Flesh and Bone (TV Review)

Every now and then a show releases all the episodes on one day, you are bored and decide to watch it and then … you are hooked! Last time I got sucked into the binging-trap was with Sense8 (so psyched for Season 2!), but this today’s candidate is Flesh and Bone! (I am going to do my best to keep this review Spoiler-free, but I can’t say the same for the comments!)

Cast: Sarah Hay, Ben Daniels, Emily Tyra, Irina Dvorovenko, Damon Herriman, Josh Helman, Raychel Diane Weiner, Sascha Radetsky, Karell Williams, …

Disclaimer: There is a lot of nudity and difficult themes involving drugs, abuse and sex. If you are not comfortable with that, this show might not be for you.

Flesh and Bone is a ballet-miniseries on Starz created by Moira Walley-Beckett. It’s about small town girl Claire wanting to fulfill her dream of becoming a prima ballerina in the big city, but it’s also about so much more.

I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly super-excited when I first heard of the show. I thought that I might check it out to pass the time since I always liked dance movies, but I didn’t think it would be anything special. Oh, how wrong I was! I feel so sorry for thinking it now, because the Flesh and Bone was absolutely brilliant and intense to watch. But I am getting ahead of myself again!

The show starts pretty “normal” with Claire’s audition. I am sure you’ve watched movies where they wanted to make you, the audience, believe that they found a new star – be it a singer or dancer or whatever. Most of the time when that trope is used, I am disappointed when I actually hear the person sing or see them dance. However, that was not the case with Claire. I am definitely no expert on ballet or dance in general, but I know when a performance is moving me and hers always did. Sarah Hay just portrayed her so vulnerable and exactly the way she was supposed to be, it sometimes pained me to watch her.
But it’s not just Claire who’s portrayed in such a complex way, all the characters have their flaws and vulnerabilities. You find yourself discovering something new about each one of them every episode and I was often torn between hating and liking people. This is mostly due to me thinking the show would just be about the showbiz-industry and what people are willing to do to get what they want at first, but it turned out to be so much darker and twisted than that. It’s not so much that you can’t guess what’s about to happen, but rather that you are still shocked when it does. However, it all still made sense and just built up the tension bit by bit until the final episode and that’s the beauty about it.

I am addicted to the theme song now and my heart is still torn to pieces from the last scene. I hope that it doesn’t stay a one time thing, but rather that it continues (soon)! I haven’t heard any news yet, but here’s me hoping!!

I hope I could trigger your curiosity, if you haven’t checked out the show already. What are your thoughts?

Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion

Although the title may seem very similar to last week’s episode, it is indeed a new one. The Zygon Inversion is the conclusion to the Zygon Invasion, so let’s do this! Spoilers ahead!!

inversion

What was it about?

The Doctor could escape Zygilla’s (=faux Clara) attempt of assassination and the real Clara is seemingly also still alive, but trapped in her own mind while being in the Zygon Pot. Through some clever (mind) tricks involving the Osgood box, or rather boxes, ceasefire between humanity and the Zygons could ultimately be restored again.

My thoughts?

I was really worried that the Zygon Inversion wouldn’t hold up to it’s predecessor episode, but all the fretting was for naught. Twelve and Osgood escaping the airplane crash actually made sense, Clara fighting her “evil” counterpart was extremely well done and Capaldi finally got to make a speech that will keep you thinking for a while.

That was actually my favourite part of the episode – Twelve trying to get through to Kate and Zygilla/Bonnie. I’m not sure if my brain fails me or if Capaldi really hasn’t had the chance of performing a great monologue, but I feel like his previous dialogue was a lot more clunky. This one was very Matt Smith-esque though and even reminded me in parts of his speech in The Rings of Akathen. I also liked it when Twelve mentioned that it was the 15th time that he wiped Kate’s memory because of the boxes. There’s just no way around it, there are always consequences to a war and the Doctor pointing out that it can only end with the parties sitting down to talk and that being something they should have done from the beginning melted my heart, because there is so much truth it that. Another lesson of how important communication is.

For a moment there, I was really confused about the two Osgoods. I am happy though that they are likely to appear in the future. However, I don’t want them or one of them to become a companion. Somehow I don’t think it would work with Osgood being such a fangirl in the TARDIS.

Last but not least, was the scene at the end another ominous reference to Clara’s dooming fate? Only time can tell and I’ll let the Doctor be the judge of that.

Next episode will mark the first standalone this season, so I am fairly excited to see if they are able to create a great arc for just one episode. Any thoughts you would like to share?

Doctor Who: The Woman Who Lived

So, as mentioned last week, The Woman Who Lived was the second part to The Girl Who Died. As always when it comes to Doctor Who, please beware of Spoilers coming ahead!

thewomanwholived

What was it about?

The Doctor is looking for an alien artifact on earth and runs into Ashildr or as she now likes to call herself (Lady) Me. Time has not been kind to her and she has become bitter and cold about humanity. She wants to travel with the Doctor, but he refuses which leads to her making a terrible deal with another alien, Leandro. In the end she sees that she did wrong and mends the situation just in time.

My thoughts?

If you recall last week, you know that I wasn’t very impressed with the episode. Unfortunately this week wasn’t very different. I definitely liked it and there were some great moments in there, but I just didn’t love it either.

It tried to balance (silly) humour with some more dark and reflective topics and I am just not sure they succeeded, because I didn’t find it all that funny. Leandro was the monster of the week, but definitely didn’t leave much of a mark with me other than he could fit into a Cats musical. And Sam Swift, who played a nice counterpart to the Nightmare and who took the term gallows humour quite literally, could now be another immortal? I don’t like it. And his jokes? There’s nothing wrong with them per se, but somehow they just didn’t fit the tone of the episode for me.
However, I did love the more earnest scenes. I liked getting to see a glimpse of what Ashildr (and yes, I am going to call her that and not Nightmare or Lady Me or anything else) went through in her 800 years on earth. She seemed so hurt and lonely – it’s no wonder she locked her heart away. But something did keep bothering me (besides the fact that I have difficulties acknowledging Maisie Williams as a grown-up). She obviously fell in love and had people she cared about, then why didn’t she ever use the second chip to create a companion for herself? She clearly didn’t want them to die. Then again, I suppose I would understand not wanting to bestow immortality on another poor soul.

I quite liked the ending and Ashildr becoming the Patron Saint of the Doctor’s Leftovers. It was so eerie to see her in the background of the selfie Clara took.  But I think it was time for an episode of the Doctor travelling without Clara (once again, a premonition from last week that was correct. YAY!). He used to do that more often in the past and it seems the showrunners have learned from their mistakes in Season 8. Uh, and there was a mention of Jack Harkness, that can never be wrong!

Next week looks interesting, picking up with the Zygon-topic first introduced on The Day of the Doctor. But what was your opinion on the Woman Who Lived? Love or Loathe?

Doctor Who: The Girl Who Died

I just KNEW that The Girl Who Died would be a 2-parter like the other episodes on this season of Doctor Who. It maybe didn’t have as much of a cliffhanger as the others, but the story is still connected. Before I get ahead of myself though, beware of Spoilers coming your way!

the girl who died

What was it about?

Clara and the Doctor get captured by Vikings. It soon turns out that they have a much bigger problem though, because the village is being raided by one of the most deadly warrior races in the universe – the Mire. The Doctor remembers who he is, a person who saves people, and therefore helps the villagers. Unfortunately, one girl, Ashildr, dies in the process, but the Doctor is tired of loosing people and revives her with alien technology, therefore making her immortal. When he leaves, he knows he may have made a huge mistake.

TO BE CONTINUED …

My thoughts?

I liked the episode, but I didn’t love it. The reason for that may just be as simple as it having been hyped too much due to the appearance of Maisie Williams, who turned out NOT to be a young Missy or any other former associate of the Doctor (as far as we know). Ashildr’s story played in well with the overall arc of the episode, but it was more of a lightweight compared to the previous ones. However, it got really interesting towards the end for me.

The Doctor finally remembered why he chose this face and it showed some lovely throwbacks to Ten’s era with Donna. While the music was very dramatic, I thought the resolution was a little anti-climactic. Wasn’t it always obvious that the Doctor saved people? Yes, he may be more grumpy now and even less capable at social interactions, but I never doubted that he wants to save people. In general, this was an odd but very interesting episode for Twelve. He’s tired of loosing people and wants to act, but isn’t supposed to. I think this was a hint at what Davros said in the beginning of Series 9, about the Doctor having some dark secret as to why he left Gallifrey.
Also, he changed Ashildr’s life massively by turning her into an immortal hybrid. I love that he gave her a second chip to make herself a companion. In my opinion, immortality was always a curse and it was nice to hear the Doctor voice this by saying: “Immortality isn’t living forever. That’s not what it feels like. Immortality is everybody else dying. She might meet someone she can’t bear to lose. That happens, I believe.”. When he said that, he looked at Clara really oddly. They keep referring to her soon to come death and I think this time it will really send the Doctor on a spiral again. I know that a lot of people are tired of her and I think she’s ready to leave too, but they are a lot better together this Season than they were in the last one and I am going to miss her a lot.

I am interesting in seeing how next week will play out. There wasn’t much Clara in the promo, so maybe it’s a solo-Doctor mission to check up on Ashildr?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you love/hate/like it? Do you think Maisie Williams is a good addition to the universe of Doctor Who?

P.S.: The Sonic Sunglasses were FINALLY broken! I was more joyous at that than I probably should have been, but unfortunately I already saw them in the promo for next week …

Chicago Fire Season 4 Premiere

Chicago Fire is back and that means one by one my favourite franchise is becoming complete again. I already showed you a little Preview and First Look (including Spoilers for the entire Season) in a previous post – click here to check it out! Otherwise, let’s continue with the Season 4 Premiere!

Okay everyone, you should know how this works by now, but I still feel obliged to say it every single time. We pick up right at the same moment the last episode ended, but there is so much going on each episode that I just break it down into characters and my thoughts for their storylines. Spoilers ahead!

  • Gabby and Casey – I think everyone wants to know what’s going on with them. Well, Gabby was really worried after finding dead Katya, but Antonio got to Casey in time. He’s changed and now has a more violent/impulsive streak, but after Gabby was in danger during one of the fires, he FINALLY realised that he just wants to be with her. So, in the last seconds of the episode he goes to Molly’s to tell her how he feels and she’s super happy and that’s when she tells him that she’s pregnant and they hug.
    I am so glad it happened this way around and not him wanting to get back together after she told him about the pregnancy. Now I don’t feel like they just got back together for the baby. But throughout the episode you could see how much Dawson was struggling as a firefighter and probably wanting to stay one.
  • As announced, Severide got demoted and I was super mad on his behalf! I think he is handling this a lot calmer than expected, but definitely still not well. I just think it’s so unfair, because while the turnover rate on Squad may be high, that surely isn’t his fault. I am so worried about him, because he wants to leave Firehouse 51 and I am NOT okay with that. I hope that Cruz could dissuade him from that idea.
    Also, we got to meet his new love interest, who he meets at his management training course. They hooked up already, but I read something about complications on the way, so I don’t think it will last.
  • Dallas Patterson, the new Captain replacing Sev, seemed really nice. I wanted to like him and not resent him, because after all it’s not his fault that Sev got demoted. However, by the end of the episode I didn’t particularly like him, especially not because he told Sev that he HAD to show up at his boat for a mandatory group thing. Just give the guy some space to breathe and digest what happened!
  • The new recruit Jimmy totally blew it! He came off like some stupid frat boy and that’s not what Firehouse 51 needs. I am glad he apologized in the end, but he will have to do some serious growing up. I am however interested to see if there’s really something going to happen between him and Chili – she definitely thinks he’s hot.
  • Will Halstead once more got to make an appearance and it makes me so impatient for Chicago Med! Chili and Brett had a really heartbreaking case and they asked for his help to find out about the fate of a patient.
  • The fire the firehouse had to attend to was something different too this week. I can’t believe those people are suing the firehouse even though they were the ones delaying them and causing the death of one of their neighbors. I was really disappointed in humanity on this one. I mean, how can they be so irresponsible?
  • I can see a lot of trouble for Molly’s coming because of the new neighbors

So, that pretty much sums it all up. What did you think?

Doctor Who: Before the Flood

I know that I am terribly late with my Doctor Who review for Before the Flood, but I have good reasons. Yesterday I went and sold some childhood memories at the flee market. It sounds way more dramatic than it was, because they were all things I neither needed nor wanted, but it was freezing and we basically had to stand there all day long. So, after getting home, I mostly tried to get some warmth back into my body and slept a lot – hence my slightly belated review. Now, beware of Spoilers ahead!

What was it about?

The Doctor and Clara are separated through time. While Clara struggles to stay hopeful facing the Doctor’s ghost, he is off to change the future in order to keep Clara safe. 

My thoughts?

After last week, I was quite excited about how Moffat would resolve the issue of the Doctor’s ghost appearing, but when the episode started and the Bootstrap Paradox was mentioned, I knew it wouldn’t be an entirely satisfying solution. However, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good episode, I just think that ending it with a question rather than the answer can be a bit of a cop-out sometimes. Funnily enough, I did suspect the ghost of the Doctor to be a hologram, so I was kind of happy to be right about that one.

I still think that Sophie Stone as Cass was a brilliant addition to the cast and the story – her being deaf actually added to the narrative and that was amazing! Also, her and Lunn were just super cute. I liked pretty much all of the people from the underwater base though and was sorry to see Bennett so shattered in the end. He had one of the best lines after meeting Albert Prentis in 1980 – “My first proper alien and he’s an idiot!” – I definitely laughed out loud at that! Also, he at least gave us a bit of a chance to explore Clara’s emotions after loosing Danny. I feel like that’s just being pushed aside like it wasn’t that big a deal in the first place, but moments like the one at the end of Before the Flood showed that it changed her at least a little.

Now there was a new monster – the Fisher King. I think the episode could have used a bit more of him. He looks quite terrifying, but since the costume made it difficult to move, he looked stiff and awkward sometimes. I wish they explored his motives and the monster in general a bit more, but what can you do, there is only so much you can show in 45 minutes.

Next week we will finally find out who Maisie Williams is playing on Doctor Who – massively excited for that! But what was your impression of Before the Flood? 

Arrow Season 4 Premiere

So, the Arrow is back! I’ve already posted a First Look including Spoilers for the entire Season a couple of weeks ago, click here to read that. But right now, let’s take a look at the episode 1 of Season 4! (If you haven’t watched it yet, this obviously also includes Spoilers!)

The Season starts with Oliver and Felicity in domestic bliss, while everything goes really badly in Star City. As usual, let’s break it down into characters:

  • Oliver wants to propose to Felicity! That was like the best news in my opinion. They are really happy together, if only it wasn’t so boring in the suburbs. Oli’s proposal attempt failed when Thea and Laurel showed up to ask for help. You can see that with them being back in the city, their relationship will also change. For now he has put the engagement off, but I don’t think it’s forever.
  • Thea is out of control! I mean we all knew the Lazarus Pit would take a toll, but she is so aggressive and doesn’t even have a problem with it!
  • Diggle‘s helmet has not fully convinced me yet. However, I do get his lingering animosity with Oliver. He was his best friend and he betrayed him, that’s just not cool. Still, he needs to let it go! They need to be a team now and Oliver is trying. He knows that he can’t call all the shots anymore.
  • Damien Darhk is scary af! He has some sort of mystical blood-magic powers which make him super strong, possibly telekinetic and allow him to kill people by touch. That is freaky! He has a Hive that works for him and that instantly rang a bell for Diggle. I wish he would have told the others about having heard about it before. He can’t be mad at Oliver for keeping secrets and then keep something big like this from the others as well – that’s just him being a hypocrite.
  • Big shocker to me was that Captain Lance is seemingly in it with Darhk. Okay, okay, he has no choice, but that is still a really bad image in my mind …
  • Flashbacks: you know I am not a huge fan of those, but they are now about how Oliver got trapped on the island again.
  • Flashforwards: this apparently confused a lot of people and I can tell you it was a real shocker to me as well! Just to clarify though, the season will not continue from this point onwards. It was a look at the future and we will get there before the Season Finale. However, the Arrow bosses refuse to give any clues about who’s grave Oliver and Barry were standing at. They also won’t mention when the death will occur during the Season in order not to spoil it. That is fair enough but I do wonder who will die. Apparently the person, whoever they are, won’t be revived but is dead for good. I have this bad gut feeling that it’s Felicity, but that would ruin the show for me … I so hope I am wrong!
  • In other news: Oli is now officially the Green Arrow. While people still believe Ray is dead, Felicity is the CEO of Palmer Tech. Also, the Flash Day was mentioned. And greatest sentence ever: “Felicity Smoak, you have failed this omelette.”

So, where you as shocked as I was in the end? Any thoughts you want to add? I think it was really mean of them to do that …