Sons of Anarchy 2.4 – Eureka

If there’s one thing that continues to impress me about the Sons of Anarchy, it’s the way in which these guys conduct their business. The whole idea of participating in a charity ride as a cover to do their gun runs is pure genius. Not only do the cops stay out of their way, but they also look like heroes to the community. Nevertheless, something was bound to go wrong, and when Bobby brought out his worse for wear Fat Boy to ride on the job, it was pretty much a given that it would play a part in the incident. No sooner had the Sons picked up the guns and started north to drop them off when Bobby’s bike kicked back a cloud of smoke, forcing Tig off the road and into a ditch. The accident wasn’t as bad as it looked, but Tig was still busted up enough to require medical attention.

Unfortunately, his insurance plan didn’t cover him at the hospital, and while they were all waiting around for transport to a hospital that would stitch him up, a van full of bounty hunters swung by to pick him up. As it turns out, Tig has an outstanding warrant in Oregon (one that even he’s forgotten about), and while Clay and Jax butt heads over whether they should continue with the drop or rescue their captured comrade first, Tig buys them some time by provoking the bounty hunters to beat him up, knowing that they can’t turn him in until he’s patched up. The rivalry between Clay and Jax has been heating up ever since the death of Donna, but this is the first time that it’s directly affected everyone else in the club. Fortunately, Piney could care less about Clay’s orders these days, so he grabs a flatbed truck and, with the help of Jax, Chibs, Juice and Half-Sack, busts through the motel where Tig is being held to rescue him.

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Clay isn’t at all happy about their recklessness, but what’s most upsetting to him is that Jax refuses to be a team player. When your stepdad orders the murder of your best friend, only to kill his wife, however, you can kind of understand why Jax may still be holding a grudge. I cannot wait until he finally exposes what really happened to the rest of the club – especially now that Opie is acting all hunky-dory around Clay – but the chances of that happening anytime soon are pretty slim. Of course, the fact that Clay has threatened to kill Jax if he brings it up again certainly isn’t going to change his feelings on the matter. Quite the contrary, really, since it only goes to show that Clay will take out anyone who gets in his way. My guess is that Clay and Jax will continue to butt heads until Gemma is left with no other option but to unite them by exposing her secret.

For the time being, Gemma is trying to deal with the situation on her own. When her attackers send a taunting message through the mail in the form of a Michael Myers mask, however, Gemma decides to confront them by returning it to the store on the name of the bag that it came in. Apparently, she doesn’t realize that the store has since been replaced by Ethan Zobelle’s cigar shop, which means that she never actually knew who attacked her in the first place. I find that a bit implausible since they made a point of showing AJ’s tattoo during the rape scene, but regardless, Gemma definitely knows the truth now, and so does Chief Wayne, who had the best scene of the night when he confronted Ethan in the cigar shop. Gemma, meanwhile, follows AJ to some sort of meeting with the intent of killing him when she hears him talking to his kid on the phone. Conscience is a bitch, but just because Gemma isn’t willing to shoot someone with a family doesn’t mean Clay feels the same way. In fact, if he’s willing to kill his own stepson, shooting AJ should be a walk in the park.

  

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A Chat with “Harper’s Island” Victim #8

See, I told you this week’s victim interview would be posted in a timely fashion.

If you’ve been watching “Harper’s Island” all along, then this was probably the least surprising death of the series to date. It’s not that you necessarily saw it coming this week, per se; it’s simply that, due to an event in an earlier episode, you sensed that the character had been living on borrowed time, anyway. And while I don’t want to say that I’d actually been rooting for that time to run out, I have to admit that this was an interview I’d been looking forward to, due to the other credits found within this person’s IMDb listing…one of which will be returning to the airwaves next month.

Oh, but I’ve said too much. Let’s move onward before I give away anything else…

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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2009 Summer Television Preview

TV.com put together a nice preview of what’s in store for us this summer on the tube.

“Weeds,” “Eureka,” “The Closer,” “True Blood” and “Leverage” are returning, while “Nurse Jackie,” “Hung,” and “Dark Blue” are just a sampling of the new shows that are debuting this summer.

  

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When product placement goes too far…

Movies and television have been using product placement for years. For a kickback from the manufacturer, the product appears onscreen and usually fits within the context of the scene. For example, someone might be working in an office, and there’s a FedEx envelope or a can of Coke sitting on his desk. This type of product placement makes sense and can even add to the realism of the scene. (It’s less distracting to have a can of “Coke” than a can of “Cola” that is made to look like a can of “Coke.”)

Anyway, with DVRs creeping into more and more households, advertisers (and television producers) are getting more and more aggressive with their product placement since they know many of their viewers are simply skipping the commercials. It’s a fine line between having reasonable and distracting product placement. If the CSI unit pulls up in a Toyota truck, that’s okay, but what the folks on “Eureka” are doing is ridiculous.

This season, “Eureka” started a joint campaign with Degree deodorant to shoehorn its logo into (seemingly) every episode. Most recently, there was the episode where Sheriff Carter kept living the same day over and over and, you guessed it, he kept pulling a stick of Degree out of his medicine cabinet. And it’s not like the stick is just sitting there in the background. The first time he pulled it out, we were treated to a two- or three-second closeup… of a stick of deodorant! Then there was the episode where Zane was working in his lab and Fargo came to him with a favor. Mysteriously, there was a stick of Degree sitting on Zane’s desk. Once again, we were treated to an inexplicable closeup. Later in the same episode, there was a scene in a larger room and in the background there were metal crates with the Degree logo on the side.

When does it stop? The shoehorning of the Degree logo into every episode has become a joke between me and my wife, and we’re seriously considering dropping the show from our watchlist because the product placement is so cheesy and distracting. Moreover, I’m actually less likely to buy Degree deodorant because the product is ruining a good show.

And I’m not alone in this. TV Guide’s website posted a jeer from one of its readers.

Jeer to Eureka, one of my favorite shows, for indulging in product placement. This season, the producers apparently came to an agreement with the makers of Degree deodorant to display their logo at every opportunity. Not only is it disappointing, but it is annoying, and distracting to deal with in an otherwise quality show.

In the associated poll, 45% agreed with the jeer, 15% disagreed, while 40% said it was a “Jump the Shark” moment.

In total, 85% of respondents find the product placement distracting. So is it worth those extra advertising dollars if you’re irritating 85% of your audience?

Doubtful.

  

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