Touch

Touch is the new television series starring Kiefer Sutherland that aired last Thursday.  I find there are a lot of complex one hour dramas to keep track of that all seem to be on Thursdays.  I’m sure you’ve seen several commercials for Touch by now.  I know I saw the same one over and over again which made me sick of it before it even began.  But I decided to watch it anyway.

The premise of Touch is that Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Martin Bohm, has trouble connecting with his 11-year old son Jake, played by David Mazouz.  Jake never speaks and doesn’t let anyone touch him.  He’s constantly preoccupied with writing down numbers and no one knows why.  But in the beginning of the show, Jake explains the the viewers about some ancient theory that we are all connected and there are certain connections between people who’s lives were meant to touch.  And apparently for some reason it’s his job to keep track of them all.  I think that would be an awesome role for an actor to play, just having to look upset and disturbed, and never having to memorize any lines.

Martin goes to see a man named Arthur Teller, played by Danny Glover, who tells him that his son can see all these connections and patterns in the world that the rest of us can’t, and that the numbers mean something, and it’s up to Martin to follow these connections and figure it all out.  Or something like that.  But how does he know that without having even met the kid?  He also says that his son sees so much beauty in the world, no wonder he doesn’t talk.  I don’t see the connection there.  Why would being overwhelmed with the world’s beauty make a person not talk ever?  And if he’s seeing all this beauty, then why does he look angry all the time?

Jake climbs the cell tower three times in a span of three weeks while he’s at school, causing a social worker, Clea Hopkins, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw to have to intervene and take him in for assessments.  Martin tries to tell her that there are patterns in what Jake is writing down and showing them, but she refuses to believe there is any meaning behind them.  But then Jake arranges popcorn kernels in groups of numbers, which are the same as her mother’s phone number, and she receives a call from her right after.  It must be incredibly annoying for them that Jake can’t talk, and that they have to follow his indications and clues in order to figure out what the hell he’s trying to tell them.

There are also worldwide connections shown throughout the show, ones which don’t seem to have anything to do with Jake.  A man loses his cell phone, and it consequently ends up being passed around the world and connecting the people who come across it.  The man who loses it needs it back, as it has pictures of his daughter who died a year ago.  Because of the way the phone is passed around, he ends up seeing these pictures on a jumbo tron in Japan, because someone put a video of a girl singing, in hopes that the next person to find the phone would discover her.  Then, a girl in Japan made sure everything on the phone was put onto the jumbo tron because she wanted to start a fan club for the singer.

Meanwhile a boy in the middle east tries to steal an oven for his family who is in need, gets caught, and ends up with a bomb strapped to him, with the phone attached to it.  The original owner of the phone had made a request to get it back, and so the boy gets a call from the call centre on that phone.  Coincidentally, the woman at the call centre is the same woman who was recorded singing on the phone.  When she realizes he has a bomb strapped to him, she convinces him to take out the battery and not go through with it.  He says the only thing that would get him to stop would be an oven for his family.  Conveniently, the original owner of the phone is a restaurant supplies salesman, so the call centre woman is able to acquire an oven for the boy.  She also realizes the video of her singing has received many hits on youtube.

I don’t know why her friend couldn’t have just put the video on youtube to begin with, as opposed to sending it off on a phone.  And I also wonder why the cell phone owner’s only pictures of his daughter were on his cell phone.  Did he not own a camera?  And did he not ever upload the pictures to his computer?  And as for the boy in the middle east, the men he tried to steal from still know who and where he is, so wouldn’t he still be in trouble, even if he was able to get an oven for his family?  And what does any of this have to do with the mute boy writing down numbers?

My mom mentioned they didn’t really need the boy, they could have just called the series “Phone” and focused on how it was randomly passed around and connecting people.  The part that does have to do with the kid, is that he is preoccupied with the numbers 318, and tries to indicate to his dad that there’s something he needs to do.  What Martin ends up doing, is going to the terminal at 3:18, and trying to use the payphone.  He gets in a fight with the guy at the payphone, causing him to miss his train.  Later on the news, we find out this same man was able to save a bus full of children, something he wouldn’t have been able to do if he hadn’t missed his train.

Coincidentally, this man had been on the phone leaving a message for Martin at the time, informing him that he had been a fireman who had tried to save his wife when she was killed at the world trade centre on 9/11, but had left her not knowing whether or not she was really dead.  He had played lottery numbers significant to that date ever since, and had just won.  I think they would have called this show “Numbers“, if the title hasn’t already been used previously.

My mom remarked that this show may even be more confusing than Awake, if that’s possible.  And I remarked how we’re only dealing with one reality here.  I don’t know, I suppose the connections and everything are interesting.  But do I really care that much?  I guess the show will progress with the kid trying to predict other various things and getting his dad to do certain things in order to make connections.  It would be funny if he just showed him random numbers that didn’t mean anything for fun.  But I guess he takes his job seriously.  But I still don’t get why it’s up to him and why this prevents him from talking.

Missing

No, I’m not writing a blog post about something that I’ve lost.  I’m writing a blog post on the new TV series that aired last Thursday.  Missing stars Ashley Judd as Rebecca Winstone, a former CIA agent whose son, Michael, played by Nick Eversman, has just gone missing.  Her son goes off to college in Rome, on his own for the first time.  We see a flashback from when he was a boy and his father, played by Sean Bean, is killed when his car blows up.  Luckily, the boy goes back inside where he has forgotten his soccer ball, or else he would have been killed as well.

Before going off to college, Michael comes up with a code which he can text his mother which means “I love you”.  He explains to her that he can’t possibly text the words “I love you” when he’s with his friends.  I forget what the code is.  Something like 26@4a something.  That’s probably not even close.  But whatever.  Soon after he leaves, she checks her phone and receives that text.  But seriously, he’s not with his friends yet at that point, he could easily have just texted “I love you”.

As the weeks go by, Rebecca stops hearing from her son, and senses that something is wrong.  She finds out that he’s left his dorm and stopped going to classes and been kicked out of the program.  This isn’t like him, so she goes to Rome to find him.  I thought it would’ve been funny if it turned out that he actually had just decided to drop out and he was totally fine.  But I guess that’s not the direction they decided to go in.  When we first heard about this show, my mom basically told me not to end up missing somewhere, because she wouldn’t do whatever it takes to come and look for me.  Well she didn’t say it in those words exactly, but I think it was implied.  I don’t blame her though, she hates travelling and as far as I know has never had any CIA training.

It’s convenient that Rebecca is a former CIA agent and not just a typical soccer mom, or else she wouldn’t be able to go to the lengths that she does to get her son back.  Although to be fair, her son being taken probably has something to do with her being a former CIA agent.  Also, I wonder if maybe her husband didn’t actually blow up in the car and is still alive somewhere.  Sean Bean has a recurring role, so maybe he’s alive, unless it’s all just a bunch of flashbacks that he’s in.

Even though she’s spent 10 years away from the CIA, she’s retained all the skills and tactics as if she’d never left.  This is a great series to watch if you love to see a lot of action scenes in which Ashley Judd kicks some serious ass.  I kind of feel like it should be a movie.  Partly because I have a short attention span.  Or maybe I just want it to be one so I can find out sooner what happens and how it ends.  I would assume it would end with her finding her son.  But if they want to have multiple seasons, then how will the first season end?  How long will they draw out the story of her trying to find her son?

There’s a lot of action and it is interesting, so I think I’ll invest in watching it for now and see where it goes.  Since her son’s been taken, and in Europe, I was reminded of the movie Taken with Liam Neeson for a moment.  Except now it’s mother and son instead of father and daughter.  In terms of the “I love you” code, I think it’s going to come up in every episode, because Rebecca comes to a place where her son has been, and he has written it on the wall.  Convenient that no one else knows what the hell that means.  I’m guessing writing “I love you” on the wall would not have the same effect.  In any case, this show looks promising, and it’s cool to see a mother kicking ass and doing everything she can in order to get her child back.  Even if my own mother wouldn’t do that for me.

GCB

GCB is a new series that aired last night on ABC.  I had seen a bunch of commercials for it and thought what the hell is GCB?  I had to look it up to find out that it stands for “Good Christian Bitches“.  And then they changed it to “Good Christian Belles“.  And then they just decided to abbreviate it to save the trouble.  Good Christian Belles would have been an awful title.  The b obviously stands for bitches.

It’s a classic story of “I used to be a mean girl in high school but now I’m a nice person but things aren’t going so well in my life so I have to move back home where the girls I was a bitch to in high school are now major bitches themselves and won’t let me live it down”.  Or you know, something along those lines.

When I saw the show starred Leslie Bibb, I thought “She was in some TV show that was popular when I was a kid”.  But I couldn’t remember what it was.  And then I realized the show itself was called Popular.  I never watched it though, so that’s why I had such a hard time remembering.  In GCB, Leslie Bibb plays Amanda Vaughn, who used to be popular in high school.  Her husband has just died and it’s been revealed that he was involved in a scandal and had stolen money from investors.  He also died in a car crash while another woman was giving him head.

And so Amanda has no choice but to take her two children and reluctantly move back home with her mother in Dallas.  The community is small, and so everyone seems to know each other, and the women she went to high school with gossip and plot upon hearing of her return.  And their husbands are all too eager to greet her when they see her.  And her mother makes her go to church with her.  Because they are good Christian bitches, after all.

The new queen bitch in town since Amanda’s departure is Carlene Cockburn, played by Kritstin Chenoweth.  When I saw she was on the show I thought “Oh, look, she’s getting more work after Glee, but still playing a really annoying character”.  Carlene is dead set on making Amanda’s stay in town miserable enough to get her to leave.  Amanda used to be cruel to her in high school about her looks, but Carlene has since had a lot of plastic surgery and refuses to accept that Amanda is now a better person.  She is also religious and self righteous, while being very judgemental.  The other women sort of just go along with her, although one of them may be actually starting to accept that Amanda has changed.

I found it a bit difficult to keep track of all the people in town, particularly the husbands.  We learn that one of the husbands says he’s in love with Amanda, lures her into his car dealership and kisses her, where she refuses his advances.  Another husband is secretly gay and in love with the other guy who works on his ranch.  And then there’s Carlene’s husband who seems alright and just loves sex.  And then I think there’s another husband of someone who’s just there but I’m not sure.

Amanda needs to get a job but can’t find anything, so becomes a waitress at a bar, which the other women look down on her for and say that it goes against their moral standard, based on the outfit that she wears there.  But Amanda doesn’t let their judgement stop her from trying to make the best of her new life and even comes to make peace a bit with her mother who’s outlook on life she doesn’t agree with.

This show wasn’t as bad as I expected.  I kind of liked it.  I heard it was supposed to be like the new Desperate Housewives.  Except I never watched Desperate Housewives, so I wouldn’t know.  I just know there’s going to be a whole lot of drama in it.  I think I’ll watch it again next week and see how it develops.  Not sure yet if I’ll follow it completely.  Also I don’t know if I should feel sorry for Amanda and want things to work out for her, or if I should think “While that’s what you get for being a bitch in high school”.  But Carlene is so annoying and manipulative, I think I’ll have to root for Amanda.

Awake

No, I’m not talking about the movie starring Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba (which I haven’t seen).  I’m talking about the new TV series that aired this week starring Jason Isaacs.  This show starts off with a car crash.  What a great way to start off a new series, right?

The premise of Awake is that detective Michael Britten deals with two alternate realities after the car crash.  In one, his son is dead.  In the other, his wife is dead.  The catch, he doesn’t know which one is real and which one is a dream.  Every time he falls asleep, he wakes up in the other reality, and each one feels equally real to him.

Upon hearing this premise, I laughed and thought really?  And I thought of the movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow.  Except in that movie, each parallel reality is based on whether or not she gets on the train.  In Awake, there is nothing different that he does.  And instead of just being alternate realities that could have happened, he is actually experiencing both of them.

This show has the potential to be very confusing.  He is a cop, and in each reality, is working on a different case.  It’s going to be difficult to keep track of which case is in which reality.  There are a few differences to help us differentiate.  In one reality, Efrem Vega, played by Wilmer Valderrama (yes, he’s getting work, doesn’t this make you excited?), has been promoted to be Michael’s partner.  In the other, he is just a detective.  I’ve already forgotten which reality is which.

Also in each reality, he has a different therapist.  This makes sense, because if he were to have the same therapist in each reality, this would get confusing and annoying for him.  He would probably be like “I already told you that!” and get frustrated having to repeat himself twice to the same person.  At least with things different in each reality, there’s less of a deja vu feeling for him.  Each therapist assures him that this is reality and that the other one is a dream.  In order to help himself remember, he wears a different coloured rubber band on his wrist in each reality, a red one for when his wife is alive, and a green one for when is son is alive.

One therapist remarks that this “dream” he has is a fascinating coping mechanism in order to deal with his son’s death, and allow him to live as though he is still alive.  But really, it’s not a great coping mechanism.  Because in the other reality, his wife is dead.  He just can’t win.  Except this way of living would allow him to cheat on his wife if he wanted to, but not really.  Because he can do it in the reality where she’s dead and it wouldn’t count.  I only say this because there seems to be a potential love interest for him in the reality in which his wife is dead.

This is all rather confusing and it’s going to be really hard to keep track of everything.  It’s hard enough to keep track of what’s happening in one case in these shows, let alone two cases that are occurring simultaneously.  Something from one reality helped him think of something that pertained to the case in the other reality.  In this first episode, he successfully solves both cases.  There’s not really any indication yet that his life is better or worse in either of them.

At one point, he wakes up and is not wearing any rubber band on his wrist.  This causes him to freak out and yell his wife’s name, call his wife, then yell his son’s name.  And then he gets so crazy and desperate that his takes a knife and cuts his own hand.  At which point his wife walks in and wonders what the hell he’s doing.  He then notices the red rubber band on the bed, that must have fallen off his wrist.  At least now he can differentiate between the two in that his hand is injured in one and not in the other.  I think he should get a tattoo in one reality, that way he wouldn’t have to worry about losing it like with the rubber bands.

So which reality is real?  Is his wife dead?  Or is his son dead?  Is one reality just a dream?  Maybe it’s all a dream?  Maybe there’s a third reality in which both of them are dead.  Or maybe it turns out he’s really dead and they’re both alive?  And they’re both having dreams that he’s still alive?  The possibilities are endless.  I kind of just really want to know how it’s going to end.  He tells his therapist that he’s not willing to make progress and face just one reality, and would rather be able to spend time with both his wife and his son, even if that means a risk to his own sanity.  This should be interesting and I’d like to see how it develops, but I know I’m going to get confused along the way.

Bomb Girls

I was confused last week when I saw a commercial for the season finale of Bomb Girls.  Season finale?  Didn’t it just start?  And then I realized it was a six part mini series.  I had pvred a few episodes, but never got around to watching them.  And when I had decided to watch, I realized that I had somehow neglected to pvr the pilot episode.  No point in watching a 6 part mini series out of order.  But as luck would have it, I found the episodes on the Global TV app on my iPad.  And I watched all 6 of them.

Bomb Girls focuses on the lives of women working in a munitions factory making bombs during World War II.  From that description, it may sound like a rather boring drama.  But it’s not.  It’s actually entertaining.  The series takes a look at the personal lives and problems that each of the women face as they do their part in the war effort.

Jodi Balfour plays Gladys Witham, a rich girl who is engaged to be married and whose family is adamant on maintaining their reputation and status in society.  She goes to work in the office of the factory doing paperwork, but wanting to do more, gets herself reassigning to the floor with the rest of the girls.  She wants to be seen as one of them, and wants to do her equal part to help.  In doing so she must lie to her controlling parents who would never allow her such a menial job.

Gladys Witham

Charlotte Hegele plays Kate Andrews who is also new at the factory, having run away and assumed a new identity to escape from her abusive father who is a preacher.  She is befriended by Betty McRae, played by Ali Liebert, the hardest worker in the factory, who helps her and looks out for her.

Kate Andrews & Betty McRae

Meg Tilly plays Lorna Corbett who is the shift matron at the munitions factory who struggles with her personal life.  Her two sons are in the war, and her husband is a crippled war veteran who feels as though his efforts were all in vain.  She struggles with her mistrust of certain factory workers as well as trying to stand up for those who she cares about.

Lorna Corbett

After watching the first episode, I was intrigued and also angry.  I was angry and Gladys’ father for being so controlling and unreasonable, and angry with her fiance for being such an ass, and angry with her mother for only caring about social status and nothing more.  I was angry at the munitions factory boss for being so arrogant and not valuing the girls’ efforts.  I was angry at Kate’s awful abusive preacher father for what he put her through.  I was angry at what happened to Vera after an accident at the factory.  And I wanted to continue watching to see if anything would happen to make my anger subside.

As I watched the next few, complications and relationships between the characters furthered as secrets, passions, and lies were concealed and revealed.  The relationship between Gladys and James does not start out honest, as they both have things which they keep from each other which may threaten their lives together if discovered.  Kate remains fearful of her father finding her, and Betty struggles with her feelings of affection.  Lorna is suspicious of an Italian worker in the factory who she doesn’t think should be there, and then deals with the passion that develops that she is not getting from her husband.

In the commercial for the season finale, they said something like “prepare to be shocked”, as they often do when leading up to the end of a season.  The final episode did have a few surprises and things that I wasn’t expecting to happen.  I thought it was really well done.  I suppose it made sense to make this a mini series, just to try it out.  But 6 episodes is not enough to resolve issues that have only just begun, and it has been renewed for a second season.  I love it when Canadian shows do well.  I look forward to watching this and I’m glad the series succeeded and didn’t bomb.

Bomb Girls

Grimm

I’m trying to watch an episode of Grimm right now.  Key word, trying.  I think the fact that I’m also blogging simultaneously really speaks to how well it’s going.  I’m not really sure what’s happening.  Someone got murdered.  Now there’s something about a watch.  I think the watch is important.  I’m not sure why.  Some guy, I think he’s a cop, just said he has a bad feeling about this.  Well that doesn’t make me feel very hopeful.

Oh no, another person’s dead.  Okay maybe I should pay attention so I know what’s happening and why.  This black guy doesn’t look like a cop.  He looks like a wannabe rapper.  He seems to be wearing his badge on a gold chain around his neck.  How badass.  I’m waiting for the fairy tale part to happen.  So far this just another random crime drama.  Which is fine, I’m just waiting to see what sets it apart.

Although Once Upon A Time is already a show which combines fairy tale stuff with the real world.  But I guess this one is darker and has more crime?  Like CSI meets Once Upon A Time?  I don’t know if that’s actually an accurate description of it, I’ve only seen a few minutes so far.  And sadly I didn’t see the pilot episode.  So it’s not my fault if I don’t fully understand it.  I missed the episode that was supposed to ease me into it.

Apparently the premise is that the Brothers Grimm stories were not just stories, and that there are these supernatural creatures living in our world.  And the main detective in this show is a descendant of the Grimms and so it is up to him to protect humanity from these creatures.  He is apparently the last of the Grimms, so this is all on him.  My question is what if he dies?  Then humanity’s just screwed?  I mean he seems to be in a lot of life threatening situations, so it could very well happen.  Maybe before going out to fight crime, he should really be out getting girls pregnant first.  That way if he dies, the world might still have a chance.

Okay, I’m going to go back to trying to watch this.  I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens.  I feel like suspense is building right now.  Something’s about to happen.  I can sense it.  Just like this detective can sense the monsters.  Maybe I can get into it and watch some more episodes.  But so far, Grimm seems rather grim.

All This, and Heaven Too

I am not referring to the song by Florence + the Machine (although I do like it).  There is no comma in that song title.  I am referring to the 1940’s film starring Bette Davis.  Why am I watching old movies instead of listening to new music?  Because I can.  Because I have random movie channels that play random movies, both new and old.  And because sometimes I have nothing better to do.  And after all, this blog is called what are we watching, not what are we listening to.

In this movie, Bette Davis plays a governess for a family where she is loved by the children and their father, but despised by their mother.  And due to no fault of her own, unfortunate circumstances and events seem to play out for her.  She is more of a mother to the children than their own mother appears to be, although maybe that was the case in a rich family that had a governess.  But the mother is cold and rude and doesn’t seem to care for the well being of her own children.  She is also insanely jealous.  I just kept thinking “wow, what a bitch.”At one point the governess tells her that the little boy is too sick to go out, but she forces him to accompany her, and as a result, he becomes very ill.

My favourite thing about this movie is the little boy.  When he’s sick, you’re worried that he might die, and when he’s well, he’s just so cute.  The way he talks to his father and says “pa paw” is adorable, but not as adorable as when he refers to the governess as mademoiselle, but pronounces it “mum-selle”.  Richard Nichols, who played the boy is now 76 years old.  I’m not sure if he went on to other roles as an adult.  But either way, playing that four year old boy had to have been his best role.

The movie was a bit long, but I didn’t mind it.  I found myself getting angry as I watched it.  Which is good, because that meant that it was holding my attention.  I was angry at the circumstances that Bette Davis’ character was faced with, and at how bitchy the mother was, and at how stupid the father was.  Love grows between him and the governess but is never acted upon.  But this movie seems to explore the idea that the love itself could be considered a crime.  Well there is an actual crime committed as well, but I don’t want to spoil it in the off chance you might actually want to watch it.  Although when I watched the movie, it was already spoiled, as it was stated in the movie description on my TV.

If you do happen to ever be in the mood for an old drama romance movie, this one isn’t bad.  Though if you’re like me, certain things about it might make you angry.  It bothers me that the governess has to suffer even though she is guilt free.  But things work out for her in the end.  And it was actually based on a book that was based on a true story.  I’m not sure if that makes it better or not.  But if nothing else, just watching the scenes with the little boy in them makes this movie worth it.