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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our favorite South Park episodes per season

In celebration of the second half of season 14 premiering this Wednesday, we decided to give you guys a list of episodes to watch in case you aren't as into this show as you should be. After watching every episode of South Park, we made this list. Keep in mind that Cartman is by far our favorite character, so anything where he gets a lot of air time is good to us. We also recommend the movie. It's a movie musical. There are very few South Park episodes we hate. If you don't "get it," start with a few of these episodes.

There are two levels of people who like South Park 1) really dumb young people who like shock factor and potty humor and 2) smart adults who like satire, but never really grew up. Yeah, the characters curse a lot and it can get pretty gross, but we would rather watch this show than cleaner cartoons because there is more truth in it/it calls out the world's BS.

SEASON ONE: Cartman Gets An Anal Probe, Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo (Mr. Hankey gets old, but his first appearance is worth catching), Cartman’s Mom is a Dirty Slut

SEASON TWO: Cartman’s Mom is Still a Dirty Slut, Chickenlover, Ike’s Wee Wee, Summer Sucks, Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods, Chef Aid

SEASON THREE: Spontaneous Combustion, Cat Orgy, The Red Badge of Gayness, Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics, Are you there God? It’s me Jesus, The Brown Noise

SEASON FOUR: The Tooth Fairy's Tats, Cartman’s Silly Hate Crime, Timmy, Quintuplets, Cartman Joins NAMBLA

SEASON FIVE: Scott Tenorman Must Die (ALL TIME FAVE. Fun fact: Cartman's revenge is from Shakespeares' "Titus"), Cartmanland, Proper Condom Use, Here Comes the Neighborhood, Kenny Dies

SEASON SIX: Freak Strike, Fun with Veal, Professor Chaos, Simpsons Already Did It, The Return of the Fellowship to the Two Towers, The Death Camp of Tolerance, The Biggest Douche in the Universe (more truth in this episode than in most Sunday school classes)

SEASON SEVEN: Toilet Paper, I'm a Little Bit Country, Fat Butt and Pancake Head, Christian Rock Hard, Grey Dawn, Casa Bonita, All About the Mormons, Butt Out, Raisins

SEASON EIGHT: Up the Down Steroid, The Passion of the Jew, AWESOME-O, The Jeffersons, Goobacks (Dey took r Jawbs!), Douche and Turd, Pre-School, Quest for Ratings, Cartman's Incredible Gift

SEASON NINE: Mr. Garrison’s Fancy New Vagina, Die Hippie Die, Wing, Best Friends Forever, Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow (Give me your Jew gold Kyle!), Ginger Kids, Trapped in the Closet (if you ever wonder what Scientologists actually believe, watch that episode), Bloody Mary

SEASON TEN: The Return of Chef, Smug Alert, Cartoon Wars 1 and 2 (FAMILY GUY SUCKS - if you don't believe us, watch this episode), Tsst, Make Love Not Warcraft, Go God Go 1 and 2 (yes, if there was no religion, there would still be wars)

SEASON ELEVEN: Cartman Sucks, The Snuke (only good if you like 24. Cartman’s intolerance of Muslims saves America), Fantastic Easter Special, Le Petite Tourette, The List

SEASON TWELVE (the weakest season): Tonsil Trouble, Britney’s New Look (we know this isn’t one of the most acclaimed South Park’s normally, but we dare you not to laugh/be disturbed when you see the “new look.” Also, when they talk about how we are no better than ancient cultures who loved to watch people get destroyed for entertainment, we nearly start applauding).

SEASON THIRTEEN: The Coon, Eat Pray Queef (mostly for the title), Fishsticks, Fatbeard, Butters’ Bottom Bitch (Butters becomes a pimp), Whale Whores (Cartman’s rendition of “Pokerface” shows up here), The F Word (Guys with Harleys beware), Dances with Smurfs

You can watch every episode of South Park at, because the creators aren't greedy fascists and they allow their stuff to be on the internet. Enjoy...

Second cancelled show of the season


My Generation has been cancelled. Sweet vindication.

This is Ern, by the way. Leeard actually LIKED this show.
My Generation filmed eight episodes, so the remaining six will pop up at sometime in the future.
Lone Star, the first casualty of the season, has four remaining episodes filmed, and there is a chance that they could air on Saturdays.

Ern's Five Favorite New Shows

Leeard needs a little more time to decide (three episodes instead of one or two), but Ern is pretty sure that these are the five shows worthy of viewing, if the genre is your taste, of course. Neither Leeard nor Ern really have genre biases. We like guy shows, girl shows, sci-fi, history, fantasy, teen stuff, soapy stuff, mysteries, violence, medical shows, legal shows, satire, comedies, and more. Here is Ern's list pulled from all the new shows that are still on air. Lone Star would have made the list, but the network drones took it off after two episodes.

1. Boardwalk Empire - This should come as no surprise, due to the quality, acting, history, characters, and story. It makes us feel like we've been watching this show for years. It plopped us right into Chicago mobster history with style, a little family drama, humor, and brutality. It's unpretentious for an HBO show and easy to watch, but it's not stupid.

2. Blue Bloods - Ern doesn't usually flock to cop shows, but this one pulled her in immediately. There is family drama, a secret organization of cops who act more like vigilantes, a "dirty" cop who you kind of root for, an overarching murder mystery, and, so far, interesting cases. There's really nothing else on Friday nights, so there's really no reason to skip this cop drama. Plus, it has Len Cariou in it. He's the really old guy with white hair. Broadway nerds will remember that Len Cariou was the original Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury. His voice is so great that when we watch the Johnny Depp Sweeney Todd, we watch it with Len Cariou on our ipods and mute the TV during the songs. Just hear for yourself: He's the guy who talks first and sings second (the one who doesn't sound like a creepy old man) We love that this talented old-timer is still kickin and making shows.

3) No Ordinary Family- This show was surprisingly fun, and it's good for the whole family to watch. The pacing made it easy to stick with, but it wasn't infantilizing. We hope this one can find an audience and stick around.

4) The Event- So far, this show is one of the best because we don't want to stop watching it. It's exciting, we think it's going to start focusing more on character development, and we like a high-concept show. It could get bad, like Flashforward did. But for now, it's one of the most promising new shows.

5) The Defenders- This is sort of the best by default because Ern wasn't impressed by most of the new shows. But it's a perfectly solid and fun legal drama for people who like to see laughs and twists in the courtroom.

Honorable mention: The Big C. This show is more of a comedy than Ern's other favorites, and it didn't make the top five, because it really started in the late summer. It's hard to call it "a new fun show," but it's too good not to mention it. It's light and breezy, yet respectful and true to the pain a cancer diagnosis can bring. We love the crazy main character, her precocious student (played by Precious' Gabourey Sidibe), and the main character's voluntarily homeless brother.

One to give more time to: We think that if it gets off of its "sex sells" gimmick and starts giving us smarter stories, Nikita could someday be a good show. For now, it's not as exciting or cohesive as it needs to be, but it's one Ern is keeping an eye on.

Ern's bottom five: My Generation, Chase, Detroit 1-8-7, Undercovers, Hellcats (just rent Bring It On, people; it's way better)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fringe- The Box review/recap

The mysterious happening of the week was that three robbers were looking for a box in the basement of the house they were robbing. They had been hired by Thomas Jerome Newton to find the box and were curious as to what was in it. When they opened it, it killed two of the robbers, plus the captive family. The third robber escaped unharmed, because it was the sound waves from inside the box that killed. The box was a piece of the doomsday machine that will supposedly destroy our world. You know, the one that Peter is the human interface for. The gang found the device and Peter managed to disarm it before it killed more people. This plot wasn’t the main action in the episode.

Olivia is still trapped in the alternate universe while Faux-Livia is living Olivia’s life and macking on Olivia’s man. This is not smart of you, Pretend Olivia. When real Olivia gets back, she is going to wipe you off this dimension. There was a great scene in this episode where fake Olivia hid a dead body from Peter and distracted him with some tender lovin’ as blood drained out her bathroom door. Walter attempted to make the lab cow produce chocolate milk. His coworkers were less excited by this attempt than they should have been. That would change the world, that would. You know that would be awesome if someone did that! Walter and Peter also went to the reading of William Bell’s will. William Bell left Walter a key and a piece of paper with the sentence, “Don’t be afraid to cross the line.” Walter tried to talk to Peter about kidnapping him and apologize, but Peter wasn’t ready to hear it and walked out. Poor Walter. Fake Olivia informed her bosses that she had gotten Peter to start working on the machine. Their response was that she should "start working on Walter." We also found out that the key William Bell left him was to a safe deposit box which left Walter all the shares to Massive Dynamic. WOW. We can’t wait for Walter to take over. This show has gotten so much better since the first season.

Episode grade- B+

Community- Accounting for Lawyers review

We’ve received notice that Community is in danger of cancellation. What a travesty. Why are you not watching this show? It’s hilarious. You can watch a whole bunch of episodes, plus both episodes of the newest season on right now.

Maybe you didn’t get into Community because the advertisements didn’t appeal to you. This is one reason this blogger took up until this summer to watch the first season (even though the other blogger told her to get on it). They used to play previews and ads of it in the movie theatres before the movies started, as well as on TV. They made the show look boring, old-fashioned, and like it didn’t have a good premise. But we guess they just didn’t want to give away all the funny parts in the commercials, which we can appreciate.

This episode was really funny. We are starting to love the gang’s shunning of Chang, and we hope they always shun him. His attempts to get into the study group make a great recurring plot.

It had some good one-liners, such as, “Shirley, don’t sue a stripper. She’s a stripper. Life sued her, and she lost” and “What does he have that we don’t have? A butt for Jeff’s penis…well, we all have butts. I’m trying to say that they’re gay.” How can you not watch a comedy with the guy from The Soup, a hot black guy, two cute girls, and Chevy freakin’ Chase? Argh.

This is a consistently funny show. Start watching it. Now.

Also, when Jeff’s law school buddy admitted that his secret to being good at law was narcotics, not yoga, this blogger chuckled because one of her law secrets actually IS yoga. Wow, my law school secret really is yoga.

Episode grade- A-

Watch it here:

The Office- Counseling recap/review

FINALLY a decent episode of The Office. Does that mean the show is getting back to form? Here's hoping. The first good choice was having Mose and Dwight construct a day care center in the office building. They gave Jim and Pam a tour, and the center turned out to be a room with a box full of plastic utensils for the kids to play with, four buckets, the word “FUN” on the wall, and an Insane Clown Posse poster with the first and last word crossed out. Jim and Pam, wisely, turned down day care by Dwight, but it was an hilarious proposition.

Michael was due to spend six hours in therapy with Toby, who has a social work degree. Michael attempted to waste the time by dodging Toby’s questions (“I was probed by ALF”) and being ridiculous. Poor Toby was taking the therapy seriously and really trying to help Michael. Toby tricked Michael three hours into the therapy by making him just play games, draw pictures, and talk. Michael opened up to Toby a little, and he was horrified when he figured out that Toby had tricked him.

Pam realized that she couldn’t actually make any money in sales, because she is bad at selling things. She's been doing this since last season and she's just now realizing that? So she pretended that she was the “office administrator” and set about tricking everyone and corporate into thinking that she was given the job a few months ago, but had not yet been paid for it. This plot point was the only thing we didn’t like. Although we admire her cleverness in weaseling money from the morons at Dunder Mifflin, we don’t like that she is essentially stealing from a company. Just because people are stupid doesn’t mean you can steal from them. She got her way, in the end.

The best plot was Dwight-centered (as good Office plots usually are). He had gone to a store in the mall to splurge on an expensive object, only to be turned away, laughed at, and photographed with cell phones, presumably for looking like a poor rube. The increasingly hilarious Kelly suggested that Dwight Pretty Woman the place. You know. The part where, after Julia Roberts was turned away from a high-priced story for looking like a hooker, she went back to the store with bags in her hands and said, “You remember me? You work on commission? Big mistake. Huge!” Everyone in the office loved this idea, so Andy and Jim dressed Dwight up to look like a weird British gentleman from Sherlock Holmes’ days and took Dwight to the mall for his “revenge.” Dwight’s revenge did not go well, because he ended up buying his desired object (a pewter wizard figurine holding a crystal). Also, the store clerk showed Jim and Andy a picture of Dwight on the day he was turned away from the store because he looked threatening, not poor. Dwight had beet-stained hands which looked like blood-stained hands and a pair over overalls. He looked ridiculous and angry. We laughed pretty hard. We loved when Dwight started to call the store clerk “IDIOT,” but then had to change it in the middle of the word to “good sir” when he remembered he was supposed to be a gentleman.

Dear The Office writers: Take this episode, then improve a little on it, we will forgive you for season six.

Episode grade- B

The Vampire Diaries - Memory Lane review/recap

During this episode of The Vampire Diaries, Damon was still confirming what he and everyone else knows: The Lockwoods are cursed with lycanthropy. Damon had Alaric suggest that Jenna have a barbeque and invite Mason. Alaric invited Damon, much to Jenna’s chagrin, because she caught Damon kissing fake Elena (Katherine) at the end of season one, and she doesn’t want Damon skeeving on her niece. At the barbeque, Mason was trying to be nice to Damon, but Damon kept being Damon. He kept dropping hints that Mason Lockwood was a werewolf. When they first met, Mason cordially said, “I’ve heard great things about you.” Damon’s hilarious reply? “Really, that’s weird, ‘cause I’m a dick.” And he delivered that line perfectly. Mason confronted Damon, saying that they didn’t need to let an ancient rivalry get in the way of their potential friendship. Damon actually won Aunt Jenna over a little bit, but after the party, he stabbed Mason with silver and walked away. Unfortunately for Damon, silver doesn’t really kill a vampire (on this show, anyway). Mason told Damon that they were enemies now and walked away. If this show were realistic, Mason would have transformed and attacked Damon right away. What, does he have some master plan? If he just transforms later and fights him, one of us is going to be annoyed. The other thinks that, based on last week's episode, werewolves in this universe don't get to choose when they transform, so his lack of werewolf-ing out makes sense. Mason got home and told Tyler that in order to activate the werewolf curse, you have to kill someone.

Katherine threatened Caroline into keeping Elena occupied so Katherine could spend the day with Stefan. She also got Caroline to tell Elena things like, “Your vampire/human relationship will never work because when you are old he will still be smoking hot.” This was pretty obvious, so Elena figured out that she was in league with Katherine.

Stefan woke up cuddled next to Katherine, which he didn’t like. He stuck her with vervain and chained her up so he could question her about the Lockwoods and why she was back in town. Katherine threatened Elena and everyone Elena loves, and Stefan held a stick up to her neck. But he couldn’t do it. For heaven’s sake, Stefan! Do you really have feelings for Kat, deep down? Because Katherine was sipping vervain daily for 145 years, she was immune to it, and the second she felt ready, she freed herself. This reveal, while predictable, was awesome. One of us is firmly Team Katherine. She wanted to spend more time with Stefan, so during her fake captivity, she informed him of a few things. Turns out, Katherine had a deal with a Lockwood ancestor to burn and entomb her vampire friends so that she could fake her own death and escape…or something. “Everyone has a past, Stefan,” she said, referring to what she was fleeing. She told Stefan that other werewolves exist, but they are rare and mostly in bad movies. Ok, she should have specified bad MODERN movies. Some of the old werewolf classics are watchable. So was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. After telling her story and ripping off her chains, Katherine stabbed Stefan in the leg and confronted Elena, who had just arrived. They looked at each other intensely, and then Katherine took off.

Stefan and Elena went to the Grill to fake a break-up for Caroline’s benefit. They knew Caroline would tell Katherine what she heard. Damon also heard the fake break-up. Cruelly, Stefan and Elena decided not to clue Damon into the fact that they were still together. Are they stupid? Damon is just as much of a wild card as Katherine. If he thinks Elena is single, that gives him license to pounce. Sure, this is going to open up some great storylines for us viewers, but what are Stefan and Elena thinking? They said that it would be more convincing if everyone believed they were broken up. But how is Damon going to react when he finds out they tricked him and didn’t let him in on the secret?

Also, turns out Katherine really does love Stefan and came back for him. We aren’t surprised. Katherine is the new Damon, and here’s why: We don’t completely hate her now. Sure, she has killed and manipulated people, but so has Damon. In fact, he’s probably worse than Katharine. Maybe she is just trying to come back to town for her true love? After all, she came to Mystic Falls in the 1800s to live with Stefan’s family and fell in love. This is just like Stefan. Just trying to live in Mystic Falls and fall in love. She CAN be a bit cold, especially when she backstabs and sells out all her friends. But maybe if we knew her whole story, we could sympathize like we do with Damon.

We are starting to get tired of the flashbacks to the 1800s. We hope that’s over for a while. Also, the love speech Stefan gave to Katherine back then was really lame. That’s why his love with Elena is better. He must have gotten some taste for what is really romantic over the decades.

The show keeps making a big deal out of Elena wondering why she looks so much like Katherine. Way out there theory that is probably not true: Wouldn’t it be awesome if Elena ended up accidently going back in time (maybe Bonnie could freak out and send her), turned into Katherine, and has been waiting all these years to take her old boyfriend back. But then why would she be trying to steal Stefan from HERSELF…maybe she remembers Elena/herself doing something bad to Stefan? And it would explain why she won’t kill Elena. We know…it’s way out there. And the writers of this awesome show will probably come up with something much better anyway.

Episode grade: B

Grey's Anatomy- Shock to the System review/recap

In college, the bloggers used to watch our favorite shows with our friends and roommates. Grey's Anatomy is the only show this blogger’s roommate watches with her, so that makes it a good one. Why don’t this blogger’s roommates watch more TV? It’s unacceptable.

Meredith, anxious to get cleared for surgery, started crying and pouring her heart out to the new shrink guy (who Teddy is still dating), fooling no one. We pretty much guessed right away that she was faking. Alex was cleared for surgery by the shrink, but not by Bailey, because he tried to keep the bullet in his chest. Typical guy, typical Alex. Bailey whipped it right out of him, and that was that. The shrink wasn’t sure about clearing Cristina yet, but Owen wanted to push her back into the O.R., sensing she was still freaked out. We know he sensed it because of how he treated her the morning after her marriage, giving her a pep talk down from the ledge and a breakfast bar before the freakout even started. Newly blonde Owen (WHY?) and Teddy got Cristina cleared by the chief just in time for a cool surgery. The patient in this cool surgery was an old patient of Cristina and Burke’s. We cringed at the way-more-awkward-than-it-sounds revelation to the patient that Cristina didn’t marry Burke. The patient and her husband were less than enthusiastic about Cristina’s new marriage to Owen, and you could see doubt wash over Owen/Cristina’s faces about the whole thing. As we predicted last week, this marriage is on shaky ground because they rushed into it for the wrong reasons.

Then a bunch of burn victims from an eight-member flag football team went to the emergency room after being struck by lightning. Yay! A good, old fashioned Grey’s Anatomy E.R. crisis! But, alas, it quickly got boring. There was one girl on the team, Carrie, and all the guys had a crush on her. She was hiding her love for the baldest, ugliest one, which was sweet, and she ended up telling him. But we couldn’t really get into this case or the extraneous victims. The real drama was in the O.R. with Owen, Cristina, and Teddy. Someone (we think it was Jackson) dropped a tray during the surgery and Cristina hit the floor and flashed back to the mass murder (thanks for giving us that term, Lexipedia). Meredith ran into the operating room, despite April’s feeble attempts to stop her (which was just an excuse to tell the audience that she and Meredith are friends now). Meredith comforted Cristina and stayed with her until she could movie. This was supposed to be sweet, but we were just annoyed with it. We hate Pathetic Cristina! After surgery, Pathetic Cristina needed someone to blame. Fortunately, she now has a husband. She flipped and gave him her wedding ring back. We were extremely annoyed. People walking out of marriages five seconds into them is such a tiring staple on this show. We wrote “episode grade- D” on our notepads, thinking the episode would leave them broken up. We were NOT worried that they were over forever. This is just the sort of breakup that is temporary on this show. You know, one that doesn’t end with a death, job loss, or someone being homophobic and getting thrown off the cast.

Lexie ended up saving Carrie from being paralyzed, redeeming her crazy self. (And it was here in this writing that the professor interrupted this blogger to call on her. Lame. Pulled it off though. It’s harder than you’d think to pull off the Socratic method when you aren’t listening.) Anyway, Mark and Callie discussed their love lives together, proving that they are the most fun friend relationship on this show. We love their dynamic . Mark decided to confess his love to Lexie and propose to her, but she interrupted him and reamed him for being too protective, asking him to just leave her alone. Mark is a sissy, so that worked. He left. Meredith finally told Derek about the miscarriage in an attempt to get him to stop driving recklessly. It was here that we expected the big, emotional Derek crash, but he even sort of smiled as he hugged her and promised to stop. It was then that we found ourselves wishing there was a little more actual medicine and realistic stuff that doctors actually go through, like in first season. What happened to that?

Then the episode redeemed itself. Cristina left Owen and came to Meredith’s, telling her bff that she thought Owen would fix her, and that “he didn’t marry me; he married a corpse. I’m dead inside.” New Responsible Meredith said, “You got married for better or worse. This is the worse part. There will be better parts. You should go back.” Then Owen dramatically busted in and gave a weepy, aggressive speech about how he’s going to stick with Cristina through the hard times like she did with him. For those of you wondering what is still left in this couple that keeps them together, that’s it. They get over the bad stuff and support each other. That’s pretty good. This blogger’s roommate must have a secret crush on this couple, because she grins like a Cheshire cat every time they are on the screen. We actually should have predicted Owen tracking Cristina down like a sweet, romantic stalker. Every time Cristina pulls away from this relationship, Owen goes after her and dramatically takes her back, like when Cristina tried to trade him for Teddy last season. He also bursts into a lot of rooms. For a show like this, the characters do behave consistently (even if their behavioral habits are annoying). We love Funny Meredith, as she told Owen, “I already convinced her before you came, but that was a nice speech.” It lightened the intense moment. We guess this takes care of the "we shouldn't have rushed" bad marriage jitters....for now.

In the end, Meredith was cleared for surgery and we got a preview of what looks like a pretty good, Pathetic-Cristina-killing episode next week, where Miracle Derek will supposedly heal her. Anything to get her back. The only time we saw our snarky Cristina was when she predicted that Lexie would be “back in the cuckoo’s nest by lunch". Also, we must express our approval at Lexie dyeing her hair back to brown. Good choice. Funny, we only just noticed, haha.

Episode grade: B-

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Defenders- Las Vegas v. Reid review

The second episode of The Defenders introduced us to the way they are naming episodes: as case names. We approve. At first, we rolled our eyes when we saw the first defendant, a mother facing jail time for accidently hitting a jogger with her car. This is the second truly sympathetic client The Defenders has given us in two weeks. We understand that this new show is trying to gain a following, and it doesn’t want to turn us off yet by showing defense attorneys as most of them are (people defending scumbags). But if they keep giving us precious little lambs rather than a mix of guilty and innocent people, we are going to start complaining. Then we found out that this episode prominently featured two clients, and one was guilty as well as lacking in common sense. Once again, we felt for the defendants and chuckled at the attorneys’ antics. Does this show rise to the level of quality art? Naw. Are we entertained? Yup.

Episode grade- B

Watch it here:

Modern Family- The Kiss review/recap

Phil helped Jay with his computer problems, Cam and Mitchell fought because Mitchell has a problem with PDA, and Gloria attempted to get Jay to respect her culture (by tricking him). Alex got her first kiss with a little “help” from her sister, Haley. Haley is so pretty, but so vapid. This episode was pretty cute but not hilarious. We’re going to be hard on Modern Family, because it’s such a good show. It must be held to its own standard.

Episode grade- C+ Bonus points for Phil beat boxing takes it to a- B-

Watch it here:

Cougar Town- Let Yourself Go review/recap

The focus of this episode was Travis leaving for college and crazy Jules freaking out about it. She started acting clingy and inappropriate and gross, but it was always funny. We actually felt worse for Travis, because we’ve only been on his side of it. It’s hard to leave school for the first time! Although we aren’t sure this counts, because he is only 20 minutes away. Laurie taught Bobby to use the computer and the internet after Travis left Bobby his old laptop. Ellie convinced a neighbor that her baby died so that he would do chores and make food for the group. Andy convinced Ellie to talk about baby Stan more, and the group pretended to shoot themselves in the head (murder-suicide) whenever she did. It was funnier than it sounds. In the end, Jules got her perfect goodbye with Travis. Funny, sweet episode with a few good laughs. Oh, and Laurie/show writers: You can’t join a sorority if you aren’t a student. They check.

Episode Grade: B

America's Next Top Model- Matthew Rolston Recap/Review

We diverted our eyes from the opening credits this time. We can bear them no more. The show started out like a bad, all girls episode of The Real World when Kacey invited a bunch of guys to the house to party. Fortunately, the first photo shoot shortly followed. It was on a rollercoaster, and the girls were supposed to portray different emotions while riding it. This challenge would be our nightmare, because one of us is afraid of rollercoasters and never looks good in the rollercoaster pictures.

We felt bad for Chelsey and Chris in this shoot. Chelsey was given “I have a secret” as an emotion. They showed us her picture face-on, and it looked like she was drugged. Yeah, Chelsey has a secret. It’s that she's high. Also, how is “I have a secret” and emotion? Not fair. Someone got “melancholy.” That is way easier. Chris was more afraid of rollercoasters than this blogger, and it was really funny. She shrieked, cried, and joked through the whole thing but was able to go through with the challenge and leave the episode unscathed. Liz was the only contestant who didn’t look like a train wreck, so she won the challenge. We think Liz is very pretty, but she looks more like an actress than a model. She would be great at doing the sorts of roles Eva Mendes does. This challenge photo shoot was a little low budget, don’t you think?

Liz picked two friends, Chris and Kayla, to share her prize with her (hey, Liz’s favorite are our favorites too!). The “prize” was a tea party and a photo shoot with Tyra. We guess if you want to win, the best thing to do is to suck up to Tyra. The judges pick the winners, and the definitely stick with their favorites a lot of the time. Commenting on the tea party, Kayla went on about how nice Tyra is and how she isn’t the model stereotype at all. Either Kayla is brilliant and sucking up, or she is really dumb. Kayla, we love you, but Tyra is on her best behavior when she is interacting with you. She doesn’t want another Adrianne situation. And Tyra absolutely IS the model stereotype, only perhaps a little smarter. Chris, Liz, and Kayla had to recreate an old Tyra shoot, naturally. We don’t think Chris looks like a model at all. It’s possible that Tyra picked her because her features are NOT model-y. Tyra is always trying to put forth common looks and change beauty stereotypes. We admire her efforts, but it’s futile, especially on this show.

Back in the house, Lexie was angry because a lot of the girls, including boy-lover Kacey, don’t do their dishes. Lexie, if you want something done, do it yourself. Lexie decided to publically confront Kacey and tell her that no one in the house likes her. We waited for the other girls to deny it, stick up for Kacey, or stay silent, but apparently Lexie is right. Everyone has a problem with Kacey and thinks she is fake and spoiled. Kacey responds in her interview clip, “I’m feeling a negative vibe from all these girls.” REALLY KACEY? How intuitive. You should be a shaman. Imagine, a bunch of girls tell you off and you get a bad vibe? It’s a gift.

The real photo shoot was pretty and gross at the same time. The girls posed on top of glass, with water-filled glass above them, and nasty eels and other sea creatures around their bodies. Also, there were millions of dollars worth of jewelry draping their half-naked bodies. Their lips were bright red, and they were all given flowing mermaid hair. Tell us this show isn’t the most ridiculous (yet fun) thing on TV. The photographer for the shoot was Matthew Rolston. Chris informed us that “If you don’t know who he is, you stupid.” Well, we guess Chris told this blogger. One of us hasn’t heard of any of the people on this show except for Pat Field. During this shoot, we discovered that Kendal is a complete moron, Esther always looks cinematic, Lexie is still a bad model, and Kacey may be this year’s Melrose. Liz is still complaining, even though she has a kid at home and is on food stamps. She knows she can’t afford to throw this opportunity away by griping, and yet she does it anyway, throwing out multiple excuses. Jay is OVER Liz. We must say, most of the girls looked great with red lips. We think they all need to embrace the look.

At judging, Ann’s photo was fawned over, as usual. They should just call this season “The Ann Show.” But what makes Ann so good? She actually does pull out a good photo every week for being so funny looking. We wonder if the judges don’t actually pick some girls’ best shots, thus ensuring themselves a winner they like. If this show is rigged, we will be upset but not surprised. The judges liked Kacey’s photo, and we have no idea why. It looked comical. Chris’ unorthodox head gave Tyra another opportunity to tell us how she overcomes her forehead. Last week, nearly all the pictures were hideous, but this week, most of the girls were good. Chelsey was bad, but it wasn’t really her fault. Her makeup was too heavy for her. The mean judges said she looked like a drag queen….twice. Liz sucked because she couldn’t see during the photo shoot because of contact lens issues (and then complained about it).

Because Rhianna looked constipated in her photo, she was in the bottom two with Liz. Rhianna got the boot, and we think the judges made the right choice. Liz’s problem is more easily fixed. Once you are aware that you complain a lot, this can be remedied over time, with effort. This blogger has been through this herself. Rhianna had a classy, sweet goodbye monologue that we admired.

Episode grade: B-

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Ordinary Family pilot review

We watched the pilot of No Ordinary Family today to see if it should replace Life Unexpected in our Tuesday night lineup. We were really surprised at how much we enjoyed this show. For now, we will keep watching. Here’s why:

-It was fun and entertaining without being goofy or stupid. The family and their issues were believable and likeable immediately. If you have kids or younger siblings who can't watch most good TV, sit them down on the couch for this. It has the vibe and feel of some of our favorite movies when we were young.

-Julie Benz! Ok, she was awful in the Boondock Saints 2, but so was every other aspect of the movie, so she fit right in. We love her from Dexter, Roswell, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel so we are glad to see her playing the mother in this show. She looks great. They put some makeup on her. This is what we think Natasha Bedingfield will look like in 15 years.

-We like that the parents’ powers can help them with their problems. The dad works at a police station, and he is tired of being unable to help people. He feels he has no purpose, because his job doesn’t involve actively fighting crime. His wife, on the other hand, has a great, important job. He supports her and raises the kids while she is away, but he can’t help but feel worthless sometimes. The mom, on the other hand, has no time for both her family and work. Busy trying to be the perfect spouse, mother, and employee, she doesn’t know how to talk to her kids or what is going on in their lives. But then, Dad becomes resistant to bullets and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Mom gets super speed. Cutting down travel time alone helps her get back to her family in time to help them deal with their new powers. The powers free both parents to work through their personal issues and get second chances at righting their failures. Plus, Mom and Dad have a good marriage despite the challenges. We loved when Mom showed Dad appreciation for being so good to the family. Yay for good marriages on TV!

-This is what we would call a family show that doesn’t suck. You could easily watch this with your 12-year-old and you both will be entertained. It was easy to watch from the beginning, and we liked it instantly. We weren’t bored at all during this episode.

-There were already some sweet moments, and we love that the Dad is such a good guy that he immediately starts using his powers to fight crime after talking to a victim of the criminals.

-We like the voiceovers, especially the way the switch between Mom and Dad.

-We like the teen girl’s power. Instead of giving her super strength (like we thought they would) and trying to do some feminist Strong Woman point, they gave her a more interesting, subtle gift that requires more brains than brawn.

-Mom and Dad both have friends who serve as sounding boards, as well as awesome lair builders. The assistants are as funny as Mom and Dad are brave. (Dude, if we were that dad, we would have jumped from a shorter building or tried having paintballs shot at us while testing our powers. But whatever. He was excited. It's understandable.)

-There are already bad guys who can give the super family a run for their money. There was already some good action as well as family drama.

-Good pacing.

-We like having sympathetic protagonists again. Every person in the family is what we would call “a good person.” Let the baddies and school bullies be bad. We already have Dexter, Jack Bauer, every shrill shrew woman on TV, Don Draper, Nucky Thomson, and others to be our antiheroes. We need a mix on our TV sets. Every once in a while, we want to root for good people. We wonder if all the antiheroes on TV come from a cynical view that everyone, if put in the wrong situation, will act cruelly or selfishly. This isn't true. Google Sophie School, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Raoul Wallenberg, and Johnny Ferrier.

-We love the teen girl’s self-respect as shown when she wouldn’t sleep with her boyfriend when she knew she wasn’t ready just because she was afraid she might lose him.

Things we didn’t like so much:
-What is the teen boy’s power? He was taking a test and the answers appeared on the board. Is it being super good at math? Seeing answers? Seeing the future? What?!! It looked lame, but he was excited. Hopefully we see more of that power and it adds to the show.

-They had better explain where people get these powers better than just “florescent light under the sea.”

Maybe we are being too generous, but after watching too many pilots this fall that were a bit of a chore to get through, we are giving this an A-. If it stays this good, we will be back every week.

The Good Wife- Taking Control season 2 premiere review

This is the first The Good Wife discussion featured on this blog, so we are going to give you a few of our general thoughts on the show.

-Although this is a very good show and it’s amazing for a procedural, we don’t think this show is as great as most critics say it is.

-But the show is classy, understated, engaging, and it has a great focus on character development. It blows the rest of the legal shows on TV right now away.

-We like Will, Carey, Alicia, and Eli Gold.

-Everyone else seems to like Kalinda, and she is alright. A cold, strong woman, who is also beautiful. Her sexuality is a bit of a question mark, so we think that people are lavishing her with love and praise in preparation for her inevitable coming out. Then they can say that they loved her all along.

-We don’t like Peter, Alicia’s husband. It’s hard for us to get behind someone who cheated and still says things like, “I love you.” We wish we could like him, because he has had some very sweet and funny moments with Alicia. In fact, he has been given much more “material” from the writers than Will’s character has, love story-wise. It is much more fun to have a love triangle where both of the guys are very dateable. We hope Peter does something big for Alicia to prove his love and appreciation for her is back. We need him to prove himself in some way. We aren’t crazy about Alicia’s children either. They seem pouty, meddling, and uninteresting, but they will be back to win us over this season.

-As for Will, we hope Alicia chooses him, but not yet. Actually, she's too good/gorgeous for both of them. Team Someone Else.

This season premiere had a decent court case to work with, and we love how Alicia stood up to the judge to protect her witness. We liked seeing the actor who played Friday Night Lights’ Jason Street out of a wheelchair and sparring with Kalinda. Will looks rat-like this season. Did he lose weight? We love the tricky Eli deleting Will’s love message to Alicia, prolonging their eventual hookup. This romance is more fun when it is forbidden, and the show is called The Good Wife, after all. Alicia has a new mentor in the law firm. This was a pretty good episode, but it dragged a little in the middle for us. We would give it a “C” if we were rating it against other Good Wife episodes, but we are rating against TV in general so….

Episode Grade- B-

Watch the season 2 premiere here: Episodes

Glee Britney Spears episode review

A list of random thoughts on this episode:
-Ern's question through this entire episode: Would kids really want to sing Britney Spears that much? (Leeard's answer: YES). Kurt, we understand, but these kids have theatre nerd voices, and Britney Spears’ songs do not lend themselves to belting, and they require the range of a guy with one vocal cord. The Glee kids said, “We grew up with her.” Did they really? WE grew up with her, and we are in our early 20s. The Glee kids would have been six and seven-year-olds. They grew up with Barney, should they sing Barney? (Leeard's answer: YES). The other kids in the school thought Britney Spears was SO COOL. The last time we checked, kids were making fun of her. No one except Will dissed her at all. We bet if we brought up Britney Spears around most high school kids, they would roll their eyes and turn on Nicky Minaj (or whatever her name is). Is Ern wrong?

-Brittany (the Glee character) felt that she lived in the shadow of Britney Spears’ talent all her life. Another unrealistic plot point, because, as well saw in the amazing first two numbers (I’m a Slave 4 U and Me Against The Music), Brittany can both out-sing and out-dance Britney Spears. Leeard wants to note that Brittany did basically immediately realize that she's an excellent singer and dancer (and then proceeds to demand all of the glee club solos - awesome).

-John Stamos guest starred. He was on Full House. Man, that guy must be getting old. Yet he’s still hot. Plus, that dentist is way cooler than Will. We think you only have to re-watch the scene where Will gets a convertible to know that.

-Rachel, what song WOULD you sing at Finn’s bedside if he ended up in a coma?

-Santana didn’t look good as Madonna. Big eyes and big lips don’t go well together. Pick one to cover in makeup or the other.

-We liked the Britney cameos. They were tasteful and amusing. We’re glad she didn’t perform after seeing a few of her latest performances. It would have just been sad with the super-talented Brittany to compare her to.

-Britney Spears IS pop culture. Good point Kurt. Down with stodgy Will!! (Leeard: Which is why it's not surprising that the kids want to perform her music!)

-Since when does Rachel Berry need anesthesia to have a good musical fantasy?

-As for Rachel’s Britney song, they brought it up about a million keys higher. Not that we are complaining. Show off that voice as best you can with what you're given, Rachel.

-We like when Glee changes the song a little. If they just re-do the original song exactly, not changing the genders or the background music or the style, they end up sounding like Kidz Bop (only way better). We would rather have a new alternative version of each song. So far in the episode, the first three songs were pretty exact. It reminded us of last episode’s “Telephone.”

-Terri! We missed you.

-Emma! We missed you too, you bony, red-headed (well-dressed) hobbit.

-When “Stronger” came on, we thought, “Did they really ruin this song by giving it to Artie? Do they really think that’s a Britney Spears song?” But then Artie sort of killed it (in a good way). It was his best song yet. But the singing DID kind of sound like the lame Christian boy band Plus One.

-We guess the lesson in this episode (in part) is that Britney Spears empowers kids? Yeah, we doubt that. More likely, the lesson kids will take away from this episode is that they want anesthesia.

-Will was really annoying in this lesson. It took him thirty minutes of the episode to cave and let the kids do Britney, and then he wanted to sing Britney in front of the whole school with the kids? Eek! But he redeemed himself by being really good.

-Speaking of that Will/glee club number, it was great. It was “Toxic” and it was easily the best song of the night. It didn’t sound like the original. It wasn’t overproduced like the original, so you could actually hear the words, and the singing was good. No wonder it started what Sue called a “Britney Spears sex riot.” We downloaded it from iTunes immediately.

-Is Sue really going to take Will to court because her “spinal column was ruptured in a sex riot?” We sure hope so.

-Brittany was hilarious in this episode. We loved her perfect, dim delivery of the line, “It’s Britney…b*tch.”

-This whole episode, Emma’s problem with Will was that she wanted him to relax. Is THAT the problem she has had with him this whole time? Is that why she didn’t want him? No. She needed to work on herself, and Will was being a man-ho. This “relax Will” storyline felt way out of left field.

-We love Paramore, and so does Lea Michele. It was her idea and desire to remake a Paramore song. Our question is, why remake a song by someone who can actually sing? Especially when you remake it with another loud, female soprano? But we ended up liking Lea’s version. We were glad the episode wasn’t all Britney songs, even though some of the Britney songs were pretty awesome.

-We are pretty sure we would continue to watch this show for Lea Michele’s voice alone.

-We love Rachel and Finn together. They are so cute :)

All joking around and nitpicking aside, this was a pretty great episode of Glee. It was funny, no one rapped, and it was great to hear Britney's songs sung by people who can actually sing.

Episode grade disagreement- Ern's grade: B-. Leeard's grade- A
Watch it here:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Event- To Keep Us Safe review

We heard that this show’s creators were promising to give us answers fast. This made us wary; will they reveal too much, too soon? We have to want the answers to really appreciate them, and we don’t think The Event has made us that curious yet. They are trying to be the anti-LOST, because withholding answers is supposedly what LOST did wrong. We don’t think a show that is appealing to LOST’s fan base should forget that LOST was one of the most suspenseful shows of all time. Don’t knock the mysterious keeping of answers and visuals off the screen tactic. Hitchcock used it, and it was creepy. We also hate the jumping around in time, although it was more tolerable in this episode than in the pilot. It was less confusing this time, but it doesn’t serve the same purpose the LOST flashbacks did. It just tries to make us feel disoriented and curious.

This episode started with….a plane crash! Really? Seriously? We’re already comparing this show to LOST. Are they really going to make it that easy? Ok then. Let’s pick the six that will survive and return to their homes. When the main character, Sean Walker, opened the plane door and saw that they were in the desert, the show even played the sound that LOST used to play when there was a scary revelation. Alright, we will stop. It's not fair to compare The Event to LOST yet. Also, how did that guy who fell into the fire not get any burns?

(Note: At this point in this blogger’s viewing, some dumb girl came near this blogger in the library and started talking to her friend. This blogger turned up her headphones. THIS IS A LIBRARY, WOMAN. The law library. And she was disturbing this blogger’s hulu time. What if this blogger were actually trying to study law? No respect.)

We are sad that they killed the pilot’s wife. She was nice, and they had a sweet marriage. Another TV marriage bites the dust. But Sean and Leila deserve to be in such trouble for hating calamari. That stuff is good. Might we add that we guessed that Mr. Li was an infiltrator before the show revealed it? It must have been the close-up of Mr. Li’s face when another character suggested that there might be infiltrators. You’ve got to get up earlier in the morning to fool a former LOSTwatcher. Creepy ending! Love that all the people from the plane were dead. Don’t worry, we are pretty sure the pilot from Gilmore Girls isn’t dead. Imdb says he is going to be in more episodes.

We think this show improved with its second episode, taking away the annoyingly frantic confusion and actually pushing the stories in another direction. Hopefully it can stay not boring and avoid being Flashforward. We will keep watching.

Episode Grade: B+

Watch it here:

Lone Star cancelled - good news for Lie to Me fans

Sad news. Lone Star's pilot only pulled in 4 million viewers, and then that sank to 3.2 viewers for the second episode, so it got cancelled after just two episodes. This is a bummer for those of us who enjoyed the show. There are many worse new shows this season (*cough* My Generation *cough*). We are not devastated though. More like, "Well, that's a shame. Oh Well."

We think the problem was the advertising campaign and the premise. The premise of the show should have been kept underwraps, because we know a lot of people weren't crazy about the idea of a guy cheating two women and conning people out of their money. Also, the advertisements should have focused more on the heart of the story, rather than the duplicity.

It's like we said before: people like to root for a good guy in the long run. A movie where you root for the bad guy is one thing. Asking an audience to root for a slimeball week after week is another.

We hope they consider a Lone Star movie, but that will probably never happen. The good news in this situation is that Lie to Me will return next week, taking over Lone Star's time slot. The Monday night slot is a competitive one, and Lie to Me isn't THAT popular, so we hope the time slot won't kill another show this blogger likes as well.

Gossip Girl- The Undergraduates review

Confession: We are diehard Chuck and Blair fans, but we did not hate Eva for most of this episode. She is sweet, she’s getting less busted looking, and we feel bad for her in her Cinderella plight. She does fish-out-of-water much better than Dan ever did. Too bad we know “Lonely Girl” has no chance of ever sticking around long enough for us to grow attached to her French arse. We love that Blair is a b*tch again, but we cringed when she told Eva that she needed gloves to hide her “peasant’s hands,” making the friendly Eva look fragile and lost.

In the beginning of the episode, Blair stated that her jealousy issues were over, but we did not believe her. We WISHED we could believe her, because that plot point is so seasons one and two. Scheming Juliet looked way better in this episode, and Serena’s fashion choices are improving. We love her style, but this season has brought some questionable designs so far. We were really feeling her dress that she wore to the episodes obligatory party.

On Serena and Blair trying to get into “Hamilton House”: Why do these girls even want to get into this house? It looks like a festering pot of backstabbing, snootery, and eating disorders. But it must be like girls who join sororities. No judgment. This blogger was in one, and she made a mistake. Instead of going to the nice sorority house, where she felt like she belonged and loved the girls, she went to a “cooler” house. She did not like it, didn’t meet lifelong friends, and basically hung around for the food. Don’t make this mistake, girls. Friendship trumps status. And this is finally a lesson Blair seems to have learned.

Serena handles everything gracefully, as usual.

We feel bad for poor Dan, who got attached to Milo. Georgina came to take Milo away, and there was nothing Dan could do to stop her, because he was not, in fact, the father. He did not react like a normal man:

Dan and Vanessa moved in together. They are as boring as ever. Chuck and Eva moved in together. Blair and Serena moved in together. Huh? Someone tell these girls that this is usually a mistake, especially if your friend runs a lot of drama. Ladies, don’t live with your existing (best) friends. It could ruin your relationships. Get random roommates and get to know people who are different from your usual crew. This blogger ranks that decision in her top five best of all time. (The other blogger has lived with friends who aren't her best friends, and that has worked out for her so far).

We like the new comforting, committed Chuck. We like that he is a “new man.” But who is going to be the show’s bad boy if he sticks with this? We don’t think we want him to relapse, because he’s put the viewers’ sympathies through so much already, especially last season. Nate and Dan need to step up and take this over. That could save the Dan character. We felt bad for Chuck when Eric told Rufus about Chuck’s mistake in the Gossip Girl pilot. We also felt bad for him when he had to tell Eva about his past, but we are proud that he came clean. We are a little annoyed at Eva for running back to him so soon after he dissed her to Rufus. What a dumb dumb.

Finally, we loved the twist that fooled the audience too: Blair and Serena pretending to fight to expose Juliet as a schemer. Jealous Blair, please be gone forever. The ending twist? Meh. It gave us no real information, and we already knew Juliet was up to something.

Episode grade: B+

Lone Star- One in Every Family review

This second episode of Lone Star was not as good as the pilot, but it was still good. We understand that the main character is cute, but one of us is not personally attracted to him. We care about his character though, which is saying something since he is a con man. This episode started out slow, but it picked up as it went on. By the end, it was intriguing.

We love his new wife’s sister, who acted a little like Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones when we first meet her. We like that she might end up learning our main character’s secrets. This show has more daddy issues than an episode of LOST, but we like it here.

We can’t help but wonder if this series would make a better movie than show. Perhaps the makers will consider it, if the show gets cancelled?

Episode grade- B-

Catch up on this show here (there have only been two episodes, and it's a pretty good new show):

How I Met Your Mother- Cleaning House review

When this episode came on, our first thought was, “Good, a Barney-focused ep,” because we can’t take mundane Lily/Marshall drama after last week. Barney was cleaning out his childhood home with his friends, because his mother was moving. He and his brother (love that brother - Wayne Brady!) realized that their mother lied to them a lot to save their feelings (and hers). Barney’s brother found out his father’s name, and the group went out to meet him. The reunion was a good one, except for an emotionally fragile, yet hilarious Barney pretending that his brother’s black father was his father too. This episode had an especially sweet ending, for a Barney storyline. Why was this episode not the premiere?

Also, Ern is with Lily on the Santa Claus debate. Don’t lie to your kids. The Santa Claus myth isn’t THAT fun. It actually negatively affected someone Ern knows, and not just in that this person was upset when she found out Santa wasn’t real. Worse. Also, kids should learn to be grateful to the people who gave them the presents. Tell them the truth; that Saint Nick is dead. Leeard is with Marshall though, because she likes Santa.

Episode grade: B

Watch the episode here:

Weeds- A Shoe for a Shoe review

What we learned from this episode of Weeds: You can’t defeat a mother lion. And, for once, Nancy deserves the title.

After Nancy gets rid of the child services people and the crazy-for-Andy’s sperm mom, she goes to Cesar’s proposed “trade off.” She was supposed to bring baby Stevie to get Shane back, but she brought a crossbow covered in a baby blanket instead, shooting Cesar in the leg and taking his gun. Meanwhile, another of Esteban’s thugs, Ignacio, took Shane and Doug to wait in a diner. Silas and Andy were also in this diner, waiting for Nancy. Nancy went to the diner to meet up with Andy and Silas, and she ended up in a Mexican stand-off with Ignacio. Ignacio didn’t think Nancy would shoot him, but Shane took the gun from Nancy. Ignacio, who knows Shane well, let the family go. The Botwins and Doug escaped.

So, is this the end of the Esteban storyline? With Cesar and Ignacio off their tails, is that it? Nancy DID tell Shane “no more Spanish.” We didn’t like psycho Shane before, but now we do. He really saved the family this time, and we think his dark side is interesting now. We loved Nancy’s apology and goodbye call to Esteban. We miss Esteban though. We also think that getting Shane back was too easy. Where is this show going now?

Episode grade- B

Boardwalk Empire- The Ivory Tower review

Short recap: Agent Nelson Van Auden suspected that Nucky pinned last week’s murders on the dead drunken husband, because it’s just too convenient. Agent Auden visited Nucky, who freaked a little bit, and got his brother, Sheriff Elias Thompson, to help with the situation. He also takes it out on Jimmy a little. Nucky met with Margaret (the new widow), who needs help providing for her adorable kids. Nucky and his mentor, Louis Kaestner think about the upcoming election after Al Capone beats a Chicago reporter.

Comments for those who watched it:
-This show is taking opportunities to show how racist people were in the 20s. In the pilot, the show-makers gleefully gave us white men in blackface playing trumpets, as well as an Anti-Semitic pamphlet and a few other hints at racism. In this episode, Jimmy bypassed a KKK recruiter. We wonder if the show is building up to a plot with this theme, trying to be true to history, or getting a kick out of showing racist things because it can (because it is historical).
-Dear Jimmy’s kid: Don’t be sad, we were scared of vacuums when we were kids too.
-Dear Jimmy’s wife: Don’t get naked, let your husband rub all over you, make out with him, and then say you don’t want to have sex right now. That’s just cruel.
-The guy who made the professional thing-swallower guy choke on a large cue ball on purpose is a jerk, but that was kind of a funny story. We hope it isn’t true.
-Jimmy, we are glad you aren’t cheating, but way to wait a month before you visit your mother.

This episode showed that this new series wasn’t all about its flashy, Scorsese-directed pilot. It is still shaping up to be a fun, interesting mob history piece. Stay tuned.

Episode Grade- B

Dexter- My Bad (premiere) review

According to the rating for “My Bad,” just about everyone watched this episode. After Rita’s death, Dexter is feeling responsible. He even said, “It was me” when the cops appeared after Dexter’s 911 call. Yeah, way to go Dexter. He is usually smarter than this. Now, we know a psychopath can’t feel guilt, but it seems Dexter is getting as close as he can to feeling it. Dexter, predictably, has trouble coping with looking like he is grieving enough, dealing with the children, making the funeral arrangements, writing a eulogy, cooperating with the FBI investigating Rita’s death, and acting normal.

One of the most awkward parts of this episode was when Dexter told the kids, fresh back from Disney World with a present for Dexter (a hat with ears that said “DEXTER” on it), that their mother was dead. We felt a sort of sick anticipation to see this scene, but it just depressed us. He was very bad at it and matter-of-fact. Astor ran out, and Dexter followed her, trying to comfort her. He actually reached out a hand to touch her shoulder. Astor blamed Dexter for the death and said that she wished he had died instead. It is actually probably good for Dexter to feel guilt and pain, so we weren’t that mad at Astor, but she’d better get a lot nicer, quick. Being really cute can only get you so far.

Dexter decided that all the kids would be better off without him, and attempted to run away. This was actually kind of a responsible idea, but we hated it, and we hoped he would return as soon as possible. His grief and his Dead Dad caught up with him though, causing him to finally cry (Dexter has the weirdest wounded animal cry ever filmed for television) and then return just in time for the funeral. We are certain this made the FBI even more suspicious of Dexter, and he is not the only one. Quinn suspected Dexter, especially when he found out about Dexter’s altercation with his neighbor over Rita. LaGuerta let the FBI have the case, and things got tense when Quinn kept suggestion Dexter as the possible murder to her.

Dexter killed someone in a rage in this episode, right before he went back to his kids. Don't feel bad; he was a jerk. Also, we got to see Rita in a flashback to her first date with Dexter, where he left early to kill someone.

Quinn wasn’t all annoying though. He comforted Deb, so she turned to him for sex to get her through the grieving process. About time. We were surprised these two didn’t hook up right away. But Deb pushed him away immediately after, making us wonder how long it will take to repeat the tryst. Deb was an amazing sister this episode, and we like her more after seeing it. She really didn’t even curse all that much in this episode, although one of us thinks cursing is part of her charm. We wonder if this season is finally the time for Deb to be clued into Dexter’s secret. If Harry supported it, might she not as well?

We always wonder how accurate this show is, in terms of psychology. This episode, especially, made us wonder if it pushed the boundaries of what sociopaths are actually able to feel. But we are no experts. Decent premiere.

Episode Grade- B

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New shows- Not original enough?

The Event features mysterious visitors and is trying to be the next LOST.
Nikita is a remake.
Better with You is from a Friends writer and has a laugh track.
The premise of Raising Hope (a single young man having to raise a child) isn't groundbreaking.
The same goes for Running Wilde. (Liberal vs. conservative love premise)

Call us pessimists, but when watching this fall's crop of new shows, we kept thinking, "Have we seen this show before?" It feels like many of the new shows exist to replace old ones. Are we missing something unique or weird about a show? We've been pretty underwhelmed with the ideas for new shows lately.

We suppose Lone Star and Boardwalk Empire are pretty original. But we expect nothing less from HBO, and Lone Star will get canceled if its numbers don't improve.

We know original ideas only carry a show so far, and the real test is whether it's carried out well. But having a premise that is interesting and good to work with can help writers. Is it just us? Are we wrong? How do you feel about the new shows this season?