Today’s Top Posts
Last year The Lizzie Bennet Diaries revolutionized the web with its charming adaptation of Jane Austen’s much beloved Pride and Prejudice. Featuring a grad student who week after week shared the goings-on of her life with thousands of people through her vlog, LBD stole the hearts of viewers scattered all around the world and skyrocketed its way to the top of Best P&P Adaptations lists. I had a chance to chat with Ashley Clements, the talented actress who brought Lizzie Bennet to life twice a week for a year. The result is a fun interview where she proves to be as delightful as her character, and talks about her future projects, how she relates to Lizzie, and her holiday traditions.
CC: I have to ask, what did it feel like to bring such a universally beloved character to life? Were you nervous when you first got the part?
AC: I was nervous but not because of portraying a famous character, I didn’t actually think about that. But I was just nervous that people wouldn’t like it, and because I was the face that they would direct that at me. And people who’d been doing stuff on the Internet for a while warned me that there might be some hostility; you know, we’re messing with something that’s really beloved, and that that might be directed at me, just because I was the face of the show.
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Had it not been for a pesky little thing called word minimum, this review would consist simply of several “OMG!” read in different tones of voice, with a few “awwwww!” thrown in to spice things up and one final, very loud, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW”. Courtesy of Rob Hanning (“Demons”, “Swan Song”) Castle’s sixth season premiere aired last night, in an episode that was choked with humor, romance and tension in spades.
Let’s get this out of the way first: she said yes! Five seasons after deciding that Richard Castle was nothing more than a “nine year old on a sugar rush, totally incapable of taking anything seriously”, Kate Beckett agreed to marry him, in a scene hilariously packed with a succession of ‘nots’. Castle supports her decision to move to DC for her important – and mysterious – new job, and the happy couple kisses after deciding to make the long-distance relationship work.
Cut to Washington DC, two months later. Beckett is still acclimating to her new role as a federal agent, under the mentorship of the brilliant Agent McCord (House MD’s Lisa Edelstein), and is not completely pleased with the results. Not completely pleased rapidly grows into irked when an important case comes up right in time to put a damp on her plans to travel to New York and visit her fiancé.
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Right. Okay. This review comes well beyond the realms of what’s reasonable, but frankly, when one is squeezing two semesters into one, said person (aka me) becomes quite single-minded during finals. But fear not! Finals are over, at least until early August, and here I am, ready to gush about The Fall’s first season finale.
Firstly, Stella. You knew it was coming. Stella Gibson is the culmination of all my storytelling dreams, and I’ve made this abundantly clear all throughout my reviews of this series. “The Vast Abyss” did nothing to detract from her status as one of the most incredible characters I’ve come across in quite a long time. She’s more determined than ever to catch the killer, just as passionate about tearing gender stereotypes down, and just as disdainful of incompetency. She’s also aware of when it’s time to back down: I absolutely adored the scene Paula and she shared, in which Paula told her to stop pestering the doctor in charge of Spector’s latest victim’s recovery and let her do her job and take over. Stella, although obviously not happy, did just that – and it gave Paula the opportunity to shine.
Now, Paul. Quite a few questions I had regarding him were answered this episode, such as the purpose that Kaylee served in this arc.
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I finished the last episode of The Fall a couple of hours ago, and it’s taken me this long to stop double (and triple) checking my locks. However brilliant this series is, and however problematic on some respects, if I had to use only one word to describe it, I’d go with “creepy”. Yeah. I’ll add “paranoia-inducing” and “really really creepy”, just for good measure.
“My Adventurous Song” continues to cover the investigations both of the three murdered women and of Olson, as well as keeping Paul and his life on the frontlines. The graphic violence came back with a vengeance, but it (mostly) served a purpose: Paul’s growing confident and beginning to make mistakes, and it definitely showed this time. He ended up killing his intended target’s boyfriend, as well, and fleeing the scene with several of her friends as witnesses. Granted, he had his face covered, but at this rate he’s not going to remain hidden much longer.
Stella continues to blow my mind with her confidence, her absolute lack of patience for needless drama and, mostly, her efficacy and genuine passion for the job. I love how a good chunk of the episode was spent conversing with other women about a variety of topics that included their personal lives, yes, but which was in no way limited to their relationship with men – especially because Danielle, when confronted with Stella’s “do you have a man?”, admitted that she’s gay.
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And it just keeps getting better. The third episode of The Fall, “Insolence & Wine”, took the most solid factors of the first couple of episodes and turned them up another notch. With the sexualized violence mercifully gone, all the characters got some much deserved focus and the investigation of the three victims gained speed – and it was glorious.
Can I just state on record how much I love Stella? I love that the narrative doesn’t try to frame her into only one constrictive label: she’s smart as all get out, but there’s a lot more to her than an impressive brain. She’s highly confident in her sexuality, but that’s only one facet of her character and the writers treat it as such. Intelligence and competency in other women are, in her opinion, things to be nurtured and celebrated, not a reason for her to feel threatened. She will call you out on your double standards and debate you into the ground, and all of this with a smile on her face. I have crazed love for the scene when the cop in charge of Jimmy Olson’s murder investigation judged her for having a one night stand with Olson after knowing him for a few minutes, and she deadpans with, “that’s what really bothers you, isn’t it?
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Have you ever watched Once Upon a Time? I have. Over a year later and I’m still not over Graham’s death. So when I saw that Jamie Dornan was to star in BBC The Fall along with former X Files star Gillian Anderson, I jumped at the chance to see him on my screen again. I didn’t think I’d need two glasses of wine to get through the first two episodes, but I was proved dead wrong – no pun intended.
The Fall, “a psychological thriller that examines the lives of two hunters”, follows the lives of Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson and sadistic serial killer Paul Spector, closely paralleling both as Stella investigates the murder of, as of episode two, three of his victims. I found it hard to make it through the pilot – both because it was so gruesome and because the pace is extremely slow, quite fitting to the genre. It picks up eventually, so I found myself really looking forward to episode 2. But after watching that too I came away with mixed feelings about this series.
First of all, let’s get on to the good parts. The Fall has a very strong cast, which means extremely solid acting.
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What a rollercoaster this Castle season finale was. I was almost completely unspoiled for it, save for some speculation I’d stumbled upon on Tumblr, and so by the time the episode ended I was sitting on the floor, my jaw brushing the floor and with no idea whatsoever as to what to think or feel. Written by Andrew Marlowe himself, “Watershed” has split the fans into two separate teams more than any other episode in the course of these five seasons. Some loved it, some hated it. I’m personally somewhere in between. But let’s start at the beginning.
When Erika Albrook, alias Krystal Sky, is found dead in a seedy hotel, the team quickly goes from thinking she was a prostitute to discovering that she was actually an honors student at Harvard. When it turns out that she was at the hotel so she could use an IP address that wouldn’t be easily distinguished, Beckett figures out that she was a hacker. Cue to the team finding out that Albrook was hacking into Banks & Bauer, a law firm where Pamela Bonner, a close friend of hers, had interned prior to dying in (apparently) a car accident a year before.
Albrook wasn’t working alone.
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It’s hard to believe that Castle’s fifth season is almost over. In “The Human Factor”, Andrew Marlowe and Co. plant the seeds of what promises to be an emotional season finale and an important change in Castle and Beckett’s relationship.
When Dale Tanner’s car blows to pieces along with its owner, the team finds it extremely hard to investigate – on accounts of having all the evidence wiped away by the feds. The car is taken away, Tanner’s phone records are deleted and the website where he posted potentially damaging information about all sort of grand organizations is taken down. Under these circumstances, Beckett and Co. are forced to start from scratch, with nothing more than the manner of death. When it turns out that not only was there never a bomb inside of the car, but that it exploded when a missile was released from a military drone and into it, the case takes a surprising turn.
The military doesn’t collaborate, and neither does Jared Stack, the District Attorney investigator who manages to tail Beckett and Castle throughout half of the investigation. When Beckett makes a deal with the DA, however, Stack shares his information with them. The main suspect is Simon Warburg, an expert on drone technology who vanished into thin air one year prior.
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Ahh, the much publicized 21st (or should we say 22nd?) episode. Written by Rob Hanning and directed by Bill Roe, “Still” begins with Castle taking Beckett a tray with coffee, the newspaper and roses to bed. He watches as she wakes up, and the two share a conversation about the case she was working on the night before (someone blew up an apartment downtown) and whether she fell for him at first sight (he says yes, she claims he’s delusional). Castle insists that she asks Esposito to handle the investigation for a few hours so they can enjoy a few guilt-free hours together, but oops, they have a lead and Beckett is called to investigate.
The main suspect is one Archibald Fosse, a man who already did six years for murder in jail and was let out after an appeal. Our team makes the trip to his apartment, where they find him trying to flee the scene. Ryan and Esposito catch him, but Fosse doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic to cooperate with the police. He activates a bomb directly upon which Beckett accidentally stands.
This moment really does give a whole new meaning to “wrong place at the wrong time”, don’t you think?
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Before we get on with this recap, I’d like to point out that “The squab and the quail” was supposed to be the 22nd episode of the season; however, “Still”, the original 21st and an episode that deals with a bomb threat, was postponed due to last week’s tragic events in Boston. Hence any chronological inconsistencies you might find between this and next week’s episodes.
It often happens that when I watch Castle I remember things I said in previous recaps, and then I either pat myself on the back for guessing what was to come correctly or I shake my head in bemusement for reading it all wrong. In this instance, I had to laugh a little at a line I wrote back in my Secret Santa recap: “Richard Castle has grown.” He has, for the most part, yes, but when he relapses into childishness, there’s nothing about him that actually resembles an adult. Case in point: the ‘this-is-my-toy-not-yours’ attitude he displayed for most of the episode.
When Arthur Felder, a 54 year old businessman, dies from poisoning over a restaurant table, Beckett and Castle are called to investigate. Upon interrogating his dinner party, among which is counted rich and famous inventor and innovator Eric Vaughn (Ioan Gruffudd, former Fantastic Four Reed Richards), they make a connection that’s going to set the tone for the rest of the episode.
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