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Episode Review: RIZZOLI & ISLES (“Brown Eyed Girl”)

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Well, I don’t know about this episode. Sometimes good and emotional, but ridiculous and horrifying most of the rest of the time. I shouldn’t ask myself anymore, why the writers never think clearly about the case of the week and instead bring one ridiculous twist after another. They don’t try anymore, so why should I try loving the show?

The kidnapping case was interesting at first, because it could have united different kinds of stories. There was the information of Dan (Max Martini) being Jane’s (Angie Harmon) former partner, there was the information of the broken relationship between Dan and Nicole (Annie Wersching), there was the information of Dan’s undercover work. Even though it sounds like a clichéd story coming from TNT’s DARK BLUE, the story could have been more interesting, when it would have involved Dan or Nicole or had something to do with their work. But no, minutes of the first half were wasted for this, so that the writers don’t go back to it. Instead the killer was just a crazy one, who decided to kill all the left-handed girls, because… Yeah, because the writers needed a reason, after they introduced the information of both Sophie and Mandy (Jadin Gould) being left-handed soccer girls from two different states. These are the moments, when I bury my face in my heads and think that it couldn’t get worse. Let’s see if I’m right in the next episode…

At least the writers were able to cut out all the family stuff this time. Since the kidnapping case was a ticking time bomb, and it was an emotional case at that, there was no time for Angela (Lorraine Bracco) to be funny or annoying (instead she brew coffee over and over – sometimes it’s funny to see how the writers keep their characters occupied). The ticking time bomb was okay, but somehow even that was gone during the mid-point, because the three-hour-mark did in fact run out and the case went to its second day. I don’t know what that was all about, but why letting Dan scream that the cops have three hours, before Mandy could die, when the writers planned to stretch the case to the next day? Another waste of valuable time.

Furthermore, Maura (Sasha Alexander) was kinda out of character again, when she started to talk to Sophia. Did she lose her rationalism over the season break, or why is she starting to take chances, be emotional, is guessing, etc.? Even more, I was laughing, when Frost (Lee Thompson Young) didn’t see the difference between the two similar usernames. I mean, isn’t there a super software among all the super softwares in the police department, which could have seen the extra letter in the username? And why didn’t Frost check properly? He is a detective for all I know, so I don’t buy that the fake username was overlooked. I have the feeling the writers don’t know their characters anymore.

And finally, there is Joey (Aramis Knight): He said he couldn’t remember much about the kidnapping, the kidnappers and the car, but then he paints pictures about it? Sees the lighthouse, but doesn’t know where and why he saw it? And then the car with the bad muffler? Seriously, couldn’t have that come up in the first scenes of the investigation? How ridiculous is that? 5.5/10

Maura cares a bit too much here...

Shootout, shootout!

Written by Christian Wischofsky

August 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Episode Review: RIZZOLI & ISLES (“Sailor Man”)

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The episode was alright, but the producers really need to do something about those non-case scenes. The friendship scenes between Jane (Angie Harmon) and Maura (Sasha Alexander) are getting ridiculous, the scenes with Angela (Lorraine Bracco) are becoming over the top and unbelievable, and Jane’s family becomes more of a joke with every episode, and this is meant in a negative way. In addition, the crappy minimalistic score during those Jane/Maura scenes is getting on my nerves, because the composer is using it every damn time.

The murder case was okay as well, and thank you for not bringing me the murderer with the guest starring credits. But no wonder the killer was an unknown this time, when he didn’t get any screentime, and only had to being chased by the Boston police. He didn’t even say a word. I think this way of a murder investigation in a crime show is the better way, when you don’t overuse it. Let the police investigate without interacting too much with the possible suspects or the eventual killer. Let the killer be a random guy and not a character, who has to be played by a well-known TV face (well, well-known for me, I don’t know how regular, “normal” TV viewers see that). Unfortunately, the investigation was running on empty in this episode, since the writers were heavily focusing on other stuff, which wasn’t interesting.

First off is Admiral Frost (Ernie Hudson), and you guessed it, he’s Frost’s (Lee Thompson Young) father. I hated that he was a clichéd father, who had to be in a conflict with his son. I hated the scene between the two, where they clearly showed they don’t like each other, and I hate that there seems to be not one single TV series like RIZZOLI & ISLES, where father and son have a great relationship. Why do they always have to be in a conflict?

Second off is Angela’s way of paying for the repair bills while working for the ugly Stanley (Alan Rachins) – not a funny storyline, not even a developing storyline. Angela gets the supposed-to-be-funy stuff again, but instead she just annoyed me. Why not focusing on the divorce story, which should have been an ongoing storyline from the get-go of this season?

Third is Maura’s boyfriend of the week Giovanni (Matthew Del Negro). First, nice cliché that guy. Second, why is she not able to tell him that she was only in it for the sex? Maura never stops to be cut clear or telling what she thinks, but in front of a guy she is not able to be herself? Sorry, but I don’t buy that. She clearly was out of character with Giovanni. But at least I liked the LLBFF scene at the end. I’d wish the writers would rely more on the unseen sexual chemistry between Maura and Jane.

By the way: Is it the first episode in the series, where I saw Korsak (Bruce McGill) run? I kinda liked the foot chace because of it, since I wasn’t expecting it to run that long, with Korzak running down the wholething. 6/10

Father and son hate each other

The definition of non-lesbians LLBFFs

Written by Christian Wischofsky

August 5, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Episode Review: RIZZOLI & ISLES (“Living Proof”)

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This episode was alright, but showed that the show has a big problem at this moment: The friendship scenes between Jane (Angie Harmon) and Maura (Sasha Alexander) are forced, and as long as they are not working on a murder case, they don’t function in the way of developing the characters. Or the friendship between the women. Something, which wasn’t really a problem in the first season, but could become one now, after RIZZOLI & ISLES proved to be a ratings success…

The case about the dead surrogate mother was okay. There weren’t many twist, and there wasn’t any thrill, but at least the writers were working hard on this one, since the producers had to spoil us again with a well-known name in the credits. As soon as I read Ever Carradine‘s name, I knew who the killer was, before Jane and Maura had Tracy (Katie Enright) in front of their face. Is there really no way for casting directors to get unknown faces for the roles of the TV killers, or is there an unwritten rule about actors having to have experience for such a role? I can’t understand it, and it always ruins the murder cases for me. Anyway, the case had a few interesting moments. Beginning with Angela (Lorraine Bracco) being a kangaroo mother for baby John Doe in one scene, letting Maura have some mother feelings for the lost baby, ending with the tiny little twist of baby John Doe having two parents for a moment. But on the other hand, the whole deal with the surrogate con was not exciting at all. In addition, the con wasn’t even played out properly – it could have been more thrilling, when the writers would have focused on that, instead of Randi’s crazy fight of having a baby, because she couldn’t. Very lame.

The rest of the episode was okay as well. The yard sale story could have been funny, but it felt forced. The fight about the action figure between Frankie (Jordan Bridges) and Frost (Lee Thompson Young) was ridiculous, and how the writers try to force Jane and Angela together is beyond me. It’s the same with the friendship scenes between Jane and Maura, especially the two spa scenes. As long as the two women are out of a case and in their friendship thingy, everything feels forced, everything wants to be funny, everything wants to be part of a story, but for me it doesn’t work at all. And as long as those moments continue to be a big part of the show, freed of any kind of development, it will get annoying. 5.5/10

Nerds fight for an action figure

Maura tries wanting to be a mother

Written by Christian Wischofsky

July 29, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Seasonreview: RIZZOLI & ISLES (I)

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The first season of TNT's crime drama aired during the summer months 2010

RIZZOLI & ISLES follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Growing up at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, the two remain strikingly different from one another in many ways. Jane, the only female detective in Boston’s homicide division, is a tough and gutsy cop who doesn’t let her guard down (except with Maura), dodges her overprotective mother (Lorraine Bracco) and is better at basketball than her brother (Jordan Bridges). Maura, meanwhile, is usually more comfortable among the dead than the living. She is always impeccably dressed in designer duds with a steady, sometimes icy temperament. And she is working on curbing her tendency to diagnose the people she meets – including her first dates. Jane and Maura often find themselves working together as both use their brilliant minds and expertise to figure out the “who done it” as well as the “how done it” of Boston’s most complex cases. Despite their many differences, Jane and Maura are best friends, with a quirky and supportive relationship.

Episode 01: See One, Do One, Teach One
I reviewed the pilot a couple of weeks ago. Click here to read it. 7/10

Episode 02: Boston Strangler Redux
A good episode, but just because of the dialogs. The case about the Boston Strangler was boring and predictable as hell, and it couldn’t bring development to any of the characters; maybe except Frankie, who used this time to get on the road of becoming a detective, but I don’t believe that this will happen so fast. First the writers have to use the typical storyline of Frankie being shot somewhere in this season or the next, so that Jane has something to investigate, and her family to hope for the survival of one of their own.
Maura’s Marfan-date was hilarious, but there could have been a bit more humor in the scene. Though I love how fast Maura changed the subject and went from “girl on a date” to scientist, there was more behind this scene, but the writers didn’t use anything, sadly. At least the last scene was kinda cool, and I can feel the tension between Jane and Maura – Maura look like she wants to hump Jane, and Jane is about to get humped by a woman, when she continues having bad luck with guys. The short scene with the Rizzoli family was nice too, I want to see more of that. 7/10

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FlashForward – Season 1

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The first and last season of ABC's potential LOST successor aired during the season 2009/2010

Experience FlashForward and get set to grab hold of you from its first explosive moment. Chaos reigns after a mysterious event causes everyone in the world to lose consciousness at exactly the same time for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. Was it an act of nature or something far more sinister? During the global blackout, every man, woman and child was given a glimpse of his or her life six months in the future. One elite law enforcement team from the FBI in Los Angeles jumps into the investigation, attempting to solve the mystery, as the world’s population wrestles with the choice of whether to embrace the fate they’ve seen or fight to change the future.

Episode 01: No More Good Days
I reviewed this episode during the high times of the 2009 fall season. Click here to read more. 7/10

Episode 02: White to Play
I am still not really sure, what the series has to offer during the season; this episode shows many things what to expect in the story, but I am still not overwhelmed. At least we are now sure that this show won’t be a procedural kind of thing – well, it somehow is, but the story is developing.
The episode itself was good, even though the writers try too much to stamp the word “Lost” on their stories – there are already too much questions and open stories, which include all the secrets for the first episode. D. Gibbons, what Charlie (Lennon Wynn) saw in her vision, the situation in Utah, Demetri’s (John Cho) murder on March 15th, 2010. By the way: Charlie’s flash forward is a bit confusing. She knows that D. Gibbons is a bad man, which means she saw him doing something; she saw Dylan (Ryan Wynott), which means both of them are together during their flash forward. But from where does Dylan know Olivia (Sonya Walger)? She wasn’t in his flash forward, she was busy with Lloyd (Jack Davenport)… Hopefully there is a proper explanation coming. Another topic: The producers show the flash forwards too often – how often did I see Janis’ (Christine Woods) flash forward, knowing that her baby will be a daughter; how often did I see Demetri talking about him not having a vision and believing he is going to die; how often did I see Mark’s (Joseph Fiennes) flash forward already? It is the second episode and it already is a bit too much, I don’t need the reminders.
That Olivia and Lloyd are meeting in this episode for the first time was good (at least no stalling tactics in here), but the scene was totally boring. And all the scenes with Mark and Olivia are unreliable, because both actors don’t have the chemistry they need to be believable. How Mark kissed Olivia during the beginning was just laughable and bad acted.
The Utah storyline ended a bit too fast, it probably was a story for two episodes. At least we know that the FBI isn’t the only party who is investigating the blackout, which results in me wanting to know who else is on it.
The side plots were alright and nothing special: Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance) flash forward and him waking up again was funny as hell (and is a bit misplaced in a series like this); bringing us Lloyd closer as a character and finally Demetri and Janis posting their flash forward. But the series still has to find its way to tell all the stories. I am not sure that the writers knew at this point, what stories they wanted to tell. 7,5/10

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