Monday, November 21, 2011

AMC's Got it Going on (Beware of spoiler)

AMC has two new hits on its hands, and you can find both series on Sunday nights - The Walking Dead, now in its second season, and the new offering, Hell on Wheels. Both original, and both well done shows in completely different genres. Kudos to AMC for going outside of the box and doing more than simply showing movies. I hope that they find more such worthy candidates in the future, although not to the exclusion of the movies, of course.

Hell on Wheels is a very visually appealing series. I enjoy the look of it, as well as the feel of it. The character development is great. There's a great deal of social commentary here, threaded in with the history. It doesn't sugarcoat the attitudes of the times toward the various groups; they're all represented here. From the former slaves to the Indians, to women and Christians and even the former Confederate soldiers who are simply trying to get by. ****Spoilers ahead*****  Last episode, we saw Cullen kill the foreman of the railroad gang, because of what he did to his wife, for which he was incarcerated by the Big Swede (who's actually Norwegian, but that's another story), made his escape and boldly asked Colm Meaney for the dead man's job - and got it. This week we watch as he finds the clue to the other man he needs to kill to avenge his wife's death. And we see more of the widow with the plans. And the two Irish brothers who run the show, and are looking to make their fortune. I love history, and this series just brings it to life very well. I hope it continues for some time to come.

As for The Walking Dead - next week is the mid-season finale (it seems as though most of the shows are shutting down until January - bummer!) This week, we watched as Lori tried to abort the baby she carries, and fails, and confesses to Rick about her and Shane. His reaction wasn't what I expected. Also we learn about the walkers in the barn and why they're there. Sophia has been missing for several episodes now - I have to wonder if she'll ever be found. Everyone is learning to defend themselves, and Carl wants to learn too. He has a tendency to turn to Shane for parental permission, and I have to wonder if this will create friction between Shane and Rick at some point. It's a harsh post-apocalyptic world, one I'm not sure I'd want to survive in. It's also about the survival of the human spirit.

I'm really enjoying Grimm, Friday nights on NBC. Last week's episode was Lonelyhearts and dealt with a Bluebeard who attracted women to himself and killed them. In this episode we saw more of Captain Renard, in his dealings with a grim reaper - my speculation is that the Captain is the devil. We'll see. I'm really liking Wolfy more and more, he makes a great, albeit unwilling sidekick, to Nick. I hope this show continues for a while. I believe more scripts have been ordered.

Last night the theme of Next Iron Chef was Improvisation, as the chefs were taken to a comedy club in LA, where Kevin Nealon was the host. With the participation of the audience, he made a list of ingredients, and pared it down to four which the chefs had to use in their challenge - octopus, kumquats, tortillas, and marshmallows. Quite the challenge! The winner of that challenge was Chef Chiarello. At the bottom were Chefs Samuellson, Zakarian and MacMillan, but Marcus lived to cook another day, and the other two had to face off. The secret ingredient was coconut. Chef Geoffrey did two dishes, despite the repeated warnings from the judges that it's not a good thing to do. Luckily, he made something really really good, and he squeaked through. Good-bye Chef MacMillan. Sorry, not sobbing over this one. I like seeing more of chefs I never got the chance to actually see in action - such as Alex and Geoffrey. I think both are strong contenders, but I think Anne Burrell is even more so. From now on, the competition will only get fiercer.

Alas for no Sweet Genius, but I hear they are recruiting cast members for a second season, so that's wonderful news. As I mentioned before, Justified will be back in January. A lot of shows are going on hiatus til then, I've noticed. I hope Californication comes back soon, and The Borgias. Cesare Borgia - well, he's to die for, he's so hot.

My dream job would be to someday have a series of my own on cable. I dream of seeing To The Max as a series. I'd also love to do a historical, something that makes history more real and interesting to people. Most history teachers seem determined to make their students dislike it because of the way they teach it. If I'd ever have become a teacher, it would have been history, I love it that much. And I'd have tried to make it alive and real, like it was when it happened. I hope I do that with the historicals that I write, anyway.

That's all for now. Back to editing and writing! Working on something secret (not writing, a craft type thing), but I can't say too much, it's a secret. When I'm done, I'll take a picture and post it. Home made gifts rule, I think.

Until next time, take care!
♥ Julie

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