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Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Vampire Diaries- Katerina recap/review

Thursday night on The Vampire Diaries spilled a lot of details. We took a while to write this recap, because we knew it needed to be pretty long to point out what people might have missed since Katherine talked so freakin quietly in the cave. Seriously, can’t people project and enunciate anymore? We know she was weak, but the viewer shouldn’t have trouble hearing characters. This was your classic set-up episode. We got a lot of answers and all the storylines, vampires, werewolves, and witches of this season have intersected to start one big showdown.

Rose was at the Salvatore brothers’ mansion, giving them the low-down on Klaus, the oldest of a group of vampires called “The Originals.” They ought to form a rock band with a name like that. The Salvatore brothers believed that Klaus was a myth, but Elena took him seriously when Rose told them that Klaus was a lot tougher than Elijah. Elena told Stefan she was going to school, but she really went down to Katherine’s tomb to question her. Caroline came along to open the tomb door. Katherine walked stiffly to the opening, and said a way too creepy/over-the-top, “Hello Elena.” Katherine wasn’t in the mood to talk unless her betrayer, Caroline, took off, so Caroline did. Elena offered Katherine shots of her blood and an old Petrova book with sketches and family history in exchange for Katherine's story and plan. It was long and not that exciting, although it’s nice to have answers. It kept our main character talking in a tomb for most of the episode.

This paragraph is Katherine’s story, summed up. Keep in mind that she could be lying, because she is Katherine: Katherine used to live in Bulgaria, where her name was Katerina Petrova. It was 1490, and she had a child outside of wedlock. The baby was ripped from Katerina so that the birth could be hushed-up. Elena is a descendant of that child and the last doppelganger of the Petrova family. Maybe losing a daughter without ever getting to hold her is what made Katerina so hard-hearted. And if you are wondering why Nina Dobrev speaks such good Bulgarian, it's because that is where she is from, originally. She was mainly raised in Canada though. Two years later, Katherine was courted by Klaus, which she liked until she found out his plan. He wanted to drain her Petrova blood in order to lift the vampire curse. The original Petrova was sacrificed to create the spell. (We think.) The doppelganger thing was intended to be a way to undo the spell. We guess the witches who created the spell weren't fully committed to the decision? Vampires had to wait until a doppelganger appeared to break the curse, because, obviously, not all descendants of the family were doppelgangers. Trevor, who was around back then, helped her run from Klaus, because Trevor was in love with her. Trevor sent Katerina to a little cabin. Inside was Rose, who was NOT in love with Katerina. Rose intended to give Katerina to Klaus. Katerina stabbed herself rather than be sacrificed. Rose fed her some vampire blood to heal her so Katerina wouldn’t die. Trevor showed up and distracted Rose from Katerina, and Katerina used that time to hang herself She turned herself into a vampire because Rose’s blood was in her system. Katerina’s first victim was the old woman who owned the cabin. Katerina thought that Klaus would have no reason to chase her down and kill her if she was no long a human doppelganger he could sacrifice. But she was wrong. Klaus is one vengeful SOB (which means he is also prideful. Could this be an Achilles heel for the yet-to-be-seen character?), and he killed Katerina’s parents. He has hunted Katerina, Trevor, and Rose for all these years. Elena deduced that Katherine’s new plan was to make a deal with Klaus to give him what he needed in exchange for him leaving her alone forever. Katherine told Elena the ingredients to break the spell. Petrova Doppelganger + Tyler + a witch (Bonnie) + a vampire (who would have been Caroline in Katherine’s original plan) + moonstone = curse broken.

The other characters were busy too. Bonnie agreed to hang out with Jeremy at the Grill and play pool with him, even though she is still having trouble seeing him as a potential boyfriend. Umm, is she blind? There, she met Luka, a guy who just moved into town from Louisiana with his dad, Jonas. Jonas had studied the Salem witches and immediately discovered Bonnie’s powers. Luka talked to Bonnie, apologized for his dad’s intrusion, and admitted that he and his dad were both warlocks. He said that he and his dad just wanted to fit in, for once. Luka seems to be a new romantic interest for Bonnie. Poor Jeremy. We greatly prefer Jeremy to Luka. But, to be fair, we haven't seen a lot of Luka. But looks-wise, we like Jeremy best. It's pretty unbelievable how no one swoons whenever he walks by on this show.

After threatening each other enough, Rose took Damon to meet with a vampire she trusted named Slater who had helped Rose get information about Klaus in the past. The three sat in a coffee shop with tinted windows so that Rose wouldn’t burn in the daylight. Slater had used his long life to become very knowledgeable, earning 18 bachelor’s degrees, four PhDs, and three masters. Damon scoffed at this, because he would rather spend his eternity on murder, revenge, pining for Elena, getting drunk, being funny, and having a good time. We agree. It’s not like Slater can put these degrees on his resume without raising eyebrows, so what good can come of them? He should have just stuck to the library and gotten the wisdom from books rather than listening to drones. Slater gave us one piece of decent information: The Originals want to lift the curse so that they can keep the werewolves from lifting their own curse before the vampires do. Only one curse can be broken, the sun curse or the moon curse. Elijah, who has a sun ring, tracked the three down, eavesdropped on them, and threw a handful of change at the windows, shattering them and scaring everyone inside. The sun burned Rose, and Damon had to get her back to his car. Rose sobbed, scared that Klaus had found them. They went home, where Damon drank and sulked. Rose came up to him and apologized that they wouldn’t be able to save Elena. Damon replied that he WOULD save Elena, actually. They discussed the difficulties of being an old vampire and still having feelings, and then Damon and Rose had sex. Afterwards, Slater phoned and told them that they could render the moonstone ineffective if they could get it and a witch to do a spell. At the end of the conversation, the camera cut to where Slater was, and Elijah was standing behind him, telling him that he did well. Slater said something like, “Thanks, I have a degree in theatre. How did you compel me when vampires can’t compel other vampires?” Elijah asserted that he was special, and then he compelled Slater to push a stake into his own heart, killing him, because Slater knew too much. As if that wasn’t enough of a twist, Jonas (Luka's dad) appeared behind Elijah, apparently in league with him.

Caroline distracted Stefan from wondering where Elena was by sitting him down for a talk at the grill. She told Stefan about how she told Tyler that she was a vampire. Stefan quickly realized that this information should be kept secret from Damon, because if he found out, he would kill Caroline. Stefan told Caroline that she reminds him of his old friend Lexi. Then he realized that Caroline was distracting him and figured out where Elena was. Smart Stefan.

Stefan went to the tomb to stop Elena from listening to and believing Katherine. He showed up just in time to hear Katherine talk about how Klaus had killed her family. He thought Katherine made that up to scare Elena into making a deal to free her from the tomb. He called her a manipulative, psychotic bitch. Katherine, however, didn’t want to be free. She was safe in the tomb, because Klaus couldn’t enter it to kill her without getting trapped there himself. "I'll be the safest psychotic bitch in town," she said, and then she slinked off to the back of the tomb, done with the long conversation. Wow. Katherine would rather be trapped and mummified than face Klaus. That realization made an impact on both Stefan and Elena. They left the tomb, where Elena broke down in tears because her friends and family were in danger because of her, and Stefan hugged her. Why are these two bot back together yet? It isn't helping anyone stay safe now. The flip-flopping and crying was touching the first time this season, and now it is getting old. We actually dream of Stefan/Katherine, Damon/Elena combinations, but we know that Stefan/Elena is healthier. We got a shot of Katherine in the tomb, fondling a sketch of her parents, perfect eye shadow gleaming in the light. What light?!!! Where is she getting eye shadow in a tomb after a few weeks?

This episode was a little talky and overloaded, but it had info, action, new faces, and Damon finally got laid.

Episode grade: B

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Office - Viewing Party recap/review

Gabe and Erin invited everyone to a party at Gabe’s house to watch Glee. Dwight thought the idea was dumb, but he went along with it. "Glee. Of all the feelings to base a show around. Thirst. Now that's a show I'd watch," he said. Michael loved the idea until he realized that everyone thinks of Gabe as the boss now, supplanting Michael. Michael acted like a jerk at the party (of course), and tried to destroy it. Erin confronted him, and Michael realized that Erin wanted Michael’s approval of her relationship, because she saw him as a father figure. He started acting like her father, telling her to go to her room. This worked for both Erin and Michael, because Erin is spectacularly dumb. Michael and Erin might make a great couple if anything ever happens to Holly. Except after this episode, that would be extraordinarily creepy.

Andy was still grieving the loss of Erin, so he ate all of Gabe’s Japanese virility drugs. They got him high, but then they made him sick. He vomited on Gabe’s bed and covered it up with a pillow. Ha. We are team Andy, even though one of us hates Andy. Gabe is a douche, as shown by the objects in his apartment and his music ... umm, we mean "soundscapes."

Dwight fixed Cece’s sleep cycle by calming her to sleep … for a price. Jim had to serve Dwight, feeding him by hand. This provided the only laugh of the episode for us. Dwight had to put off sex with Angela to do this deed, and Pam had to break the news to Angela that she wasn’t going to be getting any Dwight that night.

There were a few good lines last night, especially regarding Glee. (Michael saying that his favorite character is "the invalid," for instance.) But this show still only has two things going for it right now. 1) The boss is leaving, so people will tune in to see his replacement and it might give the show new creative opportunities. 2) Dwight K. Schrute. Let's face it. Even in the good old days, Dwight was always this show's ace in the hole.

Oh and Kelly: We agree with you that Jesse abruptly dumping and hating Rachel was totally weird. We think everyone agrees with you. Also, we wish The Office had attempted its own Glee musical number right before the credits or something.

Episode grade: B-

Watch it on hulu

Bones - The Shallow in the Deep recap/review

This episode failed to grab our attention, for the most part. It was a tad forgettable, although not bad. We feel like, at this point, it’s hard to tolerate a Bones episode that is just a run-of-the-mill chapter in the book of procedurals. We are ready to push Brennan and Booth closer or have some sort of big development shaping them as people. There was a lot of Sweets in this episode, if you like that. We liked the lack of Hannah, but we sort of want her around just so that her story arc can play out, we can see what the writers are doing with it, and we can get her off the show as soon as possible. We’re starting to think that the show just needs to end soon. Get Booth and Brennan together, have a season of their love, and then end it. This show is getting repetitive. Can the sniper show up soon?

At the start of the episode, Booth was feeling physically achy. Brennan told him that he was just getting older and that his body was starting to crumble from all the abuse it has taken. She started listing off all the things that have happened to him as Booth started walking faster and rolling his eyes. But it got to him. "How is it I went to sleep Han Solo and I woke up Obi-Wan Kenobi?" he asked Sweets. It didn’t help that the current case involved cougars (women who like younger men).

An old slave ship was found and taken to the Jeffersonian. Hodgins had fun investigating some pink slime on a skeleton that turned out to be a recent murder victim. The victim was a 19-year-old former foster kid who had frequented a cruise for young guys and cougars.

Booth and Brennan walked in on Sweets having sex on the coach with Daisy. One of the bloggers hates both Daisy and Sweets. Daisy is Brennan with no good qualities and no tortured past. Sweets’ lips are just too big. One of us KNOWS this is no reason to hate a whole character, and yet, it bothers her.

Angela and Cam paid their respects to the victims of the slave ship by sketching them and memorializing them in an exhibit.

Episode grade: C

It’s up on hulu.

Grey's Anatomy - Something's Gotta Give recap/review

There was a new pediatrics attending to replace Arizona, and his name was Stark. Is Stark cool? No, but that is actually a good thing. First of all, when you take a character everyone likes off a show and replace them with someone else, the audience is going to hate them, no matter how cool they are. Why even try? Why not introduce a villain? This show doesn’t have many villains who stick around for long, and we know Stark won’t be around forever. Arizona is coming back. Alex and April had to deal with this new tool. This blogger’s roommate lamented that “all attending are like that,” because they were mistreated by attendings when they were residents and interns, and that it’s a vicious cycle. We wonder if this is true. The rest of the doctors on Grey’s are nice! Alex came up with an idea to save a baby patient with a ping-pong ball (just go with it), and Stark took credit. April made sure that the chief knew the idea was Alex’s.

Teddy had to do a presentation for all the doctors on the patient Cristina saved last episode. There, Teddy revealed that Cristina had quit to a couple of people who hadn’t yet heard, including Mark Sloan. We loved his reaction: interrupting the presentation, asking Owen and Meredith what happened, and going into some spastic denial. The chief prepared to send a letter that would officially end Cristina’s employment at the hospital, but Owen and Teddy convinced him to hold off until they could have an intervention and get her back. Cristina was at home, in the old firehouse, unpacking, dancing, and listening to her iPod. Well, at least she has a big job to do. Callie was still on leave because she had planned to vacation in Africa with Arizona, so she took the time to drop in on Cristina. Callie mentioned that she was considering a haircut, so Cristina crazily whipped out the scissors and took a big chunk out of it, helpfully getting her started.

They went to the mall together to look for furniture for Cristina’s apartment and to have someone finish Callie’s haircut. There, Cristina admired the slow-moving mall people, wondering how they do nothing but walk around, shop, and eat all day. They also decided that Cristina would have a housewarming party that night. We call shenanigans. How could they just have a party that night? Nothing was unpacked. Callie must be an unpacking machine. Not to mention all the furniture had to be delivered and assembled. All the decorative accessories had to be laid out. But anyway, the two sent texts to all of Cristina’s friends, and the party was on. Callie is now wearing a curly bob with blue streaks in it, which we like. It makes one of us want to get dark purple streaks like it.

The big patient of the week was a VIP accompanied by the State Department. The agent ordered complete secrecy regarding the fact that the patient was there, hurt, or even in the country. He also made it clear that it would hurt foreign relations if the patient died. We found out that he was from a Middle East country and was involved in a traffic accident leaving a secret meeting in Seattle. Where all secret meetings with our country’s leader’s take place??? Teddy provided a helpful line: “His people are supposed to see their first elections, right? [If he dies] the doors open for Al Qaeda to move in.” So then we knew what was at stake. He needed heart and brain surgery at the same time, which required Derek and Teddy to work together, even though they aren’t getting along well since Derek tried to fire her. Derek, Owen, and Teddy argued about what they should do about Cristina during the operation. HELLO. Why would you talk about that? It was an emotional issue for all three of them that was sure to distract. Whatever. They pulled it off and the guy lived and left the country.

The national security surgery was secret from everyone not working on it, and Jackson was ticked to be left out. He and Bailey were caring for a chronic pancreatitis patient named Louise. Jackson’s sole job was to watch Louse’s fluid bag to make sure everything was alright, because the pancreas can get ugly, quick. Jackson misinterpreted things and thought that he had been given an unimportant job, so he shirked it and the patient died. Consequences? Maybe next episode. We don't like that Jackson's character revolves around him being good-looking, and now he's being a bad doctor as well. He needs a big storyline, possibly a romance, and a personality, stat.

Old romances are still good. Meredith and Derek caught a little make-out time in the on-call room. New romances are blooming. Callie and Mark are going to move in together, and even if they don’t have sex, their friendship is cute enough to make us happy. April had her eye on Alex at the beginning of this episode, and Jackson was scoping out Lexie. We think everyone caught some vibes between the secret service agent and Teddy, too. Be careful Teddy. The last time someone on TV who looked exactly like you dated a government agent, she ended up a vegetable.

The Alex/April thing ended badly. She came to his on-call room to express her admiration for his deeds that day, and he kissed her. She was going to sleep with him, but she asked him to slow down and he yelled, “You wanna screw, let’s screw. You don’t, then get out. I’m not gonna hold your virgin hand and walk you through it. You’re not a child. I can’t take care of you.” She just wanted a little foreplay! JEEZ. This blogger has always liked and defended Alex, but this was just too selfish and insensitive. This is the least likeable Alex has ever been to us. It turned out that he was still reeling from having to fly out of town to commit his schizophrenic brother who had attempted to kill his 16-year-old sister. No excuse. We are still mad. Poor April. She showed up at the party still shaken. We loved confused Owen when April came up to him talking about housewarming gifts and started crying. Shortly after that, April told Jackson what happened, and Jackson punched Alex a few times. They were terrible punches, so Alex is alright. We hope Jackson gets April’s V-Card now.

Derek went to Cristina’s place before the party to rescue her from the intervention. He helped her escape to the roof, where they had wine and talked about home decorating. This was one of our favorite Derek moments. He knows that Cristina is not ready to face her issues, that she needs a break, and that she doesn’t need to be bullied, even for her own good.

This season is awesome.

Episode grade: A-

Friday Night Lights - The Right Hand of the Father review/recap

This episode continued the “adventures” of that new redhead, Maura The Rally Girl. After she passed out drunk at the party last week, students put a video of her behavior on YouTube, entitled “Drunk Puppet Girl.” Plenty of parents were upset and demanded that the football-playing puppeteers be thrown off the team. Tami handled the girls’ end of the problem by bringing in a guest speaker to talk to the girls about the realities of drinking. Sadly, many of the girls weren’t paying attention and acted disrespectfully. Tami blew up, hollering like a real life mom, and it was deserved. Moms everywhere, flash your “Angry Mom Looks” in solidarity. We know you have one. All moms do. Maura, for her part, acted as if the whole thing was funny and that she didn’t care. “Haven’t you ever been to a party,” Maura asked Tami. Tami replied, “Yeah, I have. And I try to stay awake from them. It’s much more fun that way.” Ha.

But then Tami caught Maura in a supply closet hooking up with some random guy (who wasn’t even hot), and took Maura back to the guidance counselor’s office for one more talk. Judging from Maura’s expression, that talk delivered the wake-up call. We raised our eyebrows at a show that would condemn a high-school girl sleeping around and getting a bad reputation. Isn’t that what feminism, being a woman comfortable with her sexuality, and growing up is all about? This show says no, and we sort of like that it had the balls to say that in this modern age where casual sex is portrayed as being everywhere, common, and normal. When casual sex is portrayed as standard, it makes people who act responsibly sometimes feel like freaks, idiots, and prudes, and that's not right. It's nice to see the other perspective on TV, for a change. We like balance.

Vince’s father got out of prison, and his mother let that father move right back in. Vince was upset and started acting out when Coach Taylor made the football team do charity and wear suits to make up for the YouTube video. He broke down in the coach’s office, asking him why he had rise above everyone else’s bad behavior when his father never taught him how to be a man. The coach responded that he had to STRIVE to behave well, because that is what integrity is: the striving. Nice line. We would make fun of it for looking like it should go on a sports-related Hallmark card, but it’s too true to mock. Then the show threw in a little “this is Vince’s real father figure” moment by having the coach tell Vince he was proud of him. Aww. On the football field, Vince performs incredibly and the team wins. His father, who was there, realized that Vince was the new man of the house, and that he needed to leave the mother alone. He packed up and left, saying he’d be around.

In subplots, we have Buddy back, struggling with the decision to let his son come live with him after his mother phoned in that she was having trouble dealing with Buddy Jr.’s love for marijuana. Coach Taylor convinced Buddy to be there for his son. Vince’s girlfriend, Jess, is the new equipment manager for the team. Julie Taylor slept with her married-but-separated T.A. at college. Gross. Whyyyy. We need to start a petition against girls sleeping with their teachers on TV. It's so overdone this fall season. Julie needs to make some friends, dump that weirdo, or move home. Her arc this season is going against everything the rest of the episode was trying to say. Was the show trying to be ironic? Showing that Tami was taking care of Maura's self-respect while her own daughter was running amok, at 18, sleeping with older, married men?

We love when shows delve deep enough into characters to give them flaws and don’t idealize heroes, but we also love when a show actually HAS heroes. The great thing about Friday Night Lights is that you have good people to root for. Sure, it seems the coach and Tami have raised a daughter who doesn’t know what the flip she’s doing, and they have made their own mistakes. But everyone on the show has a struggle to relate to, but the show doesn’t need to make them irresponsible or bad examples to show that struggle. We like Coach and Tami Taylor, because they are role models for coaches, teachers, and everyone else who works with kids. Also, to kids watching the show, they can be the guidance counselor and coach that most kids never have. Their lessons about integrity are the stuff that is rarely seen on television, for fear of being too preachy or not edgy enough. Concepts like “honor” and “self-sacrifice” seem to be largely out of style in the media (with the exception of the excellent Harry Potter), but FNL continues to bring these things up in the high-school atmosphere. Glee champions equality and acceptance, but hey, so do most shows now. FNL seems to be the only show championing making the most of your opportunities, having self-respect, and having character. It's not perfect, and it's no Leave it to Beaver, but we like it that way. It's more real.

Episode grade: B+

America's Next Top Model - Kyle Hagler recap/review

On the “previously on America’s Next Top Model” beginning of the episode, the camera showed footage of Chris at the last elimination panel getting patted/comforted by another contestant while she cried. During this, the voiceover said, “Who will be eliminated tonight?” WTF? Now we know it is Chris, and it was. Apparently, she was better suited for acting, stand-up, or daytime television. Meh. We agree. In face most of these girls would make better actresses than models. But now all potential ANTM contestants have learned a lesson, “Don’t do an excellent impression of Tyra Banks right to her face, especially when she is helping you with your portfolios.”

This was the go-see episode, and one of the possible go-sees was at Versace, so they all busted their tails to get to that one first. Unfortunately, the Versace guy hated all of them except for Ann. He called many “last season.” How can a GIRL and her particular physical appearance be “last season” or “from the 80s,” like women’s bodies are just trends, like clothes, rather than marvelous, perfect, life-making powerhouses. (Ok, Ern, turn the feminist rant off.) Sorry. The Versace bastard loved the tall and stick-like Ann. “Perfect body. Perfect.” We don’t know why this show is pumping the female personality, saying that models have to be memorable based on their pizzazz. This is VERSACE, and he picked the girl with no confidence, no charisma, no personal power, and who took up as little room on this earth with her flesh as possible. In fact, we have heard that models who walk on the runways are rejected if they have any charisma or grounded-ness, because then people will look at the model and not the clothes. Personality. Psh. Nawww. Unnecessary.

Chelsey won the go-see challenge by booking one of her go-sees and making it to two. She was also one of the three who didn’t get disqualified for arriving back late. Chelsey got a Versace jacket as a prize. Generous…not. Versace has just lost this blogger as a consumer (not that they really ever had either).

The photo shoot was held at a beautiful mansion that looked like Mr. Darcy’s mansion in the new Pride and Prejudice. The idea of the shoot was that they were statues being sculpted by a hot guy, and his hot love literally breathed life into them LIKE GOD. Ha. Eye roll, please. Jane struggled, because she is having an identity crisis. The judges keep telling her that she has no personality. Since your personality is not something you can easily change, disses to the personality can hurt, nasty. The judges had to backtrack in this episode. Jane cried, Nigel viewed that as “personality,” and bottom-two Jane was saved from elimination. The judges are sick of perfect, private Ivy League Jane. Kayla did great and got best photo, but we thought Chelsey was better. Ann looked fine, as usual, but wasn’t showing any emotion. She looks like an object in her photos. Alive, but barely. She will make a fine Versace model.

Episode grade: B

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Alias Reboot? What shows would you have remade?

The folks over at ABC have been saying that they are contemplating remaking Alias. This puzzles us, because the original Alias is not that old, and it's pretty good. Sure, some of the mythology is too dense, it fumbled the ending (due to a quick cancellation), and kept Sloane on the show too long, but does it really need to be remade? Our first thought was that it's just too soon. It looks and feels modern, still.

Our worst nightmare is that they remake Alias and make it like Nikita. A sexy spy show isn't worthy unless it has an actual good plot and characters to go with the hotness. ABC is unsure whether it will include original Alias creator J.J. Abrams when and if it remakes the show. We are afraid that ABC will try to make Alias more commercial, and it will just be a big, shallow flop.

But there ARE mistakes to fix. One of us doesn't like Michael Vartan, and that could be a good role for someone else. We both liked Jennifer Garner in the role. She looked like she could actually fight someone. The girl was big, but still in shape. She looked like she had some muscle. The plots, mythology, and Rambaldi stuff could be fleshed out, explained, and completed better.

What shows would you rather see remade? Is Alias the best choice? Is it time yet? Shoot, we would rather see Buffy the Vampire Slayer remade than Alias. The technology in Buffy's early seasons is laughable, and a lot of it could certainly use an update and a removal of some cheesiness.

We would remake/complete/resurrect Carnivale. That could be commercialed-up without it losing its creepiness and supernatural mythology. After LOST, people are looking for another big-concept show, and The Event isn't really cutting it. Carnivale's plot could be sped up, more attractive actors cast, and they could continue that series where it left off. Of course, HBO owns it, so fat chance.

Also, in about 20 years, we would like to see someone re-do Heroes and Flashforward. Heroes was good enough in season one that people with new ideas should be able to bring it back better than it ended up being in the last seasons. Flashforward was actually a decent idea, but it needed to be less boring. Why let a good premise go to waste? Try again later. Actually, Flashforward would make a good MOVIE, because they wouldn't have to drag it out.
Oh, also, what about a re-do of The Twilight Zone? The X-Files?

Life Unexpected - Plumber Cracked recap/review

The episode started with Cate still yearning for information about Ryan’s relationship with Julia. She looked through his phone and begged Paige to dish. Paige refused to sell out her brother (good girl), and Cate and Ryan went to couples therapy. The therapist suggested that, until their next session, the couple be balls-out honest with each other. What a terrible therapist. Seriously, she wants to open Pandora’s Box with the couple unsupervised, throwing out words and hurting feelings at this fragile moment? This suggestion just led to more fighting, and Ryan left Cate to go have a night with the guys. By “the guys” we mean Baze and Baze’s friends. Suddenly Ryan and Baze are best buddies.

Cate tried to take Paige out, get her drunk, and then question her, but Cate ended up getting the most wasted, because Paige (obviously) can hold her liquor. Cate did body shots and danced on stage. Ryan and the gang had to show up and stop her from having too much fun like a college girl. Ryan and Cate took their dying relationship outside the bar for a talk. Ryan decided THAT was the time, when Cate was drunk and upset, to tell Cate the Julia story. He had lived with Julia for three years and asked her to marry him. She said no, and he still isn’t over her. Cate went home without Ryan. The next morning, they went back to the awful therapist, who suggested that they separate. Worst therapist of all time. Her solution was that the marriage break up, haha. Ryan moved into Baze's.

The Baze and Emma relationship hit a temporary snag when Emma’s long-lost teenaged son returned to her home, dropped off by his dad. Emma hid the boy from Baze and tried to get distance from the relationship. Baze turned up at her house, drunk, hollering that what they had was real. Baze met Emma's son, and the relationship will go on. We don’t care. We’ve decided that Baze and Cate should end up together if the writers can wrap that up and make it happen before this show’s inevitable cancellation.

Lux and Mr. Daniels used Tasha’s apartment as a place to be together, and Tasha was unthrilled, but tolerant. To get out of the confined space, they decided to go out of town on a Saturday together where they wouldn’t see anyone they knew. They went to Astoria, an island, where Mr. Daniels lost his wallet. He and Lux solved the problem of having no money to pay for a good time by crashing a wedding. The wedding scenes were supposed to be charming, but they were not. They missed the only ferry boat home and had to use Tasha’s emergency credit card (given to her by Cate) to stay in a hotel. Instead of making sweet love and taking advantage of a night together, they had the “where do we stand” talk and realized that the obstacles to being together might trump the appeal of being together. The bank called Cate and informed her of the hotel charge. Tasha had to take the heat, telling Cate that she went to a rave. Cate took away the credit card and all of Tasha’s after-school activities, including basketball. Mr. Daniels and Lux decided to keep seeing each other. Tasha glowered.

We are glad that Cate and Ryan are separating. We need a break from their shrill fighting. We don’t care enough about their relationship to be interested in watching them bicker. We can't believe that what is likely to be the last big Lux storyline is going to be an affair with a teacher. We think they are actually a cute couple, but this can't last, can it? We can't wait for Baze and Cate to find out about the affair.

Episode Grade: C+

The Glee Christmas Album

You can listen to the full Glee Christmas album (legally) here:

1. We Need A Little Christmas (Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer) - Cute song, but the vocals are shrill and grating. Grade: C+
2. Deck The Rooftop (Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Naya Rivera, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, and Jenna Ushkowitz) - This sounds like a cross between a children’s song and something you would hear in a club. We know it says “Deck the Rooftop” but this song is “Deck the Halls.” Grade: C
3. Merry Christmas Darling (Lea Michele) - Nice, but boring. Grade: C-
4. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Chris Colfer and Darren Criss) - We weren’t digging the tempo at first, and we wonder why they left the lyric “cigarettes” in, since it’s a high school show and smoking isn’t even cool anymore. But we like that Blaine and Kurt are clearly getting closer in this song. Grade: B-
5. The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year (Chord Overstreet, Mark Salling, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Heather Morris) - This one is a little short and caters to the kiddies (or those of us who remember and loved the old animated Christmas classics), but it sure sounds like Christmas. Grade: B
6. Last Christmas (Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Kevin McHale, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Chris Colfer) - Good song, but we are worried that Lea Michele is starting to make herself sound like a modern, run-of-the-mill pop singer rather than the powerful Broadway diva that she is. Grade: B
7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Lea Michele, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, and Jenna Ushkowitz) - Ok, there we go. This one was mature and had good harmonies. We’re pretty sure that this is the least boring this low-key song has ever been. Grade: B+
8. O Christmas Tree (Matthew Morrison) - Oh Mr. Schu, Oh Mr. Schu, how lame you are this year. We guess the vocals were good though, even though we don’t like his voice type that much (boy band-y). Grade: C-
9. Jingle Bells (Cory Monteith, Mark Salling, and Kevin McHale) - It’s Jingle Bells. Grade: C
10. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (k.d. lang and Morrison) - WOW, no. A butchering. Not even close to the original. Grade: D
11. Angels We Have Heard On High (Amber Riley) - A little dull at first, but it picks up at the end. Of course, the vocals are pretty good, because it’s Amber Riley. Grade: B-
12. O Holy Night (Lea Michele) - When we saw the track list a few weeks ago, we thought this song showed the most promise. Sure, it’s weird to hear the Jewish character singing the most Jesus-y Christmas song there is (even if the track DID chicken out of saying the line “Christ is the Lord”), but Lea Michele’s voice was always going to go well with this song. Shoot, she probably popped out of her mom’s vag singing it. It was certainly pretty, but we were kind of disappointed. We wanted her to sing it in a higher register and we wanted it to be more powerful. Still, Grade: B+

Why didn’t they let Quinn sing? Her voice isn’t powerful, but it’s sweet and pleasant. It’s not as if her voice wouldn’t fit this album either! It’s sweet and cutesy. Come on! Also, with all the funny Christmas songs out there, they couldn’t give Sue Sylvester a track? After they made us sit through “Physical”?

Glee is clearly wanting our money this Christmas, but we wouldn't shell out ten bucks for this one. Pick and choose the tracks you want, because this isn't unique and fell short of its potential.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Good Wife- Poisoned Pill recap/review

This episode guest starred Michael J. Fox, who we love. We know, we know: Everyone loves him. And they should, because he’s a load of fun, and his presence on this episode was no exception. He’s even loveable as a bad guy.

The firm took on a manufacturer of anti-depressant pills that made takers even more depressed, and a few killed themselves. It was a class action lawsuit, and the firm found the daughter of one of the victims to be their test case. Her name was Kaitlin, and she looked like what Evan Rachel Wood and Kristen Stewart’s lovechild would look like. The attorney for the pill manufacturer was Louis Canning, played by Michael J. Fox. This lawyer played dirty, using a disability to manipulate the jury. He also made the case super soapy by keeping the focus on a possible affair, rather than the science that implicated the pills. Our lawyers, Will, Alicia, and Diane, of course, upped their game, making the medicine look sexy as well. They played up the sexual side effects of the pills and showed a video of lab rats mauling and humping each other whilst on the drugs. Canning brought Kaitlin’s mother’s shrink to the courtroom to testify (which is iffy under the Federal Rules of Evidence, is it not?), and our three main lawyers had to discredit him. Canning decided to settle, and he ended up getting the best end of the deal. Canning taunted Alicia at the end. We can’t wait for him to come back. He is more than a worthy rival for the firm and Alicia.

Eli Gold was having trouble going up against the new candidate for State Attorney, Wendy. He glowered at a video of her beautifully singing the national anthem at a baseball game. He lamented her charity work, frugality, and humility. The only thing he has on her is that she is married to a white man, and Eli isn’t willing to stoop so low. Finally, Eli found out that Wendy had a $19,000 boob job, and he fed the info to one of Childs’ men. This resulted in an internet video with a cartoon and song about the breast augmentation.

Eli was also having trouble with Grace Florrick, who was caught on tape (by one of Eli’s cronies) promoting Wendy at Wendy’s rally. Eli passed this problem onto Alicia. Alicia forbid her daughter to do something to hurt her father again and Grace told Alicia that she was angry at Peter for making the video about Wendy’s boobs. Alicia softly suggested that it was made by Childs’ campaign. Eli’s dirty work paid off, and when it came out that Wendy had reconstructive surgery after breast cancer, Childs’ man took all the heat. Grace loved her father again. All was well, but shoot. Even we want to vote for Wendy now. We wish she were real.

Blake continued to snoop into Kalinda’s business, suggesting to her face that she was hiding a homosexual orientation. He was right on, and we got to see one of Kalinda’s exes whose heart Kalinda broke. This ex had to work with Blake, and she ended up kissing Kalinda at a bar before walking away. We don’t think Kalinda is only hiding lesbianism. She is a strong woman and an admirable character, and while it might be professional for a woman like that to hide her homosexuality, on TV that usually doesn’t happen. She must be hiding something else. Kalinda went to Cary and asked him to help her investigate Blake. Cary found out that Blake had ties to a meth gang, and he was arrested for associating with them, but he was never charged.

And that’s this episode recapped. We enjoyed it, but it wasn’t mind blowing. All episodes of The Good Wife are pretty good, so it has to be excellent to get an A out of us.

So, episode grade of B+

You can catch this episode, and the last one, on

Gossip Girl - Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore recap/review

The episode started with Serena visiting Blair to whine about Colin, but B shooed her out immediately. Why? Because Chuck Bass was in Blair’s bed with her, under the covers. We think Chuck never looked cuter than when he popped out after Serena left. Serena quickly deduced the truth though, after seeing Blair and Chuck emerge from behind some bushes, looking tousled. Blair and Dan also noticed Serena getting out of Colin’s cab. Serena chastised Blair for falling back into bed with Chuck and demanded that she stop. Blair agreed and decided that a full “Bass-ectomy” was needed. She was going to quit Chuck cold turkey. She told Chuck, and he was amenable to the notion of breaking it off, but his solution was “emergent therapy,” a 24-hour sex binge on Blair. That would never work, Chuck. Blair snacked on macaroons in the bathtub while Dorota stood guard against Chuck. The woman faced down the KGB, after all, so she was well up to the challenge … oh wait. Chuck appeared in Blair’s room, looking the least cute he has ever looked, in the girliest robe we have ever seen. What is this? Glee? There weren’t even any pockets. Where is he going to keep all the condoms?

Dan and Blair convinced Serena that Colin should quit teaching for her, because it’s not as if the successful businessman needs the money. Serena gave him something of an ultimatum, and when he didn’t agree right away, she thought he had rejected her offer. She invited Dan to accompany her to the ballet. Colin, meanwhile, actually went and quit his teaching job, just for Serena.

We found out that Colin doesn’t like Juliet’s brother, because Colin thinks that Ben is a crook who won’t take responsibility for his actions. Colin told Juliet that if she continued to contact her brother, he would cut her off. Dang, that’s cold. It’s her brother. Nate found out that Juliet lied about living in her apartment. Vanessa teamed up with him to break into her real house, while Nate took her to coffee. There, Vanessa found the pictures of Serena kissing her professor. At coffee, Nate’s heart melted when Juliet told him that the reason she didn’t tell him where she really lived was that she didn’t want Nate to know that she was poor. Nate gave her a second chance, and because Juliet is in love with Nate, she told Colin that she would be a good girl, stay away from her brother, and not blow the chance Nate gave her. She went back to her apartment to find Vanessa there. She told Vanessa that the plan to bring Serena down was off, but Vanessa wanted revenge and took a computer chip-y thing with the evidence.

At the ballet, Serena sees Colin and kisses him when she finds out that he quit his job. Dan threw a hissy tantrum and left, feeling used, even though it is never Serena’s fault on this show. Even when she kills a guy (in season one), somehow it is not her fault. (Oh please, that "murder" thing was stupid and not actually her fault. - Other blogger) Vanessa’s revenge attempt also occurred at the ballet. Juliet tried to stop her, but Vanessa turned her to the dark side, and they both told the Dean of Columbia that they had illicit photos of Colin with a student. Before they could hand the chip with the pictures on it to the Dean, Blair grabbed it and dropped it in her drink, took the heat for Serena, and saved the day. Chuck backed her up, and it was hilarious. The Dean was not amused with the tattling and whoredom, and she chewed them out and left to watch the ballet.

Colin cut Juliet off for trying to tattle on him for being with a student. Duh, Juliet, what did you think would happen? What a moron, betraying her benefactor to back up VANESSA. Blair, Nate, Chuck, and Serena ganged up on her for a catty send-off, and Juliet stalked off, beaten. Serena ended up dumping Colin for Dan. She called him and asked him to meet her, but Nate found her at the meeting spot first and poured his heart out to Serena. When Dan showed up, he saw Serena with Nate. Cliffhanger.

Chuck and Blair sat together reminiscing, talking about how wonderful takedowns are, and acting like friends. They agreed that they were finally friends, after all the trouble and drama, and gave each other a nice hug goodbye. We moaned, because Chuck and Blair should not be friends. They should be LOVERS. And the show gave us what we wanted. They suddenly kissed and he carried her up the stairs, where they presumably continued to be lovers. It isn’t even hate sex anymore. It looks like these two are back on. Yay!!! We liked that part, even though we kind of thought it would be amazing if Chuck accidently dropped her as they ascended the staircase.

TWIST: The episode ended with Juliet in her apartment with Vanessa skyping LITTLE J!!! Wait…why would Little J want to take down Serena? Who cares. It’s ON. It’s the triad of girls we hate, teaming up to be b*tches. It is so ON. We already hate Vanessa, so it’s a good idea to make her a backstabber we are supposed to hate. For once, she was useful, interesting, and she had some of the night’s best fashions.

Drama, romance, takedowns, the ballet, Little J, and making Vanessa NOT USELESS? That gets an episode grade of A from us.

Glee - Never Been Kissed recap / review

Things we loved:
-DARREN CRISS and Teenage Dream. It was a little lame how the other boys in the school were fist-pumping and dancing while watching it, but the rest of it was flawless. We loved Kurt’s face reacting to the performance. This just goes to show that we need more a cappella group singing in this show. Darren Criss is going to be a star; you just watch. We think we are in love with him.

-Every musical number, except for the Puck/Artie one, because compared to the others, it was just “meh.” We know that many people dig Puck and Artie’s voices, but one of us doesn’t. Puck has a nice tone, but no power or ability to hold notes out. Artie just sounds autotuned and cartoonish.

Things of which we repent (at least for this week):
-We gave Glee crap for just being a big PSA about gay people by focusing too much on Kurt. It was becoming the Kurt show and a place for gay Ryan Murphy to work out his childhood issues, rather than an entertaining and poignant show. But everything in the gay rights storyline worked this time and was truly timely and touching. We teared up at Kurt’s plight and love love love the new character Blaine. We DO hope that the show will lay off of Kurt’s issues for a while. You don’t want to beat us over the head with it, show. Just develop his relationship with Blaine, please, and let another character’s issues step into the splotlight.

Things we hated:
-The fact that Kurt tried to join the girls’ team again. We assume it’s because the girls are more accepting, but sometimes it comes across as “Kurt thinks he is a girl.” Gay guys are still men, Kurt.
-The Kiss. You know of what we speak. We love Coach Beiste though.


Kurt has stood up for himself and fought against the homophobic football bully, Karofsky, for a long time. But this episode, Karofsky’s aggression was starting to wear Kurt down and break his spirit. Will noticed this and tried to help, but he couldn’t. Kurt went to “spy” on a rival Glee club, the Dalton Warblers, who go to an all-boy academy where the Glee Club is actually cool. There, Kurt found a safer place for gay students where everyone is accepted and a new mentor: Blaine. Blaine is a confident, super-cute, gay high-schooler who is out of the closet. He told Kurt that he ran from his old school rather than face his bullies with courage and that he regretted his decision to let bullies chase him off. Kurt confronted Karofsky, and we all held our breaths. Then, American Beauty style, Karofsky kissed Kurt. Depressingly, it was Kurt’s first kiss from a guy. Poor Kurt; that’s awful. We don’t know if we approve of the cliché, easy, “it’s because he’s secretly gay” revelation, but it’s a one-hour episode. We’re not going to delve deep into the minds of a wide variety of gay-haters right now.

There was also a big Coach Beiste storyline that started out nice and interesting. The boys in New Directions, along with Tina, were having trouble “cooling down” during hot make-out sessions where they didn’t want to go too far or…you know. So, they would imagine Coach Beiste in strange and compromising positions, because Coach Beiste is not hot. The practice came out into the public sphere and Coach Beiste quit after Will explained what was happening to Beiste. Oh Will, you dumb dumb. You should have just said, “The students privately confided the issue to me, and I can’t betray your trust, because like you said, I’m trustworthy. Believe me when I say it’s temporary, not a big deal, the kids respect you, and I have taken care of it.” Because of course she was going to take offense to that. Sue’s reaction to Beiste’s resignation was nothing short of magical. Her confetti cannons and evil laugh as they shot into the air made us collapse laughing. This was easily the best part of this storyline. Will came to Beiste’s locker room to convince her to stay. She moaned to him that guys don’t like her and that she has never been kissed. So Will kissed her. It was disgusting. It was like when the old lady in Minority Report kissed Tom Cruise. At this moment, Ern texted Leeard, “What the &*^% was that?” Keep in mind that Leeard and Ern hadn’t spoken at all yesterday. Leeard, without missing a beat, texted back, “Seriously. That was condescending.” And it was. Will doesn’t really like Beiste. The message to Beiste was that she was beautiful. But is this really true? In a way. In a “God loves everyone/beauty is in the eye of the beholder way.” But was Will attracted to her? No. Glee could have handled this issue better by showing that there is someone for everyone. Maybe the show could have had an unattractive person find love with an average-looking person. This happens all the time. We once saw a show about the world’s fattest man, and he had a wife. The better message could have been that even if you’ve been waiting a long time, there is still hope. Not “if no one likes you, Will can kiss you, even though he doesn’t really like you.” Ugh, whatever.

The third major storyline involved Puck and Artie. Puck came back from juvie, sporting a Mohawk (we're very glad it's back), and started hanging with Artie as part of his “help a cripple community service.” Artie wanted Brittany back, so Puck got him a date with her at Breadstix. But then Puck wanted to dine and ditch, and Artie wasn’t cool with that, so the pair experienced a rift. Then, we found out that Puck had actually felt scared and lonely in juvie, and he wasn’t as tough as he pretended to be. (“They kept taking my waffles.”) Artie promised to teach Puck how to be good so he could stay out of trouble.

This was the annual boys against the girls mashup episode. In our opinion, the boys were a little better, even though we liked the girls. However, we don’t think we heard Will announce the winner. Lame. This episode centered on the boys though, mostly, so let's call them the winners.

Episode grade: A- (the minus is for the Coach Beiste kiss. Awful. Just awful. Without that, it would have been a perfect episode to us.)

Watch it here:

or here:

Oh, and also, Teenage Dream is a song that we previously wished Glee would do. Ha.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How I Met Your Mother - Natural History recap / review

Zoey, who seems to be a main character this season, even though she is a little grating in our opinion, got the newspaper to print an article about Ted being a corporate “fat cat” intent on destroying an old building. Ted got all huffy because it ruined his enjoyment of the Saturday crossword puzzle. Does Ted remind anyone else of Ross on Friends? A total whiney goober?

GNB was having a party at the Natural History Museum where Ted met “The Captain” (he named himself that), who turned out to be Zoey’s husband. Ted mockingly introduced himself as Galactic President Superstar McAwesomeville, which isn’t that funny, but The Captain was really nice about it, remembering it after one hearing and inviting Ted onto his boat. At the party, Zoey pretended to cry about being unhappy in her married life, and she got Ted on tape calling his bosses childish names. When she overheard The Captain call her activist causes “temper tantrums” and Ted defend her, Zoey erased the tape. They danced, and she vowed to “beat him fair and square.” If she turns out to be the mother, we are going to be ticked. The cliché activist is not an attractive option.

The much more attractive, awesome, and legendary bros Barney and Robin competed (in a classic Barney Challenge) to see who could touch the most off-limits historical crap in the museum, breaking the “no touching” rule. Barney claimed to have knocked down the blue whale at the age of six, and Robin didn’t believe him until a security guard looked up the file of the incident. Then ... surprise … it turns out that Barney’s real father had signed the papers to release him, which were in the file. Barney told Robin that he had known the man as “Uncle Jerry,” and that day, he and his mom got in a fight over the blue whale incident, and that was the last day Barney ever saw him. Wow, good memory, Barney. We guess it was an epic day, though.

Lily and Marshall were also there, and Marshall revealed to Lily that he had been offered five more years with GNB, and that he was going to take it. Lily freaked out, realizing that Marshall had changed from the idealistic college student with whom she had fallen in love. They made up in the end, and future Ted and a visual let us know that Marshall wouldn’t be a corporate lawyer forever after that. One of us was actually super-happy that Marshall would stop doing the corporate thing. For once, we agreed with Lily and didn’t want to see environmentalist Marshall abandon his dreams and principles for money, even if he DID intend to spend it on a family.

This episode was alright and definitely better than the last one. Barney and Robin’s contest was really funny. We liked their storyline best. We want more focus on the main five rather than Zoey, unless they make her loveable.

Episode Grade: B-

This episode is up on

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dexter - Circle Us recap / review

This episode found Lumen and Dexter still looking for the guys who hurt Lumen. She told Dexter that one of the men had a watch that he would put near her ear, while he uttered, “That’s the sound of your life running out.” The other had nice suits, and she had seen his face because he removed her blindfold. Lumen was still gunning to help Dexter kill the men, but Dexter wanted to play lone ranger, as usual. And hey, we don’t blame him after the Lila and Miguel Prado debacles. But we understood her plight. In a weird way, it’s healthy. She’s just trying to get her personal power back. We never thought Lumen was a pain, because we like Julia Stiles. Also, she’s a good project for Dexter to help him get past Rita.

The Suit Man attempted to move the girls bodies in the barrels, but the truck was involved in a car accident and the barrels spilled out onto the street. The news and police were all over the scene shortly after that. Fortunately, it helped Dexter and Lumen locate the Suit Man. Dexter threw the police off his scent by stashing Boyd’s wallet in the vehicle. Suit Man turned out to be the self-help author Jordan Chase. Watch Man is probably his security guard, Cole. Dexter broke into Cole’s home and found an old photo of him with Boyd and others as teenagers. Apparently, they had known each other for a long time. At that point, someone grabbed Dexter from behind, choking him, and Lumen hit the man with her flashlight, allowing Dexter to escape with her. Dexter finally accepted Lumen as a full partner in this revenge mission.

Dexter clashed with Harrison’s nanny when the nanny put a statue of a saint next to Harrison to protect him. Dexter is an atheist and he thought that was silly, but he caved in the end. Lumen made him realize that you have to be flexible with the important people in your life, accepting all of them, if they are worth it.

Deb is still sleeping with Quinn, who threw out the idea of getting an apartment together. Deb let him know that she didn’t even want people to know they were seeing each other, and you could tell Quinn was kind of hurt. It was clear in this episode that Quinn is really into Deb. We’d feel worse for Quinn if he wasn’t investigating Dexter with a creepazoid. We want to like him, because it’s cute how much he likes Deb, who deserves to be happy, dangit. The investigation doesn’t make the show more intense; it just makes it annoying. Now Quinn is looking into Lumen, because he knows that she is staying with Dexter.

The cops set up a sting to get the Santa Muerta guys at a club that actually looked fun to go to. LaGuerta messed it up and a bunch of people got shot, but Deb managed to nail one of the baddies in the head, saving a hostage. Nice. We love Deb. We just wish she could gain a little weight and then cut herself some bangs like she had in the first season. They hide her tiny forehead. Also, we want LaGuerta dead. It is decided. She is added to our mental list of characters who need to go and are bogging down a good show.

This one was eventful, funny, and full of good moments. Our favorite? When Lumen saw a picture of Masuka and nailed his personality.

Episode grade: A

Boardwalk Empire - Hold Me In Paradise review/recap

Going into this episode, this show was on its last leg with us. It had no central story arc, no suspense, its characters were everywhere, and its quality was yo-yoing. We also think it needs to find its focus, figure out who its good characters are, and figure out what kind of show it is. We are not the only ones who feel this way. Its ratings have dropped by a couple million and many are losing patience with its focus on sex, nudity, and love over ACTUAL MOB ACTIVITIES AND WHACKINGS. Jeez. But finally, Nucky and Jimmy are back together, we have a “team,” and everything is starting to fall into place. There are only a few episodes left in this season, so if you have been watching, now is not the time to quit. If you already quit, just read this recap and start up next week, because it’s all starting to go down. We would call this episode the set-up. We suggest that you give it one or two more episodes if you are ready to move on. You should have dropped out around episode four, not this one.

Nucky left the boardwalk to go to the Republican National Convention in Chicago, where he made an alliance with Warren Harding’s campaign manager, Harry Daugherty. Warren Harding was pretty much the worst, most useless president ever. Way to go, Nucky. Nucky helped the campaign by allowing Harding’s mistress and illegitimate child to hide in Atlantic City until Harding won the election, and Nucky, in turn, received paved roads. Most of this Republican convention stuff was pretty boring and talky to us, but the rest of the episode redeemed it.

Lucy showed up at the Ritz lobby where Margaret was having lunch with a friend. Lucy drunkenly demanded credit at the lingerie store, her plastic surgery-butchered face squinty and flapping annoyingly. They fought (we loved when Margaret tried to simply politely suggest that Lucy wasn’t at her best at the moment), and Margaret slapped Lucy, winning the fight.

Nucky’s brother, Sheriff Eli, tried to do Nucky’s job in Nucky’s absence, but he’s pathetic and slimy and couldn’t really pull it off. Eli was shot at one of Nucky’s casinos, signaling to Nucky that the mob business was getting rougher and that he needed to get scary. After learning the bad news, Nucky went to the Chicago brothel we always see and ran into Jimmy. Nucky offered Jimmy a job and opportunity to return to Atlantic City, which Jimmy accepted. His awesome friend, Richard Harrow, is also in on this deal. So is Margaret, apparently. Nucky phoned her and told her to hide his business ledger, saying “Until I return, I prefer to rely only on you.” He told her not to read the ledger. He also had her move into the hotel, which is the equivalent of his Bat Cave. Margaret moved into Nucky’s lair, found the ledger, and was interrupted by a phone call with lots of breathing on it. Who is the person most likely to call someone and breathe creepily? Hint: His last name is a two-parter, starting with “V” and “A.” That is unconfirmed though. That's just a suspicion. Margaret read the ledger.

Agent Van Alden experience conflict with his wife over whether she should get an operation that might enable her to have children. She wanted it, and he told her that he didn’t. Rather, he couldn’t afford it. Van Alden intercepted envelopes of money that Jimmy was sending to Angela, tempted to use it for his wife’s operation. In the end, he sent it to Angela. He also sent Rose a holier-than-thou rebuke letter. Rothstein, Nucky’s rival, and his lawyer rehearsed what Rothstein would say regarding him fixing the World Series.

We’re glad this show has stopped meandering and just parading its prettiness before our eyes. Thanks for the set-up, now we want some delivery. The show still has a good cast and it’s perfect for history buffs who want to see historical figures interact with fictional ones. If you enjoyed the pilot, don't back off now.

Episode Grade: B

Also, happy 200th post to us :)