Zombies vs Cheerleaders on Hellcats, House, Game of Thrones, Body of Proof

Hellcats returned with a fun episode that featured Dan’s student movie – a pretty awesome zombie/cheerleader romp. Amber Tamblyn ended her stint on House with a really good episode. I was not especially impressed with the much hyped Game of Thrones, while I spent most of Body of Proof saying to myself ‘Christina Hendricks is married to HIM!!’

I think what raises Hellcats above what could be a dumb teen cheerleader show is that they are not afraid to delve into plot diversions like this week’s movie from Dan. I really enjoyed their 80s music tribute earlier in the season and indeed the music is definitely something I usually enjoy on the show. This week’s episode opened with Marti and Louis being chased through the gym – all for Dan’s film that he has to submit to try to get on the film course at the university. We saw an extended version of it later and the cast looked to be having an absolute blast. As a big Ashley Tisdale fan, I enjoyed her zombie slaying best of all I think! Meanwhile, Marti finds out the truth about her dad (and the actress’s sister popped up as someone in the guitar shop where she managed to find out information about his musical past.) It was a little clichéd – druggie dead beat dad – but added another layer to pole dancer lookalike Marti and her relationship with her mother. I could have done without Dan’s rather lame explanation of why horror is a genre that says so much. So many film student are into horror films rather than the supposedly art house themes the others discussed. I kind of like Dan as a dumb non-academic character. It was kind of nice that someone on the show worked for a living rather than being JUST about students. Anyway, another entertaining episode.

Amber Tamblyn as Masters (finally remembering her name now she is leaving!) has been filling the female gap on House’s team while Thirteen has been away, and Olivia Wilde has been making movies. Masters was a bit of an odd character at times, but Tamblyn was nicely quirky and geeky. I actually really enjoyed this episode that gave us the whole story from her point of view. The insanity of House and Wilson’s chicken competition was funny and her morals were tested as her patient and her family were resisting surgery so the patient could participate in a sailing competition.

Throughout her stint on the show, Masters has been someone who did not believe in House’s dishonesty with patients and families. It was a tad convenient that it took until her final days on the team for her to see that the issue is not always black and white. As I said I think the episode benefited a lot from being totally from her viewpoint. I think Tamblyn was in every scene pretty much. Obviously, it is usually the Hugh Laurie show, but Tamblyn did a fine job of carrying the episode and it was one of the better ones for a while.

I’ll admit straight out, I am not a huge fan of the fantasy genre. OK so Xena is one of my favourite shows ever and I did like the Lord of the Rings films, but I’ve never read the books or any of that type to be honest. Game of Thrones has been built up to be this awesome thing and I was distinctly underwhelmed. It is an HBO production, but the cast are nearly all English (Peter Dinklage and the guy playing Lena Headey’s twin – think he is Danish Nicolai something…!) and the whole thing felt like a British show. Again, awful to say but Sean Bean does very little for me. He’s back in full Northern accent as the main character, the leader of some northern clan. Mark Addy arrives – he is the king – with Lena Headey as his chilly wife and her brothers Nicolai thingy and Peter Dinklage.

Perhaps it was just that the whole world seemed overly complicated with many many characters and it’s own rules and customs, but one of the things that has bugged me about a few shows lately is the depiction of the female characters. OK so Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men are set in times in history when women were oppressed and did not have the opportunities they do now. Indeed, Peggy and Joan are so great on Mad Men because they are women who are struggling to make and take their opportunities.

Once again, on Game of Thrones, we see women as whores or currency – the odious brother in the faraway land marrying his pretty little sister to a huge savage warrior, ‘imp’ Peter Dinklage getting his end away with three trollopes, the always lovely Lena Headey married to a man she hates in a marriage of convenience. Of course Lord of the Rings wasn’t much better. Apart from Liv Tyler as Arwen it was a boys adventure – and I think that is my problem with the genre. Something like Xena turned that all on its head, showing a women in a man’s world kicking arse! Great stuff! Here on Game of Thrones we got none of that. As a Lena Headey fan (ah Sarah Connor Chronicles, I miss you..) I hope she gets more to do than be chilly and shag her brother..

The show is very serious and while I really liked the first 5 minutes where we saw some very creepy scenes of some ghostly menace, the rest was a nasty and mud drenched cruel world. I’m undecided whether to keep watching. Perhaps once I get into the characters more it will grip me. I just wish so many shows didn’t seem to glory in the ‘men and men and women are minor characters’ attitude.

Talking of Joan on Mad Men, Christina Hendricks popped up on this week’s Body of Proof in what was another enjoyable episode. I’m glad to see Jeri Ryan playing a bigger role on the show – she was pretty bad ass this week, threatening to shut down a hospital. Buffy’s bland ex Riley (Marc Blucas) popped up as an arrogant surgeon who Megan could empathise with. However, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, the main talking point was that the incredibly unattractive dorky scientist with too much hair is actually the fabulous Hendricks’ real life husband. I just kept looking at him trying to find what would attract a women like her to him. I mean look at that photo! Even without the awful cardigan and shirt, he is a total turn off! Maybe he scrubs up well.. Their plot had nothing to do with the main case and was actually a bit of an annoying diversion. Shame to bring Hendricks in and not utilise her with the rest of the (far more attractive) cast.

Quickies: Breakout Kings continues to be fine if unremarkable. Modern Family had a much less funny episode this week.

The Killing is not gripping me as much as I thought it would. I started watching BBC4’s latest Euro-crime series, the French Spiral and yearned for the far more repressed and composed Danish Killing (those Frenchies are NUTTERS!) Got it on my Sky+ so might get my Sarah Lund fix that way. Sarah Linden and her US counterparts are ok, but this week we had the scene where the girl’s parents go to the church to arrange her funeral. In the Danish show the mother really laid into the priest about where God was and how she was not at all comforted. Best of the US bunch Michelle Forbes’ rant was much tamer however. The actress on the Danish show was outstanding in this scene, as she was throughout the series.