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Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Show: Terra Nova

Terra Nova
Monday, September 26 on Fox.

Starring: Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars, In Justice, guest stint on Grey’s Anatomy), Stephen Lang (Public Enemies, Avatar), Landon Liboiron (Degrassi), Naomi Scott (Lemonade Mouth), and Allison Miller (Kings).

Plot: About a hundred years from now, our air quality is going to suck, so humanity is facing extinction. The solution? A time machine that transports people 85 million years back in time to live out their days. Weirdly, the time machine didn’t transport these people back in time to, like, the year 1910 to warn people not to ruin the air and save the world. But these people want to survive, so they will take what they can get. Our main characters are Jim and Elisabeth Shannon and their three children who are sent back to Terra Nova, the first human colony set up in the past. Sounds great. Except there are dinosaurs.

Why We Are Excited: We have high hopes for this. Why? Because we are nerds. Also, it’s a cool idea. And there are DINOSAURS. Leeard is more into sci-fi than Ern (who enjoys fantasy when the time for geekitude arises), but both of us want to watch this a LOT. It’s expensive and Stephen Spielberg is producing it.

Why We Are Not Excited: The preview didn’t blow us away. Also, one of us wonders if this will have much in the way of a good plot, after a while. Avatar looked great and had a good concept. The story? MMMM not so much.


Anticipation Score: 8.5

Be sure to click on the "##Upcoming Shows## link in the cloud so you can stay apprised. And let us know if you think you will be watching any of them!

New Show #14: Free Agents

Free Agents
NBC. Premieres September 14 at 10:30 PM, then it moves to Wednesday nights on September 21 at 8:30.

Starring: Hank Azaria (Heat, Love and Other Drugs, Moe on The Simpsons, and the scientist guy Phoebe almost married on Friends) and Kathryn Hahn (Crossing Jordan, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Step Brothers).

Plot: A recently divorced guy and a woman whose fiancĂ© just died work together as public relations executives. They had a one-night stand, but they are trying to keep things platonic and professional at their job. They are perfect for each other, but don’t realize it, and all of their friends are trying to get them to start dating again. This is a remake of a British workplace sitcom.

Why We Are Excited: Strangely, the trailer was sort of cute. It made one of us stop hating Hank Azaria so much, and that’s a lot for four minutes. And we love Kathryn Hahn, who is adorable and usually funny. Also, British workplace comedies have been good in translation before. It’s nice to see a comedy starring two middle-aged people embarking on romance. It might make this more of a mature show. We will give it a chance. It might be funny.

Why We Are Not Excited: Well, we already don’t care. We think it might get cancelled quickly. The last thing we need is another show that’s going to rely on a main romance and then drag it out forever. This might have made a cuter movie. And Hank’s character on Friends (David) was just so pathetic. Hank’s just not that funny anymore (he was funny on The Simpsons). This would have been a great part for, say, pre-Passion Mel Gibson, but he went crazy. (Favorite line from the Mel Gibson tapes: “I’m gonna burn the house down, but you WILL blow me first!”) Without a likeable, charismatic leading man, this show might be DOA.


Anticipation Score: 4

Be sure to click on the "##Upcoming Shows## link in the cloud so you can stay apprised. And let us know if you think you will be watching any of them!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sons of Anarchy - Overview and Summary

Overview for people who are thinking of getting into the show - We know lots of you were waiting for us to finally watch this show, but this is a hard one to get into, or at least it was for us. One of us actually had to try watching it three different times. Finally, we gritted our teeth and got through the first seven episodes. Then we were fine with it.

This series increased GREATLY in quality in the second season. While the first season is worthwhile, it’s not as good as the rest of the show. It wasn't until season two that we finally realized what everyone was going on about. Overall, the show is overrated, but still good and worth watching. We will be watching the fourth season. One strong point is that the show has interesting, developed characters. That's important to us.

Here are a few things you will want to know before you watch the pilot. Sons of Anarchy is a motorcycle gang with many chapters. This show focuses on the original chapter, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original or SAMCRO. So when you hear people talking about Sam Crow, they are talking about the motorcycle club chapter that you are watching a show about. It’s not some hidden leader or something.

These guys don’t sell drugs. In fact, they spend lots of time trying to keep drugs out of their little town (Charming, California). They do traffic in weapons, but there is a pretty big vigilante element here. That’s something we didn’t know before, or we would have watched this show sooner. We are all about vigilantes in entertainment.

Jax Teller is the main character. He’s the hot blonde guy. His father, John Teller, started SAMCRO with one of his buddies, Clay Morrow. But John Teller died. Now Clay Morrow is the president and Jax is the vice president. Jax’s mom, Gemma, married Clay Morrow after the death of her husband. Jax is divorced from a drug addict and has a young son who was born with medical problems.

At the beginning of the season, Jax found some old journals of his dad’s. Apparently, John Teller had different ideas for the club than Clay does now. This becomes a point of contention between Jax and Clay, and it sows seeds of doubt and causes friction in the rest of the club members. If you are seeing some similarities to Hamlet, you’re a sharp one, because we really think the show is sort of based on it. Other characters sometimes refer to Jax as a “prince.” We wonder if it will end the same way…

Summary - Before we start, here is a cast of characters to be familiar with as you read
(Besides Jax, Gemma, and Clay, who we have already mentioned):
Tramell- An old cop who has been totally bought off by SAMCRO/is in their pocket.
Hale- a cop
Wayne Unser- Another cop.
Tara- A doctor and old flame of Jax’s. She worked on his infant son’s case.
Josh Kohn- an ATF agent that Tara used to date. He shows up to investigate SAMCRO at the beginning of the show.
Wendy- Jax’s ex wife.
Abel- Jax’s son.
Alex “Tig” Trager- SAMCRO member
Robert “Bobby” Munson- SAMCRO member
Kip "Half Sack" Epps- a SAMCRO member with only one nut
Harry "Opie" Winston- a SAMCRO member
Donna- Opie’s woman
Big Otto- SAMCRO member who spent time in prison for his activity
Luann- Big Otto’s wife
ATF Agent Stahl- An ATF agent.

Season 1
The Mayans destroyed one of SAMCRO’s weapons warehouses and stole some guns. During the birth drama of Jax’s son, Gemma gave Wendy drugs so that Wendy might kill herself with an overdose. She survived, Dr. Tara suspected what happened, and we got to see that Gemma is one stone cold bitch. But we love her.

Meanwhile, Jax found his father’s old journals and started wondering if the club shouldn’t be into so much illegal activity. SAMCRO then went to Nevada to deal with gun trafficking business. Clay and Half Sack slept with a girl named Cherry. Then there was a shoot-out with the Mayans. Also we found out that Kohn, Tara’s ex, has been stalking Tara since they broke up.

After some of SAMCRO’s guns were used to kill three people, Clay was arrested for aiding and abetting. Gemma found out that Clay cheated on her with Cherry, so Gemma beat Cherry with a skateboard. Then she was arrested for that. We hope that you are starting to see that Gemma is the best thing about this show. She’s a loving mother to Jax’s face, but you had better not cross her.

Since a restraining order didn’t work, Jax threw Kohn through a window to get him to stay away from Tara. Kohn was then arrested for breaking the restraining order, which didn’t do wonders for his career as an ATF agent. In fact, it ended it. Kohn went to Tara’s to try to rape her, but she shot him in the stomach. Jax showed up to help and ended up shooting Kohn in the head after Kohn called Tara a “biker slut.” Then Jax burned Kohn’s body and had sex with Tara. We hope that you are starting to see that Jax is the second best thing about this show.

The True IRA was another gang in the Sons of Anarchy universe, and SAMCRO was pretty friendly with them/they did gun business together. Opie was supposed to do them a favor and kill someone, but he messed it up, so Bobby had to do it. A little girl saw the crime and the two men were arrested, but SAMCRO members grabbed her to prevent her from testifying.

ATF Agent Stahl questioned Tara, Cherry, Luann, and Donna. Cherry was arrested, but Unser helped her escape. Big Otto attacked Stahl because Stahl was going to destroy the club on racketeering charges. She lived and set Opie up to look like an informant. Tig and Clay fell for the trick. Clay ordered Opie killed, but Tig accidently killed Donna instead. They set it up to look like a rival gang, the One-Niners, killed Donna.

Then Hale told Jax the truth about Stahl setting Opie up. Jax figured out what happened. He went to find SAMCRO members about to kill the little girl witness and stopped them. Then Jax threatened the witness, paid her off, and told her to get out of town. The first season ended with Jax deciding that he didn’t like the way Clay was running the club, that his father wouldn’t approve, and that Clay has lost his integrity. John Teller’s journals were passed to other club members.

Cue Season Two. More characters:
Ethan Zobelle- LOAN’s leader. LOAN is a white supremacist group.
AJ Weston- Ethan Zobelle’s henchman
Polly- Zobelle’s daughter who has an affair with Edmond Hayes during this season
Jimmy O- the head of the IRA, a gang
Edmond Hayes- IRA member
Cameron Hayes- IRA member and Edmond’s father

A new gang, The League of American Nationalists (LOAN), started trying to get rid of SAMCRO/drive them out of town. The leader, Ethan Zobelle, arranged for Gemma to be grabbed and raped as a message to SAMCRO. Gemma kept quiet about it so that Clay and Jax would stay out of trouble rather than seek revenge. Big Otto, still in prison, asked SAMCRO to help Luann out because she started a porn studio. Cops raided her studio and another pornographer was also giving her trouble. Jax proposed that SAMCRO become a partner in Luann’s business, offering her and her colleagues protection. He thought it would be a pretty good way to get legitimate money as well.

Jax and Clay, meanwhile were still at odds. LOAN planted a car bomb and nearly killed Chibs, hoping that SAMCRO would retaliate. Clay ordered retaliation and Clay, Jax, Bobby, and Tig were arrested after trying to attack Ethan Zobelle. Agent Stahl came sniffing around again, trying to get information on the IRA from the jailed SAMCRO members. They kept their mouths shut, but Stahl provoked a physical fight between Clay and Jax.

The members got out on bail. Clay declared that he wanted SAMCRO to get out of Luann’s porn business. After that, the porn studio burned down, and Jax suspected Clay of the arson. Jax told the club members that it was time for him to “go Nomad.” Gemma told Jax about her rape so that he would stay in the gang and so that she would give Clay and Jax a common enemy. Then Tig ruined the new peace by telling Opie that he killed Donna. On top of that, Chibs promised Stahl that he would help her take down the IRA and its leader, Jimmy O. This was successful and Jimmy O was apprehended. Opie spotted Chibs meeting with the ATF and told the club. Chibs also came clean about it.

SAMCRO found out that Ethan Zobelle really wasn’t in the game because he was racist. He wanted to get in on the Hispanic Mayans’ prison heroine trade. SAMCRO alerted AJ Weston, Zobelle’s enforcer, to these facts. Weston was really racist and didn’t want to do business with Hispanics. AJ Weston and Ethan Zobelle were enemies after that. But then AJ Weston was arrested for setting Luann’s porn studio on fire.

SAMCRO confronted Ethan Zobelle for the rape. Hale (a cop, remember?) showed up on the scene. Zobelle told the cop that he had narcotics on him so that he (and his daughters) would be arrested instead of killed by SAMCRO. Zobelle was released and sought protection from the Mayans. It was also revealed that Zobelle was an FBI informant. Jax shot Weston and killed him.

Edmond Hayes, IRA member, was being held by Agent Stahl, who was using Edmond as bait to get his father, Cameron. Edmond tried to kill Stahl and escape, but Stahl shot him. Polly Zobelle was shot by Gemma at a safe house, and Stahl witnessed it, but she let Gemma go. That way she could frame Gemma for shooting Edmond. Cameron Hayes thought Gemma killed his son because of this, so he broke into Jax’s home, stabbed Half-Sack, and kidnapped baby Abel.

SAMCRO went after the Mayans and Zobelle. The Mayans retreated. Jax got a call from Tara and went home to find Half-Sack dead, his baby gone, and Tara tied up. Meanwhile, Chief Unser helped Gemma get out of town and Ethan Zobelle ditched the Mayans and caught a plane back to Budapest where he came from. Jax went to Clay for help tracking down Cameron and his son. Cameron took to a boat. SAMCRO made it just in time to see the boat getting away.

Season Three:
Gemma hid in Oregon with Tig. They went to see Gemma’s father, Nate, who had dementia, and Gemma took him to live in a nursing home. Tara went to visit Gemma and helped her kill Gemma’s father’s caregiver. Masked men did a drive-by shooting at Half-Sack’s wake, and Deputy Hale was run down by a car. SAMCRO had an upcoming hearing for weapons charges, but they agreed to jump bail.

Cameron liquidated his assets and went to Belfast. He confessed his sins to his cousin, Father Ashby, who has connections to both Jimmy O and the main IRA group. Ashby had Cameron killed and planned to put Abel up for adoption. SAMCRO hired a bounty hunter to find Abel, and then they received an email telling of Cameron’s death. After talking to Jimmy O, Jax came to the conclusion that Cameron left Abel in Vancouver.

Gemma went back to Charming, not knowing about Abel’s kidnapping. Father Ashby’s sister, Maureen, gave Gemma call to tell her that her grandson was safe. When she heard this news, Gemma had an arrhythmia and collapsed in the parking lot of the auto-shop (Teller-Morrow) where most of SAMCRO have day jobs. When Gemma recovered, Tara told her that she was six months pregnant with another of Jax’s spawn. Gemma went into police custody.

Without telling the other club members, Jax made a deal with Stahl to save his mom and have the weapons charges against the club downgraded. In exchange, he offered up Jimmy O and the IRA. Oswald, a wealthy Charming resident, agreed to get SAMCRO over to Belfast. Jax broke up with Tara, and Tara caught him in bed with a porn actress, Ima, the next morning. Jax said that he wanted to drive Tara away, to protect her. Tara thought it was because Jax hated her because of what happened to Abel.

Enter Hector Salazar, a former president of the Calaveras MC, yet another gang. He was recently booted and he was still sore about it. He started watching Tara and Jax. Gemma found out that John Teller cheated on her and had a daughter with another woman in Belfast. Tara helped Gemma escape from police custody and made an appointment to have an abortion. Gemma went with SAMCRO to Belfast. Ashby told Jax that he should kill Jimmy O (because the IRA don’t like the way he does things) in exchange for Abel.

Stahl advised Jax not to kill Jimmy O and helped Jax dig up info on Ashby. After their first attempt to kill Jimmy O went awry, SAMCRO had to engage in torture in order to find out who warned Jimmy O. Ashby told Jax where Abel was, but he also said that Abel should be adopted by someone other than Jax so that Abel could avoid life with criminals. Jax agreed and left Abel alone with a new family. But then Jimmy O killed those adoptive parents, took Abel, and tried to exchange Abel for the opportunity to escape back to America. Ashby traded himself for Abel, and Abel was returned to Jax.

Hector Salazar kidnapped Tara and her boss, Margaret, on their way to an abortion clinic and said that he would return them in exchange for the murder of one of his enemies and $250,000. Tara attacked Salazar’s girlfriend and got Margaret set free in exchange for the girlfriend’s life. The girlfriend died anyway.

SAMCRO returned to Charming and started looking for Tara. Gemma told Stahl that unless Stahl stopped dealing with Jax, Gemma would tell everyone about how Stahl murdered Edmond. Salazar kidnapped Jacob Hale, Jr., another cop. Hale, Jr. was trying to take over the Charming Police Department with another, larger police department. In order for Hale, Jr.’s takeover plans to be thwarted, Salazar needed to be taken alive, but Jax shot Salazar during a stand-off.

Stahl shot her partner, on purpose, and blamed Edmond’s murder on her dead partner to get Gemma off. Jimmy O hooked up with Russians in order to escape to South America. SAMCRO paid the Russians $2 million to hand over Jimmy O, but the money was counterfeit. Jax let Stahl in on the deal so that she could arrest Jimmy in exchange for a reduction of SAMCRO’s prison sentences. Jimmy was moved before Stahl could get there and arrest him, so she went to the SAMCRO clubhouse. There, she took Jimmy O into custody. SAMCRO was arrested and taken away in an ATF van. Turns out SAMCRO knew about Jax’s dealings with Stahl, and they were cool with it.

Stahl’s van didn’t make it. Unser (a cop) stopped Stahl’s van due to there being an IRA threat on the road. Stahl’s colleagues left to investigate and she was left alone with Unser and Jimmy O. Chibs, Opie, and others showed up. Chibs killed Jimmy after cutting his mouth like The Dark Knight’s Joker, and Opie killed Stahl. They set things up to make it look like the IRA’s fault. Jax and Clay made up, and Jax supported Clay’s vision of the club over his dead father’s. Father Ashby’s sister, Maureen, put some letters in Jax’s bag. Tara found them and read them. John Teller had written to Maureen that he was afraid that he was going to be killed by his wife and Clay, and that the two were close.


And that’s all. This is by far the hardest post we've ever written. Please add more in the comments if you think we missed something important or want to expand on a character/characters. We were trying to keep it short, but this is sort of a convoluted, action-packed show. And we DID finish watching it in just two weeks. It’s enough to make our heads spin, but we’re ready for season four. Weeeee!

Season 1 Grade: B-
Season 2 Grade: A-
Season 3 Grade: B

New Show: Pan Am

Pan Am
ABC. Sunday, September 25 at 10:00 P.M.

Starring: Christina Ricci (The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow, Monster), Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), and Karine Vanasse (Midnight In Paris).

Plot: It’s about flight attendants in 1963.

Why We Are Excited: Rumor has it that this is a pretty fun show. It’s certainly well-advertised. We’ve seen more ads for this show than any of the other newbies. Plus, fun 60s clothes! We kind of think this looks like Grey’s Anatomy on planes in the 60s. And they play Sinatra in the trailer. It’s worth checking out, we think.

Why We Are Not Excited: It’s not the best looking show of the new season…We really can’t think of much more to put here. We really don’t like Christina Ricci, we guess.


Anticipation Score: 7.5

Be sure to click on the "##Upcoming Shows## link in the cloud so you can stay apprised. And let us know if you think you will be watching any of them!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Show: Two Broke Girls

Two Broke Girls
CBS. Debuts on September 19, 2011 at 9:30, and then moves to Mondays, September 26, 2011 at 8:30.

Starring: Kat Dennings (of Thor, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) as Max and Beth Behrs (of one of those awful American Pie straight-to-DVD sequels) as Caroline.

Plot: Two broke girls waitress in Brooklyn and become friends. Max has always had to work and came from a poor family and Caroline was an heiress, but now she has lost everything. They both dream of raising $250,000 and opening a cupcake shop. One of the showrunners described it as “ranging from heartwarming to Laverne and Shirley on crack.”

Why We Are Excited: We both like Kat Dennings. Also, Whitney Cummings is the executive producer, and this show looks fresher than Whitney, so we will hopefully get to see the best of Cummings here. Michael Patrick King is also involved, and he did Sex and the City. We’re also a little sick of shows about rich people and people who went to Harvard. It’s recession time. Let’s see some people in the same boat as the rest of us! Plus, it looks fun.

Why We Are Not Excited: The blonde former heiress character is already annoying. Hopefully they flesh her out more. We have enough of those in this world, as well as enough female characters who are stereotypes. It’s like the TV thinks there are two types of women: Weak, sorority-girl clichĂ©s and Strong Women with masculine names, who like to do what guys do, and have loud mouths. In real life, guys usually go for the girls, because it makes them feel manly. This show looks like it’s aimed at women, and women like to see a girl that makes them feel superior or a girl they would actually want to be friends with. Here, we have both, so there is a chance that the blonde will still be wailing about colors not matching her skin tone for weeks to come.


Anticipation Score: 8

Be sure to click on the "##Upcoming Shows## link in the cloud so you can stay apprised. And let us know if you think you will be watching any of them!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Web Therapy

Showtime has a new show with Lisa Kudrow that is based on some popular web shorts she did. The shorts have been compiled and turned into a show. In addition to Lisa, plenty of other good actors appear on this Web Therapy, so that alone is a reason to tune in. Meryl Streep was in the web shorts a few times, so she might turn up again. Jane Lynch and Rashida Jones have guest starred as patients already.

This show would be good on a marathon, because it’s so short. Quite a few have aired already. It gets funnier as it goes along, and it’s a lot funnier than the other Showtime offering starting a former Friends actor (Episodes), and we liked that show. This show is improvised too. Impressive.

Web Therapy is about a therapist who got tired of listening to people for 50 minutes, so she started doing “a new modality” of three-minute sessions over the internet. It’s a dark, sometimes dry comedy.

Kudrow’s character, Dr. Fiona Wallace, might actually give good advice if she weren’t so obsessed with herself during the three minutes. She has a real gift for catching people’s interests quickly, which is good, because a therapist who is always bad isn’t as interesting as a therapist who is sometimes good.

Fiona Wallace has a horrible (and funny) marriage to a lawyer (Victor Garber - we love him SO MUCH), and bad relationship with her mother, who clearly hates her. It’s a good summer show on Tuesday nights. It makes us chuckle. You can watch the web version here and get a taste for free. We are going to wait for the episodes, because the TV series includes extra scenes that were filmed for Showtime, and we want to watch it all in its cohesive order.

Overall, this show was a pleasant surprise. We almost skipped it, but we’re really glad we didn’t.

Show Grade: A-

Pretty Little Liars - I Must Confess review

Is Pretty Little Liars REALLY going to weigh in on the prescription mood-altering drugs debate? Well THAT’S just what we need….not. But it was really sweet when Aria hugged Mike at the end when he started to break down a little. This girl needs more to do than Ezra, and having a depressed brother might bring out a likeable side of her.

Aria seems to handle her family pretty well. It’s her wardrobe and love life that suffer. Is anyone else sick of the feather extensions that are popular right now? Aria hasn’t worn them for a few weeks, but she reminds us of them every time we see her.

The big event this week was the Liars confessing A’s existence to Therapist Anne. This turned out just like most of us predicted: Therapist Anne is in trouble, and probably dead. We wish we could have seen more of Anne’s reaction to A’s BS. What’s the fun of having someone else find out if we don’t get to see how horrified they are? We can’t wait until next week to find out how Anne was killed. Also, what is with this show and not letting people give pertinent information over the phone?! How hard would it have been for Therapist Anne to be like "I know who A is. Meet me at my office right now. Oh by the way, A is Caleb, so stay away from him." Obviously we're being facetious about Caleb being A, but you guys understand our point.

Anyway, Anne’s speech was true, but totally uncalled for in the situation. A was a top secret thing, and she went and talked about cyberbullying. It’s an apropos topic for teens watching (and is helping make PLL a socially-redeemable show!), but it was totally wasted on the Liars’ school. But still. Being mean to people over technology is cowardly, permanent, low class, and unintelligent.

Maya came back, and we’ve decided that we don’t like her. She was a teensy bit weird during her dinner with Emily, we thought. Both of Emily’s other flames are more interesting than Maya.

Hanna. Oh Hanna. You were verbally, directly warned by Kate that Kate was going to try to mess with you, but you still fell for the “let’s be friends/here, have a drink from me” ploy. The worst part about this subplot is that everyone knew exactly what was going to happen with Hanna and the dress the second Kate offered her alcohol (or earlier), but we were all powerless to stop her. Hanna deserved what she got for being dumb. Her dad was totally uncool to throw her out just for barfing, though.

We know where Hanna gets her balls and wit now: Her awesome grandma who just doesn’t give a hoot. She actually said that she needed to go to the restroom to “wipe the dew from her lily” in this episode. Yeah, that just got said. Gross, but amazeballs. That honestly sounds like something Ern would say to Leeard to gross her out rather than something you would hear on ABC Family.

We want to get a tattoo that says, “What would Spencer do?” and act accordingly. With her dad acting more and more sketchy every week, it’s all Spencer can do to keep him and Toby from getting into it, let alone advise her dad not to break the law as an attorney. Jeez. Apparently the DiLaurentis family has some dirt on Mr. Hastings that they held over his head to get him to fabricate a family will. Also, that’s just what we need, right? More dishonest attorneys on TV. (Not all of them are liars, believe it or not.)

We only have one more episode for the summer, so enjoy it.

Episode Grade: B+

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Lying Game, episodes 1 and 2

ABC Family has a new teen show in the vein of Pretty Little Liars. You know, a show about rich, female teens with lots of secrets and a mystery element? We’re not complaining, because you know we are both PLL fans.

The Lying Game is about twins. One, Sutton, was adopted by a rich family and the other, Emma, was not chosen and got stuck in the foster care system. Sutton found Emma and asked her to take her place while she searched for their real parents. But Sutton didn’t come back when she said she would. And Emma started to find out that Sutton has a lot of secrets and used to play pranks called “Lying Games.” Yeah, Sutton’s a conniving, slightly sociopathic weasel. To what degree we do not yet know. Is she a villain?

The Lying Game is a welcome addition to our Monday summer nights. At first, it seemed like a straightforward switcheroo, but then the second episode let us know that there is more going on in Sutton’s life than we thought. It’s possible that Sutton is pulling a lying game on Emma. It’s possible that she really IS looking for her real parents.

One of the things we like about the show so far is the main actress. She has a real feel for the fact that she is playing two different characters, much like Nina Dobrev on The Vampire Diaries. (You never miss an opportunity to mention TVD, do ya, Leeard?) The strength and tone of the actress' voice, as well as her facial expressions, tell us the difference between these two girls. Emma is vulnerable, brave, and caring. She longs for a family of her own, and the actress really makes you feel for Emma as she borrows Sutton’s loving parents and befriends Sutton’s sister. Sutton is confident, but sketchy.

We were afraid that Emma was too boring, being the good girl, but she has a protective, ballsy streak that makes us love her. While Sutton was the troublemaker, she did it secretly. Emma is more in-your-face, smacking bitches down and standing up for her friends.

We think the show needs stronger male love interests at some point, or at least another one. Sutton’s secret boyfriend is a likeable, if temperamental, guy, but shows like this thrive on triangles and many options. We also don’t like the intro with the girls floating in bikinis in a pool. This actress isn’t really a sex pot. She’s cute, in sort of a funny looking way. And this is a show aimed at teens. It seems unnecessary and tacky.

We are also liking Sutton’s wisecracking sister, Laurel, and her best friends, Mads and Char. We expected Mads and Char to be rich jerks, not real friends, but they seem pretty normal. We don’t have much of any idea of where this show is going, and we like that. There’s no murder to solve (so far - there is in the books, so we'll see if the show goes there, but even if it does, it's not the show's main premise), so the plot has places to go (unlike PLL) without dragging things out. The show can go in any direction it wants, as long as it keeps Emma’s true identity a secret. These twins can switch back and forth and get into any sort of adventure.

This is a fun teen show with lots of potential and a main character that you actually root for and pity.

Episodes 1-2 Grade: B+

Monday, August 22, 2011

Starter for Ten

Leeard recently got Ern to develop a crush on James McAvoy (which is so weird, because Ern usually likes manlier looking guys who are taller than McAvoy’s 5’7”), so Ern has been going through all of his films that she hasn’t yet seen. That’s not many. He’s in a lot of popular movies. But one little movie that flew under both our radars was Starter for Ten.

What’s it about? In this movie, McAvoy plays a poor student who makes it into a prestigious university based on his hunger for learning and desire to better his own intellect. He starts to lose his mind a little when he enters and the pressure of romance, school, and proving himself to his rich classmates gets to him. He falls for a hot blonde girl who is his fellow contestant on a college trivia show that he has watched since he was a boy. It was his dream to appear on it for several years. Meanwhile, a clever, pretty brunette social activist (played by charismatic Rebecca Hall) develops a crush on him, but he sees her as more of a friend.

This movie is full of laughs, coming-of-age moments, and likeable characters. There’s a truly shocking moment that would have made the movie for us all by itself. As McAvoy’s character matures, we grow to forgive and respect him. This is a romantic comedy, but it’s an especially cute, original, and funny one. Plus, everyone in the movie has a sweet European accent, so it makes the lines twice as fun to listen to. It has a sweet, non-Hollywood-y feel to it. Recommended to people looking for a chick flick that doesn’t suck.

McAvoy’s hair and glasses are extremely unfortunate though. It nearly killed Ern’s fledgling crush.

Movie grade: A-

Fright Night

This was a remake of an ‘80s movie, and we thought it brought everything you could ever want in a horror remake. It was aimed at people looking for a good time with movie monsters. Colin Farrell is completing his inevitable comeback after getting into substance abuse and then into rehab. He’s pulling a Robert Downey, Jr., not a Lindsay Lohan. (Wow, we shouldn’t have written that. That girl loves to sue people). Farrell was funny, scary, and sexy.

That geek who played McLovin’ in Superbad was in the movie briefly, but he was well-used during his few scenes. This movie brings the jumps and laughs. It’s self-conscious, not boring, and fun. If you hate scary movies, watching people get bit in the neck, any gore, or F-bombs, it’s not for you. Otherwise, we recommend it. It looks like Disturbia, but it’s not like that movie at all.

We are surprised that it didn’t do better in its first weekend at the box office. Maybe people are getting sick of vampires (especially vampires aimed at teens) or they think this movie looks too familiar. Teens usually flock to the rated-R horror genre, but they stayed away here. They shouldn’t have, because it’s a good time. Perfect for a date, if both people liked the ‘80s and horror. We’ve heard from several different sources that you should steer clear of the 3-D version though.
Movie Grade: B+

The Glee Project Finale Comments

Lots of people haven't seen it yet, so we are posting our thoughts in the comments of this post.

True Blood - This Week and Last Week reviews

Here we have one of the most bad ass, awesome episodes of True Blood, followed immediately by one of the lamest. But we still like the action-packed nature of this season.

The baby and evil doll thing did NOT pan out. It seemed like a side plot that had nothing to do with any of the main action or characters. Lafayette got possessed by a women and if it weren’t for the French accent, we wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between regular Lafayette and Ghost Lafayette. In other news, apparently the actor who plays Lafayette is straight and dating a woman. We’re 100% serious.

The only good thing about the evil doll/ghost/baby plot was that we got to see Brujo Jesus be awesome. When he cast the ghost out of Lafayette, he was a major power player mixed with some sort of loving angel of light. Maybe he can take down Petunia Dursley…We think we're in love.

We didn’t feel bad for Jessica for even a moment during these last two episodes, even though she had her heart broken and Hoyt is being mean and petty, calling her a monster. That’s how lots of people are in breakups though. Show me the person who got dumped and acted with total class, grace, and unselfishness. We don’t believe they exist. We’ve never been dumped ourselves, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we say a few rude things if it ever happens.

Jessica is the cheater and the brainwasher. Hoyt can be as much of a butt as he wants. For a few more episodes, anyway. And Jessica ended this week’s episode by nailing Jason while a Taylor Swift song played in the background, which is one of the best uses of Taylor Swift ever, because it just felt so wrong. We can’t blame Jessica for boning Jason though. He’s more tolerable than ever. As a cop, he now has a purpose on the show and in its action. He’s grown a conscience too.

One of the things we loved about the good episode (Spellbound) was the vampire/witch battle that saw Sookie and Tara on opposite sides, Bill offering peace, and Petunia Dursley casting spells even as she negotiated. It was lame that it all ended with Sookie getting shot (it’s not suspenseful when you know she can’t die), but we enjoyed Eric’s battle-commencing attack. Bill saved Tara from Pam and forbade Pam from killing Tara, ever. Petunia Dursley regained control over Eric.

Alcide carried an unconscious Sookie home. This is bad, because he told Debbie and his new werewolf pack’s leader that he would stay away from the vampire vs. witches war…and Sookie. Speaking of the pack leader, Marcus: How can he be such a cool, laid-back guy with Alcide and such a dick to everyone else? We thought Marcus was going to be threatened by Alcide’s strength and much-hotterness (shut up, that can be a real term). But the two came to an understanding and Marcus suggested that Alcide might fulfill a leadership role. But then Marcus was revealed to be Luna’s ex-husband, and he has a real problem with Luna moving on.

Then the next episode came and it all went to hell. At least it was just a filler episode and not a finale or something, because it wasn’t good. We had the weird Lafayette stealing the baby plot. The healing of Sookie was as easy as two prayers from Bill and Alcide, plus some vampire blood. There was a boring dream with too much gender-equality commentary where Sookie tried to get Bill and Eric to have a threesome or something.

The battle between the vampires and the witches didn’t seem to end in any deaths. We guess they all just ran away after a skirmish in the mist. That was it? Seriously? There was way too much Arlene in the episode too. It WAS pretty funny when Jesus responded to one of Jason’s homophobic questions with, “I’m gonna pretend you didn’t just say that” and then just moved onto the action.

The only cute part was when Sam took Luna and her daughter camping and turned into a bunny rabbit so that Luna’s daughter could pet him. Marcus tried to track Sam down and threaten him, but he ended up finding Tommy, who was pretending to be Sam again. Tommy got beat up. We didn’t mind that. We actually feel a little sorry for him, but we don’t really want him on the show.

Also stupid? Petunia Dursley trapped the yellow-bellied witches (the ones who didn’t want to be in the war anymore) in their meeting building. Tara tried a door handle and burned all the skin off her hand. Then, immediately, the witches said, “Try the back door!” Another witch touched the handle of that other door and….burned all the skin off her hand. Idiots. Use a cloth or something. You just SAW someone get burned by magic. It’s not a leap of logic to guess that Petunia would have cursed BOTH doors.

It was revealed that Jessica likes both Twilight and Taylor Swift. This is sort of endearing, because it’s a reminder of how young Jessica actually was when she died, and how some of her girlish human nature remains, even as her life got a hell of a lot less innocent. Both Andy and Debbie are back on V. Yayyy. Bring on crazy Debbie! But then the show made it confusing as to whether Debbie is trying to help Sookie or betray her to the witches. Debbie might not even know.

Petunia Dursley’s master plan was to compel Eric into killing King Bill at a tolerance rally. Sookie ran into the rally and shouted “RUN!” to Bill, even though just about everyone in the building was already running, as it was clear that witches were attacking. This episode was really dumb, especially after the streak of good episodes we have had. We are also sick of Sookie’s sex dreams. We never thought we would be, but this season has done it. Dear Sookie: Stop getting high on V. Your time of blissful sex is over. Get into the fight. You’ve been playing house with Eric for, like, a whole season now.

Spellbound Episode Grade: A
Let’s Get Out of Here Episode Grade: C+

Breaking Bad- This Week And Last Week (Shotgun and Cornered reviews)

We are almost halfway into season four of this show and there has yet to be a moment that knocks our socks off. Granted, most of those moments seem to happen in the final episodes of each season (with the exception of Walt committing his first murder in, like, episode three of the first season). It’s time to pick up the pace, we say. We thought the show was going to do it when Mike drove Jesse into the desert. We though, “Oh no! Is Jesse dead?” Hardly. They just spent most of the episode driving around together and digging up money.

However, even a slow series of Breaking Bad entries are better-made, more insightful, and more interesting than 90% of other shows. At least we know it’s all going somewhere. But a lot of the individual scenes this season have been a little too long. Like three weeks ago when Skyler went over the cover story with Walt. Or when Mike and Jesse made their first stop. That was like five whole minutes of getting out of the car and digging. Yeah, there was tension. But it was just too dang long.

The whole point of having Jesse tag along with Mike was for Gus to set up a fake attack on Mike that Jesse could avert. That way, Jesse would catch the same pride disease that Walt seems to have contracted. Gus hoped to drive a wedge between Jesse and Walt by making Jesse believe that he can do business and roll in this crowd without Walt’s skills and protection.

Walt occasionally goes back to the smart nerd we know, and this was one of those times. He instantly figured out what Gus was trying to do. But then Walt made it worse by explaining it to Jesse in a very non-tactful way. “It’s all about me!” he said. But props to Walt. We didn’t figure out that’s what Gus was aiming at (a rift between Jesse and Walt). If it works, Jesse is too dumb to deserve to live.

Skyler and Walt officially own the car wash now. We were thinking: Walt has done a lot of horrible things, but he has mostly done them to criminals. He hasn’t really been hurting innocents. Skyler, on the other hand, conned an honest businessman into selling her his life’s work. Who’s the real villain here? Skyler and Walt had sex last week, and it was disgusting. We are always show softcore, porny scenes of two young, perfect, lithe bodies wriggling, mostly outside of marriage. You’ve seen Skyler and Walt. Did we really need to see ALL of Skyler and Walt? Bleck. It was jarring.

The best part of the episode before this Sunday’s was when Walt went over to Hank and Marie’s for dinner and basically shot himself in the foot due to his ego. Hank was going on about how Gale was a real genius, and Walt couldn’t have a dead nerd that he didn’t like taking credit for his meth masterpiece. So he told Hank that he really thought that Gale was just copying the work of the real Heisenberg, who is probably still out there. We busted out laughing. This was so dumb, but it was so true to the character Walt has become.

The camera panned over to a very unhappy looking Skyler. She was probably going through all seven of George Carlin’s dirty words in her head. So Hank settled down to take another gander at the case and found a link between Gale and Gus’ chicken restaurant. It. Is. So. On. Our wish for this season is for the Hank and Heisenberg confrontation to happen.

So now we get to this week. Another reviewer summed it up this way: “This episode slathers on the reminders that Walt is a petty, egotistical, short-tempered man who is not nearly as smart as he believes himself to be.” Yup, this episode gave Walt nothing kind to do. If someone watched this show for the first time last week, they would probably think the protagonist of this show was Mike. Walt gave Skyler this whole rant about how he is the biggest, baddest drug dealer around. She got upset and left. Rather than placate her, Walt went out and bought his son a sports car, out of spite. We wish our parents would buy us stuff when they are mad…

Then Walt got three Honduran ladies in big trouble by paying them to clean his lab when Jesse bailed (after being offended by Walt). They have to be bused back to their mother country, because they saw the meth lab. That was a pretty good use of fragmented Spanish to get them to do it in the first place though. Walt IS smart; he’s just not wise.

At the end of this week’s episode, Jesse and Mike sat outside of a meth dealer’s house, staking it out. It was your classic Breaking Bad meth shack, complete with idiots with bad teeth, filthy rooms, guns, and suspicion. The cartel rivaling Gus’ stole some of Gus’ blue meth, and the meth shack people had bought some of the meth from that rival cartel. Bored of the stakeout, Jesse got out of the car, got one of the meth dudes to dig a hole in his own back yard (so that he would be occupied), and went inside to talk to the remaining methie.

That guy was totally gross and paranoid though, and Jesse had to knock him out with an adjacent bong and take his shotgun from him. Mike showed up just in time to see Jesse not completely bungle his big move. During this episode, Mike also seemed fatherly toward Jesse. It’s obvious that the show is starting to have the two forge a real bond. Jesse is loveable, in his way. After all, he is the only person that Walt is not a complete douche to/Loyalty to Jesse is Walt’s only remaining redeemable quality.

And that might get taken away as Walt continues to see himself as the bad ass running the show when he so clearly is not. A substantial relationship between Mike (who is not completely heartless. Remember his story about trying to save the abuse victim?) and Jesse could lead to many exciting places in the second half of the season.

Will they take on Walt together? Will they take on Gus together? Will Mike be like, “Just kidding, I don’t really care about you” and shoot Jesse in the face? Only time will tell. We are also looking forward to watching Walt be a poor car wash manager, because you just know he's gonna suck at that. We also think that Skyler should go this season, whether she dies or leaves Walt for good. This show needs better female characters. Jane was likeable and Marie is more interesting than Skyler. There's just too much Skyler, even though she is more capable and smarter than Walt will ever be.

Grade for both episodes: B-

Sunday, August 21, 2011

If Anyone Interrupts Us During Breaking Bad...

This. Mmmhmmm.

When the Shows Come Back

Add them to your calendar! If you are wondering about other shows, they are probably premiering midseason (like 30 Rock), or they are summer shows, or they have been cancelled. If you have a question about a specific show, ask us. We may know! No news on Make It or Break It. It hasn't been cancelled yet, but there is no indication of a new season.