TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 10: The Cord

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 10: The Cord

After five seasons on air, BATES MOTEL has finally checked out. What began as an alternate timeline of events where Norman and his mother are alive in modern times led to an unexpectedly emotional couple final seasons. The idea of Norma being a central character was curious as she was never living in the films (unless you count PSYCHO 4: THE BEGINNING which is mainly told via flashbacks). Vera Farmiga has utilized the television format to explore a blank slate over several episodes and has come out with one of the most beloved characters to grace the TV screen. Even though Norma died in season four, her presence, both physically and spiritually, was heavy throughout this final season as her passing has left a huge mark on everyone, even if they weren't aware of her death. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 9: Visiting Hours

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 9: Visiting Hours

BATES MOTEL has transformed into a story of ethics in crime and how the actions of mental illness can affect loved ones. While it's sexy to play sick, these last few episodes of the series are really taking things seriously knowing that this is the end game for Norman. Secrets are coming out and Dylan is really feeling the guilt for letting things get this far. He knows Norman is a killer, victims including his own mother and mother-in-law. This leads to some tension between him and Emma as she is just learning her mother's fate. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 8 "The Body"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 8 "The Body"

The direction BATES MOTEL is going is truly unpredictable and I love it. As a fan of the franchise for as long as I can remember (of both the films and novels), watching this version of Norman Bates unravel is some of the most riveting television out there. Freddie Highmore has not only proven himself a talented actor, but a director to watch as well as he's shown with this latest episode. Filling in some big shoes behind the camera, Highmore utilized this role to show off his chops as Norman switched between Mother and himself seamlessly. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 7 "Inseparable"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 7 "Inseparable"

This was not only a huge turning point to leave the episode on, but interesting to point out that he only confesses to one murder. Norman doesn't know all that he's guilty of, or if he's even to be considered guilty of the other crimes if we want to throw ethics into it.

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 6 "Marion"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 6 "Marion"

The people over at A&E really know how to make a fanboy happy and they did not disappoint with their latest episode. As we are now in full on PSYCHO territory, familiar moments and even lines of dialogue will bring a smile to all the Norman Bates fans out there. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 5 "Dreams Die First"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 5 "Dreams Die First"

Google BATES MOTEL and I guarantee most of the news results will revolve around Rihanna's role as the infamous Marion Crane, but she wasn't the only buzzworthy aspect of episode five. Plenty of plot points were revealed both to the audience and characters as we are officially set up for the final five episodes of the last season. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 4 "Hidden"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 4 "Hidden"

There's something to be said about capturing endearing moments on screen.  It's these experiences that help catapult something so simple into a memorable piece of art.  Dylan may have not been part of this episode, but Max Thieriot had plenty of creative input in this fourth episode playing the behind the scenes role of director.  Sitting in the coveted chair for the first time, Thieriot utilizes this position by not only capturing some of the best acting from the cast, but providing homages to PSYCHO that will give die-hard fans a huge hard on. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 3 "Bad Blood"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 3 "Bad Blood"

Being the final season, BATES MOTEL has allowed Norman's secrets to come into the light as both Caleb and Chick now know the truth.  Caleb has been handcuffed in the basement where he speaks with Mother and it turns out she's attempting to keep Caleb's whereabouts a secret to Norman.  However, Chick also knows, but is really good at playing along and conversing with Mother.  Things get a little more complicated though when he's having dinner with both Norman and Mother, but only being able to hear Norman.  His agenda doesn't come with good intentions as he is recording the conversations in hopes of publishing a true crime novel entirely written on a type writer. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 2 "The Convergence of the Twain"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 2 "The Convergence of the Twain"

The producers over at A&E are not fucking around with the final season of BATES MOTEL and this rollercoaster of a series is on full force already with these first two episodes.  The show was always an if and when the events of PSYCHO are going to take place and if we were ever going to witness the death of Norma Bates.  Well, season four killed off our favorite mother and now we are taken a full ride into an alternate version of events where Norma still exists, but only in the mind of her son. 

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 1 "Dark Paradise"

TV Review: Bates Motel - Season 5: Episode 1 "Dark Paradise"

The final season begins for a series that had a questionable concept, but ended up becoming must see television for both horror fans and those who had never even seen PSYCHO. To this day, I still meet people who say they watch the show, but haven't seen the movie.  I find it fascinating as the viewing experience is going to vary for those who aren't familiar with the Norman Bates of the 1960's.  BATES MOTEL might have initially come off with a sour taste with teasers showcasing Norman holding an iPhone and a Vera Farmiga playing a living Norma Bates, promising an origin story we weren't sure we wanted.  Throughout the course of four seasons, however, it has proven to be its own mother of a monster and created a world outside of the film franchise.  After season three, it was announced that BATES MOTEL was renewed for two more seasons and it was clear while watching season four that the end was near.  During season four, Norma finally met her end as the result of a failed murder-suicide, leaving Norman to live on thanks to Sheriff Romero showing up a little too late. 

TV Review: Netflix's A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

TV Review: Netflix's A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

Welcome witches and warlocks,

Today I will be reviewing the dark family series A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS currently available on Netflix.  To best describe the story, I will use my own plot summary:

After their parents die in a fire, three orphans attempt to uncover their family's secrets, while also attempting to escape the clutches of their dastardly uncle, Count Olaf, who will murder anyone that stands in the way of him getting his hands on the family fortune. 

Reading that description it is hard not to think, "This is for families?" and while not every child will enjoy what transpires, I would hazard to guess that most will dig what happens.  My reasoning being, the way the events are presented is so amusing, it will keep most viewers coming back for more.  I mean, how many shows start off warning us that we would be better off watching something else, something more upbeat, and then keep that up throughout?  I can think of very few, this is more of a literary device, but here they are constantly reminding us in the most humorous of ways that nothing that we see is going to end up in happily ever after. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 10

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 10

Thanks to the world of social media, I was unaware that this week's chapter of AMERICAN HORROR STORY was the season finale until the day prior to airing.  From my recollection, previous seasons generally were thirteen episodes, many of which exceeded the standard 45 minutes run time.  ROANOKE managed to squeeze in plenty of scares and interesting story telling devices within a confined space, making season six one of the most admirable offerings of the franchise by keeping it short and sweet.  Bringing back some familiar faces (Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters) along with some new ones (Cuba Gooding Jr., Adina Porter) who are likely to be new fan favorites in the series.  Porter, in particular, I loved watching as I felt she was completely underused in "True Blood" as the alcoholic mother of Tara who believed her disease was the evil doings of a demonic possession. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 9

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 9

Let's start off by saying this episode completely made up for "Chapter 8."  While the last one made torture porn tedious and time consuming, here AMERICAN HORROR STORY captured why people love found footage so much with both jump scares and gruesome deaths.  The influences were apparent with some special appearances and iconography, but this is exactly what I wanted from the latest BLAIR WITCH movie and am glad it was finally delivered. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 8

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 8

I'm not going to lie and will just flat out say this was definitely not one of the best episodes of AMERICAN HORROR STORY.  While the majority of ROANOKE has proven to be a successful twist on the formula fans are familiar with, "Chapter 8" felt more like a filler episode necessary to help assist in creating a full length season.

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 7

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 7

We've been warned throughout ROANOKE to be afraid of the Blood Moon and what it brings. With "Chapter 7," the moon lives up to its name and FX filled our television screens with bloodshed as we said goodbye to some of our characters.  It shouldn't come to a surprise as we've been told that only one will survive these three days of hell. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 6

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 6

It seemed almost certain when we were introduced to the TV show "My Roanoke Nightmare" that this was the set up for the rest of the latest season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY.  As it turns out, we were half right.  While the re-enactments have come to an end, the real Matt and Shelby shed some light as the behind-the-scenes drama has caused a strain in their relationship.  In a surprising turn of events (and rather funny one), Shelby has a weekend fling with Dominic Banks (Cuba Gooding Jr), the actor who played Matt on TV and now their marriage is on the rocks. Naturally, drama makes great television and producer Sidney (Cheyenne Jackson) knows this and somehow manages to get everyone together to return to the allegedly haunted property. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 5

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 5

Following an episode heavy with exposition, "Chapter 5" opens some heavy classic haunted house touches and I loved it.  While we already know why the land is cursed, we get the actual home origin story which, of course, was built by an absolutely insane character played by Evan Peters.  The twist sure to give AHS fans a super hard-on is that Peters is playing Edward Mott, Dandy's super old ancestor who proves that crazy runs in the family.  It's even informed that the family tree died in Florida during the FREAK SHOW days so it's a sweet touch to get a glimpse into the past as this Mott had a thing for paintings.  His love was so obsessive that when the Butcher tears them apart in the middle of the night, Mott throws his naked servants into the cellar and locks them up until one confesses to the crime. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 4

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 4

It was questionable when season six of AMERICAN HORROR STORY was closer to airdate how involved Lady Gaga was going to be.  After FREAKSHOW, fans were disappointed to learn that Jessica Lange was leaving teh show after helping it become one of the most influential programs on telelvision.  Once that finale aired, Ryan Murphy made it quickly known with a teaser that pop-star Lady Gaga was going to become our new leading lady and the reaction was strong.  While the faithful scoffed at the idea, those familiar with Gaga were already aware of the singer's bizarre onstage tactics and how she embraces all that is weird.  Her role of The Countess in HOTEL proved nonbelievers wrong, earning her a Golden Globe award and adding some fresh blood to probably the most graphic season of the series. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 3

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 3

It was questionable when season six of AMERICAN HORROR STORY was closer to airdate how involved Lady Gaga was going to be.  After FREAKSHOW, fans were disappointed to learn that Jessica Lange was leaving teh show after helping it become one of the most influential programs on telelvision.  Once that finale aired, Ryan Murphy made it quickly known with a teaser that pop-star Lady Gaga was going to become our new leading lady and the reaction was strong.  While the faithful scoffed at the idea, those familiar with Gaga were already aware of the singer's bizarre onstage tactics and how she embraces all that is weird.  Her role of The Countess in HOTEL proved nonbelievers wrong, earning her a Golden Globe award and adding some fresh blood to probably the most graphic season of the series. 

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 2

TV Review: American Horror Story - Season 6: Episode 2

I do a lot of my writing on my iPad.  It might come off as very millennial of me, but if I don't have purpose, then I'm not going to turn on my laptop.  Tonight, I left it charging on my nightstand and found myself making sure every light was on as I made my way upstairs. Luckily, I didn't have to pass any mirrors or any reflective surfaces that might even hint at a shadowy figure behind me. My stairs do creak a little, but I made sure the TV in the living room downstairs had the volume turned up a bit to avoid any sudden noises that might make me jump.  These are thoughts and anxieties running through my head after watching the second episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ROANOKE.  Yes, AHS fans, we have an official title and theme after what felt like forever and the confirmation is more than welcomed.  Marketed as "a true American horror story," the blurred lines between historical fact and the Ryan Murphy universe has created a startling new storyline that thrives on tension and blood soaked subplots.