Eclectic Pop

where "pop" culture gets "eclectic"

TV Reviews? You Got It.

Like Jonas on "Dark," take a deep dive into Eclectic Pop's past with an assortment of TV reviews. Click on the pic to travel through the wormhole! *Plus, social media links below* (;

@EclecticPop

How 'The Blacklist' Will Pick Up Liz's Defining Season 8 In 2021

It has been a wild season for Liz on “The Blacklist,” and Season 8 is only two episodes into its run. How will the NBC crime drama pick up when it returns in 2021? The series’ creator, Jon Bokenkamp, has provided insight into what lies ahead for the show’s embittered and embattled heroine following…

Best TV Of 2017: 'Bates Motel,' 'GoT,' 'Alias Grace,' 'Reign' & More

Another year of quality television has come and gone, and thankfully, there was no shortage of top-notch programming. There were costume dramas that thrilled with edge-of-your-seat danger and beautiful costuming. Action dramas that provided riveting intrigue. While long-running series bid television a fond and “bittersweet” farewell.

The 2017 Emmy Nominations' Most Heartbreaking Snubs

Bates Motel, The White Princess, Reign were among the most heartbreaking 2017 Emmy snubs
Another year of Emmy nominations can only mean one thing: another year of snubs. The 2017 Emmy nominations proved to be no exception. It was an especially brutal year for retiring series and departing actors' final performances. As the 2017 Emmy nominations marked their last chance to be recognized.

With “Game of Thrones” voluntarily out of the running, there was room for other series to make their mark. For long-time readers of Eclectic Pop, the well-known favorites depressingly ignored are easy to guess. Nevertheless, these are the Emmy snubs that have been the hardest to process.

Best TV of 2016: 'Poldark,' 'Daredevil,' 'Reign,' 'Bates Motel,' 'GoT' & more!

The Punisher, Poldark, Reign - Eclectic Pop's Best of 2016 TV
What everyone is saying is true. Television was at its best in 2016. Between gorgeous costume dramas, a mystifying sci-fi series, and an ambitious take on the superhero drama, these were Eclectic Pop’s picks for the best TV of 2016...

5 TV Shows Worth Being Thankful For

#5. "Daredevil" (Season 2)

In Season 2, "Daredevil" went from a good show to a great one, a qualitative uptick chiefly owed to the introduction of Jon Bernthal's Punisher.

After two feature films tried and failed to bring this fascinating character to life, "Daredevil" managed to bring him roaring to it.

Entertainment Inquiry #6: 'Game of Thrones', The Emmys, Netflix And More!

Since there is only so much time in the day to read 750+word reviews, it seemed right to boil down all of the sentiments expressed on Eclectic Pop into a simple question and answer format; getting to the point in a concise and clear manner that transforms those broader analyses into a bite-size read. 

If there is an entertainment topic you want a quick answer to, the Entertainment Inquiry aims to give it to you. These questions have been self-generated by taking into account current hot topics and the interests you already come to Eclectic Pop for coverage on. In this edition, you will find inquiries about the Season 6 Finale of ‘Game of Thrones’, what’s worth watching on Netflix, who/what deserved Emmy recognition and more…

Hidden Remote Links: May-Early June | 'Game of Thrones', 'The Blacklist', 'Bloodline', 'Penny Dreadful', 'Scream' & 'Beauty and the Beast'

As some of you may know, I am now a Staff Writer at HiddenRemote.com (on Twitter @HiddenRemote) – a TV-focused website. In case you have missed any of the content that has been linked to on @EclecticPop’s Twitter or Google+ accounts, here is a chance to catch up. Below you will find the links to all of my pieces for the month of May and the beginning of June.

TV Rundown: Week of May 1: Part 2: 'Penny Dreadful' Makes S3 Return - Plus, 'Reign' + 'The Blacklist'

'Penny Dreadful’ – Season 3, Episode 1 – ‘The Day Tennyson Died'

Micro Synopsis: 

Thanks to Lyle (Simon Russell Beale), Vanessa (Eva Green) begins recovering from her mental breakdown by seeking psychological help from a shrill doctor with a familiar face (Patti LuPone).

Miss Ives also makes an intriguing new acquaintance in a Dr. Sweet (Christian Camargo). Elsewhere in England, Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) recruits his old friend Dr. Jekyll (Shazad Latif) to assist in his attempt to save Lily (Billie Piper) from herself.

TV Rundown: Week of April 24 | 'Reign' & 'Game of Thrones' Return, 'Bates Motel' & 'Blacklist' Prep for a Reckoning

Reign: Season 3, Episode 11 – “Succession”

What Happened: Mary (Adelaide Kane) bonded with Gideon (Ben Geurens). Catherine (Megan Fellows) meticulously planned Charles’ (Spencer MacPherson) coronation. The identity of the serial killer stalking the castle halls was revealed. Lola (Anna Popplewell) proved useful to Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) in an important way.

The Rundown: The regal series finally returned and in as high a fashion as it left. Tying up loose ends and beginning new strands of story, “Reign” featured its three queens learning shocking truths about the people around them and discovering deeper ones about themselves, in the process. As Mary contemplated a marriage to a prominent Protestant to calm tensions in Scotland, issues of personal politics quickly arose. Her idealism dashed upon the rocks of reality’s need for compromise.

TV Rundown: Week of April 17 | 'Bates Motel' Opens a Vault, 'Blacklist' Gets Trippy - Plus, 'Vikings' Mid-Season Finale

Bates Motel: Season 4.Episode 6 – “The Vault”
What Happened: Norma (Vera Farmiga) struggled to find a way out of Chick’s (Ryan Hurst) blackmail scheme. Norman (Freddie Highmore) In his session with Dr. Edwards (Damon Gupton), he was told for the first time that he has D.I.D. (dissociative personality disorder). Dylan (Max Thieriot) told Norma he was moving to Seattle with Emma (Olivia Cooke).

Entertainment Inquiry #1: Answers About Movies, Music And TV

Welcome to the very first Entertainment Inquiry. So what is this new feature about? Good question. Since there is only so much time in the day to read 750+ word reviews, it seemed right to boil down all of the sentiments expressed on Eclectic Pop into a simple question and answer format; getting to the point in a concise and clear manner that transforms those broader analyses into a bite-size read.

TV Rundown: Week of April 10 | 'Blacklist' Delivers Perfection, 'Bates Motel' Follows Suit - 'Vikings' Preps for Mid-Season Send-Off

The Blacklist: Season 3.Episode 18 – “Mr. Solomon (No. 32): Conclusion.”
What Happened: Mr. Solomon’s (Edi Gathegi) relentless hunt for Liz (Megan Boone) led to a car accident that triggered the premature birth of her and Tom’s (Ryan Eggold) daughter. A series of health complications ensued, resulti…

TV Rundown: Week of April 3 | 'The Blacklist' Weds, 'Vikings' Shocks 3 Times Over

The Blacklist – Season 3. Episode 17: “Mr. Solomon (No. 32)”

NBC’s thrilling series returned with rice and plot twists, firmly in hand for its spring premiere. The topic of the hour was Liz (Megan Boone) and Tom’s (Ryan Eggold) impending nuptials and what a topic it was, everyone from Red (James Spader) to Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) weighed in on whether Liz should go through with her second marriage to the same man.

TV Rundown: Feb 21 | A Manhunt on 'Vikings', Secret Keeping on 'The Blacklist' - Plus, 'Pretty Little Liars'

Vikings didn't let up on the pulsating action in its second outing of the season. What made this chapter especially interesting was how the subplots of the series' less central characters (Judith, Queen Kwenthrith) managed to take center stage and prove so worthy of the attention. Were it of any lesser quality, "Vikings" would have been accused of one of TV’s worst sins: producing filler. Now to the major story points...

TV Rundown: Week of Feb 14 | 'Vikings' Returns, 'Pretty Little Liars' Confuses & 'Blacklist' Paints it Red

Vikings returned with a vengeance...literally. Picking up right where it left off at the end of season 3, Ragnar, Lagertha, and Rollo were all put in a position to exact revenge in "A Good Treason," and how they chose to respond rather shocking. Let’s back up a little bit, though, and add…

TV Rundown: Week of Feb 7 | Mona Returns to 'Pretty Little Liars', Red Surprises on 'The Blacklist' - Plus, 'Teen Wolf'

Pretty Little Liars finally gave viewers a glimpse of its most underutilized character: Mona Vanderwaal. In her one scene with Spencer, she gave the season its biggest energy jolt to date. Mona is a character that has time and again proven to be incredibly valuable to the show. She’s run the gamut of archetypes, from outright villain to redeemed heroine, a lot of times within a single season. Why the show hasn't used her more is beyond understanding at this point.

Best Television of 2015: 'Bates Motel', 'Vikings', 'Reign', 'Narcos', 'The Flash' & more!

A full year of television has come and gone, and after watching a plethora of series – the time has arrived for Eclectic Pop to recognize the best and brightest. 13 series made the cut to be mentioned among the year’s best. They span the contributions of cable, streaming and network broadcasting. Below you will find zero straight-up comedies, loads of dramas (set in both the past and the present), a single superhero series and two horror programs. It’s an eclectic mix and we begin with the selection for the year’s #1 show…
Best Show: Bates Motel
For the third straight year in a row, “Bates Motel” proved to have no equal. The latest season of the A&E series focused on the escalation of Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) unraveling psyche, as his protective mother (Vera Farmiga) and vigilant brother (Max Thieriot) struggled to come to terms with what to do about it.

Mental illness is something a lot of shows vaguely discuss and fewer explore on a deeply seated level. “Bates” is unwavering in its pursuit of the topic as a significantly silenced issue facing families. While the domino effect of Norman’s affliction touched every character on the canvas in a unique way, the season also gave its characters a chance to explore themselves outside of their connection to him.

Balancing the overarching umbrella that connects them and the smaller nuances of their individual development is essential to the entire series and writers Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse kept the ball rolling in explosively compelling ways.

“Bates Motel” gave viewers moments of dark humor, tragic drama and heartening romantic quests. It continued swimming in taboo thematic waters with its signature grace, careful to never push the envelope for the sake of sheer shock value.

“Bates” finds its power in restraint. In exploring the manifold of psychological layering that comprise a complicated and all-encompassing characterization.

Led by the remarkable talents of Vera Farmiga, it is a testament to the strength of its ensemble that every cast member can stand toe-to-toe with her and capably hold their own. The collective performances of Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell and Kenny Johnson, comprised the best work an entire cast contributed to TV in 2015.

The critical apathy for this phenomenal series is frustrating. There’s nothing this show is doing wrong to explain the indifference. It is flawless. In a climate where there has been an increasing call for female led series, “Bates Motel” is ferociously captained by one and not just any one either.

Norma Bates is a complex buffet of human emotion; a mother and entrepreneur trying to take care of her family under harrowing circumstances and Farmiga portrays her struggle with a stunning clarity that awes in every episode.

For that reason and many more, "Bates" earned the top spot on this list for the third consecutive year. Simply put, no other series deserves it more.

Best Horror Series: Penny Dreadful
The first season of Showtime’s horror series made a strong first impression and its second season managed to build on that sound foundation by striking a sleek balance between gothic gore, mystical mystery and towering romance.

Boosted by the phenomenal central turns of Eva Green and Josh Hartnett, “Penny” shined brighter than one could’ve ever anticipated. Of furthering surprise is that “Dreadful” is has proven to be a horror show with heart, a weird dichotomy that sounds strange on paper and only makes sense when watching.

Proving that point was the stand-alone episode “The Nightcomers” featuring guest star Patti Lupone, which catapulted the series to a newly realized creative pinnacle. A powerfully moving hour of television that earned a spot among the best the medium has ever presented.
Most Underrated Show: Tyrant
Another show ignored by critics, FX’s exotic Middle East drama brought the heat in a follow-up season that extended its attention from the inner conflicts of the Al-Fayeed family to the fight over their homeland in Abbudin. An aspect “Tyrant” manages to consistently get right is how it balances an operatic arc like Barry’s "death" with the larger real-life picture of geopolitics.

Backed by one of the most underrated ensembles on television, Adam Rayner, Moran Atias, Ashraf Barhom and Jennifer Finnigan continued giving incredible performances that sold all of the show’s big moments alongside its small ones. While showrunner Gideon Raff kept up the enthralling pace of its freshman season.

Best Comeback Series: The Blacklist
“The Blacklist” had an interesting 2015. In the midst of an undeniable sophomore slump, it managed to fight back and reclaim its former glory; proving it’s not impossible to surmount a second season slip-up. Anchored by the venerable James Spader as the series’ enigmatic protagonist and Megan Boone as its endearing heroine, “The Blacklist’s” comeback was not entirely unexpected.

Showrunner Jon Bokenkamp has proven to be highly adept at delivering what viewers want and succeeding at exceeding even those expectations. The reunion of the feisty/made-for-each-other Keens, proved to be one such example of long shot hopes that were rewarded in 2015.

Best Summer Series: Scream
When MTV announced it was making a television adaptation of the hit movie franchise, you could practically hear the chorus of skepticism ring out amidst the universe of pop culture. My how “Scream” proved the naysayers wrong.

By assembling a young cast of relative unknowns and pairing them with the highly familiar scenario of the slasher genre; MTV hit an unexpected home run.

Best New Drama: Bloodline
A picturesque location gives way to ugly secrets in this Netflix original. Charged by the tour de force performance of Ben Mendelsohn as the black sheep member of the Rayburn family; “Bloodline” simmers for quite a while before reaching the last half’s explosive boil.

For those missing the family drama ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” supplied, “Bloodline” has the dose you’ve been missing. Just be warned that when the Rayburns get together for dinner, it’s a much graver affair.

Best New Historical Series: The Last Kingdom
BBC challenged “Vikings” and “Game of Thrones” by throwing down the gauntlet with their own historical drama. Well-paced, engrossingly directed and engagingly acted, “The Last Kingdom” did not outperform its rivals but made for an appealing entry to the genre, all the same.

TV Rundown: Week of Jan 31 | The Penultimate 'War & Peace,' A Red Wedding on 'The Blacklist' - Plus, 'PLL'

War and Peace hurdled towards its conclusion with a penultimate installment that saw turmoil at the home front reach a fevered pitch. Natasha made the life-altering decision to break off her engagement with Andrei so she could hook up with Helene’s devious brother, Anatole.

Despite vowing to remain loyal to Andrei, following his father’s demand for a year-long engagement, she blew everything just a few months shy of being able to marry him. Falling under the smarmy influence of the dastardly Anatole meant Natasha wouldn’t listen to anyone who tried to make her see sense.

TV Rundown: Week of Jan 17 | 'Pretty Little Liars' Reveals More, 'Blacklist' Twists & 'Reign' Bids a Winter Farewell

Pretty Little Liars continued to pull back the curtain on the current state of the girls’ lives post-5 year jump and for one Liar in particular, the answers continue to get worse and worse. That Liar is Emily, who added a possible cancer diagnosis to her growing list of heartbreaking misfortunes. Will she ever catch a break?

Out of all the Liars, Emily has lived the most tortured existence and her happiness always tends to be a short-lived phenomenon. The best thing she can do for herself is avoid Ali, who tried to reel her back into their toxic dynamic.

TV Rundown: Week of Jan 10 | 'Reign' Holds Court & 'The Blacklist' Amazes - Plus, Thoughts on 'Teen Wolf' S6B

Reign kept the plates of intrigue spinning with another dazzling installment. English and French court shared the hour and each location was entertaining in its own right. First up: English court, where Queen Elizabeth ruthlessly schemed to finally unite herself and Robert Dudley in matrimony following a shocking discovery; only to be thwarted by Dudley’s crazed wife, Amy.

Hopefully she delivered the death blow to this coupling. There is just nothing to root for where Elizabeth and Dudley are concerned. If they wanted to be together, he should’ve been patient and never married another.