Mea­sur­ing up

A lone Spud­nik pro­duces a re­port card of sorts of these (rel­a­tively) new TV se­ries that were much hyped about even be­fore they aired.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC -

Ar­row Over­all score: Plot de­vel­op­ment:

Lead ac­tor:

8/10

In Sea­son One, Oliver Queen sur­vives a deathly ship­wreck that claims the life of ev­ery­one on board, in­clud­ing his fa­ther. Queen is stranded on a strange and dan­ger­ous is­land for five years where he has to learn to fight for his sur­vival. The pansy, spoilt jock has to man up and he does. He escapes and comes home to Star­ling City as a changed man with a vi­sion: to rid the city of bad men. His fa­ther left him with a list of people who have “failed the city” and the Ar­row is out to cross each one off the list by shoot­ing them down with his weapon of choice: the ar­row. The story de­vel­ops and in Sea­son Two, the Ar­row meets sev­eral new and wor­thy ad­ver­saries.

Stephen Amell Hubba, hubba, hubba. OK, apart from the ob­vi­ous vis­ual ap­peal of Ar­row’s lead ac­tor, Amell is ac­tu­ally very con­vinc­ing as Ar­row, the hooded vig­i­lante who pun­ishes (he has al­most stopped killing them!) bad guys. The Cana­dian plays bil­lion­aire play­boy Oliver Queen who be­comes a vig­i­lante af­ter a ship­wreck leaves him stranded on a dan­ger­ous is­land, thus giv­ing him lots of time to look back upon his life. Amell car­ries the ac­tion scenes (many of which he does him­self) rather well. The only mi­nus point? He is com­pletely hung up over ex-girl­friend Lau­rel (Katie Cas­sidy). Yawn.

While a lot of the sup­port­ing cast are strong (I love Felic­ity Smoak played by Emily Bett Rickards and Manu Ben­nett – who is Death­stroke – kicks a$$ ), I re­ally think Cas­sidy is a let down with her one di­men­sional act­ing and weak char­ac­ter. She drags the score down some­what.

Sup­port­ing cast:

men­tal drug that causes him to trans­form into a “beast” when he gets an­gry. Kreuk is very pretty, but un­for­tu­nately, that’s about all I can say. She is bland (as she was in Smal­lville) as the lead and her co-star, Ryan isn’t much bet­ter – not at all con­vinc­ing as a beast or a tor­mented man.

Well, com­pared to the leads, the sup­port­ing cast, namely Cather­ine’s part­ner, Tess (Nina Lisan­drello) shines (al­most) brightly.

Sup­port­ing cast: Bates Mo­tel Over­all score: Plot de­vel­op­ment:

8/10

This is a “con­tem­po­rary pre­quel” to Al­fred Hitch­cock’s clas­sic 1960 film Psy­cho. The se­ries tells the back story of Nor­man Bates and his mother Norma prior to the events por­trayed in the film. The set­ting is dif­fer­ent – the TV show is set in White Pine Bay, Ore­gon, while the film was set in Fair­vale, Cal­i­for­nia, and the time­line of the se­ries is cur­rent. It is in­trigu­ing, of course, as we are cu­ri­ous to see the mak­ings of a psy­cho killer like Nor­man Bates.

Fred­die High­more and Vera

Lead ac­tors:

Farmiga Oh, my god. These two shine – High­more as the trou­bled and sen­si­tive Nor­man Bates who is cuck­olded by his mother and Farmiga as the mother whose ob­ss­esive love for her son borders on be­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate, at times. How­ever, so good are their por­tray­als that you ac­tu­ally feel some sym­pa­thy for them, amidst the hor­ror.

It’s hard to live up to the stan­dards set by High­more and Farmiga but most of the sup­port­ing cast do a pretty good job. A spe­cial men­tion to Max Thieriot who plays Nor­man’s step­brother Dy­lan.

Sup­port­ing cast:

Nashville

8/10

The story cen­tres around reign­ing “Queen of Coun­try” mu­sic, Rayna and young up­start Juli­ette as well as the strug­gle for up-and-com­ing mu­si­cians to get a record deal in Nashville. Apart from the main story – Rayna is fac­ing com­pe­ti­tion from Juli­ette who is gar­ner­ing the sup­port from the younger fan base. Her record la­bel wants her to col­lab­o­rate with Juli­ette but Rayna isn’t too keen as she dis­likes Juli­ette’s brand of mu­sic. Juli­ette re­sents Rayna and is hell bent on be­ing num­ber one. It’s Nashville and coun­try mu­sic so be pre­pared for lots of drama. Thank­fully, there is also lots of good, orig­i­nal mu­sic too.

Con­nie Brit­ton and Hay­den

Lead ac­tors:

Panet­tiere In the first place, I had no idea these two ladies could sing so (well, they ain’t no Dolly Par­ton, but ...) well. Brit­ton is ace as the older, more ma­ture, suc­cess­ful Queen of Coun­try who is fight­ing to stay cur­rent and in the charts with­out com­pro­mis­ing her style while Panet­tiere is su­per con­vinc­ing as Juli­ette – the sexy, young star­lett who is fight­ing to take Rayna’s place on the throne.

This show is choc-a-block with tal­ented ac­tors who can both sing and act (and they are su­per good look­ing, both the male and fe­male). Stand­outs are Jonathan

Sup­port­ing cast:

Jack­son as Avery Barkley and Sam Pal­la­dio as Gun­nar Scott.

In­dra is fly­ing solo to­day as Ann Marie Chandy hasn’t been very strict about her tele­vi­sion sched­ule lately.

Mu­si­cal feud: Coun­try singers Juli­ette barnes (Hay­den Panet­tiere) and rayna James (Con­nie brit­ton) aren’t fans of each other in nashville.

nor­man bates (Fred­die High­more) is cursed to be in his mother’s shadow (Vera Farmiga) in batesMo­tel.

en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

Oliver Queen (Stephen amell) is get­ting rid of bad­dies, one ar­row at a time.

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