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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Perfect Couples premiere review

This show is a comedy about three different couples. First, we have Vance and Amy. They fight a lot, are immature, and then they have tons of makeup sex. Second there are Rex and Leigh, who are the controlling, drinking relationship experts who think they have it all figured out. Last, Dave and Julia, who are (relatively) normal. From the opening, we were shouting, “Cliché!” at the screen.

The premise and problems are similar to those of Better with You. What we have here is another batch of weak, one-sided characters. The writers needed to think through the individual people more, rather than just conceiving of the couples and giving them each a certain type of couples behavior. Good, interesting couples start out as interesting individuals.

But this show has a zany side and a good tone to it, so it is superior to Better with You. While the start is weak, it may show improvement as the show progresses. It’s on a channel and a night that’s good for comedies. The actors are good. It’s ho-hum now, but don’t so many great comedies start out iffy before they find their voice? There is hope. As for Better with You, there was never hope (even though one of us is still watching).

Episode Grade: C+, but a hopeful C+

American Idol - New Orleans Auditions

This show is different, and one of us likes it a lot. It’s so nice to see judges who don’t embarrass people for ratings. Plus, American Idol is showcasing mostly good auditions. The bad people come in montages and aren’t ridiculed with circus music and cameras following them out of the audition room. What is American Idol without someone walking away, cursing, crying, and flipping the camera a bird? American Idol is also showing appreciation for beauty over belting, which is great.

We love how Randy is calling himself “The Dawg,” which makes no sense, because he calls OTHER people “dawg.” Because Simon isn’t there to be mean, Randy took it on himself to say what needed to be said in this episode. He is the mean one now. He’s not super mean, but he is there to throw out a “that was terrible” or two. JLo is still sweet. Steven Tyler is still crazy.

The first person we saw was Blake Patterson, singing Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” at the piano, crying because he didn’t make it. Did any other TV lover notice that he kind of looked like Lee Pace? That’s something to SMILE about, har har har. Jordan Dawson came soon after that. He was the music teacher. (Wasn’t his student ADORABLE?) One of us thought that Jordan’s voice was a little too breathy and had a rasp of damage to it. He had a little of the Broadway style, a good version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", and good pitch. But the voice wasn’t clear enough for us. We can’t see him making it too far. Shortly after that, we saw the girl with the big lips who sang the Bob Dylan song. Randy joked that she could be related to Steven Tyler, with those lips. Tyler said, “You never know,” and we know he meant it, because of how he met his daughter, Liv.

Another notable contestant who made it through was Brett. You know, the guy with the ginger fro who was picked on. They could do a Glee episode on that guy…. He had a good voice and he is unique, but he sang with our pet peeve: the tight neck - when you don’t have control of your voice and you have the tightest neck ever to squeeeeeze the sound out. It’s not good for the vocal cords and it’s not attractive either. One of us loved him - she was crying, no joke. Gabriel, the guy who sang Lady Gaga, could have saved it if he were really good. He made a smart choice singing a silly song that sounded bad, because it got him in the room. Where he dropped the ball? When he didn’t immediately say, “Wait, let me sing another song, I was just joking.” Even one of the judges wondered if he would have done better with a different song. That was Gabriel’s cue to quickly interject. He had a tight neck too, though.

We felt bad for the guy who talked about how he went to “Idol Camp,” because the camp must have just taken his money and laughed. He was EDUCATED too. He was a nursing student. That just shows that even really smart people can have delusions. We liked the tubby, cute 15-year-old Justin Bieber sound-alike's voice, but what will happen when it drops? Some guys aren’t good after their voices change. The last girl, with the special needs child, had a lot of beauty to her voice and we suspect that the flaws (and the tight neck) came from nerves. Has she already had work done on her face though? At 23? It looked like it, but we hoped not. Her child was precious, but JLo looked like such a moron when she whispered to the little girl. Did she not notice the hearing aids?

They are letting unique people in. They are letting marginally attractive people in. We may actually get some variety this season, after last season's parade of young people who mostly couldn't sing. We're lovin' it, dawg.

The Office - Ultimatum recap/review

At the end of last year, Holly said she was going to give A.J. an ultimatum: Either he proposes or they break up. Everyone in the office knew it was going to happen, and Michael was freaking out wondering which outcome would occur. He made himself videos to comfort himself in the event of either occurrence. If Holly was engaged, he would play the video encouraging himself not to commit suicide. If Holly and A.J. broke up, he would play the video that encouraged himself to party for a few minutes and then calm down. Erin helped him make these videos, and she also helped him arrange supplies in two boxes (a sad box and a happy box) that would help him in either event. For instance, the sad box had scotch in it, the happy box had champagne.

When Holly appeared, it was revealed that she and A.J. were still together, but they were not engaged. She gave him the ultimatum, but then she backed down. Michael lost it and got mad at everyone in the office for not following through on their New Year’s resolutions. Pam had prepared a giant board for everyone to write their New Year’s resolutions on. Michael forced Creed to do a bad cartwheel and Kevin to eat a raw vegetable, fulfilling their resolutions and attacking Holly through them. Michael ticked both of them off, so he apologized to them in front of Holly.

Dwight and Andy’s resolution was to meet a loose woman, so Darryl suggested the bookstore. Darryl’s resolution was to read more and he wanted a free ride to the bookstore. Darryl bought an e-reader. Yesssss, those are awesome. On the way back to the office, Dwight moaned that he hadn’t met a loose woman and suggested a strip club. Wary of the daytime strippers and how horrible they must look, Darryl suggested the roller rink. Andy loved the roller rink the most, especially when he was the only one there, so they played Dave Matthews Band for him.

At the end of the episode, Holly called A.J. and decided to take a break from their relationship. Not a bad episode, not a great episode. Something important happened though, and we laughed when Kevin had to eat the vegetable. We are ignoring the Knights of the Night. That was too much. Also, not a lot of Jim in the episode. The Office has been a lot better than it was last season and in the beginning of this season though.

Episode Grade: B-

Community - Asian Population Studies recap/review

An average, not-that-funny episode of Community? That hasn't happened in a while.

Remember the Halloween episode last year where Shirley and Chang had sex, but then everyone lost their memories? Remember how Chang left a voicemail to Troy saying that he did the nasty with Shirley? Well, that came back to haunt our Greendale students this episode.

Shirley is pregnant (which you could have guessed if you paid attention to Abed’s menstruation chart a couple of months ago), and she assumed the baby is her ex-husband’s, so they got back together. Because the reason they broke up was that he cheated, Britta is not happy to see that they are an item again. But Troy and Pierce did the math, and the baby could be Chang’s. Pierce let Shirley know after she voted against his pick in the group’s election for a new member of the group. Because Shirley’s ex is a “new man” now, he decided to stay with Shirley and father the baby—no matter whose it is.

Annie has started liking Rich, a bit character from two previous episodes. It’s ok if you missed or forgot him. This show is all about the little details, and you have to pay close attention. Remember the one episode where Abed was missing the entire time, but if you looked closely among the extras in the background, you could see him helping a girl deliver her baby and fighting another guy over her? Community is like that sometimes.

Annie wanted to get Rich into the study group, but Jeff gets wildly jealous of him. First of all, Rich is “perfect.” He makes great kettle corn and is really nice to everyone in the group. Jeff made one of his famous lawyerly arguments to get the group to vote Chang into it, rather than Rich. It worked and now Chang is part of the group. After hearing that Rich refused to date Annie because he thought she was too young for him, Jeff ran dramatically through the rain to someone’s apartment, and he gave a dramatic speech in the doorway of…not Annie. He went to Rich’s place and begged Rich to teach him the secret of being so perfect, so that he could abuse it for his own ends, naturally. We will see what comes of that, but we are not huge fans of Rich the character.

This episode was more plot advancing than most Community episodes. It had lots of little details and references that are good if you have been watching the show for a while. Jeff’s love with Annie is still dead, for now, we have a new character, and Chang is an official part of the study group. Yikes.

But the episode wasn’t as funny as usual. DON’T let this review put you off of watching the show if you have never seen it, because it is usually fantastic. Just not this week. But if you liked the song at the end where Jeff was running to Rich, it is called "Running Through Raining" by Ludwig Göransson. The song hasn't been released yet though.

Episode Grade: C+

Life Unexpected Season (and probably series) Finale review

The finale was sweet and it tied up all the loose ends. We wouldn’t call it “good” though, or "unforgettable." There were a few moments that ALMOST ended in one of us tearing up, but almost isn’t much. We wouldn’t say it’s a must-see, unless you’ve seen every episode of the show or you love it, or both. It felt like a series finale. We will tell you how things turned out. Spoilers follow.

-Cate had a miscarriage and then found out that she couldn’t have any more children. Ryan decided that Cate was enough, and Cate decided that Lux was enough. Cate got to know how it felt to be internally broken, helping her relationship with Lux.

-Angry at Baze, Lux told him that Emma had an affair with his father. Baze confronted Emma, and she told him that the affair had gone on for four years. Baze quit his job, bought his bar back, and came to terms with being himself and not his father. Baze broke up with Emma, because she is now gross to him. We felt kind of bad for her, but seriously. We'd have broken up with her, too.

-Emma’s kid told Baze and Cate about Lux’s relationship with her teacher, Eric. Baze nearly physically killed him on site. Lux was extremely upset that it had to end, because it was a good relationship from her view. Eric took it well, because he was starting to see how wrong it was to be in a relationship with the fragile teen. (Thank goodness SOMEONE on TV thinks this kind of relationship is wrong. We're looking at you, Pretty Little Liars.)He didn’t want to hurt her and kept trying to break it off before he was caught. Baze and Cate told him to leave town and not contact Lux again, or they would call the police. He agreed, left Lux with a small token to inspire her to let him go, and was never seen again on Life Unexpected. This whole thing was pretty intense and led to a heartbreaking argument between Cate and Lux. But we are so glad that the show called the relationship up to the carpet and didn’t let it end well. No matter how cute and young the teacher was, and how good the two were together, it was still wrong.

-Ryan fought to get Cate her job on the radio back, and he succeeded. The Cate ran into a pregnant Julia (Ryan’s ex), found Ryan, and said, “We need to talk.”

Then the show flashed to “Two Years Later.”

-We saw Lux giving a speech at her graduation, which means she must have gotten a whole lot better at school. We learned that she and Tasha would be attending the same college.

-Apparently, Tasha and Jones broke up, because Lux kissed Jones after the ceremony while Tasha watched. Rather than scream at them, Tasha took their picture. So either Lux is with him now or Jones is DA MAN and snagged both of them.

-Ryan and Julia were sitting together with a big baby and then they kissed.

-Then, what we’ve all been waiting for: Cate said, “She (Lux) made it,” and then Baze replied, “So did we.” Then they started making out. The whole group jumped in for a picture and the show ended.

Well, that was abrupt. But it sort of made sense. Sort of. It just all seemed really fast. Cate and Ryan were doing really well. That sounds like an interesting and dramatic two years that we will never get to see. We are glad that Cate and Baze ended up together though, after this last season. During the first season, we were on Team Ryan. But his lies and baby drama and fighting with Cate wore us out. Everybody is getting along wonderfully in 2012 though, so we guess all the characters finally grew up. Or got really fake.

There were about two good episodes this season, so the season gets a C. The episodes were good enough to pull it up to “average.” Those were the ones that involved Lux’s history with Trae. The one where she went to court and the one where Tasha hit Trae on the head with a shovel. We would give the first season a B+.

As a whole? Series grade: B-

Bones - The Body in the Bag recap/review

Bones is back! We know a lot of readers are ecstatic after the mildly long wait. We have mixed feelings about this episode. On the one hand, we liked it. On the other hand, it sort of made us like Hannah, too. We are ducking, because we can feel the rage coming at us. But come on! She was nothing short of “cool” (unrealistically so) Thursday night and handled the Brennan confession of last year swimmingly. And she’s so pretty. We know she won’t be around forever, so it’s starting to feel ok to enjoy her a little while she lasts. Also, the episode totally ruined buying fake purses and scarves in Chinatown, New York City for us. Rude.

The episode opened with a whorish guy walking through a swanky apartment, calling for his lady-love. He realized that the bedroom shower was on, took off his clothes, and got in to try to join his lover. The water was scalding hot and the guy slipped. He fell on the shower floor and came face-to-face with…you guessed it…a body. And a particularly disgusting body, even for Bones. It was a light beige color, and the decomposition was helped by the scalding water, which created little holes in the remains. Ewww.

Cut to our main characters. Sweets was on a gym treadmill. Booth came up and told Sweets that he was feeling bad about keeping Brennan’s love confession from Hannah. Sweets supported Booth’s decision to be honest with his girlfriend, like a good shrink, and he suggested that this was so hard for Booth because he still had feelings for Dr. Brennan (DUH). Booth got annoyed and mashed some buttons on the treadmill, forcing Sweets to run really fast. That’s what you get for being right, Sweets. Hannah was confused and a little saddened by the news. She didn’t know how she was going to act around Brennan, because she was sure that if she didn’t say something, Brennan would sense that there was a secret between friends. One of us has to wonder: would she though? She's been quite obtuse with Angela before. So Hannah dodged Brennan and their plans to hang out until she had a game plan.

The team was called to the nasty shower. Hodgins made the drain spit remains up on Cam, Brennan, and Booth, which was funny and gross. The apartment belonged to a rich girl who dealt in fake purses. The body had been a Chinese girl who sold the rich girl the fake purses. Booth questioned a lot of people: the leader of the fake purse distribution ring in town, the dead girl’s ex, the rich girl’s boyfriend (who was filming her cheating on him with a teddy bear cam in her apartment), and the rich girl herself. Booth and Sweets watched the footage together. (Sweets: “Does this fall under work or porn?” Booth: “There’s an overlap.”) After some technological help from Angela, the Teddy Bear cam revealed that an agent who was investigating the counterfeiters had slept with the dead girl. This marked the first time in a long time that one of us was surprised by a Bones mystery. The mystery was pretty interesting, and who knew that buying fake purses helped really bad people and aided child labor? It does:

Dr. Clark Edison helped with the case. You remember the guy who thought it was inappropriate to have drama and personal relationships going on at work? Well, he got a new girlfriend who has convinced him to be less uptight. We saw the friendlier, warmer, more prying version of Edison this week - and we also learned that he used to work for NSA. Awesome. Just for one summer, but that was enough to freak Hodgins out. Angela, still pregnant, was creeped out by the fact that Hodgins lives in his grandfather’s and father’s old house, so Hodgins bought her the rich girl’s nice apartment. While most people would hate that place, because of all the porn and murder and death, Angela was touched. Hodgins and Angela gave themselves an ultrasound and admired their growing child. They are going to be SUCH good and unique parents. And we wish we would get to see the scene where Hodgins explains his Angela Face Tattoo to the kid in a few years.

After hearing from Angela that Hannah is probably avoiding Brennan, Brennan confronted her. Hannah confessed that she knew about Brennan’s confession and that she understood. The two made plans to get drinks and that stuck. Brennan told Hannah that she was going to move on. As they laughed together at the bar (at Brennan calling the bartender “barkeep!” Lame.), they saw a guy looking in their direction. Hannah pointed out that a guy was looking at Brennan. Brennan replied, “I am not surprised. That’s happens a lot. I AM quite beautiful.” While we agree that Brennan’s face is beautiful, we are not so sure that her current haircut doesn’t completely ruin her. So we decided, in real life, that the guy would be checking out Hannah. Turns out, we were half right. The guy was interested in buying both girls drinks. They told the perv to get lost, laughed, and ordered more drinks.

Is there any way to get rid of Hannah without killing her? Because we don’t want there to be a long grieving period on the show before Brennan and Booth can finally get together for good. As one astute reader pointed out, it is going to be tough to have the show try to force us to grieve Hannah for a long, drawn-out period. The show needs to come up with another way to get rid of Hannah.

Episode Grade: B+

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Modern Family - Caught in the Act recap/review

Alex, Haley, and Luke tried to bring their parents breakfast in bed on Phil and Claire’s anniversary and accidently walked in on their parents having sex. The three kids wanted to escape, not talk about it, and just forget about the whole thing. But, of course, Phil and Claire wanted to talk to them about it and make sure they were ok. Phil even had a few jokes prepared for the occasion. In the end, the kids got Phil and Claire a lock for their bedroom door as a gift. Unfortunately, the gift made a loud clicking sound when locked, and the kids were alerted to when their parents needed to lock the door.

Gloria and Jay jokingly typed up an email to Claire about how controlling Claire is when she is planning events. They accidently sent it to Claire and had to drive over to the Dunphy home to take care of the situation. There was a sitcom-y misunderstanding where Jay and Gloria thought Claire was upset about the email when she was really upset about the sex thing. The conversation got unintentionally dirty on Gloria’s part, and that was pretty funny. Gloria realized that Claire hadn’t checked her email yet, and Gloria managed to get to Claire’s computer and delete the email.

Mitchell and Cameron wanted to get a reservation at a popular new restaurant, so they set up a play-date with the woman who owned it. While Lily and the woman’s son played, Mitchell and Cameron chatted with the restaurant owner. It seemed that they were going to get what they wanted when the woman got a call, yelled at the person on the phone, and then had to leave to take care of something at the restaurant. Cam spilled some strawberry juice on the woman’s expensive rug. When she got back, Mitchell freaked and blamed her son. The woman started yelling that her preschooler was allergic to strawberry and was about to stick him when our “heroes” fessed up. Needless to say, they did not get their reservation.

We liked the Dunphy’s situation this week, the kids’ reactions, and the way the parents handled it. That plotline made the episode good. We were less crazy about the Gloria misunderstanding, and Mitchell and Cam have seen funnier plots. There were LOTS of good lines though. It was also sweet how the kids stopped to think that it was great that their parents were still having sex and not divorced like their peers' parents. That's true, kids. Your parents are dorks, but they love each other.

Episode Grade: A-

American Idol--January 19th review

General thoughts on the show
One of us isn’t a huge Idol fan. She admits that half of this show is awesome, but the other half is nauseating, too commercial, cheesy, infuriating, unfair, stupid, overblown, too PC, and contrived. (The long opening introducing the new judges and having them walk in slow motion fell in that latter half). Most of the show doesn’t feel real. Some of the judgings are real, and that’s why that is such a popular part. We all saw the performances, so the judges fool no one if they don’t offer to-the-point, honest critiques. Also, some of the performances are real. It depends on the emotion, the talent, and the person performing. We have to think that most people are so nervous up there that we don’t get the full effect of what they would really be like if they were just performing from the heart. To be on national TV, on such a popular reality show, would take the legs out from under a lot of sensitive, intuitive artists. (Case-in-point: Rachel, the first audition that went through. Shockingly gorgeous tone almost ruined by goat vibrato that probably comes from nerves. She looked like she was about to pass out.) Also, they aren’t performing their own songs. Throw in the makeovers, at it can start feeling a little packaged. Idol goes for youth and looks over talent most of the time too. What’s with the age limit? Give old people a chance! But one of us swallowed the bile and sat down to watch this (long) premiere episode, and after the initial hyping of season 10, it settled down and became watchable. The show has calmed down. Even the segments where they show contestant sob stories seemed more down-to-earth. And it must be doing something right, because the ratings are insane (down this season so far, but still huge). Even one of Ern's law professors mentioned this episode in class today. He thinks that it's too nice now. We disagree with him.

The judges
First, let’s talk about the new judges. Steven Tyler is CRAZY. In a good way (sometimes). Leeard didn’t like the way he sometimes would sing with and over the people auditioning though, and the way he's a total creeper. Leeard has never liked J-Lo, and Ern has never had an opinion on J-Lo. But Ern thought that J-Lo was great so far on Idol. She was sweet, but not wishy-washy. She gave some solid advice. She was like a sane version of Paula. She was also the fan favorite. Most of the people auditioning were star-struck being in her presence. We were disappointed that she wasn’t the mean judge (we guess that's Steven Tyler now), and she even gave one girl a hug before her audition, because the girl was freaking out. But the niceness seemed genuine. Ern thought that both of these two judges brought some fun and life back into the show. Also, Steven Tyler literally BARKED at Randy because Randy says “dawg” so much. Win. The judges may not be mean enough for those who miss Simon, but they are FUNNY. No one was going to replace Simon and no one should try to copy him.

Some remarks on the singers so far:
The third girl, Kensie, sounded like she was imitating other singers, rather than having her own sound, which is something we know Simon hated. We really liked the Puerto Rican girl from New Jersey. We were stunned that she was able to sing that well after crying over J-Lo. We loved the confidence she had in her curvy body too. Robbie (the guy that spent some of his childhood in a wheelchair) had one of the biggest mouths we have ever seen. By the sound of his decent-but-not-amazing voice, he should be doing the singing voices for male leads in Disney cartoons. That’s not a diss, that’s just how he sounded. Like Aladdin. We loved the girl that sang like a Broadway star. Showtune popstar? Liza Minelli meets pop? That would work! No joke, Leeard wants to be friends with her. We thought she wasn’t going to get in, because J-Lo was so adamant about her not being right for pop when she was begging. We can’t wait to see Steven Tyler “personally work her into something good,” if he doesn’t go do some drugs and forget about his promise to mold her…Oh come on, you know that man’s done some drugs. He's admitted it. Leeard really liked the girl with the throat cancer dad, but Ern thought her voice was harsh and not beautiful, just loud and on-key. A lot of the girls went for power over beauty. Most of the white girls tried to sound like they were black. But hey, they’ve been watching ten years of American Idol, and that’s what makes it in the initial auditions for females. Then, once they get to Hollywood, it’s the people with character in their sounds who make it.

The Freaks
It was nice to see the “freaks” not embarrassed. While Simon’s shutting them down was sometimes funny, it gave the show a biting vibe that sometimes seemed too cruel. We miss him, but the new judges are polite and to-the-point when they dismiss people. It’s classier. But a lot of the freaks aren’t serious, you know? For instance, remember Mary Roach from years past? She was a comedian. We think (and hope) the burping guy and the Asian guy who sang Miley Cyrus were joking. A lot of people just roll down there to have some fun and check things out (believe me, this blogger knows). The worst singer had to be the girl with the accent, from the Ivory Coast. We couldn't even look at her.

One girl we don’t know about yet:
The positive Pollyanna 16-year-old near the end, wearing pink with flowers, and dressing like a lady. Very good voice, but can that personality be for real? If it is, we dig it, but we wonder if, after a while, it would get annoying.

We think we’ve discovered the formula for anyone who wants to make it to Hollywood. Obviously, you need to be about to carry a tune and sing on-key. If you are a guy, you need to have a nice tone. That’s not necessary for girls as long as you’re LOUD. So, you need a good song in your belting range. Also, you have to have THE LOOK. This is not always true, but in general, yes. Be young and pretty and pick a style box and dress for it. You can dress slutty, play the nerd card, look like a rocker, look cute/innocent/wholesome, whatever. When in doubt, go with a costume or something flashy. Also, the show is looking for you to have a story. Because, let’s face it, you know someone in your town who sings better than Lee DeWyze or Ruben Studdard. This is not an honest talent search; it’s a reality show and it’s looking for ratings and to entertain.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pure Laziness + Crazy Day = This

Southland recap:

V recap:

As for what we thought, Southland was good and V was better than last week, but still not good.

Southland: B, V: C

We will be back to writing our own tomorrow.

Ricky Gervais Should Know Better Than to Mess with the All-Powerful, Glitzy Stars of Hollywood

Ricky Gervais trashed Angelina Jolie, Charlie Sheen, Hugh Hefner, Mel Gibson, God, Tom Cruise (and the list goes on) last night when he hosted the Golden Globes. But the joke that got him in the most trouble was when he made fun of Philip Berk, the current head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA for short). 'Ricky will not be invited back to host the show next year, for sure,' a member of the HFPA tells me, adding that Gervais' relentlessly mean shtick could have even larger consequences. 'For sure any movie he makes he can forget about getting nominated. He humiliated the organization last night and went too far with several celebrities whose representatives have already called to complain.'"

—PopEater columnist Rob Shuter

First of all, celebrities can't take hits to their images in the form of jokes? They expose themselves to being celebrities (and by being ridiculous for the most part). If Ricky Gervais went too far, then how much trouble is Joel McHale (The Soup) in?

Second, it's not like he joked about things we weren't already thinking about and that we weren't already aware of. The jokes would not have been funny if they weren't true. God DID make Ricky an atheist. The Tourist DID suck. Tom Cruise IS gay. (Just kidding!!!!!!!) But you know what we mean. You can say, "Well the celebrities' reps have a right to complain because blows to their image could mean blows to their career and loss of revenue." Sorry, but Charlie Sheen brought those jokes on himself by his own actions. And his Hugh Hefner jokes were right on.

Third, we're sure Ricky is weeping into his pillow at the thought of never getting a Golden Globe or going back to that rigged, shallow ego-fest. (sarcasm)

Doesn't anyone have a sense of humor anymore? (SOME of actors do
The man was hilarious. As Ricky himself said, "If they didn't want me, they shouldn't have hired me." He's going to be himself. He's not going to kiss celeb butt or worship them. It's not like they are high samurai to be honored or something. He wasn't rude. It was just fine. And his fake feud with Steve Carell is golden.

If you missed it, here's some of his Globes material from last year (after that, what did they expect this year?):
AAAAnd from the offending year (last Sunday)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Being Human pilot review

One of us really wasn’t expecting to like this. First of all, it’s on that SyFy network that we almost never watch (no offense to anyone who does). Second, it’s YET ANOTHER remake of a British show, and we already have enough of those this season. Third, it’s about a werewolf, a ghost, and a vampire who live together and try to act human. Sounds like a lame, cheesy, geeky snore, right?

Well, hop on over to hulu and watch “There Goes the Neighborhood Part 1” and be surprised. We can’t wait for the next episode. It’s a fast-moving, entertaining show, so far. It made us care pretty quickly, already has some villains lined up, isn’t afraid to show a little blood, and has gotten into the plot fairly quickly for a 40-minute pilot. It even left us feeling the suspense. Maybe we should give all of the credit to the source material, but this is much better than we thought it would be, which is good enough for a pilot.

Pilot Grade: B

And out of the three new shows that aired Monday night, this is the one to which we will return next week. If we hear, via word of mouth, that Skins gets better, we will check that out again too. But that won’t be for a few weeks, surely. We’re pretty much done with Harry’s Law.

Harry's Law pilot review

The Good: Kathy Bates is awesome. Her character is hilarious. It’s sort of a Dr. House of lawyers, only she’s not quite as brilliant as he is yet. She quit patent law, because it is boring (word), and became a defense attorney pretty much overnight. The show is funny, the characters are cute, there’s a nice sort of whimsy, and the show gets you to root for criminals easily. Plus, Brittany Snow sells shoes out of the law office.

The Bad: If you know anything about the law, the rules of evidence, courtroom procedure, judges, lawyers, criminal law, or trials, you will not be able to watch this show without being pulled out of it by common sense. It is outlandish, to say the least. Ern (the blog’s law student) thought of sending the pilot to some of her professors to give them a good laugh. We're pretty sure you don't have to be a law student, lawyer, professor, or paralegal to notice this. It really takes some of the cuteness out when you realize how little in that show would actually slide by in real life. And there’s only been one episode! Also, this show likes to get on its soapbox about the poor, minorities, and criminals. Although we agreed with most of what Kathy Bates (Harry) said about the drug trade and drug criminals, not everyone will, and the blatant sermonizing will annoy a lot of people. ESPECIALLY since, in real life, she would not have been able to say those things when and where she said them. COURTROOMS HAVE RULES, PEOPLE. Also, the show is full of clichés and it's all really heavy-handed.

Bottom Line: Turn off your brain and turn on your funny bone, and you might be able to make it through this one. Not recommended though.

Episode grade: C-

Skins pilot review

Well, it’s one of the best things on MTV right now. We’ll give it that.

But even though this is going to make us sound like total killjoys, we weren’t feeling the subject matter. It made drugs and casual sex in high school look extremely glamorous. Now we don’t know about you guys, but in high school, we didn’t know how to wipe our asses properly (ok, we knew THAT, but you get the point. Looking back, we were dumb), and we certainly weren’t ready for sex. Is anyone’s sex life in high school glamorous? We’re not feeling a show about sex that gives an “everyone’s doing it” message to teens and furthers the old cliché that it’s shameful to be a virgin. Yeah, we loved Sex and the City, but that was for grown-ups. Also, the heart and quality and humor in that show made up for it.

We don’t need more teen pregnancies (due to kids thinking that they should just go around rooting each other as soon as they get the urge.) Shoot, forget that. Innocence and lack of a broken heart are valuable things. You have to protect your emotional health when you are young. And guys who just go for the physical thing and probably wouldn't get hurt, you have to protect your humanity and not turn into a low-grade Tucker Max knock-off. MTV just wants money. It doesn’t care. According to the ratings, millions of young people tuned in for more messages that, if they listen, are just going to end up making them feel more insecure and empty. Sorry, but no teen should be wandering the streets after a bender, shoeless in the winter, doing a walk of shame all the way home. They are babies. Is MTV trying to shake things up and be controversial? Sorry, but American Pie did this first, and it was funnier. None of the things in this show were new. Also, the teens’ behavior wasn’t authentic to how most American teens are. Kids don’t act like that. Most of them are shyer. It’s like “teens exaggerated.”

Also, for most of the episode, this show featured lots of teens with humor and boldness, but little heart. Kids don’t have the cynical hearts of critics. They won’t care about how good the tone of the show is and how modern it is if they don’t have someone to root for. Some heroes. So if Skins is going to thrive, the show has to plug some more soul into the sex fest. It needs to be funnier, sweeter, and smarter, or once the shock wears off, there will be nothing left. Quality can overcome subject matter for us. We watch the kids on Glee get frisky, Dexter kill people, and people doing all that they do on Boardwalk Empire. But those shows have other things going for them, so we're cool with them.

There were some fun and funny moments in Skins, and the show flew by. It was easy to watch. And we LOVED how the high-schoolers actually looked like they were in high school. Well, a high school for models, but still. They looked 17-ish, and that’s more than we can say for most teen shows. If you can get past the subject matter and are solid enough in where you stand in your own decisions regarding sex, this show might be a keeper in the future, once characters actually develop and the makers stop trying to be controversial.

For now, it’s a regular old C

Also, maybe we will make decent parents one seems we have at least one lecture under our belts.

Update: Watched the British version of this episode on Instant Netflix, and it was just like this episode, only better and the kids had British accents. We are going to keep watching that, rather than wait for this show to come out week-by-week. If you have Instant Netflix, that's what we'd recommend.

Pretty Little Liars - Know Your Frenemies recap/review

This episode was as good as this show usually is. It has replaced The Vampire Diaries as our guiltiest guilty pleasure. Everyone is starting to realize that TVD is the bomb, so we are getting made fun of less for that one. Tonight’s episode confirmed some long-running suspicions, but it also featured way too much Aria and Ezra, who need to die, immediately. Where are A and her car when you actually want her to run somebody over?

Noel told Aria’s brother Mikey that there was a rumor going around that Mr. Fits was dating a student. Aria heard this news at the table, in front of her father. For a moment, it seemed like she was going to spill the beans, but that was just the show toying with us again. Noel kept asking Mr. Fitz for a good grade. Because high school grades are so super important and it would be the highest dishonor to give one to an undeserving kid---much more dishonorable than engaging in a romance with an underage girl, Mr. Fitz refused to give Noel the grade. We hope you caught the sarcasm, because those last few lines are dripping with it. Rather than give Noel the grade, Mr. Fitz was willing to quit his job before he was outed and leave town (and Aria). Aria and Mr. Fitz were all sad and lame. We were happy, because this plotline is annoying, gross, unrealistic, and probably the only thing dragging down the show at this point.

But A came through for the girls, for once, and had Noel framed for cheating (stealing tests), so now the principal won’t believe anything he says, and Mr. Fitz got to stay. We really hope that Aria and Mr. Fitz get caught, he goes to jail, and Aria hooks up with just about anyone else. When an older guy has to date a girl in high school, he is a creeper. No exceptions. No show can romanticize that enough to make us forget it.

Emily’s mom saw Maya and Emily playing footsy AGAIN and freaked out. Maybe this woman isn’t a homophobe. Maybe the secret she represses is that she is really weirded out by footsy. If so, we feel ya, Emily’s mom. Can’t they just hold hands and kiss? Why do they have to throw their footwork into our faces. Emily’s mom went through Maya’s bag and found pot in it, which she did not like. So Emily’s mom hates pot and footsy, two of the most harmless things in the world. She informed Emily’s dad and Maya’s parents. Maya’s parents weren’t fans of the drugs and arranged to send Maya to a camp for three months. Spencer, Aria, and Hanna arranged one last night of romance for Emily and Maya. They went upstairs, and, bathed in candlelight, looked into each other’s eyes, swayed, and caressed each other’s faces. There might have been a few…gasp…hugs! This is the tamest lesbian couple ever. But we guess it is age appropriate. Also, has Maya always been that pretty? Is it the new hair and the makeup?

Hanna’s leg healed (that was fast) and A started taunting her. A sent her a message saying that if she wanted to get her mom’s money back, she had to go to this bakery and ask for “Hefty Hanna’s order.” It was a bunch of cupcakes with pig faces on them. A said that she had to sit down and eat every one. A jock-guy who is friends with Noel saw her eating them and said, “Oink oink.” We wish we had an A in our lives to get us chocolate cupcakes. Mmmm. Did A find Jesus or something? Because that’s the second nice thing she did in this episode. But Hanna looked miserable. Apparently, it brought back old memories of when Alison made her throw up after she ate in order to lose weight. Hanna resisted the urge to throw up this time. A left Hanna a couple of hundreds in the bakery bathroom to reward her, but A didn’t give Hanna all of the money yet. Note to the ladies: Bulimia doesn’t work. It just kills you, ruins your teeth, and ruins your digestion. Statistically, people who binge and purge are usually at an average weight, not super skinny. This is because the body only purges 13% of the calories (according to the university Ern and Leeard attend). Not. Worth. It. Ok, PSA over.

Toby is so hated in the town that people write mean things on his locker, say mean things to him in the street, and even little children run from him on the sidewalk (that was hilarious). Spencer felt bad for him, but she didn’t tell the agent who was looking for another suspect her suspicions about Ian. Spencer found out that Ian and Alison were both at the Hilton Head golf resort right before Alison was killed, even though Ian and Alison lied about being there together. Spencer got a message from A saying that Melissa only married Ian to give him an alibi for Alison’s murder. Melissa, meanwhile, was walking around, talking about how wonderful life and marriage are, and saying that she and Ian are going to start having children right away. Ok, even if Ian wasn’t a murderer (probably), that would be gross, because both he and Melissa are icky.

The episode ended with A sending them the rest of Alison’s “you know you want to kiss me” woods video. It showed that Ian was the older guy she was with (and talking to). Then we heard Alison choke (off camera), fall, and all we could see after that was her hand clutch the dirt and then go still. While the girls watched the video, someone watched them through the window (presumably A). They chased the peeping tom, but did not catch him/her.

So it looks like Ian is the killer. That’s not very exciting. We're hoping there is some other twist or that Ian didn't do it.

We would give this an A+ if it weren’t for stupid Mr. Fitz and even stupider Aria. Wear enough makeup to school every day, Aria? Jeez.

Episode Grade: B+

Watch it on hulu

How I Met Your Mother - Last Words recap/review

During this episode, we don’t know if the comedy got in the way of the serious grief plot or if the grieving got in the way of the comedy. We didn’t really know whether to laugh or to be serious. It was probably the best this show could have done with a serious plotline, we guess. In the end, seriousness and schmaltz won out, for us anyway. We were looking forward to this episode a lot to see how the show would take Marshall’s dad dying and advance the plot with it. Turns out, we could have predicted it if we really thought hard. First of all, they have cast John Lithgow to play Barney’s dad (congrats Barney, your dad is super creepy, yet awesome). Yes, Barney is finally ready to meet his father. Lots of daddy stuff in this episode and also some cheesy moments. Oh LOST, we’ve missed you….wait.

The episode took place in Minnesota, where all of Marshall’s friends had flown for the funeral. Lily tried to help Marshall’s mom, but Marshall’s mom still hated her. Fortunately, yelling at Lily released a lot of the mom’s tension, and she was able to eat and sleep. Marshall’s mom thanked Lily, in the end, realizing that Lily was purposefully giving her just what she needed. Robin brought a bag of vices, just in case Marshall needed an escape - a purse with drinks, pills, firecrackers, bad movies, (nude) playing cards and more. She and Ted likened Robin to Mary Poppins - another fun bag lady with drugs in her purse (Robin’s explanation for the fun fantasy trip in the movie). All Marshall needed from the bag was a phone charger…and later, Crocodile Dundee III.

Ted and Barney tried to make Marshall laugh by finding internet videos of people getting hit in the nuts on their smartphones. That would have worked on one blogger’s sister, but it didn’t work on Marshall. Then Barney kicked Ted in the nuts (“Live theatre is always better!”), but Marshall completely ignored that. A funeral is not the time, boys. However, if they had played “nut ball,” perhaps it would have worked. Nut ball is when two guys sit far apart with their legs spread and pass a ball back-and-forth. Preferably a small, hard ball. Each of the guys tries to hit the other square on the nuts with each throw, and neither guy is allowed to block it. This blogger has seen this played, and it is a pretty good laugh.

The reverend had to leave and left his son to do the service. Marshall was upset, because this son bullied him in school, even though he is about half Marshall’s height. The reverend left a note that the family should reflect on the father’s last words to them. Marshall’s brothers and mother had wonderful final memories of the family patriarch, but Marshall remembers his father saying things like, “Plane food is ass” and making racist comments. As he struggles to remember everything his father said on their last day together, he finally remembers that his dad told him, “Rent Crocodile Dundee III. It still holds up.” Marshall accepts this as good last words from his father. Not great and not as touching as the last words his brothers and mother got, but acceptable. Barney decided that last words were overrated and most famous ones were probably made up. He thought Nathan Hale (historical figure) must have actually talked about peeing himself in fear of death. A flash to Barney’s imagination showed Nathan Hale (Barney dressed up as Nathan Hale) saying these words. Neil Patrick Harris sure does a good impression of Bill Compton on True Blood.

Once Marshall’s phone was charged, he saw that he had a voicemail from his father. He didn’t want to listen, because the real last words might be worse than the ones about the movie. But during the funeral, where his mother and brothers shared their perfect last conversations, Marshall went outside to listen. Sadly, the phone call was a mere pocket-dial, and all Marshall could hear was the fuzz of a phone rustling around in his dad’s pocket. He put the pocket-dial on to show his friends while he starts raving at God, questioning why his father had to die and leave just this message. Finally, his dad’s voice came onto the message, startling everyone. His father noted that he had pocket-dialed his son. Then his dad said that he and Marshall’s mother had a great time visiting Marshall and that he loved Marshall. Marshall reflected in awe, “My father’s last words for me were ‘I love you.’” (Leeard cried). Then his dad ruined it by talking about foot fungus. Marshall ignored that as well as he had ignored Ted getting hit in the nuts. He went back inside to talk at the funeral, but he didn’t share his father’s real last words with the crowd, preferring to keep them between himself and his closest friends.

After the funeral, Marshall left his friends in a room and said, “If I never come back, my last words to you guys are that I really really love you guys. And now I’m going to take a deuce.” Ted, Robin, and Lily each called their fathers to have a good conversation….just in case. And Barney called his mother to ask to meet his dad.

Mildly sweet, midly amusing, a nice balance and handling of the topic, but ultimately, not totally memorable unless you feel like you need to call your dad.

Episode grade: B-

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Golden Globes - Commenting Live

We're not Ricky Gervais fans. He was good on The Office, but he always seems to act so...superior. His movie about lying was super offensive and patronizing too. Good digs at The Tourist though. Useless movie....And we also liked the Sex and the City poster joke. Samantha didn't even look like herself. And good Tom Cruise dig, especially the part about the lawyer. YES Hugh Hefner IS The Walking Dead.
--Mind changed. We are Ricky Gervais fans.
--Wait, how dare he insult Hurley.
--Not Scarlett's best hair. Like the dress though.
--Predictable win for Christian let's get this man an Oscar. He's done enough good stuff to get one, finally.
--Is that Christian Bale or a drunk, British Jesus impersonator?
--Julianna Marguiles is so pretty.
--Elizabeth Moss, on the other hand, busted.
--Congrats to Katey. That dress color is a little loud though. And congrats to hatts, who rooted for her
--Trend we hate: Guys and their hats at these shows. Geoffrey Rush, it's creepy. And we say that with love.
--Ok, we've really got to stop talking about fashion.
--Stop talking, Katey, that's the music you hear. It's telling you that you're done.
--The fashions!!!! Did Sandra Bullock and Scarlett J use the same designer?
--Helena Bonham Carter looks crazy. We hope she wins just so she can accept the award in that dress.
--Dear Julianne Moore, redheads shouldn't wear that shade of pink.
--Carlos? That's a surprise. We don't like that pick. Who even saw that?
--One blogger can't understand people when their accents are that heavy. The other blogger is officially in love.
--Chris Colfer. Another predictable pick. Awww, he looked so cute when they announced his name. (The other blogger doesn't think it was that predictable).
--He does a good job. He deserves it. Lea Michele is about to lose it, lol.
--Sweet speech, Chris. We love you. He's one of the youngest members of the Glee cast, too.
--We know that we mainly cover TV, but we are actually way more curious about the movie categories, so we may stay on here for those as well
--Easy A was better than most of these "best comedy" nominees
--Who was that creeper.....?
--Mila, we know you are sexy without you having to make that face.
--Dexter, why is your hair brown and your beard red? Drinking the blood of your victims? And please, please, anyone but Jon Hamm.
--And Steve triumphs over the uggo factor!!!
--Steve Buscemi was gracious, but uninteresting.
--If it couldn't be The Walking Dead, at least it was Boardwalk Empire.
--The nerds inside us wish LOST won though (or was nominated at all).
--A Brad and Angie shot...can the world please be over them already?
--Leeard is so in love with The Social Network that she saw it multiple times and then bought it on DVD the day it came out. If it does not win BLiza Minnelest Motion Picture, Drama, Leeard will be disgruntled.
--We would do Alec Baldwin over Marc Antony any day
--Christina Aguilera really had to lose weight for that movie, didn't she?
--Liza Minelli?
--Good song, but we don't like Cher's female Elvis-like voice. (One of us is actually terrified of Cher. True story).
--Hans Zimmer's stuff is all starting to sound similar. The King's Speech's music was cute. We don't really care about this award. Leeard is happy if anything goes to The Social Network (but especially the music award. Seriously, it was fantastic.)
--Anybody else getting bored? Where's Kanye West when you need him?
--There's going to be a Sherlock Holmes sequel? Bleck. Useless.
--HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Probably won't win, but we wish.
--Toy Story 3...typical. Was anyone else underwhelmed by that?
--Very sophisticated hair, Robert.
--At least SOMEONE gave Julianne Moore some credit for this movie.
--Annette, you're so pretty, why do you have to have that hair?
--That's enough commercials now, show.
--These two look like angels of death coming for our souls....or something more clever. Point is, they look creepy (Tilda Swinton and Geoffrey Rush).
--Leeard is happy with Al Pacino's win.
--When Tilda Swinton says "Pillars of the Earth," she sounds angry
--Claire Danes...Cat will be happy.
--Aaron Sorkin. Of course. Good writer, but he looks like a super villain.
--Ern remembers how annoyed Leeard was when she had to tell Ern who Aaron Sorkin was last year...Oops
--Sofia was robbed! But who doesn't love Jane Lynch? She's such a nice person, and Sue is the best thing about Glee, most of the time
--Much better dress than last year, Olivia
--Helen Mirren, we wish we will look like you when we are your age.
--Laura Linney is good, and Lea Michele hasn't had as much material this year, but we still wish Lea had won. It's hard to be more perfect than Laura is in The Big C though.
--It seems like they write that whole show around Jim Parsons, so maybe he deserves it. At least Steve didn't win!
--Leeard loves Jim Parsons.
--Boooo. We wanted Carter. But Melissa Leo was really good in The Fighter. We noticed it during the movie and wondered if anyone else would to. We guess they did....
--Still, super bummed that Helena Bonham Carter didn't win.
--Leeard just jizzed in her pants, because she loves The Godfather. Ern is really bored.
--How sad was Awakenings?
--Is this really the time for a tribute? GET ON WITH IT
--This show has too many commercials. And it's boring. We are about to go to bed.
--Typical. But deserved. We pictured David Fincher as looking more...bad ass. Like Tyler Durden. He's just an old guy. A genius old guy though.
--Ern: The Social Network is overrated.
--Leeard: I don't care that Ern thinks that. At all. I'm so serious. It's the best movie I've seen in a long time.
--Even though we were rooting for The Big C and Modern Family. We guess they had to get the whole Glee cast on that stage somehow.
--Wow, Alicia Keys. Nice muumuu.
--Even Johnny Depp guffaws when they mention The Tourist...
--Is Johnny Depp chewing gum? We hate when famous people think they are above being classy at nice events. Like when they dress like they are homeless...or chew gum. It's like they are too cool to be there. Ughh.
--Chris Nolan has a very large head. That's where he keeps his ginormous brainssss
--Yayyyyyyyyy Natalie!
--Whoa, Natalie Portman has a crazy laugh. We like her even more now that we know she has a flaw.
--We wish Burlesque or The Tourist would have won, just to upset everyone.
--The Kids Are Alright....we wish we had placed bets on the winners tonight. Hardly any surprises.
--Why are we still awake? The last award is going to The Social Network anyway.
--Did Sandra Bullock have surgery? And go Colin!
--Yeah, that's right, fools. Clap for Helena. She was robbed!
--Seriously? Another commercial break?
--We're going to bed. Tell us who won tomorrow, if it isn't The Social Network.
Also, if you haven't seen this YouTube video, you MUST