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Hannibal – A Show You Should Be Watching (But Probably Aren’t)

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It’s no secret, the writers of Rock Paper Watch are all TV junkies. While there are shows that the three of us watch together, each writer also has their personal favorites. Starting a new blog series titled “A Show You Should Be Watching (But Probably Aren’t),” here are a couple of reasons why you should join us in our favorite thrill ride, Hannibal.

There’s this little thing called the Friday night death slot and for some reason all of my favorite shows end up there (see Friday Night Lights). Hannibal airs Friday nights at 10pm on NBC and has averaged 2.65 million viewers for season 2. At a time when TV horror is at the top (see American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful, Bates Motel, The Walking Dead, etc.) Hannibal is flailing. Why? Is it the awful Friday night time slot or is it something else? The season finale is Friday night and for a series that I love so much, let me tell you why it’s imperative to set your DVR and then spend the summer catching up.

It’s got a killer cast (ha, get it). The long list of TV and movie veterans includes Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, and special guest Gillian Anderson. It’s built on one of the most bankable franchises in literature and film and tells the twisted backstory of one of the most famous villains in cinematic history. What is interesting about Hannibal is that we already know what happens. We know that Dr. Hannibal Lecter finds himself behind bars eventually. Hannibal sets out to tell the story of how he got there. And boy, it’s a twisted story.

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Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is on par with Anthony Hopkins (bold statement, I know). Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is so haunting that I physically cannot watch it before bed. He’s cold, dark, calculated, and detached. His counterpart on the show is Will Graham portrayed by Hugh Dancy. Will Graham is a criminal profiler and hunter of serial killers. He has a unique ability to empathize and understand the killers he tracks. The first season posed the question, how far can Hannibal push Graham before he loses it and becomes a killer himself? The second season is all about Graham’s mission to bring Hannibal’s true intentions to light while maintaining his sanity and desperately suppressing his natural instincts to kill.

This is where Hannibal is far more captivating than the other horror shows currently on air. It explores the most depraved depths of human nature. The series shows the journey of a cold, unfeeling murderer who just kills because of his own curiosity. It doesn’t use witches or zombies, like American Horror Story or The Walking Dead to justify the violence. It doesn’t care if you root for Hannibal or not, he’s not meant to be an anti-hero like Norman Bates or Dexter. He kills and then eats people because it is what he feels like doing.

Hannibal is often credited for being one of the sharpest dramas on TV. The writing is sleek, it’s haunting, and it’s artfully filmed. You may remember my recap of the premiere in which I stated, “The show is beautifully filmed.  It’s a quality that I didn’t anticipate from NBC.” This sentiment continued. Each week, I’m mesmerized by the show’s use of color, metaphorical imagery, culinary depictions (buh), and slow motion. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to watch. It completely disregards your gag reflex, the blood and gore is pretty gruesome. I spend a good portion of the show covering my eyes in horror.

So, Friday night. The second season opened with this flash forward, an epic fight between Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

At the time it aired, Will Graham was in a psychiatric prison after being framed for Hannibal’s crimes. Now he’s out and embarking on a mission to take down the psychiatrist. We still don’t know why Jack and Hannibal are duking it out in his chilly kitchen but we will get our answers Friday night. Will you be watching?

On May 9, NBC renewed Hannibal for a third season. If you are interested and want to catch up Season 1 is available for streaming on Amazon Prime. Bon appetite.

 

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Top 12 Worst TV Deaths Countdown

If you don’t already know, we here at RPW really enjoy a good countdown.  After discussing an entertaining evening of television on Sunday, and freaking out about the possible untimely and fiery death of Eric Northman during the True Blood finale, the idea for this list hit us.  We are counting down the 12 worst deaths in television history.  By “worst deaths,” we don’t mean the ones that made us sad because we loved the character or the ones that were heartbreaking to watch.  We mean the downright disappointing ones.  The ones that make you question the sanity of the writing team,  the ones that make you say, “Oh my gosh, are they really dead?  Did that seriously just happen?  They can’t be dead?  They deserve a much better death!”  If a major character is going to depart a show, the death should be gut-wrenching, appalling, and downright difficult to watch but it also needs to make sense.  And so our list begins:

12. Charlie Harper, Two and a Half Men

So we all knew the death of Charlie was inevitable after Charlie Sheen’s sudden departure from the show.  But being hit by a subway car?  Really?  Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Charlie to die surrounded by prostitutes?  We guess It was a nod from the creator that Charlie Sheen would never, ever return.

11. Russell Edgington, True Blood

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For being one of True Blood’s biggest and baddest villains, his death was shockingly boring.  He was killed by Eric Northman in the opening scene of Episode 5×12 but his death was ultimately way overshadowed by the death and rebirth of Bilith.  They really should’ve stepped up their game and given Edgington a more fitting True Death.

10. Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk Empire

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Jimmy Darmody’s death still sparks debates among critics and RPW writers alike, so it wasn’t a complete disappointment.  But there is one thing that everyone can agree on – the ultimate success of this show was hurt by the death of Jimmy.  Michael Pitt was a stellar actor and his Jimmy was beloved by many.  It was too soon for the show to say good bye to the second lead character, and the third season was noticeably weak without him.  It also felt unfair to see Jimmy die at the hands of Nucky, his make-shift father, as Nucky’s other enemies (Eli and Manny, just to name a few) escaped with their lives.  The argument can be made that Nucky finally became a full gangster, but did he really?  Did he murder Jimmy and walk away without guilt?  Did he take out all of his enemies, or just the one that was easiest to target?

9. Matthew Crawley, Downton Abbey

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Many argue that Matthew’s death was unavoidable after Dan Stevens decided not to return to Downton Abbey, but it doesn’t make his death feel any less bogus.  After two seasons of waiting for him and Mary to get together, they finally get their happy ending…only for him to die almost right after.  #Disappointing.

8. Andrea, The Walking Dead

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No one was more pleased to see Andrea die on the season finale of The Wakling Dead than me.  But come on writers, there wasn’t a better way to do it?  In a horrendously stupid scene, where Andrea has to fight for her life against Milton using her (perfectly manicured) toes and a pair of pliers, Andrea finally comes up short and is bitten by a walker.  She then has all the time in the world to sit and bleed out and wait for Rick and Co. to show up and mercy-kill her.  It would have been 1000x better to see Rick & Co. arrive to find zombie-Andrea munching on someone.

7. Bill Henrickson, Big Love

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We have one giant complaint about the way Bill was shot.  After all the enemies he made through the years, it’s the neighbor that offs him?!

6. Robert McCallister, Brothers and Sisters 

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HE HAD JUST SURVIVED CANCER!… only to die in a car crash.  Everything about it felt SO WRONG.

5. John Locke, LOST 

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Our biggest complaint isn’t the fact that John Locke, the biggest believer in the magic of the island and most obvious replacement for Jacob, died before the series finale.  No, we can deal with that.  Our biggest complaint is the way Locke died!   The scene in which Ben pretends to want to help Locke and then suddenly turns on him to kill him was so sudden and so forced that it was almost unbelievable.  And it especially threw off the audience when Locke’s body was suddenly alive and well and perusing the Island.  In a series that posed more questions than it answered, this curveball was unnecessary and hurt the storyline more than it advanced it.

4. George O’Malley, Grey’s Anatomy

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He got hit by a bus and spent majority of the episode as an unrecognizable John Doe surrounded by his best friends as they half-assed operated to save his life.  When they realized that the John Doe was George it was too late and his actual death got wrapped up in Izzie’s almost-death.

Watch the clip below but be warned, you’ll probably feel annoyed just reliving it.

 

3. Lady Sybil, Downton Abbey

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Probably one of the most unexpected characters to be killed off on TV, Lady Sybil was a cast favorite.  Revolting against her families wishes and expectations, Sybil set out to form her own life.  After a difficult childbirth, the audience knew Sybil made it out alive, however toxemia claimed the best of her post-pregnancy, leaving TV viewers reeling the death of a beloved character.  Once word spread of the sudden, unexpected death of Lady Sybil, the ratings of Downton spiked, bringing in many new viewers just in time for them to be let down by the (expected) unexpected death of Matthew Crawley.

Watch the heartbreaking scene unfold below.

 

2. Rita Morgan, Dexter

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We get that the death of Rita was inevitable (she’s married to a seriel killer!).  And the shock factor for this death was definitely there.  No one, Dexter included, thought that Trinity would break his cycle and go after Rita.  All of that aside, I have some major beef with this death.  My biggest complaint is that the audience didn’t see it happen.  Rita was such a big part of the show and it felt unfair that we didn’t get to see her live her final scenes.  I get the shock factor wouldn’t have been there, but couldn’t the writers throw in a flashback somewhere?  Or even a flash of memory from Harrison?  Because we didn’t get to see the interaction between Rita and Trinity, we will never know if Rita died knowing the truth about Dexter.  #ThingsThatKeepMeUpAtNight

Watch the [disturbing] clip of Dexter finding Rita below.

 

1. Ned Stark, Game of Thrones

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Ned Stark’s death could be viewed as the best death ever on TV (I mean, who can argue it’s epicness?) or the worst death.  For our purposes, we think it was the worst.  Why?  Because Ned’s death meant that the Lannisters (AKA the dad guys) won.  Ned’s death was such a shock because it directly defied everything that viewers come to expect from a drama – the hero faces trials and tribulations, the hero suffers, the hero finds a way out, the hero is victorious.  Game of Thrones took the opposite route.  They killed off the main character and protaganist in the first season, throwing everyone for a major loop.  Not only that, but Ned’s death meant Joffrey won and who the hell wants that to happen?

Watch the chilling scene unfold below.


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Lauren Cohan, Our Un-Dead Girl Crush of the Week

Girl Crush of the Week: Lauren Cohan

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Top 3 Reasons Why We Are Girl Crushin’

1.) She is the only female character on ‘The Walking Dead‘ that doesn’t drive us NUTS.

2.) She always found a way to bring out the best in Damon on ‘The Vampire Diaries

3.) She can do some serious work with a machete.

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So…Why Does She Look So Familiar?

If you live under a rock and haven’t been watching ‘The Walking Dead(Ahem, Elizabeth Bond),

Lauren shows up in Season 2 as Maggie Greene, Hershel’s oldest daughter and love interest of Glenn.

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Guys, you probably have a girlfriend who watches ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ Lauren played Rosea vampire, servant of Klaus, and the best friend of Trevor…..etc…etc…etc…

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Where You Can See Lauren Next…

Serving up plate of zombie heads on Season 4 of ‘The Walking Dead,’ which returns this fall on AMC.

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See-ya Next Week Boys….


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The Morning After – The Vampire Diares

Thursday night was a big night for soapy, television dramas.  Finales are coming up next week and that means some of our favorites have set up their finish lines.  Here are our takeaways, reactions, and feelings about last night’s plot twists, let us know what you think. [SPOILERS!]

What happened?

In an effort to communicate with Qetsiyah on how to get rid of Silas, Bonnie temporarily drops the veil to the other side.  Meaning, the return of some fan-favorites like Alaric, Jeremy (swoon!), and Kol.  After (temporarily, I’m sure) putting Silas in hibernation, Bonnie tries to permanently bring Jeremy back to the world of the living.  The spell is so powerful that it kills her.  What does this mean for the walking dead?

What was your reaction to Bonnie’s big twist?

Ashley:  “Bitch be dead”

Elizabeth:  Exactly.  I’m excited to see her go.  Not gonna lie, she didn’t have a relevant story line anymore.

A: No, and that “successful” music career is definitely taking her somewhere.

E: Oh yea, I always forget about that.

A: I mean, I’ll trade Bonnie for Jeremy, Alaric and Kol any day. If thats the case.

E: Well, would she really be leaving?

A: Because the veil is still down.

E: I hope that’s permanent, I don’t think they’ve said.

A:  I mean, technically yes.  Since she’s dead, it was never raised.

E:  She’ll probably go invisible and hang with grams and then come back to be the moral compass

A: She’s drama. I don’t want her back.

Who were you most excited to see?

A: Alaric. Hands down.

E: I cried. When they [Damon and Alaric] bro-hugged.

A: Me too. GOD. Those are the best.

E: They are the best.

A: When they were drinking the flask together. I just melted.

E: You know, I totally forgot about the cure until Alaric pulled it out of his pocket. That Alaric, always one step ahead.

A: Me too! Also, where was Jenna?

So Matt & Rebekah. Are they? Or aren’t they? OR more importantly, WILL THEY?

E: They are. Totally! YES! Here’s the evidence: Remember when Kol walked in and was like “I see you got the quarterback to pay you attention”? Instead of objecting (like he normally would) Matt kind of smirked.

A: Good point. Okay next. Rebekah’s Ex. HOT. In a manly viking warrior Fabio kind of way

E: So true. I’m not sure if I want to deal with the vampire hunters being around.

A: Me either. But the good news is they are all attractive. So I think we can handle it for a few more episodes.

E: Good point.  Don’t you think its kind of weird though–Damon, Elena, and Stefan made such a big deal about burning the house down and Jeremy being legitimately dead. Now, he’s just walking around, possibly permanently. Mystic Falls is going to notice.

A: Good point.

Who do you think is going to take the cure?

A: I don’t think it will be an original.

E: No.

A: Well, its not in the book.

E: It would just be so disappointing if it’s Elena. I’m hoping for a surprise, like Stefan!

A: It won’t be. Caroline would be nice.

E: It won’t be. She loves being a vampire.

What about you?  Who do you think will take the cure?  Are the dead permanently back?  Who were you most excited to see last night?


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Monday Man Candy – The Originals

Alright, confession time.  I’m addicted to The Vampire Diaries.  I say it like that because I ignored the whole vampire/werewolf thing for a really long time.  I never got into Twilight or True Blood, it just wasn’t my thing.  Last summer, I needed a new show to binge watch on Netflix and a friend pretty much demanded that I give Vampire Diaries a go.  Reluctantly, I cozied up on the couch for the first episode and found it to be a bit cheezy but overall I was intrigued.  I decided to watch the next episode just to see and before I knew it, I was halfway through the third season and totally obsessed.

If there’s one thing the show does well, it’s men.  From the very start, there is plenty of eye candy in the likes of Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Steven R. McQueen, Zach Roerig, and Matthew Davis.  But in Season 2, you meet a new group of vampires, the Originals.  As in the original family of vampires, and man, they’re hot.

To celebrate the green light of the upcoming CW show The Originals, we are enjoying their dashing good looks for this week’s Monday Man Candy.  Enjoy!

Meet Klaus

The most powerful and feared of the originals.  He’s a hybrid (half vampire/half werewolf).  He’s got amazing dimples and man, those lips.  One minute Klaus (Joseph Morgan) can charm your socks off, the next he’s the perfect villain. Really, what more does a girl want?

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Meet Elijah

The classy brother.  He’s more even mannered and respectful, a great contrast to Klaus.  More importantly, the man can wear a suit.  And that jawline!

Meet Kol

He’s not as big of a player as Klaus or Elijah but when Kol shows up, it’s a good day because he brings nothing but trouble.  Everything about him says cocky, carefree, bad boy.  Sign me up!

Now, Kol is currently dead but by looking at next week’s promo, we haven’t seen the last of him.  I hope he continues his run and joins the rest of the cast for The Originals.


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Plier Use 101 – Welcome to the Tombs, Season 3 Finale of The Walking Dead

As someone who is somewhat obsessed with this show, I’m still processing my feelings over the season finale this past Sunday. Coming off of Merle’s untimely death in Episode 3×15, we were left with this feeling of, “Okay, zombie guts are definitely going to hit the fan in the season finale.” Or, ehm, not. For the last 5 or 6 episodes, we’ve been plagued with rising tension and teased with the inevitable show down between the prison and the town of Woodbury. But, for what? A flat tire on a truck? (Beside a few stray biters it seemed to be the only casualty in the fight.) I have to say, I was really let down by the fight and the episode itself, BUT at the same time there is no way that this season could have been wrapped up in one episode.

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After the fight, a few interesting things took place outside of the prison. We find Carl and Hershel having a run in with a (young) citizen of Woodbury. Once Carl asked the kid to put the gun down and he didn’t, Carl shot him dead. I’m really not sure what to think about this one.  Out of anyone this season, hand’s down, he’s been put through the grinder the most.

A.) He had to kill his mother.

B) His father was a raging lunatic for most of the season.

C) Has anyone noticed that Carl killed Shane and Lori? (aka baby momma and semi-possible-daddy) How’s he going to explain that one over a bed time story with little sis?

Put all of this aside I think Carl has handled himself and the situation in a grown up, post-apocalyptic manner. He has protected the prison and held his own in the group. He’s no longer the child we greeted in Season 1 who was always getting into some kind of trouble. As a viewer, I find the most interesting part about this show is how it throws the human condition in your face in almost every scene. Yes, it is about zombies, but in a post-apacolyptic world, trust no one. So, is it safe to say Carl killed to keep the team safe? Or, do we have a young governor on our hands?

Amp it up a notch and we have the Governor down the road throwing a tantrum and killing most of the town of Woodbury. (Minus some women and children.) Leaving few survivors, he drove off into the distance never to be seen again for the rest of the episode.

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All the while, on lock-down, we have Andrea, still handcuffed to a chair and Milton, barely conscious post Governor Stab Fest 2013. If there is one thing Andrea is really good at, its talking and never focusing on the task at hand. I can’t really explain my frustration that mounted during this entire scene while it played out. Clearly, she knew Milton was going to die and turn, but she took her sweet time figuring out a way to pick up the pliers Milton dropped below her (perfectly manicured) feet. COME ON ANDREA, SHUT UP AND PICK UP THE PLIERS WITH YOUR FEET. ITS. NOT. THAT. HARD.

Outside the lockdown, Rick and team were let into Woodbury with the only survivor (Potential love interest for Rick?) of the Governor shooting spree. After they found Andrea and discovered her situation, Michonne began to cry. And yes, I sort of teared up. Just a little bit. After all is said and done, its clear that Andrea’s big mouth got the best of her and so did Milton…in the jugular sense.

In the end, we are left with whats left of Woodbury being relocated to the prison, a missing Governor and what we hope is Rick having his last vision of Lori and gaining his sanity back.

I don’t really know how this will set us up for Season 4, but reports are we are in for a betrayal AND ZOMBIES, lots and lots of Zombies.

Tune into AMC for Season 4 of The Walking Dead in October.


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When Daryl Cries, I Cry.

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Listen, I don’t care how much we’ve all been hating on Merle Dixon for three seasons, but after last night, my walls came down and I opened my heart to his character. Sadly enough, it was too short lived after his heroic strategy gone wrong.

PS – Guys, I weeped like a baby when Daryl lost it. There really should be a Walking Dead support group…

So, at this point, we can only assume that Daryl will be out for revenge over the death of his dear brother. Moreover, it seems like everyone else has fuel behind their reason for getting rid of the Governor, but who deserves it the most? Will he even be axed?

Last but not least….Is it Sunday yet?