Well guys, Bloodline is done. Fin. No mas. This is incredibly disappointing because I loved this show. The first two seasons blew me away with their quiet intensity. I fell in love in the first five minutes of the first episode and it was one of the most authentically Florida shows I've ever seen. So many people see Florida through a haze of sunny days on the water or trips to Disney World. Bloodline showed you what the seedy side actually looked like. And not that glitzy Dexter version either. I've never seen a more accurate Florida Dive Bar than I've seen on this show.
That's all the dressing of course. The real meat was in the acting. Aside from a few well-known actors, the majority of the cast was relatively unknown to the US. Or at least to me anyway. By the time Danny dies at the end of season one, I was wanting to kill him myself. The bastard! This was his family for crying out loud. This isn't about the first two seasons though…
Season three premiered months ago and I jumped right away to start watching. I made it through the first five episodes in a blink. It was like I was chasing a resolution. Then, I stopped. I quit for a while because, first and foremost, I needed a break. Something as intense as this show really should be spread out and not binged. Also because it was announced that it would be ending after this season and I wanted to prolong it. I wasn't ready to say goodbye.
Pause for spoilers….and go!
Season Three picks up right where the prior season ends. Kevin has bludgeoned Marco to death and is trying to figure out what to do. John is in the wind and Meg is trying not to lose her mind. This season packed so much into such a short amount of time that I don't even know where to start. I loved that they focused more on being honest with each other this season. Mom is now in on everything as are the spouses. Despite the fact that they kept trying to leave each other, they kept being there for each other as best they could. The cracks were beginning to show towards the end and everyone started to literally lose their minds.
There were some pitfalls as well. The dynamics with the kids were lost to the main storyline with all of them more or less forgotten for the entire season. John Leguizamo's character while delightfully bad in season two, suddenly began stalking Mom for no discernible reason only to kill himself towards the end of the season. There was a weird thing where they introduced a priest that may or may not have actually existed. You could also see where they were trying to set up for next season in attempting a back story for Gilbert and Mom, but it felt forced. Belle tells Kevin she's leaving him and then is suddenly staying, which…maybe I missed something, but this made no sense.
Mom is hallucinating and talking to her dead mother which was made even more odd by her moments of clarity and decisiveness. Her testimony at O'Bannon's trial had me in buckets of tears. Cissy Spacek is still one of the greatest actresses of her generation.
They played a bit with reality in episode nine with infuriating results. John nearly drowned and ended up having groundhog day-esque hallucinations that were played so real that it was hard as a viewer to understand what was happening. It had me to the point where I started questioning things all the way back to the first episode. Was Danny ever really even dead? Has everything up to this point been a lie? Are you going with some Mr. Robot-level mind-fuckery?
The ending left me wanting more even though it wasn't as dynamic as the first two seasons. It didn't make sense to me to have Franco, the guy who was trying to nail John for Danny's murder, suddenly just let it all go. Kevin's escape to Bimini was well done, I genuinely believed that he was going to get away from the DEA. Though, why he ran instead of cooperating, I don't know. I wish there was more to the saga of the Rayburns. I am glad that they saw the end coming to the point where they could resolve things somewhat instead of leaving us with a major cliffhanger. There was still a lot of uncertainty, but nothing so critical that I'll be too upset without 100% resolution.
I'll probably go back to it in a few years, but for now I'll let it digest. I can't wait to see what Kyle Chandler does next.
had to take a couple of days to process everything that I watched. The promise of seeing where these characters were 10 years later has been with me since I fell in love with the Wet Hot American Summer movie all those years ago. Where would my favorites be? What would their lives be like? Truthfully I'd follow some of those actors anywhere and through their weirdest movies and shows. I'm also moderately obsessed with New England summer camps in general so I would have likely watched this show regardless of my personal affectations for the story line. Netflix, piggy-backing off the First Day of Camp series promised us this one practically right off the bat. I was not disappointed but I wasn't thrilled either. I ended up with that delightful feeling of meh.
This is where you stop if you don't want spoilers.
The entire gang is back with new and ridiculous dialogue and situations as well as a few new characters and fun actors to help round out an already robust cast. The basic premise is that all these years later, the gang is descending on Camp Firewood to fulfill the promise they made to each other. Everyone has grown up and started (or tried to start) their adult lives. Coop is a struggling author, Katie is a beauty executive, Lindsey is a puff piece reporter trying to make it onto the hard news circuit. Andy is a deadbeat dad, Ben and McKinley are still together and have a daughter, and Gene is living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere with the love of his life…his refrigerator.
Upon their return to the camp, everyone discovers that camp director Beth is having to sell the property. The gang tries to save the day by enlisting the assistance of the group from the rival camp across the lake. In one of the weirder turns we find out that the rival team is actually working for former President Ronald Regan in an effort to buy the camp so he (Regan) can blow it up. This is where the plot gets incredibly convoluted and odd. The entire story line of the former presidents wanting to destroy the camp seemed like the only real way to tie in Lindsey's character. More on this a little later.
Meanwhile, you've got McKinley and Ben who is now played by Adam Scott. In a fun nod to his Parks and Rec roots, they managed to work a "literally" into his dialogue. Ben spends the majority of the series off screen and they explain the recasting with a nose-job. While some may think this is stupid, I would point to the recasting of the son in National Lampoon's vacation as a precursor to this. It gave me my Ben & Leslie Parks and Recreation fix briefly at the most. They've hired a babysitter Renata played by Alyssa Milano and she may or may not be a serial killer. I won't ruin that particular ending but I will say that I loved how it played out.
Susie has a relatively uninteresting storyline about her being in love with a movie star who leaves her for the limelight. Vince is finally ready to lose his virginity in a creepy three-way with Yaron and Donna. Then they introduced new characters and pretended they were there throughout the first movie…we just didn't see them. That was relatively entertaining.
Overall, the series was scattered. It's hard to write about anything too specific because there was a lot going on for so few episodes.
Finally one thing I loved was the true ending with Michael Showalter pitching the ending to his novel to his editor. She's read the story of the last days of camp and asked if it all really happened. He asks her what would she rather read; what he gave her, or a small story about getting together with old friends and reminiscing. He has a point and I think it sums up the series nicely. They made this for the fans because we asked for it. We begged for it. Would we have rather watched this insane and fantastical crazy mess? Or did we really want just a bunch of people talking about the good 'ol days. I loved that they never did tell us where McKinley needed to be at 11.
Overall I enjoyed it. While there were plenty of things that fell flat for me, there was enough to keep me interested. I'm glad they made this, not sure I'll need anything else.
Ctrl+C reviewed the movie-Take a listen
Lately I've been indulging in an old friend. I was in my early 20's when Everwood came around the first time. I don't remember if I saw it all the way through when it was on the air, but it stayed with me for multiple reasons. When Chris Pratt showed up on Parks and Recreation and Emily VanCamp showed up on Revenge, I was reminded of this forgotten gem.
Everwood ran for four seasons on the CW/WB in the early 2000s and centered around the lives of the people in a small Colorado town. After the death of his wife, a world-renowned neurosurgeon uproots his family and leaves surgery behind to open a small family practice in Everwood. The next four seasons center around the lives of the doctor and his children and their lives as they settle in and learn to live in a new world.
Recently I saw that the CW Seed app (and of course website) had the entire series available to watch. I've been searching for the series online for a while now and I wasn't quite obsessed enough to spend the money to buy the DVDs. I was close though. The resell value of that sort of thing is so small that I couldn't justify it.
I started with Season 1 and as soon as the theme music came on I started remembering more than I thought I did. It's funny, I had loved this show so much…I shouldn't have been surprised to see Greg Berlanti's name plastered across it. Berlanti is responsible for a metric ton of my favorite TV shows over the last ten years. This includes all the current CW superhero shows (Arrow, Legends, Flash, Supergirl, and the upcoming Black Lightening) as well as my current favorite Riverdale. Not to mention Dawson's Creek, Brothers and Sisters, Eli Stone…the list goes on and on. The man knows how to write drama
As I write this I am finishing Season 3 and gearing up to start Season 4. From what I've seen so far it holds up relatively well. Sure, there's the occasional flip phone or pager. There are VHS tapes to be watched and rewound. Otherwise it's relatively the same as any other family drama. As I've been watching, I noticed that it's basically the premise for Hart of Dixie (which I also loved), but I don't even mind the repetition.
While I love watching a family grow closer and a town accepting of the new people little by little, I have been growing frustrated with the idea that everyone continually lies to each other in order to "protect" each other. It's difficult to watch people who love each other make the same kinds of mistakes over and over again. The characters are beautifully written and incredibly layered. Even the characters that would typically be one note shine with depth of thought and feeling. Even if it does take a while.
The only trouble with the show is the same issues that you sometimes face with such a large cast. Sometimes you don't see someone who would be considered a main character for an episode or two in order to allow for storylines to evolve or resolve themselves. No one is ever forgotten for long and they eventually come back to the forefront.
I have to say that I have not enjoyed Season 3 as much as the first two seasons. Season 1 gave us the world building. Season 2 gave us the aftermath of the death of a main character. Season 3 seems to have become the season of rebuilding. This unfortuantely has resulted in forbidden affairs and secret pregnancies. Both of which felt a bit cheap. Plus, the casting of Anne Heche as a guest star bugged me. I just don't care for her acting style.
I've still got the finale of Season 3 and all of Season 4 to go and I'll update this post when I do. I do love shows that give me such a great sense of nostalgia. What should I watch after Everwood?
After putting this piece in my queue, the cast had an emotional reunion. Here's a link for more. Long live Everwood!