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Sunday, August 14, 2016

It's been a long time, so who knows whether anyone ever checks this or not, but we've moved to!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Five Endings to Dexter that Would Have Been Better than the One We Got

Dexter was one of our favorite shows. We even loved the Lumen season. It was season six that dropped the ball, but season seven caught it again. Then season eight took a knife and POPPED the ball. The final episodes were so bad that we can’t in good conscience recommend the show anymore. It taints the entire thing. 
The only way we can make people watch it is to turn off the show before the last season and say, “I don’t have those DVDs, but here’s how it ends” and make something up. Here are our options. Sound off with your own if you have other thoughts:
  1. Dexter and Deb are busy hating each other. Dexter leaves the country, but Deb gets a hold of Harrison so Dexter can’t take him. The second half of the season: a time jump. Harrison is ten and is showing signs of a Dark Passenger. Dexter comes back into the country at Deb’s request to help Harrison the way his father helped him. After a little bit of that, Dexter is arrested. Death penalty.
  2. The same ending, only Dexter dies and doesn’t become a lumberjack
BUT, we hear that Showtime wouldn’t let the writers kill Dexter (we guess they had no problem with Deb, arguably the heart of the show, dying…weird), although he absolutely needed to die. Still, there were options
  1. The way the show was going at the perfectly tolerable beginning of the final season, Deb hated Dexter and even tried to kill him. The show should have gone all the way with that. Rather than salvage the relationship, a season-long arc of Deb hunting Dexter, ending in a bloody climax that killed one or both of them, would have been much more exciting. It might even have been more true to the characters. 
  2. Dexter abandons the code completely, goes off the rails, and starts killing whoever he wants. In season seven, he abandoned the code for a kill. Hannah had a lot to do with that. One problem with most of Dexter’s run is that Dexter has a conscience and feels bad for things like Rita’s death and Deb’s trauma. Sociopaths. Don’t. Feel. Bad. It was all psychologically unbelievable. It would have been more fitting to have Dexter just become a real serial killer. Then someone like Batista could have shot him. Instead, the show wimped out by making him a normal family man vigilante who was capable of some very normal love. That would have been fine…but that’s not the idea of the show. Stick with your idea. 
  3. Dexter and Deb are busy hating each other, but they have to team up to protect themselves and Harrison when Hannah returns. Hannah kills Deb; Dexter kills Hannah. Dexter gets blamed and has to run with Harrison. He gets out of the country. In his new country, Dexter starts hunting again. 
As things stand, we got a boring season, a cop-out on what the show was setting up with Deb, and the worst possible ending to the series in the finale. Actually, the show could have done worse. It could have had Deb and Dexter have sex before she died. The show flirted with that, but decided that would be really stupid. Then, it decided to do the second most stupid idea.
Season eight half one grade: B
Season eight half two and finale grade: F

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Vampire Diaries- The ways to make it good again (and whether this new season is taking advantage of said ways)

The Vampire Diaries used to be one of the most shockingly good guilty pleasures ever to suck us in and force us to start defending it. Then the last season amped up all its worst elements, ditched every aspect we liked and bored us to death. The three biggest culprits? 1) The cure and the search for it. 2) The Sire Bond and 3) The Originals. Why? Because the cure was less of a mystery and more of a search for something, and this is a show that thrives on mystery. Plus, we were sitting there thinking that Elena was going to be cured and the twist of the last season finale would be moot. Fortunately, the show saved itself by humaning Katherine instead. 

The sire bond sucked because no one wanted Elena to get with Damon because of a supernatural compulsion. We wanted her to choose him, to fall, to finally be fed up with Stefan, and for Damon to actually deserve her in that moment. Instead, we got a cop out. Perfect Elena couldn't choose Damon…she had to be forced too. Plus, it was all a little rape-y. Chicks don't dig rape-y (we're chicks). The show pulled it together by breaking the bond and having Elena still choose Damon in the end. But it could have been so much more delicious. See: The Killing Dance by Laurel K Hamilton (you have to start with Guilty Pleasures in that series and stop after Obsidian Butterfly, but when you see this situation handled with no sire bond, you'll see how great Delena could have been…and weep). 

The Originals were not only whiney and boring, they did nothing but mull around and threaten to do bad things. Two seasons with them were seasons of inaction, for the most part. They were too busy backstabbing each other, drinking, and teasing people to really get down to evil plans. Th sonly reason we are tuning in this year is because they are gone. Will we watch their new show? Never.

Since they are gone, we will give TVD another chance. How is it going after five episodes? Have the writers fixed the problems? Let's see.

  1. The Fix: No more fake deaths. Has it been fixed?: No, the show hasn't fixed this. Think to yourself: who on this show hasn't fake died only to not really be dead or to be resurrected? Almost fucking no one. And it takes the stakes away. Now, every time someone dies, we can't mourn in the moment or be shocked because we are too busy knowing that they will probably back. We sit there wondering how rather than crying. We knew Bonnie was coming back this entire time, and now we know how. Silas can trade his life for hers. Ho hum, snore. Her funeral scene was actually really touching. But it's ruined now. Still, we're pretty glad Katherine is still alive. To fix this annoying problem, the show needs to have some character (like a witch) tamper with the veil so that no one can ever come back from the dead unless they are being turned into a vampire. No more resurrections; no more ghosts. Then when a character gets their neck cracked, viewers will sit up and take notice. 
  2. The Fix: More human characters. Everyone on the show is supernatural, but we need moments of every day bravery and friendship. We need humans to be shocked at what is going on and for the good supernatural characters to protect. Matt is not enough. Has it been fixed?: Yeah! Well, it's starting to get fixed. We have the creepy college professor, who we love. Katherine took the cure and was seen fighting a sinus infection (ha!). And Elena is making friends with a student whose life is as depressing as hers. Aaron. Jesse was a good one, until he got turned. At least he's still hot as hell. College is full of potential human love interests, victims, and friends. By widening the potential character pool, the show is promising us new life.
  3. The Fix: Proactive heroes. Has it been fixed? Not really. Elena seems to care only about her own circle of friends and loved ones. We want characters who go hunting for evil and who actively protect their town. Where is the vampire neighborhood watch? Jeremy is a vampire hunter who never seems to go on an actual vampire hunt. Caroline and Elena are more focused on having a fun, typical college experience than putting their super powers to good use. Instead of waiting for baddies to go after them, we'd like to see the characters start hunting some baddies, vigilante style. Elena has the physical strength to be a bad ass FINALLY, and yet she was more bad ass when she was a human? Questionable, show. Questionable. 
  4. The Fix: Break up Delena. Has it been fixed? No, but at least an episode had Elena remembering how great Stefan was before he started ripping heads off. Amnesia is usually lame, but Stefan's memory loss gave Elena a reason to go over the way they met and remember what she gave up. Stelena was one of the most healthy, supportive, equal relationships in TV history, and we don't think Damon earned Elena yet. He's not far enough away from the serial killer he used to be. Elena should ditch both guys (after Damon does something awful and makes a huge mistake) and date someone who has never serial killed anyone for a while. A real contender too, not just a red herring. We'd like to wonder, "Hey, could she actually end up with someone who isn't one of the Salvatore brothers?" Not Aaron…he's not hot enough. Someone human. A college senior. Then have both Salvatore brothers in agony trying to win her back. That's the tension we need.
  5. The Fix: Better baddies. Has it been fixed? Sigh. A little. We don't like doppelgänger baddies. Just hire a new actor! The doppelgänger crap barely worked with Terry O'Quinn on LOST, and that was TERRY O'QUINN. Sorry, but no one on The Vampire Diaries is strong enough of an actor that they can't compete with Terry on the plane of "let's create another character for them, because we love having them around" except for Nina Dobrev. Nina is by far the best performer on the show. Also, the show is still giving the bad guy the same personality as Klaus. A slow-moving, threatening whiner. Silas is Klaus 2.0, but we don't even have the fun Klaroline subplot. Silas needs to go. The "little bit" that has been fixed, villain-wise is a) Qetsiyah and b) the college prof. We like them and think that they can take the show places whiner baddies can't. 
  6. The Fix: Institute some kind of panel of authority. Has it been fixed? No, but having a secret society of (we think) college professors guarding the school from vamps is a start. Just read the Harry Dresden books to find out that the White Counsel of wizards is probably the most fun aspect of the series to read about. There is something about the heroes rebelling against authority and having the authority misjudge them that hits a good note with the audience. This show just has random transients with powers running around and getting into conflict. A government can provide more tension. 
  7. The Fix: Widen the supernatural pool and don't introduce the most powerful of their kind for a long time. Also, move some of the focus out of Mystic Falls. Has it been fixed? Well, we have the travelers. Not a new concept in this genre, but we will take it. We can't be scared of vampire enemies ever again, because the Originals were the most powerful of their kind. They were brought in too soon. But there are several mythological creatures to choose from. We wouldn't even mind the show dipping into religious mythology. Supernatural had its best seasons once it brought on the angels. The Vampire Diaries could do a darker, sexier spin on that idea. (Wait. Never mind. Nothing is sexier than Castiel.) As far as the new locale, college doesn't seem like a forced new territory AND it's really working. The show has fully tapped the mysteries of the small town. It's time to move on. These characters are hundreds of years old, for the most part, and shouldn't be holed up in one area.
  8. The Fix: Get another mystery going and then bring on the twists that made the first few seasons so fun. Has it been fixed?- YES, and the pacing is awesome. We have Katherine's daughter, the reveal of Qetsiyah, and the question of what in the darn hell that teacher is up to. Unanswered questions keep us coming back for more (see: LOST), and this show is churning out the head scratchers again. Last season, the questions were a) when is Klaus finally going to make a real move and b) who is going to get the cure/where is the cure. And that's IT. Not enough. Now, we even have Elena's parents as part of the mystery. That worked for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, so it should work here too. 
  9. The Fix: More mature characters. Has it been fixed? No, and it's grating on our last nerve. These characters are teenagers with powers even when they are old as dirt. The writers need to sit down and watch Blast from the Past. The characters need to show their age instead of hold petty grudges and lack any amount of wisdom. Elena Gilbert and Caroline Forbes are 18 years old and have more maturity then any older character on this show. The Originals were so stupid! We needed some reminder of the age gaps. Sheeeee-it, they aren't even trying. Silas wakes up after 2,000 years. The last thing he remembers is ancient fucking Greece. AND HE SPEAKS AND ACTS LIKE HE'S BEEN IN OUR CULTURE FOREVER! Now, we know what you're thinking: He can read people's minds. He's been getting his behavior and speech from everyone else, and they are modern. Still. No.
  10. The Fix: More bromances/emphasis on non-sexual relationships. Has it been fixed? Yes. While nothing can replace Damon and Alaric, seeing Stefan calling Caroline his best friend is awesome. Elena might find a bro of her own in Aaron. Das goooooood.

Overall, the show has made significant steps in the right direction and the first five episodes of this season are enough to renew our faith that last season was a sad fluke. There are still some repeated mistakes, but it's so rare that a show goes uphill after a stumble that we are ready to forgive it. Keep it up, show. We're still fans. Just never ever ever bring the originals back, even when their show fails.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Breaking Bad- The final eight episodes *spoilers*

We weren't blogging during Breaking Bad's final run, which is a complete and inexcusable failure on our parts. Leeard had been working for a year prior to The Long Hiatus and had only been able to edit and add stuff to pre-drafted posts. When Ern became a prosecutor, that was the last straw. People just kept committing crimes! Ern has 753 cases right now, but she's gotten better at handling them and doesn't have to be in the office as much. So the blog is back on (although there should be some dead periods. Trials, you know.)

We still managed to watch the last season of one of the best shows in history. Here's a rundown of our thoughts.

The standout episodes were the premiere, Ozymandius, and the finale. The premiere was great because of how it handled Hank knowing about Walt. Instead of dragging it out or jumping to the climax of that storyline immediately, the show gave us what we really wanted to see: an anger-fueled confrontation with Hank punching Walt in the face. Kick ass.

Ozymandius is the episode where EVERYTHING happened. Walt Jr. heard the truth and was cool FOR ONCE. He is the only person who finds out about Walt to immediately do the right thing and call the police. He actually took his mom's side for the first time and defended her. After five years of hating gloomy, mopey Walt Jr., we finally liked him. 

And Hank! So sad. But he went out himself, not begging. 

The finale was perfect…except for one thing. Our gripe is that there were no surprises. But maybe that's good. Shows have tried to do finale twists and just ruined everything. Breaking Bad gave the fans what they wanted.

We got closure, Jesse lived, Walt redeemed himself a little, Lydia died, Todd died, Jesse chose to spare Walt, Walt finally admitted that he didn't cook meth for his family, and Walt died. The series absolutely needed to end with Walt dying. There was an alternative idea floating around the writers room: to have everyone BUT Walt die, including his family, but that would have been to bleak.

It was a satisfying, feel-good ending that ultimately fit a feel-good show. It might have been a dark topic, but the show had enough humor and intensity that it almost always felt good to watch. 

As far as the other episodes go, we liked the one where Hank and Marie watched Walt's hilarious, brilliant confession video. We liked that Walt told Jesse about Jane dying. We like that Skyler didn't die. It would have given all the sexist Skyler haters too much to cheer about. We both loved Skyler. Deal with it.

We also liked seeing how scared Jesse was of Walt. This entire series, Walt has been manipulating Jesse to the point of near abuse. When Jesse was working with Hank, he revealed that he thought of Walt as a near-magical figure. It explains plenty of Jesse's actions over the months.

Not that Jesse is innocent. In the end, he deserved everything that happened to him because of his poor, selfish choices early on. Sure, he could never have foreseen all the consequences, but we're not in the camp that thinks Jesse is a perfect angel just because he has a soft spot for kids.

We do love Jesse though. We are glad he lived. We like that he got away with no profit even more. He's back at square one. He doesn't have millions. He has to start over…and he probably should. 

There were moments after the first episode and before Ozymandius where the show had an odd tone and dragged a little. But the writers pulled everything back together quickly. Everything from the beginning, all the themes and details, came back for the end and tied together perfectly. The final season fit what came before it. 

Season grade: A

Monday, July 1, 2013

Under the Dome- Pilot

Well, for summer fare, that was probably the best thing we could ever hope to get. HOWEVER, the pilot spent so much time meeting people and setting things up that the show could go anywhere from here. It could be a little like LOST...or it could be a little like Terra Nova. Bleck.

So far, so good though.

We've got a wide range of characters, motivations, and even a few promising secrets. We don't know the answer to the ultimate secret: What is the source of the dome? Stephen King said, in a letter to his fans, that the showrunners changed his ending.

 This is just as well, because King's ending was kind of lame. Hopefully the TV series takes what worked in the novel (which is a lot) and runs with it, cutting the stuff that can be trimmed. For what it's worth, Stephen King approves of the series and is even an executive producer.

One of our grandmothers changed the channel when the cow got split in half, but we thought it was awesome.

There's not much else to say. There's potential for goodness and failure. We'll let you know how it goes if you want to wait and see.

Episode grade: B

Freaks and Geeks

Yeah, one of us had never seen this (and the other one of us hadn't seen it in a really long time and didn't remember it very well). Can you believe that? So we watched all 18 episodes on Instant Netflix in the past two days. That should give you a hint as to where this post is going.

This is a great show for people who are out of high school. If you're in college or older, you can appreciate this show. Most high school and middle school students would be better off sticking to the shows aimed at them: Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, etc. Mature teens will like and relate to Freaks and Geeks though.

We were hooked very early on. This show is like a more mature version of The Wonder Years, only set in the '80s and focusing on two teens, a boy and a girl, rather than just one Kevin Arnold.   Another comparison: Did you ever wonder what My So-Called Life would have been like if it were funny?

We can't think of anything bad to say about this show except that the pacing and humor might be off for some people, but that comes down to personal taste, not quality. The music is great. It's all from around that era, and one episode features music entirely from The Who. We love The Who.

The cast is perfect and you'll see a lot of familiar faces that made it big later. James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Busy Phillips from Cougar Town, Leslie Mann, Lizzy Caplan, and Samaire Armstrong from The O.C. are all in it. What's more, they're all good in it.

We always appreciate when female characters are well-written and when sexist stereotypes are called out on a show through a mention, a joke, or a nod. This is the case here. The main female character, Lindsey, is just as likable, funny, and complex as her male costars.

Romance is not the main focus of the show in any way. Lindsey's life doesn't revolve around getting some guy or keeping a boyfriend. She's more interested in finding out who she is and experimenting. She's more consumed with her relationships with friends and family than guys.

Love stories appear on the show, but in a realistic way rather than a dumb, romanticized way. We did not immediately guess who Lindsay's main love interest would be. We expected it to be someone else, but her relationship with that guy stayed platonic in the first season.

We think Jason Segel stole the show with his portrayal of Nick, a sweet, dumb pothead who fears that he will have to go into the military if he doesn't get good at drums...and he's really bad at drums. We actually liked his song that Seth Rogan stopped him from performing!

This show is a classic for its realistic portrayal of high school students. Most of the cast members are either high-school aged or close to it. The scripts are witty and have an undertone of wry, realistic Judd Apatow humor. The show captures the awkwardness of being a high school geek boy and the confusion of being a high school girl.

The only complaint we have is that there isn't more of this show to watch. While there is some closure at the end of the season, there were many more potential storylines left untapped and a few relationships ended in a sort of limbo. Still, recommended.

Show grade: A

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pretty Little Liars: Season 4, episodes 1-2.

Okay, we don't exactly know why our blog views have skyrocketed in the past week, but it makes sense that it's the return of Pretty Little Liars. That means we'd better write about it, right? Give the people what they want!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dan Harmon is Officially Coming Back to Community for Season 5!!!!


Now we'll start watching it again

Burning TV questions that only time can answer/things we're worried about:

  1. Will they drag Pretty Little Liars on too long?
  2. Will Supernatural ever be good again? Will Homeland be able to match the quality of its first season next year? 
  3. Will Breaking Bad and Dexter have endings worthy of them? And can they please let Jesse Pinkman live?
  4. Will George R.R. Martin's sixth book be better than four and five? Will he actually end it on the seventh? Can he finish on time to stay ahead of the show?
  5. Will the next crop of new shows be better than the new shows last year, of which there was maybe one good effort?
  6. Has Once Upon a Time completely lost its thunder, and will the show ever make sense? Ditto The Vampire Diaries.
  7. Will the 24 reunion be good, or will it be like 24:Redemption, the awful movie?
  8. Will they make more of the (still excellent) Arrested Development series or will the haters shut it down?
  9. Will people inexplicably keep watching Arrow and keep it on the air?
  10. Will Bunheads ever have anything resembling a plot?


Game of Thrones season 3, episode 10 (and commentary on the whole season and favorite moments)

Mhysa- We think everyone was surprised at how few big events were in the finale. And the show gave us yet another Dany ending. Mmkay. We've had quite a few of those. 

Book readers know that there were a handful of things the show could have explored or shown in the finale and any one of them would have been good. For the most part, the characters didn't move much. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Arrested Development Season 4, Episode 8 recap/review

Red Hairing- Lindsay

Lindsay is living at Marky Bark's desert ostrich farm. She has an adorable short haircut. 

Marky tells Lindsay that he was the one who tried to scare the CEOs off the desert land (the Native-American/Ostrich-looking guy who talked to George Sr. and Oscar. Marky and Lindsay are upset that they keep finding numbed desert animals that appear to be dead. Oh, Dr. Norman.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Note to commenters

We've had 100 comments this week that were spam comments. Notice that none of them have appeared on this blog. If you are leaving a BS comment and your own website, the comment is deleted. If it's an ad, it's deleted. We moderate the comments. Stahp. You're wasting your time.

Legitimate comments are encouraged, welcomed, and answered :-)

New show: The Fosters- Season 1, Episode 1

This is show from ABCFamily about a family with two adopted kids and a new foster daughter, as well as a biological son. If that sounds too traditional for you, know that the parents are also two women. And the family is multi-racial. 
We’re pretty stoked. There are already a few conservative, religious groups opposing the show, but talk is cheap and people will always complain. The joke’s on them. The show is getting free publicity from all the attention they are giving it.
Probably the best thing about this show is that it will make teens grow up thinking that fostering children when they are grown up will be a cool thing to do. It’s a great option and one that more conservatives should take, rather than going for their perfect, comfortable lives. 
It’s one thing to say you love God and others; It’s another thing to open your home.
Hopefully the show will have more people considering this, including the haters who are focusing on the wrong thing as usual (other people’s choices instead of how to serve those others).
This is a good show to pair with Switched At Birth, another program about people coming together to form an abnormal family. 
The pilot was nice and entertaining, if predictable. It did a good job of introducing all the characters and the family dynamic. We liked most of the characters so far. 
It’s hard to judge how good the show will be going forward, but we’re interested in seeing what’s next. We hope things don’t get too perfect or too sappy, but we also hope that the characters avoid getting unlikeable like on Life, Unexpected.
Mariana’s dilemma and poor choices are particularly intriguing, and we love what a nice guy Brandon is. We love that Stef is a police officer. The people on the show are down-to-Earth and not preachy, which is a great thing.
There’s also some humor, which could be amped up a little in less dramatic episodes. The pacing was good. We’re into this so far. Good music too.
Episode grade: B+

Teen Wolf Season 3, episode 1

Tattoo- This episode didn't hold our attention the entire time. Also, the opening scene went on for too long. 

It's common for a show to open right in the middle of action, but it's not as interesting as shows seem to think it is. The best opening has tension, but a dialogue-filled tension. 

A perfect example would be the opening of Inglorious Basterds.

We're sad to see Jackson has left, because we liked his character and thought he was hot. We're also wondering where Peter is too. 

We liked the new female character that the new alpha, Deucalion, might have killed. We hope he didn't.

Also, we're going to have so much fun spelling his name all season. (Sarcasm) Deucalion wants to get Derek to kill his whole pack. 

The best thing about the episode was the animal suicides. Very creepy and creative. We loved the bird scene.

We also like the new teacher and the way she started class. We're glad that Scott is focusing on school more, but who studies for the PSATs? Those matter even less than the real SATs. 

It looks like it's going to be a good season. Love Allison's new haircut; hate Scott's tattoo. We agree with Stiles. Get a tattoo that means something to you or is funny, not just a tattoo for the sake of getting a tattoo. 

As long as we have interaction between Stiles and his cop father in every episode, we'll continue to be happy with this show.

That won't stop us from laughing at the super-buff, manly looking freshman this show is trying to pass off as being 14.

Episode grade: B

Monday, June 3, 2013

Game of Thrones season 3, episode 9

The Rains of Castamere- It's been 12 hours, so now we're ready to write about the Red Wedding. Even reading the books couldn't have fully prepared us for the visceral shock and tragedy of that scene. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pretty Little Liars show summary: Updated to include all of season 3.

And now, before season four starts, a synopsis of the last three seasons. 

First, a few characters:

Alison DiLaurentis- The dead girl who started it all. Alison DiLaurentis is the Liars' friend who was murdered. She was a fabulous, evil bitch. She often shows up in flashbacks (thank God)

Liar #1:Aria Montgomery- Aria is the Liar wearing too many accessories and crazy outfits at all time. She's mature, outgoing, and artistic (kind of). Her parents are the awesome Ella Montgomery and the lame Byron Montgomery, and she has a younger brother named Mike Montgomery, who is rarely seen. We suspect Aria of being "A."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Arrested Development Season 4, Episode 7 recap/review in chronological order

Colony Collapse- Gob

Finally finally finally the Gob episode. We knew his episode would be the funniest, but what we didn't know is that all the episodes after this one would be good too. We are through the long night of the "meh" and ready for actual Arrested Development to start.

At the end of the season three finale, Gob is dating Ann, George Michael's ex girlfriend. Ann is less than an hour away from turning 18. 

Arrested Development season 4, episode 6 recap/review

Double Crossers- George Sr. Noooooooooo.

As we go through the last lame episode of this season, we shake our heads wondering how the writers, directors, and producers didn't know how hard the beginning would be for people to get through. The cast split up; the jokes still being set up, two George Sr. episodes and two Michael ones! Zzzzz.

But we're almost through the fog and into the episodes that feel like this show, albeit a really dark version of this show. We actually like the darkness. Hello darkness, my old friend. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.