The Not so Idiot Box

With my arm and shoulder basically nonfunctional I ended up watching a lot of tv this past week. I can't really use the computer (typing this is not fun) or even hold a book so end result is I got almost caught up on several shows and realized I hadn't discussed them here yet.

I've probably mentioned how much I enjoy this show and its take on old, familiar stories. This season Grimm has expanded its offerings and is not as Euro-centric as it has been in previous seasons. Mommie Dearest, which aired at the beginning of the month, took a look at a Filipino legend called the aswang. Sgt Wu, an underutilized character if you ask me, gets to show some of his back story, including a lost love and childhood terrors. According to several websites actor Reggie Lee mined his own childhood while working with the writers to develop this episode. When the writers approached him to inquire about Filipino monsters he provided them with several choices from stories he was told as a child. Those stories and the manner in which they were told later became scenes in the episode, which is scary and filled with ethical quandaries. Even if you've never seen the show this is an episode worth watching. It is currently available for free on the NBC site.,p1

Almost Human
As a long time science fiction fan I was immediately interested as soon as I heard about this new show, which features an obnoxious cop paired with an android – an android discontinued because the emotions he has are deemed flaws by “the man”. (The man as in “Just another day of the man trying to keep me down.”) Set a few decades in the future the series begins with John Kennex (Karl Urban), aka Cranky Cop, waking up from a long coma to discover that much has changed while he was unaware, including his own body which now has a synthetic leg to replace the one damaged beyond repair. Protocols require that every human cop be paired with a robot cop and John is less than thrilled with this arrangement. So much so that his first partner since his awakening lasts a very short time. Dorian (Michael Ealy) becomes his new partner, bringing a whole new level of sardonic wit and sarcasm to the partnership. The show has gorgeous production values, looking more like a movie than television, and a fabulous cast but it's Michael Ealy's Dorian that brings the series to life. He consistently blows me away with his utterly natural style and his sly, amused subtext. Even if everyone else on the show was terrible he would make it worth watching. You can watch episodes nine through thirteen here on the Fox website.

Teen Wolf

It's no secret that I really enjoy Teen Wolf, what with its campiness, fun writing and deeply confusing mythologies. Since the season picked back up again this year my appreciation has deepened, as has the scare factor in the show. The opening episode was particularly frightening, with the main characters showing the effects of their extreme actions in the previous episode. (I don't want to spoil anything so won't go into exactly what that was.) I also very much like the Japanese mythos they are exploring now. I have not yet finished the season and if you're like me you can get caught up for free on the MTV website. Be sure to watch Galvanize, featuring the very talented Doug Jones as an extra creepy murderer.

The Walking Dead: The Grove

I woke up at five am the other day and couldn't get back to sleep so I turned on the DVR and watched this episode. Maybe it was the early hour but the Grove affected me so strongly I felt as though I was being physically punched in the belly. Also Tyrese's speech towards the very end of the show really surprised me. I don't think we hear those particular words much in pop culture, which gave them even more of an impact. If you missed it you can watch it for free on the AMC website.

Bonus Treat:
This week's bonus treat is an absolutely gorgeous paper doll of Hannibal Lector, as he appears in the show Hannibal. (i.e. not played by Sir Anthony Hopkins.) You can dress him in one of his classic suits, his chef gear, a plastic suit protector and the antlered head of Will's nightmares. It's quite awesome.