REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012) – SEASON 3

MAIN CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Jay Ryan (Mary Kills people)
Austin Basis (J. Edgar)
Nina Lisandrello (The Devil Wears Prada)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Mean Girls 2)

Beauty and the Beast (2012)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Zach Appelman (Sleepy Hollow)
Natasha Henstridge (Species)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Saul Rubinek (Memory Run)
Emily Swallow (Supernatural)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Khaira Ledeyo (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Brennan Brown (Focus)
Jason Gedrick (Major Crimes)
Ted whittall (Suicide Squad)

Beauty and the Beast (2012)Season three opens with Cat and Vincent now living a seemingly idyllic life together in New York, after the traumatic events of Season 2, when Vincent was being hunted both by the NYPD for murder and then by Cat’s deranged ex-boyfriend, Gabe. Cat has been re-instated in her role of detective and Vincent has had his medical licence returned to him so he can begin, at last, to earn a living after living off the grid for more than 10 years.Beauty and the Beast (2012)He is happy with where they stand and, due to the lack of clouds on the horizon, has wedding bells on his mind. Cat meanwhile has been secretly meeting with agents from Homeland Security, who want to recruit both her and Vincent to help them deal with a new kind of threat. Someone has been experimenting on innocent New Yorkers, enabling them to do incredible things but also putting them and the general population at risk. Cat feels it’s her and Vincent’s responsibility to get to the bottom of the mystery and stop the experimentation. But that will put both their lives in danger, again, and threaten the normal future they have craved for so long.Beauty and the Beast (2012)This season focuses on the struggles of our beloved couple to take their relationship to the next level, in the midst of these new threats. The performances of Kristin Kreuk as Catherine Chandler and Jay Ryan as Dr. Vincent Keller are excellent as usual and they are well supported by the rest of the ensemble cast: Nina Lisandrello as Tess Vargas, Cat’s former partner and now her boss and Austin Basis as Vincent’s best friend J.T. Forbes. Cat’s sister Heather, played by Nicole Gale Anderson, makes a welcome return and provides some much appreciated lighter moments in what can be a dark and brooding story. There are also some great guest stars this season with Natasha Henstridge and Alan Strang playing Bob and Carol, an enhanced super-couple who cause all manner of problems for our Vincat, and Jason Gedrick, playing the role of the terrifyingly calm, super-bad Liam.Thankfully, there are no love triangles in this season and the chemistry between the two main actors remains strong. Even when they are arguing, they are still exceptionally cute together and the mutual respect they have for each other shines through. Enjoy the ride as Cat and Vincent negotiate, engagement, co-habitation and co-dependency on their journey to become Dr. & Mrs. Keller. Do they finally tie the knot? You’ll have to buy the DVD and find out for yourselves.All in all, essential viewing for any BATB fan and a series that once watched leaves you wanting more. Shame we only have one more season of this show to look forward to.

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REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW – SEASON 3

 

MAIN CAST

Tom Mison (Venus)
Nicole Beharie (Shame)
Lyndie Greenwood (Nikita)
Nikki Reed (Twilight)
Zach Appelman (Beauty and The Beast)
Lance Gross (Star)
Jessica Camacho (The Flash)
Shannyn Sossamon (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
Maya Kazan (Boardwalk Empire)
Bill Irwin (Legion)
James McDaniel (Malcolm X)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Michael O’Keefe (Fear)
Nicholas Guest (Big Hero 6)
Derek Mears (Friday The 13th)
C. Thomas Howell (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
David Boreanaz (Bones)

Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Months have passed since the tragic events where Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) lost his wife and son, as they both turned to the dark side. While averting the apocalypse, the loss of his family caused Ichabod to need some time for himself to process all that has transpired. When he finds himself locked in a prison cell for trying to import undocumented relics, he calls Abbie (Nicole Beharie) to come bail him out. Abbie has also moved on from the events, as she traded her job at the local law enforcement for a more exciting job at the FBI. Even though she misses the bond she had with Crane, she hopes she can leave the past behind her, as she has seen more than enough monsters for an entire lifetime. Sadly, Ichabod has not been sitting by idly, and has discovered that their role as ‘witnesses’, did not stop when they stopped the spawn of hell, Moloch.Sleepy Hollow (2013)As expected, there’s a new demonic presence lurking in the shadows, namely Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon), who we know from Pandora’s box, the box that contains all the evil of the world. She indeed follows the main concept of this legendary tale, and has a box, which contains the world’s most vile demons, who she then slowly starts to unleash upon Sleepy Hollow. The horrible incidents that unfolds may involve the witnesses, but in reality Pandora is trying to revive her love, an omnipotent god named ‘The Hidden One’ (Peter Mensah), a deity that was known for its cruel behavior. Fending off demons is one thing, tampering with the divine will prove to be a different task altogether.SH303_SCN44_CB-602_hires1The series follows the typical formula like the first two seasons, where one thread runs through all episodes, while the witnesses and their allies tackle cases which are usually cracked in the course of one episode. In many ways this means you’ll get to see a new monster per episode, which is often based on legendary figures or demons we have seen for the umpteenth time, with an original Sleepy Hollow twist added to them. Even though everything remains qualitative and interesting, this season feels a bit like ‘been there, done that’, as it may look as if the story just underwent a reboot, with a new enemy in the shadows. Again, this isn’t really a bad thing, but to some it may seem that the series is just being dragged out.Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Overall the cast hasn’t gone through any considerable changes, thus you can expect more of the same, guaranteeing you a qualitative experience. Tom and Nicole still play the perfect counterparts, with enough natural chemistry between them to make you wish they would just let their characters come to terms with their feelings. This season has a few new faces, namely Shannyn Sossamon, who plays Pandora, and Peter Mensah, who plays ‘The Hidden One’. Both play their supernatural roles quite good, and play out the role as the new nemeses of the forces of good perfectly.Sleepy Hollow: Season 3 will still be a delight for fans of the first two seasons, but in many ways the season is just clamping to a new bad guy to drag it out further, which seems to be the norm nowadays. Nonetheless, the continuation of this new story direction does not interfere with the story and acting quality, allowing the series to run strong. If you’re fond of the supernatural, a hefty dose of British accents, a healthy dose of humor and of course the peculiar town of Sleepy Hollow, you’re still in for a treat.

REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW – SEASON 2

 

MAIN CAST

Tom Mison (Venus)
Nicole Beharie (Shame)
Orlando Jones (Evolution)
Katia Winter (Legends of Tomorrow)
Lyndie Greenwood (Nikita)
John Noble (Lord of The Rings)

Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

John Cho (Total Recall)
Neil Jackson (Blade: The Series)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Jill Marie Jones (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Matt Barr (Hellcats)
Laura Spencer (Bones)
Derek Mears (Friday The 13th)
Sakina Jaffrey (The Guru)
Timothy Busfield (Strays)
Aunjanue Ellis (The Help)
Onira Tares (Project Almanac)
Sharif Atkins (Light it Up)
Johnathon Schaech (Legends of Tomorrow)
Zach Appelman (Beauty and The Beast)
Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire)
Francie Swift (Cop Out)
Max Brown (Agent Carter)
Jaime Murray (The Originals)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy)
Eddie Spears (Longmire)
Cynthia Stevenson (Dead Like Me)
Ron Rogge (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)

 

Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Making the balance between humor, horror and action look easy, season 1 of Sleepy Hollow set the bar high. An expanded season 2 (jumping to 18 episodes from 13) more than met that standard in the first half, throttling though the high-stakes plot of Moloch trying to escape Purgatory and the Witnesses gaining more allies. And while the series struggled to find itself after that story came to end—likely due to the network-mandated order to become less serialized—the show always remained worthwhile and very enjoyable due to the solid characters and relationships that had been established. Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)This season felt inspired from the start, with the terrific premiere episode “This is War” displaying sly storytelling as Abbie and Ichabod struggled to escape Purgatory. The later introduction of Benjamin Franklin (in flashbacks), more revelations about the Mills family history and the remarkable episodes leading up to the midseason finale all made for a rollicking first half. Despite meandering with the back half standalone episodes, the finale more than made up for any aimlessness by giving us what we watch for in the first place: Abbie and Ichabod, BFFs.Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)With Abbie and Ichabod already firmly entrenched as partners in the war against evil, the show was able to widen its focus to other characters. The best results were with Jenny, who became better-rounded and an integral part of the team. But Abraham/Headless benefitted from more attention as well, as we got to know his motivations. Even the risky addition of Hawley paid off better than expected, and by the time he got his send-off episode his connection to Jenny and the Witnesses felt earned and real. Less successful was the addition of Captain Reyes. Introduced as an intriguing possible foil or ally, she was relegated to popping up occasionally to praise or scold and was essentially forgotten by the end of the season. There were some tantalizing hints that she might have known more than she was letting on, but that could have been yet another casualty of the shift to more standalone episodes.Neil Jackson and Katia Winter in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Irving also wound up being a bit shortchanged, as the show had written him into the corner of the psych ward for murdering cops. When he was tricked into signing over his soul to Henry it looked like a rich storyline in the making but nothing much ever came of it and everything involving him seemed made up on the fly, almost as an afterthought. Despite this I was glad to see him get some terrific moments, both big and small—his sacrifice (which wound up being temporary) in the midseason finale and his intimate scenes with Jenny towards the end.John Noble and Neil Jackson in Sleepy Hollow (2013)John Noble continued to be a tremendous presence whenever he appeared. The reveal at the end of season 1 that he was the Crane’s son gave him plenty to dig into this year and Noble made Henry’s bitterness and hurt come through with intensity. Once he dispatched Moloch, though, the show didn’t seem to know what to do with him and his death wound up being pretty anticlimactic, even it did serve to set off the season endgame for the marvelous “Tempus Fugit”.Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)More problematic was the character of Katrina. She simply never worked. Not as a damsel in distress, not as the third wheel and not as an abruptly-turned villain. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, as the writers tried to integrate her into Team Witness several times with lukewarm results. I didn’t buy her sudden shift from ally to enemy, but it was a quick and painless way to give her character a good exit in service of the story. The trouble was that Beharie and Mison had established such rare buddy chemistry that Ichabod finally getting his lost love out of Purgatory threw a wrench into it. Even at her best, as in “Pittura Infamante”, it wasn’t enough to match any given scene between Abbie and Ichabod. That pretty much left the show with few options; either relegate her to the sidelines or kill her off.Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)But the biggest stumbling block this season came down from on high: FOX wanted to series to become less serialized, and Sleepy Hollow tried hard to accommodate the order. The result was an awkward stop-and-start second half, with several scenes of Abbie and Ichabod wondering out loud what their purpose was now that Moloch had been defeated. I had no problem with the death of Moloch, since he wasn’t much of a bad guy, but the absence of a Big Bad was immediately felt. Knowing full well that this might have been it for the series, the show rallied and came up with a very satisfying ending that conclusively wrapped up loose ends while leaving the door wide open for a return. Sleepy Hollow’s best hours have been the ones dealing with ongoing stories while the self-contained episodes were much more hit-and-miss, but this is a creative team that’s proven it knows how to put together a great show I’m hopeful that they get a chance to find that balance because when this series is in a groove it’s a joy to watch.Tom Mison in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Despite any problems Sleepy Hollow ran into, though, Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison were the rocks at the center the show. Their extraordinary chemistry has been the single greatest asset of an awfully good series from the start, able to shift gracefully from easygoing humor to partners in lockstep to dear friends dealing with life and death stakes in a single hour. They’re a microcosm of the show itself, one that at its best could deliver laughs and thrills side by side with terrific characters we cared about throughout. Despite difficulty adjusting to less-serialized storytelling in the back half, season 2 of Sleepy Hollow started and ended strong enough to measure up well with its stellar first year.

REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Image result for sleepy hollow tv logo

MAIN CAST

Tom Mison (Venus)
Nicole Beharie (Shame)
Lyndie Greenwood (Nikita)
Nikki Reed (Twilight)
Zach Appleman (Kil Your Darlings)
Lance Gross (House of Payne)
Shannyn Sossamon (A Kngiht’s Tale)

GUEST CAST

Emily Deschanel (Bones)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Jessica Camacho (Longmire)
Nicholas Guest (Frozen)

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Pandora reanimated the body of General Howe and unleashed him and his troops on Sleepy Hollow. They didn’t exactly call the General and his men zombies, but that’s what they were. I couldn’t really tell whether the men became zombies after they joined the General’s command or whether these were simply the men that were under his command at the time he died. Whatever the case, Pandora sent General Howe and his zombies to wreak havoc on Sleepy Hollow. They didn’t really get the chance to do much damage though. Howe’s personal grudge against Ichabod proved to be his undoing though, since Ichabod and Abbie were ultimately able to use it to lure him into their trap.

While Ichabod and Abbie were working the zombie case, Jenny and Joe were tracking some guy named Nivens. Apparently, Nivens is the guy who wanted to procure the Shard of Anubis. It also turns out that Sheriff Corbin and Nivens were in the army together. Joe immediately jumped to the conclusion that Sheriff Corbin was somehow helping Nivens in his criminal activities, but I’m not sure why he jumped to that conclusion. Yes, Sheriff Corbin kept a lot of things a secret, but I can’t say I blame him. If he had shared his theories with other people, they would’ve locked him away in the crazy house and thrown away the key. Joe knows that Sheriff Corbin had knowledge of the war against evil, and a lot of what he’d done was in preparation for fighting that war.

Sleepy Hollow

I’m still not sure what Pandora’s end game is. It seems like everything she’s unleashed thus far has been to bring up Ichabod and Abbie’s worst fears. At least that’s what it sounded like she said about the blossom at the end of the episode. I’m wondering whether she knew that Ichabod and Abbie were going to triumph over all of the monsters she’s unleashed thus far, and maybe that was the point. Maybe none of the blossoms could bloom if the monster wasn’t defeated first. Maybe her plan all along has been to send these less powerful creatures after The Witnesses to see how they work and figure out what kind of resources they have. I say that because she hasn’t looked disappointed at the outcome of any of these confrontations. If that’s the case, then she’s been using all of these things as cannon fodder for something much worse. That doesn’t bode well for our heroes.

Jenny and Joe’s side investigation may now cause some friction for Abbie at work. Reynolds is apparently investigating Nivens as well, and now he’s giving Abbie heat over Jenny possibly being involved with Nivens. I don’t know what it’s going to take for them to realize that failing to keep each other apprised of their side projects is always going to cause them trouble. I don’t know what part Nivens has to play in everything, but I have a feeling there’s more to it meets the eye. It also looks like Ichabod and Zoe might take a few more steps in their relationship, but I don’t know how well that’s going to work out for Zoe. Ichabod doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to women. A strange crossover with Bones, but it actually works.