Tag Archives: Leverage

Oh THAT Guy!: The Cape Edition

The Cape has conveniently stepped forward not only as a good way to spend Monday nights, but also as a reminder of a new batch of familiar faces that most people can’t quite manage to match names to.

Pasha D. Lychnikoff

Selected Appearances:
The Cape “Kozmo” as Russian Commander (2011)
Undercovers “A Night to Forget” as Warner Kominsky (2010)
Leverage “The Ice Man Job” as Head Goon (2009)
Star Trek as Romulan Commander (2009)
Indiana Jones 4 as Russian Solder (2008)
Chuck “Chuck vs. The Undercover Lover” as Victor Federov (2008)
Deadwood [multiple episodes] as Blazanov (2005-2006)
Alias “Passage: Part 1” as Zoran Sokolov (2002)

Basically, he’s the go-to “Russian Guy.” (Seriously. You look at his imdb credits and half of the roles don’t have names and are instead identified by descriptors to the tune of Russian, Russian Guy, Russian Bad Guy, Classy Russian Bad Guy, and so forth.) And he does a great job at all that, displaying the whole range from creepy to sadistic to clueless. But apparently he’s got some genuine acting chops that little guest roles just don’t show up. Another reason for me to make Deadwood a priority.

Ken Davitian

Selected Appearances:
The Cape “Tarot” as Store Owner (2011)
Chuck “Chuck vs. The First Kill” as Uncle Bernie (2009)
Get Smart as Shtarker (2008)
ER “Such Sweet Sorrow” and “Family Business” as Zakar Papazian (2000 and 2007)
Borat as Azamat (2006)
The Closer “To Protect & to Serve” as Mr. Sarcasian (2006)
Six Feet Under “I’m Sorry, I’m Lost” as Krikor Hovenessian
Gilmore Girls “Take the Deviled Eggs…” as Jesus (2002)

As you can surmise, Mr. Davitian’s resumé consists largely of second banana ethnic guy or fat guy roles. But hey. It’s a career. He isn’t working all the time, but he pops up every once in awhile just long enough to be recognized and disappear again. Without ever playing a particularly memorable single character or giving any particularly memorable performance (possibly excluding that whole Borat thing), he has managed to make himself a familiar face to, well, most people I’m guessing.

Martin Klebba

Selected Appearances:
The Cape [multiple episodes] as Rollo (2011)
CSI:NY “Uncertainty Rules” as Calvin Moore (2010)
Bones “The Dwarf in the Dirt” as Todd Moore (2009)
Scrubs [multiple episodes] as Randall Winston (2004-2009)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation “The Chick Chop Flick Shop” as Dickie Jones (2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2, and 3 as Marty (2003, 2006, 2007)

Yeah. He’s the midget (or whatever the politically correct term is these days). And if you don’t recognize him, you’ve been living in a hole for the last decade or so. His specific schtick is “the little guy who can kick your ass.” He usually plays pro wrestlers, convicts, and other various and sundry minor league bad-guy types. Never any sort of serious villain. But definitely an adversary or sidekick type.

Anil Kumar

Selected Appearances:
The Cape [multiple episodes] as Ruvi (2011)
– K-Ville “Game Night” as Yasif (2008)
Life “What They Saw” as James White (2007)
Six Feet Under “A Coat of White Primer” as Dr. Perry Amaral (2005)
24 [multiple episodes] as Kalil Hasan (2005)
Jag “Persian Gulf” as Fardad (2004)
Law & Order: SVU “Honor” as Jalil Amir (2000)

Anil Kumar’s career has included a surprising amount of range. Yes, he’s played his share of “The Indian Guy” and “The Middle Eastern Guy.” But he also spends a good amount of time playing skilled and or classy professionals. The three roles I know him from are Persian terrorist cell member Kalil from 24, gay (bi?) upper-class murderer James from Life, and circus hypnotist slash bank robber Ruvi from The Cape. If that’s not a display of range, I don’t know what is. (In less critical mode, I am a big fan of the salt-and-pepper beard look on him.)

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Merry Christmas Special

I did not grow up watching all those stop-motion animation Christmas television movie specials that are actually horrible but no-one wants to say so because they grew up with them and have thus assigned a huge amount of sentimental value. ALSO, my family has never been big on Christmas movies. I think I’ve seen It’s A Wonderful Life once, ever. Likewise Miracle on 34th Street until last night when channel flipping landed me on AMC. White Christmas is a different story because it’s an early-fifties era musical and that was basically my childhood. But I digress. Point is, I don’t watch real Christmas specials.

Unluckily for me, television series really like to make their own special holiday episodes.

Luckily for all of us, this gives me review fodder.

So, without further ado, a quick review of four of this year’s Christmas Special Episodes.

Human Target: “The Other Side of the Mall”

Dear Human Target,

If you’re going to do a Christmas episode, maybe don’t revolve the whole thing around how much the main character hates Christmas. It kind of ruins things. It’s bad enough to do a holiday-themed episode. You could at least make an effort to get into the spirit a little. Funny as it is to send the team down light-vomited suburban holiday lane to the tune of “Where are we?” “Hell.”, the whole thing just ends up lame. Also, semi-metal rock n’ roll riff Christmas carols? You have ruined ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Forever’…and it wasn’t that good to begin with. Thanks for that.

Love,
Melted Brain

Best quotes: “Wow. You’re an excellent whistler.” and “You are what we in the custodial arts like to call…a douche.”

Glee: “A Very Glee Christmas”

My expectations for this episode were really low, so I guess you could say they’ve been fulfilled. Basically, I found the lack of inspiration embarrassing. Least original Christmas special ever. And all the more disappointing because Glee is capable of doing better when it actually tries. But not this year. Glee seems to be having some major writing problems this year and is getting worse by the episode and I could go on, but that’s not really the point right now. So, let me break this review down into pros and cons…and I’ll try to come up with an even number of each, because it’s only fair:

GOOD:
1) Brittany still believes in Santa Claus: Touche, Glee. If there is anything to make me at least accept a Christmassy Christmas special filled with Christmassy Christmas spirit…Brittany believing in Santa and the whole club teaming up to make her time magical is it. AWWWWWWWW.
2) Coach Beiste: This was actually just a good episode thing in general. I’m really pleased she’s becoming incorporated into the show in general. Dot Jones is a much better element than Coach Tanaka (Peter Gallagher) ever was. And the Arty-slash-Brittany gift? AWWWWWWWW.
3) Baby It’s Cold Outside: On behalf of fangirls everywhere, thank you. I don’t care that the script had to take a completely ridiculous and unnecessary side trip. I will bet you any amount of money this is the most popular part of the episode. (But I still feel the need to remark: Chris Colfer singing the low part in a duet with another dude is frickin’ weird.)

UNDECIDED:
Island of Misfit Toys: Great echo back to the early days…but so saccharine I wanted to cry.

BAD:
1) The Jew Problem: Puck decorating a Christmas tree? JEWFAIL. Rachel singing not just one, but two Christmas numbers? JEWFAIL. The fact that the Glee Club has two Jews very obsessed with being Jewish could have been a jumping off point for making a Christmas episode with some actual valuable social commentary the like of which Glee supposedly is still capable of. But NO. No. Instead let’s just ignore that. Because Christmas is too commercially dominant for us to do anything else. I mean, it’s not as if there are any Jews in showbiz or anything.
2) The Sue plot: I am embarrassed by how lame this was. Sue as the Grinch. Really. Wow. Let’s talk about low-hanging fruit from the obvious tree.
3) The end: And of course, how else could this episode possibly have ended but with a hair joke. Wow. Merry fucking Christmas to you too, Glee. Motherfuckers.

Best quotes: “This year, Glee Club’s going full-Santa *CRAZYEYES*” and Schue’s ideas for Sue-mas gifts (1 – robot dog, 2 – a soul)

Leverage: “The Ho Ho Ho Job”

Honestly, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode. It just wasn’t that noteworthy. It was an average episode of Leverage, but with Santa. And not even very much Santa. Yes, yes, Parker’s obsession with Christmas was kind of cute fun. But that was about it. Christmas in the mall. Wa. Hoo.

Eureka: “O Little Town”

The whole “telling a tale of Christmas past” is a bit heavy-handed. BUT, Eureka is beyond tongue-in-cheek enough to handle it. The episode works because it’s a totally standard episode of Eureka…it just happens to take place during Christmas. We get Taggart back, which is awesome. There is nothing funnier than a gangly Australian trying to explain Santa Claus with science. Except for maybe  an ENORMOUS ROLLING CHRISTMAS BALL ORNAMENT. (YESSS.) The can of Christmas cheer was excessively creepy, but the episode ended on not just the right key, but the right note exactly. Kids who go “That’s way too sappy…but good story” is the perfect sappy holiday touch that doesn’t make the audience want to die. And, final note: I usually don’t approve of changing of credits/opener to incorporate holiday decor, but Sheriff Carter in an elf/Santa/whatever-that-was costume? Admittedly pretty hysterical

Best quotes: “Tell me about it. I had to ice my hot toddies.”

 

 

Merry Christmas from Melted Brain.

This Week 12/6 to 12/12

I am watching the Rizzoli & Isles marathon on TNT all day. That is a fun thing. A less fun thing: no new episodes until summer. LAME. (But at least it’s been renewed!)

Tonight:
10pm – Castle on ABC
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

Castle is back!!!! Also, lack of new Chuck means that catching up isn’t becoming any more daunting, which is nice.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Glee on FOX
9pm – Eureka on SyFy

A Glee Christmas special? I’m very afraid.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – Human Target on FOX
10pm – The Whole Truth on ABC

The Whole Truth has been cancelled, actually. But I guess we get a few more episodes.

THURSDAY:
8pm – Bones on FOX
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW
9pm – Fringe on FOX
9pm – Nikita on the CW

FRIDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Paul Rudd & Paul McCartney) on NBC

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT

Shows that can totally pull off a three-episode Christmas special: Leverage.

This Week 9/5 to 9/12

Guys, guys, FALL TV STARTS THIS WEEK. GET EXCITED.

Tonight:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – Leverage on TNT (season finale!)

Please note, the exclamation point after the ‘season finale’ after Leverage actually indicates despair, not excitement.

MONDAY:
8:30pm – CBS Fall Preview on CBS (special)
9pm – Friday Night Lights on ABC Family (network premiere!/pilot!)
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

I have never watched Friday Night Lights. I don’t know that I would like it. But ABC Family is airing the whole series starting anew, so here’s an opportunity.

TUESDAY:
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA

WEDNESDAY:
9pm – Dark Blue on TNT (2 hours!)
10pm – Terriers on FX

I neglected to mention Terriers in my Fall TV preview post (reason: I didn’t know slash forgot it existed). Terriers is, to the best of my opinion, a sort of unconventional cop show of the general FX variety – so, a wacky mix of hicks and major criminals. That part falls pretty well under the take-it-or-leave it umbrella. The reason you should watch Terriers is, it stars Donal Logue (lately of Life)! He’s a funny man. Still confused? Understandable. See a preview here.

THURSDAY:
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW (season premiere!)
9pm – Nikita on the CW (pilot!)
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

I guess my foray into actually watching the CW is going to have to wait; I’ve signed away all my Thursday nights for September to Doing Real Things. But I will still make sure to watch these in a timely fashion! (And also finally get around to seeing The Vampire Diaries‘ S1 finale…)

FRIDAY:
9pm – Eureka on SyFy
10pm – Haven on SyFy

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – 2010 Video Music Awards on MTV/MTV2


What you can expect from me this week:

  • Review of Leverage season finale/season as a whole
  • Review of Nikita
  • Review of Terriers
  • special post of some variety

Daddy Issues

So this week’s episode was Leverage‘s requisite Let’s Meet Dad! episode. Actually, I guess it’s sort of the second one this season, if we count that episode with Parker’s mentor/father-figure. Which I think we should because, well, we should.

But I digress.

My point is, there is always the dad episode. And the dad episode can go very well or very very poorly. Either way, dad episodes tend to follow the same sort of pattern. Character whose father shows up and said father have rocky relationship, character and father are forced into (or just interested in) working together, there are unspoken issues, the unspoken issues get spoken, things end either companionably or adversarially depending on the general nature of the relationship. Personally, I find the whole dad episode thing rather overrated (maybe because I would never want to live one?). But it is an unfortunate reality of shows where the audience is expected to get to know and care about the characters. So we end up with dad episodes.

Which brings us to “The Three-Card Monte Job.” This, thankfully, was a good episode – possibly in spite of being a dad episode. So far the third season of Leverage has struck me as being rather…I don’t know how to say it exactly…gimmicky? What I mean is, it seems like the writers looked back at everything people have liked about the past couple seasons – Eliot being grumpy, Hardison and Eliot having love/hate hijinks, Parker being flat crazy, Nate wearing bad costumes and acting like a dickface for the sake of a con, and so on – and just pumped up the volume on all of those to the proverbial 11 on the amp.

Frankly, I’ve found the whole thing rather tiresome. One of the best things about Leverage has always been its ability to balance outright silliness with a strong grasp on believable humanity. Not to mention twisty plots and tricky cons that even fool the audience. Those are the elements I’ve found lacking so far this season. Maybe one or the other has peeked through a bit during a couple episodes (to be fair, “The Gone Fishin’ Job” was really pretty good).

Anyway, “The Three-Card Monte Job.”The dad episode. As a dad episode, it was admittedly pretty good times. Tom Skerritt was a good choice to play Jimmy Ford. He complemented Timothy Hutton well (nevermind that convenient physical resemblance) and the scene where they played doting-son-to-ailing-father as a con was absolutely the highlight of the episode. Everything else was pretty much the usual filler: Sophie with a crazy accent, Parker on some ropes, Hardison and Eliot doing their things. Plus, Russians! I love Russians!

As a whole, this Job was solid. This was also the first episode of the season where I didn’t spend half the time rolling my eyes at the excessive Eliot hair flipping or Hardison street talking or what have you. Everything that happened seemed to actually have a purpose. So even though the whole Nate v. Dad thing was a little tedious, even though the three-card monte scenario was really predictable, and even though Nate’s solution for scaring his father out of town was definitely toeing the deus ex machina line, the episode was overall enjoyable and more ore less up to the standard of the first season of Leverage (which I maintain has been the best so far).

I’m hoping, given the trend of increased awesome that’s mostly held up over the last couple episodes (I’m calling the low point “The Scheherezade Job”), that things will continue to improve. Next week’s episode, “The Underground Job,” certainly sounds intriguing…although I am rather dubious of the subject matter. Hopefully it won’t be overdone as a We Are Reacting To Current Events With Our Art effort by the writers.

This Week 8/9 to 8/15

Tonight:
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

Where did the rest of Monday night go? The Teen Choice Awards ate it. Way to be, FOX.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

I should really get around to actually seeing if I like Pretty Little Liars or Memphis Beat one of these days.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX
9pm – Dark Blue on TNT

Okay, so I kinda screwed up on the whole Oh I’m Def Going To Review Dark Blue thing last week. But this week for sure!

THURSDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (2-hour finale!) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

FRIDAY:
9pm – Eureka on SyFy
10pm – Haven on SyFy

And you could also watch Night At the Museum on ABC at 8. Because it is awesome.

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing tonight. Watch Spike’s Star Wars marathon. Or USA’s House marathon (which includes the pilot at 8pm!). Or, you know, go out and do something. Whatever.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

Did I miss something? Whoops. This was done in kind of a hurry.

Enjoy your week!

This Week 8/2 to 8/8

So there’s this thing called “Shark Week” you may have heard of…

Tonight:
8pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – Warehouse 13 on SyFy
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

I do not watch Warehouse 13. But I mentioned it just so that I could share with y’all the whispered plan for a W13Eureka crossover.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Top 4) on FOX
9pm – Dark Blue (2-hour season premiere!) on TNT

Is it just me, or is there something inherently silly about airing the movie Next twice in a row? Way to go, FX.

THURSDAY:
9pm – So You Think You Can Dance (results) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

Wait, when did a new season of Project Runway start? (And, I ask as I do every week, why does everything air at 9pm on Thursday?)

FRIDAY:
9pm – Eureka on SyFy
10pm – Haven on SyFy

SATURDAY:
8pm – Persons Unknown on NBC

SUNDAY:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

I’m actually going to do stuff this week, I promise! And by “things” I mean I will, at the very least, be watching and reviewing Dark Blue. So excited for that show! I was terrified it was going to get cancelled after the first season but NO! SAVED! And now Tricia Helfer has joined the cast! Looking forward to the increased sexy awesome? Oh yes.

Also, going to look into Rubicon and catch up on Persons Unknown, Eureka, and Haven. That last one just because I want to give it another chance before giving up entirely. (Speaking of giving up entirely, folks may notice the absence of Rookie Blue from this week’s schedule. I watched five minutes of the pilot and wanted to die so that was the end of that.)

Enjoy your week.

The Glades: the crimes are boring, the lead is irritating, the secondary characters are boring, and the non-procedural part of the plot is like a Harlequin novel but without any sexiness. Sorry A&E but the truth is, this is just a big unhot mess of epic fail

This Week 7/19 to 7/25

Aw man, I was so good at things the beginning of last week we just knew it couldn’t carry over to the weekend/a more timely This Week.

…in my defense, I had a bummer of a cold and was basically just zombie-ing my way through daily necessities and then sleeping.

ANYWAY.

This is what’s up coming up:

Tonight:
8pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

And FX is airing 27 Dresses. Again. I don’t know why they keep doing that. (I also don’t know why that movie has a crack-like grasp on my mind.)

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

Shows that keep showing up on this schedule only because I haven’t seen them yet and intend to at some point, sorta: Pretty Little Liars and Memphis Beat.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX

Anyone who can explain to me why HawthoRNe is airing on TBS (you know, the comedy network) wins a cookie.

THURSDAY:
9pm – Rookie Blue on ABC
9pm – So You Think You Can Dance (results) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

Also airing, re-run of Glee “Mash-Up.”

FRIDAY:
10pm – Haven on SyFy

SATURDAY:
7pm – Buffy the Vampire Slayer on VH1
8pm – The Bridge on ABC
8pm – Persons Unknown on NBC

That is the original 1992 Buffy movie. It is hysterical and if you have ever seen Buffy the series (especially if you liked it), you should watch this movie. Also, I have no idea what The Bridge is, but it seems somewhat intriguing.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

I think that’s it for this week. No specific Melted Brain goals – just tuning back in to Haven, Covert Affairs, Rizzoli & Isles, and Persons Unknown and giving them some take-two consideration.

Enjoy your seven-day period!

This Week 7/12 to 7/18

I caught up on some stuff! Not a lot, but some!

Tonight:
8pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles (series pilot!) on TNT

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – White Collar (season premiere!) on USA
10pm – Cover Affairs (series pilot!) on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX

THURSDAY:
9pm – Rookie Blue on ABC
9pm – So You Think You Can Dance (results) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

FRIDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SATURDAY:
8pm – Persons Unknown on NBC

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

Goal for this week: watch and review the premieres of Rizzoli & Isles and Covert Affairs. I’d like to do a lot more. But I could realistically actually accomplish this. Anything more is just a bonus for everyone!

Enjoy your week!

This Week 6/14 to 6/20

REAL POSTS ARE COMING.

THIS IS JUST GETTING DONE FIRST SO *I* KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON.

Monday:
8pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
9pm – Pretty Little Liars (pilot, reairing) on ABC Family
9pm – Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil, and the Presidency on PBS

I am not caught up on Lie to Me. I have only seen 1/2 an episode of The Good Guys, which could be much worse than it is (point of interest: it is also airing on FX already). I haven’t watched the Pretty Little Liars pilot yet, but I confess I’m quite curious. And Andrew Jackson is just kind of a badass, so the documentary is worth noting.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – TV’s Greatest Surprises: A Paley Center for Media Special on CBS
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX
10pm – Happy Town on ABC

This is the first episode of competition for this season of SYTYCD. I’m sort of worried about how this season is being handled – ten new dancers, ten familiar faces – so I guess we’ll see how it turns out. If nothing else, the dancing will still be phenomenal. As for the Paley Center special, it actually might be really interesting. The choice of Jeff Probst as host is unfortunate, but Paley Center hosts some quality discussions (see: clips for Bones and House on Hulu, for example).

THURSDAY:
8pm – World Music Awards on MNT
9pm – So You Think You Can Dance (results) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on CW
9pm – Burn Notice on USA
10pm – Royal Pains on USA

If any of y’all are generally fans of vampire TV haven’t seen Moonlight, you should check it out. It’s only alright in terms of quality, but it does feature Alex O’Loughlin, Jason Dohring, and an excellent performance by Shannyn Sossamon, and the vampire lore of the show is original and actually pretty nifty.

FRIDAY:
10pm – Miami Medical on CBS

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing tonight. Although there is a rerun of one of the best episodes of Castle, “The Fifth Bullet,” airing at 10pm on ABC.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage (2-hour season premiere!) on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels (series pilot!) on ABC
10pm – The Gates (series pilot!) on ABC

I’m actually a little terrified of ABC’s summer Sunday line-up, but I s’pose it deserves a shot as much as the next thing. But that’s not really important. What is important? LEVERAGE LEVERAGE LEVERAGE LEVERAGE LEVERAGE! (IAMSOEXCITED.)

The one other thing going on on television right now that I didn’t mention is this little event you may have heard of called The World Cup. You should check it out.