Sue’s Week in TV – Hits & Highlights

 

Once Upon A Time – Season Three, Episode One:  Heart of the Truest Believer

This week saw the return of magic once again to our TV screens, and while I wasn’t as geared up in anticipation as I’ve been for some other shows, OUAT is always a solid happy hour for me, and this season’s premiere was no different.  Last season left us on a bit of a cliffhanger (to say the least), with the fate of young Henry (Jared Gilmore) hanging in the balance, not to mention Neal/Baelflower (Michael Raymond-James) and all of the heroes/anti-heroes who raced to Neverland in pursuit of Henry’s kidnappers.  The opening moments of this season took us back 11 years or so to Henry’s birth, and Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) difficult and heart-breaking decision to give him up.

Flashing back forward to the present day, Emma, Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), David (Josh Dallas), Regina (Lana Parrilla), Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) are all aboard the Jolly Roger now in Neverland, racing to find Henry.  Gold/Rumpelstiltskin figures he can find Henry better on his own, and uses magic to leap away to parts unknown.  In the meantime, tempers flare on the ship as mermaids attack and a huge storm breaks out.  Emma realizes that it’s their fighting that’s causing the storm, and leaps from the ship in the hopes of shocking the others out of their endless bickering.

Henry escapes his kidnappers with some unintentional help from the Lost Boys, who want to take him to Peter Pan.  He stumbles across another Lost Boy, but this one is also on the run from the others, as he has made Pan angry somehow.  Both boys manage to elude their pursuers by flying away on fairy dust and Henry’s belief in its magic.

This is Neverland, however, and not all is as it seems.  Our characters are divided not only physically in some cases, but also in their beliefs.  No one can agree on the best course of action in any situation, especially anything involving magic, and the stakes now as are high as they ever were.  This season premiere was a rollercoaster ride of thrills and twists, with many familiar faces showing up all over the place, and all of the heart I’ve come to expect from these characters.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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Face Off:  Season 5 – Cosmic Circus

I have a feeling that my heart is pretty much going to break a little every week now, because I like everyone on the show so much, and hate to see them go.  This week, however, was a tad on the worse-than-usual side.  The challenge was cool – create a dark, sexy alien circus performer…who would actually have to perform.  The make-up had to be unique, and it had to hold up for the crazy circus antics that the models/Cirque Berserk members would be putting it through on stage.  The teams of two got to choose each other, and (aside from all things Tate) I had a hard time deciding who to even root for most.  Being as Alana is one of my all-time faves, it was difficult to watch her and Laney struggle so much throughout the whole process, too.  It’s not even like they were fighting or anything…they really respect one another’s work, and for some reason just could not get on the same page with this one, and unfortunately it really showed.  They both knew they would be on the bottom by the time they got to the stage, and the disappointment and sadness scrawled on the faces of both women was almost unbearable.

But then, at the moment Alana’s name was called as the one going home, Laney joined her in bursting into tears, and both women embraced while Laney repeated over and over, “I’m so sorry!  I’m so sorry!”

HEART-SHATTERING!  Ugh!

I know that it’s not going to get any easier – the stakes are higher each week – but MAN, do I hope it doesn’t get any more difficult to watch!  I almost wish I could just watch everything up to the judges decisions…but even that isn’t really going to make me happy, because I love seeing the end result almost as much as watching the artists create.  And there is often much to smile and giggle about once the judges are unleashed, too, so yeah…I won’t give any of this show up.  I mean, it’s really just a sign of how much I love it when every moment means so much and affects me so completely, right?

(BTW, Eddie and Miranda totally rocked it this week – their dual creation looked like it had been done by the same person!)

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Survivor:  Blood vs Water

Holy crap, Survivor!  This episode was crazy!  This whole season is crazy!  One thing I love most about Survivor is how they always find ways to keep things fresh and new, while still having the familiarity of the game we all love.  Having previous contestents dual against a tribe of their loved ones is an insanely awesome twist, and I fully expect things are just going to get even more intense going forward.

There are actually very few people on this season that I don’t like.  So far just Colton, really.  I mean, he claims to watch and love the game, but who goes out day one and refuses to even try to win challenges and keep the tribe strong?  Someone who doesn’t have long to live in the game, that’s who.  Dude was on a very strong, winning team, but not only did he want to talk about who they’d vote out next even before the challenge, but he actually suggested they VOLUNTEER to go to tribal council so they could vote out a strong player while they had the chance.  Um…what?  The whole point of having two tribes is to try and stay as strong as you can as a tribe, to win as many challenges as you can as a tribe, to then go into the merge as strong as you can – AS A TRIBE.  Now, this season is different from every other because a) the other tribe is full of loved ones, so even when you win, you may lose, and the merge is certain to be less clear-cut than usual, b) Redemption Island is back, which means at least one person who was voted out will win their way back into the game, at some point, and c) there’s at least one hidden immunity idol in play – likely 2, because you never know which tribe is going to get the clue.  SO many options to weigh when you vote someone out – I love it!

I’m glad Colton just quit this week, instead of having to wait for him to get voted out and then lose on Redemption Island.  For my own personal sanity, I’m glad I don’t have to watch him bitch anymore.  But honestly, is there a way to leave the game that is MORE disgraceful and pathetic?  I don’t really like bashing on the guy when he’s down, but come on.  His tribe was winning, they were up in numbers and in spirit, his loved one is doing just fine on the other tribe, and Colton opts to walk out before the Redemption Island challenge – which has nothing to do with him nor his loved one?  That’s….that has to be a pretty unprecedented departure, no?  Probst totally called him out for being a quitter, and THEN let us know that Colton actually quit the first time, too!  WHAT?!  He faked appendicitis (how do you spell that again?) the first time around!  Holy crap!  I was NOT expecting that little revelation at ALL!  Wow!

So now…let me get back on track.  Culpepper is a bit of an idiot when it comes to Survivor, I think.  There’s always one super stud who says they want to keep the tribe strong…and then votes out those he feels will be competition to him later on – because they are STONG PLAYERS.  Dude…you’ve got awhile to go til the merge yet, and the first three people you convince everyone else to vote out are strong…this week’s choice of John being one of the strongest ever.  To me, he (Culpepper) didn’t really think this through.  One, John has clues for the hidden immunity idol, thanks to his lovely ass-kicking lady, Candice, who is owning Redemption Island these days.  That idol, had it been found, could have really helped y’all in the merge.  You know, if you’d used it as a tribe.  Everyone knew John had the clues.  Not using that fact to keep the tribe a bit stronger down the road was a bit of an ill-conceived notion.  Two, Culpepper worried that Candice would control John after the merge, and therefore John had to go now.  Which would make sense, if Culpepper really has any control over his alliance once their loved ones join the fray post-merge, as well.  Now, Candice’s tribe voted her out on the first day – would it not have been a better bet to hope that she wins her way back into the game to join the all-guy alliance with her man, rather than assume that she’ll stick with the group who voted her out in the first place?  I’m just sayin’.  Maybe Culpepper can still control Hayden once he and Kat both make it to the merge, for example, but I wouldn’t put stock in that belief.  I think maybe only Culpepper believes that one.

However, if there is one thing I’ve learned from watching Survivor on my couch, it’s that every time someone proclaims themselves “in control” of the whole game – they’re soon learning how wrong they were on their way out the door.

Dear Survivor…I love you!

 

Special Mentions

I want to give a quick shout out to a couple of shows which I really enjoyed, but I ran out of time to write, and now we’re into another week already!  The Originals (spinoff from The Vampire Diaries) premiered this week, and even though I’d seen the episode as a preview a long time ago, I was once again thrilled to see some of my fave vamps back on my screen, and can’t wait to see how this new storyline unfolds.  Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is back!!!

Backalley’s new show, Played, premiered this week, as well, and while I didn’t think it’d be my kind of show per se, I was happily proven wrong by an exciting and solid pilot episode!  And really, could that cast be any prettier?

Finally, Sleepy Hollow is a show I picked up at the beginning, and haven’t been completely sold on just yet.  However, this week’s episode may have brought me on board for the long haul, after all.  It was dark, creepy, and had a ton of emotional heart throughout – all of which I love.  Throwbacks to previous episodes, and big events which further the story and allow the characters to grow into future episodes.  I loved it!

That’s it for now…gotta start getting caught up on this week’s episodes now!  🙂

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