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Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Big C, Season Two

Those Big C finales really deliver on the emotional front, don’t they? This season was a lot less bleak than last season. No one intentionally committed suicide, Kathy made progress in a clinical trial, it was funnier, and there was more Andrea. The show still had the heart and the tough subject, but it was easier and less depressing to watch. Parker Posey guest starring and Adam turning into a real human late in the game was the icing on the cake.

There were better and more cohesive plots this season too. It didn’t feel like the show was stalled just waiting for Kathy to die. There was less focus on cancer and more focus on characters, family, and comedy. Kathy became a fully-realized character this season too, rather than someone just doing and saying crazy things because she has cancer and can. This is the show we should have had in the first season. This has become our favorite Showtime program on right now, and we hope to see a third season, because that’s a weird way to end it. It has humor as good as Weeds without all the coldness. Sean has also become a good character this season, rather than just another wacko.

Major spoilers are hinted at here: So a huge character unexpectedly died in the finale. The way they did that was perfect/the way they told us that he was dead (and his sweet last words). He’s grated on us for a long time, but the show still managed to make his death sad. That was one of the most shocking TV twists we’ve seen in a while. But it was foreshadowed with the scale that showed that he had the health of a 67-year-old man. Then he started using drugs recreationally to cope. The twist was cool, because we really shouldn’t have been so blindsided. It was much better than Marlene’s death, which just felt unnecessary. Another good death was Lee’s. Marlene and the first season taught Kathy how (and how not) to live; Lee taught Kathy how to die.

Season grade: A

We Wish We Could Meet Our Parallel Universe Selves...Or Do We?

A Gifted Man - "In Case of All Hell Breaking Loose"

What kind of medical show really only has one doctor? How can we have multiple hookups and other drama? All we have here are cases. The weird thing is, this show makes you care anyway. We’re still liking it this week. The quality has stayed the same. It has a good tone and a strong central performance. It still needs to find itself in a lot of ways, but we hope it gets a chance to do it. Side note: We love his secretary. His sister and nephew were missing though. Episode grade: B

Fringe - "One Night in October"

Why wasn’t this the premiere? What an interesting case! The show pulled a Grey’s Anatomy when it related the case to Peter’s disappearance/the main characters’ own lives. Yup, Peter’s indelible. And he needs help? Hoo boy. We liked this one a lot.
Episode Grade: A-

New Show: American Horror Story

American Horror Story
FX. Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Starring: Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), Dylan McDermott (The Practice, Dark Blue), Denis O’Hare (True Blood), and Jessica Lange (Tootsie, Frances)

Plot: A family moves into a haunted mansion

Why We Are Excited: It actually looks scary. Ryan Murphy has created cool stuff before. The advertisements make this look stylish. Finally, we love Connie Britton.

Why We Are Not Excited: Nip/Tuck was edgy and weird, but then it just got silly. Ryan needs to reign in some of his over-the-top sensibilities. We liked the first season of Nip/Tuck (it actually convinced us that we probably won’t ever want plastic surgery), but then it all went to hell.


Anticipation Score: 9.5/10

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!

Don't Cancel Prime Suspect Yet, Please

Person of Interest - "Ghosts"
We were snoring a bit here. This is a definite procedural and it’s feeling like one. We hear that we will be getting a Mr. Finch flashback where we get to see some of the story behind the machine’s creation, and we can’t wait for that. It’s time for an overarching plot or mystery to emerge to keep us coming back week-to-week.
Episode grade: C+

Prime Suspect - "Carnivorous Sheep"
Yeah, this is a procedural too, but the case was more interesting than the Person of Interest one, and Maria Bello has a lot more charisma than Jim Caviezel. Too bad the ratings are down, because this episode was better than the pilot, and we liked the pilot. This is the new cop show/procedural to watch.
Episode grade: B+

The X-Factor
Simon says that they are looking for “more than just a voice.” It’s “something else.” So far, this seems like just an excuse to pick poor vocalists based on looks, personality, and bravado. That’s probably why the contestants continue to underwhelm. However, they were better Thursday night. New Jersey also brought us more entertaining rejects. We loved Simon’s attitude about the show Jersey Shore, saying that when he saw it, he knew that he had to bring his show to New Jersey because he loves the people there and their sense of humor. That’s a joyful, nonjudgmental attitude we didn’t think we’d hear from Simon after all the Jersey hate.

Our favorites were the 12-year-old who rapped “Stop Lookin At My Mom” and the last girl, the 16-year-old from Cape Coral, FL, who sang the Mary J. Blige song. The young ones are bringing it. (Ern’s siblings went to the same high school.) We also liked Kelly, the hairdresser for a nursing home, because she had a nice tone. We agreed with Simon about Carrie Fletcher. She was not distinctive, but she seems smart enough to fix that.

New Show: Homeland

In case you haven't heard and don't want to miss it, this is on Showtime tomorrow night, but the pilot is already online. We haven’t watched it yet, but we will.

Starring: Claire Danes (My So-Called Life, Stardust, Romeo + Juliet), Damian Lewis (Life), Mandy Patinkin (Yentl, The Princess Bride), and Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Serenity, V).

Plot: Carrie Mathison, a paranoid, loose cannon CIA operations officer, is convinced that a former prisoner of war was turned by the enemy and poses a great risk to national security.

Why We Are Excited: Claire Danes isn’t bad. The reviews say that this is thrilling, edge-of-your-seat, and that it’s going to be hard for us to wait for the next episode. Some are calling it a smarter version of 24. People involved in 24 are also involved in this.

Why We Are Not Excited: We do not find Damian Lewis attractive. We like when guys are hot. But that’s really our only quibble at this point. One of us never got into 24.


Anticipation Score: 9/10

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!

The Annies Should Have Made a Model "Something-That-Actually-Has-Power/Matters"

Parks and Recreation - “Ron and Tammys”
We can’t believe they killed the mustache completely! We know it will be back next week, since Tammy 1 is gone, but we were shocked. It was just so wrong….and risky. Tammy 1’s effect was even funnier than Tammy 2’s. Not only was the Ron-centric A plot hilarious, plots B and C were pretty good too, with Ben trying to save Tom’s business that gives iPads away for free and Ann realizing that she’s definitely over her ex.

Episode grade: A

Community - "Geography of Global Conflict"
We got to see both Britta and Annie devolve into their crazy past selves when they saw their “better” versions. We also saw yet another attempt to use the Chang character. He was best as a teacher, we think. And a Dungeons and Dragons player. This episode was mildly amusing, but not their best.

Episode grade: B

How to Be a Gentleman - "Pilot"
We almost changed the channel in the very beginning, because it was unbearable already, but then Rhys Darby (Flight of the Concords) and Mary Lynn Rajskub came on the screen as a married couple. We decided to stick around for them. We found ourselves wishing the show was about this couple. Instead, it was about a “gentleman” and a guy who is actually from the show Entourage and brought that attitude with him, only he’s less intelligent. The guy who is a gentleman might have worked if he were actually courteous, moral, and sweet.

Instead, he’s obnoxious, unattractive, unfunny, and speaks to his sister in a way that would get us slapped at the dinner table. Does anyone remember that stupid movie Kate and Leopold with Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan? That’s the kind of gentleman that could have carried this show. The sincere hot one. Not this guy who is so obnoxious that four minutes into the show we were about to rip our ears off. His voice!!! We’d rather watch and listen to the so-called “rude” guy. The plot was weak, the jokes were weak, and there were multiple cameras and laugh tracks. We will never watch this again, and we hope that Rhys and Mary Lynn get off this show soon and get jobs that are worthy of them.

Episode grade: F

Why Do All the Students Keep So Much Loose Paper In Their Lockers At This School?

Secret Circle - "Loner"

We are really enjoying Dawn. Sure, she had a hand in the death of Cassie’s mom, but she’s really cool, together, and bad ass, not to mention she loves Faye. Charles told Diana that he is dating Dawn in order to explain why they spend so much time together. Dawn seems repulsed by the idea. Good for her. Charles is not her equal.

Sally doesn’t remember who pushed her onto the rocks, but she does remember seeing a mean look on Faye’s face right before she woke up. Henry really is dead. Charles helped Dawn move his body. The binding ceremony caused the Circle to lose their individual powers. They need two to tango now. With all six, they are at their strongest. Faye is upset, even though she is always with one of the Circle and could convince at least one of them to help her out.

A guy named Luke asks Cassie to the school dance shortly after meeting her. Note to guys: Unless you are super hot and charming, you should talk to the girl/at least pretend to get to know her about twice before you ask her out. Remember, third meeting is the charm. You don’t want to wait too long either. Lots of guys make that mistake. Cassie agreed to go with Luke though.

A man named Zachary who knew the Circle’s parents ran into Cassie and started questioning her about all the witchcraft. He says that her mother would never want her to live in this town and that he knows she’s a witch. Diana shows up and Cassie is able to push him away. He says, “It can’t happen again” ominously before he leaves. Later, he scares Faye at the abandoned house.

All the kids go to the dance and Cassie tells Luke that she had no friends at her old school. Way to be honest on a date, Cassie. Melissa is finally fed up with Nick being a jerk to her after he makes her feel like an idiot at the dance. No one is dancing, so Sally grabs Adam and Cassie, who are talking and forces them too in an obvious move on the show’s part to get them to share an awkward, yet romantic moment. Faye shows up at the dance and tells them that she was chased by Zachary.

Charles finds Zachary, who monologues a bit and gives us the following info: Amelia used to be friends with him and his girlfriend, Heather, but she pushed them away as she got deeper into magic. Then something really bad happened to Heather because of all the witchcraft. Zachary defeats Charlie in a fight, says he only needs to kill one of the Circle, and sets off to do that.

Cassie leaves her date alone for most of the dance, and Luke calls her on it and leaves. Faye tells Nick to treat Melissa better. Faye and her mother are our favorite characters, even if it is a touch annoying that Faye’s Australian accent creeps out OFTEN. Leeard was the first to notice this, and now it’s glaringly obvious to both of us.

Zachary arrives at the school and tries to kill Cassie in the hall, but the rest of the Circle shows up and knocks him out by tossing his body onto the ceiling and then onto the floor. Dawn shows up and they say, “Oh, he’s a vandal and he slipped on some papers.” Dawn pretends to believe this and says that she will take care of it. The kids leave the dance, and Nick asks Melissa if she wants to come over and watch a movie, rather than just pleasure him sexually. Faye looks on, sadly. She must love Nick a little. Or Melissa.

Diana and Cassie talk about Adam, and Cassie assures Diana that she won’t steal her boyfriend. Awesome Dawn puts Zachary in her trunk. She drives him far away, marks him like he’s Cain, and says that now she will be able to find him wherever he is. She says that if he ever even looks at any of the children again, she will find him and give him a fate worse than Heather’s.

This was another good episode, but it didn’t seem to further much, unless we see Zachary again/he’s important. One thing we don’t enjoy: How everyone on the CW has obvious full makeup on when they first wake up in bed. It looked like Diana had both fake eyelashes and lipgloss. They would still look pretty with a natural look, show. Elena Gilbert is another common culprit of this annoyance.

Episode Grade: B

Friday, September 30, 2011

We Miss Zola and Lexie

Grey's Anatomy - "Take the Lead"

This episode focused on most of the residents flying solo in the ER, but it also focused on hope for both of our current icy couples. It started out a little slowly for us, but then the episode nailed it in the last couple of scenes and in the surgeries. What’s going on with Alex? Why isn’t he fighting for peds, the only place where he is able to act like a human?

Richard steps down as Chief to spend more time with Adele and names Owen as the new chief of surgery. Lots of people don’t like this and are amazed that it wasn’t Bailey. We think Bailey would have made a far more entertaining chief, but Owen is usually professional at work, and he’s older (we think), so he’ll be fine. Owen spends the episode at work trying to win Bailey over, but he strikes out every time, because she refuses to make things easy.

Owen and Cristina have not yet talked about the abortion. They are being polite and too friendly and are trying really hard. It’s awkward, but funny. We didn’t think that humor would be the perfect aftermath to that storyline, but it is and it’s working. Meredith convinces Cristina that she will have to discuss it with Owen. Owen and Cristina go home and get Chinese food. When they are finished, Owen looks teary and says, “You know, I’ve been feeling really terrible.”

Cristina is like, “Oh, we’re gonna talk about this. Ok. Let’s dive into it,” but then Owen runs to the bathroom. It turns out they both got food poisoning and spent time in the bathroom together. The awkwardness is gone and they are all lovey again. It was appropriate, yet funny, and probably the best way to handle this on the show. Thank God we didn’t have to watch them talk about it yet. That storyline was depressing, but, shockingly, it looks like Cristina and Owen are going to get through it.

According to Shonda Rhimes, she and the writers argued all summer over whether Cristina would have a baby. In the end, they felt that watching Cristina go through with it for many episodes, resent Owen, juggle her career, and raise a baby badly would be even more depressing than watching her have an abortion. We can actually see that. There are enough babies on this show that it would drag the show down to have yet another one. The parenthood theme is covered with Bailey, Meredith, and Callie.

Shonda also said, "I don’t think it’s about the agenda. I think it’s important [that] I try to do what’s right for the characters. In Private Practice, we had a character, Naomi, [who] was staunchly anti-choice, staunchly pro-life. Viciously so, in a lot of ways, in a way that I thought was really kind of beautiful and religious and different from the way I think at all. What I also thought was that her point of view is valid, has merits, and should be portrayed and portrayed strongly. I feel you have to portray all different sides of who people can be if you’re going to create a world." We can see that. Because of the nature of the character, it would have felt like more of a wussy move or agenda if Cristina had the baby.

But enough about that. We covered that last week. We just thought you guys might want to read the interesting bits of Shonda's take on the whole thing.
Teddy has Cristina going back to basic by doing an appendectomy, but Cristina has forgotten how. She quizzes her interns in the hope that they will re-teach her how to do it. Mid-surgery, both Cristina and Teddy forget a step. A nurse has to tell them what to do. Jackson almost did a cleft palate on a baby, but Arizona wanted the best job for her patient and scared Jackson into standing down so that Mark could do it. Alex acted like a jerk during this episode and found that he can’t do anything for his patient during his bowel surgery and closes him up.

Meredith, of course, triumphs in her surgery. It’s an aneurysm with Derek. Meredith disobeys Derek and it turns out to be a good call. Derek hollers and gets mad, but Meredith’s surgery ends with applause from the rest of the surgical team. You really do have to go with your gut.

Derek and Meredith turn out to be the couple to have a Big Talk. We really liked it. It was about time Derek made it clear to Meredith what his problems with her were. It kind of redeemed Derek for us, because he acknowledged that Meredith stood in front of a gun for him. Yeah, uh, remember that, buddy? What’s more trustworthy than that? Derek doesn’t trust Meredith at WORK, because that’s where people are professional and Meredith crosses the line. He said that he won’t leave her because of the Post-It and we appreciated the shout-out to commitment “even when he hates her.”

Derek is angry that Meredith suffered no consequences for ruining his trial. She hasn’t learned a lesson and she isn’t sorry. Meredith says that they shouldn’t work together anymore and that being off his service, even though she is a budding genius brain surgeon, will be her consequence. The two sleep in the same bed that night, but Derek was still scowling. This seems like a good compromise to us. Should husband and wife really work together all day anyway?

Episode grade: B

Cocky Ripper Douche

The Vampire Diaries - "The End of the Affair"

Klaus and Stefan go to Chicago to see a witch who might be able to help Klaus with his plan. The witch, Gloria, said that she needed to contact the original witch and that Klaus needed to bring “Rebecca” to her in order to do that. Rebecca has what the witch needs to make contact. Katherine gives Damon a call and tells him where Stefan is.

Damon and Elena go to Chicago. Damon takes Elena to Stefan’s old apartment, which Stefan must still own, because it’s the same as he left it in the 1920s. This is also where Stefan had a creepy list of all his victims written on the wall of a secret closet. Damon leaves Elena there to think about that, and Klaus and Stefan show up. Klaus wants to show Stefan his old list that he forgot. Stefan sees Elena but covers for her and gets Klaus out of there quickly.

Stefan learns that in the 1920s he and Klaus’ sister, Rebecca, another original, were in love. (Keep in mind that there are seven original siblings.) From this episode we also learn that, like Elijah, Klaus has a soft spot for family. He longs for a brother, and one of the reasons he picked Stefan as his wing man now was that he was his wing man and friend in the past. Sidenote: If Klaus wanted a brother so much, maybe he shouldn't have killed his entire family. Just saying. Anyway, they used to hang out at this old club that Gloria ran, but the cops raided it, using wooden bullets.

Klaus and Rebecca were apparently running from someone even scarier than they were, so Klaus compelled Stefan to forget him and ran off with his sister. Rebecca dropped her necklace given to her by the original witch, and this is the same necklace that Stefan later gives to Elena. Rebecca wanted to go back for Stefan and Klaus wanted to run. He asked Rebecca to choose between him and Stefan, and Rebecca chose Stefan. Klaus then stabbed Rebecca with one of those original-killing daggers and stashed her in a coffin.

Back in the present day, Damon gets to Gloria’s club to distract Klaus while Elena meets with Stefan. This is how Damon gets stabbed several times with a cocktail umbrella. Best weapon on this show ever. Nice one, Klaus. Damon tries to get Klaus to accept him as a partner over Stefan, but Klaus just decides to kill him. Klaus is stopped by Gloria, who wants no corpses in her club.

Elena tries, and fails, to stab Stefan with a vervain syringe, and Stefan reams her and says that he wants her to go home, nothing will be the same after all the things he’s done, that it would take him 30 years to get “sober” again, that he doesn’t want her anymore, and that he wants to stay. Ouch.

Klaus removes the dagger from Rebecca. She tries to kill him with it, but it doesn’t work now that he is a hybrid. Klaus brings Stefan to Rebecca and compels Stefan to remember everything. Klaus tells Rebecca that she has what Gloria needs to find the answer to his hybrid race-making problem. Turns out, it’s the witch necklace that Elena has on. Rebecca and Klaus still don’t know that Elena is alive, much less that she has the necklace, so Klaus rages again.

We catch sight of a very cute Katherine back in the ‘20s, watching Stefan pick up the necklace. It might be the best Nina Dobrev has ever looked. That 1920s style needs to come back, like, immediately. In this culture, it’s fashionable to wear either jeans and a t-shirt or nearly nothing at all/something overtly sexy. When did pretty go out of style? It’s like we’re all trying to look like or please the guys. We want flapper dresses, dammit.

In the B plot, Tyler goes to Sheriff Forbes to tell her all he know about Caroline disappearing. Bill, Caroline’s father, is trying to cure Caroline by burning her with sunlight and then showing her a blood bag, so that she will learn to associate blood with pain. Worst. Dad. Ever. More people get tortured on this show than on 24, jeez. But good job Candice Accola. It took the sheriff and Tyler all day to find Caroline, but they were able to save her. Tyler and Caroline's mom comforted her about what happened with her father, but she is still pretty devastated. Poor Caroline!

Yes, we noticed that Rebecca (Claire Holt) is also Samara from Pretty Little Liars. Nice to see her getting work in such good teen shows. We think we like her. Rumor has it that this is the season that Elena stops letting the boys dictate what happens to her; the season where she gets a little more bad ass. Will a day come when Elena is more Buffy than Bella? We can only dream. Actually, that was unfair. She’s not comparable to Bella. We really like Elena, but she’s been physically powerless through the whole series, and it’s a series where physical power and violence drive the story. We’d like to see her find some way to fight back and gain control over what’s going on.

Episode grade: A-

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Vast Majority of Voters are Rooting for Alison, So How Is the All-Star Question Not Already Answered?

The X-Factor

The show dumped a slew of mediocrity on us again, with the exception of Drew, the Justin Beiber fan who took his “Baby” song and made it a jazz fest. That 14-year-old showed a lot of promise. We also enjoyed J. Mark Inman’s “Creep.” He’s horrible, but that was so awkward it was cool. Josh Krajcik’s “At Last” reminded us of American Idol’s Casey, only with a better voice. It was a little too raspy for one of us, because it reminded that blogger of “butt rock.” What’s butt rock? Creed. Creed is butt rock. But his performance was good, overall. Phillip needs to learn that we already had a Frank Sinatra.

The “For Sure” group needs to ditch the two members who keep going flat. We were astounded that the judges were so enamored with them. Finally, we loved watching Simon fight for the girl with the fabulous lips. When he sees something in someone, he’s sure and he’s rabid about it. We love him so much. Does anyone else think that Cheryl Cole was a stronger judge than Nicole? Or are we just bewitched by the accent? She was fired by Simon for “looking bewildered.” We disagree with that choice, but Nicole is a fine second. No one dropped their pants and made Paula throw up, so it’s already better than last week.

Episode grade: B-

America’s Next Top Model

Kristin Cavallari guest judged this episode. This blogger never watched Laguna Beach or The Hills but is willing to bet good money that the other blogger did (other blogger's note: duh I watched both Laguna Beach and The Hills. That's the easiest bet ever). From a first impression, Kristin seemed nice, smart, and articulate. Whatever she was in high school, she seems like a professional producer now. Mario Lopez interviewed the girls with “tough question,” and we didn’t think any of them were particularly tough. Alison got best photo (yay!) and Isis was eliminated. Her photo wasn’t good, but we aren’t sure if it was too soon for Isis to leave.

Isis looks better than most real women, and we admire her for putting herself out there. But off she goes. This is really mean of us to say, but we wonder who she is going to end up with? Like, who would marry her? Straight guys would likely balk and gay guys want a guy, not a woman. Maybe an open-minded lesbian? We hope it’s in the news, so we can see what happens with her. Man, WE should have been the ones to ask the tough questions.

Episode grade: B+

Love to the Power of Love

Suburgatory - “Pilot”

We liked that the main character decided that Suburbia wasn’t all bad. Looking down on it snootily would get old, cold, and cynical (which it pretty much did with the bra scene). It should balance out the mockery with some heart. However, most of the funny parts were in the trailer. We want to see the second episode as soon as possible. Not sure about Jeremy Sisto as the dad, but the main character, Tessa, is cast just fine.
Episode Grade: B

Happy Endings - "Blax, Snake, Home"

This episode showed why it survived and not Perfect Couples or Better With You. The difference? This show is actually funny and we like the characters. Our only complaint is that it all felt a little frantic, but, overall, we are ready for the year of Penny. This has really redeemed Elisha Cuthbert for us. She's much better in comedies.

Episode Grade: A-
Modern Family - “Phil on Wire”

It didn't keep our attention and didn't feel cohesive.

Episode grade: C+
Up All Night - “Working Late and Working It”

The topic of "couples not being sexy enough for their partners after the baby" was broached with humor. We didn't like Ava destroying her studio a little after the phone call. It felt a little loud and unfunny. However, one of us will pretty much always love Maya Rudolph so she enjoyed that scene.

Episode grade: B+ for the music video alone

That's What You Get When You Trust Your Entire Life's Work to a Young Blonde You Just Met

Revenge - "Trust"

Is Emily/Amanda going to take out one person per week, like some sort of revenge procedural? How many people could possibly have been involved in framing her dad? Is she going to tip her hand by personally being involved in someone’s downfall too many times and then not killing them?

The episode started with Amandily socializing with the Hamptonites at a polo match, which everyone seemed to be taking a little too seriously. We found out the Victoria is snooping into Amandily’s life, trying to find out everything about her. Victoria decided, in the end, to have a guy follow Amandily. Amandily went on her first date with Victoria’s son, Daniel. He was perfectly nice and not hate-worthy. Nolan helped Amandily get ownership of her dad’s old house.

Amandily took down a man who testified against her father by giving him a bad business tip that caused him to lose $2 billion. Why would the investment expert put all of his money into one pot, based on the world of a girl he just met? Unrealistic. Jack and Amandily met again at her surprise birthday party, and there was chemistry. Jack’s little brother, Declan, was beat up by a rich kid named Adam, because Declan is interested in Victoria’s daughter, Charlotte (who happens to be Adam's girlfriend). Then Jack’s dad had a heart attack and might be dead.

The episode had a trust theme. Amandily VO’d “the only person we can truly trust is ourself.” First of all, questionable grammar. It makes her sound like Smeagol/Gollum. Secondly, this is a cynical and questionable sentiment. Even though most people’s favorite person in the world is themselves, we wouldn’t say anyone can really trust themselves much more than other people. First of all, delusion often blinds us to our real motivations. We often don’t know what we want or want the wrong things.

And, finally, we lie to ourselves and break promises all the time. No one has ever let you down more than you’ve let yourself down. Think of all the times you promised to wake up early, work out, eat right, be nicer, work hard, finish a project, etc., and you didn’t come through? The best answer to “who to trust,” in our opinions, is to trust certain people in certain areas. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. No one is fully trustworthy, but no one is fully untrustworthy either. It looks like Amandily can trust herself to get revenge and be really good at landing hot rich guys. Not too shabby.

Although this show is still soapy fun, it’s missing depth, and the episode started off a little too slowly for our taste. It was still solid, but we want something to make us care a little more. A real relationship or two needs to start emerging. Watching people pretend is cool for a while, but real connections are more interesting. Maybe that's why we're starting to become huge Nolan fans. That's a fun guy right there.

Episode Grade: B-

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

But Could You Really Sleep with Someone Who Has Also Slept with Your Twin Sister? How Could That Not Be Some Sort of Incest?

Parenthood - “Step Right Up”

The Alex drama has ended! Haddie’s daddy came through and was able to talk the couple pressing charges into dropping them. Julia made peace with the coffee girl, who said that she needed to have a closed adoption, because giving her baby to someone she knew and liked would be too hard, which is understandable. Zeek helped Drew ask out a girl, which was adorable. The man has game.

HOWEVER, one should not give a girl more than one compliment when using Zeek’s techniques. One good one is more than enough. An implied compliment is better if the girl is smart. Many or obvious compliments make the guy seem untrustworthy and like he's coming on too strong. Beware guys: Someone recently made this mistake with Ern. It is irreparable.

Episode grade: B+

Ringer - “If You Ever Want a French Lesson…”

This episode didn’t advance the plot much other than to get rid of Bridget’s bestie and let us know that Andrew isn’t behind the hit on Siobhan/Bridget. Like we even suspected him in the first place? So he and Bridget ended up even cozier. Siobhan knows she is pregnant now. This is turning out like a romance novel you could buy in the grocery store, but we kind of like it. We still want to know what happens.

Episode grade: C+

Sons of Anarchy- “Una Venta”

SAMTAZ is lame, right? Gemma needs better things to do lately, other than running around and making sure John Teller’s secrets are never told and signing up Tara to help her save the park. The past couple of episodes have had one of the best characters on what we would call the sidelines. We’re digging her unlikely ally though. This drug-running thing is bothering us as much as it does some of the club members.

Episode Grade: B-

When Male Roommates Wear Your Hats, You Know They've Got Your Back

New Girl - "Kryptonite"

They have lockers outside their apartment bathroom?!! That’s awesome. One of us loves the New Girl theme song, and one of us hates it with a fiery passion. But we both love the characters’ bathroom. Jess waking her new roommate up was adorable, but her breaking the apartment’s TV was kind of annoying. Jess’ ex, Spencer, is not cute. And his hair is gross, not magical.

What do we need to become Zooey Deschanel? One of us has bangs, dark hair, sings, and wears sundresses and it hasn’t happened yet. It must be the sarcasm, lack of innocence, and law school, huh? It’s still possible for Leeard though. Don’t worry, she’s gonna make it happen. Except for the bangs. She can’t do bangs. Speaking of Zooey envy, who else wants her red dress that she wore in this episode?

It was awesome when Schmidt slapped Spencer. “Schmidt happens!” We also loved the line, “She looks like Helena Bonham Carter.” Something we didn’t love was how freaking helpless Jess is. We know that’s an attractive quality in a woman, to lots of guys, but we kind of hate it.

Actress Zooey Deschanel said that being powerful and being cute and girly are not mutually exclusive. Can she please give us a demonstration of that on her show? Because we agree with her statement, and we've seen her demonstrate it in real life. We just hope that Jess acted weak in this episode because Spencer really is her kryptonite, and it’s a one-time thing, rather than a defining, cutesy character trait.

We're also questioning Jess' consistency as a character. Sometimes she acts crazy, almost slapstick. Sometimes weird. Sometimes cute and fun and sweet and wise. Zooey's performance this week was sometimes annoying and sometimes adorable. Mostly adorable, yes, but we get the feeling that she is still working out the kinks of who this character is.

The new character, Winston, is awesome (though we definitely miss Coach). All of the guys really fit now and are starting to be just as funny as Jess. This was our main request from last week, and the show delivered. The whole ending where Jess got her stuff back was triumphant. The roommates are starting to have real roommate chemistry. There were lots of good jokes and moments. We were, overall, really pleased with this episode.

Episode grade: A-

Quinn Isn't Exactly a Great Legal Mind, Huh?

Glee - "I Am Unicorn"

Kurt is going through this new thing where he doesn’t want his defining factor to be his sexual orientation. Well, he’s got two seasons of behavior to fight against to erase THAT misconception. True, there are millions of gay people in the world, so being gay shouldn’t be a homosexual’s primary identity. But Kurt is always trying to join the girls’ team in gender opposed competitions. And he sings mostly female songs. Kurt called something "gay" in a derogatory way in this episode. Is that allowed? Can we do that now? Or is it like black people with the N-word-- only OK when they say it. (Calm down. We never use the N-word and we don't want to. It's just the most apt comparison.)

Both Brittany and Kurt’s posters were awful. Doesn’t Kurt know that it’s arrogant to talk about yourself being a “legend” in a campaign? The gay posters led to one of the best lines in Glee ever: “This IS toned down. In the earlier version, the unicorn was riding you.” In order to get into an arts school and make it as a leading man, Kurt feels like he needs the lead in West Side Story.

Naturally, Kurt sang one of his most feminine, high songs ever, thinking that would give him the lead. Then he listened to audition judges Beiste, Emma, and Artie deliberate. Beiste liked that Rachel wasn’t fully white and that she had “the eye of the tiger.” Emma liked Mercedes’ soulful voice and that she wasn’t white either.

But all of the judges except Emma agreed that Kurt was “too much of a lady” and “too delicate” to play Tony. Kurt realized that he needed to butch it up. So he dressed in costume, complete with a feather hat, and did a Romeo and Juliet scene with Rachel. Yep, that was his best idea. He introduced the scene by calling it “post coital” and then sat down on a mattress with Rachel.

To everyone who thinks homosexuality is unnatural: We argue that there is nothing more unnatural and awkward to watch then Kurt trying to be straighter. He dropped his voice to a convincingly male pitch though. He did better than we thought he would, so it was unfair of the others to laugh.

Sadly for Kurt, Blaine blew his audition out of the water. While one of us would argue that Blaine is nowhere near butch, he is more “leading man” than Kurt, who, as Burt says, “dresses like he’s the owner of a magic chocolate factory.” Blaine tried to take the role of Bernardo or Officer Krupke, like the best boyfriend ever (and Kurt saw this), but the episode ended with the judges insisting that he read for Tony. It looks like Blaine is going to get this part, which should put an interesting strain on his relationship with Kurt.

Shelby and Baby Beth are back! We loved Shelby’s new hair (not as dark). It softened her chiseled face. Shelby and Rachel met briefly while Rachel was warming up to rehearse for her West Side Story audition. Shelby opens with, “Your range is better.” Actually, we seem to remember her singing both higher and lower in season one. Also, how could Shelby know that from the warm-up snippet, which had Rachel singing right in the middle of just about everyone’s range, unless she was spying on Rachel’s practice for a long time.

Shelby suggested “Somewhere” as Rachel’s audition piece. We started getting chills when the music started, because we knew this was going to be great. Idina wasn’t as impressive in her stint on season one, but she reminded us that she is a Broadway goddess in this song. One of us really didn't like the arrangement, though.

The major meat of this episode, for us, was with Quinn, Shelby, and Puck. Shelby and Quinn’s first meeting got to us. We didn’t know that Quinn was feeling that level of resentment toward Shelby and her own decision. It had to be bad to get her to participate in Sue’s campaign. Sue’s documentary on Quinn’s downfall was hilarious. Of course, that ended badly because Mr. Schue has unexpectedly grown a pair of stones this season, and he slammed them all over Quinn when she played victim. One of us wishes his speech could be broadcast in most high schools in America.

Shelby’s finest moment thus far was when she gave Quinn this advice: “Grow up. First step to becoming an adult? Stop punishing yourself for things that you did when you were a child.” That’s solid advice for most people. Everyone makes mistakes at ages 13-25. We know lots of people who still let those mistakes define them, and it’s sad. Puck cleaned up his act in order to meet baby Beth, and it was adorable.

Quinn pretended to clean up her act. She got a makeover, but the attitude is still there. And she wants full custody of Beth. We would want it too, because Beth is cute. But, legally, Quinn has no chance, unless this show wants to be wildly unrealistic, as usual. While they are giving Quinn custody, they should totally have Artie start walking too!

Some people think that Glee was pushing conformity on the viewers with this storyline, because Quinn went from an alternative style back to a blonde porcelain doll, due to the teachers making her. We don’t see it that way. Because neither are actually Quinn. The adults revolted against Quinn’s “skankwear” because she was posing to put up a wall and picking a stereotype instead of doing the real work of actually figuring out who she is. Also, the bullying, smoking, bad attitude, smearing the Glee club, and shunning all her friends as well. It’s not about blonde and sweet vs. pink and punky. Neither really work for her.

We really liked this episode. We are incensed that Ryan Murphy is having fewer songs per episode, but it does leave time for more grounded, emotional plots. Most of this stuff felt very real and not rushed. However, this marks two episodes so far of The Kurt Show. What do other people have to do to get one of the main plots? We like Kurt, we really really do. One of us even loves his voice, which others criticize as heavily autotuned and too androgynous.

But his plot this week could have been more subtle. We actually didn’t need the scene where Burt told him to write his own stuff. The plot went from a comment on something that could actually happen to a gay arts major to a message, right there. It’s just as hard to make it writing your own gay fiction than it is to make it as an actor.

But the Quinn and Finn plots feel realistic rather than cartoon-y. Everyone freaks out when Rachel, Finn, and Quinn are center-stage, but a lot of the best material comes out of them. Don’t hate just because they are white. We feel like we need more Mercedes though. Good timing for that desire, because she’s at the forefront of next week’s episode. Bring on the belting! Idea: Brittany should be relegated to only one-liners/dancing/side character status, but she should have webisodes that are her v-logs we saw last season.

We liked the heavy Coach Beiste inclusion, because she’s both unique and underused. Glee just has too many great characters and singers. This is the only show that really has this problem right now. Ugh. It's a blessing and a curse. But this episode feels like a step in the right direction. Loving all the Broadway song choices so far. Add in some classic rock, and the song choices will be perfect.

Episode Grade: B+

Hart of Dixie - We Are Truly On the Fence. Tell Us, Should We Give the Second Episode a Shot?

The first half of this episode sucked. The second half almost sucked us in. Maybe we weren’t digging the juvenile, stupid voiceover in the beginning. We definitely weren’t digging Dr. Zoe Hart’s snotty attitude. This show is nothing like Gilmore Girls or The O.C., so we wish people would stop comparing it to that. Bluebell, Alabama is a virtual Utopia with kind neighbors, pretty scenery, tame alligators, and no confederate flags. We’ve been to Alabama, and that’s not the impression it left on us. We're not saying it was an awful state or anything. We actually liked it. But there was a little more poverty and no one wore hoop skirts that we saw (unfortunately).

(Spoilers in this paragraph) We liked that the Mayor has a history with Dr. Hart’s new rival, Lemon. Scott Porter looks really different, doesn’t he? Thicker in the face. We even ended up liking the drama with Dr. Hart’s dad. The pregnancy case really helped us to start liking the show at least a little. But how is Alabama her only option? She could have tried for a surgery fellowship anywhere else. Did she just not want to go through application processes and possible rejections?

But, overall, it was just too cutesy for us, and not as touching as things like that should be. It’s an inoffensive, mild, simple show, much like the town it is set in, so we would be able to stand watching another episode. The doctor in a small town thing has been done to death, and better (hello Everwood). But, at this point, we don’t know about this one. Help us out with some opinions?

Episode grade: C+

Weeds Season Seven Needs a Sequel

Weeds is one of those shows that we have to stick with until the bitter end. We just have to find out how it all ends up. Contrary to some people, we don’t think the last good season was the one where they lived in Agrestic and then burned it down. We liked the whole thing where Nancy married Esteban. The season before that, when she met him, was a little dull, but at least it still had some Celia. We also liked last season’s crazy road trip. This season has been a little dull. Too much Silas, not enough Andy. Although Shane finally got useful.

Monday night marked season seven’s finale. We were all ready for the show to wrap things up. The creator has said that this will probably be Weeds’ last season, and we were fine with that. It was time for this to end. But now that we’ve seen the possible series finale, we believe IT JUST CAN’T END LIKE THAT! That’s not an ending. It’s not even a cool, ambiguous ending like The Sopranos. (Spoilers start here) The show ended with Nancy and her whole misfit family around a table, having a good time. That might have been a great way to end the series. A little too happy, maybe, but it was better than what happened. A sniper seems to have shot Nancy. We saw the sights set on her and then the screen went dark and the sound of a shot was heard.

Everyone is trying to debate who the shooter was. Our personal theory was that it was Esteban Reyes, who died too easily and off-screen. He was the villain for more than one season, so for him to die in prison was just too big of a letdown to be believed. Also, the blurry image actually looked like Esteban. We are fine with that, because we liked him as a character.

Also, was Shane ready to turn on his mom by secretly being in the police academy? What happened there? We are actually ok with Nancy getting shot as the end to the series, but we need to know who did it and why. Was it one of Shane’s cop friends? Did the other cop’s angry speech about his apathy shake him to his core? This is unlikely, but anything is possible at this point.

The finale was pretty great. Nancy’s sister turned out to be a lot of fun. Everyone was back to form. The season ended in a cliffhanger, like this show’s seasons always do. So there has to be a season eight. This season eight should have an ending (a REAL one), and it should actually be the last season. This show passed its dying breath a while ago with most viewers, and those of us who have stuck it out have been patient. So, please, Showtime, renew it one more time. We need to see if Nancy and Andy get together or if he grows up and gets a life. We think they belong together, personally.

Season Grade: B-

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Terra Nova is Almost Good

This show is more interesting and mysterious than it looks. The creators really tried to be appealing and spent a lot of money. The Event was being compared to LOST last season, but this show is much more similar. Put LOST, Jurassic Park, and some generic family drama/action movie together, and you get this. We are pretty interested. For a pilot, it was great, but it has to get better to really draw us in. We will be sticking around for a while. But this was a promising start. Sometimes this show bordered on “stupid,” but it always came right back to “entertaining.”

It’s 2149, and the Shannon family is living in a world with too much pollution and population control laws. No, China didn’t take over. But the hippies lost. The air quality forces people to where mask and filter the air in their home. The Shannon family has one kid too many, and they are hiding her. Sadly, she is discovered, her father flips out and attacks the police to keep them away from her, and he goes to jail for the next two years. Since “a family is four,” with the dad gone, the family gets to keep baby Zoe.

Two years later, Mrs. Shannon (Elizabeth) is recruited to go to Terra Nova, a new settlement 85 million years in the past, because she is a doctor. She is able to get her husband a laser that can cut through metal so that he can escape and join them, with Zoe. This works, because the world is so chaotic, dirty, and overpopulated that things like basic security have all gone to hell. The dad, Jim, joins his wife, five-year-old Zoe, and his teenagers, Josh and Maddie in Terra Nova and immediately gets put on agricultural duty. He is lucky that he wasn’t thrown in the brig for hitching a ride on the time portal, escaping prison, and smuggling over a kid he wasn’t allowed to have. Jim wants to be made into a cop (he’s an ex-cop), but for some reason, he is not trusted enough for this job.

Terra Nova is a pretty nice colony. They brought the best technology to the nicest prehistoric jungle ever. Everything is clean and big and beautiful. The houses are as nice as anything we’ve ever lived in. It’s full of other settlers and fruits. But it’s not perfect (thank God, or this would get boring). There are the Sixers, led by a tough woman named Mira, and these are settlers that broke off from Terra Nova to form their own colony. They steal from Terra Nova. There are also the carnivorous dinosaurs. Yes, people, there are men getting eaten by dinosaurs on this show, thus making it more awesome than most of the new shows in and of itself. There might also be a fever later too.

Josh is upset because he had to leave his girlfriend forever. He’s also upset with his dad for punching cops and leaving the family to “fend for themselves.” As we found out that Elizabeth Shannon is a doctor with the means to become rich in the old world, that’s not really such a bad offense. She does alright. But Josh isn’t in a reasonable mood.

Josh soon meets Skye, a daredevil orphan teen who looks like a young Melora Hardin (Jan on The Office). They sneak out of Terra Nova and go running around in the wilderness. They bluff jump and drink some moonshine with Skye’s other friends. Weirdly, the fashions of the 22nd century are a lot like today’s fashions. Skye still wears a bikini that you could go find in a mall right now. We guess plaid shirts are also never going out of style. Skye shows Josh a bunch of symbols carved into rocks.

The leader of Terra Nova is Nathaniel Taylor. Jim saves him from being shot by a Sixer and finally gets made into a cop. That didn’t take long. Taylor had a son, but he went missing a few years ago. We learn that Taylor Jr. is the one leaving the carvings on the rocks. "Every time he gets closer to an answer, he puts it here for Taylor to see," says Mira. "To remind him the real reason of Terra Nova's existence: control the past, control the future. These are the key to everything."

Meanwhile, Josh and Skye’s vehicle has been stripped of its power by Sixers, and all the teens are trapped outside. They are now a possible feast for “Slashers,” dinosaurs that only hunt at night. Taylor realizes the kids are gone and he, Jim, Dr. Elizabeth, and others go out and save them. We’re liking Elizabeth Shannon. She’s capable, smart, and she doesn’t just stay home when her son is in trouble when her husband tells her to.

Maddie is like a less cool version of Hermione Granger, but her love interest is cute, so we will accept her. There’s something we don’t like about Mr. Shannon, but we can’t put our fingers on it. We question why that character would have an eight pack after two years of nearly choking to death in prison. We're not sure if we like the "family" element of this show. It may never end up being gritty or scary and may always be lightweight entertainment. We liked the pilot, but it needs to keep delivering.

We also like that this is a whole new time stream, which means that the future of the world isn’t set in stone. There are some logic gaps and science holes in this one, but you just have to go with it. It’s hard to fill in every crack during a two-hour, expensive pilot that’s just trying to show off and make a hit. The names of the dinosaurs kind of annoyed us. They are explanatory, but there are actual names for dinosaurs we can use. Ten year olds everywhere are going to be telling their science teachers about the deadly “carnatorous.”

Question: Does anyone else think that Josh looks like a morph of the guys who play Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter in the HP movies? (Answer: No, because he's Declan from Degrassi: The Next Generation. Duh.)

Episode Grade: B+

How is Robin Still the Dream Girl with that Haircut?

Two Broke Girls - "And the Break-up Scene"

We’re pretty sure Max is at risk of offing herself, what with her cutting and suicide note jokes this week. Even though this is a lighthearted comedy, you can see the theme coming around where Caroline actually lifts Max’s self-esteem and forces her to try for things. We expect Caroline to make further progress with Max as the series goes on.

There weren’t as many good zingers this time, but we enjoyed the half hour and still like the characters. We will be back next week, even though New Girl and Up All Night are better new comedies than this one. We are a little sick of the girls talking about how poor they are. Show how they are poor. Don't have them keep mentioning it.

How I Met Your Mother - "Ducky Tie"

Only Ted is gay enough to look at Lily’s boobs and think of a butt. We loved the line, “The party in my wife’s shirt is a private affair and I’m the bouncer.” Marshall remains a consistently likeable and funny character through this roller coaster of a show. In reality, the whole plot with Barney competing to touch Lily’s boobs would be really, really creepy. On the show, it was funny, and a way to get Barney to wear a dorky tie for a year. We also liked the reminder of how diabolical Barney is, what with the elaborate psychological plan and everything.

We got to find out what happened with Ted and Victoria. They went to wash her cupcake dishes (Ted’s atonement for cheating), she told him that she was about to get engaged to a German guy, they kissed, and she left. But before she left, Victoria told Ted that she thinks he and Barney are being weird always hanging out with Robin. They are hanging out as friends, but it’s not really working, and that’s why Ted’s relationships haven’t worked out. Ted denies this, but future Ted confirmed Victoria was right about them, “they just didn’t know it yet.”

Victoria just changed this game, only it’s like in Monopoly where you land on the wrong spot and have to go to jail. Somehow we are back to where this show was years ago. This must be yet another way to stall meeting the mother. We are pretty sure that Barney is going to get Robin. And yet, there is speculation that Victoria just meant that Robin is too involved in his life, scaring away all the ladies or something. They do live together, after all.

We think that Victoria meant that Ted needs to stop being hung up on Robin so that he’s open and ready to meet the mother. Maybe he holds her in a high regard to the point that his other dates aren’t comparable to his “dream girl.” We hope it’s something like that, because if Ted actually tries to get Robin back and this turns into yet another love triangle, we are going to be annoyed. Hopefully this is going to a place that takes us forward, not backward.

2BG grade: B-
HIMYM grade: B

Pan Am pilot and The Good Wife season 3 premiere

Did we really go to bed last night without mentioning Pan Am and The Good Wife? We know you are devastated (sarcasm, since this isn’t Glee or The Vampire Diaries), but both shows deserved a mention.

Pan Am’s premiere was pretty good. We liked it. We didn’t really like it or love it, but we liked it. We like the female characters so far (all of them), and that’s a huge thing for a show like this. We aren’t really sure where the show is going. There’s a romance angle, a friendship angle, a slight feminist angle, and an espionage/Cold War angle. It works alright, and we were entertained by the pilot. But there are few pilots that have given us less of a sense of what we are going to like or hate about this show in the future. It’s too soon to tell with this one, so it’s going to stay on the list until we figure it out. People are saying, "Oh, it's no Mad Men." But it's not even comparable to Mad Men in terms of subject and tone; just era. It's not trying for what Mad Men is trying for. It's more lighthearted. It's really nothing like Mad Men, except for the clothes.

The Good Wife premiere had a case we didn’t really care about, but it had a lot of Eli Gold, which is always a plus. Alicia has a new attitude: rule breaker. We aren’t sure if we like it. She implicitly advised a client to lie, and that went as lies usually do (badly). We liked Grace’s new tutor even before Grace did. But after the thing that made Grace like her, we loved her. “You know that has as many calories as three bags of buttered popcorn?” “But I don’t want three bags of popcorn.” Ha. As always, this show remains watchable and entertaining, but the premiere didn’t wow us.

Pan Am grade: B-
The Good Wife grade: B

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sean Maher (Simon on Firefly) Just Came Out of the Closet

And no one is surprised.

Breaking Bad- Crawl Space (spoiler warning)

This is the best show on right now. Bar none. How awesome was last night?

First of all, we love Jesse for trying to save Walt. But we always love Jesse, so that’s not a surprise. We also hope to see more of Saul Goodman’s A-Team, because they were hilarious. We are surprised that Walt would go to such great lengths to save Hank. This episode brought back the Walt that is concerned for his family, rather than just his own pride.

There is a theory running around that Gus is gay, that he wants to bone Jesse, and that he was actually boning Gale. We think that’s kind of weird, but very possible. We are glad Ted is dead. Nobody liked him, and he pretty much ruined everyone’s life more than once. The way he died was great too. It was his own fault and it was funny. It WON’T be funny if Mike dies. We like him. Even if he has to die, he deserves a cooler death.

So Gus and Walt are pitted against each other to the point where Gus is going to try to kill Walt and Walt’s whole family. Walt can’t buy himself and the family new identities and disappear, because Skyler gave Ted $600,000 and Saul Goodman’s A-Team sent that money to the IRS. The creepy laughter, shot of Walter completely boxed in and under the house, and the music skeeved us out for at least the next week or so. Speaking of a week, we can’t believe that’s how long we have to wait for another episode.

The slow pacing this season tried our patience, but we knew it would be worth it. This episode sped things up and let us know that this has all been going somewhere jaw dropping.

Episode Grade: A

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Charlie's Angels Pilot

Let’s see: What’s wrong with this show?

-Bad casting, especially of Minka Kelly, as we predicted.
-Bad acting. Or is it bad dialogue? We’re not sure. It could be both. The bottom line is that it sounds stilted and fake.
-All of the girls lack charisma. The blonde is the best, but this won’t make any stars.
-No substance. Just pretty girls and action. If that’s all you watch TV for, this is the show for you. We like TV that makes us want to write about TV.
-We already have Alias, Nikita, and every action movie with a woman ever, so this is unnecessary.
-Why is Bosley young?
-This makes Hawaii Five-O look like a masterpiece.
-It’s on Thursday nights, which are already crowded with actual good shows.
-It bored us and was hard to watch.
-The characters are weak.
-We enjoyed nothing.

This show is unworthy of Victor Garber’s golden voice.

Pilot grade: D-

The X-Factor Week One

The X-Factor has great judges. We all know Paula and Simon. LA Reid certainly has the experience. We like that he seems to have some taste. He wants the contestants to move him, and if they don’t, he’s not shy about giving them a “no.” He seems to be harder than Simon on contestants. His zingers just aren’t as sharp. Give him time though.

One of us has loved Nicole ever since she saw her youtube videos playing Maureen in RENT. So what’s wrong with this show so far? It’s overlong, overhyped, and it didn’t give us any auditions that blew us away. Or that we even liked without reservation.

Nearly everyone totally sucked. Where are the good voices? The judges and crowd were going nuts over the most mediocre performances. We were confused. We sat through 160 minutes this week (not including commercials), and it seemed to be mostly fluff and duds.

There were a few that we almost liked. Melanie, the contestant who sang “Listen,” by Beyonce did the song proud. She wasn’t as good as either Beyonce or Charice, but it was on pitch and showed potential. What we liked better was her little sister’s face through her song. So cute and funny.

Ern got choked up during the 42-year-old mom’s story and song. Her man knocked her around, left her and her two kids, told her she was too old to be a singer when she was in her early 30s, and made her doubt that she was talented. Then she succeeded in blowing the judges away with some belted high notes. Leeard didn’t like her voice, but both of us hope that deadbeat was watching her prove him wrong.

Dallas’ rugby-playing Caitlin Koch proved that the judges aren’t all about the belters when it comes to females. She sang in a sweet, quiet voice full of nice tone, and the judges went nuts and put her through. We didn’t really like her performance, and thought her voice was average, but it’s nice to see the judges go for a pretty voice rather than just the girls yelling.

Finally, Leeard is obsessed with Chris Rene, the addict who sang his original son, “Young Homey.” Not only does he have a powerful story and a deal with Simon to stay clean, he has a decent voice. Ern remains unimpressed, but he was in both of our top three. This either shows that he is good or that everyone else sucked. The other thought that not only is he a pretty decent singer, but he's also a good songwriter. Also, Leeard's such a sucker for stories like that. When he said that it was the third best day of his life (behind his son's birth and the day he got sober), she teared up. Ern is jaded about addicts from watching too much Intervention.

The last audition of the week, Alexander’s (excuse us, Xander), was hilarious. We liked his cracks to Simon but are pretty sure that no one liked his attitude. The judges handled that just fine.

So far, this show is lacking what a singing show should have: People who can sing.

What’s On the Weekly Schedule for the Fall

There have been questions (ok, question) about what to expect to see covered on this blog. This post is to answer that question. First, a caveat: Occasionally, something horrible will reduce this blog to one post a day, usually of the best or worst show we watched the previous day. This something horrible is exams. If there is a show that you absolutely have to have a review on, no matter how late we do them, let us know and we will do it late/after exams. But on all non-exam weeks, this is what things should look like.

Sunday The Good Wife, Once Upon a Time, The Walking Dead, Homeland, Hell on Wheels, and Dexter. We have dropped Boardwalk Empire, due to boringness and a focus on love lives and childhoods over actual mobster activity.

Monday: How I Met Your Mother, Terra Nova, Gossip Girl, and Two Broke Girls.

Tuesday: Parenthood, Glee, New Girl, Ringer, and Sons of Anarchy.

Wednesday: Revenge, America’s Next Top Model, Up All Night, Suburgatory, Modern Family, and Happy Endings.

Thursday: Person of Interest, Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Prime Suspect, Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, Bones, and The Secret Circle.

Friday: A Gifted Man, Nikita, and Fringe. We are currently catching up Blue Bloods, and we will start writing about it as soon as we are caught up.

We are also trying to catch up on Castle, Justified, Raising Hope, and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. We are caught up on Mad Men (all four seasons). Yeah, that finally happened. We’ll do a post on those four seasons and start writing about the show when season five starts. That’s a long time away, but just to let you know. We also reserve the right to mention any other show that we watch.

Fringe - Neither Here Nor There

Welcome to what is probably the last season of Fringe. The premiere of season four brought a lot of the sweet humor we enjoy, especially with Walter.

Without Peter, Olivia is a lot colder and less trusting. Walter is a lot more skittish and agoraphobic. But Peter isn’t completely gone. He blips in and out, showing himself to Walter in the mirror and the TV screen, and to the viewer like Tyler Durden blips in the beginning of Fight Club.

Lincoln Lee’s partner dies and he joins the Fringe Division. With Peter erased, Lee never worked with Fringe/doesn’t remember Olivia. He has never been more likeable to us. Here, he was tenacious, sympathetic, and served as an emotional center in a show with characters that seem pretty dead without Peter.

This episode wasn’t boring, but it didn’t have the bang we’ve come to expect from a season premiere. It just felt like a regular episode, and the case of the week wasn’t creepy or interesting, compared to most other Fringe cases.

Episode Grade: B-

Prime Suspect and A Gifted Man

Both of these shows have familiar premises with a twist. A Gifted Man is a medical show and Prime Suspect is a cop show. The twists, respectively, are that a neurosurgeon is being haunted by his ex-wife and a detective is a strong woman in a boys’ club at work.

We didn’t expect to love either of these shows, but we ended up liking them. They probably won’t be must-watches that generate many water-cooler moments, but they both entertained us. Procedurals have a hard road with us, especially medical and cop ones. It’s just been done before.

A Gifted Man - We chuckled at the shaman on this show, because one of us has met shamans, and this show was right-on as to what their practice actually looks like. What was interesting was that the show seems to paint its shaman as credible, rather than mocking him outright. Patrick Wilson is very appealing in this role and this show had its sweet moments. We also like Jennifer Ehle.

Prime Suspect - We loved the main character’s marriage and the way she handles tough situations. The case of the week was boring, but this was good introduction to the characters. The only thing we weren’t digging about Maria Bello (a real woman if there ever was one) was her fedora. You really can’t bring those back at this point. Maybe someday. But she’s a cool cat, and this was a decent cop show pilot. This is much better than Unforgettable.

Even though we are pretty sure these won’t reach our list of top 30 shows, we will be watching both a second time. They were entertaining enough, especially since A Gifted Man is on Fridays.

Prime Suspect Grade: B-
A Gifted Man Grade: B