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Official THE BRIDGE Thread (Season 2)

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  • Atypical
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    #321678

    Season 2 of f[X]’s “The Bridge” premieres on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 @ 10 PM ET.

    Reviews forthcoming.

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    probablyROB
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    #321680

    Finally, something to watch this summer.  I was beginning to go a little crazy.  Here’s hoping the series improves upon a decent first season.

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    Denis
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    #321681

    Excited for this , Bichir is a great actor, hope many good storylines are to come for him on this new season.

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    Cobalt Blue
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    #321682

    Was my #7 show of last season.   Best cast that nobody talks about.

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    Atypical
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    #321683

    Sepinwall’s review:

    Review: FX’s “The Bridge” finds more consistency in season 2

    HitFix: B+

    Readers: n/a

    But is the cop drama set on the El Paso/Juarez border better now that the serial killer arc is done?

    by Alan Sepinwall @ Sepinwall | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 9:00 AM

    For most of its first season, FX’s “The Bridge” seemed as caught between two worlds as its two heroes, who worked opposite sides of the El Paso/Juarez border. In one world, the show was stuck adapting the serial killer story from the original Scandinavian “Bron,” and not providing a particularly inspired take on an overdone subject. In the other world, “The Bridge” was having a lot of fun looking at the weird culture along that border, and in establishing the bond between Texas cop Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) and her Mexican counterpart Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir). The second show was much more interesting than the first, but the first show kept swallowing the first one whole.

    Then two promising things happened. First, the season wrapped up the serial killer arc with two episodes to spare, and devoted those concluding chapters to all the things the show had done well, including an exploration of the infamous Lost Girls of Juarez. Second, co-showrunner Meredith Stiehm left to go back to “Homeland” full time; Stiehm’s an excellent writer, but this left “The Bridge” under the sole creative direction of Elwood Reid, who has publicly admitted on several occasions that the serial killer stuff wasn’t where he should be concentrating going forward.

    In a letter to critics that accompanied a large batch of episodes from season 2 (it returns tomorrow night at 10), Reid wrote, “We loved the characters and story of ‘Bron’ and stayed relatively true to the original story, which was centered around the hunt for a serial killer. That said, the serial killer thread was not the most interesting aspect of our adaptation. The most interesting thing to us has always been the shadow world of the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. And that will be the focus of ‘The Bridge,’ this season and beyond.”

    In its first season, “The Bridge” wasn’t great, but it had moments suggesting it was capable of greatness. The hope in a situation like this is that the behind-the-scenes upheaval, combined with Reid’s public acknowledgment of the show’s strengths and weaknesses, would bring the show closer to greatness, if not all the way there. But the new season (I’ve seen the first five episodes) feels more consistent without feeling like a significant improvement. It’s become more of the show that it should be, but still smacks of potential more than anything else.

    It’s an ambitious season, certainly, setting up an elaborate investigation into the cartel of Juarez drug lord Fausto Galvan (Ramon Franco, casually menacing at all times) that includes an El Paso bank, a Mexican conglomerate, our two favorite cops, a pair of angry DEA agents, other government agencies from both nations, odd couple reporting duo Daniel Frye (Matthew Lillard, in a terrific piece of career reinvention) and Adriana Mendez (Emily Rios), overmatched grifters Charlotte (Annabeth Gish) and Ray (Brian Van Holt), and—perhaps most importantly for the purposes of this new arc and direction—an inscrutable, dangerous cartel fixer named Eleanor Nacht (played in Mennonite drag by Franka Potente).

    There are a lot of moving parts, especially when you factor in leftover bits of business from last summer, like Marco’s desire for revenge against the man who murdered his son, Sonya’s attachment to the brain-damaged man who years ago killed her sister, or the way station for endangered Mexican women that employs the show’s strangest character (which, for “The Bridge,” is saying something) in Thomas Wright’s Steven Linder. Reid and company do a good job of demonstrating how all the pieces are connected—structurally, the whole thing feels like “The Wire: El Paso,” even if it doesn’t come close to that show’s power (*)—but the narrative is so diffuse and busy that the big moments don’t tend to land even with the force of the better moments in season 1.

    (*) Then again, almost nothing of consequence has happened five episodes into any given “Wire” season—which means that we could get to the end of the season with my opinion significantly higher than it is at this point.

    The serial killer arc was formulaic and annoying, but it also kept the show streamlined enough that you could savor the character beats, whether the unlikely bond between Sonya (rubbing the world the wrong way due to undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome) and Marco (earthy and gregarious, and also morally compromised in a way Sonya wouldn’t allow herself to be), or Daniel Frye’s struggle with his own addictions, or Linder’s creepy yet sweet attachment to Eva (Stephanie Sigman), one of the women he rescued from a bad situation in Juarez.

    These stories and more continue in the new season, yet they feel like distractions from the main plot—or vice versa. This is an intrinsically more compelling and germane main story arc than the serial killer nonsense, yet the show’s best moments are still the ones that have the least to do with it. We get to see more of Sonya as a sexually bold but socially clumsy woman (**), and the show sparks to weird, wonderful life whenever Linder wanders through with his stiff movements and thick-as-molasses voice, even though his corner of the story is only tenuously connected to what’s happening with the cops, the reporters, and Eleanor Nacht.

    (**) You wouldn’t ordinarily think to compare Diane Kruger and Jason Alexander, but there’s a moment in the season premiere where Sonya seems to turn into George Costanza while with a confused male partner.

    And without giving too much away, it does feel like in Eleanor, the show has traded in one larger-than-life villain for another. Because this one is played by Franka Potente, and because Reid and company have given Eleanor so many unusual tics (maybe too many, but we’ll see how she turns out in the end), it’s much more entertaining to watch her wreak havoc along the border than it was to sit through the puppet master games of David Tate in season 1. But she also comes across less as an example of the show exploring that shadow world of the border than of the show needing a colorful antagonist to keep the plot moving.

    I liked “The Bridge” a lot at times in its first season, thanks to its actors (including Ted Levine as Sonya’s boss and mentor, Lt. Hank Wade) and thanks to the weird energy Reid, Stiehm, and the rest conjured up in depicting these two border towns. The serial killer story played as the unfortunate cost of admission into that world, and something the show would almost certainly improve on once it moved beyond.

    I can more easily recommend season 2 over season 1—it’s a show with a much stronger command of its subject matter and awareness of its own strengths and weaknesses—even as “The Bridge” still seems to be stuck in that nebulous border region separating the pretty good from the genuinely great.

    Alan Sepinwall may be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com

    Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-fxs-the-bridge-finds-more-consistency-in-season-2#BeV9SB2rJX3biycp.99

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    probablyROB
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    #321684

    The Wire:  El Paso?  The one thing I admired about this show in the first season was its pacing and patience even if it didn’t have the material to get anywhere near the brilliance of The Wire.  I am cautously optimistic about this season.  More so now than before.

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    Denis
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    #321685

    I dunno how to respond to that, I think Sepinwall most of the time is hyperbolic, too passionate about things that really aren’t that. But I prefer that than bad reviews. Looking foward to it now more than before.

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    Atypical
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    #321686

    NY Times’s review:

    An Odd Couple Returns, Still Bound by a Border

    Season 2 of “The Bridge” Starts on FX

    JULY 8, 2014

    Critic’s Notebook

    by MIKE HALE

    When “The Bridge” won a prestigious Peabody Award this year for its first season, the citation made it clear that the FX show’s quality as a crime drama wasn’t the only or even the most important reason. First came, “For raising awareness of border issues,” including the so-called Lost Girls of Juárez, followed by “while creating a compelling murder mystery.”

    And just this week, Elwood Reid, the series’ showrunner and head writer, said in a long, chatty email to critics, “The most interesting thing to us has always been the shadow world of the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez” in all of its “complicated, bilingual glory.”

    Which is all well and good. But as Season 2 starts on Wednesday, “The Bridge” still feels like a show caught between two masters. It has a lot of the pieces it needs to actually be a compelling murder mystery—some good performances in key roles; an evocative, sun-blasted look; and an ability (presumably Mr. Reid’s) to concoct creepy, suspenseful scenes.

    Yet we’re still waiting for it all to come together. In Season 1, we were introduced to the odd-couple team of Sonya Cross, the American cop with Asperger’s-like symptoms, and Marco Ruiz, the Mexican cop with copious personal problems, who were brought together by the show’s opening coup de théâtre (lifted from the Danish-Swedish original it is based on): a body left straddling the United States-Mexican border.

    The subsequent investigation lurched from a coincidence here to a strained subplot there, gradually revealing a comically elaborate revenge plot on the part of a former F.B.I. agent. Other over-the-top elements kept popping up: a good-old-boy American crook being forced to perform oral sex on a matronly Mexican drug lord; Sonya (Diane Kruger) shooting Marco (Demian Bichir) to keep him from killing the killer.

    Maybe the straightforward, entertaining mystery that could be discerned beneath all the baroque trappings was neglected because too much attention was going to the borderland atmosphere and cultural politics. And there was a lot of obvious heavy lifting going on to get past the Season 1 story line, which followed the Scandinavian series, and set up Season 2, which was billed as a direct, fictional take on the Lost Girls situation (in which hundreds of women and girls have been killed in the Ciudad Juárez area).

    In the early going, Season 2 is more of the same—teasingly effective but frustratingly unfocused, as the Sonya-Marco team and the comic-relief team of journalists, Frye (Matthew Lillard) and Adriana (Emily Rios), once again separately investigate connected crimes, while the would-be drug dealers led by Charlotte (Annabeth Gish) bungle along in the background. Joining the cast is Franka Potente as a cartel bookkeeper and lapsed Mennonite who amps up the weird quotient considerably. All these strands will gather, more or less believably, around the narco kingpin Fausto (Ramón Franco).

    In the meantime, we can enjoy the cinematography, which really is first rate, along with the show’s primary blessing, the performances of Mr. Lillard, Ms. Kruger, and particularly Mr. Bichir, who is completely convincing as the laconic, confused, dryly humorous Marco. His weary eyes and aching body language tell us most of what we need to know about border issues.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/arts/television/season-2-of-the-bridge-starts-on-fx.html?_r=0

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    Atypical
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    #321687

    Episode Title: “Yankee”

    Synopsis: Sonya meets a man connected to her past; Marco discovers he is no longer safe in his own department; Frye and Adriana investigate the origins of the money house; a mysterious woman crosses into El Paso.

    Discuss.

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    Cobalt Blue
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    #321688

    I’ve seen the first two episodes and gave them both a B.  I think they are strong and satisfying episodes if you’ve already bought into the show, but if not, I’m not sure if there’s enough to pull someone in.   It’s an unorthodox approach.  The narrative thrust of the season isn’t really defined yet.  There’s various pieces falling into place for what looks like a wide-reaching investigation into the cartels, but no big hook yet.   What may be the biggest intrigue is the new villain played by Franka Potente.   She indeed has a hell of a presence and is an interesting character.   Bizarre is probably the best word!

    Still no Linder and no Charlotte two episodes in.

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    Atypical
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    #321689

    The premiere was chaotic and busy, but good. I would have focused it solely on catch-up between Sonya and Marco. Sonya getting together with the brother of her sister’s killer is fascinating. Marco’s depression is well-played by Demian Bichir. I would like to see Catalina Sandino Moreno back on at least once this season to close up that thread for good. I adore the chemistry between Emily Rios and Matthew Lillard, so those scenes were favorites of mine. I was perfectly fine with there being no Thomas M. Wright here, and unless Annabeth Gish and Brian Van Holt integrate into the main plotlines better, I’d be okay with them being sidelined this season too. Franka Potente made quite the first impression. Such a cool and collected calm that makes such evil and terror. It looks like she’s going to have an incredible season. Nice start to things.

    Grade for “Yankee”: B

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    Denis
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    #321690

    I’ve seen the first two episodes and gave them both a B.  I think they are strong and satisfying episodes if you’ve already bought into the show, but if not, I’m not sure if there’s enough to pull someone in.   It’s an unorthodox approach.  The narrative thrust of the season isn’t really defined yet.  There’s various pieces falling into place for what looks like a wide-reaching investigation into the cartels, but no big hook yet.   What may be the biggest intrigue is the new villain played by Franka Potente.   She indeed has a hell of a presence and is an interesting character.   Bizarre is probably the best word!

    Still no Linder and no Charlotte two episodes in.

    How come?? Is it airing sooner in some other country? Canada?

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    Cobalt Blue
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    #321691

    Comcast subscibers can see the second episode early.

    I don’t know if that’s a one-time thing or not.

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    Atypical
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    #321692

    Episode Title: “Ghost of a Flea”

    Synopsis: A bizarre killing attracts attention on both sides of the border; Frye and Adriana find more than they bargained for with their first lead; Eleanor enlists the help of a young boy.

    Discuss.

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    Atypical
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    #321693

    Episode Title: “Sorrowsworn”

    Synopsis: Sonya and Marco make an unsettling discovery as they continue to track Eleanor; Charlotte’s business takes a hit; Eva and Linder are reunited.

    Discuss.

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