Disappointing How to Get Away with Murder season 2 finale

htgawmWords cannot describe how sensational season 1 was to me. It was sexy, refreshing and just the right amount of shocking, episode after episode. But everyone knows, what goes up must come down. In season 2, the show started showing signs of losing momentum.

In order to get away with murder, there has got to be even more murders. Even though we know they can’t get away with it, the show has to go on with a more and more complicated web of victims, killers, lies and deceit.

I think the worst part about season 2 is that it doesn’t wrap up the main murder case like season 1 did. We still don’t know how exactly the Hapstall parents died, as we found out who killed Lila, even though the latest evidence pointed to a shady liaison between Catherine and Philip. Are the producers afraid they would run out of ideas for the next season and thus try to keep this plot under wrap?

Below are the high and low moments from season 2:

htgawm3.jpgHighs:
– Frank and Laurel getting together – steamy!
– Bonnie’s abusive past, what she’s capable of doing and her bonding with Asher over tragedy.
– Nate’s wife’s death and his coming back to Analise.
– Catherine’s and Caleb’s incestuous kiss.

Lows (and things that just don’t make sense):
– Wes being pushed to sidelines this season. The best part was the season premiere, where it was ominously implied that he shot Analise. Thankfully we’re going to find out more about him next season, as the very final flashback of the season hinted at the circumstance of his mother’s death.

– Asher’s involvement in the Trotter Lake incident. Being a covered up case that was used against him and his father by DA Sinclair, it turned out to be serious but still unclear whether Asher took part in raping the girl at all.

– Caleb’s romantic interest. Apparently he and Catherine have been in love growing up, yet suddenly started hooking up and having feelings for Michaela? They’re gorgeous together but the setup doesn’t make a lot of sense.

– The involvement Philip Jessup. The character was brought in mid-season and is a cliched socially awkward cyber geek type. It’s a typical red herring to make you think the weird guy did it, but his character and back story (if at all) has been poorly exploited.

– Blaming Sinclair’s murder and Analise’s gun shot on Catherine. The motive behind killing Sinclair is super dubious and the injury doesn’t even match her cause of death. Furthermore, Frank drugged and dropped the girl unconscious in the middle of the woods with no blood or DNA on her from the supposed victims. I just don’t see how this is going to work.

So what’s going to happen next season? I hope the pace picks up again, truly.

How Fifty Shades of Grey could have been a less boring movie

fifty-shades1Here is my review for the movie everyone is buzzing about this Valentine’s Day. I read the three books a while ago. The movie was not a total waste of money but I could think of several ways it could have been less boring:

– It could have gone down a darker route, like The girl with a dragon tattoo or Gone girl, instead of the romantic route like Twilight. In fact, Jamie Dornan’s millionaire playboy with the a fancy penthouse and private helicopter is enticing but is nowhere near magnetic as brooding vampire Edward Cullen.

– Anastasia mumbled her way throughout the movie. They should have at least given her some narration like Bella, so she could express some of her virginal thoughts and desires in ways other than flashing her nipples and biting her lips.

– I was not too impressed with the cast from the beginning but Dakota Johnson’s body turned out to not be a bad choice. However, call me brainwash by Photoshop and Hollywood movies, Jamie Dornan’s physique is not that impressive. He’s not supposed to be too buff but, as this is a movie about fantasies, I expect to be wowed with a body like Chris Hemsworth’s in Thor or Channing Tatum’s in Magic Mike.

– Again, they could really amp up the dark side of Christian or tease for the next movies by giving some flashbacks of his prostitute mother or of him being whipped by Mrs Robinson. There’s no evidence of this character’s fucked up psychology other than the fact he has a playroom filled with some scary looking instruments. Boring! Even the piano playing scene has no emotion or depth to it.

– Anastasia’s mother is unusually attractive, but the young cast is weird looking: from roommate Kate to Christian’s brother with the creepy Elliot blonde beard. Mia appears for (literally) two seconds with a severe 1920s black bob because she ‘lives in Paris’, which is weird and not as cute as Alice’s pixie cut. Personally I found Christian’s chauffeur Taylor more attractive. His involvement is almost entirely cut out in the movie, even though they could have used the relationship to play up Christian’s controlling personality.

Basically, 50 shades of grey is a cliched romance flick with nudity, not a sexy movie about the BDSM lifestyle, which is a shame. I’d say the only winner from this franchise is The Weeknd with this seductive soundtrack:

Thoughts on Manhattan Love Story getting axed

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A fragile fate

I checked weekly for new episodes of Manhattan Love Story (MLS) on Hulu for a month and didn’t see anything. Suddenly this weekend, 7 new episodes appeared out of thin air. So naturally I binged on them.

This morning, I realized that the MLS was cancelled in late October and episode 5 never even made it to the air (!) Apparently the last episode on air hit an all-series low of 2.6 million viewers, and that was the last drop. It’s very unfortunate because the third episode, which introduced Dana’s gay British boss, was truly hilarious.

Even though MLS received poor critical ratings, the fact that the network decided to drop it completely from air based on Nielsen ratings strikes me as strange. Personally I don’t watch any show when it airs (and I watch a fair amount). Do other forms of viewership (online/streaming) hold no weight? What’s worse is that ABC attempted to replace MLS with a back-to-back episode of Selfie, which is even more boring and less funny in my opinion.

On the plot and characters
I was rather excited when I saw MLS trailer in the summer. How could I not? I’m a sucker for rom coms, especially those that involving the superficial, flaky, fascinatingly cut-throat NYC dating scene.

MLS2Here’s how the show is realistic:
– The awkward run-in between Dana and Peter when he’s on a date with a regular hottie.
– Dana feigns dating ‘other’ people and not showing too much enthusiasm at Peter’s invitations to hang out.
– Dana and Peter both being invited to a party to which he had previously invited another date as a plus one.
– Amy’s huge SoHo loft in simply  is explained by the fact that she’s born rich and doesn’t have to work.

Why it fell short of living up to its promise:
– The two main characters are too stereotypical and have no depth. Dana, a small-town girl who gets a ‘dream job’ at a publishing company, is very flighty, unrealistically clumsy and doesn’t have much going in her work place besides being shunned by bitter old-timers, making copies and fraternizing with her dashingly handsome boss slash gay BFF. In the trailer scene, she is simply heard lusting after designer purses even though her character is not portrayed as being that into or involved with fashion.

MLS3– Peter is none other than ‘that guy’ – the bro, the douche bag and womanizer. The longest relationship he’s ever had is 10 months long despite being well into his twenties. He is that guy who is only nice looking (compared to other TV’s leading males!) but is ‘that hot’ in the dating pool just because he has somewhat of a sense of style and social skills around women.
– Such cliched, overwrought dating ploys and mishaps, e.g.:
+ Struggling to find date to an event to impress the other person you’re seeing
+ Not being able to consumate their relationship due to food poisoning
+ Freaking out about him proposing although you’ve obviously only dated for 3 months (monogamously 2 at most)
…………….

Entertaining points
– Some of the supporting cast are way more interesting than what goes on in Dana’s and Peter’s heads. Amy is pretty funny – she’s the essential smart, put-together, overly controlling know-it-all in every show. On Peter’s side, his step sister Chloe is the most down-to-earth, logical voice of the whole family. They provide some rationality and relief to the ridiculous, non-sense mess made by our leads.

– Of course, the wardrobe of the show is amazing. I plan to dedicate a separate post to it.

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Swoon-worthy: Taylor Swift’s Gucci Gown at the 2014 Grammys

Swoon-worthy: Taylor Swift's Gucci Gown at the 2014 Grammys

Agreeably Katy Perry’s musical note tulle gown and Beyonce’s sheer/nude/white organza dress gained a lot of attention. But my absolute favorite was Taylor Swift’s gold sequin Gucci number. It’s a column number with short allusion sleeves. She looks incredibly statuesque and elegant in it with smokey eyes and a wavy ponytail.

“I need your love” album cover

I am currently obsessed with this song. So I decided to pay tribute by making some alternate covers for the single. The original cover is a blurry screen shot from the music video. It is quite romantic and reflects the candid self-shot quality of the video. The font and design is consistent with other covers of Calvin Harris’ album 18 months.

I just played around with some high-res headshots I found of Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding (These are younger headshots of Calvin, who is the type of man that gets sexier with age =D). The last one is most inspired by his other album covers, with similar block text (Impact) and pale color.

I need your love, cover 1 I need your love, cover 2 I need your love cover 3

Great Interactive Ad by Red Bull and Pandora

Recently, Pandora has been rolling out a slightly updated layout that allows for more visible ad content. The player and search bar still stays on top for convenience, but the full album cover display, artist info/lyrics and station list was pushed downwards, making you scroll through the background ad.

What’s interesting is that Red Bull has clever placed this interactive ad, introducing its three flavors – red, silver and blue. Users are instructed to “slide the can” on the scale, which changes the background to the corresponding image of the cranberry, lime and blueberry-flavored can. Even though I am not a regular Red Bull drinker, this brand has proved to be an expert in content marketing and produced multiple viral extreme sports events and online videos.

redbull interactive ad on pandora

In this Pandora ad, Red Bull is able to target customers by demographic info and taste in music. The eye-catching graphic strategically places the hashtags as an implied call to action – asking people to tweet it. Finally, the ad circles back wonderfully to its medium – Pandora. Listeners can click to listen to three custom stations – Red, Silver and Blue – which correspond to the brand and its products.

One word for Red Bull: genius. Do you think you’re likely to be attracted by this type of interactive ad? Have you seen any similar examples recently?

 

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Why I Love “2 Broke Girls (Plus: Fan Art)

2 Broke Girls fan art

I’ve been watching 2 Broke Girls religiously for the last two weeks and got through every single episode ’till the latest one. I love it!

The show is hilarious and raunchy. I can see the Sex and the City glamour influence from director Michael Patrick King and the Brooklyn/trashy girl humor from co-creator Whitney Cummings.

Not only being broke is something many young women dwelling in NYC (namely me) can relate to, the show also deals with entrepreneurship, classes and sub cultures (upper class, working class, hipster) and female friendship.

And did I mention the fashion? I love Caroline Channing’s signature pearl necklace and the color white – which symbolizes her wealthy past. Check out the posters I made using promo pictures, screen shots, the official logo and the font inspired by the opening collage (All Ages bold italic).

2brokegirls_poster6 PILOT 2brokegirls_poster4 2brokegirls_poster2 PILOT 2brokegirls_poster3

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