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Notorious

Notorious – Pilot (1×01)

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Notorious is trying really hard to be the next Scandal but despite Julia’s “gladiator” demeanor, it isn’t really living up to the expectations.

I mean don’t get me wrong, the episode was interesting but the mystery that will no doubt carry us through the whole season barely skimmed the ice. It was predictable, cliche, and kind of not-believable. I’ve worked in a newsroom, no matter what you tell me, there is absolutely nothing fun about throwing out a rundown 2 minutes before the show starts.

While you might want to make Notorious your guilty pleasure, I should warn you, ratings were pretty measly…. although we can probably blame that on football.

We meet Julia, a head honcho at the most successful news network. 2 minutes before her guest for the night Jake is supposed to go live, she finds out that his client and Hollywood icon Oscar Keaton has barricaded himself in his house after a bad hit and run that he may or may not be responsible for.

Louisa Herrick begins grilling him about the barricade and he storms off set, clearly caught off guard. Except it didn’t catch him off guard – the whole thing was staged. In fact, Julia and Jake are working together. He lets her break the stories while he controls the narrative. You know the whole “deceptive journalism” idea? Well Julia is all about it… all for the good of the show of course.

The whole set up is a little odd considering you’d think their motivations would be that they’re sleeping together. But in fact, they are not. In reality, Jake is sleeping with Oscar’s wife but no one knows about it. That’s why he’s in for a treat when he finds out that Sarah was actually the one driving the car the night of the hit and run. He’s even more shocked when she lies about “not remembering it” because she was on pills… pills which she bought AFTER the accident.

Things get even worse when Oscar calls Jake in a panic because mere hours before Sarah is set to go on Julia’s show she is found stabbed to death in her mansion. Jake is obviously hurt by the whole thing while Julia is sort of thrilled cause she gets to break the story.

At this point, no one is really trustworthy, not even Jake, who Julia thinks would “never lie to her” – a pact they made to keep their whole business set up honest. She’s blindsided when a random source, which I think is Ryan, Julia’s new assistant, sends her picture of Oscar cheating, Sarah’s dead body and… Jake hooking up with Sarah.

Jake isn’t the first person to totally betray her trust either. While she plays this strong and powerful woman at work, her personal life is more of a mess… especially after she finds out her boyfriend was ordering escorts in DC. She breaks up with him obviously and threatens to expose the story one day when he isn’t expecting it… like when he runs senate. Evil right? I think this was the moment I liked her the most.

Other Thoughts

  • The idea that if you are the bosses son you get your foot in the door without any questions asked holds true in this case. He even stoops low enough to hit on one of Jake’s workers so he can get a scoop and schmooze up to Julia. Again why I think he’s the one who sent her those anonymous photos at the end.
  • Louisa also gives off the fake perception that you can hook up with whoever you want mere minutes before a live network show and still pull it off. Also, why is this woman the star of said network show? She’s pretty slimy.
  • Who do you think killed Sarah? It def could have been Oscar considering he could have found out about her sleeping with Jake. Then again he was cheating on her so there could be more players involved and we just don’t know.

Overall, the show had a solid premiere, however there was a lot going on, especially with Jake handling two cases at once. The thing that Scandal does really well is rip headlines straight out of the news. At this point, the way Julia throws together her show is less believable than the fact that the President of the United States has a mistress… and that just isn’t right.

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Notorious

Notorious – Taken (1×10)

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Notorious Taken

While watching the Notorious winter finale, I couldn’t help but think that this was the last one they were ever going to get. Why? Well, there’s a few reasons actually.

The show is mediocre, at its best. There’s really no drive for me to watch it every Thursday other than it fills a void where Scandal used to be. In fact, Notorious may have failed because it tried WAY too hard to be the next Scandal. Take this kidnapping storyline for example. Shonda Rhimes tried it last season in a more intricate and believable way… and it still flopped.

Not only was the Mexico storyline a stretch, even for Notorious, it was also a lesser version of something we’d already seen. I know Julie George will do anything for a story but I just don’t think she’s an idiot. And if she is as dumb as to accept an offer from the most notorious drug lord in Mexico, then she’d never make it out alive.

The episode continued where we left off last week – Julie was kidnapped from her hotel room by El Toro’s people. When he realized that they grabbed Julie instead of Louise, someone paid the price with a bullet to his head. However, it was kind of a blessing in disguise because Louise would NEVER survive trying to outsmart El Toro. Julie however stood a chance and even talked herself out of lock up with another reporter who they thought was dead by tricking the drug lord into thinking she had information he wanted.

Meanwhile, Louise realized that the Mexican government wasn’t doing much to help get Julia back because they didn’t want to get involved, she called up the station. They’ve been told NOT to report on Julia’s disappearance because they have to do it by the books, which just means, payout.

Megan, who has taken on the coveted role of executive producer decides that she’s going to get the story out there by simply “remembering” who Julia was. That way, every other news outlet will pick up the story and they’ll have to run with it. It was a brilliant idea, you can definitely tell she’s Julia’s apprentice, but it did get Darin fired. There’s a brief father-son bonding moment but really, did you care about it?

That’s the other problem with this show – I can watch it passively. I’m not invested in what happens with the characters because I don’t really care about them. I don’t care about them any more than I did in the first episode and that ultimately plays a huge factor in why people didn’t get hooked on the show and why it won’t get a second season…. trust me, it won’t.

While all of this is happening, Louise decides to do a live broadcast from that Mexican bar/hotel with the help of a local affiliate. Right as they’re about to go on air, El Toro’s people roll up for a shooting spree. Miraculously, no one was injured.

When Jake Gregorian gets wind of what’s happening and realizes that Julia’s “boyfriend” and state’s attorney Max knew about her trip to Mexico, he flips out. It doesn’t help that he tipped off the cops who weren’t so “undercover” and is really the reason why she’s in this mess. Seriously, the cops can never actually handle anything.

That’s why Jake takes it upon himself to head out to Mexico with a huge bag of cash and negotiate. Smart right? His team Bradley and Ella try to find him some leverage and learn that El Toro has a nephew he tried to pull out of a Mexican jail earlier in the month. Max decides to be of some use and grants them visitation rights and they find out, the nephew isn’t the bad guy. In fact, he’s also on the run from his uncle, who wants to have him killed. Oy family drama.

Jake arrives in Mexico and somehow, knows exactly where to find Louise. It’s like he’s done this before. Bradley calls Jake to tell him to halt the exchange with El Toro’s mistress and gives him the correct coordinates to kingpin’s hideout. On their way in, they are ambushed by the kingpin’s people and bring him and Louise right to the compound where Julia is. In fact, she’s been holding on by a thread – she just conducted an interview with El Toro and only asked the “approved” questions so he could spew his revolutionist propaganda. It made her sick, you could tell, but anything to survive right?

Long story short, Louise gets caught within seconds trying to set up El Toro, Julia convinces his brother to turn on him and promises to free his nephew in exchange for their freedom. El Toro’s brother was never his biggest fan and didn’t like how he treated his son and when push came to shove, he shot a bullet in his head.

So everyone escaped, Julia got a great story out of it, Louise returned to work and replaced that god-awful Avery, who almost got Julia killed with her “we’re going to crush you El Toro” commentary, might I add.

There was also a brief “moment” between Julia and Jake. These two definitely have chemistry but the show tried really hard to keep them as “just friends” and I appreciate that. Anything more would ruin it and I guess it’s nice to know a guy and a girl can be strictly platonic and still care for each other the way these two do. That’s not saying any of my guy, or girl for that matter, friends would book a trip to Mexico to save me but hey, a gentleman is a gentleman right? And a lawyer has money… and private jets… and such.

Still, that’s not enough to save the show and I’m sorry about that Notorious fans. There’s just so many missing and moving pieces. I can’t even remeber where we left off on the Oscar Keaton story. Do we still care about him? And Maya Hartman, remember her? She meant a great deal to Julia and try as I might, I can’t even remember much about her story except that her mother slept with her boyfriend and she was framed for his murder. Anyways, Julia promised her they’d “get through this” but then she got kidnapped and in the end, Maya jumped off a bridge and left behind an “i’m sorry” note for Julia asking her to “take care of her mother.”

If there was a second half of the season, what do you think would happen?

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Notorious

Notorious – Missing (1×05)

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Notorious Missing

Now that was a good episode of Notorious. Up until now, I felt like the storyline was moving at a glacial pace and there was nothing that really allowed me to connect with the characters. Jake was just a dude covering up for criminals and Julia was the person manipulating the news just to get good TV. All of that changed this week.

After witnessing Levi Young blow his brains out, Julia wasn’t her usual self although she really pretended to be. She went to the DA and gave her statement, scoring him for that night’s show. The both of them seemed to hit it off really well but it came to a screeching halt when Julia blindsided him with the footage that Levi sent her the night of the murder. In her defense, blindsiding people is what she does best to get “honest” reactions but this was cold, especially because she didn’t want to do it. She didn’t want to throw a man who just killed himself under the bus fully knowing that he was innocent because his big secret was the he was in love with Oscar Keaton. But she did it anyways and the DA was not pleased. “You’re just Gregorian’s mouthpiece” he told her.

Sure, that tape definitely did help Jake, who used Levi’s death as an asset to freeing Oscar. Unfortunately, it didn’t work because there was no sufficient evidence that Levi had motive to kill Sarah. But the DA does know someone who had motive – Jake. Someone sent him that picture that Levi took of Sarah sleeping with Jake the night of her murder. He threatens him with it and when he’s ambushed on LHL, he plants the photo in Oscar’s cell to see if he was aware of the affair.

When Oscar sees the picture, he demands Jake comes down to the prison. “You were sleeping with my wife,” he yells before punching him in the face and firing. While it may not be the best move for Oscar, it’s definitely even worse for Jake because ALL of his secrets are about to be exposed and honestly, he does look kind of guilty at this point, although I’m sure he’s not.

Julia finally had a mental breakdown as she washed Levi’s shoes off the bottom of her probably really expensive shoes and the next day, she walked into the DA’s office and apologized to him. This moment was really important because up until now, we hadn’t really seen who Julia is as a person, when she’s not motivated and driven by producing a hit news show. While she’s making amends, she also apologizes to her assistant Megan and Louise for being the raging B at work this week and as a reward, they invited the DA so Julia can properly apologize with some alcohol. We all need some good friends don’t we?

While I’m smitten with Julia’s forming relationship with the DA, it will definitely complicate things between her and Jake. The DA isn’t really a fan of Jake and now he’s trying to prove that he killed Sara… not a good way to start a friendship with your new girls partner in crime.

The side story this week was also very intriguing. Jake accepted a case from a young surrogate mother who couldn’t find the baby’s biological parents. The manager of the facility refused to disclose the parent’s information because of a doctor-patient confidentially, which would mean that when Penny had the baby, she didn’t have parental rights to give it up for adoption. She either had to keep it or give it up to foster care. Jake got very emotionally invested in the case because we find out he too was in foster care for several years.

The case takes an even crazier twist revealing how messed up the laws governing surrogacy really are. Penny goes on LHL looking for the parents and her water breaks. A couple shows up at Jake’s office saying that they are the people that were supposed to adopt Penny’s baby. They paid out $200K, although Penny only received $50K of it. But still, without the biological parents, Penny could not legally give this couple the baby and it was taken away by Child Protective Services.

Jake didn’t rest until he hunted down the clinic owner, who admitted to really, human trafficking in exchange for dough. He finds out the baby didn’t have biological parents because it was conceived from a donated egg and sperm in Prague. She then told the parents waiting to adopt that Penny miscarried so that she could RE-SELL the baby and make even more money. Seriously, what kind of disgusting person do you have to be?

But since the donors surrendered parental rights, Penny was legally the babies mother and in the end, she was able to give the couple the baby they’ve always wanted. And that lady, yeah she’s going to rot in jail.

Now that you have a deeper grasp on the characters and where the storyline is going, did you enjoy this weeks episode of Notorious?

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Notorious

Notorious – Tell Me A Secret (1×04)

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Notorious Tell Me A Secret

To me, Notorious is trying really hard to be the next Scandal and failing pretty impressively. I can’t say I’m really invested in the Oscar/Sarah drama because well, I just don’t care that much. We don’t know much about Oscar and we met Sarah so briefly, I forgot she even existed.

Jake seems to be the only one that cared about Sarah but he’s not even motivated to find her killer. His only goal is to make his client, Oscar, not guilty. So of course, he sets his prison-sent client on Julia’s hit show LHL where he fends of cheating rumors and spins the story on Levi, his business partner turned stalker turn SweetVicki.

Levi, as we found out last week, was the one that sent Julia all those photos of Oscar cheating on Sarah, hitting her and Sarah’s affair with Jake. We also found out that he posed as SweetVicki and cat fished Oscar into thinking he was opening up and chatting to some nice blonde. Creepy right?

 

Julia should have seen Levi’s off-the-rocker moment coming but well, she didn’t cause she was too preoccupied sulking in the fact that it was her would have been 1-year anniversary with scumbag Eric. To celebrate, Louise joined her in their dinner reservations and helped her burn any last remaining evidence of him.

What should have been a good night turned horrible when Julia got back to work and found a video email of an unstable and drunk Levi saying she “got everything wrong.” If she wanted to learn the truth about Sarah/Oscar, she’d have to meet him at his house. Learning her decision making skills from horror movies and needing to get the next scoop, Julia rushed over to his house, only to find him sitting in front of his Oscar shrine. The man was in LOVE with Oscar but knew he’d never be able to actually be with him cause Oscar didn’t feel the same way. He posed as SweetVicki to form that bond he’s always wanted with him and sent those pictures hoping that Sarah would learn the truth and never take him back.

And right before he blows his brains out, splattering Julia’s most likely very expensive clothes, he promises he didn’t kill Sarah. Not that we believe him after all of this. Let’s just hope that his mansion had security cameras installed because THAT’S an exclusive for LHL right there. Hey, we’re always putting the show first right?

The remainder of the episode focused on the case of the week surrounding a dead football player. The app “Tell Me a Secret” begins accusing Jason’s friend Dax, the misunderstood loner with hipster hair. Dax may be innocent but makes a run for it anyway, getting arrested on an existing warrant and held for the possible murder of.

 

 

His sister Chloe turns to Jake Gregorian, an old family friend, who promises to take care of the kids after finding out his old friend and their mom had an episodic breakdown and is in now in psych lockup. That definitely doesn’t bode well for Dax since the football coach advocating for his arrest uses it against him. Chloe gets book on LHL to defend her brother and is surprised when she has to go head-to-head with “tell it like it is” coach. The fact that he’s trying to make everyone believe Dax killed this kid with NO EVIDENCE really makes me believe like he’s hiding something. He calls out Chloe’s parenting of her brother and Louise reads a very threatening text message sent by Dax to Jason, which prompts Chloe to storm off set.

We later find out poor Chloe lied about her alibi the night of the murder because she was trying to hide the fact that she’s been doing everything possible to help support the family, even stripping at a nightclub. With a dead end, Jake enlist’s Ella for help, who comes up with quite the brilliant plan.

During the pep rally, she uses the “Tell Me a Secret” app to lure out the real killer. When two dudes bolt out of the rally, Ella and her partner in crime/ new hookup/ possibly BF Ryan corner them. They confess to hazing Jason the night of his murder but promise that he was alive when they left him. Finally, Jake figures the killer was Dax and Chloe’s best friend Finn.

After Jason was drunkenly hazed, he called the house to score a ride. Chloe and Dax weren’t home so Finn went to pick him up, but got pissed when Jason gloated about “his only real friends” hazing him in. In a fit of rage, he threw a rock at his friend, accidentally killing him and yes, letting his other friend Dax, take the  blame because “everyone would believe it.” What a douche right?

And speaking of Ella and Ryan, the two are the show’s newest “it couple,” which could be good or bad. Both have a desire to get ahead and will do whatever it takes to get there. They could either rely on each other, or use each other. Their relationship though is yet another direct link to Julia and Jake, who are going to get together eventually right?

 

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