Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review Part Two : What is Genre?

What is Genre?

“Genre is a collection of shared rules that allows a film maker to use established communicative formulas and the viewer to organize his own system of expectations”. – Moine (2009)

In the world of film, Genre can be known as a ‘type’.  Films and TV Programmes are categorized into a type of genre for example: Action, Romance, Adventure, Drama, Comedy, etc. This gives choice to the filmgoers to make it easier for them to decide, what type of film they want to see.

There are a wide verity of Genres all of which are very versatile to definitively describe a style of film. Moine describes the wide range of Genre as being ‘a jungle’. Therefore it describes how difficult it is to make out just exactly what any Genre is.

One of the things that make a Genre difficult to describe is the fact that in terms of society you could possibly consider that a genre reflects what goes on in the real world. Standards in society come out in how the film is made. 

The Gangster storyline in the 1930’s reflects on how crime was at that time ‘a good guy being brought down by society and becoming a criminal.’ (Moine. 2009) For example Moine describes that gangster films ‘frequently tell the story of an individual, a victim, who has only been made blameworthy or turned into a criminal by society’ – Moine (2009)

Moine goes on to say that an audience expects certain things to happen when approaching a type of film and one would expect to see ‘guns blazing, cars screeching, and fast paced, tough and slangy dialogue’ – Bergan (2011) and there is a principal which Moine calls ‘Shared Rules’. This collection of pointers give the audience expectations of what will be in the film.

However when viewing something like ‘Pulp Fiction’ – directed by Quentin Tarantino 1994 - the audience gets some of what it expects, like crime and different types of violence like cathartic violence and glamorised violence, but there are also elements of black comedy and excessive drug-taking.  Tarantino dares to go beyond the Shared Rules and make a certain type of film, which is out of the ordinary and problematic in its structure, going against the simple ‘Good VS Evil’ storyline.

Tarantino uses the guideline to the gangster genre in Pulp Fiction, but he also adds casual dialogue to disguise the true nature of what is about to happen for instance, in the scene where two hit men are on their way to commit an assassination. Audiences usually expect Gangster films to be serious, but in Pulp Fiction the comedy comes through in unexpected moments like this one.

Tarantino also makes his films unique by providing a signature in the selection of the choice of actors for his films.
With Samuel L Jackson you have the stern, seriousness in the eyes of a character, a hit man who later dares to question fate and destiny and his place in life. He sounds more like a preacher than a hitman. Tarantino puts this in the script and Jackson provides.  
John Travolta is also termed as unusual casting when you watch him on screen. At the time no one wanted John Travolta and the last film he did before ‘Pulp Fiction’ was ‘Look who’s talking 3’. However, Travolta being a versatile personality is not only an actor but a dancer as well, and he dances in Pulp Fiction. Tarantino wanted Travolta to dance in a certain kind of way. That comes out in the twist when you watch the dancing scene. Travolta dances in quite a rigid way. It shows off character in the twist in contrast to Thurman’s Zsa Zsa Gabor catlike movements. Once again, Tarantino’s involvement in how he wants the dancing to be portrayed makes the scene quirky and quite humorous. 
Tim Roth is English and also dynamic, but also lower status in terms of rank however he delivers the clever wit of the script off well because when you watch his character interact in the ending scene that low status is seen throughout even when he has the power of holding a gun in attempting to scare people into robbing them.
Other stars such as Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames and Harvey Keitel have special qualities of their own that fit into Tarantino’s vision of the piece, wither it is comedic, serious, profound, nostalgic or a mixture of all four said things. Tarantino’s vision of life combines anger and comedy into the Gangster genre and Drama but at the same time viewers watching his films know that what they are watching is a fiction. The events in Pulp Fiction are not based on real life and the characters are not based on real people. Tarantino specifies that his films stay within a fictitious reality. Tarantino comments that he considers it to be “Good Cinema” when asked about his view on audiences watching violent movies, people who are not violent people going into a watching a heavy action movie its okay for them to sit back and enjoy the violence Tarantino commented “It’s a movie. It’s a fantasy, it’s not real life you watch a kung fu movie and one guy takes on a bunch of people in a restaurant that’s fun”. Implying that because it is fiction there is a security blanket about keeping what is contained within the movie, within the movie and audiences respond to it as being a fictional representation of real life, but they know it is clearly portrayed as not being real life.
Pulp Fiction is a problematic film which is about many alternate stories, involving several characters’ back story, and how all these alternate stories tie into the one complete day which is equal to the main plot; which in turn makes up the film. Audiences hoping to see a gangster film do not get a straightforward storyline that they might expect in the way that Moine suggests.
In developing a story idea for a short film, it is all about coming up with a story and finding out where does it fit in terms of a specific place. Horror? Sci Fi? or combinations of different genres like Romantic Comedy, etc.  I thought of films and TV like: Minority Report, Independence Day, 28 Days Later, Torchwood – Miracle Day because they mixed genres.

The film I helped with is set in a dystopian version of our future. This brings in the Science Fiction element into it, but it is also drama because there is a conflict between two brothers. The background of the surrounding world is important because the audience will understand more about the strict rules in the society that the world is based around, academic intelligence rules over everything else which make a character under emphasised pressure that he ends up betraying his brother.

The Thriller elements come into the storyline making the pace quick and sharp emphasising time running out and my team wanted to highlight this and make it clear the audience watching that the film is restricted and we show and tell in presentation which helps the overall interpretation of our idea come out in much more bold and stronger way.

The Horror elements make the drama all the more enticing and gripping due the natural sense of threat surrounding the negative responses. Characters who fail meet a horrific end, but this is left more to the audiences’ imagination. It the power of suggestion, which plays on the mind of the viewer to actively engage them into everything the short film, is about.

“Producers and consumers both recognise a genre as a distinct entity…” according to David Bordwell quoted in ‘Film Genre from Iconography to Ideology’ (Grant. 2007) However Genres can be mixed up. Pulp Fiction is not clearly a specified as being ‘just’ a gangster film because of the comedy elements to it. The short fiction film I worked on is not specifically just sci-fi because of the drama elements between the two brothers.

The ‘Shared Rules’ set up of expectations is there to allow the viewer to have a freedom of choice in their own personal tastes in what they like and what they don’t like as well having the choice of films which are a combination of different genres mixed together as an experimental format. The jumble combinations reverts to the set of the way Television and Film is today as most audiences need something to grip and or persuade them into not partly watching but fully committed to watching it. Therefore the differentiation of what genre is and the identification of genre is very important for that reason.

NEXT TIME : Avengers - Age of Ultron

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Review Part One : The Horror Genre

Horror is often described as a genre that transforms in order to embody changing cultural anxieties and nightmares, and what is suggested is often more frightening than what is revealed.

Dating back to the German expressionist films of the 1920’s, influenced by the English Gothic novel, were among the first examples of this genre.

Creatures like Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies are the three most common examples of interpreting the Horror genre best in the minds of the general public.

There’s something relatable in everybody of an interest of some sort to gothic horror or monsters because when viewing a film or television programme it creates suspense and thrill, which consequently conflicts with the chemical activity of the brain. “Fear is the unpleasant feeling that we get when we are aware of danger or if we are anticipating danger. And what’s actually happening is the brain is releasing chemicals through the body; giving us that human built in – flight or fright response.” – Lewis (2009) and furthermore Film and or TV provides a very strongly visual medium because what is being viewed produces pictures in the mind of the viewer which will stay for a very long time.

It is the intention of the filmmakers to produce scary things, but not just for the imagination, but also to pick up on fears that are in the real world ‘The history of the horror film is essentially a history of anxiety in the twentieth century’ – Wells (2000: 3) It is key to identifying the different diversities of the horror narratives in how they reflect the cultural moment. An example of this is the joke about peeping through the crack of the door or over the top of the sofa or through the crack of your fingers. That’s all to do with being frightened but enjoying being frightened. We fear real invasion of our personal space and attacks by hostile forces. The films, because they are entertainment, take the real fear out of these threats.

Having identified what fear is, how it manifests itself and how to hide from it, the ways that films and or television programmes trigger this needs to be looked at. To do this it would be useful to anaylise scary moments in a Film or TV programme.

“The Walking Dead”, for example, is a horror drama television series developed by Frank Darabont and based off a comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. 

Set in a post apocalyptic world, the main character “Rick Grimes” wakes up from a coma to find a desecrated world dominated by flesh eating zombies or as they’re referred to in the series as ‘walkers’. Rick sets out to find his lost family and on his journey he meets other survivors along the way.

The bleak, grey landscape reflects a dying world, which is a picture everyone fears. The huge change between two worlds experienced by Rick is very shocking and he is quite distraught by it.

In addition to the setting it involves the survivors going to extreme and thrilling lengths to see through the apocalypse and stay alive for as long as possible. It is noticeable to reference small groups of people and large groups of Zombies showing the stakes to be very high knowing that there are more Zombies than there are surviving humans. As well as that it is easy to picture a small group of people in a secluded place, which they cannot get away from. They are trapped and coming at them from all directions are a vast number of Zombies. This reflects the fear of personal space being invaded. This theme continues in ‘The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Guts’ when Rick and other humans are trapped in a shopping centre.

In acts of panic and desperation people are fleeing across the country to various refugee camps. This reflects the desperation and degradation people in the real world experience as migrants. Everyone can recognize the desperate position that the main characters ‘the survivors’ are in.

What is effective about Zombies is that there is a simplistic yet horrific point of identification that can be portrayed. These are people who used to be like us, ordinary members of the society who have died and have been resurrected with only one thing on their mind: to eat the flesh of the living. They are brain-dead and lifeless in movement as well as appearance. “Re-animated corpses with an unstoppable craving for human flesh, especially brains have invaded pop culture like never before. For staggering, slow-moving monsters, zombies have become quite a force in the entertainment industry over the past decade.– Radford (2012) this in turn reverts to the description of Zombies being “Real flesh and blood creations that shamble through the shadows and our nightmares”. – Swancer (2014) symbolically Zombies link to everyone’s basic fear, which is death.

What makes it quite unnerving for an audience is Zombies are also linked to illness, infection and plague and like plague and infection they spread rapidly. So in ‘The Walking Dead’ in a cliffhanger to the first episode ‘Days gone by’, Rick gets attacked by a vast number of walkers and tension rises in a moment of panic, desperation and thrill. It is a pivotal turning point in the timing where these moments of panic and desperation happen because it is a character in peril and the Zombies themselves look like an overwhelming threat. “For a split second, you were so afraid that you reacted as if your life were in danger, your body initiating the fight-or-flight response that is critical to any animal's survival. But really, there was no danger at all.” – Layton.

In the real world, this would not actually happen but it is the possibility of the ‘what if’ scenario which is very believable while the viewer is watching. The possibility of being overrun suddenly and unexpectedly is a primal fear and adds to the drama of making it more real. This also applies to “Dead Set”. In Charlie Brooker’s “Dead Set” (2004) the setting is the modern day and uses the Big Brother style images of ‘somebody’s watching you’ using a well known reality TV show as the background, which makes it all the more realistic for people to believe in.

At one point in the story everything is natural and the next minute a mass of zombies attack from nowhere during an eviction from a Big Brother House and the Zombies themselves appose a composing threat. “Zombies are the misanthrope's monster of choice. They represent fear and disgust of our fellow man. The anonymous animal masses. The dumb, shuffling crowd. Them - the public. They're awesomely stupid. They have an IQ of one. Proper zombies can't operate a door handle or climb a ladder. Toss one a Rubik's Cube and it'll bounce off his thick, moaning head. All they do is walk around aimlessly, pausing occasionally to eat survivors.” – Brooker (2008)

“Dead set” reflects a well-known reality or TV reality show that nearly everyone watches. It links its horror very directly to real things. It’s about the dead returning to life and attacking the living. Curiously there a few people left in Britain who aren’t worried about any of this that is because they are the remaining contestants in Big Brother.

Featuring cameos from ‘Davina McCall’ and several former housemates “Dead Set” is described to be a cruel and twisted take on one of TV’s biggest reality shows. Having cameos from actual celebrities star in a horror drama specifically one like “Dead Set” makes it all the more believable to relate to the everyday and makes the ‘what if’ suggestion all the more influential on the viewer and causes great dramatic effect. 

As Chris Moran of The Guardian describes it to be “A perfect example of the benefits of aiming low. A lot of the mechanics of the plot are familiar from its many predecessors, but the new context and the care lavished on it holds the attention. A lot of the weight falls on Jaime Winstone's shoulders, and she pulls it off with aplomb, bringing just the right blend of vulnerability and strength.” – Moran (2008) this shows that a viewer who has watched the show has gained an atmospheric understanding of the authenticity of what is being presented in front of him.

The Main character Kelly, who is a production runner working on the fictional series of Big Brother, finds herself trying to fend off the walking dead alongside her producer boss Patrick, boyfriend Riq and the remaining Big Brother housemates. The drama in Dead Set very quickly escalates and spirals out of control and the interchange of events is quite traumatic when the Zombie threat happens. What the viewer believes to be the set up of a well known real reality TV show to change into this weird post apocalyptic world within a matter of minutes is really daunting and gripping and what it eventually becomes is a Do or Die situation where it is kill or be killed.

The Zombie threat that Brooker presents in “Dead Set” is very similar in comparison to the way the Zombie threat is presented in “The Walking Dead”. The Zombies are covered in blood, their eyes are dead shot and they are quite slow and ridged in movement and in vast quantities of numbers the threat becomes all the more menacing for the survivors. It is highlighted in “Dead Set” from the main character Kelly that to kill a Zombie you must remove the head or destroy the brain, which she shows by beating a Zombie to death.

And comparing it to the Zombie menace in “The Walking Dead” like the walkers the Zombies in “Dead Set” are attracted by high frequency sounds such as: loud banging or a car alarm for instance.

If you look at the main characters of Rick and Kelly and how they react to the crisis which is presented in front of them. Rick is a Police Officer and therefore a member of the authorities, so it is natural for the viewer to have confidence in him because he is the man who will pull through and find out all the solutions to the multiple problems, which are faced. Where as Kelly is in no position of authority both in rank and her job and when the viewer watches the way she reacts to the apocalyptic crisis you gain an understanding that she is very much as clueless as the viewer is and it is Brooker’s writing that gives the viewer the interest in investing in this character into finding out how she deals with the situation at hand. She is an opposite to Rick as she is portrayed as being an ordinary, normal girl who has her life changed by catastrophic events and lashes out in moments of dire peril as part of a do or die desperation to stay alive, having said that Kelly is like in Rick in some ways because she is intuitive to the circumstances and her surroundings, she is a tactical thinker and she is good at making decisions where other supporting characters around her in the Big Brother house are clueless.

Looking back in relation to the real world and how it is in “Dead Set” It is portrayed to be Brooker’s way of pointing a finger at society and the way of life and showing off to an audience ‘this is the world and look how awful it is now and how is it any different in comparison to an apocalyptic world with a bleak landscape and polluted air and heavily populated by flesh eating monsters who want to eat you’ and using a setting like ‘Big Brother’ for instance shows of the depravity of the world we live in as it is a show which is a common form of bear bating for only the purposes of entertainment and we take pleasure out of watching shows like that for our own personal pleasure.

As Brooker describes when coming up with the ideas for ‘Dead Set’ “I was watching Big Brother when another thought struck me. All zombie movies eventually boil down to a siege situation. What better place to hide than a fortified house thronged with cameras? Every person in the country must've fantasized at some point about what would happen if some terrible apocalypse occurred during a run of Big Brother, leaving the contestants oblivious. So that would be the starting point.”– Brooker (2008) it plays on the viewers mind and the creative thinking but also having a gripping motive at the heart of it, which is the Zombie threat.

From a viewer’s response Simon Pegg says, “Despite my purist griping, I liked Dead Set a lot. It had solid performances, imaginative direction, good gore and the kind of inventive writing and verbal playfulness we've come to expect from the always-brilliant Brooker. As a satire, it took pleasing chunks out of media bumptiousness and, more significantly, the aggressive collectivism demonstrated by the lost souls who waste their Friday nights standing outside the Big Brother house, baying for the blood of those inside. Like Romero, Brooker simply nudges the metaphor to its literal conclusion, and spatters his point across our screens in blood and brains and bits of skull. If he had only eschewed the zeitgeist and embraced the docile, creeping weirdness that has served to embed the zombie so deeply in our grey matter, Dead Set might have been my favourite piece of television ever. As it was, I had to settle for it merely being bloody good.” – Pegg (2008) from a viewer’s point of view it shows how Brooker can represent his ideas on the world and society we live in and turn it on its side through the power of suggestion and creative thinking and create a drama that influences the right reactions so well.

In conclusion to defining horror and the media influences on how this popular genre engages its popularity on an audience and embodies changing cultural anxieties it is a matter of an apposing threat Zombies for example attacking the everyday society and people looking scared it creates a message to the viewer that ‘these are monsters, they are a threat, they are meant to be scary’ and the viewers gains an understanding from this and a connection is made triggering off a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles.

This chain reaction is triggered off by a sequence of scary moments or a scary moment in a horror film or TV programme, which creates an image of a monster that is implanted into the mind of the viewer and the viewer believes that it is real because their minds are telling them to believe it. But because its fiction it is clearly demonstrated in an obvious way of relating to real fear in a fictional reality.

NEXT WEEK:  PART TWO - What is Genre?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Review : Game of Thrones Part Two : Series 4 (2014)

The time has come. I'm reviewing Game of Thrones.

With the return of Game of Thrones last Monday, the fandom hype had gone mental and Episode 1 of the new series gained over 8 million viewers, and like 'Walking Dead' 'Game of Thrones' has grown its average seasonal audience with each year. The first series of GOT gained an average of 2.52 million viewers and has now progressed up over the years and keeps getting better and better. 

It is without a shadow of a doubt that Game of Thrones is a great show.

Due to a developed storyline combining elements of multiple genres, a vast range of characters that explore a "grey" area of morality that is far more realistic that many other shows have displayed previously, beautiful production design/cinematography - it looks good and sounds terrific and the acting is mostly brilliant, there isn't a bad member of the cast in it.

As for the matter of the incest, most people complain about this, and brag on about how much they don't agree with it, the point is your not supposed to agree with it; but it has occurred before in history and this is meant to portray a fictional representation. There are only around three scenes where is shown in four seasons worth - otherwise is drives an angle of the story so is discussed. 

Sex is a big part of life and yes Game of Thrones does not shy away from that fact. The fact that people find the sex scenes too much over the excessive violence/gore says more about our society and sex is perceived. Sure it's pretty vigorous but sex isn't always pretty and Hollywood-like with soft focus and gentle whispering. Additionally, elements of the story are based upon certain wars in history. Everything played by a different set of rules then and they're attempting to replicate the harshness of the past whilst infusing it with the fictional world created.

I'm almost certain wide shots have been used for emotional effect in Game of Thrones too - this isn't even a point.

If the story doesn't grip you or the characters aren't to your liking and don't quite convince you fair enough - it's not for everyone. A lot of people find the many many characters difficult to keep track of or find the world disinteresting which is fair enough as it's a highly extensive creation that won't please everyone. However, the show gets 8+million viewers from around the world, so it's definitely doing a lot more right than wrong.

As far as Series Four is concerned it picks up very well in terms of continuity and engages viewers with inviting content which draws you in, however half way through the series events do tend to get quite dry in places and there are certain moments which are dire to watch, consequently with that there is balance of interest which is quite uneven but that reverts back to my point of taste and peoples tastes in things, its very different and diverse. 

The episodes are jam packed with lots of action, emotional depths, drama, fantastic battle scenes and lots of fights and lots of running about to entertain the viewers and we get to learn a lot more about the characters like Jon Snow and you invest in them more. It's just more of everything which adds continental value to the continuity. 7/10.

NEXT WEEK : A Topical Review on The Horror Genre.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Review : Damages - Part Two

Damages (TV Series : 2007 - 2012) : A law school graduate becomes the protégée of a successful high-stakes litigator.

In the first review of the spring season I thought I'd deviate from popular films and big movies and look a few TV series just to even the balance out a bit. One TV series that I have been watching recently is 'Damages' now I was interested in watching this because for a start Glenn Close is in it and she's amazing. The whole idea of what the series was about was interesting to invest in, it's very much captivates that essence of American drama of learning about the law and how you do what it takes to win.

Winning becomes a corruption in this series, and you see it develop through several characters in their own way and how they interact with one another, how you can't trust anyone because you can't see whats going on behind their eyes.

I'm going to summarise this review by breaking down all of the individual series's at a time. Starting with Series 1 and finishing of course with Series 5. I will do the review in two parts. In the first part I'll review Series 1 and 2, and in the second part I shall review Series 3 - 5.

The First Episode of Damages aired on the 24th of July 2007 and the Last Episode aired on the 12th of September 2012.

It stars an amazing cast, consisting of Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, Rose Bryne as Ellen Parsons, Tate Donovan as Tom Shayes as well as guest starring people like Ted Danson, Campbell Scott and John Goodman throughout the series reign of six years.

Series 3 (2010)

I like the realistic progression of time which passes between Series 2 to Series 3. Because going into Series 3 did feel all the more refreshing and of course knowing the structure of the show the writers wish the audience to get drawn into the story relatively quickly. 

Mysteries start to unravel in the first episode. It's Tate Donovan's last series, Tom Shayes was being written out by this time, therefore the audience has explored everything they need to with this character and I liked how some of the concentration of the third series was based on Tom and his involvement in the Tobin fraud case and his loyalty to Patty in this Series and the other two series prior to that.

The main storyline the viewers are following over the course of thirteen episodes is the Tobin family fraud. Where Lewis Tobin is exposed for money laundering and is going to spend a life sentence in prison. However Mr Tobin lets it to to his son Joe that he has money hidden away for the rest of the family to spend and live on as time goes on. Helping them is their Lawyer, Lenny who has mysteries of his own and there's a bit more to him than meets the eye.

It's all a very cleverly constructed, well thought out, well acted storyline. Series 3 is my favourite of all 5 Series of the show because it captivates the essence of what I intemperate the show to be as a crime drama and reverting back to what I said before about the series as a whole 'winning becomes a corruption' and all the conspiracies intertwined within the series and how you can never really trust anyone and everyone has secrets of their own.

It did sort of frustrate me however that you tend to go back and forth between the two story lines, its difficult to try and reach a clear understanding because as soon as you think your beginning to understand the plot, something else happens later on which contradicts that way of thought, some might say that's a clever way into manipulating the viewer to carry on watching, for me from an editing point of view its very distracting. 

It didn't need to be thirteen episodes, the series was far too long winded and the conclusion wasn't all as what expected however it was still a good ending.  Though the series has its up sides it has its contradictions and continuity errors and irritating characters which all go hand in hand besides the good stuff. 7/10

Series 4 (2011)

I'll make this brief because I don't like Series 4. I think Series 4 and 5 of Damages didn't need to happen because they contributed absolutely no value to the benefit of the Series as a whole at all, especially Series 4. 

The story goes that Ellen is on her own, she wants to make it out there as Lawyer and she's thinking about taking down High star which is an organisation run by Howard Ericson "John Goodman" guest star. Who Ellen believe have been committing illegal acts in Afghanistan.  She has a friend she knew from School who by the way she's only recently got back in touch with, how convenient for her that he worked for High star and was out on a mission and three of his men and best mates got killed under unfortunate circumstances and the part of the series is finding out how they died and why they died.

For even Ten episodes, I thought the length would improve because there is not much episodes to watch as previous three series, but this seemed to go on and on. It seemed to last much longer than ten episodes, which again didn't need to be as long as it did.

Can I justify a dislike for Series 4? Yes. The main thing I don't like about it is the ending and Ellen's annoying in it. Ellen works so hard in building up a case, she's got Patty wrapped round her little finger and is willing to try and manipulate Patty to get what she wants, and at the same time Patty's playing a game of her own and in the end she decides to drop it all to save her friends life? what? that makes no sense at all, all the stuff with the boy didn't make much sense either, who was he? what value did he have to the story, all this great build up is done to establish the mystery and the overall explanation isn't anything in the least an average viewer deserves as being in the least satisfactory. 

It's a shame. This series had a great guest star and had so much potential to be good. But wasn't. 3/10.

Series 5 (2012)

And finally, we have Series 5. I won't go into too much nit-picking detail because there a many things which work in this series and other things which are disastrously bad. 

To give it credit, it is the final series so it's all about bringing everything to a close and rounding up things which may not have been too clear in the series prior to this final season like Ellen's story arc starting in Series 1 Episode 1, and of course it is a showdown of Patty vs Ellen in a big lawsuit case so that part of the series is exciting in it's own right.

I think it was all about Patty and Ellen and how much Ellen is like Patty because there are similarities between the two characters, two characters especially in Ellen and how far will she go to win. 

Patty and Ellen have amazing relationship together which we 'the viewer' have followed for six years and its all about rounding it off and bringing things to its natural end - lots of back and forth stuff. flash forwards, flash backs that kind of thing, giving the viewers all these separate puzzles to solve. 

The trouble is the final episode is really insulting to viewers. From the way the series has progressed up until this big finale... I as a viewer felt cheated by it. The underlining message of how much is too much really confused me because that's what Damages is about its states that in the end 'This is all pointless - who loses in the end? the common person.' and thats what the people do not care about 'the common person' and this is America in the 2000's and in turn is what Damages is about.

I've never actually recommended anyone NOT to watch something before. I don't think Damages is bad in anyway. It's very good in many ways and I do like it. However, as a series it's not all that. I would probably say don't watch it if you haven't got the patience for it, and you will have to be committed to this, you have to really sit down and watch it. No distractions. If you feel your prepared to do that then Damages is the right sort of show for you.

4/10 for me.

I give Damages 27/50 in total.

The last two series a really disappointing. 

NEXT WEEK : Game of Thrones - Series 4.