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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bones - The Babe in the Bar recap/review

We guess this was the week for comeback guest stars because in addition to HRG from Heroes being on The Office, Seinfeld’s Newman was on Bones this week. An absolutely disgusting body was found inside the 'world’s largest chocolate bar' that Newman's company had made. The body was an employee who had faked her resume. When they found out how many other professions she had faked, we thought they were going to do a Catch Me if You Can type of thing, which would have been much more interesting. It turned out that she was a corporate spy and had been pushed into the chocolate bar by the homely head chef whose secrets she had stolen. We love chocolate so much, we were able to consume and enjoy a chocolate bar after watching this episode.

The writers kept dropping lots of reminders that Booth is still in love (lust) with Hannah, who was off traveling with the president. There was a funny joke about Booth’s use of the term “Wowsa.” Brennan explained that this was a 19th century term meant to indicate sexual response and continued to tease him mercilessly for the remainder of the episode. We’ve been missing the flirting and banter between Brennan and Booth. It has been greatly reduced by the existence of Hannah. But this was pretty funny. Still, bring back the sexual tension, show.

There was a lot of action for the side characters. Cam was helping her daughter fill out college applications, but the girl wanted to go to a Maine state school (Central Maine State University) with her boyfriend. Cam was horrified but Sweets convinced her to let it go....well, for about a second. Cam filled out applications to other schools behind her daughter’s back. One of us agrees with Sweets. When your kids go off to college, it’s time to make them make those mistakes and their own life choices. That’s how you learn. However, the other agrees with Cam. If Michelle wanted to go to CMSU for ANY reason other than her boyfriend, we'd be supportive. This boy is not a good enough justification to make this big of a decision. Angela and Hodgins decided to reveal Angela's pregnancy, but everyone already knew about it. Angela's effort to get everyone to fake surprise at the announcement bombed due to a horrible performance by the whole squint squad. Very cute.

Episode Grade: B-

The Office - recap/review

When the building's power went out, Dwight took charge. (“We have enough food for 14 days...after that, we have a difficult conversation.”) The only real problem that the very short black-out caused was for the internet server. It shut down and needed a password to be opened. It didn't take long to figure out that the old password was BIG BOOBZ.

Ryan and Michael filmed a commercial for Ryan's website About half of the office had invested in, including Pam. Her explanation? "I know Ryan's a kind of sketchy guy, but hey, I married Jim, I've done my part for the nice guy. Now I want a bedroom set".

Ryan had wuphf slogans, t-shirts and condoms, but he was not accomplishing anything financially. Also, he (unsurprisingly) ripped the idea off of Kelly. So when everyone found out that a university had offered to buy the company (because they wanted the domain name), they insisted that Ryan sell. Michael stood by Ryan to prevent the sale, so Pam told Michael that Ryan was just using him. This was a great return for "sweet Pam," who always handled Michael so well. Pam was back in fine form Thursday night. Michael understood but refused to give up on 'one of his own'. In the end, Ryan caved under the pressure and send Michael a wuphf telling him that he had sold wuphf. This was actually a case of Michael handling a situation perfectly. He managed to get what he wanted and stand by his true love, Ryan.

Jim was having a great sales day until he learned that corporate had put a cap on commissions. This obviously left Jim with no reason to work. Sidenote: This is a horrible policy. His only recourse was to pull a prank on Gabe. Jim edited a recording of Jo's voice and used it to keep Gabe stuck on the phone with 'Jo.’ We’d say we should hope that this is the beginning of a new era of pranks, but we didn't think it was all that funny. The best part was when he edited Jo’s voice to call Gabe a “gay bastard.” It was clever, and in the real world, it would be a hit. On the show, it’s better when Jim sticks to pranking Dwight because of Dwight’s reactions.

The most exciting development of the night happened at the Hay Festival that Dwight built in the parking lot. While Dwight milked children for money, Angela met The Man With The Horned Rimmed Glasses (from Heroes). There was some serious flirting. It looks like Angela might be getting over Dwight soon. Dwight named himself King of the Hay, rather than giving the award to a child participant, revealing that the whole event was a plot to win the title that he'd lost to Mose as a child.

For anyone following The Office's 'That's what she said' contest, this nights reference came when Michael described all the employees as playing cards-" ...Phyllis is my old maid, Oscar is my queen. That's easy, give me a hard one. That's what Oscar said." Don't worry, Steve Carell nailed the delivery of this joke.

This was a pretty good one for this season. We’ll give it a B+.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grey's Anatomy - Slow Night, So Long review

This one didn’t have a lot of plot progression, but it was really funny and character driven, so we liked it. Having all the attendings out drinking and eating and sleeping all night gave the residents a chance to shine and the attendings a chance to lighten up. Who called that Callie was going to cleanse her palate with a little Mark Sloan? Everyone? What happened to the blue streaks in her hair?

When Lexie told the parents their son died, we were really moved, but that was almost painful to watch. Lexie should have spit it out faster. Gosh, that was heartbreaking. But ask and you shall receive: We have been moaning about Jackson not having a storyline, but last night’s cocky guy was actually good in surgery and adept at communicating with Lexie without making it awkward for himself.

We want to like Teddy, but the only time we can really manage it is when she is talking about how Cristina is her best students. We want her to find someone though.

Things we liked:
- Cristina’s Early-Onset Alzheimer’s drink and Derek’s face when she called it that
- Drunk Bailey, slurring about Ben and fistulas. That was a really accurate impression of a drunk person. Was she really drunk?
- The chief smiling at Alex and Meredith while Stark was yelling at them
- Alex and Meredith joking about being the last two standing
- Alex and Meredith pulling off that surgery
- “No, this is not your dude. This is Chief Webber.”
- Owen’s reaction to Cristina crawling all over another guy and calling Owen her boyfriend. He should call Ryan on Life Unexpected and share notes over being too nice sometimes. However, a big fight would have been tiring. Could you see Burke handling Cristina’s crazy this season? Because it was inevitably going to come out. And it's not leaving in a hurry. According to Kevin McKidd, the show is building all this Cristina up to a big Owen/Cristina plotline that won't be easy.

This season is really mature and funny. The lack of Dead Dennys, triangles, tumors, affairs, too many speeches, and other things like that are making it easy to love this show again.

Episode grade: A-

Harry Potter 7

The movie was dark, hopeless, scary, unsettling, and emotional, but it was also a whole lot of fun. We enjoyed the movie's version of the trio's break-in of the Ministry of Magic even more than the book version. It's tough for us to like anything better than the book version, so that's saying something. It was pretty true to the book though, so that's good. We think everything they made up added to the story and humor.

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe have all FINALLY learned how to act, espectially Rupert. The costumes are good, the visuals are impressive (3D is so not needed), and there were enough laughs to keep it from being a real downer.

Downsides: 1) It ends. (It ends like the first Lord of the Rings movie, halfway through the story.) The ending is not going to feel like an ending, and you are going to leave annoyed and unsatisfied if you don't understand why it needs to be two movies. Also, predictably, it gets draggy in the middle when the trio is wandering around looking for Horcruxes. This can't be helped, even in the book.

2) If you don't know what happened in previous books, you will be lost. If you aren't a fan, this isn't where you should start. If you're not into Harry Potter, you're breathing all our air. Your loss.

Grade for Fans: A+

Grade for Newbies: C

Our ranking of the movies from best to worst: 7, 6, 4, 3, 5, 1, 2

America's Next Top Model - Franca Sozzani review

Since the last episode, we have liked nearly all the girls. There really wasn’t one for us to root for to go home. We are still struggling to like Ann. Charisma goes a long way when you’re on TV, Ann. That said, all four finalists were being annoying jerks in the beginning. They showed their books to the editor of Vogue Italia. She was pretty cold to the girls, but at least she was a little better than that Versace guy who talked about the girls like they were pieces of clothing. The show keeps browbeating these girls for having no personality, but the people hiring them have less personality than Ann. Why would you want to model for these snoots at all? Why would you want to spend your life around these people? They make Tyra look like a warm creature of fun.

The elimination was finally intense. We couldn’t have guessed who was going home. Ok, we knew Jane was going home, but Kayla was a surprise. We moaned, because she was our favorite. None of the girls deserved to go home this week. Even Jane was really good. Why did they continue the tradition of dropping TWO before the finale, when all four were so worthy? One of them could have used more time. Chelsey has been a dark horse for us during this season. Who would have guessed that she would be in the top two in the beginning of the season? We wanted Kayla and Chelsey in the top two, but it looks like the judges are into Ann. Sadly for Ann, the last challenge usually involves walking, and Chelsey’s is better. Happily for Ann, it looks like a lock for her anyway. If the judges haven’t booted her for being a whiney wallflower yet, it looks like they are into her. Oh and regarding Tyra’s directorial debut: Dreckitude.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

South Park Season 14 Comes to a Close

It seems like the second half of season 14 just started (and it did). We say goodbye to South Park again after last night’s season finale and look back on season 14’s highlights.

This season was midly amusing, but not exactly legendary like past seasons. We hope that South Park steps up its game. It feels like the writers are losing heart, possibly due to censorship or burnout. They might be spreading themselves too thin, what with the Book of Mormon musical that is coming out. And it's been a while since Matt Stone participated as much as Trey Parker. They need to step it up next season. We appreciated the brutal killing of Justin Beiber, but come on guys, we expect more cleverness.

1) Medicinal Fried Chicken - Because South’s Park’s men bounced around the town on their huge balls.

2) You have 0 Friends - Captured Facebook perfectly

3) Crippled Summer - Made a parody out of Ern’s favorite Intervention episode. This episode was just so wrong. We don’t usually like when things aren’t centered around our four heroes, but this Towelie-centric on brought the laughs

4) It’s a Jersey Thing - Snooki want Smoosh Smoosh

Honorable mention: Overall, the Coon and Friends trilogy paid off, even if they were just “meh” week-to-week, and the first one wasn't funny. The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs was pretty funny too. In hindsight, we also like Poor and Stupid more now.

Season grade: B-

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life Unexpected - Homecoming Crashed recap/review

Ryan and Cate fought and glared at each other during work, but in the end, the therapist’s plan worked, and they missed each other. They will be giving the marriage another go. Aaaaand no one cares.

Lux, apparently, has a learning disability and that’s why she’s such a freakin cheater. Eric, the teacher she is dating, bribed her to get an MRI. He offered to set up a private homecoming dance in Tasha’s apartment so they could be together. And since they are already horribly breaking the law, they might as well have alcohol there. Yay!

It was up to Baze to pay for this MRI. He made a deal with his boss that if he signed a new rich client, they would split the bonus, and he would use that to pay Lux’s medical bills. He signed the client. The MRI revealed that Lux had a stroke in the 7th grade. Baze also set Emma’s son, Sam, up with Lux and sent them off to the homecoming dance, despite knowing about Sam’s drug problems and issues. Sam and Lux were caught when Sam found himself a joint to smoke. Cate came to the school to retrieve her daughter and Sam. She asked Lux what happened with her old foster mom, Valerie. Cate went to visit Valerie to get the truth, and Valerie told her that she had provided Lux with a loving home, but Lux was a violent liar. Cate didn’t know what to think, so Lux ran off with Cate’s car, even though she doesn’t know how to drive.

Lux, Sam, and Tasha went to Valerie’s to remind her that her husband had punched Lux in the chest and pushed her down the stairs. The husband didn’t help his case by throwing Lux out of his house by her hair. Tasha hit the guy over the head with a shovel. The three ran back to the car and got in an accident. Ryan picked them up from the hospital and dropped Tasha off at her apartment, because being alone after you got in a car accident is a great idea, emotionally and physically. (Not.) Sam covered for Lux, and Emma enrolled him in Lux’s school so that she could get to know her son better. Sam discovered Lux’s affair with Eric. Emma admitted to Baze that she was jealous of him because women hate her but love Baze. We feel ya, Emma. Why are girls so catty, competitive, and jealous (especially on TV)? It’s low.

So a lot happened in this episode. It's about time. The show was always best when it was dealing with Lux's childhood issues and struggle to connect to her parents. Instead of leaving her in a dull plotline with an admittedly hot teacher, the show has brought back the fact that Lux's life used to suck and she still needs to deal with that. We got a new character who adds to the show (Sam), and the annoying Cate/Ryan bickering seems to have died down for a while. Also, Tasha is the best.

Episode grade: A-

The Good Wife - Bad Girls recap/review

Wow, Miranda Cosgrove. You’ve grown up into an actress. You’re attractive, you’ve got charisma, and you impressed us on The Good Wife last night. Miranda played a pop singer named Sloan who was trying to get rid of her wholesome Disney image. Miranda is pretty much the only Disney teen star who is NOT like that yet (note: she's not actually a Disney star, she's a Nickelodeon star). Ladies, guest starring on a good adult show is the good way to grow up. Slutting it up like the rest of the sheep is not. Take note. Sloan partied, got DUIs, and recently was charged with a DUI. Supposedly, she had gotten into a fight with a daughter of a Chicago Bulls player over a guy and then crashed her Cadillac Escalade into the Bull girl’s car, hurting her. Alicia was about to get Sloan off for the DUI when Cary showed up with charges for attempted murder. At the club, the Bull girl had said that she would be sleeping in her car, and the Escalade rammed it three times.

Sloan was actually a sympathetic character. Less sympathetic were her mother and sister, Milla. The mother was having Milla lie to get Sloan off, and Sloan thought that they were doing it to protect her. In reality, they were doing it to protect Milla. Sloan had blacked out at the club and Milla was sent by the mom to drive her home. Milla was the real attempted murderess. The mother had instructed Milla to leave the scene and let Sloan take the fall, we guess assuming that everyone would just think Sloan was drunk again. We didn’t really get why the mother did this and we didn’t get why Milla would try to kill the Bull girl in the first place. Although this was the best plot of the episode, it had a few holes. Milla finally came forward with the truth, and the story ended with Sloan coldly walking past her mother out of jail, not even looking at her. Watching the case, the witnesses, and all those interactions was really interesting. It moved well. Alicia’s daughter, Grace, felt the same way after she crashed the trial and watched her mom rock it. Grace wants to be a lawyer now.

At the firm, Derrick had started doing peer-review evaluations of everyone. He thinks that they will help people improve, but Alicia, wisely ascertaining the character of PEOPLE, knew that since the salaries would affect promotions, people would rate their colleagues low to make them look bad. David Lee, the family law guy, wasn’t into the evals either, and he threatened Derrick, saying that he would get Derrick’s job if he evaluated everyone in the department. We assume this fight will continue and people will take sides next week.

In campaign news, the Democratic Committee tried to get Peter to drop out of the race, but in the end, Peter didn’t. Wendy tried to lure Eli to her side, but she failed. Peter and Wendy both competed for the support of Pastor Isaiah. Peter won it, but the church board revolted against Pastor Isaiah. It looks like Pastor Isaiah’s daddy wants to be pastor now, and it seems like he is going to want Wendy. We assume this fight will continue and people will take sides next week. The campaign is uncertain, and that's nice, but we don't really care about Peter. It would be better to watch if we wanted him to win, but we really don't.

The case was interesting and we enjoyed having Miranda Cosgrove, but this episode was just like any normal procedural and not up to The Good Wife's usual standards. Especially lazy and stereotypical was having a young Christian try to hand Sloan some tracts. We haven't seen those things in about ten years. Kids share their faith on Facebook now. Plus, it's getting a little old having TV trying to make Christianity look uncool so that it gets out of the mainstream. It would be unacceptable to treat any other religion like this on a show. Trying to discredit a religion this way is low and unworthy of intelligent atheists everywhere.

Episode grade: B-

Glee - The Substitute recap/review

The beginning of the episode found Sue as principal in Figgins’ absence. She had taken a student with the monkey flu and had her sneeze on Figgins, infecting him. Sue also unleashed her newest weapon on Will, causing him to develop a fever and hallucinate cute little versions of all the Glee members. It was adorable. Rachel, of course, took over New Directions and makes it all about herself, and Santana hilariously tried to kill her. When Kurt saw a substitute teacher go all out performing “Conjunction Junction” for an English class, he recruited her to substitute for Will in Glee Club. Good idea Kurt. This show just got epic. Schoolhouse Rock should be in every teacher's back pocket. Also, one of us performed Schoolhouse Rock in the 4th grade and will always have a soft spot for it.

Holly decided to let the kids sing whatever they want, rather than the boring old songs and rap that Will made them sing. Holly launched into a cover of Cee Lo Green’s “F*** You” (the clean version, of course). Leeard and Ern differ in their reactions to this song. Ern thought it was adorable, but Leeard didn’t like Gwyneth’s voice and likes the original (explicit version) much better. The kids loved Holly. Holly had to do a number from Chicago with Rachel to earn her love, but she did. We loved when Holly told Rachel that she sucked right before befriending her. Neither of us liked the Chicago song. First of all, we saw the exact thing, only with better visuals, in the movie Chicago. Sure, Gwyneth has a better voice than Renee Zellwhatsit and Lea Michele has a better voice than anyone, but this one was more dancing than singing on the show. Also, as if Lea Michele hasn't shown us her crotch enough lately, she did a cartwheel in this song and flashed it again. A secret, "Whatever, I do what I want" to the critics, maybe? Maybe the song would be better on a download. Because of Holly’s success, Sue fired Will and replaced with Holly.

Terri Schuester came over to try to take care of sick Will. She tried to seduce him by talking to him like he was a baby, asking to stick a thermometer up his butt, and whipping out one of his favorite films, Singing in the Rain. At first, Will sent her away, but then he had her come back so he could get well faster and win back his students. The baby-ing worked for Terri that time, and they did it in Will’s disgusting sick-bed. Poor Terri. After that, Will told her it was a mistake and broke up with her all over again. Sick Will also had a dream where he sang “Make ‘Em Laugh” and danced as well as Mike Chang (with Mike Chang). That was really weird, too old fashioned, and we bet just about nobody liked it. BUT it was nice to see Matthew Morrison do a song that he would actually be good at. Apparently old Broadway is the man’s thing (but we already knew that). It sounded perfect for him. SO much better than the rap and rock. We say more old Broadway songs for Will, but better ones next time.

As principal, Sue started a war on fatties by banning tater tots from the school. Mercedes was having emotional troubles and was feeling empty because Kurt was spending all his time with Blaine, so she had no more surrogate boyfriend. She NEEDED those tots, so she could eat her feelings. She started a revolt, stuffed tots up the tailpipe of Sue’s car, and snuck tots into school. This made Mercedes happy, but Kurt had to rain on her parade. He told her that she needed a relationship, because she was using him and tots to fill her emotional void. Yeah Kurt, she needs a boyfriend to make her whole. Great advice. That’s the answer for every insecure girl! A guy! That will make her more secure. (For all you people who don’t pick up on sarcasm, the previous lines were dripping with it.) We laughed so hard at Mercedes’ perception of the conversation between Blaine and Kurt at Breadstix. (By the way, Darren Criss and Glee reached a deal, and he will be a regular soon. Yay!) Also, Karofsky told Kurt that telling anyone about the kiss would result in an untimely death.

After the tots in the tailpipe incident, Mercedes was sent to Sue, and Holly (officially the substitute Spanish teacher and Glee Club runner, not Mercedes’ parent or lawyer, but whatever) was called in as well to defend Mercedes. Holly froze, couldn’t get Mercedes out of being suspended, and decided that made her a bad teacher. She went to Will's to talk to him, relaying a story about how she was attacked by a black girl who "looked like an attractive Biggie Smalls," and that was why she kept her life light and free of consequences, rather than teaching actual boring information. Funnily enough, even Female Biggie Smalls was a Christian, like all black people on mainstream TV. Oh Glee, with your inclusive messages paired with glaring, lazy stereotypes. We laughed at this flashback though, so we didn't totally hate it, and hey, there is nothing wrong with someone being a Christian. Even though beating up a teacher isn't very Christian. Whatever. We've forgiven this show for being way less logical than that, so we will let it slide. Holly resigned, Will got better and went back to his job. Sue let him have it because of how his New Directions kids came into her office to tell her how much they loved Will. That must have been painful for Sue to hear. Will's solution to his teaching problems was to show the kids how fun the song “Singin’ in the Rain” is. It’s not. So he got Holly to sing it with him and do a mash-up of it with Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” It should have just been “Umbrella.” This was Gwyneth’s best moment, dancing happily in the stage covered in water with actual rain falling indoors. Dear Will, if you want a bigger budget for your Glee Club, don’t spend your money on this type of thing.

Lesson of the week: Holly was fun, casual, sunny, and charismatic, but of course, this is high school, and the lesson of the day can’t be that children should have fun. Kids need to learn Journey. Other lesson of the week: Fat, unhappy girls just need boyfriends.

Overall, this episode wasn’t bad, tasteless, weird or offensive, like some Glee episodes, and Ern thought it was funny. Leeard was a little disappointed and thought the episode was just ok. The songs choices must have been meager this week, because they mostly sucked. Ern liked Gwyneth’s voice and performance, but it wasn’t Leeard’s cup of tea. However, they both liked the character of Holly. Gwyneth had a good vibe that went along well with the show, and she put a lot of energy into the performance. You could tell she was really trying and having fun. We thought it was nice to see Will interact with an attractive woman who was not Terri or Emma. We both love Principal Sue. May her reign over terror go on.

Episode grade: B

Catch it on hulu

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The TV-Watching Habits of a Young Musician. (OF COURSE he watches Glee, haha)

Little known fact: Ern and Leeard like local music and supporting local rock bands, especially when those local bands give back to their communities. One of our favorite local bands, Playground Vigilantes, just came out with their first CD:

Reasons we love them:
-they are really good live
-they are only 17 and already making/writing songs
-they are actually nice guys

To celebrate their success, we asked if any of the band members were into TV and the lead singer/songwriter, Trey, (pictured here with his sister) totally responded. So here’s a nice dose of testosterone (kind of, he’s a sensitive artist, after all) for this mostly all girl-written blog.


What is your favorite show that is currently on? Glee, because LOST is over. (Laughs) I like the music. I wish they would cover more current good rock though. I like the classic rock a lot. More rock, I say.

We are Glee fans here too. As a guy singer, which guy do you think has the best voice? Oh man. That’s hard. Well, I used to think Puck was the best, but then I heard him live and it sounded as good as dying cats. I do like Puck’s voice though. Kurt has a good voice too, but I think the new blonde guy is the best guy singer on the show right now.

As a 17-year-old straight guy in school (you are straight, right?), do you get crap for watching Glee from your peers? A little bit, but then again, I wear tight pants and sing in a choir, so I’m used to that stuff. I had a mohawk like Puck once. My dad was so happy when I shaved that off. I don’t really care what the guys think, because you’re right, I’m straight. It’s better to impress the girls. They are smarter and they like my music.

Which Glee characters do you hate? Artie and Tina drive me nuts. The fake stutter really bothered me. I don’t know if I will ever forgive Tina for that. Artie is kind of a baby. All he does is whine. Don’t put that in the interview. I sound like a jerk, because he’s handicapped. (Laughs)
I feel his pain, but even in this new storyline where he is sad about Tina and not his wheelchair, he's still being a baby. That's the only side of his personality we really get to see.

You mentioned you like the ladies. Which TV girls are you crushing on? Mila Kunis from That '70s Show. And definitely Lea Michele on Glee. Although I don’t totally approve of her recent photos, I can’t help but appreciate them a little.

Why don’t you approve? I thought the setting of the shoot was weird. The exaggerated high school students. I think it sends the wrong message about high school and girls in high school. It looked like some 40-year-old perv’s fantasy. But Lea looked pretty. I love her legs. With those legs and that voice, she doesn’t need to do stuff like that. She doesn’t look like every other girl on TV. She has a unique face, and I like it.

You mentioned that you were a LOST-watcher? I could write a whole book about why LOST was good. It was funny, creepy, and it made you think. The acting was good. I cried during the finale and when Sawyer told Jack about meeting Jack’s dad at the bar. It just had everything.

Thoughts on that finale? I loved it. I think if you wanted all the answers doled out to you like you are three years old, it wasn’t the show for you. LOST was more about the journey to the end and the characters. It had a good resolution for the characters. If you want answers, there’s a LOST encyclopedia coming out, and you can just read that. If you break the show down like that on air, it would have lost its mystery.

What is a show you want to get into? I want to check out Modern Family, because people have compared it to Arrested Development. That was the funniest show ever aired. I get compared to Buster because of how much I love my mom. (Laughs)

Which show has the best music? Grey’s Anatomy plays a lot of good music. They played Jon Foreman once, and I loved that. But Grey’s Anatomy is just a dreadful show to me. I’m a guy; I can’t get into the plots. The indie music on that show almost makes it worth it though. Almost.

Sometimes shows have guest bands. What is your dream show to guest play and why? Friday Night Lights would be best. It’s a good show. It’s a high school setting. The band would fit in. Plus, my dad always wanted me to be into football. Too bad it's ending this season.

Any good background music on TV? Rarely. They can’t get big name composers to write the music most of the time, so a lot of those guys lack music knowledge and have little music theory. A lot of the time it is just a bunch of powerchords or tones. The music can make or break a show though, so I wish it were better on lots of shows. HBO has the money to put good music on, like in Band of Brothers. That was good stuff.

A little about your band: How did you come up with the fun name? I wish I had this amazing, funny story about how I got it. I’ve been trying to think of a good band name since even before I had a band. I started thinking when I was 12. I would go online and use all the band name generators, but none of those were ever good. I really like Batman and he’s a vigilante. So I decided that was a cool word. And I always wished there was a superhero on the playground when I got beat up there as a little kid, so I made the band “Playground Vigilantes.” I just thought it sounded fun. The other option was "Arrival for Departure," but I thought that sounded too generic.

What are your songs like? It’s indie rock. Those songs were my first attempts at songwriting, so I hope they aren’t too rough. I try to keep it real in my songs. Most of them come from my life. I’m in high school, so I focus on the feelings in high school and exaggerate them in my songs. They are about girls, crushes, struggles, getting over things, and wondering about the future after school. I try to write songs with positive messages. Most of it is upbeat and just fun. Even the depressing ones have a little hope injected in. (Laughs) It won’t bring you down.

Why did you name the CD “Wait for the Sun”? That’s a line off the song “Mistake.” Wait for the Sun kind of sums up the theme of the CD, which is that high school life and the drama and stuff is going to pass. It’s like wait for better days, God, the good times, whatever you see as your hope for the future. My life is pretty good, I have good friends, and lots of kids have it worse, but I want more than “pretty good.” We’re told life gets better, and I choose to believe that. I think it’s a good message to put out there since there have been some teen suicides lately. I think if you just hang on a little longer, it’s gonna pass.

What’s next for you and your band? I’m going to college for musical theatre. I want to keep making my own music though and spreading it around and playing shows. Whatever I do, I won’t be fully happy unless it involves music. The next show we have is a benefit concert for To Write Love on Her Arms, which is an organization that reaches out to depressed and suicidal youth. This is an organization I supported and admired long before I had a band, so it’s an honor to play for them. I also almost have enough songs for a new album.

Gossip Girl - The Witches of Bushwick recap/review

Yeah, we are aware that this is the third recap with a picture of Chuck and Blair making out. So sue us. Double Double Toil and Trouble (yeah, we had to say that). The cloaked witches of Gossip Girl were out in full force last night, ready to take out Serena, and for once, they were effective.

Serena’s affair with Colin was leaked to the media, and the Dean of Columbia asked Serena to transfer to another school. Awesome Mom Lily had Serena’s back, acting like she believed her daughter hadn’t had the affair, and the Dean was forced to back off. Jenny appeared back home and warned Lily that Juliet was still out-and-about, with information that could hurt Serena. We didn’t believe Jenny was on Serena’s side for a second, and we were right. It was party of Jenny, Juliet, and Vanessa’s plan for vengeance. Jenny stole Serena’s SIM card out of her cell phone, enabling them to receive her texts and messages and send responses in her name, all without Serena noticing. Vanessa got Dan and Nate to be friends again, and they decided to force Serena to make a choice and lay the issue to rest. Using the phone, Jenny and Vanessa toyed with the boys’ affections.

Chuck and Blair are still doin’ it, and Chuck even said he loved Blair. After a day of pondering, Blair told him that she did too. Sadly, it’s not good for Chuck’s business to be tied down to one girl, and it’s not good for Blair’s reputation to be seen with Chuck. When they are caught together though, it turns out alright with Chuck, but Blair loses an important opportunity. She realized that if she was with Chuck, everyone would see her as Chuck’s girl and not as herself. She told Chuck that she didn’t want to be Hilary Clinton in the White House, she wanted to be “Hilary as Secretary of State, but with better hair.” Chuck assured her that if two people are meant to be together in the end, they will be. It was probably the friendliest breakup of all time. So now Blair is off to make a name for herself and be taken seriously as a powerful woman. Come on. What girl in love would actually pick that? We are slightly impressed, but we are furious that Chuck and Blair are apart again, and we are not sure that it was necessary. Blair could have stood out with Chuck; she just would have had to work harder.

Juliet met with Lily and told her that she knew about a previous affair Serena had with a teacher at boarding school. Everyone is assuming that teacher was Ben, Juliet’s brother, and his relationship with the minor Serena is what got him into jail in the first place. Consensual statutory rape? Wow, we know Serena’s family is rich and powerful, but we think he’d be out of jail by now, realistically. Lily bribed Juliet not to tell and is funding Juliet’s life now that she needs a new benefactor. This caused a rift between Serena and Lily. Why was Serena mad? She had no reason to be.

Chuck had a saints and sinners-themed party, and the outfits were not nearly as fantastic as we wanted them to be. Juliet came to the party dressed as Serena and kissed both Nate and Dan, with a mask on, of course. Why do these people keep having masked balls? It makes the takedowns and backstabbing way easier. The good news is that, for once, Serena’s outfit was great at this party. Juliet got photos of herself kissing both boys and sent them to Gossip Girl. In other sabotage, Vanessa made it look like Serena was gunning for the opportunity Blair lost out on, and Blair got mad at Serena. Oh, and they made it look like Serena exposed Chuck and Blair’s relationship as well.

No one believed that Serena wasn’t responsible for all the chaos, which is so unlikely. Has no one met this girl? She’s so sincere. She could never double-cross like this. Jenny is in town, you idiots. Blair, Nate, Dan, Lily, and Eric are now on the outs with Serena. Juliet drugged Serena, texted Columbia’s Dean with Serena’s “official” resignation, took Serena away, tied her to a bed, and started filling her up with drugs. Man, Serena’s reputation is REALLY about to take a hit.

Lots of drama and plot furtherance here, but there were too many unlikely moments to earn this one an A. And no episode that stops Blair and Chuck from having sex should get an A either.

Episode grade: B+

The Big C and Weeds End Their Seasons

Yes, we finished Weeds and The Big C, and we were impressed with both shows. They will both get another season from Showtime next year, and we will be watching them both. Because they aren't watched by many of our readers (and that's a shame), we won't do weekly recaps on them. But just know that we would want to.

The Big C finale made us tear up. The acting on that show is great, we love the guest starts (Liam Neeson and Cynthia Nixon, who looks great by the way), and we like that the show isn’t a one-gimmick thing. We thought it was going to drag Cathy hiding her cancer, acting crazy, and not seeking treatment for longer than this, but this season went through all of that. We are glad her son has a heart, too. This was an easy show to watch, and it was both funny and touching. The finale was good. We loved that the show didn't embrace suicide as the best option for Cathy or Marlene. We thought it was going to go in that direction, and while it respectfully considered it, the choice to fight on was the right one, in these womans' cases.

Season grade: A-

The Weeds finale was stressful! All Weeds seasons end on a cliffhanger, and boy did this season deliver the cliffhanger. Through the tension, there was some humor though (Guillermo’s shoes) and the return of Esteban was scary and welcome. One question for those who have seen it: why didn’t Nancy take the baby and get on the plane, fleeing to France with the rest of the family? What was Esteban going to do about it, at the gate, through security, at the airport? She could have gotten away. Did she really want to take the heat for Shane, just in case France caught him and sent him back? Won’t Esteban just show the police the tape exonerating her for the murder portion anyway? Ugh. More importantly, hasn’t Silas gotten smokin’ hot over the years? This season had its slow points in the middle, but we liked the “family on the run” concept, and there were a lot of laughs.

Season grade: B+

How I Met Your Mother - Glitter recap/review

At the gang's favorite bar/eating spot, Barney showed up wearing his usual suit, but he also had a flower pinned to it (a boutonniere, which, according to Barney means “bootie is near” in French). Barney thought it would help him get laid, and Robin mocked him. Barney got revenge by showing the gang another Robin Sparkles video. This one, sadly, wasn’t a music video, so it wasn’t as funny as the other videos. It was an episode of a Canadian kids’ show called Space Teens. Robin's co-star and old best friend was Jessica Glitter, played by guest star Nicole Scherzinger (who we like).

The TV show had lots of sexual innuendo (for example, the girls had two pet beavers, prompting them to talk and sing about their beavers). This is about as funny as when people point out the dirty or racist stuff in Disney movies. Mildly funny, but not that funny, and a little immature. It’s not that clever. One of us could have written the jokes in this episode.

Ted tried to prove that BFFs are really forever, so he called an annoying friend from high school called “Punchy.” Guess why. Anyway, Punchy appeared in New York, punched people, slept on Ted’s couch, annoyed everyone, showed people his scrotum, and mooned over Times Square. The Punchy stuff was pretty funny, actually. Ted finally got him to leave. Punchy asked Ted to be the best man at his wedding and Ted accepted. Is this the wedding from the season premiere? If so, what a letdown. Seriously, PUNCHY’S wedding? Ugh.

Another thing that was too bad: they managed to make even Nicole’s exciting guest star moment about Lily’s stupid impending pregnancy. Jessica got pregnant and ditched Robin. Lily thought Robin had ditched Jessica because Robin hates kids. Robin and Lily fought, were temporarily not friends, but then they made up in the end. The episode ended with Robin and Jessica reuniting at the Hoser Hut to sing a duet of “The Beaver Song: Two Beavers are Better than One.”

Oh and for the record, our favorite episodes of this show are the following:
-The one where Marshall has to say goodbye to his nasty car.
-The one where Barney does a one-man show to torment everybody and Marshall slaps him.
The first Robin Sparkles video was a great moment for this show too. We like the history of these characters and their quirks cropping up. There should be more of this, but this show is trying to recycle existing jokes and just play off its past successes. Come up with something else, show.

This episode's grade: Somewhere between a C+ and a B-.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Boardwalk Empire - Belle Femme recap/review

The episode before this one made it clear that things are getting hairy for Nucky. Someone doesn’t respect him and shot his brother, so Nucky needs to toughen up. Sadly, another problem presented itself this episode. A man intent on reform is running for mayor of the boardwalk empire. Nucky dealt with more political situations, and he survived an assassination attempt. An innocent woman, sadly, did not.

Madame Jeunet asked Margaret to talk Nucky out of raising her rent. Margaret tried to help her out, but it only ticked Nucky off. She decided to go the sex-pot route, with the help of free sexy dresses from Madame Jeunet, which worked better.

Everybody knows that the real action on this show usually comes with Jimmy. The D’Alessios hired Arnold Rothstein to take care of Nucky. Nucky has Jimmy gunning for the D’Alessios. Jimmy took action first with an attempt to take out Lucky Luciano (with the help of his spunky mother). Agent Van Alden interfered and Jimmy was arrested only to be let out by a guy named Agent Sebso, who is secretly one of Nucky’s men. Agent Sebso also killed Billy, the witness against Jimmy in the case of the woods massacre (that happened very early in this show’s season, in case you don’t remember). Jimmy clashed a little with Angela, who is not happy to have Jimmy back, mostly because he wants to have another baby.

Pretty good, but not the rip-roaring revenge fest we wanted after last episode. The season finale had better be awesome, or it's not getting a season two pass from us. We wish Jimmy were the main character, not Nucky. His character and the supporting players in his life are much more interesting than Nucky, his temper, and his widow.

Episode grade: B

Dexter - Take It recap/review

This was a fantastic episode of Dexter. Sometimes Dexter can be a little slow in the middle of episodes, but the this one moved perfectly.

In the beginning of the episode, Dexter scoped out Jordan Chase’s seminar, and it was all about connecting with your primal self and taking what you want. This is sort of like The Secret, only less stupid. After the seminar, Cole (who was the man Dexter was planning to kill after coming up with a plan) approached Dexter and told him that Jordan wanted to meet with him. Jordan had heard about what happened to Rita and asked Dexter’s permission to discuss her death and research Dexter’s grief. He framed this as an offer to help Dexter get over his loss, but he knew all about Dexter’s business, including his son’s name, which was just scary. Meanwhile, Lumen was researching the men in Cole’s photo and coming up empty. She got a call from her ex-fiance, blonde, nerdy-looking Owen. He was in Miami and he wanted to see her. Owen seemed like a nice, if lame, guy. He offered Lumen a trip around the world with him. In the end, she turned him down to stay in Miami and kill with Dexter. We get why, and we know it would be awkward to act like she was the same person Owen knew, but still….A trip around the world sounds way more fun than bumming around with a serial killer.

Lumen met Dexter at the hotel where the Jordan Chase seminar was being held. They had their own hotel room which they set up for the kill. Dexter mused that it was much easier to prepare the kill room with a partner. Lumen realized that Dexter had “done this before,” meaning that he was a career killer. Boyd was not his first. The two planned to grab Cole from his hotel room that night (they had a room next to his), but he took a woman to his room for some loud, kinky sex. The screams upset Lumen and Dexter comforted her. She finally got a good night’s sleep. Sadly the kinky woman stayed the whole night with Cole, so Dexter planned to grab him during Jordan Chase’s seminar the next morning. However, Chase called him up on the stage at an inopportune moment and started questioning him about Rita in front of the crowd. Lumen was spotted by Cole in the lobby, and she ran away from him, ending up in her hotel room. Cole broke through the door that connected their hotel rooms and tried to strangle Lumen. Dexter got out of the Cole seminar just in time to stop him, drug him, and kill him. Lumen watched and accepted Dexter’s actions. Dexter talked to Chase before he left the hotel (with Cole’s body tucked away in his suitcases), and Chase apologized for surprising him by calling him up on stage. He dropped the phrase one of Lumen’s torturers used (“Tick tock- That’s the sound of your life running out”), and now he is Dexter’s newest target.

Deb felt bad that she didn’t feel bad about shooting a man, and she went to Dexter for comfort, not knowing why he was the best possible source for advice on this matter. Oh, the irony. He told her that their father believed that some men deserved to die and placated her conscience by suggesting that Carlos Fuentes was one of those men.

LaGuerta fielded the press and public after the club shooting of last episode. She told Deb that the scapegoat for the incident was going to be Officer Manzon. Deb told her that the cops should stick together and tell the truth about what happened. Sadly, the truth was that it was LaGuerta’s fault, so LaGuerta wasn’t into that plan. LaGuerta told reporters that it was all Deb’s fault. Officer Manzon backed LaGuerta’s lie, but Batista (LaGuerta’s husband) told Deb that he was going to fight the story and get Deb reinstated. For now though, Deb is on paid suspension and will be stuck sitting at a desk. Deb's reaction to LaGuerta’s betrayal was fantastic, and we loved watching Quinn try to calm her down. We also loved Deb telling off both Officer Manzon and LaGuerta.

Speaking of Quinn, he is still having that dirty cop investigate Dexter. Dirty Cop ran into Lumen’s car and got her information (seemingly for insurance purposes). Dirty Cop told Quinn that Lumen’s arrival into town and association with Dexter was too close in time to Rita’s death for it not to be suspicious. Quinn, through with Dirty Cop and wanting to just peacefully be with Deb, tried to call the whole thing off and not give Dirty Cop any more money. Dirty Cop told Quinn that if the deal was off, he would tell Deb about the investigation. At the end of the episode, Dirty Cop took pictures of Dexter and Lumen getting rid of Cole’s body in plastic trash bags by throwing them off a boat in to the ocean.

Whoa. They just went there. Dexter and Lumen are in danger. Well, more danger. This season has raised the stakes and the storylines are starting to converge. Another thing we liked about this episode was how the supporting characters were interesting and effective. The cop politics added to the episode, it looks like the Batista/LaGuerta marriage will pay off for the viewers, and we have no idea where they are going to take these characters this season. Could Dexter get caught? Would that be a good thing? We've said before that we think Deb should find out about Dexter, and we still think that. Maybe Quinn will call off Dirty Cop and come clean with her. Fat chance. Quinn seems a little chicken. We love that Batista is going to stand up to LaGuerta. His character has just been redeemed for us after seasons of wasting our lives and making dumb mistakes. This season isn't as good as the last one yet, but we are still fully engaged.

Episode grade: A

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shows That Grew On Us Months/Years After We Shunned Them

Sometimes you watch a show and you just don’t get it. It’s not for you. But then, months later, you are obsessed with it. We all know the shows that have jumped the shark (the ones most of us have stopped watching). We have listed them, voted on them, and ranted about them. But it’s time for a list of the ones to give more time to, even if they suck at first. This is a list of shows that we have started watching and then shunned, only to try them again and love them.

Arrested Development and The Office - We had trouble getting into these at first simply because we needed time to get used to the humor. One of our friends, let’s call her Cassi, had trouble getting into Arrested Development, scoffing at a girl who called it, “The funniest show ever.” Cassi muttered, “It’s so not.” However, a few episodes after the pilot, we noticed that Cassi had caught onto the amazingness, and by the third season, she was gasping for breath laughing.

Sex and the City - WOW that first season was slow. The girls were unlikeable and slutty, Carrie kept talking to the camera (and interviewing people), Carrie’s hair was horrible, her column was lame, the sex questions and issues were common, and the guys were not hot yet. We’re glad we stuck with it though, because it ended up having lots of heart and humor.

24 - Ern LOVES 24 (even though she doesn’t believe in using torture). She used to marathon it for full days, no kidding. So it might surprise you that the first time she tried to watch it, it was a complete fail. Ern rented the first two DVDs from season one and promptly returned them, thinking, “Good riddance.” There were no characters worth caring about yet, Jack Bauer’s daughter was an idiot who deserved to get kidnapped, his wife was annoying, Jack Bauer looked like a muskrat, and the big crime mystery moved at a glacial pace. However, Ern’s friend, Rachel, lent her season one in a box, and Ern will watch anything a friend lends her in a box. About halfway through the first season, when Jack Bauer rescues his daughter, things picked up. And then things never let up. After that, 24 was never boring. Controversial, but never boring. Leeard caught random episodes of this show and didn't like it. Silly Leeard. You have to watch this one from the beginning of a season or you won't know what's going on.

Rome - This show covers 20 years of Roman history, and the characters never age a day. But our real beef is that half of the first season was SO BORING. It was like this show just existed to show people in cool costumes take them off and then have sex. Then we got into it and enjoyed it. Before you pick this one up, it helps to know some Roman history and be into the Roman politics.

Boston Legal - This show is a funny classic now, but when we started the first season, we were extremely turned off by the liberal PSAs every week. Even if we happened to agree, this show was so preachy, it made us literally gag one time. There were monologues by the judges at the end of the episodes. Top that off with nearly every young woman in the law firm looking like models and every one of them thinking humpty-dumpty-looking Alan Shore was a great catch, and we were changing the channel on this one at first.

Dexter - This started off gross, exploitative, confusing, and creepy. We put it on a level with gory crap like those moronic Saw movies. But then Dexter’s inhumanity was contrasted with real humanity. We got to know his history. Deb stopped working vice and got to put some clothes on. And by the end of the first season, we were happy someone had convinced us to give it a second try.

Breaking Bad - The pilot tried our patience. Then it got awesome.

Community - While Leeard loved the pilot of this show, Ern was not impressed. It took Ern half a season to think this was funny. The Halloween episode of the first season is what did it.

Cougar Town - In the beginning, the show was about cougars, it wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t cute. We think just about everyone gave up on this one in the beginning, but word of mouth has brought a few back. Now, it’s a Scrubs-like, zany show about a group of friends. Jules is a much better character than Monica Gellar. We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: If you like fun, light humor, try this show, because it’s good now.

Dollhouse - It’s tough to have a show with few good guys and a main character with no identity of her own. It’s tough to watch a show drag and feel like it doesn’t know where it is going or how fast it needs to spill answers (LOST, anyone?). But it would be tougher for you to miss out on a sci-fi show this unique.

Fringe - Just start on the second season, seriously. 2/3rds of the first season is horribly slow. But now it’s good.

The Vampire Diaries - The pilot was the only lame episode of this fantastic series. Ern shunned it for nearly a full year, because a) she HATES Twilight (shitelight), b) thinks vampires should never go to high school, c) rarely likes teen shows, and d) the title “The Vampire Diaries” just makes it sound hella lame, right? Leeard kept sending Ern links to watch it, offended that Ern did not trust her taste. For the sake of the friendship, Ern watched the links. And now, we can both love it together.

Then there are shows that we have shunned, but keep thinking we should go back to. Currently they are Mad Men and Nikita. People rave over Mad Men, but we didn’t see it. Is it time for a return visit to the ‘60s? And now that Nikita’s advertising campaign has died down, it might be less annoying, and we might get into the story better if we can see many episodes at a time.

In fact, that’s a good trick. Get a full season on DVD, and if it doesn’t hook you after a few hours, it might not be for you. It’s harder to get into a difficult show week-to-week.

What are some shows that you hated at first that grew on you?