Category Archives: Top-Notch TV

WDs1e1 abandoned highway

Top-Notch TV: The Walking Dead Season 1, Ep. 1 “Days Gone Bye”

With Season3 set to debut this Sunday, how about a chilling analysis of what made the first episode so effective? Let me know if you’d be interested in reading more of these. Pictures provided by screenshots from Netflix streaming. Please don’t sue me ;)

Season 1: Episode 1 “Days Gone Bye”

I can’t find any faults with the first 26 minutes, and really this is what inspired me to write down what they did right. The rest of the episode is good, too, but it does slow down a little after he gets hit in the face with a shovel.

Abandoned Camp
Excellent camera work and props for the first few minutes. Rick drives to an intersection with two badly decayed vehicles—a fire?—and dark streetlights, which tells us that whatever has happened has both been like this for a while, and is outside of the powers that be’s concern or ability to resolve. That Rick is a sheriff’s deputy creates instant likability, because we want the powers that be to come save the day, and we like that he’s still trying.

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Top-Notch TV: Castle Season Finale

Wow. Castle really knows how to deliver on it’s promises and yet still leave you wanting more. In case you hadn’t guessed, this post is full of spoilers. You can go watch the episode for free on Hulu (HERE). My wife, Rachel, predicted that someone would die in the finale (she also says my team is going to lose if they ever fall behind in points, so she’s not the best source for fortune-telling). I didn’t think someone would die, but after the end of last season, you had to wonder how they would top the suspense without repeating the same tricks… and if Castle and Beckett didn’t get together, so help me.

So, when the episode started out with Beckett hanging from a ledge, I was in the least hooked to find out what would happen. It might have been a little predictable, but there was still the suspense of how she would be saved. I was on the side of believing there was no chance a thriving show like this could kill Beckett. Continue reading

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Top-Notch TV: The Fringe Rollercoaster

I laugh when my wife makes her usual comment at the end of every Fringe episode, “I hate this show.” I empathize with her frustration, but I know that we’ll both come back for more. This post is going to contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the latest episode, “The End of All Things,” don’t keep reading. You can watch the last five episodes free on Hulu (here). If you have seen the latest episode, then stick around as I reflect a little on my theories on what’s happening in Season 4 regarding the alternate timelines and Peter’s relationship with Olivia. I’d love if you stuck around even longer and shared what you think.

The reason for the title of “Fringe Rollercoaster” is that this season has had a few highs and lows in terms of Peter’s love life–I suppose you could say that’s a common hook for this show. After last season’s disappearance of Peter from both timelines, I felt like the show needed a reboot to keep it interesting. The bad guy is no longer Walternet, but Robert David Jones, and the goal seems to be manipulating him to help Peter find his original timeline before Mr. Jones… destroys all the universes? I could be wrong about that, but it would be nice if Jones had something to do with Peter’s quest. Continue reading

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Top-Notch TV: The River, Episode 3: “Los Ciegos”

The crew of a research vessel are on a quest to find a missing TV explorer in the Amazon.

There are a lot of great shows on right now, and for my first post in this new series, I’m going to highlight The River. This post covers having seen the third episode, “Los Ciegos,”so if you haven’t seen it, quit reading and go watch. All three episodes are still up on Hulu.

The first thing that drew me to this show is that I’ve always had a fear of the Amazon River. Maybe it goes back to that Cosby movie with the piranhas, and of course back to Jaws, but I get really creeped out by murky water in the wild and all the ways the jungle can kill you.

I spent a semester in Australia and on a boat trip around the Great Barrier Reef our captain took us to an island to go snorkeling. He anchored the boat a hundred yards or so from shore and asked if we would like to swim or take the motor boat in. In my lust for adventure, I thought I’d like to swim to shore. We had full body suits on to protect us from jelly fish, flippers and snorkel masks. Well, as soon as I plunged into the cold water, looked around at the dark blue water, I panicked. Add to that having to tread water while trying to fit my mask on and I just lost it. Within seconds I was on the motorboat, thankful for the ride to shore. The biggest thing was being out in the wild without being able to see the potential threats underneath me until it was too late and they had me. It’s that same fear that The River exploits and I love it. Continue reading

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