Archives for posts with tag: Alias

aliasrambaldi

Alias is over. And I’m over it. It was a slog to get through to the end. Good – only three episodes left. Wait, there’s four? Nooooo!  So in what seems to be my theme for 2013, here are the bullets.

I don’t get it
– Why doesn’t Sydney make Sloane tell her what the Little Red Horizon beach ball does? Because it could Read the rest of this entry »

S4DVD

Season 4.

I like the opening sequence better. It’s a fast clip sequence of Sydney in disguise – I counted 50. So that’s fun. That’s also where the fun seems to stop. I’m on episode 6 now and in the words of Sydney during her first briefing with Sloane – I can’t believe this.

APO – Authorized Personnel Only – Lamest Name. Ever.
I can’t believe they are adding even more groups to this show.
I can’t believe this is the best name they could  come up with. At least with SD-6, The Covenant, The Alliance, and others Read the rest of this entry »

AliasS3DVD

I’m using a bigger image because I want to write less. Season 3 of Alias. What can I say? Well whatever I’m going to say is going to be in bullet form. I’m really into bullets lately. I’m getting lazy.

I’m not buying it
– I’m really not buying how Sydney mind-fucked herself out of 2 years memory
– The Trust, The Covenant – how many fucking groups are there going to be on this show? J.J. Abrams – over complicated mythologies don’t make it a better story
– I have a problem with Vaughn getting over Sydney’s death and getting hitched so quickly. I do.
– The Rambaldi stuff – I can certainly understand the appeal of having government agencies going after something mythological and totally fake. It avoids getting mired in the details of a real enemy but I’m kind of over it.
– I think if I’d been watching the show real time, I may have been giving up around now just I like I gave up on Lost. But knowing there are only two seasons left – I’ll finish it out. My binge-watching habits are definitely more lenient than my real time criteria.

Guest stars!
However, Season 3 did bring a lot of fun guest stars – the best yet.
– Isabella Rosselini – as Sydney’s mom’s sister in uniform – brilliant!
– Djimon Hounsou
– Ricky Gervais – as the disgruntled bomber was a nice surprise. In addition to Richard Lewis’ straight delivery I’m just waiting for Larry David to play U.S. Senator.
– Vivica Fox
– Griffin Dunne
– Quentin Tarantino – you know he loved it
– Peggy Lipton!!!
– I was super disappointed that Sydney’s sister/the Passenger wasn’t a somebody. That seemed a part ripe for a guest star.

BUT…Melissa George. Oh how I hate Melissa George. I don’t even have a good reason. I first remember seeing her in 30 Days of Night which was disappointing on many levels but what I would have given for some vampire, some bad guy, anyone to shut her fucking over bite. I hate her mouth mostly because it is almost always open. Not lips parted coyly, not saying anything, not doing anything except daring me to smack it shut. Her overbite is so huge even her big floppy lips can’t cover it up. I know she is supposed to be hot and her body certainly is but her bucktoothed mouth negates anything her body is doing.

melissa george fishTake a good look at these photos and tell me – which one is Melissa George? Which one is a puffer fish? Can’t tell can you? Of course you can’t because Melissa George’s mouth is an abomination of lips and teeth. I defy anyone to tell them apart. Oh wait, the puffer fish is kind of cute.

And why the hell is a U.S. Senator’s daughter, an agent of the National Security Council British? This makes zero sense. Is it because J.J. Abrams thinks bad guys need to have an accent? It’s just dumb. Which I suspect will be my review of Season 4.

alias season 2 finale hong kongRaul – I have seen Sydney in Hong Kong and you were right. I knew it when I saw it.

Sydney’s been out of it for 2 years?
TWO YEARS?

What and where has she been?
I’m guessing this is why they’ve been setting up that hokey regression therapy so much. How was her mother involved – because she must have been. What about Sloane? Why couldn’t the CIA and her dad and Vaughn find her? Because obviously, we have to find out in Season 3. Right?

Vaughn is married?!?
NOOOOOOOOOO!

This is a great season closer. It seems this is a great opportunity to shake things up, introduce new characters, get rid of old ones in a sensible but expedient manner. Abrams better not cock it up in Season 3. I am heavily invested. I do not want to feel I’ve wasted my time.

 

Francie gets evil.

Francie gets evil.

I have 5 episodes left of Season 2 of Alias. It’s still pretty entertaining. I’ve stopped grumbling about Sydney’s impulsiveness and gullibility. I don’t question anymore why Sydney, Vaughn and Jack Bristow are able to continually able to run their rogue missions with seemingly no consequences. Why have I stopped? Because the show continues to surprise and deliver the escapist spy thriller goods. It seems like there are fewer disguises but it’s still plenty fun. I wonder if there were more women watching because when Jennifer Garner is in disguise she has less disguise than normal like the episode with Sydney looking crazy hot in not one but two lingerie getups. It seems geared to thank the boyfriends/husbands for watching.

SD6 is blown to smithereens
I must admit I thought they would drag out the destruction of SD6 over several seasons and was pleasantly surprised when they sped up the take down. It cleans up the storytelling. Having Sydney constantly getting her counter-mission was becoming tiresome.

Sydney and Vaughn get it on
I also thought they’d draw out the Sam and Diane, will they or won’t they plot with Sydney and Vaughn. So glad they didn’t. I adore Michael Vartan. He’s just charming and their chemistry is great. His bro talk about girls with Greg Grunberg’s Weiss adds some nice levity.

Evil Francie and other character twists
Just when I was also tiring of boring, dopey Francie they kill her and replace her with an evil doppelganger! Love it! I’d much rather see Francie sleep-no-tizin’ Bradley Cooper’s gentle Will than listen to her talk about her dumb restaurant. By the way – her success and becoming profitable 6 months after opening may be the most unbelievable thing I’ve seen on the show. I’d believe in a Renaissance Italian could predict cell phones before I believed an inexperienced cook could turn a profit that quickly.

I also like Will as an analyst in the CIA, the resurrection of Emily Sloane and the inevitable reveal of Irena Derevko as a baddie. I like very much that Dixon does not jump on board the CIA train right away. It’s a little realism in a pretty unrealistic show.

They got rid of the second opener!
They’ve gotten rid of the first opener and replaced it with a straight recap. It makes more sense and serves the show better.

Guest star power
Gotta give it up – they’ve got some terrific guest stars
Faye Dunaway – the ruthless SD internal investigator who turns out to be a double agent
Christian Slater – as the wholly likable code cracker abducted by Sloane and Derevko
Rutger Hauer – as the temporary and frightening Sloane replacement
Ethan Hawke – as the face/off double agent – I kind of hate Ethan Hawke but he was fine here
Richard Lewis – playing it straight as the CIA internal affairs guy investigating Vaughn

Looking forward to the Season 2 finale. I’m guessing it’s a doozy.

Alias – First Opening Sequence
Here’s the backstory.
alias first opener

See how fun the costumes are?

alias frist opener 2

Where do you think you’re going?
We have more opening credits to do!

alias opening credit

I’m about in the middle of Season 2 of Alias. I have a lot of questions but one thing keeps bugging me – why are there two opening sequences for the show? And why does the second come in 8-10 minutes into the show? Am I the only one who is annoyed by this?

The first opener covers necessary – if redundant for fans – information about the complicated backstory. Sydney and Jack Bristow are double agents for the CIA, Sloane is the head bad guy and Vaughn is a CIA cutie. The voice over explains while showing Sydney in her myriad disguises, kicking ass, and acquaints us with the other leads. I get it.

Is the second opener really necessary? This is the bit with the pulsing music and flashing letters in the Alias logo. It’s not visually that interesting. The only necessity I can see is that it’s a credit sequence with the actors names. Necessary to be sure but really? It’s so disruptive after they’ve started the story. It feels off to me. Can’t they have the names over the opening scenes like everyone else or hey – be really clever and incorporate it into the first opening?

It just seems like a waste of time. Another example of JJ Abrams self-indulgent excess.

 

alias

Oh so many moons ago I said I was going to watch King of the Hill from start to finish. For the record I’m on episode 7. The thing is it’s not that I didn’t enjoy KotH, the thing is I was blown away by how good it was from the beginning. I feel like I have to really appreciate it and watch every episode for feat of missing something. And if you think I’m kidding even the slightest you obviously don’t know about my Simpsons filing system.

SPOILERS FOR THIS AND ALL LATER ALIAS POSTS.

Alias first aired Sunday, September 30, 2001. Think about that date. Sydney talking about her patriotism, questioning who is a real patriot, and her strained relationship with her father are all pretty interesting in this context. I also think people just wanted to see a super talented American spy succeeding week after week. I am mildly interested and pretty well entertained by everyone’s search for this dopey Rambaldi stuff but it pales in comparison to my enthrallment with Peggy Hill’s boiler room/office, Hank’s narrah urethra and Bobby doing anything. I can have it on but I don’t have to savor every second of it. I can still have a life.

I remember wanting to watch Alias because of my aforementioned affection for spy stories and bad ass females and had heard good things. But I didn’t and then I soon went to pastry school. School started so early I had to leave at 5:45am. I worked right out of school on a dinner shift at a hotel and my veiwing habits went haywire for a few years. I missed many shows that debuted that year – American Idol, Firefly, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Monk. Remember this was pre-DVR so taping something was kind of a pain I did however manage to watch – Late World with Zach.

I can’t remember when or why I added Alias to my Netflix instant queue except that I like Jennifer Garner, Michael Vartan and Bradley Cooper and I always kind of wanted to watch it. I like spy stories and empowered female leads who kick butt. I’d also read things here and there so SPOILER ALERT – I knew Sidney Bristow’s mom was alive, a baddie and played by Lena Olin. I’d also heard through the grapevine that the series took a dip into the absurd with the final season focusing on some philosopher’s stone or the like. So not so much into that in a spy story context but my sister told me the first couple of seasons were really fun. DORIS W – that’s all I know! So into the queue.

I started watching the week of Thanksgiving and just made it through the first season. I’m not in the right mood to do any heavy duty analysis here but here are some thoughts. Raul and dare I dream – Doris W – may want to comment.

– Bradley Cooper is soooo gentle! The caddish dick from Wedding Crashers and The Hangover is nowhere to be seen.
– Jennifer Garner runs A LOT. No wonder she’s so fit. She’s in most of the scenes and at some point is at a dead sprint most of the episodes.
– Francie is kind of a dope and a little self-involved. But I buy that she would be a good roommate for Sydney because of those traits.
– Despite learning that she was duped for the last seven years by SD-6, Sydney continues to be duped by her mom, by various reports that her dad is a bad guy, her ex-boyfriend. As my sister said, for a spy she sure gets fooled a lot.
– the guy who plays Sark was also on the Vampire Diaries as a bad guy vampire hunter and is now on Once Upon a Time as Dr. Frankenstein. I know Raul and Doris W don’t give a shit about these shows but it’s kind of fun seeing him so young.
– all the fake organizations are kind of annoying – SD-6, The Alliance, K Directorate, The Triad – god I get it but still – eh.
– I am impressed by how many global locations LA and the Valley can stand in for. I’m assuming they never left Los Angeles or Orange County.
– Why are the Alias fight scenes so much better than on Buffy? Does it really come down to budget?
– This show is very well cast.
– Season 1 finale revealing The Man is Laura Bristow/Irina Derevko is an awesome season closer and terrific reveal.

I’ve just started watching Season 2. Lena Olin is fantastic. I struggled through Lost so I know J.J. Abrams never met an overwrought mythology he didn’t like. The Rambaldi stuff is already pretty prominent and I knew beforehand it was going there but I was surprised they introduced it so early.

While I am enjoying the show, it is also not so engaging and complex that I can’t burn through several episodes at a time while attending to other matters – email, Words with Friends, making dinner. For now, it suits my viewing needs just fine.

I’ll get to the movie.  Give me a minute.

In considering Joss Whedon’s TV series, Dollhouse, I recognized that the Dolls could easily be interpreted as Whedon’s meta-commentary on his creation, use, and sometimes disposal of characters, particularly female ones.  (I’ll never forgive him for what he did with Cordelia on Angel.)  Joss Whedon is acutely aware of his position as creator and how his faithfully, or obsessively, his fan base follows his creations.  After Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, he was due some navel-gazing with Dollhouse.

Yet I chose to watch the show from more of a sci-fi perspective than from the standpoint of how a creator considers his creations.  I found the questions raised in Dollhouse about humanness, Read the rest of this entry »

Why am I so irritated with the fourth season of the series Damages, the legal drama starring a Rasputinesque, Machiavellian Glenn Close as ruthless attorney Patty Hewes, and a lovely, doe-eyed, not-as-guileless-as-she looks Rose Byrne, on whom I Read the rest of this entry »