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Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter: The End of Our Childhood

We're going to preface this entry by saying that there will be some spoilers. If you haven't read the 7th book and don't want to know what happens, a) don't read this post and b) go be lame somewhere else.

Y'all, we can't even. We were 9 when the first book came out and have been reading them obsessively ever since. We've grown up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and we've learned life lessons alongside them. Most of you will probably know how difficult it is to summarize your thoughts on such a large part of your lives, but we'll try to do it anyway.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was everything we wanted it to be. One of us didn't think it was perfect, but it was damn close. One of us thought that there were a few moments when either the humor didn't work or it was unintentional, but she still cried twice and really enjoyed it. While the movie didn't include everything from the second half of the book, it did contain all of the important moments (and our favorite lines - we don't know what we would've done if Mrs. Weasley hadn't said "Not my daughter, you bitch!"). While the beginning of the movie wasn't as action-packed as the rest, after the Gringots scene, it went into a completely different gear.

The Battle of Hogwarts scenes were just ... epic. Alexandre Desplat deserves an Oscar for the mood he was able to help set with his compositions.

For those of you who have not yet seen it, we recommend watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 right before you see this movie, especially if you haven't read the books. We also think the emotional impact will be greater if you do this, because the second half of Deathly Hallows is more of a catharsis. We think it would be good to experience the build-up to this catharsis.

Honestly, one of the best things about experiences like this is going to the midnight showing and being able to react to what's happening on the screen without running the risk of being shushed. We laughed, we cried, we screamed, and we cheered, with about 200 people in our theater and millions others worldwide.

Movie Grade: A

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emmy Nods

Best drama series: Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Mad Men.
As much as we would like to see Friday Night Lives recognized for five years of great drama, the last season wasn’t its strongest. Dexter peaked last season, Boardwalk Empire wasted most of its potential being boring and focusing on romance. The Good Wife is overrated, but good. The only season here that we missed was Mad Men’s, and that’s the likely winner. However, we would like to see it go to Game of Thrones for taking that story and putting it onscreen in the best, most creative, most memorable way possible. We think it improved on the first book. But none of these would be bad choices. This is one of the strongest lineups ever.

Best comedy series: Modern Family, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation.
Obviously the best answer is Community….but it doesn’t seem to be there. Lame. The Office got better than last season but is still far from consistently funny. Same story for 30 Rock. Modern Family offered us the same stuff as last year. Glee was so inconsistent it hardly deserves to be nominated. Leeard’s choice of The Big Bang Theory is always a pretty good choice, and Ern is going to have to pick Parks and Rec. They are long shots, but we laughed more at these shows this season than all the other nominees combined. For consistency and laughs, these are our winners.

Drama actress: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU; Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law; Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights and Mireille Enos, The Killing.
Leeard’s pick is Mireille Enos from The Killing. Ern is rooting for Connie Britton of Friday Night Lights. That show needs to get at least one of the big awards.

Comedy actor: Steve Carell, The Office; Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Louis C.K., Louie; Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory.
Leeard has to go with Jim Parsons, but is shocked and happy that Johnny Galecki was nominated. Very nice. This is Steve Carell’s last chance to win for The Office, but Ern would like to see Matt LeBlanc win for mocking himself on Episodes and single-handedly making that show worthwhile. Seriously, without him there was no reason to watch it.

Drama actor: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire; Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Hugh Laurie, House; Timothy Olyphant, Justified.
Both bloggers agree: Kyle Chandler. Mainly because this is Friday Night Lights’ final season and, also, FINALLY. Timothy Olyphant is hot though. But that’s reward enough.

Comedy actress: Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation; Laura Linney, The Big C; Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope; Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly.
Probably Melissa McCarthy. Leeard watches Mike & Molly and assures Ern that she is funny in that. It’s not that great of a show, but she makes it better. She’s that show’s Matt LeBlanc. Ern liked her in Bridesmaids and is fine with her winning for her TV show.

Supporting drama actor: Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age; John Slattery, Mad Men; Alan Cumming, The Good Wife; Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Josh Charles, The Good Wife; Walton Goggins, Justified.
Alan Cumming is one of Ern’s top 50 favorite actors (yep, we are making that list soon), and he brings a lot of fun to The Good Wife. That’s Ern’s pick. Leeard is going with Peter Dinklage, because she loves him. Ern approves and is almost ashamed that she isn’t rooting for Tyrion. He slapped Joffrey! What’s wrong with Ern, seriously?

Supporting comedy actor: Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family; Ed O’Neill, Modern Family; Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family; Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men; Chris Colfer, Glee.
Chris Colfer takes a well-written character that was sometimes annoying and unsympathetic this season and makes us still shed tears for him and laugh with him. He’s got charisma and talent and Ern is very impressed. His version of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" has gotten a lot of play on her iPod. Plus, those Glee kids work hard. All those dance routines? Summer tours? Singing? Hard. As for the Modern Family people? All are good, but they are equally funny and hard to choose from. Leeard refuses to answer out of protest for Community and Cougar Town. (Silly Leeard, there aren't enough gay characters on those shows!)

Supporting comedy actress: Julie Bowen, Modern Family; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Jane Lynch, Glee; Betty White, Hot in Cleveland; Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock.
Obviously Kristen Wiig.

Supporting drama actress: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife; Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire; Christine Baranski, The Good Wife; Michelle Forbes, The Killing; Margo Martindale, Justified; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men.
As good as Kelly Macdonald always is, we are going to have to go with Michelle Forbes.

Reality competition: So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Project Runway.
Duh, So You Think You Can Dance. It won’t win, but it should.

Reality host: Jeff Probst, Survivor; Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance; Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race; Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars; Ryan Seacrest, American Idol.
Leeard picks Cat Deeley. It’s not even a competition in her mind. One of her life goals is to have Cat Deeley call her “Darling.” Ern thinks Cat Deeley is extremely annoying. Ryan Seacrest is charming, makes the contestants look good, and is operating at the top of his game. As much as Ern hates American Idol, he’s her pick.

Variety, music or comedy series: The Colbert Report, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, Conan, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Leeard picks SNL and Ern picks The Daily Show. And one day, she will marry Jon Stewart. How long do wives live, anyway?

More comments:

Ok, first of all, what’s so great about Mad Men, a show that’s managed to lose one of the bloggers not once, but three times? Three times she has tried to get into it, each time picking up where she left off. Even the blogger who likes it isn’t remotely caught up. We actually have different taste in shows a lot of the time, and the fact that this can’t legitimately snag either of us makes us question whether it’s just dull awards fodder. Then again, we didn’t see this season. This season might have been great and the show might just be one of the biggest slow-burners in TV history.

We aren’t upset that Lea Michele got no love. Her character was flat, underused, and poorly written this season. And we know that she will get the award next year when she exits Glee with Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith after the third season. We are also not upset that True Blood was ignored. Lots of overacting and suckage on that show last season.

Baffled by the complete lack of Fringe. This was that show’s strongest season, and that guy playing Walter/Walternate is genius. Also missing: The Walking Dead. We are unsurprised and displeased by the snubbing of everyone on Parenthood for acting. The Vampire Diaries is entertaining enough to at least get a best drama nomination, but it’s not really awards material and the other shows were so strong this season. Breaking Bad is ineligible this year, so that's why we're not complaining about that (and we would have been).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Show: Prime Suspect

NBC. September 22, 2011

Starring: Maria Bello (ER) and Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall).

Plot: This is a re-imagining of a British cop show about a tough female detective, Jane.

Why We Are Excited: Both of us love Maria Bello. Leeard doesn’t know why she likes her so much. Ern thinks it was A History of Violence. Leeard really likes cop shows. The talent behind this was involved in Friday Night Lights. It looks pretty good.

Why We Are Not Excited: Ern isn’t a huge fan of procedurals unless they have plenty of overarching plotlines (like Bones). A repeat of the same sort of thing each week can get old, fast. (See: House) This show might have the plotlines to bring people back to the television, but we will have to wait and see. And how many cop shows do we need? It also looks a little grim. This is fine, but the pacing needs to make up for a damp energy. It needs to move fast enough to keep our attention.


Anticipation Score: 7.5/10

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New Show: Suburgatory

ABC. September 28, 2011. Wednesday nights at 8:30

Starring: Jeremy Sisto (A douchebag in both Clueless and Waitress), Cheryl Hines (Waitress), Jane Levy (American version of Shameless), Carly Chaikin (The Last Song), Allie Grant (Isabella Hodes on Weeds), Alan Tudyk (Firefly and the original Death at a Funeral).

Plot: A 16-year-old is forced by her single dad to move to the suburbs. Cue mockery of the suburban life.

Why We Are Excited: Alan Tudyk. This guy is a geek god and he can do anything. He was scary and psycho on Dollhouse, loveable and worrisome on Firefly, and hilarious in Death at a Funeral. He’s as close to a character actor as you get these days, and he amuses the heck out of us. We’ve been itching to see him do more comedy and get out of sci-fi, because he deserves a bigger fan base. Ms. Cheryl Hines is pretty funny herself. The preview makes the show look pretty funny. And one of the producers was involved in both Parks and Recreation and As Told By Ginger, two shows that are off the beaten path but that we enjoy.

Why We Are Not Excited: Do we really need another show making fun of the suburbs? We’ve had Weeds. We’ve had American Beauty. Yeah, we get it. The American Dream can make us too safe, too shallow, and too fake. But, for all their skeletons, most people in the suburbs are doing their best, working for their families, and trying to build nice communities. This show is going to have to work extra hard to be funny, rather than smug and judgmental.


Anticipation score: 7/10.

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Pretty Little Liars - The Devil You Know

After a little bickering about which one of us would draft this post (as opposed to add to it and edit it), we landed on the blogger who liked the episode a little bit less. So we hope you like to hear nitpicking and moaning. Who doesn’t?!!! Haha. Spoilers follow.

So, what was lacking? There were revelations in the episode and some great creepy moments, but we had guessed these things before. Of course Ian was a red herring and didn’t kill Alison. Of course A was sending Melissa the texts. One of us would argue that, while we guessed these things, the show needed the girls to find out and the show needed to confirm these facts. But we compare a lot of teen shows to The Vampire Diaries, a show that moves fast, confirms things the audience knows immediately, and then throws us eight new twists on top of the confirmation. This comparison is unfair, but we do it anyway.

The only thing we didn’t know was that Aria’s brother Mike has made burglary his exciting new hobby in the wake of his parents’ drama. Get a grip, Mike. More than half of us have divorced parents and we know how to stay classy. As surprising as the Mike thing was, it wasn’t cool enough or creepy enough. We wish Mike’s secret were better, but we were kind of excited that one thing the girls attributed to Ian wasn't actually A.

We both liked the romance bits of the episode. Can we just say that we are shipping Aria and Jason even harder now? This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to regular readers. True, we would take “Aria and her cabbage patch doll” over “Aria and Ezra.” But we really think that, even if he weren’t possibly taking Ezra’s place, Jason is a more interesting choice for Aria. We liked the note that A left him.

Hanna continues to be awesome. She’s like the good version of Alison. All the balls, none of the bitch. Ok, maybe just a tiny amount of bitch….but just enough to be epic. She and Caleb are so sweet, and we think the best part of the episode was when he told her that he knew about her helping him out and then she kissed him.

One of us thinks that Melissa gets more irredeemable and stupid by the episode, but the other kind of felt for her when she was yelling at Spencer. Most people would be shocked to find that their sister was impersonating their dead fiancé via text message. We think Melissa will eventually believe that Spence wasn't sending those texts. Jackie Molina needs to step up her game. Right now, we think the show needs a new villain. We can't see A, so we need a flesh-and-blood antagonist. Ian is dead. Jenna isn't cutting it for us anymore. She's too pathetic to be scary. We need someone like Dolores Umbridge, Lauren Tanner, or Hans Landa to manipulate the girls and for us to hate. (Sidenote: the other blogger doesn't think Jenna is "pathetic" so much as she's becoming "sympathetic", which hasn't happened to any of the aforementioned villains.) <- Thank you, peanut gallery. (You're welcome, rude.)

One more gripe before we go: Although we doubt the show meant this literally, if there is a Stephen King book that begins in a graveyard, we don’t remember reading it. Did Pet Sematary start in one? We don’t remember. But even so, that’s just ONE. That said, we hope the show keeps up the horror elements.

Episode grade: B

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Show #3: New Girl

Fox. September 20,2011. Tuesdays at 9.

Starring: Zooey Deschanel and some dudes.

Plot: Jessica Day is a quirky young woman who moves in with three single guys following a breakup with her model boyfriend. She has a model friend named Cece.

Why We Are Excited: “Because Zooey Deschanel is my spirit guide,” says Leeard. Ern wants to see the guys coach the girl through life and dating, and she likes unconventional women on TV. After the likes of Better with You and Perfect Couples, TV watchers need to know that all girls aren’t cookie-cutter shrews. The preview looked funny and critics who have seen the pilot liked it.

Why We Are Not Excited: Zooey’s character looks pretty weird and zany. That might start to annoy. Also, several morons have told Ern that she looks like Zooey (not true, she’s just pale, brunette, and has bangs). And there have been Ern/Zooey personality comparisons based on Zooey’s other movies, such as Failure to Launch. So Ern is not looking forward to comparisons to this character. Not because it’s offensive, but because it’s just dumb. The only thing these two really have in common is the awkward dancing. This is not relevant to you… So, bottom line: the character might grate on some.


“Anticipation Score”- 9/10

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True Blood - If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?

So, at the end of last episode, Petunia Dursley channeled someone and took Eric’s memory. Cue eye roll, because no one likes amnesia. It’s too soap opera-y. But darn it, on True Blood, it’s a lot of fun.

Apparently, without years of power and hanging out with that twisted Pam, Eric’s base personality is that of a sweet, shy, apologetic, protective 15-year-old boy. And this is giving the viewers what we want. The girls, at least, want to see him playing house with Sookie. Living with Sookie, he had to wear Jason’s old clothes, so naturally he got an awful sleeveless hoodie, which almost ruined all the cuteness. Eric ate Sookie’s fairy godmother, which was not surprising and we don’t really care.

The episode had lots of the one-liners and funny moments. Eric calling Sookie “Snooki.” Keep him away from South Park, Sookie, unless you want him to think you want SMOOSH SMOOSH. You know you do… We also liked these lines: “What does he think this is, Nazi Germany? He did look kind of Aryan.” We’ve decided to find Arlene’s devil baby funny rather than silly. The baby enjoying Jessica’s evil doll was hilariousity. Tommy as Maxine’s new son needs to last a little while. At least she’s teaching him how to read! We'd grouse about Tommy's plan to steal from his new Mommy, but it's expected. The characters on this show often do atrocious things like that.

We have to mention Jason now. We were eating pasta when we first saw him, and seeing his ruined chest and the panther hicks eating meat off of bones totally ruined our dinner. Crystal was never a great person, or even a fun girl. But OF COURSE Jason would fall for her. Mysterious + beautiful + needing protection + hard to get/forbidden = SPROING. Even if she is just God-awful. And she is. Crystal raped Jason to get a baby, and with that, he was finally over her. There was a whole line of girls out waiting to get them a baby daddy as well. This plan will probably succeed, because you know their breeding problems stem from inbreeding. It seems like guys would like a bunch of girls to rape him, but we know from this case, they don’t.

Crystal is not the only woman running all over her guy. She’s just the creepiest/rapist one. Jessica brainwashed Hoyt into forgetting she’s a cheater. Alcide is with Debbie, so Sookie can’t have sex with him yet. Remember Debbie? She was Alcide’s V-addict ex who tried to kill Sookie. She’s clean and sober now, AND she’s found Jesus. Well, praise the Lord. NOT. Look, when addicts find Jesus in real life, that’s more than fine with us. When they find Jesus on our TV shows, that ruins a perfectly good TV show. Bring back psycho murdering Debbie! Even after all she put him through, Alcide took her back. Most guys would be done with that. Maybe that’s why he’s never had sex with Sookie. Noooo balls.

Bill is much more interesting now. His new PR tactic is to kill everyone who makes the vamps look bad on YouTube. That wasn’t exactly what they taught this blogger in her college major (PR), but we have to admit, that sounds effective. We like hard-core Bill. Half of the problem with Bill was the pathetic look on his face and what a poontang he was. That’s gone. He and Jessica have a sweet relationship now, too.

Portia and Bill had sex after she pretty much threw herself at him. He was into it, as long as she was ok with him “never loving her.” We think Portia is pathetic and desperate for being into that. No one deserves to settle like that. But we are happy that there is one man in this episode (besides Terry, who is always cool) who knows how to not let his girlfriend totally and completely abuse him. If Bill were human, he’d be enjoying some good sandwiches right now.

Petunia Dursley let some younger spirit woman use her as a conduit while she slit her wrists and offered herself up. What kind of sad freak would do that?

People who need to die update: Andy.

Episode grade: A-

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Show #2: Up All Night

NBC. Premieres September 14 at 10 and continues on September 21 (Wednesdays) at 8.

Starring: Christina Applegate (Anchorman, Samantha Who, Broadway’s Sweet Charity, Married with Children), Will Arnett (GOB on Arrested Development, Blades of Glory, Running Wilde), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, SNL, Away We Go).

Plot: A couple has a baby girl, but they also have to work and balance their relationship with everything else. Maya Rudolph plays Applegate's clueless boss.

Why We Are Excited: Because we watched the preview (below) and it actually looked cuter than we had anticipated. We want to watch it, at least for a little while. It actually looks like the show has written Arnett a character who is not GOB Bluth (because you know Running Wilde was ripping that off, nasty, and the GOB sort of character is better in an ensemble). Also, the show runners are vets of 30 Rock and SNL, two uneven shows that still aren’t a complete waste of time. At all.

Why We Are Not Excited: The premise isn’t exactly groundbreaking. And both Applegate and Arnett have delivered us TV lemons recently. And does it seem like they show all the cute parts in the preview?


“Anticipation Score”- 8/10

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