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Friday, October 8, 2010

Other Thursday grades

Community: A-. This show is always funny these days, but this one was poignant too. Love that show.

Fringe: C+. The end was really good. The only significant things in the episode were that we found out that Walternate needs Olivia to cross over into the other world easily. Also, Olivia is starting to have visions of people she knew from our world, and these are telling her that she doesn't belong in the alternative universe. The whole episode focused on Olivia catching a criminal in the alternatice universe while she dealt with feeling weird.

Bones: B. While one of is obsessed with Jersey Shore, it was kind of a weird episode. And seeing those jumping maggots didn't help at all. The case of the week was pretty interesting though, and not as predictable as they usually are. We do NOT like Booth's girlfriend moving in with him. He is ours and we will share him with Bones and that's IT.


Sorry for the flagrant laziness. It's a busy weekend :)

The Office- Andy's play review

This was an actual good episode of The Office, and a vast improvement over the last two episodes and season six in general. Right? Are we just happy about it because we like Sweeney Todd? We like The Office’s mean and snarky side, but we also like to see its joyful, sweet side.

Andy was starring as Anthony in a local production of the musical. He and his castmates burst into Dunder Mifflin singing “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.” Andy’s goal? To win Erin back from Gabe, because Andy has a theory that women cannot resist a man singing show tunes. “It’s so powerful, a lot of men can’t resist a man sensing show tunes.” Andy invited everyone in the office to the musical, mostly hoping Erin would come. Erin ended up babysitting for Jim and Pam so that they could go, but she showed up with the baby in the middle of the performance. In the end, Erin and Andy hung out, but she went back to Gabe afterward. Sad.

Dwight and Angela were still carrying out their weird, hilarious birthing contract. Angela is clearly trying to win Dwight back with sex, and from the end of the episode, it looks like it might work. We are glad. They were a great couple.

We liked that everyone went to Andy’s play, and they all liked it, even though Michael was jealous of the leading man. Beef: We don’t like Erin. She’s cute, but she’s a dud. We already had a sweet girl. (It used to be) Pam. Erin is also really really stupid. We also have a stupid girl. It’s still Kelly, even though Kelly thinks she is smart now. While we hope she and Gabe leave the show and are replaced by someone who can bring some hilarity and good plotlines to the show, we also want Andy to be happy. Conundrum. But still, time spent on Erin is not time well-spent.

Episode grade: B+

The Vampire Diaries- Kill or Be Killed recap and thoughts

What happened/the recap (skip if you know what happened)
A year ago, Hot Uncle Mason got in a fight with a drunk guy who thought Mason was sleeping with his girlfriend. Mason accidently killed him, and we knew instantly that was how he had triggered the werewolf curse. Flash to present day. Mason was explaining this to Tyler. We know Tyler is going to trigger the curse too. We don’t know how, we don’t know when, and we don’t know why, but we know it will happen. We are on the lookout, and that’s what the show intended.

The town was having a picnic where Stefan tried to make friends with Mason. Mason didn’t trust Stefan, because Stefan’s brother stabbed him last episode. Mason told the sheriff, Caroline’s mom, that Damon and Stefan were vampires. Sheriff Liz defended Damon, saying that Damon was her vampire-killing buddy. So Mason spiked Damon’s picnic drink with vervain and used a little girl to deliver it. Sheriff Liz realized the truth as she watch Damon cough and weaken, as Stefan patted him on the back. Knowing Mason was the source of the bad batch of lemonade, Damon and Stefan followed him into the woods only to be ambushed by Sheriff Liz and her cop cronies. The cops shot them and took them down into old slave quarters to question and kill them. Damon woke up first, because he drinks human blood and is stronger. We were sad that Sheriff Liz was really going to kill the brothers, even after all the times Damon helped her. Sad. Caroline realized with her vampire senses that the brothers were in trouble, so she and Elena left the picnic to find them. Then, we were introduced to awesome, bad ass Caroline. She killed the two cops and kicked Mason’s butt single-handedly. She was left with a very unflattering blood goatee, but it was still awesome. Sheriff Liz did not take the news that her daughter was a vampire well. She asked Damon to hurry and kill her, because she couldn’t take it. She also said that Caroline wasn’t her daughter. “My daughter is gone.”

The plan, obviously, was to wait until Sheriff Liz got the vervain out of her system and then compel her into forgetting the whole day. Way to go Mason. All your little revenge prank did was get a couple of innocent cops killed. The sweetest part of the episode was when Caroline told Elena what Elena already knew—that Katherine was getting Caroline to spy on the brothers and Elena. Then she told Elena what Elena had already guess—that Katherine threatened Matt to get Caroline under her control. Stefan, worried about the threat of Katherine hanging out there somewhere, suggested that he start drinking human blood so he could be strong. He thought that he could build up a tolerance to human blood so he wouldn’t freak out and become a monster on it. Elena didn’t approve and the two fought. Damon took Stefan’s side, obviously, so Elena came around. Elena likes Damon again, because he spared Caroline’s mom. Elena went to Stefan and let him drink her blood. His face started to get all weird and savage, but when Elena kissed him, his face went back to normal. So we guess Elena can help him control it.

Jeremy found out about the Lockwood curse from the old Gilbert diary. He went over to Tyler’s, where Tyler was entertaining two underage girls with alcohol. He has no powers and he uses them irresponsibly. He is going to be the most annoyingly dangerous preternatural teen ever when he triggers the curse. Jeremy showed off his folder of werewolf drawings, clueing Tyler into the fact that Jeremy knew his secret. Tyler violently confronted Jeremy and calmed down once Jeremy started talking. They discussed the secret amiably, and Tyler showed Jeremy the much-coveted moonstone. One of the girls came in and stole the moonstone, trying to get the guys to play with her. One, who was crushing on Jeremy, ran up the stairs with the stone. Tyler followed her and grabbed for the stone, causing her to tumble down the stairs. As she lay silently on the floor, everyone thought, “Oh man, that’s it. Tyler triggered the curse.” But the show was faking us out. The show likes to tease us by saying, “Oh you think we are so predictable, but we are not. Let us dangle the plot point you would employ in front of your faces, then jerk it away and replace it with something more awesome.” Tyler gave Mason the stone that night. Then, the twist! Mason met Katherine in a car, gave her the stone, and then they made out. We didn’t guess the two were in cahoots, but we should have, since they arrived in town at the same time.

Comments
-Elena and Caroline’s friendship is a lot stronger this season than last season, and that’s because Caroline isn’t just a jealous frenemy anymore. She has developed into an interesting, loving, and brave character this season. Maybe vampirism is good for some people.
-Ern thinks the moonstone gives werewolves the ability to be strong and transform on days other than the full moon. Leeard thinks this would be too obvious, and this show is anything but obvious. But what else could it be?
-This show has about three twists per episode. Are they ever going to run out of twists?
-Where was Matt? We miss him, and we are not pleased that he is being threatened. If Katherine kills him, we are going to scream at the TV. We await his reunion with Caroline, because we think she is worthy of him now, because she's really shown how much she cares about him.
-There’s never really anything to say about this show besides, “Wow, what a great show.” Nonwatchers are missing out. Sure, something called “The Vampire Diaries” sounds like the lamest thing ever (Leeard had to beg Ern to watch it and send her links many times), but it isn’t. It rocks. Can’t wait for next week.
-Jeremy needs to die. Permanently die, not become undead.
Episode Grade- A-

Grey's Anatomy- Superfreak review/recap

This was just about the most perfect Grey’s Anatomy episode we’ve seen in a while. We laughed multiple times, there was an interesting (and disgusting) case, and there was also emotional drama. It’s been a while since Grey’s Anatomy has really been funny and showed the group bonding, but last night, it happened.

Funny moments: Cristina crawled into bed with Derek and Meredith, because Owen was on call, and she was scared to sleep alone. Ok, that’s not the funny part. The funny part happened when Derek realized he was touching the wrong woman.
-Derek comparing Meredith and Cristina’s “weird and disturbing” bond to that of E.T. and Elliot. Also, we like Owen/Derek being friends now. It's a bit sudden, but alright (as William Wallace would say).
-Teddy freaking out about the shrink leaving and warning the women in her O.R. to be celibate so they don’t get attached to men. “I’m not G.I. Jane. I’m Attachment Barbie.”
-Lexie and Bailey freaking out over the disgusting case of the week.
-When the bride who swallowed a foreign object revealed to her fiancé how she swallowed it.
-April being a virgin and her freak-out about it at the bar. The writers are smart to make her grow on Meredith, because anyone that “cool kid Meredith” accepts, we will eventually accept. We actually like her more for being a virgin. She was waiting for someone special and then time flew by, and all of the sudden, she’s a 28-year-old virgin. These things happen, even to cute people. But this is Grey’s Anatomy, so this automatically makes us wonder, of course, who will take April’s virginity? Virginity cannot stand in this hospital.
-Callie/Arizona ripping off each other’s clothes in front of Owen/Cristina so that O/C would move. Perfect strategy.

Serious/touching moments:
-Derek mended a relationship with a rebellious, strong sister who was with him when his dad got shot. Actually, this plotline didn’t fully work for us. Derek is STILL mad at this sister for being “strong and scary” and for getting high and crashing their mom’s car as a teen? That’s just weird and immature. She’s a neurosurgeon now, it looks like she got her life together, Derek. Still, it was sweet when Derek realized that his irritation with her stemmed from a desire to protect his little sister. Awww.
-"Miracle Derek” helped Cristina with her PTSD.
-Cristina asking Owen if he would love her if she weren’t a surgeon. He said, “I would love you if you were a plumber, but would you love you if you weren’t a surgeon?” Are these two going to actually become a healthy couple through all these storms?
-Derek defending Cristina to his sister when the sister said that Cristina was a “dud.” He said, “Cristina saved my life. I owe her everything.” Darn right. Just when Cristina is being all pathetic, we get a nice reminder that she is a bad ass. She’s just a little off her game right now. It’s interesting to see a side of Cristina who doesn’t want to be in the O.R., but we hope it stops soon.
-The shrink had to leave Seattle Grace and Teddy, who had been sleeping with him. She was sad, but the shrink gave her a breakthrough moment. She has attachment issues. She only goes after unavailable or soon-to-be-leaving men. We like Teddy in a relationship, so we hope she works through these issues and gets a long-term guy. We can’t see her with any of the existing guys on the show, except maybe the chief.

    Other parts:
    Alex was afraid to take the elevator. Yawn. The chief forcing him to take the elevator was fun though.

    DISGUSTING PARTS
    This blogger is getting the HPV shots immediately after seeing this week’s big case. It involved a man who wouldn’t leave his house, vexing his wife. But he had a pretty good reason: He had a rare form of HPV that made him grow warts and tree branches for hands. Apparently, HPV can sometimes cause this. Ok, it’s really rare, but this is a fate worse than death and especially worse than a few shots. Seriously, watch the episode. We almost barfed. In fact, we may barf thinking about it again. In the end, there was not enough skin to do grafts, so he was going to have no skin for six months to a year. The man’s wife ended up leaving him, because, as she put it, sometimes love just isn’t enough. Hey, don’t judge her unless you saw the episode. That was GROSS. Also, it was kind of nasty that Alex, Jackson, and Meredith lost their virginities when they were 15 and 16 years old. Sex in high school is rarely a good idea. We remember being that age, and compared to now, we were complete idiots unequipped to handle that well. Bleck. The last thing we want to tell teens watching this show (and there are a lot) is that losing your virginity in high school is the cool, normal way to do it. April really isn't the weirdo here. TV Land has different morals than society at large. We get that the writers are trying to loosen us up, but 15-year-olds are emotional infants, even thought they think they are invincible. Don't have sex, kids. But get the HPV shot in case you do :)

    Episode grade: A-
    Watch it here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/183887/greys-anatomy-superfreak

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Modern Family- Earthquake recap/review

    This week on Modern Family, all three family units braved a short earthquake. Mitchell and Cam tried to get out of Nathan Lane’s party, and they succeeded. (Cam is a TOTAL mob wife). Gloria wanted Jay to go to church, but he was done with it and wanted to golf instead. Manny ended up going with Jay, but he regretted it when his fear of hell returned to him. Jay dropped Manny off at church and went back to play golf. The earthquake left Claire trapped in a bathroom with a plumber who gave her advice on handling Haley. It also gave Phil time to pretend he had secured the living room cabinet to the wall BEFORE the earthquake. He also convinced Luke not to tell his mother it almost fell on him. We are huge fans of Alex, who is trying to get her sister to study for the SATs. She’s so smart and cute. She actually said, “You’re never alone when you have books.” So true, Alex.

    This was a solid, funny, and cute episode. Not Modern Family’s best but still good.

    Episode grade: B

    Cougar Town- Makin' Some Noise review/recap

    This week’s Cougar Town was just decent, but even a decent episode of Cougar Town is better than most episodes of another comedy. Because Jules didn’t have her son at home anymore, she needed a project, and that project turned out to be Grayson. We laughed just about every time she put glasses Grayson doesn’t need on his face, because she thought he looked better with them. As handsome as that man is naturally, he does actually look better with them. Grayson tried to distract Jules by scaring her into starting a neighborhood watch.

    Travis, meanwhile, was focused on his attempt to reinvent himself for college. Poor guy. We have tried to reinvent ourselves before. It never works, because unless you’re a sociopath, you can’t drop your real personality without just appearing really fake and giving up eventually. We’ll give him mad props for wanted to reinvent himself as a “silent bad ass, like Harry Potter (but not in the early books, in the last book).” Bobby and Andy show up in his dorm to help him out. All the while, Bobby is trying to bring back cut off shirts and jean shorts as a guy’s look.

    Laurie convinced Ellie’s new nanny to try to befriend Ellie, when Ellie just wants to be left alone. It was pretty funny to see Laurie outsmart Ellie like that. In the end, Grayson turned Travis’ bedroom into a jam room, where Grayson could play the guitar, Jules could play drums, and their three friends could pick up the other instruments. With all the wine these people drink, when do they have the time or the brain cells to learn instruments? Haha. We also loved that the credits made fun of Cougar Town's bad, misleading title (and the fact that they made fun of Tampa a lot this week). We also love Travis' roommate. We can't wait for more foot wine and crazy Jules next week.

    Episode grade: B

    South Park- Poor and Stupid review

    South Park! You’re back. We love this show, and we will love this show forever. There is no episode we truly hate. Sadly, this was not the premiere of season 14.5 that we wanted. It was pretty funny, but there were no truly incisive or laugh-out-loud moments. We wouldn’t talk about it to our friends or put it on our list of favorites. This episode was about NASCAR, which is sort of a fun community sport for hicks that really doesn’t do anyone any harm. Come on South Park, there have been gay suicides, Lady Gaga and her meat dress, the Westboro church sued in Supreme Court, Miley Cyrus “growing up,” and Glee coming back on air. None of that was good, current material?

    The episode started with Eric Cartman sobbing in the hall, because he could never realize his dream to be a NASCAR driver, because he wasn’t poor and stupid enough. Kyle and Stan convinced him that if these were the criteria, he certainly had a shot. So Cartman set off to “prove himself.” He and his sidekick, Butters, adopted a Southern accent, made a video bashing Obama (“Obama is gay as hell"), and fought with Kenny (a character with which he usually gets along), because Kenny had the “natural talent” Cartman needed. Cartman raced in NASCAR, twice, but he didn’t win.

    Our favorite part was when Cartman was trying to make himself stupider. He lay in the couch upside down, watching Two and a Half Men. Perfect. Then he ate a bunch of tubes of Vagisil. Disgusting. The Vagisil inventor ended up sponsoring Cartman in the NASCAR races. He grew three perfectly clean vaginas in his stomach. Beautiful. All the while, Cartman complained that he wasn’t stupid enough to race, even after doing this stuff. Also, as one of us is an accounting major, we really liked how Cartman said that poor people stay poor forever by buying stuff that is 0% down and no payments for two years.

    Oh, and for your info, Leeard does not like NASCAR, but it has always been her dream to be a NASCAR driver. Yet another thing she has in common with Cartman. Ern has been to two NASCAR races and enjoyed them both, but she wonders how that ever became a sport/pastime people just accept and enjoy. NASCAR is funny, but it’s not as deserving of South Park’s wrath as their past targets.

    Episode grade: C+

    America's Next Top Model- Karolina Kurkova review/recap

    The model we hate
    Another Wednesday, another episode of America’s Next Top Model. This marks the first episode in Top Model history where we have actually hated one of the models. We know Melrose wasn’t popular, but we felt bad for her. We know Jade was AWFUL, but she was one of the most entertaining things ever to cross this show. Her exit poem about herself was the most awesomely egotistical thing we have ever heard, and we were sad to see her go. But Lexie is neither entertaining nor pitiable. Lexie thinks she is an entertaining prankster, when really she is a “too cool for school” bully. The thing about Melrose was that she was, at least, an underdog. But she was actually a good model. Lexie looks like a weird tarsier mixed with a lizard and is one of the worst models of all time. She just comes across as one of those snickering mean girls who doesn’t know how to rise above anyone’s social failings. It’s immature and ugly. More on that later.

    Drama at the house
    When the episode opened, the recently shunned Kacey was trying to worm her way back into the other models’ good graces. She decided to pass around a bunch of questions that the other girls would answer so she could get to know them better. If this was a producer’s idea, good going, because it gave you material to film. If it was Kacey’s idea, then we are even more impressed. If the girls had treated one of us the way they treated Kacey, we would be so done with them, keeping to ourselves and strategizing to take them down. But Kacey showed herself to be a bigger person than that, trying to get to know them. That must be why Kacey has those bags under her eyes; they are full of wisdom. Kacey doesn’t have a warm personality, and she’s really messy, but that doesn’t give the girls the right to bully her, ostracize her, and talk about her behind her back. During the questioning, we heard that Liz was once in a homeless shelter, pregnant, and alone three days before her birthday, and at that time, she wanted to die. Poor Liz! We want her to win now. We are suckers for the saddest story ever.

    The challenge
    The challenge was to walk in the opposite direction of the pull on fast conveyor belts while modeling evening-wear and heels. Kacey was the only one who didn’t stumble. Liz cursed during the walk, Kendal lost a shoe and looked like she was dancing when she tried to recover, Esther and Chelsey were a mess, and Chris was funny, as usual. Ann looked so petrified that people in the audience were imitating her facial expression, laughing. They all looked like hamsters on wheels. The only girls who didn’t make complete fools of themselves were Lexie and Kacey, and Kacey won the challenge. When Kacey heard that she had won a bunch of ugly, expensive necklaces, she screamed like a dying cat, and that annoyed everyone. To be fair, that would annoy us too. Liz looked so longingly at the necklaces that you could imagine the thought bubble: “FOOD FOR MA BABY.”

    More girl drama
    Back at the house, model Karolina Kurkova stopped by to share her secrets and fruit/veggie smoothies with the girls. If those will make our skin look like that, we are getting a blender, pronto. Lexie left her disgusting bobby pins on the kitchen counter, prompting Kacey to complain. But Kacey had no right to, since she left old food on the counter. Lexie, still sore from her loss, started talking about Kacey to the other girls. “She needs something that shocks her every time she talks. Like a dog collar,” she said. Kacey came in and everyone squabbled. Liz was sick of it and hopped up and told Kacey off. It was pretty scary, but impressive.

    The shoot and the judging
    The photo shoot was to get costumed up and do fighting photos in a wrestling ring, with guys dressed up as “El Chupacabra” and the like. It was actually pretty bad ass. (Side note: one of us is actually terrified of El Chupacabra. Judge as you will). We knew Ann would struggle, because this shoot required confidence and aggression, two things Ann lacks. She struggled and cried, but we knew she was in no danger of going home, being the judges’ pet she is and the last three photos she took. All the girls looked ridiculous, but awesome. And Ann continues to rock it, getting four best pictures in a row. Ann doesn’t work harder than the other girls, she isn’t smarter, and she isn’t prettier. She just naturally photographs like a high fashion model. It’s dumb luck, but we’re happy for her. Can she get confident already? Have the judges pumped her up enough yet? Chris was runner up for best picture, because she decided to jump in her photo shoot. We are glad, because Chris is funny without being mean (like Lexie). We want her around. Speaking of Lexie: She was a trainwreck. She has never taken a picture we would ever, ever, even if pigs flew see in a magazine. She was the clear loser. Jane and Lexie were in the bottom two, and with Jane’s face, you knew she wasn’t leaving. Jane is smart enough to study up and fix her problems. Nine models left.

    Episode grade: B-

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    The Good Wife- Double Jeopardy review and recap

    The case of the week involved an active army reservist who was accused of stabbing his wife 38 times (geez) and killing her (obviously). At the beginning of the episode, Will and Alicia got the client off, beating opposing counsel Carey. Carey, intent on winning, got an army friend to re-try the case. Double jeopardy did not apply, because the client was an active reservist and could be court marshaled. So Will and Alicia were off to military court, because the client trusted and wanted to retain them. The military judge was a piece of work, but we ended up liking her, and we loved seeing her spar with Will. Can she come back? Will and Alicia won, cleverly employing tactics to get around the military court’s bias against them. Their client was innocent, and he got off. But then he had to go to Afghanistan. Sad. Despite working well together on a case, Will and Alicia did not move forward romantically in this episode. Will slept with a forward, ballsy girl from the Chicago Law Review, but we don’t think it’s serious.

    The drama at the firm this week is that Diane and Derrik were fighting over whose client to keep. Will promised Diane that he would vote to keep her client, but he changed his mind, angering Diane and turning her against him. So we guess Diane and Will won’t be teaming up against Derrik during voting times now. Good. That’s more interesting and better for business. Diane had Kalinda dig up information on Will and Derrick’s relationship, but the episode ended before Kalinda divulged it. Derrick’s client met with Diane, because he doubted that the firm could back him with Diane disagreeing with his conservative antics. Diane was straight with him, assuring him that she could represent him, but she would not betray her political beliefs. The client admired her bluntness and asked that she be his lawyer rather than Derrik.

    Eli Gold panics when CollegeHumor.com does a parody of Peter’s career and sex life, featuring Peter’s former call girl. Think “the Obama girl” video, only ruder. We loved Eli Gold’s hilarious reaction when he saw the video. We love this character.

    Becca, Zach’s teenage ex, set about trying to win Zach back by volunteering to help with his father Peter’s campaign. When Eli Gold threw her out, she got with Zach and created a pretend, unflattering Facebook page for Glenn Childs’ son. The reason for the page is so that Zach and Becca can post status updates bashing Glenn Childs senior.

    We thought the case was engaging, and we like seeing Carey act as Alicia and Will’s enemy. But we hope he can go back to being at least a little sympathetic so the excellent character won’t end up being one-sided. We hope the season doesn’t drag out the “Alicia doesn’t know about Will’s love message” plot too long. If she finds out in the finale, we are going to be ticked. It was nice to have a little break from Alicia’s love troubles, but we want them back sooner rather than later. This was a solid episode. Easy to watch and more interesting than the premiere.

    Episode grade- B+

    Watch it here: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/video/?play=true&pid=4L1hR4bS55phNQYNoNrJlCYNwS_9uyUw

    No Ordinary Family- No Ordinary Marriage recap/review

    No Ordinary Family continued to show promise and entertain last night’s viewers. The second episode focused on the four family members learning to use their new powers. It also showed them contemplating the potential downsides and dangers.

    Jim (the dad): His powers are officially strength, super leaping, and the ability to take a lot of damage. Jim and his friend George spend a lot of time getting Jim up to snuff to fight crime. “Think of yourself as a superhero in training,” George said. Jim practiced stopping moving cars, but only succeeded during an actual emergency. When Jim’s wife finds out that he is still trying to be Batman, she tries to get him to stop. But it would be a pretty boring show if he did, so when George is taken hostage by bank robbers, Jim arrives in time to save George. Jim told a female cop coworker about his powers, but one of the “super villains” killed her at the end of the episode.

    Stephanie (the mom): Man, we wish we could run a mile in six seconds. Fantastic and sympathetic as this character is, she’s not really cottoning onto the fact that superpowers are to be used. Right? She got her lab assistant to send for a water sample from the crash site, thinking that analyzing it might shed light on the source of their powers. While trying to dash back to a work emergency, Stephanie was hurt in an attempt to avoid a collision with bicycling children. She shouldn’t have been reading a text while she was running Super Fast… When Jim found out that she was hurt (she heals fast too), the couple made a pact not to use their powers until Stephanie figures out more about them. Stephanie broke the pact to get the water sample faster. To her credit, she didn’t lie to Jim about it.

    Daphne (the daughter): There’s enough noise in this day and age, so we feel bad for Daphne having to hear all her insipid schoolmates’ thoughts. Fortunately, Stephanie helped her learn how to tune them out and/or focus on one person at a time.

    JJ (the son): JJ’s powers were clarified. Sort of. He has a “super brain.” When he sees math problems, he just “gets them” now. His power is that he is much smarter now. JJ hid his powers from his parents, because he wanted them to be proud of him for his improving grades. He could not hide it from Daphne, but she agreed to keep his secret for the time being. The downside to JJ’s powers is that his teacher is now accusing him of cheating, which WOULD be the only rational explanation for this former problem student to suddenly have more math skills than mathematics graduate students.

    We loved when Jim took a rude acquaintance down after the man and his wife mocked Jim because Stephanie makes more money. This episode wasn’t as good as the pilot, but it was a worthy episode two. And with the exception of a little light cursing, it remains a good family show.

    Episode grade: B

    Glee- Grilled Cheesus review

    Our thoughts about the episode going into it
    We were both excited for and wary of this episode from the start. On the one hand, it’s not a silly tribute episode (we've had enough of that for now), and it might actually have a plot worthy of the characters. Also, we like religion and those discussions. Also also, one of us loves Billy Joel. On the other hand, how can everyone enjoy an episode when they have to sit tensely on their couches, hoping people won’t hurt their feelings by dogging their religious beliefs. Every time a religious person is portrayed as weak or stupid, it effects how much they are respected in the real world, and that’s a big deal. Also, others will be tense through the whole thing because they dislike religion and don’t want their favorite show to turn into a morality play.

    Thoughts on the spirituality in the episode
    First, we respect Glee for being so balanced and inclusive in this episode regarding the issue of whether there is a God. But for an episode on grief and spirituality, we thought the episode was shockingly shallow and actually not controversial enough. Everything the characters said about God has already been said in countless movies and TV shows. There was no, “Wow, I should think about that” moment. There was nothing unsettling, other than Emma’s comment that atheism was arrogant and Mercedes’ comment that Kurt might be shutting himself off from something. The atheists and agnostics came off as whiners who didn’t believe in God because he doesn’t act as their personal vending machine. The religious people came off as dim, but well-meaning. The episode was FAIR, we will give it that. But no other religions than Judaism and Christianity were represented. As bloggers who are interested in religions in general, we think this episode missed opportunities to really bring up some good questions and show authentic faiths. Couldn’t they hire Rob Bell (who can make even the most mundane thing sound spiritual and life changing) or Richard Dawkins to consult? Whatever happened to compelling and awesome religious thought in art and entertainment? Read the chapter “The Grand Inquisitor” in The Brothers Karamazov. THAT’S how it’s done. The episode was too fair, too sensitive, and too surface-level. And maybe we are biased because both bloggers read a lot of theology, so we we're used to stuff that packs a bigger punch. But come on. The average teen has come across everything Glee had to say about religion last night.

    Thoughts on gay people and other “outcasts” going to church
    The episode touched on how Kurt felt unwelcome at church, because he is gay. In light of the recent gay suicides, we thought we’d comment on this a little. We think it’s really sad that gay, imperfect, unique, and female people often feel unwelcome in church. The weirdos in society are just the sort of people Jesus was rumored to have hung out with. God loves gay people. Don’t let anyone tell you different. The church has a lot of work to do to become the sort of place where people who don’t fit a certain mold feel loved. For now, small groups of like-minded, spiritual people can provide fellowship and support. Trust us. This blogger is straight and never fit in much in church either.

    Thoughts on episode happenings
    Finn started the religion thing off because the burned bit of his grilled cheese sandwich looked like Jesus. He started praying to this “grilled Cheesus” for selfish, but funny things like “to be quarterback on the football team” and “to touch Rachel’s boobs". He wanted the Glee club to honor Jesus Christ through song (cueing the funniest look ever to cross Rachel’s face). But because no religion episode would be complete without some suffering to bring it to light, things got serious when Kurt’s dad had a heart attack. How could cruel fate (or God) strike down a man who once bought his six-year-old son a “Maria bonnet”? Although, we can’t say that we ever actually saw Maria wearing a bonnet in The Sound of Music. Sue, Will, Emma, Kurt, Quinn, and others fought about whether to pray for Kurt’s dad and whether to sing spiritual songs in Glee club. Mercedes was able to get Kurt to go to church with her. Don’t worry Kurt, this is TV. On TV, the only nice Christians are black, so we knew you’d be ok. Then Mercedes threw out the old “if you don’t believe in God, at least just believe in something” clichĂ© (best used in Serenity, IMO). In the end, Kurt’s comatose father squeezed his hand, which indicates that he may recover. Yay! He’s one of our favorite characters on the show. This blogger didn’t cry during this episode. Maybe it was because we were supposed to feel sorry for Kurt, who was treating everyone badly and censoring other kids. Maybe it was because of the ungodly number of commercial breaks that brought this blogger out of the episode too much. Just didn’t feel it. We enjoyed Sue bringing her funny George Carlin-flavored views on religion, and we also enjoyed the Brittany line" Whenever I pray, I fall asleep". Also, good casting on younger Kurt. He looked just like Chris Colfer! And we loved your church hat, Kurt. Message to Finn: we can’t believe you ate the grilled cheesus after all that time. GROSS.

    Thoughts on the musical numbers:
    Only the Good Die Young by Puck- Puck is one of the strongest male singing voices on the show (but that’s not saying much), so we are glad that he got another solo. It was a fun way to start off the night before things got too heavy. And one of us loves Billy Joel.
    I Look to You by Mercedes- This song should have been sung in the church, and the other one should have been scrapped for something different. We can’t believe we actually got to hear Mercedes sing pretty. She is usually screeching in the background or screaming her way through something like “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” We like to hear variety from her. We like how it started out nice and then she got to really rip through it. We bought this one as a single immediately.
    Papa, Can You Hear Me? by Rachel- You know we love Lea Michele’s voice. It’s 90% of the reason we watch this show. But we’ve gotta say, as nicely as the scene was filmed, we prefer Barbra Streisand’s version in Yentl, especially on the big notes. Rachel’s voice naturally sits a little higher than this, so her tone wasn’t as full as Barbra’s on those notes. Still, a good effort. And we like the way she did the speaking parts of this song. It sounded less lame than Babs.
    I Want to Hold Your Hand by Kurt- If Kurt wasn’t being such a butt this episode, we would have enjoyed this more and really felt for him. But we did enjoy the montage of scenes with Kurt and his father when Kurt was younger. Kurt’s voice is beautiful, and we like this version. However, this blogger’s brother, who has his own recording studio, says that Kurt’s voice is heavily autotuned on the high notes. Bummer.
    Losing My Religion by Finn- This song was fitting for the episode, but Finn’s voice isn’t very good, so we didn’t enjoy it that much.
    Bridge Over Troubled Water by Mercedes- This song is really overdone (but still good). By the time Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige whipped it out of their back pockets this summer, we were like, “Ok, this is boring.” The choir overpowered Mercedes, so she was reduced to background shrieking again.
    One of Us by New Directions- That is a nice, neutral spiritual song with which to end the episode. We thought it was a little blah though. There are plenty of better spiritual songs they could have used. Maybe something by U2? Still, we liked this one.

    We know many critics and viewers are going to rave about this episode because of how Kurt-centered and sensitive it was, but we've got to give it an episode grade of C+.

    Watch it for yourselves here:

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    What's Up with Pam? -The Office discussion

    It seems to us that the writers have lost sight of the Pam character on The Office. This blogger has been watching old episodes from season two, and Pam is completely different from how she has been in seasons five and six.

    Early Pam was sweet, a little shy, friendly, nice, and quietly devious.

    Later Pam is louder, blunter, and pretty unrecognizeable. Last episode, she stole from the company by pretending to have been given a snazzy, higher-paying job title. In season five, she flirted heavily with Michael to get new chairs, rather than a printer. She's been doing a little less scheming with Jim.

    We understand that because Pam is with Jim and not Roy, she is going to have more confidence and self-esteem. But should this growth translate in to her being a little bit of a shrill, spoiled brat?

    We want the old Pam back. If you don't believe us that there is that much of a difference, watch last week's episode, then watch any episode from seasons 1-4.

    Gossip Girl- A Touch of Eva review/recap

    This episode found Chuck and Eva happy, photographed in papers and on Gossip Girl, and giving Chuck’s money to charity together. Everyone was abuzz with the news that Eva turned Chuck’s life around. Chuck planned the obligatory weekly Gossip Girl party to donate $5 million to a charity Eva would select. We hated seeing Chuck bandy his charitable contributions around like that. Those things should be done anonymously or else it’s gross, unless you are a celebrity and your influence can inspire others to give and care.

    Meanwhile, Blair and Serena were stalking their former loves on Gossip Girl. They disapproved of each other’s obsessions, and Blair made Serena promise to stop look at Dan/Vanessa and Juliet/Nate updates on Gossip Girl. Our question: Why on Earth is Gossip Girl tracking Dan/Vanessa? Starved for entertainment on the Upper East Side? Serena, in turn, made Blair promise not to destroy Chuck’s relationship with Eva. Psh, yeah right. It’s Blair. So Blair did a bit of stalking and caught Eva selling a fancy watch Chuck had given her. To be fair, Serena broke her side of the pact as well. But we understand Serena’s annoyance at these relationships; she is clearly better than both of these girls, and she is probably the Gossip Girl woman most likely to actually be able to carry out a successful relationship one day. It’s unjust for her to be shunned like this. Blair went to Chuck to tell him about the watch. Eva confessed to them that she had sold it in order to give money to one of Chuck’s butlers (???) so that he wouldn’t lose his home. Foiled again, Blair.

    In Boring Land, with Dan was missing Milo, his dad, Vanessa and Lily were trying to get him to talk about it. Rufus made a good point: “You watched his birth, held him in your arms, took care of him, and thought he was yours.” Poor Dan. We actually feel bad for him, boring as he is. We think that would be devastating. A lot of guys’ lives are changed when they see their baby for the first time. What would it be like to feel those life-changing feelings?

    Because he wanted to escape the pain rather than have lame Vanessa as a therapist, Dan called Fun Time Serena. They teamed up to help Blair get information on Eva, and they did. Apparently, Eva was a prostitute in Prague’s red light district. Ouch! Dumb Eva. Take your hooker profile off the internet when you try to start a new life! Especially if Blair freaking Waldorf is your new enemy! Blair scurried to share that information with Chuck, but Nate, who heard the news from Dan, told Chuck first. It didn’t ruin his relationship with Eva.

    Dan told Serena that he wasn’t over her yet. He also told his dad that, last season, he was on the verge of flying to Paris and confessing his love for Serena when Georgina showed up with Milo and changed his summer plans. Dan and Serena went to Chuck’s party together, and Vanessa caught them. What is Vanessa doing at Chuck’s party? Are they close? Is Vanessa on the A-list now? Dan asked Serena who she was going to choose when she came back from Paris – him or Nate. Serena said she wasn’t sure, and Dan didn’t like that answer and left, going back to Vanessa and sharing his feelings about Milo. He said losing Milo broke his heart. POOR DAN. Sad, sad, sad. Nate fought with Juliet, because he suspected she was cheating on him. She told him she was visiting her brother, who was the sort of bad news she didn’t want cluttering up her budding relationship, and Nate took her back. Blah.

    But Blair was not done yet (is she ever?). She got Chuck’s passport out of the envelope of personal effects from the robbery that the French police sent Chuck. Blair told Chuck that she found it in Eva’s suitcase and that Eva lied to him about not knowing who he was when they fell in love. Blair told Chuck that Eva was just another scheming user. A crushed Chuck believed Blair, saying, “How could someone good actually love me?” Of course. The relationship was all about how Eva made Chuck feel about himself and about filling some hole he had inside. It wasn’t true love, like it will be with Blair when they finally get back together. Dumb Chuck. Why, if Eva had your passport, would she bring it with her and leave it in her suitcase where you could find it? She would have ditched it. There was no reason to keep it, duh. Instead of thinking that rational thought, Chuck told Eva to go back to Paris, quite rudely if you ask us. He told her to leave only with the things he had not given her. Cheap and classless, Chuck, even if she HAD been a devious gold-digger. When Chuck found out the truth, he apologized to Eva. But Eva did not take him back, citing his chemistry with Blair as one of the reasons she should go. Good Eva, smart Eva. Maybe we will miss you.

    Chuck went to Blair’s to confront her, asking her whether she ruined his relationship out of hate or because she still loved him. Blair deflected, and Chuck took that as an admission that she did it because she hated him and didn’t want to see him happy. DUMB. Of course she loves you, moron. He told her “This means war, Blair. Me vs. you. No limits.”

    We can’t wait to see an all-out Chuck/Blair war. We are rooting for Blair. We hate that Chuck was happy first, when he was the one who messed up the Chuck/Blair relationship. We want to see Chuck jealous. We want to see the girl power. Team Blair for life. Mostly because the actor who plays Chuck KEEPS WHISPERING when he’s talking to people. He’s a good actor other than that, but no one whispers in normal conversation across a room.

    Episode grade- B+

    Huge has been cancelled by abc and will not return next summer

    We never got into this show, but our condolences to those who did.

    Correction: One of us DID get into the show, and is disappointed it ended on such a sad/unresolved note.

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Boardwalk Empire- Broadway Limited review/recap

    Agent Van Alden suspected that Jimmy killed the men in the woods (in the pilot). There was one last survivor, who appeared at the end of last episode, and Agent Van Alden was aiming to question him. Elias Thompson tried to smother the fat, dying witness with a pillow in a spectacular, sickly funny scene. You know that’s how smothering someone with a pillow would really god down. Most movies and TV make it seem nice, neat, and quick. Agent Van Alden tricked Elias’ guards by saying that he had a “writ of certiorari” to take the witness. Alarm bells immediately went off in our heads. Thank you law school. He tried to take the witness to New York, but he had to make a stop because the witness was dying. Agent Van Alden hauled the witness into a dentist’s office, where the dentist shot him with cocaine and Agent Van Alden mildly tortured him into naming Jimmy as one of the men in the woods.

    In this episode, we met Chalky White, who now runs a bootleg distillery for Nucky. One of Chalky’s men was hung outside the distillery, and Nucky agreed to split the profits 50-50 if Chalky wouldn’t make a fuss about the murder, because it’s an election year. Nucky doesn’t need a race war during an election year.

    Nucky got the widow Margaret a job dressing rich ladies in a French clothing store. Nucky’s girlfriend stopped by, and Margaret had to help her out. Lucy looks like she’s had some work done in the face, and her voice betrays her possibly intentional idiocy immediately. She has a GREAT body though. Holy moly. The girlfriend, Lucy, informed Margaret that Nucky got her the job because he’s “a soft touch for charity cases.” We know from an earlier episode that Margaret has a touch of pride when it comes to taking charity, preferring getting work to getting money from Nucky. We don’t know what her problem is, because everyone needs help once in a while, but we hate Lucy for needling her about it. Lucy asked Nucky if he wanted to have a child with her, and he put the issue off until later (meaning, “No, you’re dumb as a rock, and I don’t want you raising my children”). We really hope Nucky dumps her for Margaret. That'd show her.

    Jimmy’s mother told Nucky that she had trusted him to be a role model to Jimmy and help him. She also wanted Jimmy to go to college, but then he went to war and took a job from Nucky, and now he is a shell of himself. Nucky told Jimmy that he had to leave Atlantic City/that he was done there. Jimmy suspected his girlfriend of cheating on him with her photographer friend while Jimmy was at war, so it made leaving her and his son easier. We’re not that sad for her, because early in the episode, when Jimmy started talking about guns they used in the war and opening up about that subject, she got annoyed and said, “We used to talk about books.” The guy is hurting, ok? Let him talk about what he wants. We sort of hope they patch up their relationship though, because their kid is adorable. We really like Jimmy’s mom. She’s pretty, interesting, strong, and she seems really smart.

    We would call this the most accessible episode so far. Everything is set up for us to see the characters interact, fight, and mob around. It probably ran the smoothest of the episodes. While it was not as visually exciting as the pilot, we think it was the easiest episode to watch and follow. We also enjoyed the song about how a guy likes dumb girls. Delightful. And we aren’t being sarcastic; that song was funny, a little true, and catchy. This show continues to impress and entertain.

    Episode grade- B+

    Dexter- Hello Bandit review/recap

    At the start of the episode, Dexter was reeling with his new status as a single dad of three kids. AssTor, who does not deserve her real name anymore, whined about how she wanted to move back home, the space was too cramped, and she didn’t have her stuff from school. Boys are easier. AssTor then ditched school, ran back to her old house and took Cody, and told Dexter that she didn’t want to live with him. She said that his coming into their lives made her think that everything was going to be good forever now that they had a dad, but things only got worse. Cody and AssTor ended up leaving to live in Orlando with their grandparents. Dexter told AssTor that both he and her mother love her, and she gave him what had to be the worst hug of all time, but at least she gave him that. Cody was so sweet. He didn’t want to leave Dexter, but Dexter thought it was best that he stick with his sister. As they drove off, Dexter narrated, "Cody and AssTor showed me that I could still care about something." He still has Harrison. But will the baby turn out to be a killer as well? It would certainly be interesting. Quick: Soap opera aging! Wait, no, that would be lame. But that baby is a bad actor. He kept looking at the camera when Dexter took him to the police station...you can’t find decent baby actors these days.

    The FBI interviewed Dexter and told him that they didn’t suspect him of Rita’s murder. Arthur Mitchell’s family gave the police sketches of “Kyle Butler,” and Quinn seems to have noticed the obvious: that they look like Dexter. Dexter’s neighbor also stopped by, and Dexter was, understandably, short with him. But we want our charming Dexter back, because that scene was just awkward to watch.

    Dexter decided to get some R&R by hunting down his next victim. He was picking out a moving truck when he found a blood stain in the back of it. Dexter determined that the blood belonged to human victims. He looked up the truck’s pervious renters and found that the last guy was someone whose job was to clean up road kill. We hope this guy won’t die soon; he’s so weird it’s funny. He screams affirmations to himself along with self-help tapes at home, and the way he threw a dead raccoon into his truck made us laugh out loud. But we don’t like his chances. Dexter realized this man was a prime candidate for killing, because he murdered innocents and stuffed their bodies into barrels and putting them out in the wilderness in some nasty lake.

    As for the secondary characters, Deb slept over at Quinn’s apartment, because her place was full of Dexter and the kids. Quinn tried to pick up their romance, but Deb denied him, pretending their rendezvous had never happened. In the end, Deb gave him another chance, romantically. We knew she would. It’s Deb. She’s consistently after the root. Quinn and Deb worked a homicide case where a woman’s head was cut off and placed ritualistically (and grossly) on display. They also found out that her significant other had been shot. The head was really nasty. We loved seeing Masuka handle all the blood and gore during Dexter’s leave of absence. We’ve always found that little guy to be hilarious. Batista and LaGuerta fought because Batista found out that his wife had $268,000 in retirement savings that she hadn’t told him about, because she thought he used money irresponsibly. Team LaGuerta. She works hard for the money. Later, at a bar, a man insulted LaGuerta behind her back, and Batista fought him to avenge his wife’s honor.

    This episode touchingly and efficiently disposed of two characters that weigh Dexter down- AssTor and Cody. We approve. A lot of people will say that they humanize him, but he still has Deb, Harrison, and the memory of Rita and her kids.

    Episode grade- B+ But Julia Stiles had better show up next week

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Checking in on Bones

    Two episodes into the new season of Bones, both bloggers are fighting annoyance with the show. While Leeard has watched its show since its inception, and will probably watch it until it’s cancelled, she is not enjoying the season so far. Ern swore to give it up once last season ended with Booth and Bones STILL not together. How long can they drag this out? It’s so unrealistic. They would have at least boned by now (tee hee Bones. Boning. Ok, we’re five years old). But Ern tuned into these episodes on hulu in the hopes of seeing Booth’s girlfriend, the source of Leeard’s ire. Leeard hates this woman (Hannah), because no one (NO ONE) should take Booth away from Bones. This is one of the few shows in which the central pairing is actually integral to the bloggers’ enjoyment of the show.

    We thought the premiere was really cute, because it celebrated the entire crew, had a decent crime mystery, and featured Bones at her most literal and geeky best, which is always hilarious. We love that Angela is pregnant, and we can remember a time when we wanted Angela and Hodgins together almost as much as we wanted Bones and Booth together. The second episode was entertaining enough, but in both episodes, the bad guy was easy to catch. But this is Bones, after all. Bones has a formula for each episode, and once you figure it out, you will always catch the baddie before Booth does.

    The girlfriend is a complete failure for this show. The show’s writers informed us via spoilers that the Hannah/Bones/Booth triangle will NOT be a jealous triangle. In fact, what will complicate matters is that Hanna and Bones are going to become friends.

    WHY?

    Why not give us what we want? At this point, we would love to hate Booth’s pretty new girlfriend. It would be much more fun if this woman was kind of a jerk but Booth was too blinded to see it. We want to hate her, so why do they have to try to make her cool? Why don't they just give us what we want? So we have found something to hate about her no matter how cool the writers try to make her: her voice. She sounds like she’s fighting a cold that she got at her sorority…in Spain. We hear a slight hint of a Spanish accent even though this woman is not Spanish. It might be a Ukrainian accent, since the actress is fluent in Ukranian, but we doubt it. Whatever the accent, she sounds immature and like she’s trying to be sexy. Other than that, actress Katheryn Winnick is sort of cool. She has a third degree black belt in tae kwon do, a second degree black belt in karate, and is a licensed bodyguard. She also got kicked out of summer camp for reckless behavior when she was 14, and her brother is fighting in Afghanistan.

    We want to hate her character, and we will succeed. But props to the actress for being awesome.

    Glee Favorites

    Why? Just because.

    Character ranking:
    Rachel Berry
    Sue Sylvester
    Brittany S. Pears
    Kurt Hummel
    Noah Puckerman (Puck)
    Jacob Ben Israel
    Finn Hudson
    Burt Hummel (Kurt's dad)
    Tina Cohen-Chang
    Quinn Fabray
    Mercedes Jones
    Terri Schuester
    Emma Pillsbury
    Sam Evans
    Mike Chang
    April Rhodes
    Coach Beiste
    Principal Figgins
    Santana Lopez
    Jesse St. James
    Artie Abrams
    Sunshine Corazon
    Will Schuester (He's annoying us more than Artie, lately)

    These are the most-played Glee covers on our ipods
    -Somebody to Love
    -Don't Stop Believin'
    -Total Eclipse of the Heart (yeah, we're lame)
    -One
    -Like a Prayer
    -Hello Goodbye
    -Pokerface
    -What I Did For Love
    -Sweet Caroline
    -Bust Your Windows

    Song most-improved by Glee: Run Joey Run

    12 Favorite episodes: Pilot, Showmance, Preggers, The Rhodes Not Taken, Wheels, Sectionals, Hell-o, The Power of Madonna, Home, Bad Reputation, Dream On, Britney/Brittany

    Songs we want Glee to cover (some of them we would just want to see what Glee would do with them): Don't Worry Baby by The Beach Boys, Love Reign O'er Me by The Who, Being Alive from Company, Porcelain Doll by Chrisette Michele, The Voice Within by Christina Aguilera, Fix You by Coldplay, Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles, September by Earth Wind and Fire, I Want to Be Evil by Eartha Kitt, Disloyal Order of the Buffalo by Fall Out Boy, If I Ever Leave This World Alive by Flogging Molly, You Can't Stop the Beat from Hairspray, I Just Want You to Know Who I Am by The Goo Goo Dolls, Love Alive by Heart (we want Puck to sing that), Let Go by Frou Frou, Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson, Grace by Jeff Buckley, Dare You to Move by Switchfoot, A New Life from Jekyll and Hyde, What is It About Her? from The Wild Party (but first they would have to get a guy who could actually sing it), Wish I Were Here from Next to Normal, Dust in the Wind by Kansas, Teenage Dream by Katy Perry, All These Things That I've Done by The Killers, Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera, Glitter in the Air by P!nk, Seasons of Love from Rent, Disturbia by Rhianna, Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root, Kiss from a Rose by Seal, Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want This Time by The Smiths, Pretty Women from Sweeney Todd, I Could Not Ask for More by Sara Evans, Don't Do Sadness/Blue Wind from Spring Awakening, Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap, Buddy Holly by Weezer