In My Humble Opinion: The third series of Peaky Blinders was by far the most intricate and complex series to date. The series was filled with captivating plot points, great performances and shocking moments…I mean who thought Grace was going to die? Okay maybe I had some suspicions, but shit, the second episode? Creator Steven Knight created an episode cliffhanger that rivals most season cliffhangers when Grace Burgess, played by Annabelle Wallis was shot in the chest leaving the audience wondering if she would be alive or dead in the following episode. That moment in the series truly caught me off guard, but honestly wasn’t the most powerful scene of the series, at least in my opinion. To me, the best scene of the series was when Cillian Murphy’s character Thomas Shelby and Tom Hardy’s character Alfie Solomons had their very heated exchange after Tommy Shelby’s son had been kidnapped. The chemistry between the two actors is undeniable and the show really capitalizes on that in this particular scene. Throughout the 3rd series Cillian Murphy’s character had been trying to become the “respectable” figure and prove to others (and to himself) that he and his family should be included in the dignified and revered classes of society. Of course, things never really work out as they’re supposed to and the scene between Tommy and Alfie serves as a wake up call to Tommy and reminds him that he’s no better than the criminals and gangsters he’s working so hard to get away from. After all, as Alfie so eloquently puts it, “He who fights by the sword, he fucking dies by it.” Eventually, Tommy embraces the fact that he’s a bad man who does bad things and attempts to convey this message to his family who…aren’t exactly the most receptive (except for Michael, who I think will eventually become as cold and disconnected as Tommy). The series ends on the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers with Tommy being left alone, and while he does explain to his family that he has a plan to get them all freed from prison, it’s the first time in the Series (and I mean Series 1,2, and 3) that we see Tommy truly alone and wonder if he really can find a way out of the situation he’s found himself in!
In My Humble Opinion: The documentary series Making A Murderer is a fine piece of entertainment, but please, let’s also remember that it’s a 10 hour series that covers events that span over 25 years. I watched Making A Murderer on Netflix, and like a lot of other people found it completely engrossing and finished all 10 episodes rather quickly. While I was watching it, sorry, binging on it, I caught myself saying things like, “Steven Avery really got screwed; He deserves a new trial; Those cops were out to get him from the get go,” but when I was done, I then asked myself, “Who am I to weigh in on this?” Like a good majority of the people who watched the series, I’m far from a legal expert, but that hasn’t stopped the masses from chiming in and voicing their strong opposition to Steven Avery’s and Brendan Dassey’s incarceration
The series stirred such controversy that a petition with over 125,000 signatures was sent to The White House demanding President Obama grant Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey a pardon. Really? Like I said, I enjoyed the series and it surely convinced me that there might have been some things that weren’t exactly above-board when it came to the investigation and legal proceedings, but to ask the President for a pardon…come on people. Even one of Steven Avery’s own defense lawyers Jerry Buting brought up the point that the murder trial of Teresa Halbach went on for six weeks but only accounts for about 2-2.5 hours of the 10 hour series. There are a number of questions you have to ask yourself while you’re watching the series. How much testimony did we miss? What evidence might have been presented that didn’t make it into the series? Why weren’t the individuals the documentary accused of evidence tampering or wrong doing ever questioned by the film makers in order to offer up their side of the story? Were they questioned and the interviews were then intentionally left out of the final cut? Making A Murderer argues that Steven Avery didn’t receive fair treatment because the authorities involved didn’t like him, made assumptions about his character, and took steps to ensure a guilty verdict by framing him and falsifying evidence. If that’s the case, then shouldn’t we also question the validity of the series itself and the accusations it makes? Like I said, I’m not legal expert this is just my humble opinion.
In My Humble Opinion: Halt and Catch Fire being renewed for a second season may be the best news the AMC network has had for a while. Yeah you read that right, I’m more excited about a Season Two of Halt and Catch Fire than I am about the news of a Walking Dead spin-off, because frankly…Halt and Catch Fire is a much better show. Now, before you go all crazy Rick Grimes on me, I will say, The Walking Dead is a good show okay, but if you haven’t checked out Halt and Catch Fire yet, Alt+Tab / switch screens and make it a point to do so. I may be partial because the show takes place during the PC boom of the 80’s, a decade near and dear to my heart but there are plenty of other reasons as well. The writing is great, the characters are complicated, and the pace (yes I mean both the speed of the show and the lead actor Lee Pace) are just spot on. In fact, I will say this here and now, Lee Pace’s Joe MacMillan could easily fill the void once filled by Jon Hamm’s Don Draper. Both characters could sell ice to Eskimos, and have mysterious backgrounds that capture the viewer’s interest from the get go. Hmmmmm, Joe ‘Mac’Millan…little nod to Mac computers? Anyway, in addition to the work by Lee Pace, the rest of the cast turns in superb performances as well. Mackenzie Davis as the young protegé/rebel Cameron Howe can’t decide whether she wants to buy into the system or maintain her counter-culture mentality (though it looks by the season finale she’s definitely leaning towards the latter). Her love/work relationship with Joe MacMillan was a focal point not only her character for in Season One but MacMillan’s as well. Two other fascinating characters are those played by Scoot McNairy and Kerry Bishe. McNairy and Bishe play married couple Gordon and Donna Clark who both realize that they’ve grown up and have responsibilities but long for the days when they were young, adventurous, and the world was theirs for the taking. Side Note: McNairy and Bishe also played a married couple in the film Argo…there go impress your friends. While you’re at it, tell your friends to check out Halt and Catch Fire!
In My Humble Opinion: Sherlock is an incredible show that deserves more notoriety. Martin Freeman (Dr. John Watson) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) each turn in remarkable performances that make the masterfully written show all that much better. Season 2 ended with a cliffhanger! Watson witnessed his best friend Holmes leap to his own death in order to protect those closest to him (a plot line involving the infamous Moriarty, who eventually took his own life as well) Of course, the viewers were let in on the secret that Holmes had in fact faked his own death but were left wondering why and how he pulled it off. Now, like the cab driver from the first episode, I give you a choice; you can wait for the Sherlock premiere on January 19 for the answers to these questions or you can read below. CAUTION SPOILERS BELOW!
Two years after his reported demise, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) has been completely exonerated of the slander he endured at the hands of James Moriarty. The opening scene shows a version of how Sherlock might have faked his death. Sherlock jumps from the roof with a bungee cable, bouncing back and entering the building through a window, where Molly stood waiting for him. While Sherlock escaped, members of his homeless network put a mask on Moriarty’s face so that he would look like Sherlock and dragged him onto the street to the spot where Sherlock would have landed and sprayed him with fake blood. While all this was happening, Watson was lying on the ground, having just been run over by a cyclist, who was in on the plan in order to give the others time to plant the body. This however is all shown to be a conspiracy theory of Anderson. Sherlock, with the aid of Mycroft, returns to London which is under threat of a terrorist attack. Watson has moved on and has a girlfriend, Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington), whom he intends to propose to in a restaurant. Sherlock of course enters the restaurant disguised as a French waiter with a thick accent. Sherlock visits John’s table a couple of times before Watson figures out that it is in fact Holmes. Sherlock reveals that he faked his own death. John fueled by anger, hits Sherlock more than a few times. Sherlock enlists Molly to assist him in the case of an underground skeleton behind a desk containing a manuscript: “How I did it” by Jack the Ripper, revealed to be a fake planted by Anderson (now a conspiracy theorist, driven by guilt over his role in Sherlock’s defamation) to lure Holmes out of hiding. Later that day, Mary receives a text telling her that John has been kidnapped by unknown assailants and will die if he isn’t rescued in time. Sherlock and Mary come to Watson’s aid and are able to rescue him.
John and Sherlock then return to solving Mycroft’s terrorist problem, which is revealed to be planned by an “underground movement” in the most literal sense (i.e. a movement based in the London Underground). They discover that a key figure in the plot is a politician named Moran, who with his organization plots to blow up the Houses of Parliament during an all night sitting on the Fifth of November (Bonfire Night). Near an abandoned underground station, they find a carriage that was earlier seen disappearing with Moran on it. The carriage is now rigged with explosives. Sherlock manages to defuse the bomb by turning the off-switch, but not before making Watson believe the bomb can’t be defused, causing him to panic and reveal to Sherlock how much he has missed him.
In a flash forward, Sherlock is seen visiting Anderson and reveals to him how he faked his death as part of a plan to round-up Moriarty’s network. Sherlock tells Anderson that he and Mycroft had anticipated thirteen possible scenarios that could happen on the roof. Each possibility had a code name and a plan of action attached to it. Sherlock however, did not anticipate that Moriarty would kill himself. Sherlock texted his brother one of the code names (“LAZARUS”). His homeless network shut down the entire street and were at the ready. When John arrived, Sherlock made sure he stood at the right spot so that his view of the bottom half of the building was blocked. The homeless network and Mycroft’s people set up a large inflated cushion which Sherlock fell on safely. All the people rushed to pull the cushion away and Sherlock ran to hide. Molly, who was near a window, threw a body double on the ground (the same person Moriarty used to frame Sherlock for the abduction of Rufus Bruhl’s children). John, who had rushed to the scene, only saw a glimpse of the body before he was intentionally knocked down by the cyclist. This allowed Sherlock to take the place of the body double and complete the charade. Sherlock even put a ball under his armpit to momentarily give the impression he had no pulse for good measure. The people who surrounded him then poured blood around and on him to complete the illusion.
In the final scene, a silhouetted figure with blue eyes wearing glasses is seen watching footage of Sherlock and Mary.
In My Humble Opinion: Phil Robertson being suspended from his show Duck Dynasty on A&E is an unwarranted punishment illustrating censorship at its worst. Phil was recently interviewed by GQ magazine (still trying to figure that one out honestly) and during the interview he made derogatory remarks about homosexuality and made it very clear that he does not support it at all. Can we all please remember that Phil Robertson is a REALITY show personality and will, heaven forbid, offer up his opinion on certain topics from time to time?
Let me be clear! Do I agree with his views on homosexuality or support his comments? Not at all! Especially comparing homosexuality to bestiality! However, what I do support or believe in (though I’m quickly being proven wrong) is that we live in a society wherein people are allowed to express their views and speak freely about their beliefs without the fear of persecution. I’d also like to point out that while I disagree with his suspension, I understand that Phil is a reality show personality and that A&E has the right to dole out whatever punishment it deems necessary.
However, in reality, there are individuals that support homosexuality and those that oppose it. For those of us that have accepted homosexuality as a life choice, we have the right to express ourselves freely and openly about our beliefs. Do our beliefs and views on this subject offend certain people? I’m sure they do. We live in a world where comments are made every day that surely offend people of a certain race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The test that accompanies the right for an individual to freely express his/her opinion is the ability to respect others with opposing opinions and allow those individuals to express their opinions just as freely.
In My Humble Opinion: This is a tough one! Who’s the better zombie killer?