichole Tom (Gotham)
M.C. Gainey (LosT)
James Karen (Hercules In New York)
Justin Leak (Powers)
Sean O’ Bryan (The Princess Diaries)
Cassidy Freeman (Smallville)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)
Jenna Leigh Green (Sabrina: TTW)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Joel Murray (Two and a Half Men)
Elena Satine (Revenge)
Nicole Bilderback (Buffy)
Erin Cummings (Spartacus)
Tania Raymonde (Lost)
Jonathan LaPaglia (Seven Days)
Keith Szarabajka (The Dark Knight)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Lindy Booth (Cry Wolf)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Raymond J. Barry (Lost)
Ttaylor Cole (Heroes)
Jeff Kober (New Girl)
Courtney Ford (True Blood)
David Starzyk (Veronica mars)
Bailey Chase (Buffy)
Wynn Everett (Agent Carter)
Brad Greenquist (Heroes)
Katherine LaNasa (Lie To Me)
Jeff Fahey (Planet Terror)
Clayne Crawford (Roswell)
Brit Morgan (Supergirl)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronciles)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Ryan Wynott (The Cape)
Jonathan Schaech (Legends of Tomorrow)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Muse Watson (I Know What You did Last Summer)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Daniel Baldwin (Vampires)
Ashley Johsnon (Dollhouse)
Erin Chambers (Finding Carter)
Tracey Walter (Batman)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Chris Browning (Supergirl)
Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
Steven Culp (Jason Goes To Hell)
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S)
Steven Williams (The X-Files)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Yara Shahidi (Ugly Betty)
Nelson Lee (Blade: The Series)
Steven Krueger (The Originals)
Lolita Davidovich (Santa Fe)
Alan Blumenfeld (Heroes)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Justina Vail (Highlander: The Series)
Rachel Miner (the Butterfly Effect )
Sean Maguire (Meet The Spartans)
Lauren Cohan (Chuck)
Roddy Piper (They Live)
Susanna Thompson (Arrow)
John D’Aquino (Seaquest)
Azura Skype (28 Days)
Johnny Messner (Anacondas)
Rob Benedict (Birds of Prey)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)

I’m glad I got the opportunity to catch this show. It’s no doubt one of the best shows on TV, between 2003-2010. it was a very well written show. The episodes always has their twist even though the cases, at first sight, might seem pretty much alike. This show captures the individuality of each crime, the persons involved and the surroundings in a very good way.The fact that the crimes have been committed years ago and that everything involved has changed over the time, gives this show something different then every other cop show. It also captures the humanity of both the victims the suspects and the investigators. There are a lot of feeling in it and it often gets rather touching. Some episodes might contain elements from the characters personal life. It just gives the characters a life beyond the job and this is good as it never takes over the episode or is used to cover a bad plot. The show involves several investigators and you get to know them as well. They got lives and personalities too, yet they don’t steal the show from Rush, witch in the end is the star of the show.The cast is great. Kathryn Morris does a great job portraying Rush. The cinematography and lightning of this show is just beautiful. It all looks great. Both scenes from past and present. They have given the show a unique look. A kind of white or blue, cold look. They also manage to capture the unique eras in witch the crime was committed. You know just by looking witch decade we’re in. It’s the colors, the way they shoot, the quality and the overall look that make this. The art director, production designer, costume etc. deserves credit for this too. Making the sets and such fit the era.

The original music of this show it catching and good. In addition there is a lot of none original music from the year the crimes are committed. This really gives the right feel and easy gives you the idea of witch year we’re in. The only downside to the use of music of the era means that copyright laws prohibit them being used on DVD and this is why the show has yet come to disc.

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 9-12

 

MAIN CAST

Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (I Am Sam)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Amber Tamblyn (Django Unchained)
Edan Alexander (Emily & Tim)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jenna Elfman (EdTV)
Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds)
John Stamos (Full House)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
Katherine LaNasa (Lie To Me)
Jenny McCarthy (Scary Movie 3)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jennifer Taylor (Rumor Has It…)
Liz Vassey (tru Calling)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target)
Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Joel Murray (Mad Men)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Stephanie Jacobsen (Terminator: TSCC)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Joe Manganiello (How I Met Your Mother)
Macey Cruthird (Deeply Irresponsible)
Taylor Cole (Heroes)
Rebecca McFarland (Faking It)
Gary Busey (Predator 2)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Sophie Winkleman (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Jim Piddock (The Man)
Mimi Rogers (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Jane Carr (The Five-Year Engagement)
Travis Van Winkle (Meet The Spartans)
Matthew Marsden (Rambo)
Talyan Wright (The Secret Life of Me)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Georgia Engel (Grown Ups 2)
Kathy Bates (Tammy)
Graham Patrick Martin (MAjor Crimes)
Michael Bolton (Glee)
Brit Morgan (Supergirl)
Miley Cyrus (Big Fish)
Lindsay Price (Club Dread)
Steven Krueger (The Originals)
Brooke D’Orsay (The Skulls 3)
Rebecca Marshall (Raze)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Jaime Pressly (Mom)
Elaine Hendrix (Anger Management)
Mikaela Hoover (Super)
Emily Osment (Mom)
Jessica Lundy (Single White Female)
Amanda Detmer (Final Destination)
George Coe (Smallville)
Marilu Henner (The Crazy Ones)
Hilary Duff (Agent Cody Banks)
April Bowlby (Mom)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Carl Reiner (The Cleveland Show)
Shanti Lowry (The Game)
D.B. Sweeney (Mountain men)
Lynda Carter (Woman Woman)
Spencer Locke (Monster House)
Paula Marshall (Veronica Mars)
Kate Miner (Fifty Shades of Black)
Diane Farr (Roswell)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
Clarke Duke (Kick-Ass)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of The Bride)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Diedrich Bader (Bones)
Maggie Lawson (Pleasantville)
Alessandra Torresani (Caprica)
Gwendoline Yeo (The Batman)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Total Recall)
Christian Slater (True Romance)

 

This season focus on Alan (Jon Cryer) and his son Jake (Angus T. Jones) moving on with their lives after Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) unexpectedly dies off-screen due to a subway train while in Paris with Rose with the help of their new housemate, internet billionaire Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher), who buys the Malibu Beach House which was put up for sale by Alan and Jake Harper. Walden, who is a dot-com billionaire, is in the process of being divorced by his wife.

Alan temporarily moved in with his and Charlie’s mother Evelyn after Charlie’s beach house was sold to Walden. Alan and Jake were invited to move back into Charlie’s beach house by Walden after Alan with the help of Walden’s ex-wife Bridget saved him from a con-artist. Walden, Alan and Jake eventually bond and formed a surrogate family unit. Walden starts to date Zoey, a British woman he met at The Malibu Grocery Store. Charlie pays Alan a visit from the afterlife, as a ghost trapped in a woman’s body (Kathy Bates) but his intentions for coming back are rather suspicious. Jake approaches adulthood fast pending his graduation from high school. Jake joins the army after graduation and leaves Malibu at the end of the season.

Although season 9 takes some getting use to without Charlie Sheen, I think Ashton Kutcher adds a freshness to the show, with his child like nature and blossoming friendship with Alan makes this season worth while. Waldans relationship with Zoey is just adorable and its nice to see her in several episodes

Walden is still dating Zoey and plans a big surprise for her Birthday dinner. Walden takes her out to eat where he has Michael Balton perform and he proposes marriage to her. Zoey refuses and breaks up with Walden revealing she has met someone else. After a night of binge drinking, Walden has some of Berta’s pot filled brownies and picks up a drunk girl. Walden brings her home to have sex, but he starts hallucinating his Zoey, his ex-wife, Bridget, his mother, Robin, and Michael Balton, and drives his date away. Meanwhile, Jake adjusts to life in the military, sporting a shaved head, and Alan is on edge because any permanent relationship between Walden and Zoey will lead to his eviction from the house and inevitable homelessness.

Walden doesn’t take his break up from Zoey pretty well and releases his anger on Alan, Robin, and his business partner Billy. After a slight intervention, Walden runs away from the beach house and returns the following day with a dog. After the dog destroys his home, he goes to Zoey’s apartment and gives her daughter, Ava, the dog as a birthday present which she names Walden.

Alan and Lyndsey decide to progress their relationship by having a threesome. Alan likes the idea at first, but he soon learns that she wants to have two guys and one girl. Alan only agrees if they can have a threesome with two girls and one guy afterward. The first threesome involves Walden, but after he can’t go through with it and starts crying over loosing Zoey, Alan and Lyndsey move on to Alan’s version of a threesome. They pick up a woman at a bar, but before they can have the threesome, she meets Walden, and Alan and Lyndsey spend the night listening to them have sex.

Walden begins to feel his age when a family friend of his, Missi (Miley Cyrus), comes to visit. He mistakes her advances for flirtation, only to find that she really wants to set up Walden with her mother. Missi is revealed early-on to be very talkative, not giving others a chance to get a word in. Jake comes home on a weekend leave from the Army, meets Missi, and is smitten right away. They begin a short affair, but as Jake is leaving to return to base, Missi reveals to him that she has a boyfriend. This leaves Jake wondering how he can compete, but also wishing he “did it” more with her.

After a few weeks in the relationship, Walden asks Rose to move in so they can spend more time together. The next day, however, Walden gets a call from Zoey, and the two go out for coffee, where Zoey confesses that she still loves Walden and wants to give the relationship another try. Walden agrees, but does not know how to tell Rose, as she has already moved in. That night, on the deck, Walden tells Rose about Zoey and that he wants to get back together with her. Rose seemingly understands and accepts the decision, but as Walden begins to feel comfortable, Rose sends her ferrets to attack him. She later shows up at Zoey’s place and makes it look like Walden knocked her [Rose] up. Zoey confronts Walden about this and, despite Walden telling her the entire true story, ends up leaving him again after finding out that Rose moved in. Later, Alan borrows Walden’s car and is attacked by two of Rose’s ferrets that she had planted in the car.

Alan gets a visit from his hot second ex-wife, Kandi (April Bowlby), who became a famous actress in the CSI-parody Stiffs and, to the surprise of Walden (who loves the actress and finds her very attractive), wants to get back together with Alan. However, being in a committed relationship with Lyndsey, Alan tries to do the right thing by turning down Kandi and telling Lyndsey. Lyndsey is happy and tearful that Alan turned down a hot celebrity for her, and she engages in an incredibly wild night of sex with him. Lyndsey later sees paparazzi photos of Alan and Kandi looking like they were having sex, when Alan was really trying (successfully) to thwart Kandi’s seduction attempt. After Alan fails to clear up the misunderstanding with Lyndsey, Kandi goes over to her house to explain the truth. The two women for no apparent reason end up having sex, which they agree should never be revealed to Alan. Meanwhile, Walden visits Berta on her birthday with a marijuana-laced cupcake, and they get stoned beyond humanly possible. Walden surprises Berta with a new luxury sports car for her birthday, and they mirror the Kandi-Lyndsey agreement by declaring they cannot let Alan (who has a rundown vehicle) know about the gift. Lyndsey, now knowing the truth and rejuvenated from cheating on Alan with Kandi, forgives Alan, while Berta prepares to cheerfully let Alan know of her “good fortune”.

Walden has tired of dating or even meeting women who are only interested in his vast fortune; he decides to create an online persona as a poor schlub named “Sam Wilson” who is very much like Alan Harper (no job, no prospects, and no charm). When he goes shopping for discount clothing, he meets a wannabe fashion designer named Kate (Brooke D’Orsay) who is currently a salesperson at the store. She agrees to go to dinner with him, and they really hit it off. Kate later meets Alan, after “Sam” tells her that Alan owns the house he lives in. Alan immediately takes on a rich man’s persona, and acts like a jerk to both Kate and “Sam”. After two weeks of a budding relationship, Kate suggests that “Sam” get out from under Alan’s influence and move in with her until he can get on his feet, so Walden heads off and leaves a gleeful Alan at the beach house. While cuddling together, Kate asks “Sam” that they have no secrets or lies between each other. So Walden tells her he is a billionaire, but she does not believe him and laughs off his “joke”. Meanwhile, Alan ends up getting drunk and ordering people off his “private beach” while wandering around in an expensive bathrobe and no pants.

Still pretending to be the poverty-stricken “Sam Wilson”, Walden spends Christmas with Kate, who urges him to get a job. He then gets a call from his internet business partner Billy, who tells him that they have been offered $800 million for their “electronic suitcase”. Billy wants to sell, but Walden wants to hold out for a higher price. “Sam” gets a job selling Christmas trees, which he takes to immediately and enjoys. Billy stops by the Christmas tree lot multiple times with new offers, urging Walden to sell, but Walden repeatedly shoos him away, saying he will not sell for less than $1.4 billion. Just as “Sam” closes a $40 deal with a Christmas tree customer, Walden and Billy close a deal to sell their electronic suitcase for $1.2 billion. After Kate’s sewing machine breaks, Walden uses his Christmas tree commissions to buy her a new one for Christmas. Walden feels much happier with Kate in his new blue collar world. Meanwhile, Alan plans to spend Christmas Eve with Evelyn, Jake and Lyndsey, but none of them are able to come. Jake plans to spend Christmas with his girlfriend and her children, Evelyn is having plastic surgery, and Lyndsey has to go to Cleveland to help her grandmother, who broke her hip. Alan begins to feel alone and miserable, until a less-than-willing Berta comes to seemingly comfort him.

Kate falls into depression after failing to achieve her dream of becoming a fashion designer, so Walden tries to help out. He gives Alan $100,000 to invest in Kate’s fashion line, which Alan takes a disliking to, but invests anyway. Meanwhile, Walden’s stress of being himself and “Sam Wilson” begins to get to him, causing him to lose his hair, and making him unable to sleep or get an erection. Alan tries to help him with his erection problem by taking him to Charlie’s pharmacist, Russell (Martin Mull), who offers weird solutions. After Kate leaves for a fashion show in New York City, Walden decides he will abandon his “Sam” persona and reveal to her who he really is. Stressed about how he is going to do it, Walden spends the next three weeks at Kate’s apartment gorging himself with junk food, and becoming fat.

Kate is having a fashion show in New York City. Walden, now fed up with his double-life and feeling that Kate might be “the one”, finally decides that he should throw away his “Sam Wilson” alias and confess to her who he really is. Walden decides that he and Alan must go to the show so that “Sam” can tell Kate the truth in person. Alan is relishing the trip, and hoping to convince Walden to take him to a Broadway musical. Despondent over Kate’s reaction when Walden confesses his lies, the musical comes to them (“You’re a Douche”).

After Lyndsey waits outside the beach house for an hour before Alan gets home (forcing her to urinate in the shrubs), she gets upset with Alan when he refuses to give her a key to the house. Alan reasons that he cannot give her a key because the house belongs to Walden. When Alan goes to apologize, he discovers that she is going on a date with her gynecologist, Steven Staven (Willie Garson). Meanwhile, Walden is despondent over his breakup with Kate and Billy gets dumped by Walden’s ex-wife Bridget. They also run into Herb, who reveals that Judith left him after she caught him cheating on her with his receptionist. The four, bonding over their relationships-gone-bad, go for a night out without picking up any women. While in the hot tub at Herb’s place, Walden, Billy and Herb ridicule Alan’s reason for leaving Lyndsey, and encourage him to get her back, as he is the only one of the group who has a chance. Walden has no problem with her having a key, and Alan admits he really just wanted some occasional space from Lyndsey. With help from the others, who grab Steven, Alan gives Lyndsey a key and confesses that while she can do better than him, he cannot do better than her. The two reconcile. Steven reveals to the others that it would not have worked out with him and Lyndsey anyway, and they end up running from a rottweiler, leaving Herb behind.

Jake brings home his 36-year-old girlfriend, Tammy (Jaimie Pressley), and Alan becomes concerned about her and Jake, due to her job as a tattoo artist, her kids and time in prison. Despite her appearance, Tammy is a good-hearted woman, who knows how Alan feels about her and her relationship with Jake. Meanwhile, Jake tells Walden that he plans to marry Tammy in Las Vegas right away, but tells him not to tell Alan. Unfortunately, Walden spills the beans during dinner and Alan and Jake have a falling out over Jake’s decision to get married. As they pack for Vegas, Tammy tells Jake she wants their families to be there when (and if) they do get married and tells Jake to make amends with Alan. He does so, and Alan also apologizes, saying he just wants him to be happy. He is relieved that they are not getting married right away and thanks Tammy.

These are just some of the highlights of a great season, now were use to Ashton Kutcher, the show can move forward, this would be Jakes last appearance till the final episode (in season 12). The show continues to grow and bring in new recurring characters.

The creators  decided to spice things up and give Charlie’s daughter Jennifer a prominent role in the series. Yes, apparently one time, Charlie wasn’t careful enough when he was dating a certain woman and so along came ‘Jenny’ (Amber Tamblyn). The minute she appears on the show, you can clearly see why the makers of Two and a Half Men decided to bring her along for the ride. She’s just another Charlie, but in the form of a lesbian girl. And she’s just as hilarious as her late father.

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Besides Jenny, there’s another new recurring character who’s called Barry Foster (Clark Duke). Barry is a typical geek: very naïve, not that good with the ladies and a bit socially awkward. The newcomers are a much needed fresh wind in the series and they add a lot to the creation of hilarious moments. Besides those newcomers, you’ll see a lot more from Alan and Charlie’s mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor) as she has found a new lover (not coincidentally a very old man with lots and lots of money). Although Evelyn herself isn’t such a caricature like, for example, Alan or Jenny; she always succeeds in waiting for the right moment to drop sarcastic and ironic one-liners. As her screen time is mostly quite brief, it’s fantastic to notice how much of an impression she leaves behind every single time she crosses paths with the main actors. The same can be said of the-always-napping-housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrel) for that matter.

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Story wise, season 11 offers a lot of variety which keeps the viewer from getting bored with the plot. Acting performances are pretty good. Especially newcomer Amber Tamblyn knows how to put down a very likeable character without getting annoying. It’s great to see how Charlie’s role has been transferred to his daughter and it really fits the show perfectly. Kutcher too does a fantastic job with his Walden personage and of course, Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without Jon Cryer.

Walden has a near-death experience, which causes him to take a good, long look at his life. Realizing his life has amounted to a whole lot of nothing so far, he tells Alan that he would like to adopt a child in order to add some meaning to his life. Walden soon discovers that it is next to impossible to adopt a child as a single dad, so he proposes to his roommate and long-time friend, Alan, and the two pose as a gay couple and ultimately adopt Louis. Of course, it wouldn’t be a season of Two and a Half Men if our guys didn’t behave badly, so it’s not long before Walden and Alan are scrambling to keep their secret while figuring out how to have some manly fun with the women in their lives!

The Season story is mostly about the adoption of Louis, its a nice heartfelt story of two men trying t oraise an adoptive child, whilst trying to hide the fact they are both straight. When we get to the last few episodes we see both men in happy relationships, but the main event is obviously the last episode which features great guest stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christian Slater, and a whole host of returning cast members including, Jake. after 12 season the show still surprises and the final episode is a worth while conclusion to a show that has been on the air for 12 years.