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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Big Brother 13

Well, it’s Leeard’s favorite time of the year: a new season of Big Brother. The “twist” this season? They’re working in pairs. We’re here with a quick briefing of the new (or, in some cases, old) houseguests.
The New:
  • Adam (39 from Hoboken, NJ) and Dominic (25 from San Mateo, CA) - We don’t mind Dominic. He’s pretty cute. However, we’re really not digging his partner, Adam. He’s obnoxious and loud and his voice is really grating. We do appreciate the look he gave the camera when Rachel came in, though. We really hope that Adam gets booted in the first four weeks, but we wouldn’t mind Dominic staying around for a while.
  • Cassi (26 from Nashville, TN) and Shelly (41 from Prairieville, LA) - These two have been some non-entities so far. They “threw” the HoH competition and didn’t seem like they really have much to say. We don’t care about them so far.
  • Kalia (30 from Los Angeles, CA) and Lawon (39 from Inglewood, CA) - We can’t stand Lawon so far. He’s not our least favorite contestant this season, but wow do we want him to leave ASAP. The only evidence we need to dislike him: he packed a freaking afro to bring into the house. We don’t like Kalia that much more; she uses words like “bestie” and describes herself as “the real-life Carrie Bradshaw”.
  • Porsche (23 from Miami Beach, FL) and Keith (32 from Bolingbrook, IL) - We want to dislike Porsche more than we currently do, but she’s actually kind of funny. We might get tired of her soon, but for right now she’s not bad. The less we say about Keith, the better. We want him to go home so badly. He’s so skeezy and just not someone we want to watch all summer.
The Old:
  • Brendon (30 from Riverside, CA) and Rachel (26 from Las Vegas, NV) - Do we really have to hear Rachel’s voice and laugh again this year? Really? Damn. It’ll be another summer of people trying to get between her and her man, and floaters needing to grab lifevests. Geez. Obviously, they’re one of the stronger partnerships; for as little as we like both of them as people, there’s no doubting their skills in the competitions. Unfortunately, that means they’ll be sticking around for a while. They’re engaged now, so, I mean, whatever, good for them.
  • Jeff (33 from Norridge, IL) and Jordan (24 from Matthews, NC) - We are so freaking excited to see Jeff and Jordan. We loved them both two years ago, and we still love them. Jordan already won once, so we think the others will probably try to pick her off soon, but we’ll be happy with however long we get her. We just want to say this again: we love them.
  • Dick (48 from Los Angeles, CA) and Daniele (25 from Huntington Beach, CA) - While we didn’t watch season 8, we’ve heard about Dick since then, so we were really excited to see them (especially Dick) compete. However, Dick left after Day 6, so we no longer have that opportunity.
Our Prediction: The previous houseguests obviously have an advantage over the newbies, as shown by the HoH competition. We don't really have a feel for the new guys yet. so if we had to predict a winner, we'd probably choose a returning houseguest like Jordan or Rachel.

Are you watching Big Brother this summer? Let us know in the comments!

New Show: Person of Interest

There was almost nothing on TV last night, and we haven’t watched any movies. Music is the same old crap as usual. We guess the newest big thing is Beyonce offering us something we don’t actually want to listen to, as much as one of us might like her. Good voice, horrible music, with the exception of, like, two songs.

As far as books go, one of us is re-reading The Hunger Games and one of us is finishing up Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy (which, despite a stupid name, is pretty good). But we’re not going to write about those things.

So we thought this was the time to tell you which new, upcoming shows we are excited about. And which ones it’s going to be a chore to try to watch. We will do one show per day to hopefully get people excited about the new stuff that’s coming next season, and we will tag these posts “##Upcoming Shows##” so ya'll can keep track.

CBS Thursdays, starting September 22, 2011 at 9 p.m. eastern.

Starring: Michael Emerson (Ben on LOST!!!), Jim Caviezel (Jesus in The Passion of the Christ), and Taraji P. Henson (Benjamin’s adoptive mommy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

Plot: Michael Emerson plays billionaire Mr. Finch who makes a computer program to predict future crime victims. Jim Caviezel plays Reese, a former CIA agent who everyone thinks is dead to help him stop the crimes.

Why we are excited: The show is based on a screenplay written by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan. While Abrams has been disappointing us lately, he’s brought us a lot of great stuff. And Nolan? Do you people remember The Dark Knight? Jonathan is the brother of director Chris Nolan, and he is Chris’ screenwriting buddy. This tells us that there is no way that this show is going to be stupid sludge, even if...

Why we are not excited: does sound like an unoriginal, procedural-esque concept. And it kind of looks more like a movie to us.


“Anticipation score”- 8/10

Friday, July 8, 2011


It’s hard to decide whether Wilfred is a good show. For one thing, personal taste and humor are going to play big roles here. For another, it’s weird and a little all-over-the-place. But after three episodes, we are going to take a whack at it.

Wilfred is about a depressed young man, Ryan, who sees a dog that lives next door as a talking, walking man in a dog suit. It’s kind of like his dog version of Tyler Durden. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it takes a little getting used to. Once you do though, the concept is not this show’s problem. It kind of works. It worked well in Australia. The man in charge of this remake? Family Guy veteran David Zuckerman.

The Family Guy influence shows. First of all, there is a talking dog who is wiser than the humans on the show (even if this one is much less refined than Brian). Secondly, and most importantly, the humor is right on par with Family Guy. Snarky and elitist, yet low and gross. Sometimes, when potty humor is done cleverly, it can be really funny. The raunchiness on Wilfred works about a third of the time. But it’s overdone, and you start to see that without poop, the anus, penises, sodomy, marijuana, and boobs, the show wouldn’t have much to work with. We’re not offended (we watch South Park), but we aren’t impressed or that amused.

We do enjoy the reference to “rooting.” Suck on that, everyone who said that wasn’t an Australian term for sex. Yeah, some people thought we were making that up. The dog is played by an Australian man and Ryan is played by Elijah Wood. As individual performers here, they are great. But they have almost no chemistry. Those two guys need to hang out more onset or something. Or double date with Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Fassavoy. Even the names have chemistry. But the chemistry on Wilfred? You almost want them to not hang out with each other.

We enjoyed the dog’s devotion to his master, the quotes at the beginning of the episode, the mean sister’s mouth, the man in the dog suit humping a stuffed bear, pretty much anything that happens in the credits, and the way the show is trying to do something different. Plus, summer comedy options are slim and this isn't a show that you have to watch every episode of. You can jump in and out as you please, depending on how bored you are and when it's on.

But overall, the show was draining because it felt pretty cold. It was like hanging out with some middle school boys who keep making dirty cracks to feel cool, but it feels fake and awkward on them, like they are trying too hard. The show lacks wit. There is lots of depth in the plot, but the humor, which is what matters in a comedy, is as shallow and simple as a puddle of dog piss. Family Guy fans should love it.

Show Grade while trying to be objective: B-
Show Grade based on this blogger’s taste: C-

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pretty Little Liars Posts

We've noticed that most of the posts in our "popular posts" column are Pretty Little Liars posts. you guys like PLL or something?

Hahaha. It's the Glee of the summer.

Breaking Bad seasons 1-3 Summary and Show Discussion

ABOUT BREAKING BAD (General Info, spoiler-free)
We don’t meet a lot of people who actually watch Breaking Bad, but we’ve met tons of people who say, “Oh, I’ve heard the show Breaking Bad is amazing.” Well, it is, so friggin watch it already. Anyone who follows TV awards knows that the acting is good. This is important to us. No one wants to see someone who acts FOR A LIVING do a shoddy job. They are paid to do it, so they should be good. There are plenty of people in this world who want to act and there are plenty of pretty faces. We’re not starving for good actors in this world. The acting in Breaking Bad is rock-solid.

This is Ern’s favorite show currently on TV. The fact that it comes during the drought that is the TV summer is just icing on this perfect cake (Leeard's note: Umm Big Brother is literally on at all times, so .... not a drought for her). This show is intense and twisty. No one is safe, the extreme and horrifying tends to happen, and everything always goes wrong. As outlandish as it is, it is also believable. It’s as addictive as meth. It’s also funny. And heartbreaking. Several episodes will leave you floored by the time the credits roll (“One Minute” and “Half Measures” are two examples.)

Don’t think it’s too depressing either. The subject matter is crazy dark, but it doesn’t feel bleak. We like the way Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly put it, “For all its bleakness and darkness, there's a glowing exhilaration about this series: It's a feel-good show about feeling really bad.” If you want to jump in on season four without watching the first three seasons, we don’t approve, but we will allow it. (It’s not really our choice, huh?) You could totally catch up in time if you binged on DVDs!

But here’s a summary for all you new fans who aren't up to the TV-binge challenge. Yeah, it’s long, but it’s thorough and won’t take as long as watching all three seasons. It doesn’t do the show justice either. The brilliance is in the filming, directing, acting, atmosphere, and timing. Dude, we just seriously love this show.

Walter White was an overqualified, 50-year-old, nerdy, high school chemistry teacher with a wife, Skyler, who is pretty darn smart and observant. She was also pregnant with an unplanned child at the start of the show. Walter and Skyler’s firstborn, Walt Jr., is a teen with cerebral palsy. Walt worked an extra job at a carwash business, because they family had trouble scraping by. Then Walt was diagnosed with inoperable, advanced lung cancer, even though he never smoked, and is given about a year to live. Walt decided that he didn’t want to leave his family with nothing, so he kept his cancer a secret for a while and did not seek treatment. He thought, “Why live sick if only to buy a few years and break the family paying for treatments?”

Skyler has a sister, Marie Schrader, who is married to a DEA agent, Hank. Marie stole stuff at the beginning of the show. Hank developed a panic disorder due to the violence he encountered during busts. Through the television and a ridealong with Hank, Walt figured out that you could make a ton of cash cooking and selling meth…if you didn’t get caught. Walt tracked down a former student that he spotted escaping a meth lab bust. Jesse Pinkman, a student he had flunked in chemistry, is a funny slacker and drug addict who has alienated his family. Jesse is probably the most loveable character on the series, even if he can’t seem to end most sentences without the word “bitch.”

Walter kept disappearing to cook meth, deal with rival drug dealers and other emergencies, and plan with Jesse. Skyler got nosy, so he told her about the cancer. She pretty much forced him to get treatment. A rich, old friend of Walt’s (Gretchen) offered to pay for the treatment, so Walt told Skyler that Gretchen and her husband WERE paying for it. Gretchen found out about this lie but didn’t rat Walt out. Walt paid for his own treatment with his drug money. Hank promised to take care of Walt’s family if he died, but Walt wanted to leave his kids with money for college and not leave his wife with a bunch of debt. Walt’s drug business was understandable, but with the people in his life willing to help him, it’s not vital.

However, pride is a real force in the human life, and once Walt has had to kill, steal, and lie enough, why stop now? You still root for the guy and don’t want him to get caught, and you admire how an expert scientific mind can make the best product on the street. Walt and Jesse attempted to use a distributor at first. He was a drug dealer called Krazy-8. Unfortunately, Krazy-8 thought Walt was a cop and tried to kill him and Jesse. Walt and Jesse were eventually forced to kill Krazy-8 and one of Krazy-8’s friends. (We are leaving out a lot of wild, inventive, memorable details for brevity’s sake.) Walt did not care for this experience and quit the meth business for a while.

But he got back into it and tried to sell in bulk to another distributor, Tuco. This one was even crazier than the last one. Totally mentally unstable. Walt started going by the name “Heisenberg,” and that is how he is now known on the street. Tuco wanted complete control over Walt and Jesse, because they made good meth and they saw him kill a man, so Tuco kidnapped them both. Walt was missing for days and had to make up a story about a fugue state to explain his disappearance to his family. Tuco was shot by Hank. Jesse and Walt’s secret was safe.

Jesse moved into an apartment building and started dating the landlord’s daughter, Jane, a former heroin addict, 18 months clean. Jesse fell for her pretty hard. Walt and Jesse decided that they were done with drug lord distributors and that they would distribute the product themselves. Jesse got a bunch of his stupid drug friends to be their underlings, moving the meth around new territory. One of their “employees” was mugged by an ugly, meth-faced old woman and her man. Walt warned Jesse of the dangers of people not being scared of them and mugging all of their dealers. Jesse went to confront the ugly meth couple at their house in order to get his money back. Shenanigans ensued, Jesse saved a cute child from neglect, and Ugly Meth Faced Woman dropped an ATM machine on her man, killing him. Jesse got credit for the kill, and his and “Heisenberg’s” reputation got a little worse (which was good for them).

One of Jesse’s men, Badger, was arrested. In order to keep Badger from snitching on Walt and get him a lenient sentence, Walt was forced to deal with slimeball attorney Saul Goodman. (He’s a fun character for law students to watch. Professional Responsibility classes could have a whole exam where students identify the model rules Saul breaks with his clients as they watch the show. His TV commercials have to break at least three.) Saul became Walt and Jesse’s personal attorney, receiving 17% of their profits and promising to cover for them, advising them, and take care of legal emergencies. Skyler went back to work for her former boss, a Ted Beneke, who got drunk and groped Skyler at a party once, which was the reason she quit in the first place. She and Ted got close as she leaned on Ted for support through Walt’s unexplained disappearances and cancer woes. It HAS to be tiring living with a guy who coughs so much…

After catching a glimpse of a large dark spot on his x-rays and fearing that he was going to die soon, Walt decided to speed up production. Walt and Jesse took a few days and cooked 38 pounds of meth, enough to garner them upwards of $400,000 each. Then Walter got good news: His cancer had not spread and his tumor had shrunk by 80%. The dark spot was no big deal. After hearing about this remission, Walt tried to quit the thug life, but he got bored. Let’s face it, after all that junk happened, he’s a different person. That’s one great thing about this show: Walt doesn’t remain a character that we excuse. His actions change him, and he is going from being a good guy and an everyman to being a serious force in the drug industry. He’s becoming Heisenberg.

Then one of Jesse’s underling friends got killed dealing on someone else’s territory. Jesse blamed himself. He and Jane started doing heroin together. Walt and Jesse’s other dealers got scared and stopped working for them. But lawyer Saul Goodman came through and set them up with Gus, a brilliant drug distributor who owns a few fast food restaurants and is very cautious. Gus bought the rest of Walt and Jesse’s product that they had ready, even though Gus was unimpressed with junkie Jesse who showed up to their first meeting late and high.

While passing the drugs off to Gus, Walt missed the birth of his daughter, Holly. Jesse couldn’t do it because he was high. Walt denied Jesse his portion of the money until Jesse sobered up and cleaned up his act. Jane called Walt and blackmailed him for the money. Walt gave the money over but went back to check up on Jesse, feeling paternalistic toward him. Jesse was passed out in his apartment and Jane was choking on her own vomit next to him. Walter watched Jane die and could have saved her. Jesse was devastated and blamed himself. This seems to be a trend with him. Walt took Jesse to rehab and dropped him off.

Walt had surgery and it was successful. Right before he went into surgery, when he was a little drugged, Walt let slip something to Skyler that allowed her to investigate the holes in his stories and all his lies and disappearances. She told Walt that she was kicking him out. Jane’s father Donald, an air traffic controller, suffered an emotional breakdown and accidently crashed two planes into each other. Debris and bodies fell on Walt’s house.

The total dead was 167. After reading the newspaper, Walt realized that letting Jane die killed all of those people. It is all his fault. Walt told Skyler about the meth cooking and she told him that she would keep his secret in exchange for a divorce. She did not want Walt Jr., who admires his father, to know the truth. Walt resolved to quit cooking meth and try to get his family back. During all of this, Tuco’s twin cousins crossed the border from Mexico to get revenge for Tuco’s death. Their target: Heisenberg. Gus offered Walt $3 million to cook meth for him for three months. Walt did not accept.

Walt refused to divorce Skyler and moved back into the house, against her wishes. Skyler slept with Ted in order to drive Walt away. Walt was upset. Jesse, meanwhile, had accepted that “he is the bad guy.” He was resolved to stay sober, but he blamed himself for the shooting of his friend, Combo, and the death of Jane. He started cooking and distributing a knock-off of Walt’s formula, which offended Walt, because it was poor quality bearing the blue color of Walt’s product. Walt accepted Gus’ offer and Gus provided Walt with a full lab with an assistant, Gale. The fact that Walt didn’t immediately think, “Hmm, if Gale learns my method, Gus won’t need me anymore” is proof that sometimes book smart people have no common sense. Walt signed the divorce papers and gave them to Skyler. He still intended to support the family with meth money. Skyler saw a bag full of hundreds and seemed to come around to that idea.

Gus convinced Tuco’s cousins (and their uncle who sent them) to kill Hank instead of Heisenberg. Hank was, after all, the man who pulled the trigger. Hank, meanwhile, was obsessively working on the Heisenberg case in order to get out of going on a dangerous assignment in Texas. He got a lead that led him to Jesse’s RV, but Walt and Jesse were able to trick Hank into going away and they destroyed the RV before Hank could get a warrant to search it. Rightly convinced that Jesse is involved with Heisenberg, Hank went to question Jesse but just ended up beating the crap out of him.

Hank was suspended from the DEA and an angry Jesse was going to press charges. Hank told Marie about his panic attacks and desire to avoid going to Texas. Skyler asked Walt to get Jesse to drop the charges against Hank. Walt offered to make Jesse his partner again and fire his assistant, Gale. Jesse accepted and Gus allowed this, surprisingly. Hank left the DEA to celebrate, stopping by a supermarket. He received a call with a disguised voice, telling him that in one minute, someone was going to kill him. Hank hesitated, thinking the call was a joke. But no. The twins attacked and shot him four times. Hank managed to kill one twin and seriously injure the other.

Hank survived, but needed serious, expensive physical therapy in order to have a chance at walking. Skyler suspected that Hank’s shooting was somehow Walt’s fault. Skyler told Marie that Walt would pay for it. Skyler told Marie that Walt made money from illegal gambling and not to tell Hank. Walt realized that he was the Twins’ real target. Gus poisoned the surviving twin to protect Walt. Gus also got the Mexican uncle killed by police. The uncle was the head of the big Mexican cartel, and now that he is gone, Gus is the biggest drug supplier around. This was a big power move that panned out for Gus. Walt realized that Gus turned the Twins’ attention to Hank not just to save Walt, but to get the cops’ attention on the rival cartel.

Gus extended Walt’s three-month contract to a full year. Jesse started to steal some of the meth he and Walt were making and sell it on the side. It didn’t take Walt long to notice that meth was missing. He confronted Jesse. Walt warned Jesse that if he were caught, Walt would not be able to protect him. Skyler started helping lawyer Saul Goodman launder Walt’s money by coming up with a plan for him to buy the old car washing business where Walt used to work and using it as a cover. She said that she would run the business for him. She told Walt that she never filed the divorce papers and pointed out that spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other.

Jesse continued to go to meetings to stay off of drugs. While at a meeting, he met a beautiful Hispanic girl named Andrea who happened to be the older sister of the kid who shot Jesse’s friend. Gang members had gotten this little kid to help them deal and to off people for them. Jesse decided that those gang members had to go. They were brainwashing and using kids and they had killed his friend. It was revealed that these two gang members were Gus’ employees and distributors. Jesse planned to have one of his hooker friends poison the gang members. Walt got Gus involved in order to resolve the situation, and Gus ordered the gang members to stop using kids and for Jesse to let his grievance go.

Andrea’s 11-year-old little brother, the one who shot Jesse’s friend, was executed by the gang members. Jesse found out from Andrea; Walt found out from watching the news. After all of the bickering between the two, Walt still cared about Jesse, feeling paternalistic toward him. Jesse dipped into his own meth product, got a gun, and went to kill the gang members. Jesse walked toward them, in the night, and all three drew. At the last second, Walt’s car came out of nowhere and freaking destroyed the gang members. Walt got out of the car, shot one of the gang members in the head, looked up at Jesse, and said, “Run.”

To say that Gus was disappointed in Walt is an understatement. He never liked Jesse to begin with, and now Walt has ruined himself as Gus’ new protégé just for Jesse. Walt tried to convince Gus to just forgive him and let Jesse flee the state. But Gus hired back assistant Gale and Gale started asking too many questions of Walt, tipping Walt off to the fact that Gus was waiting until Gale knew Walt’s method. Then Gus could eliminate Walt. Walt decided that Gale had to go. Permanently. He met with Jesse, who is still in Albuquerque. Jesse suggested that Walt go to the cops and cut a deal. But Walt felt that killing Gale is the only option.

Late at night, Walt snuck out of his house to kill Gale, but two of Gus’ henchmen kidnap him and take him to be executed. Walt offered them Jesse’s location in exchange for them letting Walt live. He was allowed to call Jesse, and before the henchmen could stop him, Walt yelled that Jesse had to kill Gale because he (Walt) was about to be killed. Walt told the henchmen that they might want to hold off on killing him, because he was about to become Gus’ only viable cook option. One of the henchmen ran off to save Gale, trying to get there before Jesse. The other (Mike, who is awesome), stayed with Walt.

Jesse got to Gale first. Jesse did NOT want to do the deed. He was tearing up, Gale was begging for his life, and we could see that while the events of the show have made Walt harder, they have softened Jesse. The look on his face said that Jesse is feeling every consequence of his actions and that one day he might be ok. But not today. The screen went black and we heard a gunshot. End of season three as we howl at our TVs and pound our fists on the ground waiting for season four.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Office gets a new CEO

Kathy Bates will no longer be running Dunder Mifflin. James Spader's character, who applied to be the new Scranton Regional Manager, will be on the show a lot more and as the Biggest Boss.

We expect nothing less from the man who was able to intimidate Dwight Schrute so well.

We noted in our season finale review that James Spader's character was the only potential boss who was at all funny.

We still don't know who the manager is going to be, and we like that.

Pretty Little Liars - Blind Date review

We were starting to get annoyed at the show for dragging out the Ian thing, and so were some of our readers. We understand that the show can’t reveal A, but a lot of the other little mysteries can be solved periodically. We think Ian is a “little mystery.

Ian is definitely dead (yesssss!). He was found shot in the head with a gun in his hand. Leeard thinks A (probably) killed Ian and planted the suicide note. Most people think that Ian really did kill Alison. We disagree. We think that Ian did not kill Alison, but just thought he did. He got rough with her, she passed out, he freaked, and then someone else actually finished her off. He wrote the suicide note admitting the murder and killed himself out of guilt.

We can’t wait for Melissa’s meltdown at Spencer that is slated for next week. We are not liking Melissa lately. We were sort of on her side when Spencer was stealing all of her boyfriends, but now she’s being a secretive chode. We DO like Wren, his helping of Spencer, his accent, and his reappearance.

Hanna and Caleb’s double date with Lucas and Danielle was cute. It was a little lame when Hanna confronted dead Alison, because the only ghosts on this show are in people’s heads. The whole argument was going on inside Hanna. But we liked her breakthrough and seeing her stand up to Alison in therapy. We are waiting for A to murder the therapist, but we are pretty sure that A is just going to plant the therapist’s keys on one of the girls to frame them.

We saw sparks between Aria and Jason, and we are loving it. We are glad Aria’s brother, Mike, has appeared again. With a secret. He needs to get more interesting, and the show seems like it’s going to deliver. Question: What’s Samara’s secret? She’s too perfect, and it’s this show. We really love her with Emily, though. What a great way of preempting the scholarship letter situation.

All-in-all, this was a fast-paced, entertaining episode with an ending that moved the plot forward.

Episode grade: A

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blue Valentine

This may be a sad statement, but we’ve never seen a movie that rings truer to romantic relationships today. It’s just the perfect picture of how love sours, how there are two sides to every story, and how two people who loved each other selflessly can turn into people who are toxic for each other. This movie is like a punch in the gut that feels too familiar.

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were lauded for these performances, with good reason. There’s not a single moment where they aren’t believable and moving. You care for both of their characters. This is a bleak one, because not only is the movie bleak, but it’s everyone’s nightmare in life and love. It’s a scary movie to watch. But it’s really honest and well-done. The happy, sweet parts are interspersed with the sad reality that all the hope and promise these two people had is gone.

For children of divorced parents, this will be like living through that again for you. If you think that will be cathartic, go ahead and rent this one. It’s going to be sad for anyone to watch, because we all want to believe that two people can be loyal to each other forever. We all want that kind of unconditional love. But when we see couples fall apart all around us, we fall into despair, even if we don’t consciously think about it that a lot. There’s some Black Swan-level sex in the movie that almost got is slapped with an NC-17, so be careful of that, if that offends you. Also, bad language and someone gets beat up. And there’s a disturbing scene at an abortion clinic (no gore, but it’s tense and sad).

Comparisons to Revolutionary Road may arise, but Blue Valentine is sadder and better than RR, which was just a bleak film about women's rights and a couple that you thought shouldn't even be together. In Blue Valentine, they SHOULD be together. Blue Valentine is romantic and rife with sweet moments. These two work. And it's a heartwrenching experience because the movie makes you care.

The best that can be said for the experience of watching this movie is that it’s realistic. It can serve as a warning to people whose relationships aren’t over yet. Don’t take each other for granted. There are peaks and valleys in marriages. Sometimes you won’t feel that “in love” feeling, but you still have to treat each other with the highest respect. This IS what can happen, if you aren’t careful and if you think that your love-filled romantic relationship is supposed to be easy forever. It’s not going to be that easy. But you sure can stop it from being this hard.

Movie Grade: A-
Recommended?: Not really, unless you enjoy gritty stuff that bums you out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bad Teacher

This movie was not good. The laughs were few. It wasn’t as funny as we would have liked it to be. But we enjoyed Cameron Diaz’s bad character and, despite her complete lack of redeeming qualities, rooted for her to get everything she wanted.

Justin Timberlake and Jason Segal were amazing, as usual. There is one particularly funny Justin Timberlake scene of a…sexual nature. Not sex though. You’ll know it when you see it. Diaz’s character, Elizabeth, also has a nemesis who manages to bring a plot into this premise.

Our advice is to go see this if there is nothing else on and you have to go see a movie with your friends at the theater. Make them fun friends, because laughing with people you like can make any movie good.

This isn’t the worst comedy in the world, but it’s far from good.

Movie Grade: C-

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Our Favorite Cases on Grey's Anatomy

We know lots of you are missing Grey’s Anatomy over the summer, so we thought we would give you a taste of it in the form of a list, spanning seven years of decent television (with a few rough patches). Obviously, Jane Doe/Ava, Mandy Moore’s character, George’s dad, Ellis Grey, Thatcher Grey, Teddy’s fake husband, and Denny Duquette were memorable and big parts of the show, but we are focusing on the ones that only got one or two episodes and the ones who weren’t major characters/hospital employees like Izzie and George. Here goes, in no particular order

Bailey’s Cystic Fibrosis Guy
We first saw the soft side of Bailey in season one when she operated on this long-time patient who died. When she had to call his mom to tell her that the patient didn’t make it, we totally teared up.

Izzie’s daughter
Izzie’s kid who she gave up for adoption showed up at the hospital, needing a bone marrow transplant. Even though it was painful and the daughter didn’t even want to meet her birthmother, Izzie gave up the goods and saved her life. We seriously wish the show had followed up on this story, which was a lot more touching than Mark’s long-lost daughter story.

The Girl Who Got Illegal Surgery in Mexico
We loved when Meredith told this girl, “You don’t know this yet, but life isn’t supposed to be this hard.” It was a glimpse of the mature, compassionate, motherly Meredith that we would see many years later. We also loved when Meredith stood up for the girl, telling the parents that she got the illegal surgery in order to be skinny for her mom. The dad finally grew a pair and told his wife to shut up. We think now that he’s in his daughter’s corner, the kid has a chance.

The Fat Woman with the 60-Pound Tumor
Annie Connors’ appearance gave us the opportunity to see Alex Karev at his worst, charming this patient to her face and badmouthing her behind her back. It was creepy and interesting to think about why Annie let her tumor get that bad. And one of George’s best moments was when he confronted the elephant in the room, asking her why she had let herself go. It was a sweet conversation, until George made it all about him. The interns in the surgery had to hold up her fat flaps for hours, and she still didn’t make it.

The Man with the Nails in His Head and the Tumor
“He’s still my Jorge, and I’ll remember for us both.” So sad. This man had to choose between losing his personality and memories and losing a few years of his life. Meredith had a meltdown because of what was going on with her mother, and she confronted Jorge’s wife to try to convince her to choose the memories. We agreed with Meredith that Jorge made the wrong choice, and that a life without what makes you who you are is no life at all. But we get why his wife gave him the extra years he wanted. This case reminded us of what’s important in life, and the relationship Jorge had with his wife was so sweet. Bummer though.

The Guy with the Bomb in His Chest
The first of the big “disaster episodes” brought the great Kyle Chandler to the show for a two-parter. The patient wasn’t that memorable, but the effect on the regular characters was.

The Girl Who Lost Weight for Her Boyfriend then Died Because of It
After hearing that her husband cheated on her and then forgiving him, Callie had to deal with another male jerk. When his girlfriend died and Callie went off on him, we wanted to slap her a high five. Bailey chewed Callie out for her emotional speech and near attempt to fight the man, but we thought he deserved it. And it was bad ass.

The Pole Couple
Bonnie and Tom were in a train accident and were skewered on the same pole. Only one could be saved and Tom had a better chance of living, so the doctors sacrificed sweet, soon-to-be-married, Bonnie. This was one of the saddest cases in Grey’s history and the case that most people cried over (and actually, one of us is tearing up, thinking about it years later). This was the best way Grey’s ever chose to highlight Meredith’s abandonment issues.

Cement Boy
A young man got into some cement to try to impress a girl and her bullying friends. This really did not go well for him. But watching Callie convince the girl to stand up for the kid and watching Bailey at her finest, saving his life and comforting them, made this a great case. Lots of tension on this one, and you felt bad for the guy.

Tree Guy
Ok, we know this is a gross pick, but you know you remember this guy. There’s nothing worse than a forgettable case. We also felt bad for him. We enjoyed the gross-outs and the bug and the sawing.

The sweet little black boy who liked to play doctor but couldn’t absorb nutrition. His super-rich parents gave the hospital a generous donation, even though Wallace died, because of what a great, honest doctor Arizona was. This is one of the two incidents that made us love Arizona (the other one was the “Good Man In a Storm” speech she gave to Callie’s father.) She’s just a sweetheart, and this patient brought it out in her.

The Nazi
This man didn’t want black people to operate on him and he had a big swastika tattooed on his chest. Ugh. Gross. He decided that Bailey and Asian Cristina could operate on him, but only if George was in the room, because he trusted the white man to keep him safe in there. That day, Bailey gave up her nickname, and that’s what people usually remember about this episode. But what we remember is George telling him that if it were just George, the white man, in the room, George would have let him die, and it was Bailey who had the integrity to do no harm. The Nazi’s face contained the perfect reaction. We were not George fans, but that moment almost won us over. Bad ass.

The teens who had sex for the first time during Derek’s trial
Dying of the same sickness, these two teens were madly in love. Some Seattle Grace doctors blocked the door while they did the deed. The boy died, and the girl didn’t fall apart. She became the first survivor of Derek’s trial. Sad and happy at the same time. That always gets us crying.

The woman who crashed into her husband and his girlfriend with her carShe saw them doing laundry and freaked out. After hitting them with her car, she came to the hospital and told the doctors. She said, “It’s a good thing you can’t tell anyone, because of confidentiality.” Um, that’s lawyers, lady. Oh how we would have laughed, if she hadn’t been so creepy in her revelatory moment.

The guy Izzie drilled the holes intoIzzie sucked after Denny died and this was her comeback. It was awesome, until that character started sucking again by sleeping with George.