Peter J. Mello
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Fort Bragg, CA, USA
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Fringe: 2x18 White Tulip

Though flowers have never had any special meaning to me, I will forever have a fondness for white tulips after having seen this episode. It may be the kindest of all acts between one human and another: to offer the reassurance that despite all our flaws, we are nevertheless redeemable. If I can perform it just once before I die in a manner even half as profound as Dr. Peck does here, I will consider my life an unqualified success.

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Young Sheldon: 4x18 The Wild and Woolly World of Nonlinear Dynamics

Haha, I 'd never noticed until this episode that Sheldon' s insistent proclamation to Penny in The Big Bang Theory that "We keep our keys in a bowl" is a habit he acquired from his parents. When George Sr. leaves to go to the tavern at the end of the episode, we clearly see him retrieve his keys from a bowl in the middle of the kitchen table. This was a better episode than many of the most recent installments, though I can't imagine anyone would continue to classify it as a sitcom; we seem to be sailing in some rather deep family drama waters here.

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Young Sheldon: 4x15 A Virus, Heartbreak and a World of Possibilities

Oh Sheldon, the fact that you think Tie A Yellow Ribbon by Tony Orlando and Dawn is "rock and roll" is beyond precious. Please, don't ever change.

This episode was definitely a different type of story than I think they've done before, far more reflective and willing to acknowledge the characters' shortcomings. Honestly it's a poor fit for the half-hour format (especially with CBS carving the runtime south of 21 minutes lately), but it was still refreshing to see the cast get to work with actual subtext for a change.

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Damages: 3x13 The Next One's Gonna Go In Your Throat

Without question one of the best conclusions ever for a television story arc. When you think about how they wrapped up three seasons worth of loose threads and how improbable it was to foresee any of them, it's truly masterful storytelling combined with incredible performances front to back.

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Modern Love: 1x05 At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity

This one and the last one felt very cliché to me, and far beneath the standards of the column. Yes, the story was cute and the male lead was convincing, but her story felt incomplete and the performance subsequently shallow. Almost like the writers thought being an attention whore is a ubiquitous enough trait in women so as not to require explanation. Grrr. Also the throwaway reference to her seeing her father naked in the hospital shortly before his death was bizarre, I expected that to be the tie-in to the story of her attention seeking, but then the denouement has passed and they're in the cab wrapping up the story.

Hair and makeup didn't do her any favors. That hair color didn't work for her at all, and certainly not with those big, dark eyebrows.

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Young Sheldon: 4x07 A Philosophy Class and Worms That Can Chase You

Sheldon: Know what she's gonna do?
Mee-Maw: Rue the day?
Sheldon: Day, night...if it can be rued, she's going to rue it.

:rofl: It's like watching myself at that age. How some of us ever make it out of childhood alive, I'll never know. :grin:

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Star Trek: Discovery: 3x08 The Sanctuary

Others have already expressed all my disappointments with this episode more eloquently than I could, save one... And no, it has nothing to do with Adira's pronouns; her and Stamets are carrying this whole series on their backs lately and I wish the writers would lean into it more.

My massive gripe is with the borderline-criminal level apathy on display this season by the makeup and prosthetics team, and the nadir (or zenith, take your pick) it's reached in the form of the Orion characters this season. On a show with such polished VFX and striking aesthetic choices to turn out alien characters from a well-known race yet look that unconvincing, even by TOS standards, feels like a coup de grâce of sorts.

I've been a Trekkie for far too long to even feign having reached my limit with this one to the point of not watching it anymore, but damn, sometimes it feeling like they're seriously daring me to do just that.

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Star Trek: Discovery: 3x03 People of Earth
Star Trek: Voyager: 4x22 Unforgettable
Star Trek: Voyager: 3x20 Favorite Son

Haha, I suppose I was about due for a random Patrick Fabian guest appearance. The guy is like the Nicolas Cage of television: he doesn't seem too worried about what kinds of roles they are or whether the writing is good, just that the cameras are rolling. Come to think of it, it's somewhat surprising he didn't end up cast as one of the regulars on Voyager with those standards, LOL.

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Designated Survivor: 3x02 #slipperyslope
8

Shout by Peter J. Mello
VIP
5
2019-06-10T03:50:46Z— updated 2020-10-01T08:36:19Z

What a remarkable job Netflix has done turning this show around. During the first two seasons the storytelling was so erratic and every episode seemed to be under an implicit requirement to induce a minimum number of eye rolls--whereas both of these first two episodes of season 3 have been captivating, advancing several threads of a rich and nuanced plot with ease. It's like they tasted a stew that wasn't very good but could see that the issue wasn't a bad recipe, only a bad chef, and resolved to execute the advertised dish properly rather than cook up something brand new.

Whoever they gave it to was very judicious in the changes they made. A pinch of The West Wing here...a dash of House of Cards there...garnish with Anthony Edwards (Goose!) and voila! I could easily see this going at least three more seasons now and being a perennial winner for them.

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Manifest: 1x14 Upgrade
Pope Francis: A Man of His Word
Easy: 2x06 Prodigal Daughter
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: 1x05 Babel
9

Shout by Peter J. Mello
VIP
5
Spoilers2017-10-02T06:12:48Z— updated 2018-04-08T03:35:13Z

My entire career as a businessman was perfectly summed up by Quark in this episode when we see him in one of the quarantine rooms, unapologetically harassing a customer stricken by the ephasia virus with the immortal words: "YOU... GOLD... OWE... ME!!!"

On a more general note, for me this is the first episode of the series where we're treated to a glimpse of the producers' vision for Trek's first character-driven show, in contrast to the plot-driven nature of the first two iterations. There's a quaint candor to the reactions of the series regulars, a vulnerability that took TOS and TNG much longer to reveal owing to their greater reliance on classical military archetypes. If asked for a single episode to screen for a newcomer to the series interested in gauging its appeal to them, this is undoubtedly the one I'd select. It captures well the essence of what makes DS9 unique in the Trek pantheon before too many character-specific arcs take root and require familiarity with them to appreciate the dynamics in play.

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Arrival
'night, Mother

Easily one of the most poignant and thought-provoking movies I've ever seen. It let me to examine myself in ways I never had before, and I hope someday to see the play it's adapted from.

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Vikings

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle...I thought I'd just watched the series finale! I couldn't imagine that they'd finish out the season, let alone order up another! The show has felt so disjointed throughout its run, splicing together some truly memorable and terrific storytelling with some meandering, lost-the-plot sequences of episodes. I'm glad I was wrong, though. Bjorn really did take over as the protagonist some time ago anyway, and I hope they give him plenty of screentime going forward.

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