Telediction: Feeling Angsty

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Last week, all my TV-writer dreams came true when Vince Gilligan, creator of “Breaking Bad,” came to The University of Florida and was interviewed by my former professor a-la-“Inside the Actor’s Studio.” I was so excited to be there and discovered a lot of behind-the-scene’s information that I’d be glad to spill if everyone wasn’t such a baby about spoilers. Seriously, why haven’t you watched “Breaking Bad”?

Gilligan talked about film school and how he was fortunate to know he always wanted to be a writer. He talked about Walter, and at this point I’m going to get “Mr. Chips -> Scarface” tattooed somewhere on my body.

One of the things he said that had me whispering “yass!” like Dean Moriarty was his take on coincidence. How he and the “Breaking Bad” writers handled such situations really made the show spectacular and was a huge reason why reviewers stopped trying to predict what was going to happen next. It’s something that the writers of “The Walking Dead” should really take note of.

Said Gilligan: “I’m OK with coincidence just so long as it makes the protagonists’ life harder ultimately. Coincidence in service of increasing the drama feels like fair game to me … if it’s a coincidence that makes his life easier, then I call bullsh*t.”

Maybe I’m really passive-aggressive in my relationships that I form with TV characters. Their happiness is coincidental only to my satisfaction.

Anyway, let’s start this thing, shall we?

To get you in the mood:


Homeland

Episodes 306 and 307 should be explained side by side. They’re the double-episodes that you hated as a kid when “To be continued” appeared on “Boy Meets World.” THE WORST. But now as an adult, you’re able to quit whining long enough to appreciate that, sometimes, TV shows can’t fit everything into one episode.

Majid Javadi has been central to the story, but I’m still not quite sure the angle “Homeland” is taking with him. Javadi left Carrie and Quinn in the middle of a blood bath, after killing his ex-wife and daughter in law, for no other reason than to get revenge on Saul for outsmarting him. It was Javadi’s last way of getting back at him after Saul so proudly declared he knew what Javadi would do, which was in his mind, arrive quietly for questioning. Saul and Javadi used to be colleagues. They, alongside Javadi’s wife, Fariba, were the type of friends to gather around and drink wine at night. Saul pulls out an old photograph, but Javadi is all “don’t tag me.”

Meanwhile, Quinn finds himself in trouble when they leave the scene of the crime, upon orders of Saul, untouched. Homocide detectives show up and wonder who could do such a thing. Since the nature Javadi’s arrival in the United States must be kept secret, in order to enact a plan to make him an informant in Iran – a country Saul refers to as a “black box” – when the police find the neighbor’s security camera captures Quinn next door, Quinn can do nothing but accept the blame. The investigating detective tells him in a spell of frustration: ““I’m honestly just trying to understand this sh*t you people do. This sh*t we’re party to because we pay taxes. This sh*t … You f*cking people. Have you ever done anything but make things worse?”

The quote resonates with viewers who often can’t wrap their heads around why Saul would put Javadi back in Iran, when it’s likely it will all fall apart, or why Carrie goes rogue and forgets all instructions assigned to her.

Carrie is now pregnant, but the father of the baby is still in question for viewers, and for the past two weeks, “Homeland” has had no intention of telling. She hoards a pile of used pregnancy tests in a drawer in her bathroom. Taking a second to figure out the timeline of the show, it’s presumed to be 3 or 4 months after Brody disappeared. The baby could very well be Brody’s, which will offer an interesting plot twist, or the father could be the random Brody look-a-like whom Carrie slept with earlier in the season. One has to question that if it’s the latter, are all those pregnancy tests evidence of multiple pregnancies terminated? Moreover, how did no one notice her pregnancy when she was admitted to the psych ward?

Carrie still believes that Brody didn’t plant the Langely bomb, but Javadi leaves it up in the air (even after telling Saul it wasn’t Brody, but rather another mystery man). If Brody did plant the bomb, there’s no absolving him, but rather, she’ll have to decide what she’s going to do about the pregnancy and it’s links to terrorism.


American Horror Story

The episodes blur together, but there’s been some serious movement on “AHS: Coven.” Let’s go back to the last Telediction where Fiona killed Madison, played by Emma Roberts. Nan can’t “hear” Madison anymore, so she suspects she died, but how? Zoe smells something fishy but this game of Clue: Miss Robichaux Academy will have to be put on hold.

The council arrives to the coven, fronted by Myrtle ( a Grace Coddington, to Fiona’s Anna Wintour), to figure out who killed Madison. Cordelia backs her mother, but Myrtle is persistent to punish Fiona. A flashback reveals Fiona and Myrtle as rivals in the coven with Myrtle suspicious of Fiona’s rise to supreme-status. She expects foul play, and plans to enchant creepy butler Spaldin’s tongue so that he can literally speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What is Spalding to do when he knows that Fiona really did kill her Supreme and mentor? He professes his love and cuts of his tongue of course. So technically, he is telling the truth when he didn’t confess that it was Fiona who cut it off. Tricked you again, Myrtle!

Myrtle is furious and won’t accept this, so she may or may not have done a bit of scheming of her own, using Cordelia as bait. On Halloween, Cordelia and Fiona go to Fiona’s favorite bar and drink until Fiona pukes in the bathroom. A hooded robe appears and splashes acid on her face, burning her retinas and leaving Cordelia blind. Fiona falls into a panic. This is the first time we see her show compassion toward her daughter, who “Auntie Myrtle” had more of an influence towards than even herself. What we see on TV may not always be true, but it’s notable that Fiona sees a hooded redhead heading to the elevator before she disappears. When Myrtle tries to pin this on Fiona, Fiona turns the tables around to finally get rid of Myrtle forever. With a little help from Queenie, who uses her powers to make a burn appear on Myrtle’s hand from a hidden distance, Fiona and the council find Myrtle guilty of betraying another witch and therefore must burn at the stake.

Myrtle burns, but what would this show be without Misty Day, who exists for no other reason than to bring the dead back to life. Misty also comes back to the coven with Zoe after Kyle hurts Stevie and the Fleetwood Mac vinyl, which leads to some drama. I feel you Misty, I don’t know what I’d do if someone broke my copy of Animal Collective’s “Feels.” Not the same? Oh, well – it’s going to be OK. You can eat your depression with the 1947307 calories worth of carbs from the bagels you stole at the coven. Her real purpose there was to bring Madison back to life. She says the best she can do is help Zoe dig a grave, but Zoe pleads. Maybe Misty didn’t want Zoe to pull some stunt and give Kyle a Frankenwife, so she tells Zoe to literally push the death out of her stomach. It’s a great, visually stunning scene where Madison arches back, lets out a harrowing shrill as bugs and black death escape from her mouth. But “AHS: Coven” is a product of Glee’s Ryan Murphy, let’s not forget, and the dead starlet emerges as bitchy as ever –“I need a cigarette.”

Somewhere between these event’s there’s a zombie outbreak, but I’m too sick of zombies to pretend to be interested. All you need to know is that Marie Laveau does not play games. She controls the dead from her Voodoo state in the comfort of her beauty-shop back room, in an all-out war between the magic-wielding groups. Zoe proves herself valuable, as well as powerful for something other than killing boys via her vagina, when she uses a chainsaw and goes wild on the zombies. But what’s more important to the AHS story, is that Zoe shows signs of being the net supreme by effectively stopping Marie Laveau with her mind. Marie Laveau senses something is not right and there is a dark power rising.

Cordelia is officially blind, albeit still beautiful in a mystifying way. Shout out to the makeup team at AHS, from zombies to burns- you’re doing a way less cheesy job than the people over at “The Walking Dead.”

Cordelia has been given the gift of “sight.” “It’s the greatest gift to have and the hardest to live with,” Fiona tells her. With this sight she sees that her husband really is just a step above a Home Depot guy, and that he’s been cheating on her with a mysterious redhead. She also sees that Fiona watched as Myrtle went up in flames.

Cordelia’s husband Hank is also revealed to be a witch hunter, working with Marie Laveau. The redhead woman he was sleeping with was a witch he was hunting. He married Cordelia so he could find new witches. Hank’s status as witch-hunter explains why the coven is only reduced to three girls (four if you count newly revived Madison). It really is time to stick together ladies.


Masters of Sex

Things are getting steamy on “Masters of Sex,” a show that desperately clung on to the clinical to keep viewers from dismissing it as unnecessary. Sex revolves around the lives of all the characters on the show, and some are more in-tune with it than others. Most recently, Margaret Scully, has a sexual V-8 moment when she realizes she’s never had an orgasm. She tries to make her husband really look at her, but as the audience knows, he’s gay and the relationship is strictly platonic and formal. Frustrated, she goes out to the movies, by herself, and runs into Austen. They get in on in the back of their car (There’s a lot of ties to cars and sex in this show, later reiterated by Virginia’s scene with Ethan in the car lot.), and Margaret finally sees the light, a volcano explodes, waves crash, or whatever other stock imagery taken from Britney Spears’ “Curious” perfume commercial that suggests sexual awakening. She begins an affair with Austen, and things get awkward when Barton returns home early after he was assaulted, waiting on his go-to prostitute to meet him in a dark alley. Margaret wants Barton to yell at her ( a scene that makes me think of Mira and Saul in Homeland, in a similar situation). Instead, Barton brushes it off. It doesn’t affect him, as long as it means that he can get more time away from the prison of their marriage so he can actually breathe.

Back to science – sort of. Virginia and Bill continue working on the study, but it’s clear that Virginia is still thinking about his proposal to sleep together – say it with me- “for science.” Bill promotes her, and as a way to say “thank you,” Virginia awkwardly puts his hand on her breast. They begin a series of awkwardly passionate sexual encounters, masking their enjoyment with frequent outbursts of “plateau state,”/ “ORGASM!” This is serious business people, until Bill starts to invite her to grab a bite to eat. Virginia makes it clear that she can separate sex from love when she notices that Bill might be developing feelings and using the study as a way to explore his own sexual attraction to her. She states that the study can’t go on until Bill rekindles the fire in his marriage, but something happens as a result of Bill’s nonchalant next moves: jealousy. Now it’s Virginia asking Bill out to dinners, but Bill has a sex-date with his wife, as prescribed by Virginia. Goodbye!


The Walking Dead

This show doesn’t even excite me anymore. I end up catching it on demand, much rather willing to spend my Sunday night aimlessly staring at Facebook, while it’s on TV. It’s not me, it’s “The Walking Dead.” I feel a break up coming soon.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Carol is banished because she burned two people with the disease early on. She claims she had to do something to try to stop it from spreading, but the thing is, it had already spread. That was heartless of her, and I have to agree with Rick’s banishment.
  •  Rick seems to be accepting his role as sheriff once again, mostly because Hershel gives him some mini-speech every episode about his need to “come back.”
  • Hershel voluntarily goes into the cellblock where every sick person is quarantined. His daughters, Maggie and Beth are sad. Glenn is also sick, and almost dies when everyone starts turning into zombies and there’s nobody there to deal with panic except Hershel, who despite his fortitude, is handicapped and elderly.
  • Of course Glenn doesn’t die, because that would be too interesting/complicated, and the romance between Glenn and Maggie is something people apparently want to see. Total ratings move.
  • After everybody who is sick and/or unimportant dies (in typical “The Walking Dead” fashion), Michonne and Co. arrive back with the medicine. Everyone (i.e. Glenn) will be cured, and Michonne decided she doesn’t want to hunt the Governor anymore.
  • Plot twist: The Governor appears from the woods. He’s back bitches. Cue some “alternative” music and we fade to black.

Until next time, Teledictioners! Share your love/apathy/hate for any of the shows with me via twitter @ClaudiaCMarina.

 

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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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