Category Archives: Thriller/Mystery

Series and/or movies that keep you on the edge of your seat. Suspense shows that ask, who done it?

SCORPION – My rating: 7/10

ScorpionOnly 2 episodes have aired so far.  I liked the 2nd episode better than the first which is to say, I can’t fairly judge this series until I’ve seen more.  I love technology and these geniuses are just an added bonus.  This show has good plots however,  I find the acting a little lacking but acceptable.   Elyes Gabel plays Walter O’Brian, the smartest of a group of through-the-roof geniuses who are hired by the government to hack and solve their way through cases of those like them but with criminal minds.   They are an international network of super-geniuses who are paid a handsome sum to be the last defense against global threats.  I’m happy to see Katherine McPhee has landed in a new series, even though she’s not singing in this one.  She’s playing  the part of Paige Dineen, the mother of a genius 9 year old son and the translator (she interprets technical jargon into laymen terms)  for the group.  This show is so high tech, one could get lost if you’re not paying close attention.  The writers must be careful not to out tech the audience or they will surely lose their fans.  I will revisit this series before the season finale so I can give a fair and reboust critique of The Scorpion.  Until then, I am rating it a 7 and think you should check it out.  Keep in mind, Scorpion is not for everyone but CBS manages to do a decent job of keeping you interested.  You can also learn a lot from this series, as these cases really exist.  Check it out!

FOREVER – My rating: 8/10

ForeverI really like this new series.  I’ve watched 2 episodes so far and I find myself quite intrigued.  The series opens with an explanation as to the condition of Dr. Henry Morgan played by Ioan Gruffudd.  200 years ago,  Dr. Morgan was employed on an African slave trade ship where he was asked to execute a black man for being sick.  Since the man was not really sick, he refused to execute him.  The captain of the ship raised his sword to execute Dr. Morgan but something unexplainable happened and Dr. Morgan woke up in a near by river with no clothes on, alive and well.  Unbeknownst to him, at that time, he would never die.  In the meanwhile he meets a beautiful woman named Abigail, played by Mackenzie Mauzy, whom he wedded and told his secret to.  It was during world war II when they found an orphaned baby in a German camp and raised him as their own.  At present Dr. Morgan is still 35 years old and his wife Abigail has passed.  It hasn’t been revealed how and why she died, but their child Abe, played by Judd Hirsch is now in his 60s and retrieves Dr. Morgan from the river every time he dies.  Currently, Dr. Morgan is a NY Chief Medical Examiner and is sharper than anyone he works with.  He has befriended a female detective named Jo Martinez, played by Alana De La Garza who he now helps with solving her police cases.  She doesn’t know his secret but is impressed by his keen observation skills.  Someone named Adam is claiming to be in the same dilemma as Dr. Morgan, but instead of 200 years, Adam is claiming 2,000 years and is calling Henry constantly with tidbits about his life.  There’s a lot to this plot — I hope Forever sticks around for a while, as I find it very entertaining and quite the thrill ride.  Forever airs on ABC.

[Despite fan and cast protest, FOREVER has been cancelled. I am truly sorry to see this series go.]

THE STRAIN (2014) – My rating 8.5/10

The StrainThe Strain is only 1 season down but is a pretty good one.  It’s a little different as a horror/sci-fi series because it has a little of many horror characters rolled into one or two characters.  I couldn’t decide if the main monster was a vampire, zombie or the devil himself.  It all starts when a Boeing 767, on its way across the tarmac, stops at JFK then goes totally silent.  The engines are shut down, the belly of the plane is cold and there are no communications from anyone inside the plane, including the pilot and co-pilot.  Every organization known to the USA was brought in to investigate, including Corey Stoll who plays Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control ( CDC) Canary Team in New York City. After entering the plane, the team is able to determine, via ultra violet light, that some sort of bacteria was all over the plane and all but 4 passengers were dead.  The plot thickens from here and the mystery begins to unfold.  There is plenty of territorial fighting among the different agencies jockeying for position.  There is also a warning from an unlikely source that gets ignored but later picked up as the plot developes.  I’m trying not to give away too much of the story away because it is pretty good and the element of surprise puts the suspense where it belongs.  The Strain airs of the FX channel and I think it is different enough to hold your attention.  Check it out!

POWER – My Rating: 8/10

PowerPower is a very intriguing story of a young Black male who is struggling to end his double life style. Ghost played by Omari Hardwick, is a Wealthy, successful Manhattan nightclub owner by night and a drug kingpin 24/7. Although he is suspected of being a drug dealer, it’s been hard for the FBI and police to pin him down, especially since his name, “Ghost” is renowned but no one has ever seen him, except his wife and a couple of friends. Before he is found out, Ghost who  goes under the name of James St. Patrick wants to dump his ghetto wife, Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton) and life style upon opening a new night club in California. In the mean while, unbeknownst to Ghost, he’s having an affair with (Lela Loran, played by Angela Valdes) the very FBI agent who has been trying to find out what Ghost looks like and make the bust.
This thriller is pretty entertaining and the acting is superb. The first season has come to an end with a fantastic finale.  Power airs on Showtime and is worth checking out!

EXTANT – My rating 7.5/10

ExtantVery slow getting out the starting gate.  Astronaut, Molly Woods (Hallie Berry) is on a 13 month mission in out-of-space.  She’s shown going about her daily routines, floating around, fixing anything broken and looking very Hallie.  Suddenly, she begins to have illusions of an old boyfriend being right there on the ship with her, even though he’s been dead for a couple of years and this is a solo excursion.  When she returns to Earth and her awaiting husband, John Woods  played by Goran Visnjic  (formerly, ER’s  Dr. Luka Kovac) and their son, Ethan Woods (Pierce Gagnon) the illusions continue plus, she’s pregeant.  The story really starts to heat up when we find out there is a conspiracy and the chase is on.   John who is a robotics engineer created their son Ethan, a prototype android called a “humanich”.  Since Hallie is barron, they decided to adopt their son, Ethan who has to be maintained every now and then by resetting his body.  The story is pretty good and is a real thriller.  It has fantastic potential and I expect Extant to be a break through series.  I’m still trying to digest Hallie Berry starring on a TV series.  Extant is airing on ABC.  My rating of 7.5 may change as Extant growns on me or become more exciting, which ever comes first.  I think it’s worth your time.

THE LEFTOVERS – My rating: 6.5/10

TheLeftoversAfter watching two episodes, I don’t really like The Leftovers.  For so long, we were bombarded with trailers and hype about this series.  Now that it’s a reality, I feel let down.  The Leftovers may turn out to be really good but so far I’m not feeling it.  It seems slow, and down right boring.  1.4 million people, world wide have disappeared alluding to the Rapture.  One town is targeted in this series where 100 of all those who went missing were residents.  Husbands, wives, children, mothers and fathers are gone without explanation.  There are a group of people who dress in white, smoke cigarettes, and don’t speak but recruit others who have lost love ones.  They say (in writing) that they are there so that we don’t forget.  Maybe the show is too new but I don’t get what this group is really all about.  I always thought when the Rapture happened, everyone would believe in Christianity.  I’m not sure The Leftovers is about the Rapture.  This just might be a Science Fiction series.  Right now, it’s pretty lack luster and weird.  The Leftovers currently airs on HBO. I will update this critique to reflect what I think after a few more episodes have aired.

I have completed watching the entire 1st season and I still find this series weird.  The drama has picked up but The Leftovers is not what I thought it would be from the trailers and hype advertised.  I stand by my rating of 6.5 and that’s generous.  I think the group in white is sort of spoiling the story.  In my opinion, I think the series should follow a different plot.

UNDER THE DOME – My rating: 8/10

UnderTheDomeUnder The Dome is about a small town, Chester Mills, that’s suddenly enclosed under a 10 plus miles clear, dome that’s high enough to allow rain.  No one knows where it came from or if it’s ever going to go away.  There is no way in or out.  The town is literally trapped.  There is no way to get any medical supplies to the people or food.  The military tried to blow the dome up with the mother of all bombs but failed.  In the meanwhile, there are many stories going on all over town.  For example, a councilman’s son kidnapped a former girlfriend and locked her in his bomb shelter.  2 kids have seizures whenever they touch the palms of their hands to each other.  Several police were killed,  each in a bazaar way, the councilman killed the town reverend who was involved in illegal drug dealings and several strangers with unrighteous agendas are trapped there as well .  If you think this sounds crazy, you’re right and there’s much, much more.  Season 2 of Under the Dome starts airing June 30, 2014 .  I watched season 1 (13 episodes) on Amazon Prime.  I was hooked in no time.  This is a Steven King story produced and directed by Stephen Spielberg.  It’s quite good.  The opening of season 2 should be very interesting!

Season 2:
Very disappointing opening. The drama was played down and unrealistically, the stars stay the stars, functioning as though nothing happened. I am very disappointed at where and how the story is headed. Because they’re trapped under a dome, there shouldn’t be any new characters, but there are.  Go figure.  The writing is getting sloppy and not making a lot of sense. I’m afraid if things don’t change, this series may get cancelled.

BLACK BOX – My rating: 8.5/10

BlackBoxAfter only 2 episodes, Black Box is a hit.  This series is about Catherine Black, a neuroscientist who works at the Center for Neurological Research and Treatment, and who happens to be Bi-Polar.  Dr. Black, played by Kelly Reilly, is practicing without revealing her disease.  While she is undergoing therapy with a psychologist (Dr. Hartramph) played by Vanessa Redgrave, she continues to skip taking her meds and confesses all results  of her behavioral problems.  Meanwhile, Dr. Black has a daughter who is being raised by her sister-in-law and her brother.  Of course the child doesn’t know her favorite aunt is really her mother.  Dr. Black also has a fiancé who she’s revealing, little by little, her character along with her many secrets.  So far, the series focuses on strange and unique cases of people with neuro or psychological problems.  Each week Dr. Black and her team resolves their problems.  Black Box  slightly reminds me of House without the rudeness.  This appears to be an excellent series with interesting plots.  Check this one out.

ONCE UPON A TIME – My rating: 8.5/10

OnceUponATimeYou can do anything with a little imagination.  Already well established fairy tales and other children’s stories are embellished to make this, not so childish series, appealing to old and young alike.  Since the beginning of Once Upon a Time, Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Jimmy the Cricket, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Robin Hood and his Merry Band of Men, The wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel and many more were all explored before taking on a life of its own.  Recurring characters like Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) , Red Riding Hood/Ruby (Meghan Ory ), Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), Captain Hook/Hook (Colin O’Donoghue ), Prince Charming/David Nolan (Josh Dallas), Emma Swan/the savior (Jennifer Morrison), Henry (Jared Gilmore), The Evil Queen/Regina (Lana Parillia) and others are interwoven into a complex story of good vs evil in an unknown and unseen town called Storybrook.  This series is in it’s 3rd season and still going strong.  There are 3 worlds in this story: the present (New York), The past (the enchanted forest) and Storybrook, a place where there was no magic.  All that has changed as well as the story and the characters.

Once Upon A Time is quite interesting and has continued to wow it’s audience.  Emma and Neil had a son he didn’t know about when she was very young.  Having no sound means to raise a child, she gave him up for adoption.  Enters Regina who adopts and raises the child, known as Henry.  Henry discovers a book of fairy tales given to him by his teacher, Mary Margaret who is really Snow White as well as Henry’s grandmother.  Henry suspects they are all characters from his book, with no memory of their true past, so he sets out to find “the savior” who is also his biological mom, Emma who lives in New York.

Confused? Catch this exciting series in full on Netflix.  Once Upon A Time airs on ABC.

SLEEPY HOLLOW – My Rating: 8.5/10

SleepyHollowI didn’t except this new series called Sleepy Hollow to be about how the legend came to be or what it takes in these modern times to deal with such things as headless horsemen, demons, the Masons, Ichabod Crane and two beautiful young African American sisters who are all so pulled into the legend they don’t live for anything else.  Originally, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was derived from a  short story by American author Washington Irving.  It consisted of 34 essays and short stories entitled “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent” and was first published in the year 1820.

Each week the essays are torn down from book form into episodes depicting this famous novel’s stories that make up this popular folktale.  The twist and turns are pretty interesting and Ichabod Crane, played by Tom Mison, who was resurrected after 250 years, has joined forces with Lt. Abbie Mills played by Nicole Beharie to continue the good fight between good and evil.  This is a complicated series since it’s mainly based on some scripture and fictional documentation which is presented on a weekly basis.  The original story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarrytown, New York, in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow, which is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.

Since Sleep Hollow is fiction, this modern time version has been embellished and “Hollywooded” to the max.  I tried not to like it at first but soon became addicted.  Season 2 is due to begin in the fall of 2014, and I for one, cannot wait.  Sleepy Hollow currently airs on FOX TV.