What I Watched Last Night: Should You?

13: Fear Is RealI've been waiting for a genuine horror reality show to hit the small screen.  Not necessarily in reality form, but I figure "Hey, even better!"  Then I hear Sam Raimi is attached and I think "Woah, awesome.  This could be good!"

This is when I sound a buzzer and say "WRONG!".

The series premiered last night and I honestly didn't have the highest of expectations.  How scary could a set-up reality show be? But I figured it would atleast be entertaining.  After watching, I realized my expectations were still too high. 

I do get it though.  I get the idea and I appreciate that.  Stick a bunch of people into a real life 80's horror film (the ol' cabin in the woods) and make them participate in scary situations.  But I just couldn't get my mind to forget that it's all props and scenery and that every little event is super controlled. 

I'm bummed.  Really.  I mean, it's one thing to be a little dull in the first episode.  It's another to pull silly crap like when the contestants are blind folded, you put a fake blind fold over a camera too and add some heavy breathing...as if we're to pretend the players have cameras lodged in their foreheads.  This bad choice made it even more difficult for me to pretend it's not a TV show and believe these people are actually scared.

Oh, and the contestants are total cookie cutter reality folks.  I'm sure they all just graduated from reality TV school.  (Yeah, that's a real thing btw).

Should you watch?  Don't bother.  Yes, I will try it again because I can't stop thinking "But Sam Raimi's name is there!".  However, it only gets one more shot with me.

DamagesI sadly missed out on season 1 of "Damages".  However, I did get to watch this beautifully edited 2 part recap yesterday which made me feel like I was all caught up.

Having heard all the hype, I was super excited to catch the season premiere last night and, well there's no other way to put this... holy CRAP is that good TV.  Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are absolutely phenomenal in their roles and I was instantly captivated.  Things only got better when I learned Timothy Olyphant ("Deadwood") and William Hurt would be playing major characters this season.

It's one month since the murder of Ellen's (Byrne) fiance and she's still intent on seeing Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson) face to face, the man she believe killed her husband-to-be.  More importantly, she's dead set on destroying Patty Hewes (Close) for trying to kill her.  In and out of therapy, fueled by revenge and working with the authorities, Ellen is clearly a very angry and broken woman.  To watch Byrne play this role...well it's just awe-inspiring. 

Meanwhile, Patty is dealing with the guilt of trying to have Ellen killed and the loss of watching Fiske commit suicide right in front of her last season.  But that doesn't mean the fire is gone. She's still mean enough to get a colleague's daughter in trouble with the law when he decides to bail on a new charity they put together and also lie with a seriously straight face about where she was when Ellen was nearly killed.

Should you watch? YES! Don't end up like me, feeling like I missed out on an amazing show.  Thanks to this, I feel I have a close "Shield" replacement. 

The Real World - BrooklynLet it be known that I haven't actually watched this show since they were in Miami back in '96.  However, I really wanted to check this one out since it's "The Real World: Brooklyn" and well, that's where I live. 

I buckled in for a load of garbage.  Really, I had zero expectations for this.  I've seen the clips and read the reviews of some of the latest seasons and fully expected the house to be packed with fully raging hormones and drunks.

I was SOOOO wrong.  Seriously, WAY off base here.  It looks like the casting department decided to go back to it's roots and fill the house with what appears to be an extremely diverse and intelligent group of people.. 

They're all fairly interesting but the ones that caught my eye (and I'm sure anyone who was watching) were Chet the mormon from Salt Lake City, UT who (to me) is clearly hiding something from others and himself, Katelynn the transgender (boy to girl) who's still coping with the major change in her life (she just had the surgery 2 months prior to moving in the house) and most of all, Ryan the 23 year old young vet who spent an entire year in Iraq and even guarded Saddam Hussein at his trial.

Ryan is the number one reason I will watch again next week.  This kid amazes me.  When he finally opens up to a housemate about where he's been, she asks if it's hard.  He tells her his best friend recently snapped and killed himself after their return from Iraq.  She asks how he deals with it and Ryan expalins how he writes it all out.  When he shows her what is clearly a full blown manuscript of his time in Iraq, my heart dropped. 

Should you watch?
  That's a tricky one.  I mean it was only the first episode.  It could still turn out to be a season of young adult debauchery, but after seeing some of the cast members, I'll definitely be watching episode 2.


Damages was it for me. I love this show. Glenn Close is incredible. I saw a comment elsewhere from someone who didn't see season 1 and thought that the show is a risk because Close plays such a cold-hearted bitch but is sympathetic. Um, no question that they hadn't seen season 1, because if she is seeming sympathetic, she's lying. I loved Olyphant and Hurt as well. I'm still so stuck on Deadwood love that I was afraid TO wouldn't be able to get passed his Bullock-ness for me, but was not a problem at all. Plus he looks 10 years younger now.

I may have to watch an ep of Real World now and it's all your fault. I'm not sure if I've ever made it through a whole episode, let alone an entire season. But Brooklyn! And I hear the neighbors hated having them there (well, who wouldn't?).

Full Scholarship to the New York Reality TV School - for Ry -upon his request!!!!

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