What’s Up? (Broadchurch Edition)

It would be a huge mistake for me to let another day go by without writing about Broadchurch. It’s a British murder-mystery drama that I started on December 17th, and finished on December 19th. In a year where I got to watch Fargo, True Detective, House of Cards, and other television greats – I can’t believe something could top all of that. Okay, so, Broadchurch isn’t as good as True Detective or Fargo, but I liked it more than either show. I felt less tense, less miserable – I had a great time theorizing “whodunit” without going through the agonizing… hmm… anxiety? that shows like Fargo or Breaking Bad could cause me to experience. (The kind of tension that makes you want to pause or fast-forward a show).

Broadchurch took place in a quaint seaside town that I thought was beautiful. The Jurassic Coast is wonderful, and something I never knew I wanted to see until now. David Tennant gets to be Scottish, weird, and kind of an ass to people. It’s nice to see him out of the loveable Doctor role and inside something much darker – the troubled detective. Olivia Colman’s great as his detective-sergeant, though I’ve never seen her in anything before. And I can’t believe I’m saying this but… I loved Arthur Darvill as the town Priest. Honestly. The cast is so small that I liked a little bit of most everyone. Oh man! And David Bradley too (Lord Walder Frey, Filch, so on!)

The show does what it promises to do in the first episode. Find the killer. We have two detectives, a small town, and while it may not disturb the formula – it’s a good time. Question everybody, come up with your own theories, and have a good time doing it. It was hard to stop watching, and when the credits rolled – I cried! I cried a little bit, yes! Congratulations Broadchurch. Not many TV shows will ever make me cry.

So please, do yourself a favor – if you have Netflix just give the first episode a try. If the serious tone and the brooding, methodical detective work isn’t your thing, then fine. For me it was, and I’m already thinking about re-watching those precious six hours of Broadchurch. It’s weird… but this show might be the highlight of winter break so far.

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Charmed: “Something Wicca This Way Comes” (1×01)

Once upon a time I was flipping channels and stumbled upon an episode of Charmed. I suppose what I saw was a late-season episode on TNT. I didn’t stick around for long before I knew that Charmed was a series I wanted to watch from the beginning. Weeks later I found myself here, with the first episode of Charmed streaming across Netflix. Lets call this a list of impressions rather than an actual review, for now.

The Sisters Three
I absolutely love the sister dynamic in this episode. Charmed introduces its three sisters in a rather expository way, but it works. (And it’s a first episode, what do you expect!?). We have Prew, Piper, and Phoebe. Prew rejected her boss/ex-boyfriend’s marriage proposal. Now she’s romantically involved with the detective investigating her mother’s occult murder. After episode one, she’s my second-favorite. My favorite has to be Phoebe right now. She doesn’t need a man! (Though Prew thinks she got involved with her ex-boyfriend). Also, Phoebe’s the youngest and most-okay with this magic stuff- so she’s by default, the most fun. Then there’s Piper who tries to bring Phoebe and Prew closer together (it’s not working). Piper’s a good cook, her boyfriend turned out to be a Warlock, and she’s got middle-sister neutrality. This makes her least interesting as of the first episode, unfortunately.

Magic!
I liked the way Charmed handled and dealt out magic this first episode. The show based the sisters’ witch-magic at least partly in Wicca stuff, with other occult things mixed in. I like that there’s an obviously magical cat, who doesn’t talk or do anything magical in the first episode. (You just know its magic). The thing I like most is how each sister gets her own magical specialty. Prew has telekinesis, Piper can stop time, and Phoebe can read minds (telepathy?). The powers are dished out quickly, Charmed doesn’t waste any time showing you how they master these powers, they just get them. Some prophecy says that these three sisters will be the most powerful witches of all time. So even though they kill Piper’s Warlock-boyfriend in a very underwhelming way, I have hopes that their magic will become cooler in future episodes.

In The End…
Charmed seems like a show that will become much, much better than this first episode. The Sisters will develop, I’ll get to know them better, their dialogue will become more natural. (We won’t hear sentences like, “But my sister slept with my boyfriend!” or “She doesn’t have sex with anyone but herself!”). By all means I hope the show continues with its cheesy lighthearted attitude, I just want it to turn into the type of cheesiness that I can laugh with, not at.