Category Archives: television

Shameless 5×01 recap “Milk of the Gods”

My heart feels complete for the first time in nine months. I present, the best thing on TV right now and twelve of the most emotional recaps, all the way to 5×12, exclusively on Films & Coke.1 This post has nothing Shameless doesn’t, spoilers for 5×01 and is a bit rough, but I had to publish it now or all my opinions will be replaced with others’ — I saw the episode on Friday, after all.

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The Unsung Brilliance of Ethan Cutkosky

carlFirst time I watched Shameless, I hated all the Carl scenes. I figured they were a waste of time, pulling focus from Lip and Fiona and all interesting characters. Well, fuck me, because Carl Gallagher, especially in seasons 3 and 4, is one of the most interesting characters.

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Thank God for Modern Family

Modern-Family-EditI have been having a tough time for the past few weeks. Most mornings, getting up seems to be a challenge. I guess these low lows get many of us and it seems impossible to get out, just start feeling happy again. And what do you do if there aren’t enough people around you to support you, if you are going against it1 alone?

For me, there are some tried and tested things that help. Going outside in the cold to watch the stars and your breath transform to white fog in the air, cooking a good dinner, drinking a lot of water, drawing, talking to someone good… and watching Modern Family.

It’s funny how a to-the-point sitcom can impact you. I have always had that: first with Two and a Half Men, then with HIMYM. Funny what an emotional attachment you can develop to a show that is made to amuse. There was an article I read about why we watch TV shows over and over again and the point that I related to most was that we know. Having seen all what has aired of Modern Family so far, I always know what to expect when going back. No matter if it is one of the better or not as good of an episode, there is familiar comfort in each of them, in 20-minute chunks easy to fit into your schedule.

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What draws me in most, I think, is how warm it is. Modern Family is the one show I know that has stayed the way it started out as, the one that never disappoints. It has hope. The things that happen in that show, the faults people have and the mistakes they make are infinitely real and instead of just having shit happen to people time and time again, all of this is balanced out. One of my favourite story arcs is Haley’s short stint in college. There was no storybook bullshit, but we didn’t see her burn out in life, either, we saw a very realistic story arc without any caricatures. I still admire this decision from the writers.

Everyone in Modern Family is equally important and three-dimensional, especially in the later seasons, as kids are growing up and the adults are becoming adultier2. I see these characters in my friends and the people around me, I recognise myself in the patterns of behaviour they have. Sometimes I watch the new episode and think, “wow, this show has gotten stale”, but more often than not, I watch this show and suddenly feel like there is hope for me. Modern Family proves that however down I am, I can still laugh and if not feel happy about myself or my own life, I can still experience their joy. Sometimes it takes two or three episodes to wipe the frown off, but Modern Family fills the hollow feeling with hope. I want a family like that one day. That’s a pretty good reason to get up in the morning.

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1 the “it” is depression, but damn, it sounds harsh and I’m not really comfortable using it.
2 I find this a very adequate expression. I feel like we, as a community, should use this word more often.
NOTE: This post title has been in my drafts for ages, but I never found the right content to go with it. I hope it wasn’t too sappy or silly, since this is again one of these posts that only talks about one side of a TV show, but eh, this is exactly how I feel.

Thoughts on Suits

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Now that summer is over, one of my favourite TV series has started a hiatus. I am a very big fan of Suits’ schedule with ten episodes airing in the summer, and six airing early in the next year. The hiatuses never feel excruciating, no matter how invested I currently am in the show, and are usually placed so that as Suits returns, other shows go into hiatus. And between watching shows that are depressing as hell, it’s a nice thing.

I discussed my love of the series last year but things have changed a bit with the 16 episodes that have aired after that. Suits never goes far from their original theme, which is both a strength and a weakness. Over three and a half seasons, the show has become repetitive, yet the core I fell so in love with over the first few episodes, hasn’t changed. In the end of the day (episode), it’s still about Harvey and Mike kicking ass. 

There is something that throws me off about this, though. The main cast — Harvey, Mike, Louis, Jessica, Donna, Rachel — have become caricatures. Some more, some less. The writers are excellent with some aspects of the show, like picking their sound, wardrobe and marketing people, but lack in other, much more crucial areas. Something that I can’t get off my mind is the beautiful gesture Katrina, associate to Louis, made in the beginning of the season. 

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As I watched the finale of the season, I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this gesture rewatching the show. It feels as if the writers were running out of things to do with the characters, so they simply took the case-per-season layout they’d been using in season three and revisited everything that had played off on screen before. Flashbacks, cheating, Louis’s promotion… yet as they were played again, they lost their effect. In the final episodes of season two, Harvey not trusting Scottie because of the memories of his own mother was heart-wrenching. With Rachel, it didn’t work at all and after some time, even with Mike’s puppy dog eyes, I wanted nothing more but to fast-forward her scenes. Most of the characters have lost their edge.

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Which is a crying shame, too, because the talent that Rick Hoffman showed in the last episodes (final scenes of episodes 15 and 16 gave me shivers) and what Sarah Rafferty does season after season; what the whole cast brings into the table, it’s worth so much more. Suits is a super fun, intensely beautiful summer show that virtually only lacks in one thing: good, original writing. Everything else is so great, and all I can do is hope that we’ll see a more interesting part two of the season coming spring.