Wednesday, May 30, 2012


 Update! Check the bottom of the post for the best 3 minutes in Mad Men history...

Think of this as the opposite of a Secret Boyfriend of the Week post. Think of it as an Obvious Scumbag of the Week. And this week's recipient is the repellent Pete Campbell from Mad Men.

This season, Pete has really been floundering. He has basically worked his entire career to become Don Draper 2.0, but instead of trying to emulate the good parts of his mentor (like say, the awesome Peggy Olson does), Pete has followed the more icky of Don's examples. Sure, he's done things right on paper: marrying a good girl from a good family, having a kid, moving to the suburbs, but now he feels trapped! By his own life! It's so sad!

Except it's not. As Pete gets more and more depressed he gets more and more gross. This season he's slept with prostitutes, and even seduced the desperate housewife of one of his commuter buddies. The fact that the housewife was played by Rory Gilmore (ok, I mean Alexis Bledel from Gilmore Girls) makes it even more icky. She was America's sweetheart for goodness sake! It was like a twisted version of that episode when she dressed up as Patty Duke.

Let us never speak of this again.

And now we come to Pete's latest trek through the filth. If you've seen the latest Mad Men episode, The Other Woman, you know of what I speak. During a business dinner with a man who can score the agency an account with Jaguar, Pete learns that the key to their success lies in whoring out Joan. And by whoring I don't mean, "the symbolic trade of one favor for another," I mean full-on "sleep with this guy for money." So of course, Pete being the winner he is, immediately goes to Joan and lays the proposition before her. In terms of shock value, I would rate this turn of events somewhere around the "client gets his foot cut off by a lawnmower" level.

I'm going to forgo all the discussion that has accompanied (SPOILER) Joan's decision to go through with sleeping with the creepy guy in exchange for a partnership and 5% stake in the agency (END SPOILER).

That has been discussed to death already on the internet, and frankly isn't a conversation I really have a desire to take part in. This post is concerned with just talking about how gross Pete Campbell is. And that's something we can all get behind, right?

Ugh, I can't even look at his smug stupid face.

There's no doubt Pete has done a lot of nasty things even from the beginning of the show, but for some reason him sliding into Joan's office (and practically leaving a trail of slime behind him) was the worst for me. Maybe it's because I love Joan, or maybe it's just because I have ABSOLUTELY NO PATIENCE for any kind of "male-life crisis trapped by own choices" bullshit that seems to be a popular theme on tv these days, but I just...can't handle Pete anymore. All season I have been thinking that someone is going to fall down that empty elevator shaft that Don peered into, or that someone might even kill themselves, and frankly I am now rooting for Pete to get the shaft (literally). Everyone on Mad Men has a bit of the villain in them so I don't think we "need" him for character purposes. And just once, it would be nice for someone to get their just deserts. And yes, falling down a high-rise would be an appropriate punishment here.

So, congrats Pete! You are the first person to be highlighted in an Obvious Scumbag post. I'm not sure if this is going to be a regular thing, but it just felt like the timing was right.

Oh, and I should probably take the opportunity to mention that I think Vincent Kartheiser has really done an amazing job with this character and has shown Pete's descent throughout the series with a level of skill that I never expected. I can separate the art from the artist and I am sure Vincent is a super nice guy. This is definitely one of those "hate the game not the playa" situations.

And I totally forgot to include the best scene ever: Pete Campbell gets taken to the cleaners:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance

There are some tv characters you love to hate. Remember Wilhelmina on Ugly Betty? Or Sylar from Heroes? Mr. Burns on The Simpsons, Victoria Grayson from Revenge....the list goes on and on. These characters are over-the-top, deliciously evil and oh how we delight in them.

And then there are some characters you just hate. They're not evil, they're not the villains, they are just...annoying, constantly make bad choices, and make you want to scream at the television. I suppose the best recent example is Ellis on Smash. Thank goodness he finally got his walking papers.

It's a real problem for a show when the main character is the one you loathe. For example, HBO's Girls. I hesitate to call the show "controversial" because it's that kind of bullshit made-up controversy that only exists on the internet. Because The People Who Blog About Television* always have their panties in a twist, and Girls seems to be a popular punching bag.

I discussed the first two episodes recently, and while I think the show has improved and become really interesting the past few weeks (note I did not say "entertaining,") the main character Hannah is a big problem for me. She pretty much encapsulates everything the critics have identified as flaws in the show: she's entitled, arrogant, privileged, and possesses a lack of self-awareness that is glaringly obvious to everyone but herself. I guess the point of the show will be her character's "journey" or whatever...but it's hard to root for someone when all I want to do is throw a shoe at her face.

"Sure, I wrote something really horrible about you, but if you had read the essay and it wasn't about you, do you think would've liked it? As a piece of writing, I mean."

But here's where I get the cognitive dissonance. As much as Hannah irritates me, there are certain aspects of her character that knock my socks off with awesomeness. And I don't know what to do or think as a result For example, she is obviously carrying around a few extra pounds, but she has no shame or embarrassment in whipping her clothes off for intimate encounters. In a recent episode when she was hooking up with a random dude in her Michigan home-town, his needing to be under the sheets before removing his clothes was clearly puzzling to her. I suppose a side-effect of her ego is a lack of shame, but for someone with body issues her ability to be comfortable in her own skin is astounding. She also summed up what I think most women are looking for in a relationship when she said, "I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time, thinks I'm the best person in the world, and wants to have sex with only me." You guys have no idea how much I related to that.

I read a really great interview the other day on Jezebel in their "Boys on Girls" column (where guys who watch the show Girls weigh in with thoughts) and the interviewee noted that Hannah is the kind of character that is "always saying the wrong things. Kind of selfish. Usually doing and saying the wrong thing that gets them in trouble, but they're so likeable, we let them get away with it." I'm not sure I would go so far as to call Hannah "likeable," but there's a certain something about her that just gets to me.

And here it is: for me, Hannah provides a double dose of uncomfortable, from both the negative and positive sides of her personality.  Her bad qualities are enough of a reflection of mine that I feel like a terrible person, whereas I also wish I could have more of her good qualities and therefore feel lacking.

At the end of the day, I guess Hannah makes me uncomfortable, because she seems so real. Her bad decisions feel like real bad decisions. The consequences feel like real consequences. And I want to throw a shoe at her because sometimes I want to throw a shoe at real people.

Hannah isn't one-note. And as a result, her character has resulted in a level of self-analysis that I was not expecting. If I may riff on the old Soviet Russia style of HBO, television series watch you.

*And yes, I realize the hypocrisy of mocking The People Who Blog About Television when really that's what all I do. But if we outlawed hypocrisy there would be no organized religion, political parties, or really any establishment and then we could all live happily ever after inside John Lennon's Imagine. Wait, what's the downside there?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Last Saturday, I took a day trip up to New York City to see the Broadway show Newsies* with a friend. It makes for a long day, but is actually quite an easy trip since you can get there and back on the buses that run direct between NYC and DC.

After the show, my friend and I were walking around mid-town looking for a place to eat that wasn't jammed with the Time Square crowds, and lo and behold, there on Sixth Venue next to Bryant Park was this:

An HBO store! OH HELL YES.

There are few things I enjoy more than watching HBO shows and shopping. And now I could combine the two of them. It was like the chocolate and peanut butter of consumerism.

The shop is small, but packed to the brim with cool items from HBO programming. Of course you can get t-shirts from almost every show, but there are also mini-bottles of True Blood, high heel key chains from Sex and the City, fedoras from Boardwalk Empire, and a TON of Game of Thrones-related paraphernalia. I might have picked up an item or two (or three of four) and definitely made some progress into my Christmas shopping (it's never too early to start).

Clearly, Game of Thrones is the big show right now and on display within the shop are costumes from the program. I was able to snag some pics of some of the coolest ones:

Sansa as a southern belle. Before the beatings began obvy, since it's not stained with blood.

There isn't enough Spanx in the world to get me into this thing.

Dani's rustic camping outfit. This looks positively demure next to Melisandre's dress. Perfect for casual friday!

So if you're in Manhattan at the corner of Sixth and 43rd, stop on in. The employees are friendly (and as nerdy as me when it comes to tv), the merchandise is plentiful, and I would bet my bottom dollar you can find something for any HBO-fan.

*in case you were wondering, Newsies was awesome. Fun, energetic, earnest, toe-tapping and without the tragedy that seems to define the modern musical. Sometimes you just want to see a bunch of dudes dancing and singing, am I right? It had a very classic Hollywood musical feel to it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Funny Girl(s)

It’s something of old news by now, but for people like me who just stumbled across it because that’s sometimes what you do during your day at work, let’s face it, Christopher Hitchens authored a remarkably uninformed and largely insulting piece in Vanity Fair in 2007 called “Why Women Aren’t Funny”. The misogyny of the piece is evident just from the title and let me assure you, it gets worse, but it’s also notable for the blatant racism and heterosexism it displays as well. (Seriously. He has awesome things to say about women who are non-white, overweight, gay or any combination thereof.) All in all, a great thing to read if you need to get your blood boiling, like maybe right before a big cardio workout or possibly if you’re being chased by bees or something.

It would be a measure of equality to treat Hitchens with respect and offer some kind of analysis of whether or not his argument has merit, but the problem is that it so clearly doesn’t that there isn’t any real reason to give it credence. It would be like offering an independent analysis to find out if someone was right when they bold-facedly asserted that water was not, in fact, wet. Whether or not women can be funny isn’t up for debate. Anyone who wants proof needs look no further than the recently announced fall line-up of TV shows.

 Segueing seamlessly…

I’m typically the last person to get excited about a sitcom about a neurotic young woman trying to have it all in the big city. Frankly, this story has been told more times than Chaucer. But after seeing the preview clips for The Mindy Project, I’m completely willing to give this one a shot. The brainchild of Mindy Kaling, former lead writer and supporting actor in The Office, the show follows Kaling herself as this season’s Liz Lemon, who herself has been described as 2005’s Mary Tyler Moore. For the curious, I’m also working on a theory that Mary Tyler Moore was just 1970’s Kermit the Frog, but that’s for another blog post.

Kaling’s understated witticisms are on full display and the humor in the trailer comes off as fresh and funny. The is especially remarkable considering that the set up is not only as old as the sitcom genre itself, but it seems like Kaling and her fellow writers have tried to mash about two or three other genres into the pilot just for good measure. As it is, the set-up runs the risk of being something along the lines of, “what would happen if Liz Lemon woke up in that melodramatic hospital in Seattle one morning and then decided to work there with all the other employees of Dunder-Mifflin?” 

The original theme song was going to be called "How To Save a Laugh"

Kaling certainly inherits a lot of goodwill built up from the women who have gone before her. That genetic line officially starts at Eve Arden and Lucille Ball, meanders toward Lily Tomlin and Carol Burnett and then runs straight through Jane Curtain, Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman, heading into Loretta Swit before diving through Roseanne Barr and Rhea Perlman and resurfacing at Ellen Degeneres in time to watch Tina Fey absolutely kill on Weekend Update. Each of these women held shows on their own and there isn’t a viewer in the world who isn’t going to laugh with them. Kaling is in good company and based on her successes in her previous projects, she more than deserves to be there.

All of which just makes that Hitchens article all the more ridiculous. You could almost see it being written as an attempt to be, well, funny; as if Hitchens were trying to illustrate exactly the point he was making in his article about men being more inclined toward humor and women just being pleased with themselves, with their reduced capacity for humor, when they realized that they were smart enough to get the joke. I kept expecting him to end his article in a self-congratulatory “gotcha” that would illustrate that he realized how ridiculous the article was and show that it clearly was intended to be hyperbole. That any writer who expects to be taken seriously would even question whether or not women are capable of being funny seems so oddly humorous in itself. Meanwhile, women like Mindy Kaling, who are finally allowed to anchor their own television shows, needn’t even think about Hitchen’s creaky patronizing and the rest of us get some (hopefully) solid entertainment out of it.

The Mindy Project airs this fall on FOX.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vampire Diaies: WOAH.

This post contains mild spoilers for the Vampire Diaries season finale, but has far more senseless fan gushing than spoiling.

"Well, I didn't see that coming."

Those were my words after the last shot of the Vampire Diaries season finale, "The Departed." Though to be perfectly honest, it's possible I have uttered them during or after almost every episode, because it seems like this show blind-sides me at every turn with another plot twist.

Sometimes I feel like I am shouting into the ether when trying to get people to tune in. "Watch it," I cry. "It's awesome!" And you respond, "but it's about vampires...and it's called the Vampire Diaries....and it airs on the CW."

Here's the thing. Remember a little show called Buffy and the Vampire Slayer? It was about vampires, had a goofy name, and aired on the WB. And yet it was completely and totally awesome.

Now I am not saying that Vampire Diaries is as remarkable as Buffy. Sure, they're both in the same teen vampire genre, but Vampire Diaries' awesomeness comes from a different place. Its cleverness derives from the plotting (not to say that Buffy didn't have clever plotting, but you know what I mean). With each season the show has deepened its mythology, introduced new characters, killed off old characters, and kept the stakes high. Pun intended. And then there is just twist after twist...

And this year's season finale was not exception. Without giving too much away, let's just say that the show went to a place that I frankly was not expecting (at least not for a few more years) and set up a TON of juicy stuff for next season. I really can't think of another network drama that is as consistently surprising, well-acted, and well-plotted as this one....

And of course, there is a love triangle in the mix. A really good one at that.

Another thing that the Vampire Diaries excels at is making those twists matter. You actually care about what happens on this show because there are consequences. Remember how terrible Heroes got because we didn't care when someone was killed because they always magically came back? That doesn't happen here. Sure, sometimes a ghost will pop by for a chat, but for the most part (at least with respect to secondary characters) what's dead stays dead. There are consequences for the characters on this show. Which is frankly lacking from a lot of other drama, especially those in the fantasy genre.

So trust me when I say that this kind of situation isn't going to end well.

Just one word of caution: please don't judge the series by the pilot. While still entertaining, I would say it's the weakest hour of the show by far. Stick with it and by the middle of the first season you will be hooked. I'd stake my life on it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sixty Five Roses

Have you ever sat in your mid-day slump at work getting wonderfully lost in a website that you know is just going to suck you in and make you love it when all of a sudden you come across one of the rare corners of the internet that isn’t loaded down with snark? Congratulations! You’ve made it there today! Betraying my usual “crusty-on-the-outside” and opting for my more unseen “gooey-in-the-center”, I’m writing today about a documentary that aired last week on OWN (yes, the Oprah place; don’t run just yet) called 65_RedRoses. And later on in this email (spoiler alert) I’m going to ask you to do something. Bear with me.

65_RedRoses­­ is a documentary about a young woman named Eva Markvoort who is living with cystic fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease that is slowly killing her. The documentary was made by friends of hers after graduation from film school and, frankly, can best be described in a single word as “heart-wrenching.” (Hyphens count for single words, right?) Eva’s story is, sadly, very typical for someone with the disease. She is isolated because people with CF can’t be in the same room as each other without potentially making each other sicker. At the same time, the disease has been slowly causing mucus to build up in her lungs over the 25 years of her life, to the point where her lungs are failing and she can no longer draw breath effectively. After her doctors tell her that her lungs have become so clogged with mucus as to limit her chances of survival, her only option left becomes a complete double lung transplant.

 That's a laptop. Actual lung transplant technology sold separately.

 The film follows Eva’s life as she waits for a donor and blogs about her experiences (the title of the film is her online screen name, itself referencing how children often refer to the disease as “sixty five roses” because “cystic fibrosis” is hard to say), all the while her own health is deteriorating. It showcases exactly how conflicting it can be to have a life-threatening disease as evidenced by one scene that illustrates Eva’s family’s guilty optimism about graduation season; turns out graduations are great for donor organs because of the number of healthy young people with perfectly good organs who die in drunk driving accidents.

Unlike some shows that play up the melodrama (and actual drama) of people with severe illnesses to the point where what’s shown isn’t even representative of the disease in real life, the disease displayed in 65_RedRoses is ridiculously accurate. That verisimilitude is made all the more frustrating by how much progress has been made in the fight against the disease recently. In the 1950s, parents who had a child with CF were often told by their doctors not to expect the child to live to see elementary school. Today, thanks to cutting edge treatment and a not inconsiderable amount of research, the projected age of survival is in the late 30s. Unfortunately, despite those advances, about half of the population will still be dead before they’re 26-years-old.

There’s any number of sob-story documentaries about rare diseases out there, but 65_RedRoses manages to cut itself a bit above the rest. It’s honest, genuine, illuminating and, strangely enough, actually kind of uplifting. It can be hard to watch, dipping equally into body horror for all the medical treatments Eva goes through and psychological dread for her family. But Eva’s spirit, as well as the dedication of her medical team, shines through brilliantly. The film does a wonderful job of helping the viewer to understand the ticking of the clock and how fast that clock is moving.

But entertainment aside, here’s where I confess my bigger reason for talking about this bit of television: In real life, because blogging with friends about TV shows has yet to pay off financially, I work for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a non-profit organization that accredits and maintains over 110 care centers throughout the country to treat people with CF as well as serves as the primary driver of medical research to find a cure for the disease. In the past five years, we’ve invested over $660 million in CF research and it’s paying off. This year a drug that we developed in partnership with a small pharmaceutical company came out that corrects the genetic defect that causes cystic fibrosis. It’s the first time in the history of medicine that we’ve been able to come up with a pill that fixes a genetic error and bring it safely into the hands of patients. The problem is that this drug only treats about 4% of the entire CF population. But just this week, on Monday May 7th, we got word that this drug’s chemical cousin out-performed our expectations of it in a clinical trial. This new drug, which still requires more costly testing, would treat about 60% of all people with CF.

Cystic fibrosis has been around as long as mankind has. We’ve found historical records describing the symptoms going back to the middle ages in Europe, but the first time kids starting living with it beyond the first few years of their life wasn’t until the 20th century. It’s realistic to say that if this new drug can come to market, for the first time in human history we’d be able to have a group of people who could live their entire lives with cystic fibrosis and not die from it. We’re close to our goal, but we need you to help by making a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Need more convincing? Watch this:

Cue tears starting in 3...2...

So there’s my plea – give us a couple of bucks and help us make life a little bit better. Watch 65_RedRoses and then please make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help us further our goal of finding a cure or control for cystic fibrosis. And I promise to get back to blogging about how ridiculous Mad Men is in short order.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Secret Boyfriend of the Week: Benedict! Cumberbatch!

Well, hello, Sherlock. Nice to have you back.

It's been about a year since we saw you, but my goodness how I missed you. Life just didn't seem right without your tall, gangly frame and pinched face. Or your adorable hobbit sidekick/boyfriend. Not to mention your haughty attitude and ability to make anyone feel bad about themselves.

I guess I am just a sucker for a bad boy.

This past Sunday, PBS finally got around to airing the first episode of the new season of BBC's Sherlock. Sure, some people have already seen the new season through less savory means, but I guess I am just a goody gooody (or have an irrational fear of downloading a computer virus), and I prefer to wait until it legitimately airs. And it was sure worth the wait.

In his latest mystery, "A Scandal in Belgravia," Sherlock tries to "retrieve compromising photos of a minor royal held on the camera phone of Irene Adler, a ruthless and brilliant dominatrix who also trades in classified information extracted from her rich and powerful clients." (from Wiki). Irene is one of the few people who can keep up with Sherlock (though she has some help from a nefarious source), and the two spar both verbally and physically, mostly through dialogue crackling with sexual tension.

That's right. Sherlock Holmes has sexual tension with someone other than Watson. Hoyay fans, hold on to your hats.

There's always hope!

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of those rare people who you see and don't think "hubba hubba," but his charisma (and intelligence) cannot be denied. He just draws you in, and makes you drool. Like Irene Adler says, brainy is sexy.

And the best thing about his portrayal of Sherlock is that we are seeing him emotionally mature. He may still treat the people around him like insects, but when someone hurts Mrs. Hudson (with words or physically) Sherlock extracts swift retribution. And when he hurts the feelings of Molly Hooper, a morgue attendance with a long-standing crush on the sleuth, he actually apologizes.

Let me repeat: Sherlock APOLOGIZED for being an ass to someone. Progress.

Wait. What did he just say?

And then, of course, there are sparks between him and Adler. The latest incarnation of Sherlock has been almost shocking in his lack of sexuality, but like the Doctor (of Doctor Who), it seems a change is in the air and Sherlock may be utilizing not just his mind, but also his heart.

But let's not get too swept away.

In any event, we can't know what the future will hold for our favorite detective, but with a third season renewal over on the BBC, and record ratings for PBS, I think we can rest assured that this week's Secret Boyfriend won't be going away for long once Season 2 plays out. Until then, just enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


A wise woman ( cough Beyonce cough) once asked, "Who run the world?"

Trust me, it is NOT these bitches.

Girls seems to have caused something of a furor on the internet. I haven't actually been a party to any of it, but people whose blogs I read keep talking about it so it must be true. Apparently people are ragging on Girls for being racist (in that there are no non-white characters), and about a bunch of spoiled, entitled, hipster assholes.

Here's the thing: all those criticisms are correct. BUT I LIKE IT.

Girls follows the lives of four twenty-somethings living in New York City. Sound familiar? It should--the Sex and the City comparisons have been flowing fast and free, and the show makes no qualms about treading familiar territory. For goodness sake, one of the characters has a Sex and the City poster up in her bedroom. If I may shamelessly crib from two of my favorite bloggers and reviewers, Tom and Lorenzo:
Everyone needs to shut up about how Girls is nothing like Sex and the City when anyone with half an eye and a functioning nervous system can see that it is. Four characters so distinctly different from each other that they’re close to archetypal, navigating through New York City via their careers, their friendships, and the men they sleep with and date. Puh-leeze, bitches. It’s younger, hipper, and less focused on material pursuits, but it’s totally Sex and the City.
So I guess you could bill the show as Sex and the City for the hipster generation. But that makes it sound...well, pretty terrible. But it's actually a good show. Yes, the characters are spoiled, entitled, and assholes. But you know what? So are a lot of people. Including people that I know and am friends with. And I am sure there are people out in the world who think of moi as a spoiled entitled asshole. And how much would love to watch a show about me??

Seriously though, the reason I like the show is for its black humor, the raw and real quality of its plots and dialogue, and the juxtaposition of characters that are at one time painfully self-aware and also so utterly unaware. These ladies act like they totally have their shit together and yet keep making such obviously self-destructive decisions that it kind of boggles the mind. Unless you happen to have been a girl who was at one time in your mid-twenties in which case you totally get it. And trust me, I am SO HAPPY to not be at this point in my life anymore. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Remember when Dawson's Creek came out and people couldn't believe how adult all the teenagers sounded? And then they proceeded to make horrible decisions like sleeping with their teachers and going out with Chad Michael Murray? Girls is like that--the characters talk a big talk, but at the end of the day they are just as self-doubting and clueless as the rest of us.

A word of warning though: if you are the kind of person who finds frank and explicit conversations about sex, relationships, lack of employment, and living off mommy and daddy offensive or gross, this is not the show for you. 

Nothing like stopping for some fro yo and relationship advice on the way to your abortion. Seriously. This happened in the second episode.

Girls airs on HBO Sunday nights at 10:30 (after Game of Thrones and Veep)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Second Review of Chloe King

Guest Blog by Mac Attack

Coming up on a year ago, Maggie Cat wrote this review of "The Nine Lives of Chloe King." Since the whole ten-episode run of the series is now available on Netflix streaming, I thought I might give it another go.

I agree with just about everything Maggie said, so I'm not going to re-hash it, I'm going to expand. First of all, if you are going to watch it, be aware that the special effects are horrendous enough to break you out of your suspension of disbelief. Their main attempt at special effects appears to be "cut away for a moment, cut back to show someone standing on something high up, and then have someone comment loudly how amazing watching her leap up was". The benefit is that it's cheap and simple. The detriment is that it's just cheap.

As Maggie said, they tried hard to make this the new Buffy. As anyone paying attention to the horrible failures of everything this season who tried to be the new Lost can tell you, there are some phenomena that you just can't duplicate. They gave it the old college try. She's got normal high school friends who sometimes help her with supernatural stuff and mystic mentors who occasionally try to help her be a bit normal. There are the training scenes and the tension of being romantically involved with a fellow warrior. And of course the multiple dying thing.

Buffy: Hey, I've died twice.

Chloe: Bitch, please.

In my opinion, that's the problem. The show doesn't try terribly hard to carve out its own identity, it just tries (and fails) to be Buffy again. I'm going to sound horribly elitist when I say this, but I feel Buffy fans, en masse, are justifiably proud of being rather cerebral. Almost no plot twist in the ten episode run of this series really surprised me.

What I did like about Chloe King, which Buffy didn't even start doing until their last season or so, was the backstory. The history of the Mai race, the cultural divides within their people and between them and the other races (including human), I found it fascinating. Even the "we're better than mere humans" Mai don't pretend that they are entirely blameless in starting the war with humanity.

In conclusion, I don't recommend you watch it. The only things I really liked about the show was the potential it had, the seeds it planted that I really believed would come to fruition if it had been given enough time. Instead, they must've known by the last episode that they were going to be cancelled, because I don't think I've ever seen so many main characters die at once.

Spoiler Alert?

There is some very vague talk that a TV movie could be in the works. It's possible this won't be the last review you see of Chloe King…