Category Archives: Reviews

Pretty Little Liars Soundtrack

The first CD I ever owned that was truly mine was a soundtrack to a TV show: Due South. Music and film have been tied together before there was even sound. It’s almost impossible to tear away a visual story from the music aspect. I’ve never thought of my favorite shows without thinking about the music behind the scenes. Like the episode of Buffy where Angel shows up to her prom after saying he wouldn’t then “Wild Horses” by The Sundays plays. Or when “Back in Black” plays when the Winchesters resolve to hunt down the thing that killed their mother in Supernatural. Music is inevitably tied to those emotions.

So it was no surprise how much I enjoyed the Pretty Little Liars soundtrack. If you don’t know the ABC teen drama the series follows the lives of four beautiful girls living in the town of Rosewood; they’re carrying a heavy secret about a friend who disappeared a year ago while trying to figure out who they are. The CD is a great collection of songs for fans and people who haven’t watched the show yet and it enhances the TV show — this isn’t your teen rock pop collection, it’s a smart collection of fantastic songs and artists you should know.

Before I get to the songs though, I have to say how great the CD was itself. Using the iconic promo picture of four main characters with muddy arms, legs and faces sets up the music perfectly. I also loved the shout out to the fans on the CD insert (what did they say? You’ll have to pick up the CD and see for yourself). It’s always great when TV shows recognize their fans as being the reason they’re still on the air.

The show’s theme song “Secret” by the Pierces is haunting, beautiful and is the perfect theme song for Pretty Little Liars. It starts off with the lyrics:

Got a secret, can you keep it?

Swear this one you’ll save,

better lock it, in your pocket,

taking this one to the grave………

Another great song on the track is Andrew Belle’s “All those Pretty Lights” (Andrew Belle’s music has also been on  hit TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries and One Tree Hill ).

Catch Pretty Little Liars Mondays 8/7c on ABC Family, and visit iTunes to preview songs and pick up a copy of the album here: http://bit.ly/e2S527 .

“I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote the Pretty Little Liars Soundtrack.”

The Visitors Have Returned…


(Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for Season 2 of V)

V has returned in all of it’s lizard loving glory. The intense season finale from last season only propelled the recent season two opening episode to a stunning hour of television. Anna, having promised to leave at the end of last season, causes red, blood-looking rain to fall on the unwitting populace in a show of her anger over the 5th Column destroying her nest of warrior eggs.

Tensions from the first season continue including the palpable conflict between Anna and Erica as the play at being friends, but it’s easy to see both characters are at opposite sides of the Vs and humans. This is probably the most fascinating conflict to watch especially considering the double meaning in most of the or conversations.

Another fascinating plot idea is the lack of emotions the visitors have and the longer they hang around humans the more emotions they start to process. This was evident in the character of Ryan, who poses as a human and falls in love. This idea is carried into season two when Anna’s emotions cause problems both internally on the visitor ships, but also externally in her plot.

I highly encourage you to pick up season one on DVD at http://bit.ly/e6ABTG.

If you missed this season if V on ABC you can catch up on ABC’s website at http://abc.go.com/shows/v/index
And, of course, dont forget to watch V tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC.

The Whole Truth – Review

I’ve always been fascinated with court room dramas. Since I’m a huge mystery buff there’s something to be said for see the legal side after the “bad guy/girl” has been caught. Now there’s been shows about prosecutors and there’s been shows about defense lawyers, but ABC’s newest legal drama “The Whole Truth” gives you a unique combination of both the prosecutors and the defense lawyers perspectives. Every angle is given to the audience and no one knows for sure, until the end, who is right.

The official description of the show follows:

This unique legal drama chronicles the way a case is built from the perspective of both the defense and prosecution. Showing each side equally keeps the audience guessing, shifting allegiances of guilt or innocence until the very final scene.


Kathryn Peale, the product of a New England background and a sheriff father, is the Deputy Bureau Chief in the New York State District Attorney’s office. Jimmy Brogan, born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen and a friend of Kathryn’s since their days at Yale Law School, is one of New York’s rising criminal attorney stars. Buoyed by their respective teams, these evenly matched lawyers — each with a strong streak of competitiveness, a fervent belief in their clients and an equally intense passion for the law — go about creating two different stories from the same set of facts. As this up-close, behind-the-scenes look at the legal process mirrors the excitement of a great championship match, it becomes evident that truth has nothing to do with innocence or guilt — at the end of every trial, the only thing that matters is what the jury believes.

What makes this show really compelling is the frenemy relationship between main characters Kathryn and Jimmy. Friends in a social sense and rivals in the workplace makes it for a fun, dramatic and almost reality show feel.

Frenemies are increasingly common in real life. Competition is usually good for business and can keep people pushing themselves to be better. There’s not many places that I have a true rivalry relationship other than school. In grad school this healthy rivalry right now is posting our word counts in our novels. Seeing someone closer to getting their novel finished just pushes me to be better, but without any hard feelings later.

Of course, a real maturity level is needed to maintain a friendship with a dynamically opposed work relationship and I have to applaud “The Whole Truth” for highlighting a relationship that can be both.

“The Whole Truth” is on ABC Wednesdays at 10/9C.

Find out more about the Whole Truth at
ABC’s site: abc.go.com/shows/the-whole-truth
Or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheWholeTruth
Or Twitter: http://twitter.com/wholetruthabc

I have been hired by Warner Bros WBWord division to raise awareness for ‘The Whole Truth.’

Review Snippet: Season 1 of the Vampire Diaries on DVD

I’ll be the first to admit it, I was skeptical when I first watching Vampire Diaries. It seemed a little too much teen angst and not enough compelling characters for me to stick with it. Apparently the series developer, Kevin Williamson, thought so too. He had little interest at first because he thought it sounded too similar to other vampire stories, but after reading the books he said: “I began to realize that it was a story about a small town, about that town’s underbelly and about what lurks under the surface.” I have to agree. I too was surprised at how much it brought the plot twists and surprises. Though you may be tempted to call it a Twilight spin off — don’t. The books started back in 1991 (even before Buffy). That said, romance abounds, but the show still manages to bring the scary.

One of the scenes that had me me sppoked was early on when Damon (played by the ever adorable Ian Somerhalder who you may know as Boone on Lost) snaps the neck of a victim after nursing her back to health. It’s done so casually it made my eyes pop. [To save the spoilers I won’t say who dies].

The killer scene happens in the sixth episode Lost Girls (only well-establishing in my mind the idea that you should give a TV series at least 6 episodes before you stop watching). Other great scenes include several great death scenes, some fantastic chase/hunt scenes and more that I don’t want to spoil.

Rewatching the series on DVD has only made me enjoy the show more. The DVDs, set to be released on the 31st, have over 8 hours of special features including a free download of the audio book of The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening. Another thing I LOVED about the DVDs is that the package listing of each episode contained warnings not to listen to the commentary because of season spoilers! Finally, someone is thinking.

Make sure you pre-order your copy and enjoy the vampy goodness this series has before Season 2 starts this fall!

I have been hired by Warner Bros WBWord division to raise awareness for The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season – which arrives on Blu-ray/DVD on August 31. Pre-order your copy, and receive free digital extras at http://bit.ly/9LSaVp

Quadruple Z Episode #006 – Review of Ugly Betty 1×1 – “Pilot”

Join Tabz, Kim and Val as they discuss Ugly Betty S1 Ep1 – “Pilot”.
This episode was edited by John N.

Find out more about Ugly Betty on ABC.com

TV.com Recap:
Betty has always dreamed of working in the publishing world, but it seems as though there’s no place for the non-thin and non-beautiful in the business. People already have their minds set on the idea that beautiful women are only the thin and perfect! Betty really wants a job in that wonderful, yet cruel, world. But can she really find a place in it?

Love Ugly Betty? Check These Sites:
Ugly Is In
Ugly Betty Blog

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Leave them below or email us at betweenthelinesstudios-at-gmail.com. We’ll read them on an upcoming episode!

(Photos: ABC/ugly-is-in.com)

Review of Doctor Who S5 Ep1: Eleventh Hour

Quote of the Episode
I’m saving the world.
I need a decent shirt. – the Doctor

Non-Spoilery Review:
After what seems like a millennia Matthew Smith has taken over as the 11th Doctor. This episode, penned by the new show-runner Stephen Moffat takes everything we love about Doctor Who and promises eager fans that, while actors may change, Doctor Who is always the same.

Recap:

The Doctor has regenerated into a brand new man, but danger strikes before he can even recover. With the TARDIS wrecked, and the sonic screwdriver destroyed, the new Doctor has just 20 minutes to save the whole world – and only Amy Pond to help him.

TV.com

Spoilery Review
I must admit, I was not one of the skeptics when it came to “can Matt Smith pull off the Doctor”. As much as I’m a David Tennant fangirl, I was very excited for Doctor Who to be run by Steven Moffat (who wrote my all-time favorite episode of Doctor Who: Blink and a close second: The Girl in the Fireplace). I will give Russel T. Davis his due for having revamped a classic TV show and made it even more relevant and timely than it’s previous incarnation, but Moffat really holds the qualities of storytelling that I find so fascinating.

That said, Eleventh Hour surpassed my expectations. The episode highlighted the very thing most fans love about the Doctor, through young Amelia Pond we have a picture of the average Doctor Who fan. Some one fascinated with the mythos of a mad man in a blue box who can come and save the world. The childish innocence and strength of young Amelia was clearly accentuated through her interactions with the Doctor. Those are, after all, the Doctor’s favorite things about humans.

And, of course, the ever present (and very needed) element of humor was throughout the episode. From the crash landing (apples, swimming pools and the like) to the Doctor’s final choice of outfit (bowties are cool). My favorite moments were the food tasting, especially hurling the plate of bread and butter out the door and commanding it not to come back.

The alien was great too, the perfect combination of scary enough (the corner of your eye bit was fantastically done), but not overwhelming to the main part of the story (The Doctor and Amy’s journey together). Some great special effects too with the same voice coming out of  the mother and both girls at the end and with the teeth.

I also like the set up for what promises to be the series arch (the Silence, the crack appearing on the Tardis’ screen, the duck pond… okay, maybe not the duck pond). Also loved the Doctor’s ability to help random strangers (like Jeff). It’s something I’d missed from previous seasons.

Matt Smith has big shoes to fill, and I don’t envy the microscope his acting will be under for the next few months, but I am very happy to see a lot of doubting Thomas types now sold on Matt being a great Doctor.

Review: Chocolate Cheerios

I’ve been a fan of Cheerios since I was two years old. And have been eating them ever since. While other cereals may flit through my pantry, cheerios are always here to stay. I’ve tried most of the reincarnations of my beloved o’s (as I used to call them), but never much cared for the fruity-sugary-stepchildren of my favorite cereal. So it was with some mixed emotions I bought a box of the all-new chocolate Cheerios this week.

I shouldn’t have worried though, I’m in love with Chocolate Cheerios.

They look a bit odd when you first pour them in the bowl. I think it was wise to do the multi-shaded colors because it makes it feel less like a bowl of dirt! They do seem to resemble small chocolate-glazed donuts!

First thing I really loved about it is the taste. It’s not over-powering in it’s chocolate-flavor. General Mills says it’s made with real cocoa, which I think just makes this more delicious than some of the overly sweet and chocolaty cereals I’ve tried. There’s also not that waxy after-taste I get with a lot of sugary cereals. Just delicious choco-goodness.

It’s a bit higher calorie count wise than regular Cheerios (obviously), but I was surprised it wasn’t more. There’s 100 calories in 3/4ths of a cup of Chocolate Cheerios and 100 calories in 1 cup of Cheerios. Of course, the sugar difference is about 6 grams (3 grams in regular Cheerios and 9 grams in Chocolate Cheerios), but if you’re looking for something a bit sweeter this can be a great substitute for something like Cocoa Puffs (110 calories for a 3/4 cup serving and 12 grams of sugar).

So, two spoons up from a life-long Cheerios lover. This one is a great twist on a classic.

Nutritional Information from www.myfitnesspal.com

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

sherlock-holmes-02

When I was nine my father handed me a book that would alter my future forever. This book? A hard-cover, red, un-assuming volume of Sherlock Holmes stories. I was hooked and became a devotee of the third order — a true “Sherlockian” (someone from America who is a fan and scholar of Sherlock Holmes). Holmes was my obession for years – I collected more copies of the stories, I read thick analytical books, I learned what a gas-lamp was and spelled color with a “u” because that’s how they did in the Holmes stories.

So when the first news of Robert Downey Jr. taking up Holmes’ role I was excited. There’d be a couple attempts at re-starting the Holmes legacy after the death of Jeremy Brett – but none got too far. Then I saw the first pictures and was confused. I was afraid that my beloved hero had been reduced to a comic book characture. I entered the film on Christmas day equal parts excited and afraid.

I was not disappointed. The Holmes that blazed across the screen was powerful, human, funny and true to form. Many have commented about Holmes’ physicality, but Holmes was always an impressive fighter. In the first novel “A Study in Scarlet” Watson lays out everything he knows about Holmes in an attempt to understand what Holmes might do for a living. The list included: “is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.” Watson himself is no old, tottering man. He had just returned from war when he meets Holmes. The two were in their prime.

Doyle often left the actual fighting to an off-chance remark from Holmes. Such is the case in The Final Problem where Holmes appears at Dr. Watson’s home with bleeding knuckles.

“I took a cab after that and reached my brother’s rooms in Pall Mall, where I spent the day. Now I have come round to you, and on my way I was attacked by a rough with a bludgeon. I knocked him down, and the police have him in custody..”

That said, the film is also highly enjoyable for non-Holmes fans. The plot is tightly wound (even if the crimes themselves seem haphazard). Even small things (like Holmes & Watson’s dog) are carried through the entire adventure. There’s enough action balanced with humanity to keep the film interesting for all involved. The friendship between Holmes and Watson is a palpable platonic bond that defies logic (must like the stories).

I also loved the set designs. They had the beautiful grungy look that made them realistically Victorian without losing the artistic edge. The action sequences were intense without being vomit-inducing (as many modern films have become). I also loved the editing and shot selection (even the playful shot that starts with a “this side up” box and then moves to realize the box is, in fact, upside down).

Robert Downey Jr. was phenomenal as Holmes. He had enough of the cold, calculating persona trimmed with the anti-social without being unlovable. We can see that Holmes does have feelings, but that he doesn’t allow those to get in the way of his actions. Science/Reason is his main love (though Irene comes a close second).

Another delightful twist on the story is Mary. She is, in fact, in the stories (The Sign of Four), but as a client first. Her performance in the hospital hallway was chillingly awesome and added a strong emotional point without being over the top.

My heart also thrilled with the open story line for the next film — I’m ready Mr. Richie.

(Photo: Lin Pictures/Warner Brothers)

TV Review: Veronica Mars 2×10 One Angry Veronica

vm_zmas
Buy Veronica Mars – The Complete Second Season on Amazon.com

It’s the end of the school day, just before Christmas vacation, and Veronica Mars is severely lacking in holiday cheer. Not even the cafeteria’s Christmas Cake has the power to lift her spirits. Who could blame her? She’s dating Duncan Kane, again. I kid, but seriously, little Miss Mars has good reason to be all “Bah, Humbug!”

Her friend Meg is in the hospital. What’s more, the bed-ridden girl is pregnant with Duncan’s baby. It’s a long story. Meanwhile, Veronica’s gumshoe Dad, Keith has been assigned by the Mayor (Steve Guttenberg. That’s right.) to investigate Neptune’s finest. It seems someone broke into the evidence room and stole some incriminating video footage. The tapes feature a roll in the sheets between Aaron Echolls, the movie star Father of Veronica’s previous boyfriend, and Lilly Kane, Veronica’s dead best friend and Duncan’s Sister. That’s an even longer story.

All of that pertains to the continued, over arching mystery of the season proper. However, the real treat of this episode comes in the form of a subplot involving Veronica getting stuck with Jury Duty. Once she is bestowed the title of Foreman, it’s off to the races. In a smart, delightful tribute to Sidney Lumet’s classic film adaptation of Reginald Rose’s TV play, 12 Angry Men, One Angry Veronica deals with a curious case about two stoners, a hooker and her pimp. This side story takes place in just one room, and is completely dialogue and character driven, making it my favorite episode of the entire second season. In fact, one could almost edit everything else out and safely watch just these scenes in the jury room.

Though Christmas first seems like a simple, inconsequential backdrop, the holiday setting does actually manage to have relevance to the episode, one of two scenes in particular actually directly influences the jury room B-plot. First, in what is my personal favorite scene of the episode (as Father/Daughter scenes in the Mars household usually are), Keith comes home from his investigation at the precinct, having not much luck. He opens the door to a “Winter Wonderland” of colored lights, candy canes and tinsel. At the center of it all, Veronica has prepared a feast fit for a family of two with a middle-class income. The both of them decide to spend this important time together, before they go back to dealing with violence, sex and theft during Christmas. I love it when Keith refers to Veronica as simply, “Elf.”

This scene is crucial in that it not only provides much needed warmth and positivity for the characters and the audience, but it also helps Veronica save the day in the jury room. Her Dad upgrades her computer’s hard drive and processing power as an early Christmas present, but he also conveniently leaves substantial information on the screen that leads Veronica to later solve the case. Mars Investigations strikes again.

The second instance of Christmas magic comes at the end of the episode, when Veronica needs it the most. Though she solves the case, she learns some devastating news about one of her dear friends. Fed up with the recent events of this depressing holiday, Veronica accepts defeat and settles for New Year’s pizza with her Dad. That is, until a Christmas miracle happens and Veronica gets a surprise visit from a long-lost best friend. This finally renews her sense of Christmas spirit, and Veronica looks ahead to the new year with hope.

I bet that Christmas Cake would be much more appreciated now.

(Photo: Warner Brothers)

Quadruple Z Episode #003: Review of Supernatural 1×1 – “Pilot”

spn1x1Learn more about Supernatural at the CW website.

Buy Supernatural – The Complete First Season on Amazon.com

Join Tabz, Kim and Emma as they discuss Supernatural S1 Ep1 – “Pilot”.

TV.com Recap:

qz_SPN1x1

Sam is about to graduate from college and has an interview set up to join one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. His brother Dean, whom he has not seen since he went to college, shows up in the middle of the night and tells him their father is missing while on a hunting trip. Leaving his girlfriend behind to find their dad, Sam joins Dean in an effort to find their father in a little town called Jericho, where unmarried men disappear without a trace.

Love SPN? Check These Sites:
Supernatural Fan Wiki – Supernatural Wiki
Driving Music: Supernatural Fan-Mixes
Supernatural Fans Online

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Leave them below or email us at betweenthelinesstudios-at-gmail.com. We’ll read them on an upcoming episode!

(Photos: CW/Oxoniensis Screencaps)