Monthly Archives: December 2011

Merlin – Christmas finales, lessons from Downton Abbey, and how not to end a rocky season (Originally for CliqueClack TV)

Hello, everyone. How were your holidays. Good? Mine were great. I got lots of fantastic presents, ate far too much dessert, visited with a lot of people, and watched a whole lot of British TV. Specifically, there were two season finales that aired across the pond — Merlin and Downton Abbey. And while I know it’s not really fair to Merlin to compare it to a show that’s won every award under the sun, twice, and also has Dame Maggie Smith, I kind of couldn’t help but do that.

Both Merlin and Downton Abbey were shows that had seasons that were uneven in quality — Merlin started out great and then steadily declined after the sixth episode, and Downton had some episodes that were so sloppily edited I couldn’t tell that several years were supposed to have passed. Both are shows that I spend a good deal of time ogling just how pretty everyone is and exclaiming over the talent of all the actors involved, and both are really, really, really well-shot. And both had a lot riding on their finales. Downton had to prove to me it could still bring it (and by “it” I mean “something other than tears of anguish”) and Merlin had to prove to me it remembered how not to suck. Downton brought it. Merlin, on the other hand, kind of made like it was going to bring it, and then chickened out in the last ten minutes.

After three years of being an adoring-if-exasperated fan of Merlin, I should probably know better than to expect things in terms of plot coherency or well thought-out writing, but I can’t help but have faith in Merlin because sometimes it does. Remember the beginning of this season of Merlin? Awesome, right? It wasn’t Downton quality, but it was pretty good. But this finale … well, in condescending parental speak, I’m not mad, show, I’m just disappointed in you. Not because it was a bad one, it’s just that historically, your finales have been so much better than this.

So, Merlin, sit down, take out your pencils, and get ready to take notes, because Downton Abbey has three important things to teach you about how to properly send off a season in style.

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Colin Morgan on castmates, guest stars, and season four of Merlin (Originally for CliqueClack TV)

Yesterday marked the third time I have had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Colin Morgan, who plays Merlin‘s titular character with aplomb, killer instincts, and some supernatural ability to give you one look with his blue eyes that suddenly makes you feel emotions you were previously unaware existed on the human spectrum of feelings. And while I can always wax poetic about what a nice young man he is (seriously, well done on his mother) or paraphrase what he said, what’s the fun in that? You’ve all shown a marked preference for hearing it straight from the man himself, and frankly, I don’t blame you. And so, without further ado, I present to you Colin Morgan on character growth, his relationships with Arthur, Morgana, and Gaius, guest stars, and a few teasers for this Saturday’s finale.

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Merlin – Reheated leftovers (Originally for CliqueClack TV)

Well, kids, it’s that time of year again. No, I don’t mean the holidays, I mean the time of year where Merlin realizes that oh, yeah, they have to tell some sort of great, epic love story between Arthur and Gwen and how epic and destined they are. And so to do that they bring in a pretty, pretty princess to tempt Arthur, at the last minute Arthur decides Gwen is his truest of true loves (even though there has been, up until that point in the season, exactly zero evidence of that actually being the case) and she rides away into the sunset.This happens every year around episode ten or eleven like clockwork, and frankly, I’m getting kind of tired of re-re-re-writing my reaction to this episode.

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Yvette Nicole Brown’s favorite episodes, dream guest stars, and much, much more (Originally for CliqueClack TV)

Before Community, you might have known Yvette Nicole Brown as “that lady who shows up in a lot of commercials,” or “Dwight’s mean Staples co-worker”, or maybe even as Helen from Drake & Josh, if you were born sometime after 1990. But now Yvette Nicole Brown is most definitely best known for her role as Shirley on Community, the group’s cloying, motherly conscience, always at hand with her omnipresent purse and a high-pitched, “Oh, that’s nice!” But what’s really nice is that Yvette was willing to sit down with us and discuss all aspects of her role as Shirley — from favorite episodes, to her religion, to love interests — and much, much more.

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Merlin – A whole lot of nothing (Originally for CliqueClack TV)

Guys, I have a confession to make, which is probably the worst confession a television blogger/reviewer can ever make: I don’t have an opinion on this week’s episode of Merlin.

Well, maybe that’s inaccurate, because I have an opinion on everything. What I mean isn’t so much that I don’t have an opinion so much as my opinion is in the place that everyone whose job it is to have an opinion fears: the terrible meeting point between “mixed reaction” and “totally lacking in the confidence to feel what I actually feel.”

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Favorite New Fall Show – Once Upon A Time (Originally for CliqueClack TV)

This week, we at CliqueClack are asking you to vote for your favorite new fall shows to watch and for those that you would recommend to others. The winter hiatus is the perfect time to catch up on new shows you didn’t initially watch. Check out our previous write-ups for Up All Night, RevengeAmerican Horror Story, Homeland, and New Girl, and The Secret Circle, now check out why Julia picked Once Upon a Time!

Once Upon A Time is a show with an inherently divisive premise, because it is a show about fairytales. I’m actually not sure if “divisive” is the right word, since that tends to imply that there are two equally strong sides to an issue. More accurately, most people hear that there is a show about fairytales and assume it’s trite and stupid and cheesy, and unless you’re the kind of person who, like me, still honestly believes that Disney movies are The Greatest Thing Ever, you weren’t that interested in watching it. And to those people, I would like to refer you to the case of my friend Alli.

Alli is pretty predictable when it comes to TV. If you are ever wondering to yourself, “will Alli like this show?”, all you have to do is check and see if there are two dudes who look like they are about five seconds from going to town on each other. With the exception of Glee (which she hates), if the answer is yes, Alli probably watches the show. That’s not all she looks for in a show, but it does account for about 99% of her TV viewing habits.

So imagine my surprise when one day Alli timidly asks me if I’m watching Once Upon a Time which, while enjoyable, is utterly devoid of the gay. “I… kind of love it,” she confessed to me the way a kid generally confesses to eating the last cookie. “And I really, really want Snow and Charming to get together. I’ve never wanted a heterosexual couple to get together before! I don’t know what this show is doing to me!”

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