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Saturday, October 23, 2010

15 Couples We Say Belong Together

So the usually good site, Entertainment Weekly, made a list of “Couples that are meant to be,” and we didn’t like it. For example, they had Hannah and Booth as their example of a meant-to-be couple. We know they were just trying to shake us up, but this suggestion is so wrong.

Here is the offending list (with our commentary):
9 TV Couples We Say Belong Together (What kind of a number is NINE? That’s not very round, is it?)
1. Don and Faye, Mad Men - Fine. That’s fine. Mostly because we don’t care about Mad Men.
2. Seeley Booth and Hannah Burley, Bones - This is just. No. Just no.
3. Michael Scott and Holly Flax, The Office - Fair enough, but kind of a “duh” thing.
4. Liz Lemon and Wesley Snipes, 30 Rock - Carol is better.
5. Jeff Winger and Britta Perry, Community - We don’t think ANYONE on that show belongs with another person in the study group. That’s what makes it such a great study group. Sure, they hook up and tease us with the possibilities. But at the end of the day, this group is “friends first,” and that’s how we like it. The show just can’t pull off a cute romance. It will always come across as sleazy. The show is funny, not romantic.
6. Stefan and Elena, The Vampire Diaries - They can’t stay faithful to each other through the whole show, or we will never get to see the hook up just about every fan wants.
7. Tina and Artie, Glee - Tina can do better, they weren’t that satisfying together, and a big Who Cares?
8. Serena and Dan, Gossip Girl - Sure, but they are stepsiblings and not the couple we watch the show to see.
9. Mark and Lexie, Grey’s Anatomy - Believe it or not, a lot of people think this is creepy and that they don’t actually work together. Mark needs an older, confident woman, like Addison, and Lexie needs a sweeter, younger guy.

Ok, maybe that list wasn’t as bad as we thought at first glance, but we still thought they left out some good couples. So we’ve made our own list. We’ve also included couples on shows that are over.

15 TV Couples
1. Jack Bauer and Audrey Raines, 24 - The ending of 24’s worst season (six) had to be one of the most depressing things we’ve ever seen. Audrey went all the way to China to save Jack Bauer, only to end up a zombie/vegetable. Jack Bauer has never had the best women for his lifestyle. Let’s face it, Terri was not a strong woman, Kate was a little blonde stick who at least tried, and his season 3 Senorita died too soon. She was cool though. Renee was also good, but she’s dead too. Some of you will cry for Chloe, but even though the actress played her as if she loved Jack Bauer, we think it’s better for Chloe to stay with her husband. This leaves Audrey, who was lame in season four but really stepped it up later. They deserve their happy ending, because they really loved each other. Hopefully they see that in the movie and at least give us some resolution on her character.

2. Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock - We KNOW it would be cliché. We KNOW Tina Fey has said that the series won’t end with Jack and Liz “doing it.” But can’t they just get together without sex? Have the sex happen in the future, off screen? Can they at least do it once, regret it, gag, shudder, and move on? Come on Tina Fey, it would be fun. And hilarious.

3. Booth and Bones, Bones - DUH. Who cares if Hannah is “perfect”? These two characters carried this show for all these years. Their characters are well-defined and irreplaceable. We’ve watched them flirt, support each other, fight, work together, avoid each other, and grow together. If they don’t end up together before the end of the series, we may lose faith in TV altogether. It has been way too long as it is.

4. Mal and Inara, Firefly - We are ok that we didn’t see this couple hook up. Once they did, we don’t know what the show would have done with the characters, plus, THAT might have been too cliché. It just wasn’t their time yet, even by the end of the movie. But we know that they ended up together. Inara stayed in the ship, and the writers left it with a smile and a glimmer of hope.

5. Rory and Jess, Gilmore Girls - Jess was perfect for Rory. He just had issues, ran out on her, and needed to grow up. Later in the series, we saw signs of Jess getting his life together by writing a book and getting into small business. We like to think that, ten years later, Rory and Jess find each other again, marry, and have many babies.

6. Puck and Rachel, Glee - Don’t get us wrong, Finn and Rachel are cute, but the Puckelberry romance was way too brief. We don’t want Puck with Quinn after seeing her chemistry with Sam. Wowser. And we don’t want Puck alone. Rachel needs a bad boy, and she’s the only girl on the show who could both handle and potentially soften Puck. Dear Rachel, Finn is going to end up mowing lawns for the rest of his life, and he’s not smart enough for you. Go for a fellow hot Jew.

7. Chuck and Blair, Gossip Girl - Another “duh.” These two are the heart of the show. Period. They will end up together.

8. Robin and Barney, How I Met Your Mother - There comes a time in almost every man’s life when they realize that one-night stands with women they will never see again leave them lonely and disconnected. What a guy really needs is a girl who won’t bore him because she’s just plain fun to be around. Robin is cool, pretty, smart, and someone Barney actually cares about. It’s not their time yet, but we hope that Barney sees how much fun it would be to hang out with Robin forever.

9. Alicia and Someone Else, The Good Wife -Neither her husband nor Will are good enough or hot enough for her. Alicia is gorgeous and classy. They need to bring on a guy who fits. Although, it would be extremely interesting to pair her with Eli Gold, at least for a time. It would be unpredictable, no? And it would bring the drama.

10. Dwight and Angela, The Office - These two were able to keep a secret, stable relationship for years. No one else is going to tolerate either of these two forever. Besides, Dwight needs five German boys to turn into mini, weird Dwights. We are sure he has screened Angela’s health records by now.

11. Richard and Kahlan, Legend of the Seeker - Apparently, after the series finale, they can now be together. This is good, because whether it’s the books or the TV series, these two won’t settle for anyone else. These are the only two on the list who aren't currently together. A requirement to get on this list is to not be a couple that is currently together. This is our exception, because, hey, it's our list.

12.Smith and Samantha, Sex and the City - The series finale ended everything perfectly, leaving us sure that each of the girls was with “The One.” Then the movie had to go and royn it. Also, for the record, Steve would never do that to Miranda!!! Ugh.

13. Matt and Caroline, The Vampire Diaries - After Caroline sacrificed her relationship with Matt to protect him, we knew it was true love. We never thought she was worthy of Matt, but we rooted for the relationship anyway. Now that’s she’s awesome, we are even more into this couple.

14. Sookie and Eric, True Blood - Sookie isn’t the quiet Southern belle Bill obviously needs. She’s the sex-loving, optimistic, non-human, spitfire Eric clearly needs.

15. Andy and Nancy, Weeds - We don’t want this one to happen until the end, but it clearly needs to happen. Andy stuck with this crazy family through all their crime and killing, so he deserves to get the girl. Plus, he’s a fun guy. Who doesn’t want to be with the fun guy?

We know there are some we missed, because no list is perfect. So let us know if we did!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Office - The Sting review/recap

Dwight and Jim went out to see a potential client, only to run into a rival salesman from another company. This salesman, Danny Cordray, has been stealing Dunder Mifflin clients for years, because he is such a good salesman. Also, he dated Pam four years ago. Danny was played by hottie Timothy Olyphant. Danny beat Dunder Mifflin out of this week’s sale, so Michael, Dwight, and Jim teamed up to find out what makes Danny such a good salesman. They set up a sting operation and had Meredith pretend to be a potential client for Danny.

Sadly, Meredith ruined the plan by trying to seduce Danny. This might be the first time we agree with Meredith's horn-doggedness. Michael burst in to protect Danny, because no man should have to deal with THAT. After calming Danny down (and keeping him from leaving), Michael offered him a job as a traveling salesman, even though the company doesn’t need another on in addition to Todd Packer. We think Jim made the most adorable jealous husband ever, but this episode had too much plot with too few jokes. We look forward to seeing more of Danny, who is going to be in at least one more episode.

In a mostly unfunny subplot, Andy found out that one of his old college buddies from his a cappella group has made a music career. Andy formed a band with Darryl and Kevin. It really sucks. The pandering song about the little girl wanting the war to end was pretty funny though.

Episode grade: C-

Community is so much better than this show. If you only have room in your schedule for one Thursday night comedy, switch to that. Just sayin'.

The Vampire Diaries - Plan B review/recap

We just want to begin this review by saying that if you don’t watch this show, you don’t even know. What don’t you know? How awesome it is. The only mediocre episodes were the first three. After those, the show has been beyond fantastic. This episode was even better than that.

In this episode, Damon questioned and killed Mason by torturing him and ripping out his heart. Nice to know Damon is still evil… We liked how Jeremy kept trying to object. We were sad when Damon killed Mason, and not just because Mason was hot. We have Jeremy for that now. We like new, proactive, not useless Jeremy. He’s gotten hotter too, with age. When Bonnie got a vision from Mason’s mind that the moonstone was hidden in a well on the Lockwood property, Stefan went to retrieve it. He jumped down and found that Mason had hidden the stone a pool of vervain with snakes in it. We LOVE that this show has (for the most part) pretty smart characters. Elena, who followed Stefan against his wishes, saved him and got the stone. Nice. Caroline was able to convince her mother to love her despite her new vampirism. It was extremely touching and had both of us teary. Even though Caroline and her mother bonded and talked like never before, Caroline was able to make the mature decision to compel her mother to forget it all, in the end. Caroline is constantly pushing her feelings aside and unselfishly making the right choices for others. We love her now. At this point, she’s almost as cool and unselfish as Elena.

After Damon killed Mason, who really did love Katherine, he called Katherine on Mason’s phone to taunt him. Oh how we laughed, until Katherine assured Damon that she had a Plan B (and C, and D, and more - "you know how the alphabet works") if things went wrong. Katherine then called up Elena to chastise her for not breaking up with Stefan, or at least for thinking Katherine was dumb enough to fall for their fake break up. Katherine alerted Elena to the fact that Aunt Jenna has been Katherine’s compelled spy for weeks. Then Aunt Jenna, who was standing in the kitchen, stabbed herself in the stomach in front of Alaric and Elena. We know we put her on our list of characters who deserve to die a horrible death, but we were actually sad when Aunt Jenna hurt herself. She’s been much better this season!

The fun and carnage were not over, because the show itself wasn't over. Elena broke up with Stefan for real (at least until they kill Katherine), and we felt so bad for Stefan (all the while admiring Paul Wesley’s ability to cry and still look manly). Damon stopped Elena on the way out and apologized for baiting Katherine. Awww. That Damon plays us hot and cold.

The episode ended with a shot of Katherine discussing her plan B. She needs a werewolf, so she compelled Matt to go at Tyler over and over and not stop until Tyler kills him. THAT ILL-MANNERED SLUT. One blogger literally screamed all of seven of George Carlin’s dirty words at the end of this episode, and then ended it with “AHHHHHHHHH.” Whoever ends Katherine will be our favorite character (even though Katherine is a little our favorite character for being evil, but awesome).

That's an A+

Grey's Anatomy - Almost Grown review/recap

Some people might find this episode boring, with a lot of talking, walking around and intrinsic character issues. This episode focused on the medicine, careers, and hospital business over relationships. In fact, this show looked like a wholesome, professional, laid back medical show, rather than the dramatic, crazy, sexy cesspool that it is. Don’t get us wrong, we love the cesspool. But it’s nice to see the doctors act like doctors every now and then. If you only watched this episode, you would think these doctors just worked together and were very good friends, with the exception of Callie’s relationship imbalance freak out, Derek worrying that Meredith might have Alzheimer’s, and Owen trying to cheer up Cristina. There was nice character development, especially for Cristina.

The episode started with Richard promoting all of the residents to attending. Relax, it’s just for the day. We know these clowns are not ready to be the big cheeses yet. Richard wanted all the regular attending to give him a pitch for why their department could use a million dollars. He was looking to be inspired. He was looking for ideas. Sadly, the attending were the big babies of the episode, and they all dragged their personal beefs into it. Teddy was mad at Derek for trying to fire her last season; Callie wanted to out-win Arizona so that there would be more equity in their relationship; Derek wanted to use the money to do Alzheimer’s research in case Meredith’s forgetfulness turns into her mother’s disease; Arizona makes it about how mad she is that her colleagues expected her to cry during her pitch; Mark needed a project into which to channel all the energy he used to spend on sex. Bailey and Owen Hunt had the best ideas. Bailey wanted to get practical and fix up what the hospital already has. Owen wanted the staff to get trauma training so that, in case of another emergency, the staff would be ready. Jack Bauer cameo please? The chief deemed Owen the winner, and the other doctors grimaced then pretended to be happy for him. We would have picked Derek or Mark, personally. Fear is a great motivator. Derek might have done something for research. Mark brought up the excellent point that when you channel energy wasted on a pointless addiction into something else, you will turn into a powerhouse.

Lexie (who was not promoted to attending) does well with her patient, even though both she and the patient doubt her abilities. Jackson beat Meredith in the skills lab, winning the opportunity to do a solo brain surgery. But then the overconfident hottie botches it, and Derek has to step in. Lexie’s patient needed brain surgery while Derek was handling Jackson’s bad move, so Meredith got to fly solo, and she succeeded. Alex’s patient was the most interesting. Although we like Alex better working in pediatrics or neonatal, he rocked his plastics surgery on a 13-year-old who wanted his large, feminine-looking breasts removed. He also talked the boy’s mother into allowing it.

Cristina and April’s patient was a old man with failing lungs. Pathetic Cristina has turned into zombie Cristina. She didn’t care what was going on and answered all questions with “I don’t know.” The patient named her “sourpuss.” April called a panel to try to get the patient on the list to get an organ, but then she changed her mind when Cristina pointed out that Teddy wouldn’t call him a good candidate for surgery. Teddy told Cristina that if she didn’t at least wake up and start being a good doctor out of surgery, she would be fired. As much as we hate zombie Cristina and this storyline, we loved the way it coincided with her patient and how she clearly cared about him. The man told Cristina how much he wanted to live, so she spoke up for him at the panel. She said that he had the will to fight. So does Cristina. She will fight this and become a good doctor outside of the O.R. Then, when she gets back to the O.R., she will be a better doctor for the experience. Maybe this is good for Cristina. She gets to evaluate who she is if she couldn’t be a surgeon.

That’s a B+

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weighing In On Two Controversies: The Glee Photo Shoot and Violence v. Sex, What's Worse?

The Issue at Hand
So, as you all probably know by now, Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, and Cory Monteith (all of Glee fame) did a photo shoot for GQ magazine where Lea posed like a super slut in her underwear and Dianna showed her midriff, while Cory Monteith got to be covered up, because he is a guy. We don’t recommend it, because you can understand what is going on without seeing these, but you can see the offending photos (and a great observation about how DESPERATE the photo shoot comes across) here:

Seriously, Lea Michele looks like she is about to burst into flames from the effort to look as much like a porn star as possible. Way to try too hard. Tasteless. Do the readers of GQ even watch Glee? Does Glee really need the publicity? (No.) The Parents Television Council/Committee/whatever (some conservative TV watchdog group) condemned the shoot, saying that because it was shot in a high school and featured the whole schoolgirl fetish thing that it bordered on pedophilia. We think that since no one pays attention to the PTC, they had to say the most extreme thing they could to get attention. These girls in no way look like children, even if one of them IS sucking on a lollypop in a photo.

The Lame, “But It’s Not a Family Show” argument
But the PTC has a point. Defending the Glee stars, people have been saying, “It’s not a family show.” Our response to THAT is, “So?” Kids in high school and middle school watch it, and that’s a fact. That’s like saying Gossip Girl and 90210 aren’t aimed at children under 18. Also, when we say, “It’s not our jobs to police TV and society, it’s the parents’ jobs,” we are pretty much saying, “If kids have bad parents or no parents, that’s not our problem. We want to see all the sexy stuff we want without judgment.” It’s for this reason that this argument doesn’t hold much water for us. We all have to live in this society, and the public needs to draw ethical lines over what we tolerate and what we can do without. Anything involved with Glee sends messages to young men and women about what is right, what is normal, and what success looks like. Forget kids. Even if you celebrate freedom to the max, is it really beneficial for the grown men reading GQ to see photos like this? Do freedom and the almighty dollar outweigh our interest in having a society where women are not props like this? Even regular adults groaned at this shoot, and we think we know why. It’s because the shoot is contrary to what the show stands for and why we love it.

What’s worse, sex or violence on TV?
These bloggers don’t really mind sex, nudity, violence, and language in our TV shows. All you have to do to notice that is to look at the variety of shows we watch. But you might be asking, “Hey, we’ve read scolding and hints of conservatism on this blog. What gives?" What we DO care about are the messages the show carries. For example, we loved Sex and the City, because although there was plenty of carefree sex, in the end really connecting to another person, commitment, friendship, forgiveness, and actual intimacy won out. We think parents and discriminating viewers should worry just as much about the messages in the media as the content. And hey, people are dehumanized when they are NEVER the object of lust as well as when they are ONLY objects of lust. You have to find a balance. This is why we slam violence so much more than sex. No one is humanized by violence. For us, a good, true message can overcome bad content. See: Any episode of South Park.

Betraying the heart of Glee
Glee has been described as a positive, wholesome show. This has nothing to do with its content. It features sex, drugs, and light cursing, and is not squeaky clean at all. Glee’s wholesomeness does not come from its content, it comes from its message. The show is about diversity, underdogs, and being confident in who you are. This is what the photo shoot violates. Glee whipped out its whitest, skinniest stars, took off their clothes, and slapped them in a men’s magazine. This exploitative, weird photoshoot celebrated the status quo and young women looking stupid. Also, notice how they turned Lea’s face in most shoots to hide her unique facial features, particularly the nose.

Thoughts on the actors involved
On her blog, Dianna Agron wrote a response to the outcry over the photo shoot, and it was articulate, humble, wise, and pretty awesome. We like her a lot better now. You can read it and follow Agron’s blog here: Dianna admitted that the shoot wasn’t her favorite idea, but she didn’t walk away. As for Lea Michele, there is no doubt that she is an ambitious girl willing to do anything to succeed in showbiz. In this, she is like her Glee character, Rachel. Lea showed her breasts on stage night after night in the musical Spring Awakening, and she has the raciest poses and outfits in the photo shoot. Also, she has jumped right in line with Hollywood’s hellacious body standards by losing a lot of weight between seasons 1 and 2. This disappoints us, because she is one of the most gorgeous and talented people on TV today. After Glee, she will probably always be successful, and she has a steady job. We don’t know why she thinks she needs to do stuff like this. It saddens us that her beautiful voice isn’t enough. And Cory, you could have said something or done something too. Call us prudes, but we don’t think this shoot adds anything good to the world or to TV. It’s sexist, desperate, and dumb.

It’s a world playing to the lowest common denominator. Be careful what you see.

Cougar Town- Keeping Me Alive review/recap

Nobody is "royning" this show. We were ticked at first to see the lame, Laurie-dumping Smith, but the episode used him grandly (and he's fun to look at). Also, we finally got to see Jules and Laurie at work again. We had almost forgotten what Jules does for a living. We have completely forgotten what Andy does for a living.

Andy and Grayson dealt with Laurie trying to become friends with her ex, only to let him sleep with her and dump her all over again. They got her to open up by imitating Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. Her breakdown was really sad and real too. This show has made us tear up two weeks in a row now. Jules and Bobby also worked out one of their issues. Jules liked Bobby to need her, but she would never let Bobby help her out with her own problems. This is pretty much what we've come to expect from Jules.

This episode was a celebration of how the group of friends on this show take care of each other. We were touched, and we wished we had a friendship tradition of “harsh truths” like Jules and Ellie. We would even start pairing it with Penny Can, which actually looks pretty fun. Cougar Town is in no way experiencing a sophomore slump. It’s a pity more people aren’t watching this zany show kill its second season.

Episode grade: B+

Modern Family - Unplugged review

This episode was awesome. This is a perfect example of a great Modern Family episode. Granted, it didn’t have a sweet, sad, or touching moment like many good episodes, but it was hilarious the whole way through.

We loved Claire’s idea to ban technology in her house. We are totally going to do this when we have kids. We are so with Claire about how no one is talking face-to-face anymore, and our addictions to our personal electronics are out-of-control. (Here is where you roll your eyes at us, because we are clearly addicted to both TV and the internet. But hey, at least one of us managed to ditch caffeine this semester. Yay!) It was so Phil how he turned it into a contest. Haley is smarter and better this season, and we were totally fooled when she tricked her parents into losing the contest. Ha.

We also loved killer Gloria and Jay’s fear of her. Don’t even get us started on 1/16th Native American Cameron. Sorry, we mean “Tucker.” His white man name is Tucker.

At this point, our question is: Is there a BAD episode of this cute little show? We don’t think so.

Episode grade: A

Watch it here:

America's Next Top Model - Francesco Carrozzini recap/review

This season, the show keeps naming episodes after the famous people featured. Can we just mention that we are SO sick of typing these hard-to-spell names? At the start of the episode, we were rooting for anyone but Ann. We are over her. This needs to turn into an actual, catty competition, not “The Ann Show.”

The challenge had the girls picking out clothes for each other and appearing before someone who runs the Grammy Awards. The winner of the challenge, Kayla, will get to present at the actual show. We were touched when Kayla won and cried over it, but we were disappointed for Liz, who is at least interesting in a season full of dull, Ann-ish girls. Liz wanted it bad.

So when Liz got home, she consoled herself by getting wasted, alone. We feel the impulse Liz, but you never want to be the only one drunk anywhere. You look like an idiot. This blogger (and Liz) have learned this the hard way.

The photo shoot had the girls posing looking like famous designers and trying to portray their individual essences. They had to pose next to professional female models who were wearing the designers’ clothes. Liz rocked it, and she was hilarious. We loved when she was planning her faces with a mirror by playing with her eyebrows, citing her expressiveness with them as a potential strength for the shoot. This is further proof of our theory that a girl’s power is in her eyebrows. Remember Sara with no eyebrows from a few weeks ago? Probably not, because she went home fast. Look at all those inconsequential, weak trollops walking the mall and talking in high-pitched voices, in danger of running into walls because they are texting. Do they have over-plucked eyebrows? You betcha.

During Kendal’s photo shoot, we realized that she wasn’t smart enough to be a model. This came across to Jay that she wasn’t passionate. Tomato, tomahto. The photographer, Francesco, was great, because he had patience, energy, and he directed the models well.

Before judging, Tyra confessed that she thought Nigel was really hot when she first saw him. Us too Tyra, us too. Tyra was WAY less annoying than usual this episode. In fact, if we had only known her from this episode, we would like her and think she was cool. Liz got best photo (Yay! This is the photo in the post, by the way) and Kayla got second best. Ann looked ready to kill when Liz broke her winning streak. Is that a little evil behind those dull eyes, Ann? At least that would make her interesting. Esther and Kendal hit the bottom two. Kendal was eliminated, and we couldn’t have agreed more with the choice. Is it just us, or have the eliminations been spot-on this season?

We were pretty satisfied with this one. Both the challenge and the shoot were interesting, for once. Our favorite girl is still Kayla, but Liz is growing on us.

Episode grade: B+

South Park - Insheeption Review

South Park did a good job in picking a target that wasn’t as easy as their last two: the hit movie Inception. We both understood and enjoyed that movie. Seriously, who didn’t get Inception? Not to be elitist or anything, but it’s not like it’s Primer. If you understood Primer, then we bow to mental powers greater than our own. But we can see that South Park’s comments about it were right on, in a way. The makers mocked how silly the idea of the movie was, even though the movie was so serious and was esteemed as the summer’s highest art. The other target of this week’s South Park was the show Hoarders. According to the internet, Randy Marsh’s dream self was a mockery of a Zhuangzi philosophy about a butterfly dream. In the beginning, we also noticed that Cartman was talking about Jackass 3D. Nice. Top it all off with the Freddy Krueger and Woodsy Owl things, and there were enough references in this episode on which to riff ably.

We loved the young Mr. Mackey. We didn’t think the sheep herder was funny, and we thought he should have been left out. This wasn’t the greatest episode or the best. We think it was cleverer than last week’s Jersey Shore episode but not any funnier.

Episode grade: CYou can watch nearly all South Park episodes, including this one, at

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Checking in on Weeds - Season 6, eps 7-9

These episodes focused on the Botwin’s new life on the run. Oh, and Doug is there too. First, Nancy took the gang to a local carnival to try to put some innocence back into Shane. Nancy ended up inciting a big fight in light, so that was a bust, and it only confirmed to Shane that he and his mother are the same: outlaws. Andy and Silas entered a disgusting butter-eating contest, and Silas won. They couldn’t take home the prize, a luxury class RV, because delivery of the prize required identification, tax numbers, social securities, and a picture in the local paper.

Episode 7 grade: B

The Botwins liked the idea of an RV, so they bought a gross one that used to belong to a pastor who was into gay Jewish porn. The RV said “God Loves Awesome” on the side, which was pretty funny. The gang settled briefly in a small, backwoods town, where Andy and Doug pretended to be pastors to get money. Nancy took off and had drunk, aggressive sex with a hot bartender (Nancy sure likes to be spanked, doesn’t she? That would be such a turn-off for us. Our dads spanked us. It would remind us of our dads). The morning after, Nancy found out that Hot Bartender was married when his wife showed up with his three kids to yell at/attack Nancy. Whoops.

Episode 8 grade: A-

On the road again, Nancy was worried when she noticed that baby Stevie’s poop was green and stringy. Andy and Nancy took Stevie to a pediatrician, and Nancy got a rude wake-up call that Stevie needs stability, care, and safety. Silas taught Shane a funny lesson about how Silas is in charge for a reason (he’s smarter and has better interpersonal skills). Nancy and Andy plan to do one bug hash sell, drop the dealing, and move to Copenhagen with the family.

Episode 9 grade: B+

To some, these episodes might have seemed meandering and groundless, but to us, they were exceptionally funny, even for Weeds episodes, and mixed the serious with the ridiculous well. We loved how Nancy shut out reality by pretending not the care, getting drunk, going to carnivals, and seeking out meaningless sex, only to have the reality of the last few weeks fall hard on her head in the latest episode with the pediatrician. Nancy is such a tough, well-rounded character, but this season she seemed a little too devil-may-care and unworried for us. The last episode brought back the fact that Nancy is a mom.

Also, we are loving the attention that the show is paying to the Nancy/Andy relationship. We think the season is going to end in a big airport confrontation with Esteban, but the road to get there is humorous and exciting. This show never leaves the characters stuck in a rut and isn’t afraid to move them or change up their lives to propel the show.

No Ordinary Family - No Ordinary Vigilante review/recap

Four episodes into this show, it’s still in our top five of the new season. But it hasn’t returned to the overarching plot point of there being other people with powers on the show since episode two. It’s entertaining, but we wouldn’t be devastated if it were cancelled. We still like the tone and care about the characters, so we hope the show realizes its potential as a must-watch family show soon. It's still really easy to watch, so that's a plus.

Here’s what the family members were up to this week:

Jim - Jim is putting on a hoodie and roaming the park to catch muggers. His pitfall was his refusal to wear a moustache and other things to disguise his very distinctive, round head. Jim spotted a vigilante out in the park, shooting the muggers, and was affronted. The cops were on this vigilante’s side, but Jim didn’t think what the guy was doing was right. Pause while we call the kettle black, because Jim is a dangerous, inept, and careless vigilante as well. While he was whining about how the new vigilante shoots people, we couldn’t help but remember last episode, where Jim threw a bad guy off of a roof onto a cop car. Jim went out to the park again to look for muggers and the vigilante, but he was spotted and mistaken for that vigilante when another mugger was shot. Jim and his lawyer friend tracked down the vigilante and tried to bust him, but no one picked him out of a lineup. Jim talked to the man at the bar, and the man gave Jim a great life lesson about spending time with your kids. Seriously. Then the cops shot the vigilante in the park in a set-up while Jim was at home with his kids. One thing we thought was weird about this storyline was that this whole episode, the show was trying to show that the cops are inept and lazy. So now we NEED vigilantes? What is this, Gotham?

Stephanie - Stephanie has a new lab assistant, and it’s that Asian guy who was competing with her for the research funds. Asian guy revealed that a former scientist who disappeared was working on the same research Stephanie is working on (the stuff about what’s wrong with her family). Stephanie’s assistant, Katie, revealed that the former scientist was dead. Stephanie is coming across as the typical, shrew, working, perfect wife right now. We hope they do more with her character. Her relatively healthy marriage is unbelievable, because of the lack of equity in the marriage. She makes more money AND is way hotter than her husband? No wonder he is feeling insecure. If Jim were the hot one, this marriage would probably work and make more sense. When one partner is way better than the other one, the better person either takes the other for granted, or the one with less going for them starts to feel insecure (think of "The Reacher" and "The Settler" from How I Met Your Mother). We think that spells trouble. But this is TV, where all women are hot, and the show needed some sort of conflict for this marriage, so Jim is poor and useless.

JJ - Desperate for peer and parental acceptance, JJ used his super brain to get really good at football. Apparently, football is all math, physics, and trajectories. The pilot of Friday Night Lights has already shown how intellectual football is, but we appreciate the reminder. JJ’s math professor, who needs to get a life, was still following JJ around and trying to find signs that he is cheating. After seeing JJ excel in football, he called the Powell mom and dad and said that he thought their son was using a drug, like Adderall. JJ refused to tell his parents about his new abilities, so we assume that this “what’s wrong with JJ” storyline will continue into next week. This was the most unbelievable storyline of the episode, for two reasons. 1) JJ is teeny tiny. Even if he could know when and how to throw a football, eventually, he will be tackled and crushed like a bug. Not a good idea, JJ. 2) Don’t they have a JV football team at this school for the coach to suggest he go for until he gets a little bigger? We also have a beef with JJ keeping his powers a secret for this long. This isn’t a dark or entertaining secret, like Laura Linney’s on The Big C. It’s not going to be fun when JJ’s secret is revealed, unless the reveal is spectacular. It’s just going to be awkward, we think, so the show isn’t generating intensity with this particular plot point that is getting way too much screen time.

Daphne - Daphne heard a man at a liquor store think about how he was dipping into the cash register. Next, Daphne used her powers to read a popular girl’s mind and find out where a cool, no-sophomores part was going on. When she went to the party, however, the cool girl said, “We have a strict no losers policy,” and tried to throw her out. Desperate for peer acceptance, Daphne told the cool girl that she could get them alcohol. Fortunately, the stealing cashier worked both early afternoons and late nights. Yeah right. Daphne tried to blackmail the store cashier into selling her lots of booze, but the man knew she couldn’t prove his crime, so he called the police, and Daphne was busted. In the end, we saw JJ actually do something unselfish, for once, when he assured his parents that Daphne didn’t drink at the “cool” party. He was there, since he made the football team and is now cool, so he could attest to that fact. JJ did not get in trouble, and his father even made a great speech about how everyone needed to work hard and be good, like JJ. Typical parental response to the youngest child acting up. Ugh.

Episode grade: C+

Watch it here:

Checking in on The Event- Episodes 3-5

Last episode, this show finally got somewhere by having Sophia released and Leila rescued by Sean. With the exception of the pilot, this show has centered around the characters either getting these things to happen or trying to prevent them from happening, so now we can see where the show is going next. We aren’t really sure what the issues are in the story yet. What’s the problem? Sophia is NICE and in charge (for now). Thomas, the only candidate for Big Bad, isn’t scary. He’s like the henchman in 24 that runs half the season until his big, scary boss is revealed. And speaking of 24, we thought The Event was a LOST rip-off, but these last three episodes have played out like a way less intense version of 24, only with aliens. There is very little mythology so far in this show, and we don’t like that.

Also, one of the reasons LOST was LOST was its focus on the characters through flashbacks, arcs, and relationships. The Event promised to be character-focused, but it hasn’t yet delivered. We only really feel for the pilot, who was forced to fly that plane and has a dead wife. The plane crash survivors have had some weird things happen to them (nosebleeds, resurrection, panic), and they are the most interesting thing right now. We are slightly intrigued by the defecting assassin with the stolen child. She kind of looks like Ashley Judd with less skin stretched out over her skull, but she’s pretty…for the next eight years. She’s gonna look old, quick. She seems to be the only non-stock character around. Blair Underwood’s president is no David Palmer, his wife is bland and looks like one of those Real Housewives women rather than the first lady, Sean and Leila seem too normal, we’ve got a cop helping Sean (NOT original), and some bland baddies. Someone like Lisbeth Salander or John Locke needs to crop up.

The Event could stand to get a little creepier, weirder, and more character driven. It also needs a plot to open up now that the girls are free. We love that Leila’s first escape was planned by the baddies. Also, burning-ish question: Why do the baddies want to kill Sean? Episode three was pretty dull and should have been merged with the slightly better episode five. This show hasn’t knocked our socks off since the pilot and it hasn’t moved things forward since episode two.

A few questions for The Event: Are you so cheap and desperate for ratings that you lure the young men in by have Leila get kidnapped while she was wearing a tank top and underwear? Can they show a decent, sweet flashback of Sean and Leila so that we care? You can do that in a small amount of time, like LOST did (quite successfully) with Desmond and Penny in brief flashbacks. Can Sophia please be creepier? Other than being the Lipless Wonder, there isn’t anything weird about her. Can she at least be more magnetic or charismatic? The aliens need a new leader, but we aren’t liking Thomas. Does he look a little like a white version of Obama to anyone else?

But there is hope. Lots of our favorite shows had meandering starts (Hello, Fringe and 24). If this show is going the 24 route, we can take heart. After Jack Bauer rescued his family, the series really started to pick up. The Event is still watchable, but it needs to come up with its own mythology and plotline instead of ripping off of older hits. So far, we feel like we've seen this show, only they watered it down a little.

If you haven't seen this show and are interested, you can catch all five episodes on hulu for the next five days. On Tuesday, the pilot will go away.
Episode grades: 3=C, 4= C+, 5= B-

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How I Met Your Mother - Architect of Destruction review/recap (As promised, because this show won the poll)

Is How I Met Your Mother officially back as a cute and funny show? The last two episodes were fantastic. The one before last (the one dealing with whether Robin was a real New-Yorker) was better, but this one was just fine as well. There was a great, although limited use of Barney in both, Lily was not super annoying, and there was enough humor to carry both half hours.

Last night dealt with Ted and Barney still working together on the GNB building. Ted found out that the site of the building was going to be the place where an old hotel, The Arcadian, was going to be torn down. It used to be a great hotel, but now it is a place where drag queens hang out. Ted was sad that he was going to be a part of the hotel’s demise. To make Ted’s quandary even more dire, he met a hot activist girl named Zoey who wanted to save it. She also had mad knowledge of architecture. As Ted set of to save the building with Zoey, he assured his four friends that he was not only doing it for a girl. No one believed him.

If you were watching the news and spoilers for this show, you will know that much was made of Zoey. She was played by that Dr. Cameron from House (Jennifer Morrison), and people were wondering if she could be The Mother. We maintain she does not exist. Those kids were adopted. Or made in test tubes. We’ve given up hope, and it is never coming back. But we were surprised when Zoey turned out to be off-limits. Well done, show, for surprising us. In the episode, she was married, and she ended up hating Ted because he decided to stop fighting GNB over the building when he found out Zoey was taken. That girl was crazy. She sure acted unmarried. And why did it take Ted so long to notice the ring? When we scout out a member of the opposite sex, that’s the first thing we look for, to make sure they are available.

The subplot was about how Robin is dating Marshall’s law school friend, Max. But Max has a small penis. This shocked Marshall, but what was worse was that Marshall realized that girls talk too. Lily had been telling Robin details of their sex life. This isn’t making us like Lily, our least favorite character, any better. This subplot was funny, but it’s just not acceptable to bring intimate marriage secrets, whether personal or just physical, out of the relationship. It’s not right, and we would never do it to our husbands (when and if we get them). That’s between us. Just sayin’.

We loved, “It’s filled with snakes. I don’t remember saying snakes.” We also loved the parade of Ted’s different past identities he used to impress girls. The best moment had to be Barney bonding with the bunny in Ted’s apartment and using it as an evil prop.

Episode Grade: B+

Watch it here:

No New Gossip Girl This Week/Last Night

There was no new Gossip Girl last night, and that angered us. We wanted to see the return of Little J last night, not NEXT WEEK.

Here' s preview to tide us all over:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Last Night's Dexter and Boardwalk Empire-- some thoughts

Dexter - Beauty and the Beast reviewWe LOVE Julia Stiles’ character on Dexter already. She is tough, pretty smart, and interesting. We think her storyline with Dexter is obviously the most intriguing one, and we are excited about where it is going. We loved how it took her so long to trust Dexter, how she escaped, and how she cut him with the knife. We loved that she trusts him now, and we hope it lasts. At the end of the episode, after Dexter gained her trust, Stiles’ character said something like, “Boyd wasn’t the only one who did this to me. There were others. It’s not over.” At first, we wondered if she was just insane, but now we think this means that there is a gang of Big Bads for Dexter to protect Stiles from. Sounds good. We’ve never had him take down a gang of killers before. This show is always in danger of repetitive plots, but it does a good job of dodging that pitfall.

We are liking Deb more and more this season, and the new nanny is becoming less creepy. We liked how Dexter got her back after letting her down. We are pretty sure she will pose problems later though. It seems like there is more to her.

We like that Jonah Mitchell protected Dexter, probably because Dexter saved him from the dad. That’s gratitude. We thought Dexter had done well with that kid, and we are glad to see him rewarded for his trouble.

Beefs: We are impressed with Stiles’ character and possibilities, but we are less excited by her name: Lumen. Ew. It reminds us of the word “hymen.” LaGuerta and Batista are getting boring, and we don’t actually CARE if Batista goes to jail. He beat up a cop. He deserves it. The show needs better supporting players than these two characters. Quinn is no Doakes, and he should stop trying. We actually like him with Deb though.

Episode grade: A-

Boardwalk Empire - Nights in Ballygran review
Halfway through this episode of Boardwalk Empire, we asked ourselves: is anything going to happen in this show? Is a plot arc going to open up? Are we going to feel some suspense? Are Nucky and the widow ever going to hook up? We felt this way mostly because Jimmy didn’t do anything to the person responsible for cutting up his ho. We expected some retaliation. He could have brought Capone with him on this venture. Instead, most of the episode found him lolling about with the now-ugly, drunkard ho, and she killed herself in the end. It WAS sweet to see the side of Jimmy that would stick around to take care of a sick girl that he liked.

But Margaret saved the episode by taking action regarding her crush on Nucky. Her stealing of the lingerie last episode seems to have been a foreshadowing of her new attitude. She is going to take what she wants, including, possibly, a new life with Nucky. Hold back your disbelief that anyone would find him that attractive and go with it. Margaret baked him bread. That didn’t work. Margaret tried to get him to help her with the temperance league. That didn’t work. So Margaret ratted Nucky out to Van Alden for moving green beer for St. Patrick’s Day. That worked. We expected the show to drag out this will-they-won’t-they thing for the whole season. To our shock, at the end of the episode, Nucky went to Margaret’s house and kissed her. We thought he was just going to tell her off for ruining his night and getting his businessman arrested. We thought he was going to walk off in a huff after whining to her. We were pleasantly surprised. Now we just want Lucy to find out. Hopefully that’s as hilarious as we want it to be.

Now what we want from this show is a good bromance. We thought Jimmy and Nucky were going to be it, but then Jimmy went to Chicago. We want to see more gangster activity, more scheming, and more of that aspect of the show. We saw that in the first couple of episodes, but the last two have abandoned those plots in favor of the love stories. We don’t know where the show is taking things, but the visuals are still good. We liked the scene with Eli and the rest of the Irishmen, where he gave his Irish speech.

Episode grade: C+

Shows picked up for a full season

The Event, Outsourced, and Law & Order: Los Angeles have been picked up for a full season. We are happy The Event will get a chance to tell its full story. L & O's pick up is not a surprise. The surprise here is Outsourced, which isn't getting rave reviews, and we know few people who watch it. It's time for this one to get some blog coverage now that we know it will be around for a while. Stay tuned.