Ladies it’s time to stop sleeping on ‘The Bold Type’

Summer’s best show for women is barely scraping by in the ratings and it’s because for someone unknown reason every woman in her 20’s, and hell maybe just every woman out there in general, isn’t tuning in. “The Bold Type” follows the lives of three young women living in New York City working at the women’s interest publication Scarlet.

At first glance “The Bold Type” is another cheesy, girly show. I know I was guilty of taking this assumption at first, but it’s so much more than that. The series leaves every female centric show you’ve ever seen that felt overdramatized (“Sex and the City”) or just plain un-relatable and unlikable (“Girls”) in the dust.

“The Bold Type” feels real, relatable and honest in every sense of the words for many reasons. It should be essential viewing for any woman looking for a show about women that feels like the life they’re living and here are some reasons why:

  1. Women supporting women

So very often with female-centric shows the leading ladies end up being in competition or consistently catty towards one another despite supposedly being BFF’s. This is absolutely not the case with this series. Jane, Kat and Sutton are true best friends who no matter what the situation is, be it related to careers, love lives or anything in between, support the hell out of one another. Even when they do have a disagreement they solve it like adults and genuinely apologize instead of making snide, sarcastic remarks that an audience is supposed to just accept as reconciliation.

  1. No ‘bitch boss’ stereotype

The Editor-in-Chief of Scarlet magazine, Jacqueline, is at first glance another copy of Meryl Steep’s “Devil Wears Prada” character. Quickly though it’s proven she’s not just some powerful, non-feeling boss who terrorizes her employees. Jacqueline is understanding and compassionate while also being a powerful, in-charge force of nature that takes no shit. She supports the women who work for her, even when they mess up, and cares about their well-being because she was once just like them. She’s not afraid to call someone out, but she’s also going to stop and lend a helping hand if she can.

  1. LGBT+ rep (that also happens to be interracial)

The show unexpectedly threw in a lovely, and so far nicely handled, coming out storylines of sorts. Kat, who is African American, meets Adena, who is a Muslin lesbian, and an attraction is sparked between the two. Kat, up until this point has always considered herself straight, but when she realizes that maybe she isn’t so straight and tells her friends there’s no weirdness between them. Just because Kat has now expressed an attraction towards a woman her friends don’t start treating her differently, she’s not suddenly oversexualized nor do her friends suddenly feel uncomfortable being just as freely open about their bodies and compliments towards one another around her as before. Kat and Adena’s relationship is discussed just as normally as the other two girls, but also tackles interesting subjects like being in an interracial relationship and what it’s like for a Muslim woman to be out and proud in America.

  1. Accurate and honest depiction of women’s issues and topics

“The Bold Type” doesn’t skirt around women’s issues that are serious, it’s not all love triangles and bad hair days here. So far they’ve tackled sexuality, the inability to have an orgasm, the BRCA breast cancer gene and women’s underappreciated position in many workplaces. Truth be told that’s not even all of it and we’re only six episodes in. They don’t just look at these issues though; they take them seriously and look at them in modern and intelligent ways that both make them accessible and informative.

  1. Male characters who aren’t dicks

The women of this show aren’t the only thing to admire; the male characters are actually quite interesting as well. We aren’t handed male characters that need to be ‘fixed’ or who behave like jackasses and are instantly forgiven. We’re given genuinely good guys, especially the possibly perfect human man Alex. Even Jane’s love interest, Pinstripe, who at first seems like a brash dude-bro is quite understanding and far more than meets the eye.

  1. Realistic romances

Kat and Adena are complicated and real to a striking degree. Jane and Pinstripe are very uncomplicated to a perfect point. Sutton and Richard seem like a perfect, pretty couple, but as we’re now seeing might not actually be so suited for one another with a love triangle that’s actually not nonsensical or about bitter jealousy rising up with Alex being thrown into the mix. The romances don’t feel forced or overdramatized they just feel like real romances you’ve either seen or experienced yourself before.

 

All in all “The Bold Type” is the incredibly bold, pun intended, relatable show that women deserve to have in their lives and need to be watching, men could probably stand to learn a thing or two by watching it as well. Ladies let’s not let this show that finally seems to understand the realities of being a woman in the modern age slip through our fingers.

“The Bold Type” airs Tuesdays @ 9/8c on Freeform and is available on iTunes & Hulu the next day.

A farewell to ‘Orphan Black’

In 2013 Sarah Manning entered a Canadian train station and witnessed the suicide of woman who had the exact same face as her. Her entire world would be upended and for the first time I found myself completely hooked by nothing but the opening scene of a television series.

This Saturday “Orphan Black” will air its final episode ever, it’s cheesy to say but it’s truly the end of an era.  For five glorious seasons “Orphan Black” will have churned out 50 episodes of non-stop, thought provoking, well-written, brilliantly acted, somehow scientifically sense-making television.

For five fantastic years Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany (does anyone else still get ridiculously giddy when saying that phrase?), has played countless character ranging from countless women, one incredible man and even a scorpion. She’s been surrounded by an incredible supporting cast, most notably Jordan Gavaris’ sorely underrated Felix, Kevin Hanchard’s all-around good man Art, Kristian Bruun’s ridiculous yet somehow brave Donnie and Ari Millen’s many castor clones who carried the heavy weight of living up to the standard expertly set by Maslany.

For five brilliant years the talented people behind this show have brought a fandom, lovingly known as the Clone Club, together. We’ve experienced every emotion, every laugh, every heartbreak, every loss and every creepy thing Kira has said side by side.

And to all that and the many other things this show has given us I simply say, thank you. Thank you for the inspiration, for these incredible, dynamic characters, for the representation and for what has probably been the most overall well done and consistent television series I’ve ever seen. Not even boring old Paul brought down the long time high quality this show has always churned out.

It’s gonna be hard to say goodbye. It’s gonna be hard to let go of these beautiful characters I’ve grown so attached to. But even though it’ll be difficult it’s also a welcomed thing, because I feel confident that this finale will be amazing, satisfying and completely fit of what these characters all deserve.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the finale, much like always I’m sure this show will do something incredibly smart and unexpected. All I do know for sure is I’m gonna take it all in and love every final second we’re given just as I’ve loved and felt every second they’ve given us before.

We’ll always have these five seasons and the amazing things the Clone Club experienced together, so let’s buckle up for what’s bound to be one outstanding final ride.

Welcome to the final trip, man.

UPDATED: A fangirl’s definitive ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become known for their amazing films since 2008’s “Iron Man.” But we all know that some have been better than others and some have just fallen flat. So let’s rank the movies so far from worst to best.

Now updated to include this weekend’s latest Marvel release, which nearly drops all the films in the MCU down a notch.

*Authors note: in complete honesty I never could be bothered to even watch ‘Doctor Strange’ hence it’s absence from this list.

15. ‘Iron Man 3’

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I know people love this movie and it made all the money but the third Iron Man stand-alone tried a lot of things and most of them didn’t work. The film’s villains fell flat compared to the first two films and it didn’t seem to know just how to handle Tony’s world post “Avengers.” The biggest problem was the new director; Jon Favreau was sorely missed behind the camera.

14. ‘The Incredible Hulk’

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While Mark Ruffalo has mastered the character, Edward Norton’s turn as Bruce Banner was enjoyable. The story was solid and didn’t try to simply redo the first film, which we should never ever speak of. The film successfully redeemed the Hulk name in the MCU, but wasn’t a stand out worthy of a higher spot.

13. ‘Thor: The Dark World’

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This sequel wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as its predecessor either. Loki yet again stole the show, but supporting characters like Lady Sif and Fandral deserved more screen time than they were allotted. Jane could have used more to do than damsel it for the better part of the movie as well.

12. ‘Iron Man’

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The movie that started it all started it all with a bang. Tony’s enigmatic personality was brilliantly played with the utmost perfect casting decision of Robert Downy Jr. Because of the incredible director/actor duo of Downey and Favreau Marvel’s new era was reigned in pretty perfectly.

11. ‘Ant-Man’

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“Ant-Man” could have been a trainwreck. When the longtime connected director and screenwriter dropped out of the film fans were worried, but the tiny hero rose above the negativity. Paul Rudd perfectly combines humor and hero as Scott Lang and the movie proved itself to be a standout in the MCU. Ant-Man is a lesser known Marvel hero and the movie gave the character a well-deserved spotlight.

10. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

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While not everyone loved the Avengers follow up you can’t deny its awesome villain and witty dialogue. Also for those long suffering Hawkeye fans like me this movie finally gave him some well-deserved screen time. Not a perfect film, but a solid ending to Joss Whedon’s time with the MCU.

9. ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’

It took a long time but Marvel finally got Spiderman right. Tom Holland is a perfect fit for the role, playing the fact that Spidey really is just a kid at the end of the day fantastically. Plus that plot twist was the first time I was genuinely shocked by something in a Marvel film. The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is because it could have been better with a lot less or no Tony Stark at all.

8. ‘Thor’

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Chris Hemsworth was another perfect casting choice by Marvel and no one expected this film to be as good as it was. “Thor” could have been ridiculous, draped in too much out of this world mythology, but it wasn’t. And of course we can’t overlook the fact that this movie graced the world with the rise of Tom Hiddleston who stole every scene he was in as Loki, Thor’s mischievous little brother.

7. ‘Iron Man 2’

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Easily the best of the Iron Man stand-alone films, this one brought us a new side to Tony and the romance we all saw coming. The introduction of Black Widow was in its own way overdue since she should be in everything since the beginning of the creation of all things Marvel. Sam Rockwell, while a ridiculous villain, was brilliant as he tends to be in every role he tackles. The return of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson also made this movie the finest of the Iron Man films.

6. ‘ Captain America: Civil War’

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“Civil War” isn’t a great Captain America movie but it is a well done Avengers movie if we’re being honest. While Steve and Bucky’s relationship still takes center stage in the film, it could have been focused on even more. Because of that it’s amazing. The Steve/Bucky dynamic is one of the most intriguing and deeply emotional connections in the whole of the Marvel Universe and Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans continued to portray it perfectly in this film. Black Panther’s introduction also set’s up for what is hopefully an incredible future onscreen for the character.

5. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’

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He’s the first Avenger for a reason, because he’s awesome. Steve Rogers is the everyman, nice guy that everyone can get behind. You root for him at every turn and his first major movie is an excellent portrayal of the hero origin story. With a supporting cast comprised of brilliant actors, like the most kick ass woman in the MCU, Hayley Atwell nothing about this movie falls short. Captain America’s first major on-screen appearance proved why he is the man known to always lead the Avengers.

4. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

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Let’s be honest, you put Andy Dwyer in space with a talking tree and a gun toting raccoon you expect it to turn out as a cheesy laugh-riot comedy. That wasn’t the case, though the film is definitely funny it’s also a surprising space epic for the ages. “Guardians” was an unexpected hit with an amazing ensemble cast and a story that was oddly relatable. No one expected to shed tears over a tree and a raccoon, but this movie made us all do that.

3. ‘The Avengers’

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No matter how many Avengers movies they make the first one will always be the best one. It was the first time a superhero team-up had been successfully done in a major film and it was executed brilliantly. Whedon perfectly encapsulated the struggle of bringing together a team of unlikely heroes with a great story and script that was portrayed with the stellar performances from the entire cast. The reality is every Avengers movie will have to live in the shadow of the original triumph.

2. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2’

The second installment of the “Guardians” franchise isn’t just amazing because of the cutest dancing tree in the universe, much like it’s predecessor it maintains humor throughout but also brought new depth to the beloved crew of characters. It also continues to benefit from it’s separation from the rest of the MCU, no pop up appearances of Tony Stark taking over or anything of the like allow the film to just be about this ragtag group of heroes we’ve grown to love. Great music, witty dialogue, excellent performances all around and an unexpectedly poignant commentary of what it means to be family all made up for not only an incredible Marvel film, but just an incredible film overall.

1. ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

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The second stand-alone film for Cap very nearly put every prior MCU movie to shame. Winter Soldier gets everything right. Every actor is perfect, especially Sebastian Stan who gives an incredibly emotional performance without saying a word for the better part of the movie. The action is thrilling, the story takes the superhero movie to new political thriller heights and the direction from the Russo brothers is compelling and holds your attention from start to finish. Just as every future Avengers film will live in the shadow of the original, it’s safe to say that every stand-alone Marvel film will have to live in the shadow of “The Winter Soldier.”

2017 Emmy nomination hopes

In the age of Peak TV there’s a whole lot of television and performances out there; so many performances that some slide under the radar, especially in the vast field of comedy. These are a few of the best episodes, performances and overall shows that deserve a shot at a win this year.

Comedy

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

The show absolutely deserves a nomination, but in particular the writing for the standout season four episode ‘Moo Moo’ deserves to be nominated and win an Emmy this year. The episode tackled racial profiling within police departments and was handled with surprising grace, appropriate humor and a proper serious tone as well. Terry Crews gave an incredible performance in the episode, as he always does, as did Andre Braugher. Both actors should earn a nomination as well.

Maya Rudolph as Dionne Warwick

While the latest season of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” started a little slow, the absolute highlight of the season had to be Rudolph’s unexpectedly hilarious performance as famed musician Dionne Warwick. Her voice, her grace and those damn Baby Corns made Rudolph one of the best things that has ever happened on the series as a whole and more than deserving of a guest star nomination.

Atlanta

It’s likely that “Atlanta” will get nominated for its fantastic first season, but I just wanted to mention it because it deserves it so much. Donald Glover especially deserves a nomination for his lead role.

Master of None

The second season of Aziz Ansari’s Netflix comedy was unique and well done just like it’s first. But the season’s pinnacle ‘Thanksgiving’ episode needs a nomination for writing. If ‘Parents’ was the standout of season one ‘Thanksgiving’ was definitely season two’s. The story of Denise’s life long journey towards coming out to her family was so well told I actually cried during the scene where she tells her mother, played wonderfully by Angela Basset who should also earn a guest star nomination.

Drama

“The Americans”, “The Americans”, and “The Americans”: probably the most underrated series that’s pure Emmy bait yet never wins anything. That’s all I have to say here, just give those people all the Emmy’s already.

Genre Shows

In general I’ve chosen that the hill I’ll die on is the insistence that more than two fantasy/sci-fi genre shows get any sort of awards recognition. Some in particular standout more than others though like “iZombie’s” Rose McIver and “Orphan Black’s” Tatiana Maslany. While Maslany won last year, she truly deserves to win every single year though sadly Maslany missed the Emmy eligibility period this year due to the shows summer status. Meanwhile, McIver is churning out different performances and personalities every week to absolute perfection but is constantly overlooked because of the network she’s on and the type of show she stars in.

Seeing ‘Luke Cage’ earn a number of nominations would be a dream come true as well. That entire series was well-crafted, brilliantly acted and visually stunning.

Here’s hoping some of these hopefuls will earn their well-deserved nominations this season.

2017 Emmy nominations will be announced Thursday, July 13.

‘The Originals’ finest season yet falters and ends more like a series finale

The fourth season of ‘The Originals’ just came to a close and it had been, up to a point, the best season the show has had storytelling wise. The Mikaelson siblings had all been on the same page for the first time in so long, Hayley and Elijah were finally being given their chance to truly be together and grow as a couple, Klaus was finally finding his place as a father, Vincent was finally being treated as the powerful ally he is, Marcel had broken free of the constant cycle of pain caused by the Mikaelson’s and Freya had finally been granted a dynamic love interest.

The Hollow and all the drama that came with it had been genuinely entertaining and interesting to watch at all points. Then episode ten came (which in and of itself wasn’t actually a bad episode, just a catalyst for the lackluster end of the season) and you could almost pinpoint the very scene where Julie Plec returned to a more active role in the show instead of strictly focusing on the final season of “The Vampire Diaries.”

Tonight’s finale felt less like a season finale and more like the end of a series. And if it were just the end of the series I’d probably have loved it. No, the concept of the Mikaelson’s (especially Klaus and Elijah) being separate forever doesn’t sit that well with me, but if it were the end I could learn to live with it. However, the beautiful emotions of the finale were sullied by the fact that it is coming back next season.

Splitting them up is actually a devastatingly beautiful end for this show, but now it’s no longer an option. Because they’ve done it and the emotion of it will be lost when the series returns next year finding an inevitable way to reunite the Mikaelson’s together again in New Orleans; all curses, spells and amnesia broken.

Instead Plec has opted to use what could have been a suitable series finale as a season finale that justifies yet another time jump. Time jumps have become a crutch for Plec, so much so that by the time “TVD” came to a close I didn’t even know what year it was supposed to be.

A time jump for this show now means years lost of Rebekah and Marcel’s epic romance, heartbreaking separation we won’t see any of and most notably the loss of young actress Summer Fontana. Considering their casting for a love interest for Hope, it’s doubtful Fontana will be returning next season seeing as seven-year-olds don’t have love interests. Child actors coming into a show in the middle tend to not go well, but Fontana stood out all season long as a stellar performer and will be missed.

And then there’s Elijah. Beautiful, kind and flawed Elijah; again were this the end of the series I could be pleased with him getting to start completely fresh, even if it’s technically the worst trope in the world amnesia, and have a peace this life has never granted him. I’d be at peace with it even though it means splitting up Klaus and Elijah, whose relationship has been the ultimate standout of the shows entire run for me (nothing quite gets me in tears like the two of them sharing an emotional brotherly moment). Instead he’ll only experiences a few years of peace till it all comes crashing down around him.

And then of course there’s his relationship with Hayley. The relationship ending is one thing, Elijah wasn’t wrong they truly were doomed from the start, but Plec’s reasoning behind splitting them up, the hypocrisy of her calling it toxic after an incident that was entirely out of Elijah’s control while she allowed so many other actually toxic couples to receive happy endings (i.e. Delena, Kolvina, Klaroline one day inevitably). She did to them the similar thing that she did to actually healthy couple Josh and Aiden a few seasons back and to Steroline and Bonenzo on “TVD.” She allowed them to be given endless foreshadowing to a happily ever after, a way out and then blew it up for no actual apparent reason. But instead of killing off one half of this couple, she called him a monster and gave him amnesia. Elijah as a character deserves better than that.

But you can’t not give props to Daniel Gilles for working with the material he was given. That man never ceases to act the hell out of all he has, even if it’s nonsense.

The season was incredible to a point, but then Plec’s focus came back and Michael Narducci was already halfway out the door and instead of the story he spent all season crafting Plec set up a finale that felt too final for her fifth season. Narducci will be deeply missed next season that’s for sure.

I won’t quit watching it, I’ve loved too many of these characters for too long to do that, but I do hope that next season is its final. The end won’t be as satisfactory as this one could have been as an end, but at least then it’s only 13 more episodes where Plec can bulldoze over everything that’s good.

‘Sense8’ and ‘The Get Down’ are the Netflix shows you’re probably not watching but need to

“Sense8” and “The Get Down” are two very different shows in terms of plot, but the thing they have most in common is that they’re Netflix’s greatest offerings that are severely underrated.

Both shows made their return to Netflix recently with incredible episode runs and yet if it weren’t for following the main accounts for the shows, there’d be next to no buzz about the shows anywhere. When new episodes of “Orange is the New Black” or “Stranger Things” drop everyone seems to talk about them, dress up in costume and scream from the rooftops about how good the shows are.

Meanwhile “Sense8” and “The Get Down” only get the recognition of the little fanbases that exist for them, even though they are just as good, if not better than those popular hits. Both shows feature diverse casts, interesting storylines, diverse LGBT rep, well written characters and a range of dynamic onscreen relationships both platonic and romantic.

Created by the minds behind the “Matrix” films “Sense8” is one of the most original, and unexpectedly sense making, sci-fi shows available right now. Its quality could probably only be rivalled by “Orphan Black” and its cast may not be well known, but they’re putting out Emmy worthy performances every episode. The concept of eight strangers being psychically connected across the globe seems like a far-fetched concept, but it’s presented in a visually stunning and deeply human way that makes the series an easy one to fall into.

“The Get Down” is likely the most well written musically based show to ever air on any platform. Unlike most musical shows that fail to deliver in story, but constantly deliver in music “The Get Down” delivers constantly on both with an incredible young cast who will hopefully go on to have long and impressive careers. Set in the late 1970’s the series spotlights a neighborhood and a community that’s never been shown before all through the lens of the fall of disco and the rise of hip-hop.

Both shows are timely, even if one is set in the past, visually gratifying and completely unique. In a time where there are literally hundreds of television shows available these two are standouts that everyone should give a chance to.

So if you’re willing to watch kids chase after monsters, you should also be willing to watch kids struggle to rise up in a tumultuous music industry. And if you’re willing to watch a show about a women’s prison with a boring lead, then you should be willing to watch a relatable sci-fi show with a dynamic lead cast.

‘The Get Down’ Part’s I & II and ‘Sense8’ seasons 1 & 2 are currently available to stream on Netflix.

We need to talk about how good ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ is right now

Anyone who’s watched the Marvel series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” since the beginning will be the first to tell you that the series has always had an incredible cast of characters but not so incredible overarching storylines. The only time it found itself truly living up to its potential was near the end of the first season when it was affected by the cataclysmic events of “Captain America: The Winter Solider.”

Then at the end of their third season “AOS” made their greatest creative decision to date, they finally dropped the dead weight villainy of Ward and embarked on a new, fresher journey. Now in its current fourth season “AOS” is the best it’s ever been by far, especially here in its second half.

The Ghost Rider portion of the season was strong, but then the introduction of a little android named Aida changed the entire landscape of the series. The LMD (Life Model Decoy) storyline took off and for the first time “AOS” became something it’s never been before, consistently compelling. The LMD lead to the Framework which lead to where we are now one week before the season finale.

The storylines have been poignant, timely (hello commentary on the U.S. political landscape) and well-written every single week. Each week you’re left on the edge of your seat eagerly awaiting what comes next.

And because of that quality writing the actors have all been on fire this season. Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen have always had incredible chemistry, but it’s seemingly increased tenfold this year. Chloe Bennett has added more layers to the enigma that is Daisy Johnson. Henry Simmons has finally been given the chance to build Mack’s backstory, including his relationship with his brother and the heartbreaking loss of his infant daughter. Elizabeth Henstridge more than proved her acting chops last season when Jemma found herself trapped on a planet alone, but has brought her ability in emotional scenes to even more heightened levels this season.

And then there are the two biggest standouts of the year. The two who frankly could win awards for their performances this season if the Emmys would every actually acknowledge a show like this: Iain De Caestecker and Mallory Jansen. For years we’ve seen De Caestecker play the sweet, monkey obsessed genius Fitz, this year however he was tasked with playing a version of Fitz that was cold, ruthless and downright evil. A task he achieved chillingly well. Watching the Fitz of the Framework has almost been like watching a completely different actor take on the part.

Jansen on the other hand has been evolving a character that could have been nothing more than a robot into a terrifying creature all season long. From Aida the seemingly simple LMD to Agnes the completely kind and normal human to Aida the threatening, overpowering LMD to Madame Ophelia Hydra and now to the terrifyingly human and destructive Ophelia, Jansen has been an evolving revolution to watch. In one season on the series Jansen has managed to create a more dynamic and interesting villain than Ward was in three entire seasons. The woman has given a more than Emmy worthy performance all year long.

Next week the epic season comes to a close, though I’d say it’s a safe bet some things may be left on the cliffhanger, with what will likely be the best season finale it’s had to date. “AOS” has yet to be renewed for a fifth season, which would be a bad call on ABC’s part if it doesn’t. Hopefully it’ll receive renewal in the next few days before upfronts and if you’re one of those people who dropped the series during its slower times take the summer to get back into it; it’s more than worth it.

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” airs its season four finale Tuesday, May 16 @ 10/9c.