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Friday, October 14, 2011

Treat Yo Self

2 Broke Girls - "And the Rich People Problems"
Caroline’s advanced Bruxism is acting up, so she and Max sneak into her old place to get her night guard. The cheap dentist is scary. Max is blown away by Caroline’s old things, particularly her bathtub. Then run off with tons of furs and purses that they can’t sell, because they were inventoried. They did get some good sushi though. Lots of good visual comedy in this episode. The girls’ chemistry was at its best in this episode, and this might be the show’s strongest outing so far.
Episode grade: B+

Up All Night - “Mr. Bob’s Toddler Kaleidoscope”
Chris and Reagan take Amy to an advanced playgroup, and Reagan isn’t good at it. Ava feels like Reagan isn’t spending enough time with her and freaks out. One problem: we can’t remember laughing in this episode. Leeard really enjoyed this episode, though.
Episode grade: B-

Suburgatory - “The Chatterer”
George clashes with a mom on his street, Sheila, who is butting in and trying to co-parent Tessa. He joins the PTA to show that he has what it takes to be a good parent. All of the women like him and his advice on how to get along with their husbands, but Sheila is upset that everyone is listening to him. She quits the PTA. George finally realizes that she is the better PTA leader and resigns. Tessa joins the school paper for her elective requirement and turns it into a tabloid full of high school gossip. We liked that plot better when it was on a Nickelodeon cartoon. She eventually regrets her actions and puts the paper back to its original, boring form. Not a great episode, but not bad either.
Episode grade: B

Happy Endings - “Yesandwitch”
If we were casting directors (and we should be), we would totally pick Megan Mullally to play Penny’s mom. Fortunately, the showrunners were thinking the right way and put her on the show as a party singer. When Penny learns that her mother’s positive attitude is a front for hiding her problems (a recent divorce and a career that’s going nowhere), she tries to snap her mother back to reality. Instead, she crushes her, and it took a nice speech plus a musical number to bring her mom back to normal. Jane and Brad take a couples improv class.
Episode grade: B+

South Park -“The Last of the Meheecans”
The boys have a game where half of them pretend to be U.S. border patrol agents. The other half pretend to be Mexicans trying to sneak across the border. When Butters gets lost and is mistaken for a real Mexican, he starts a revolution where all of the Mexicans want to go back to Mexico, because America’s economy sucks now. Cartman volunteers for the real border patrol and is very good at keeping Mexicans from crossing the border. He fails to keep Butters from coming back to the U.S. though. His team loses the game. None of this makes any sense, but it’s South Park, so that’s not surprising. Plus, it was pretty funny.
Episode Grade: B+

Community - “Remedial Chaos Theory”
Troy and Abed invite the rest of their gang to dinner at their new pad. But Jeff starts six different timelines/parallel realities. There are no real plot consequences to this, but this episode was still one of the show’s strongest and funniest, especially for people who know the characters well. We are extremely impressed with this one. The show's still got it, and then some.
Episode grade: A+

Parks and Recreation - “Pawnee Rangers”
Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope have competing children’s clubs, one for boys and one for girls. Leslie’s is more fun. Ron’s is more awesome. The kids don’t know that though, so the boys join the “Pawnee Goddesses,” leaving Ron alone until Leslie starts him a new, unisex club. Meanwhile, Tom and Donna try to teach Ben to relax and shop. He buys a Batman costume and cries over Leslie. That cowl does nothing for him… This was really funny episode, as usual.
Episode grade: A-

Maybe there are no good people. Only good decisions.

Parenthood - “Nora”
Christina finally popped and also bonded with Crosby. The new baby’s name is Nora. Speaking of new babies. After spending a night over at Julia’s house, coffee girl realized that her son couldn’t be in better hands. Amber helps Max make up with Jabbar. Seth has fallen off the wagon and called Sarah for help. She finds him sitting, looking like he just got beaten up, in an alley. This might complicate her new relationship with Captain Morgan… The highlight for us was seeing Adam in those awful clothes. So funny. This was a good one.
Episode grade: B+

Prime Suspect - “Great Guy, Yet: Dead”
Jane was actually wrong about a suspect! A formerly rich, charming guy got into trouble and had to borrow money from the Russian mob. He openly cheated on his wife, but she wasn’t the one who set him up to be killed. It was a potential business partner. This guy was a listener and a lot of fun, so everyone liked him, making it hard to find suspects until they found a fingerprint. Yay for CSI. This one wasn’t as good as the episodes in the last two weeks. We’re still liking the show though.
Episode grade: B-

X Factor - Judges’ Houses Part 1
We are two seconds from dropping this show until the finale. It’s too long, and Simon said something about our favorite contestant, Drew, possibly being too young. If they dump Drew, we may dump the show.

Grey’s Anatomy - “Love, Loss, and Legacy”
Zola gets a bowel obstruction and receives medical care at Seattle Grace. Complete idiots Cristina and Alex (who are usually our favorite characters) decide to tell Meredith and Derek, even though there is nothing they can do and knowing could ruin the adoption for them. Zola recovers, but the social worker sees Meredith and Derek looking teary in an elevator, and her face tells us that she knows that they know. Great. Jackson’s mother, Dr. Catherine Avery, comes to town, bringing with her a groundbreaking surgery- a penis transplant. This show will not rest until we see a storyline about every penis-related surgery out there. Penis fish. Broken penis. Penis pump. Penis transplant.

Catherine Avery was fantastic. She could come on full time and be the new Dr. Bailey, because she’s like Bailey was in the first couple of seasons, only happier and more fun. Bailey has gotten annoying over the years. Bailey dumps her nurse boyfriend. Owen sees Cristina playing with Zola and gets depressed. Teddy throws a dinner party. Uptight April nearly ruins the penis surgery, but Mark, ever watchful of penis care, steps in and saves it. Catherine can tell that Mark still loves Lexie and that Jackson really doesn’t. We love her. It looks like Mark and Lexie are an endgame couple. Man, we love Lexie’s bangs so much.
Episode grade: B

Person of Interest - “Cura Te Ipsum”
A young doctor wants to kill the man who drugged and raped her sister, causing her sister to commit suicide. Reese and Finch agree that this will harm the young woman, and so they interfere. Reese talks to the woman and spends the last scene discussing whether he should kill the rapist. He has this discussion with the rapist, so that’s kind of cool. Sadly, the show ended the episode before we found out what Reese decided. What does this show think it is? Inception? Jeez. We wanted to know. We wanted Reese to kill the guy, since he truly sucked, but we sort of think that he didn’t. Maybe he just settled for scaring the man. Meanwhile, Detective Carter questions Finch (who she knows under a false name) after watching the tape of the previous episode’s robbery and seeing Finch talk to Reese.
Episode grade: B

Why is Matt lifting weights at school in the middle of the night?

The Vampire Diaries - The Reckoning

We knew that Klaus would find Elena soon, because this show delivers in a timely fashion. But we didn’t know he would find her within the first five minutes! On any other show, that would be a cheap flashforward. In fact, we were expecting to see the words “three days earlier” after the title, but we didn’t. That wasn’t the climax of the episode. That was just the beginning.

The seniors are in their school, super-gluing desks, setting mousetraps, and putting cups of water and toilet paper everywhere! Caroline brought Tyler, Bonnie, and Elena in an attempt to force them to make normal memories and live normal lives. Oh Caroline, we love you. Also, just a hint to real-life kids: Schools have lost their sense of humor about kids breaking in after hours and pranking. It’s against the law and can get you into trouble. We know, we know. Squares messing with tradition are disgusting. But that’s the way of the world. This country loves to toss people into jail, or at least community service, and ruin their records.

Klaus grabs Elena and sends all but two random students home. Those are for his personal tormenting pleasure. Rebecca grabs Tyler, and Klaus feeds Tyler his blood. Then he snaps his neck and tells Bonnie that she needs to find a way to help Tyler transition into a full hybrid, or he is going to die. Bonnie needs to contact the old witches in order to figure out how to do this, so she goes looking for Jeremy, the only person she knows now who can speak with the dead.

But where is Jeremy? In the trunk of Damon and Katherine’s car. They make out (and we expect a car accident) before Damon pushes Katherine away and says, “You just don’t do it for me anymore.” We don’t believe him, but we like that line anyway. Katherine deserves it. They pull over and get Jeremy to reach out to Anna. Anna knows how to kill Klaus. Damon bangs Jeremy’s head against a picnic table until Anna coughs up the answer. Anna tells them the location of the vampire-hunting Vampire Michael who can kill Klaus. Damon ditches Katherine and heads back to town to protect Elena.

Meanwhile, Matt has a wonderful idea to drown himself, have Bonnie do CPR, and come back with an answer from Vicki to possibly save Tyler. Vicki has no answers, but Matt gets to see her now, and he’s pretty happy about that. Heartwarming. CPR doesn’t always work that well, by the way. Dumb Matty.

Klaus orders/compels Stefan to kill the two random students and then to feed on Elena. Stefan kills the students but has trouble following Stefan’s orders when it comes to Elena. Their love is that strong. Awww. Finally, Klaus puts some feeling behind it and manages to compel Stefan into becoming what we would think of as “season one Damon.” Stefan bites Elena and she passes out.

Elena wakes up in the hospital. Klaus figured out that the original witch hated him and set things up so that if he killed the doppelganger (which he thought he had to do, in order to awaken his werewolf side), he would not be able to make his hybrids, because they need to drink Elena’s blood to fully turn. Klaus gives Tyler a vial of Elena’s blood, and he becomes a hybrid.

Damon gets back to town and picks a fight with Klaus. Klaus nearly kills Damon, but Damon name-drops Michael and Klaus flees. He totally could have killed Damon in one second before he left though. We’re glad he didn’t, but we think it was unrealistic. Damon goes to the hospital, takes Elena, and carries her to his home. She wakes up and sadly asks where he was. Damon promises that he will never leave her again. Elena tells Damon that Stefan is “really gone this time.” We are convinced that this is the moment the two will kiss, but Stefan interrupts them. Klaus has tasked Stefan with guarding Elena while he is gone. Poor Elena. Finally, Jeremy and Katherine wake Michael up, and his eyes opening are the last thing we see.

This episode was full of action, jealous Rebecca, ghosts, true love, near suicides, hot guys, and Damon. What more could we ask? On any other show, this would be the finale, not the fifth episode of the third season.

Episode grade: A

Only Adam, Diana, and a bottle of whipped cream had any fun this week....

The Secret Circle - "Slither"

Kudos to the young actress who plays Melissa. She does a really good demon impression. From the morning she woke up, through her day at school, and into her first demon-possessed night, Melissa was cranky, clearly in pain, and really weird. This was probably the best thing they could do for a character who was pretty pathetic and bland in the last couple of episodes.

Cassie’s grandmother tries to get Cassie to open up, because Heather never did, and Grandma could have helped her. Cassie considers it, but Diana reminds her that Grandma and her generation were probably responsible for shutting down their parents’ powers. If Grandma found out about Cassie’s circle, she might take their powers from them too.

At school, Demon Melissa tells Nick that she knows the location of her mother’s Book of Shadows. She takes him to the woods and makes him dig a very large and wide hole. Inside, they find a dirty suitcase and they take it back to the abandoned house where they do all of their witchcraft. Demon Melissa calls all of the other witches, and they trickle in, slowly.

Dawn comes to Charles’ boat, and he offers her wine. In what universe, dude? Her facial expressions make it very clear that she is not into Charles. It doesn’t help that Diana told Faye that Dawn was dating him. The two fail at using their crystal. They waited too long to do whatever it was they were trying to do, and their crystal is out of juice.

Meanwhile, Demon Melissa tries to get the circle to use their powers to open the suitcase. Since she’s acting insane and the worm thing crawls across her forehead, they catch onto the situation pretty quickly. Nick knocks Demon Melissa out, and the gang ties her up. The suitcase is moving. Clearly, there is something alive in there. Cassie runs to get help from her witch grandmother, rather than her local Catholic priest like ANYONE who has seen any movie.

We shouldn’t have doubted Grandma though, because she could be Dumbledore’s twin sister. She gets everything under control and kills the suitcase full of demon snakes. But the demon crawls out of Melissa and into Nick before the exorcism is complete. Demon Nick escapes before they burn the snakes. He calls and threatens to kill Adam’s dad if they don’t bring the suitcase to him. He finds Dawn, the person who summoned him years ago. He threatens her too, and they leave together. Dawn calls Charles on her cell phone and he hears what’s going on between her and “Abbadon.” Is that the only hellish name TV writers know?

Charles shows up, knocks Demon Nick out, and drowns Nick, because the only way to kill a demon is to burn or drown it. We figured Nick would survive this, but he did not. Dawn and Charles flee the scene. Charles feels great remorse for killing an innocent boy, which surprised us, because he seemed to have a truly wonderful time burning Cassie’s mom alive. Cassie and Grandma find the body. Melissa and Faye are crushed that Nick is dead. Cassie looks out her window, tears streaming down her face, as she realizes that her morning eye candy is gone.

We can’t believe that one of the circle died in the fifth episode. We kind of liked Nick as a character, and we definitely liked that he was hot. What does that mean for the circle? Don’t they need a sixth member to kick ass? Can they graft someone from another family in? This was one time when we wanted the death to be a fake-out and for the guy to come back to life. Still, we are impressed at the show’s moxie, and happy that it seems to be following in the footsteps of The Vampire Diaries, pacing-wise. We’re glad the demons seem to be gone, for now. Enough with the demons, already.

Episode grade: A-

Have you ever been in a bad movie and seen people bringing their young children?

Modern Family - "Hit and Run"

We applaud Cameron for trying to convince the dad to take his young children out of an adult movie (even if it turned out that Cameron was in the wrong theater). We've wanted to do that SO MANY TIMES. And yet, it is the parents' decisions to spoil their childrens' innocence at the age of eight. Unsolicited parenting advice is almost as bad as unsolicited weight loss advice (we are guilty of giving both, but we try not to). However, when we saw the Rated R Fright Night, and saw a family with about six kids under ten in attendance, we were pretty bummed.

This week on Modern Family, Gloria helped Jay, Manny, and Claire out with their projects. Claire is running against David Cross for the Town Council position; she just needed a little encouragement. Manny needed help with a school project, and Jay needed some pizzazz for his business pitch. The other MVP this week was Mitchell, who hilariously managed to tackle some guy (Todd from Community!!) who stole $900 from Haley. The funniest moment for us was seeing Luke's savings, how he gets money, and where he keeps it.

This was a solid episode. But it wasn't spectacular.

Episode grade: B

Are there too many homages in this show?

American Horror Story - "Home Invasion"

The episode started in 1968 and two nursing students (including pregnant coffee girl from Parenthood) are murdered by an intruder, mirroring real-life events from that time. It was a pretty good and creepy first scene. This episode is all about the fear most people have of someone breaking into their home. We find that a nice big gun helps nicely in this area, but we digress with our totally unsolicited political opinions…. Back in the present day, Violet and her bully, Leah, are getting along better and are able to discuss the incident with the rotting corpse attacker. Violet thinks it was Tate’s sleight of hand that produced the frightening images, but Leah’s money is on “the Devil.”

Crazy, wonderful Constance baked cupcakes with spit and ipecac (the syrup that causes vomiting), and she went to the Harmons’ house to give them to Violet. We know why she has a beef with Mrs. Harmon, but what does Constance have against Violet? Constance talks to Vivian as she drops the cupcakes off, telling Vivian that three out of four of her children were born with Down Syndrome. Then she rhapsodizes about her perfect fourth child, a boy. She lamented that she lost him to “other things.” Ben sees a patient named Bianca who is having a recurring nightmare (that we are shown) that she is cut in half by an elevator. This is one of Ern’s top five fears, so seeing it was just freaking dandy. Bianca turns out to be casing the house.

Ben Harmon is called away by the student he slept with, Hayden. It turns out that she is pregnant, and she wants support from the “father” while she gets an abortion. They do not sleep together, but Ben lies to Vivien about his reasons for going back to Boston, at Larry Harvey’s request. We were a little annoyed that the husband was gone during the home invasion episode. What message does that send? That you’ll be safe as long as you have a man to live with? In The Strangers, Funny Games, and many other home invasion movies, the horror was all the stronger for the men being unable to stop the attackers. It made the invaders seem invincible and strong.

But it was interesting to meet the big pot of crazy, Hayden. She’s a Stage Five Clinger, no doubt. Ben took her to the doctor’s office, and she disappeared to have the procedure. In the waiting room, Ben saw that he had 13 panicked missed calls from his wife, so he ran home immediately. A female stalker would fit in with the horror motif, so Ben might be seeing Hayden again. In fact, we think you can count on it. And she might not have gone through with the abortion.

Vivien and Violet weren’t getting along, because Violet doesn’t think it’s healthy to have a baby when you are over 40…or to try and fix your marriage with one. Violet calls her mother “weak,” which is sort of harsh in comparison with her mother’s crime of interrupting her reading of Camus’ “The Stranger,” a book we didn’t care for. Vivien is scared about the pregnancy, because it “feels wrong” (*cough* it’s a monster or a demon *cough*) and she hasn’t been nauseated yet.

Bianca, Guy, and Fiona idolize the ‘60s killer who butchered the nurses in the Harmons’ house, so they break in and try to get a reenactment going. They turned out to be really incompetent. With some gumption from Vivien and Violet, along with some help from Tate and the ghosts of the murder victims, all three of the intruders were killed. Tate and Constance got rid of the bodies. Tate is a ghost?! Wait, that’s not surprising. Bianca was cut in half by Tate’s axe, echoing her dream. She also spent some time throwing up, because she ate Constance’s cupcakes.

At some point during the home invasion, Addy was there and saw an intruder terrorizing Vivien. Addy went to get help, but her mother was trying to sex up her gardener, Travis, and didn’t want to be interrupted. When Addy persisted, Constance locked her in “the bad girl closet,” which is a closet full of mirrors. Addy screamed in horror, because she is acutely aware that she doesn’t look like girls in magazines. Don’t worry, Addy. Nobody does. Also, please tell us that Travis doesn’t turn out to be Constance’s perfect son.

How much culture commentary are we going to get with this show? We admit that this would be a better platform for messages than a singing show with high school kids. With the mirrors, women’s magazines, Constance’s sexuality, the vomiting and the Karen Carpenter songs played in the background at times, our (sort of) keen eyes picked out a “women’s bodies/beauty pressure” motif going on here. There were plenty of Charles Manson references too, if you’re into him, which some people are, because they think he’s interesting. We think he’s a douchebag. If you are going to do something awful, at least have the balls to do your dirty work yourself.

We still think that this show needs to build up some tension rather than just give us shock after twisted shock/sex scenario.

Episode grade: B+

The Hamptons Exposed!

Revenge - “Duplicity”

This week, Amandily destroys the psychiatrist who had her institutionalized and kept away from her father as a child. Amandily has been seeing this shrink for about a year. She sure goes all the way with a set-up, doesn’t she? In exchange for locking Amanda up, Dr. Michelle Banks got a sweet job from Victoria as therapist to most of the Hampton’s residents, including Victoria. Dr. Michelle secretly recorded all of her patients’ sessions for her own use and commentary. Dumb, dumb, dumb. And unnecessary. And illegal in most states.

Victoria, her daughter Charlotte, Dr. Michelle, and Amandily attended a charity tea. While speaker Dr. Michelle was giving her presentation, things were interrupted when an edited video played snippets from therapy sessions for the crowd. Amandily is in the video talking about her trust issues. Victoria is in it talking about how she sometimes regrets having Charlotte. Amandily smiles. Victoria tells Dr. Michelle that she is going to sue her and ruin her life.

Dr. Michelle disappears (is kidnapped and locked away by Emily) and is released with no explanation. But it scares her. We are the most satisfied with this episode’s revenge arc, because that woman really abused people’s trust and was mean to a child. She was nasty. Victoria is under suspicion for the kidnapping. Charlotte runs away from her mother and seeks comfort from Declan.

Speaking of young love, Daniel and Amandily are on the rocks. Tyler sabotaged their plans with each other, made it look like Daniel stood Emily up, and also made it look like Emily is dating another guy behind Daniel’s back. Then he got Daniel to start drinking again. This guy is the worst friend in TV history, and we can't wait to see what secret he's hiding. Jack and Amandily spend an evening together, talking. Nolan goes to Dr. Michelle’s office before anyone else can, takes all of the videos, and puts them all on the internet. Nolan tells Jack to go on the internet and look at the video of Amandily talking about a guy she just met who might be “the one.” It’s obviously Jack she’s talking about.

Nolan is the best thing about this show. Him in the golf cart, getting stopped by Amandily, was a hilarious shot. Lots of people are concerned over where the show is going, how long it can sustain this plot, and how many people could possibly need to be victims of Amanda's revenge plots. Check this out, and be comforted that the show has long-term potential to stay good. One blogger was getting bored with the show, but after this week, both bloggers are back on board.

Episode grade: B+

Dear people who can't handle confrontation - learn.

America's Next Top Model - "LaToya Jackson"

This episode had a Michael Jackson tribute photo shoot, which was not as awesome as it sounds. We thought all of the pictures were bad, except for maybe Laura’s and Alison's. We think it just came across as creepy because they all looked like wax models of Michael Jackson or something. Then there was a runway challenge on a carousel where the girls modeled the Kardashian line in front of the Kardashians. That was exactly as awesome as it sounds: not awesome.

Also, the CW needs product placement lessons. We’re sure you’ve noticed all the stupid binging that goes on. But America’s Next Top Model is the worst offender. They always have makeup, celebrities, clothes, and stores showing up to sell their wares. Rather than letting the clothes and makeup speak for themselves, the show has to have everyone on it constantly talking the products up. The Kardashian line promotion was just too obvious. They didn’t need it either, because the clothes were at least cuter than the ones from Express last episode.

Most of the episode centered on a long Bianca/Lisa/Shannon cat fight. That was 90% of the episode. Also, no one went home. If you haven’t seen this episode, you really can skip it. Since this ep was all about fighting, we will jump in with our opinions on who was right and wrong. The show brought it up. Shannon miscalculated the phone time for the girls, so Bianca came to talk to her. Immediately, Shannon burst into tears and said, “I don’t like confrontation,” and that was her way of working it out. Lisa immediately jumped into things and kind of broke Bianca’s spirit…temporarily of course. Lisa was just being protective, trying to save the sweet girl from the known bitch.

But we jumped on Bianca’s side here, because as people not afraid to work conflicts out, we have been constantly frustrated by indirect, passive aggressive people who don’t know how to fight. If you get close to anyone, sooner or later, you are going to have a real fight. It’s how you deal with that fight and work things out that will make you or break you in friendships and relationships. Life is full of conflicts, and if you are crippled by the idea of them, you're going to live life in discomfort, feeling out of control.

It seems like some people label themselves as “non-confrontational” so that they never have to try. We get that people are scared and it’s hard, but if they would talk about things when they are important enough, they will see that even if a fight is unpleasant, they survive it. There’s really nothing a bully can do to you. If they get out abusive, just say, “I think we need a break, so that we can both calm down and think,” and then walk out of the room. Pretending everything is ok and backing away from every conflict doesn’t make you a good person. It makes you weak and controlling. People can feel when you are angry, but they are not allowed to fix it.

If you make someone else fight the fight for you, it will be harsher for the other person than if you nut up and handle it. Your protector will feel self-righteous in protecting you, and they will overdo it, like Lisa did. We’re not saying start fights and be aggressive all of the time. But when it is necessary, you need to know how to do it. You need some experience and practice. There are classes on conflict resolution. Take one, because the people who are trying to clear the air and move on are about ready to punch you in the face. You say that you can’t ever have an open disagreement? Then marry someone else who can’t either, or your relationship will be short.

Toward the end though, we felt bad for Shannon. Shannon made a crack and Bianca said, “I was surprised to hear that from Shannon, the Christian who can do no wrong.” This frustrated Shannon, and we understand that, even though most of the time we can’t stand her and we think she should be able to wear underwear shorts in a photo shoot. Just because some people’s source of their moral code is their religion does not make them less likely to mess up than anyone else, and most religious people know that. Being a better person than the other guy is actually not what Christianity is about.

Christianity is about how everyone kind of sucks, but God is going to forgive and love anyway. It’s not about how good you are. It could be argued that the secular world is more about how good you are: have a good career, be beautiful, be a social butterfly, find the perfect person, and have the perfect resume. No grace there. Everyone has morals/beliefs that they think others should adopt and everyone fails to live up to them sometimes. Why is it only religious people who are called hypocritical when they aren’t pure as the driven snow? When Bianca threw the remark about Christianity in there, she was expecting Shannon to live up to an impossible standard. Bianca was telling Shannon that she’s not a good Christian if she isn't perfect. That’s too personal. That’s going for the gut. Shannon can’t win. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t fight.

Episode grade: C

Charlie's Angels has been cancelled


The episodes they already have made will still air. There are about four left.

Last Man Standing

Let’s face it: Most of the time, we are TV snobs. We also usually agree with critics. Someone mentioned liking Two and a Half Men to Ern on Tuesday, and she actually sneered. She wiped the look off her face quickly, but it didn’t go unnoticed. Fortunately, guys love mean girls, so this particular one burned Ern three CDs the next day. There’s Depeche Mode in there. Yesssss.

However, this time, we are not going to sneer at the little Tim Allen sitcom that’s a hell of a lot like Home Improvement. If you like sitcoms, Tim Allen, and Home Improvement, this one is not bad. This is due mostly to the cast. The middle daughter is annoying at first when she’s crying about Glee, but she gets funny quick. The oldest daughter, Kristin, was seen briefly on both LOST and Nikita, and let us just say that this hair is working for her.

We also like the wife and the youngest tomboy daughter. We chuckled a few times during this and didn’t roll our eyes once. We enjoyed ourselves. It was relaxing to watch. It’s not groundbreaking, modern, or new in any way. But it’s not a cheesy pain to watch either. So if you are interested in this show based on the commercials, go ahead and check it out. The first and second episode aired this week and are on hulu.

Episodes Grade: B

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some shows got picked up. We love it.

Full seasons have been ordered for The Secret Circle, Ringer, Hart of Dixie, Revenge, and Suburgatory. Also, ABC has ordered 6 more scripts of Happy Endings. We're pretty excited about all of them. Except for maybe Hart of Dixie.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's time for Bridget to sleep with Andrew. We know his relationship sucked, but how long can they plausibly go without doing it now?

Ringer - "A Whole New Kind of Bitch"

Gemma doesn’t believe Bridget at first, but then she notes that Bridget doesn’t have a burn scar on her wrist like Siobhan did. At this point, Gemma turns into a raging bitch. She says that she wants a divorce, but she’s looking ahead to the settlement part of the whole debacle. She wants all of her money and custody of the kids. Fortunately for her, there is an infidelity clause in their prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately for her, infidelity is hard to prove in a court of law when you have no evidence and your husband will just deny it.

Gemma calls Bridget out for being a drug-addict, stripper whore who she doesn’t know from Eve. She agrees to keep Bridget’s secret if Bridget will sleep with her husband at a certain time so that Gemma can burst in and catch them. Bridget, knowing what kind of shame that will bring into her psyche, freaks and doesn’t want to do it. She meets up with another addict she met at New York’s Narcotics Anonymous chapter. He tells her not to do something she can’t live with. Juliet follows Bridget and sees her at the group.

Juliet, who earlier painted the word “whore” on the big, vain picture of Siobhan’s face and had a drug party while Andrew was away, still hates Siobhan. Bridget finds out that this is because Siobhan slept with Andrew while he was still married to Juliet’s mom. Juliet assumes that Bridget/Siobhan is going to the NA group to snoop and get information about addicts to use against Juliet. Juliet is being threatened with rehab, which sounds like a good idea to us. Instead, Andrew decides to send her to public school. And the worst parent award goes to…. Also, if your daughter has abused your trust by clearly doing drugs and trashing your house, her privacy privileges go bye-bye.

Bridget meets Henry at a bar and tells him that his wife knows about the affair and wanted to set him up to get caught. Great solution, Bridget! Palm your problem off to the jerk and tell him to take care of things. Henry is reeling from his book deal being dropped by his publisher, so his impending divorce is less than welcome news. Who is having the worst week ever? Turns out, it is Gemma, because it looks like Henry just killed her at the end of the episode.

Bridget and Andrew have to go collect Juliet from a nightclub. She acts like a brat at first, but then Bridget apologizes to Juliet and says that Siobhan should never have slept with Andrew while he was still married. Andrew seems flabbergasted that an actual adult has to own up to a real mistake and apologize to a child. It worked like a charm with Juliet, and it should. We are starting to like Bridget, Juliet, and Andrew. This episode helped us like the girls in that trio even more. Bridget’s decisions this week, for the most part, went a long way in helping us care what happens to her character.

This was probably the most fun and twisty episode so far. There were some real stakes. Plus, you know we like when people die on our TV shows. Death always moves things along! What this show needs to do now is make Siobhan’s side of the story interesting. What is she even doing? The show needs to give us a little hint as to her master plan if they are going to show her again. Agent Machado needs to be integrated into the story more. The whole Malcolm captured by the bad guys thing needs to end.

This show has gotten a lot better since the premiere, so if you tuned out after that, catch up. What do we always say (since Nikita and Mad Men) about five episodes? That’s how long you need to stick around to get the measure of most shows. It’s still a frothy, ridiculous soap opera. But for what it is, last night’s episode was good.

Episode grade: A-

And this show just got a full season pickup

In which we offend every New Age person reading this blog....

Enlightened - "Pilot"

This show focuses on a woman into what lots of people call “The New Age movement.” But not the cool, confusing, heady parts. This show is about New Age 101. Mostly just meditation and shallow platitudes. The thing about this part of New Ageism is that no one can really argue with it, but plenty of people have a problem with it. Sure, positive thinking is a good thing. Making new starts and making amends are also healthy. But they are just not ENOUGH for most people to change their lives.

That’s part of what doesn’t work for us about this TV show. Amy Jellicoe’s whole outlook on life is changed by things that just aren’t powerful enough to transform you. The experiences Amy has (or what we see of them in the pilot) just don’t have that kind of juice. Sure, the big sea turtle was cool, and many people can experience God/life force/whatever through nature. Another thing that doesn’t work for us is that the show doesn’t seem to know if it supports this kind of thing or if it wants to mock it.

That is realistic, because we think that’s the way a lot of people see New Age books, meditation, and talk about the universe. In the right crowd or at the right time, lots of people will roll with it. “I believe in a God. You believe in some universal force? SAME THING!” At other times, they will deem it wishy washy, stupid, or a waste of time. Because most of it really can mesh with lots of religions and lots of forms of atheism. Your stance on it will be as flexible as the “belief system” itself. This kind of modern spirituality has become a catch-all for people who realize that humans are spiritual beings but who don’t want a label or don’t agree with any established religion.

You get a lot of types who differ in beliefs, rituals, habits, and backgrounds. That’s one of the things that is awesome about that crowd. But sometimes when people are afraid to make a gathering about something (because someone in the group might choose not to work with that concept), it’s hard to make your gathering about anything. Except for trees. Everyone likes trees. But are they powerful enough that you will become enlightened by thinking about them in a seated position?

Amy works at a company called “Abbadon,” which, as any religion (or LOST) nerd knows, means “hell” in Hebrew. She has a breakdown while she is there after having an affair with her boss and getting transferred to an inferior department. She takes two months off, goes to rehab, swims with turtles, and does hippie dippy activities that make her want to be different when she gets back. And different she is. She dresses casually (like a hippie), has curlier hair, hugs strangers, smiles, and tries to keep her temper in check. That doesn’t always work.

That’s realistic. No matter what belief system is changing your life, it doesn’t happen all at once. Don’t let this post fool you into thinking we are totally against all of this hippie stuff. There’s a lot of truth in it, and if you are open to it, you might learn new thought processes or tools to deal with life. What you can get out of this post is that we think Eckhart Tolle and his intellectual ilk are a supplement to real life, not the complete guide.

It can spark debate, call you out for splitting hairs or demanding that your own terminology be used, and it can make you more accepting and understanding of people who think differently. It can make you care about the environment more, be more open, and be less rule-oriented in your worldview. And yoga is relaxing. We dip into the pool, take what we like, add it to what already works for us, and run with it. Also, hippies are really into rocks. All kinds of rocks, big and small. Rocks. Are. Awesome. Anyway...

Amy’s problems are relatable, and lots of people today are embarking on a similar spiritual journey. Lots of people also have trouble communicating with a parent. Lots of people have addict husbands who look like Luke Wilson with a beard. So why is Amy so hard to relate to then? Whether she is following her new beliefs or lashing out, Amy comes across like a side-show. A train crash. We're pretty sure even Oprah's most loyal followers, people who have feathers in their house to clear energy, and psychics would think that both Amy and this show are too shallow and simplistic. What crowd is this catering to?

This show doesn't know what it is yet. It's supposed to be a comedy, but who are we laughing at? Amy? The miserable drones around her? The show is not really funny. It’s tone is uneven and confusing. The premise is too ordinary. And the voiceover gives us plenty of platitudes that sound like nothing, but they are expected to be taken seriously. Sure, the voiceover is true. But it is missing conviction, oomph, and self-awareness. Much like this show. Much like the New Age movement.

Episode grade: C+

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Malcolm has no chance, even with the British accent

Terra Nova - “What Remains”

Much better than last week, show. However, viewership dipped after that last episode, so no one got to see the show start to be genuinely fun. We still have a lot of problems with the show. The most glaring one that we don’t think we’ve mentioned yet (see the previous post for a list of other problems) is that culture apparently hasn’t evolved in 100 years, even with this cool thing called the internet.

There are no new curse words, for one thing. Remember how in Firefly, you bought that these were people from the future? Still people, but different then us? Or Battlestar Galactica? Terra Nova has none of that. These people look, dress, speak, and act like people from 2011. Cheesy people with no depth or real emotional problems from 2011. Also, the guy who plays Jim cannot act when it comes to sneezing.

However, this episode got a thumbs up from both of us. Compared to last week’s bore-fest, this was an entertaining work of art. There was action, and the dinosaurs were back, and they weren’t just annoying little birds. The characters have more chemistry with each other. The action of the week helped us get to know our characters better, and it made us care about the Jim/Elizabeth relationship a little bit. People are comparing this episode with Star Trek, and that’s not far off. It’s also not a bad thing.

We had a little bit of a LOST touch when the episode started with a high-tech room and a guy freaking out. We didn’t know where this was or who this guy was, and that pulled us in, because with this show so far, we’ve always seen things coming a mile away. Then the man gets eaten by a carnosaur. Yes show! That’s what we like. Elizabeth and Taylor go off to investigate the research center this man was from, because they are having a problem communicating with that offsite facility.

Taylor, Elizabeth, and a random guy go and find the research center crawling with people who think they are living in some point in their past, along with research logs from when the scientists were almost sane and trying to figure out what was happening to them. Elizabeth determines that this amnesia was caused by a pathogen. There’s that scientifically plausible show we’ve come to know and love! Elizabeth, Taylor, and the random guy realize that Dr. Elizabeth needs to figure out how to cure these people and get everyone’s memory back, because they too have probably been exposed.

Soon, they actually do lose their memories. Zoe caught a cold, so Jim caught it from her. Kids are always sick, huh? Eventually, Jim and Malcolm go out to check on them. When they arrive, Malcolm decides that Elizabeth can still help cure the condition. She thinks she is a university student still dating Malcolm (Jim just loved this), and she was brilliant them too. So Malcolm, to keep things simple, omits her marriage and children from his description of her life and asks for her help. Jim goes looking for Taylor and leaves some threats while Malcolm and Elizabeth nerd out.

Jim finds Taylor. Taylor thinks he is still fighting a war in Somalia, and that his wife and son have been taken by the enemy. We loved this. Taylor has been a little too perfect and capable up until now. Seeing him totally irrational, violent, and scary was awesome. We liked when he tried to kill himself once someone told him his wife was dead. This is definitely a different side to this guy who apparently had a darker past than we though. It makes sense though.

Taylor knocks Jim out and heads for Terra Nova, looking for answers. Jim wakes up and finds Malcolm putting the moves on Elizabeth. Jim tackles Malcolm, and Malcolm says, “Oh, it was the pathogen. I’m going in and out of reality. And I was dating your wife in the time I flash back to.” Mmhmm. Elizabeth doesn’t get what’s going on. For a genius, she sure can’t put two and two together. These guys are jealously mooning over her. It’s been 20 years. Does she really think she stayed single until her 40s?

Jim and Malcolm find guy #3 who is knocked out and drag him to the safety of the lab. They are almost eaten by a dinosaur. We shrug. We can only ask for one death by dinosaur per episode, so we won’t be greedy today. Finally, Elizabeth realizes Jim is her husband and gets all tender. She realizes that it’s Jim’s cold that is keeping him from losing his memory. She makes out with him in order to get those pathogens to block the bad pathogens. We are satisfied that Elizabeth really would choose Jim over Malcolm, because even with no memories of Jim and thoughts of Malcolm being her current boyfriend, she picked Jim.

The most interesting thing going on, if you intend to continue watching this show, happened with Josh and Skye. Not them making out and then Josh realizing that he wants to be faithful to his girlfriend. No, not Josh getting a job with a bartender who says that he can help him get his gf to Terra Nova. What’s neato is that the bartender is the Sixers’ inside man, he’s bringing them supplies, and he intends to use Josh to the Sixers’ advantage because of who Josh’s father is.

We are wondering why Skye would take Josh to that bartender. She knew that he is the man who can get things from the future. Does she know why? Does Skye know that it’s because he has help from Sixers? She is crushing on Josh, and it seems a little too nice that she would help get her rival for his affections into their little town just out of the goodness of her heart. Is she setting Josh up too?

We deem this a “family show,” to be watched with your adolescents and older elementary school students. It’s mild, inoffensive, and nice enough. Even with amnesia and cheesy love dialogue in it, this episode entertained us.

Episode grade: B

New Show: Missing

ABC, Midseason

Starring: Ashley Judd (Where the Heart Is, Double Jeopardy)

Plot: Ashley Judd’s son disappears during his summer internship in Italy. She goes to Europe to find hime. She’s a retired CIA agent who will do anything to get her son back.

Why We Are Excited: LOVE Ashley Judd!!

Why We Are Not Excited: This is just like Taken, only with the genders swapped. Wait, that actually sounds awesome. Also, how long can this go one? How long is it going to take her to find him?


Anticipation Score: 7.5/10
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!

Puppies that are not on fire

How I Met Your Mother - "Field Trip"

Ern didn’t even like Ewoks when we were kids. Leeard did (and still does). Barney’s theory was hilarious though. We loved the Friday Night Lights reference, although it was only the beginning of season two that we didn’t like, and all of the murder portion.

Marshall and Lily: Marshall’s boss has given up on saving the world, but Marshall gives him a pep talk, and they come down a little harder on a big company that killed some fish. It was a victory for humankind. And fish. Future Ted lets us know that Marshall and his boss actually will save the world. Awww, how optimistic and unlikely! If lawyers could save the world, Ern would want to be one more.

Ted: Tries to inspire someone in his class to become an architect, so he takes the class (and a random German family that tagged along) on a field trip. They go to GNB and meet Barney. We really could have stood to see more of Barney’s presentations. Stupid spoilsport Ted. Then they go to Ted’s apartment. Then they end at the bar. Great field trip, Ted. He inspires no one. We liked the thing where Barney and Ted used the class as a focus group to settle their old disputes. We could have seen more of that. And there could have been better debates. Making fun of Twilight is old guys. We’ve been doing it since before the first movie came out.

Barney: Worries that Nora is 37 and lied about her age. She didn’t. Barney is still willing to accept her if she is old, because of how good she looks, so this is romantic progress for Barney.

Robin: Dating her therapist from the last episode. Everyone thinks this is a mistake, but we say that people should mostly shut up about the people that their friends and family choose to date.

They are the ones who have to root them. In the throes of love, they won’t change their mind. If they are with addicts or being abused or something, that’s another story. We actually thought her solution took care of the inherent problem in dating your therapist. First of all, she wasn’t in therapy with him for that long (two hours), and second of all, she took away the power and authority fa├žade by having him whine about his mom. It’s also nice to have someone shake up the potential Ted/Barney/Robin thing.

Episode grade: B-

Is it rebellion? Or is this love?

The Good Wife - “Get a Room”

Yessssss. It’s not love. It could be rebellion, but it’s not love. We have always been of the opinion that neither Will nor Peter are good enough for Alicia. A third player could show up at the end of the season who is a little more worthy. Alicia may change her mind and grow to love Will. We’re pretty sure she’ll never make the mistake of going back to Peter. Either way, we like where this is heading and her answer to her brother’s question.

We liked the mediation plot. It’s cool to see a mediation rather than just usual court scenes with an uncooperative judge. Dr. Cuddy guests on this episode, and she will be on it for at least three episodes. She is an ex-girlfriend of Will’s, and Lisa Edelstein does a good job. It was a smart move to ditch House and move to this as a transition show. Eli Gold gets burned managing a cheese crisis when a listeria outbreak strikes school kids. We really doubt that in real life, the news would show so many children barfing up cheese, but it was pretty funny.

Cary calls Kalinda out for using her sensuality and general awesomeness to make guys go for her in order to get information. Cary looks really sad when he says this, and we feel bad for him. Mostly because he is cute. But he’s much more sympathetic on this show than he was in Gilmore Girls (and the Tucker Max movie, but that’s a given).

Homeland - “Grace”

We don’t know about those credits. On the one hand, they are creative, they give the viewer a good idea about the show, they are unsettling, and they remind us of something David Fincher would do. On the other hand, inserting some of the more dramatic dialogue from the pilot seemed heavy-handed. We loved the pictures of a young Claire Danes.

For his first day home alone, Brody crouches in the corner of his bedroom. Carrie watches him, disturbed by this. As her boss points out, this seems perfectly natural for a POW of eight years. Why isn’t this man in immediate psychiatric counseling? Seriously, even if there were no chance that he had been turned, it would be a good call, we think. We anticipate the wife bringing it up, Brody getting angry, and us agreeing. Mrs. Brody is pretty much the most sympathetic character here.

How boring does it have to be for Carrie to sit and watch some guy putter around the house all day. And she can’t see in the garage!? Unacceptable!!!!!! Where else would a guy build a bomb or do secret guy things? Carrie has decided that everything Brody does is definite proof that he’s a terrorist. He stays home? Terrorist. He has nightmares? Terrorist. He goes to a hardware store? Obviously a terrorist. He punches a reporter in the throat? Rude. And a terrorist. Lots of her evidence is unconvincing, but she still may be right.

We got a little “real” terrorist evidence. First, Brody is angry that he had to fight what he sees as a pointless war. This isn’t really proof, because plenty of decent people feel that way about the war, but it goes to motive for turning to the other side. Anger is a good motive. Second, Brody goes into his garage at dawn and starts praying to Allah and bowing, like Muslims do. This isn’t really proof, because plenty of decent people are Muslims. But, once again, motive. And it shows that the enemy influenced Brody.

However, this makes us think that Brody is going to turn out to be innocent. At least partly innocent, because the best thing this show can do is somehow find a way to make both Carrie and Brody right, or at least understandable. He can’t be all wrong, because that might be a PR nightmare for Showtime. If he is a terrorist, then this episode strongly suggested that Islam = terrorist. Anyone who is facing Mecca and chanting a prayer is about two seconds from making a crappy video and sawing someone’s head off.

Finally, Brody goes outside, talks to the reporters, and “plays the hero card,” just like Saul said a terrorist would. This is the only real piece of evidence that Carrie gets to see, because she has no visual access to the garage. Saul blackmails a judge to get Carrie legal surveillance rights.

A new character is introduced: Lynne Reed. She’s undercover as a Saudi prince’s assistant. Carrie recruited her and deals with her. The interviewing of potential harem girls was horrible, funny, and professional at the same time. That was a very interesting scene. Lynne saw and videotaped Abu Nazir, which really gets Carrie excited. Carrie tells Lynne that she is being watched and protected, even though Carrie’s boss turned the protection request down. We bet Lynne is the first death in this show.

We see the source of Carrie’s antipsychotic meds: her sister, Maggie. Maggie has two cute little girls who love Carrie. We find out that Carrie and Maggie’s father suffers from the same mental condition that Carrie has. The show still has us hooked. Suspense fans who like smart shows should jump on this bandwagon before it takes off.

Episode grade: A-

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mos Def the start of a good season, but this one wasn't too memorable

Dexter - "Once Upon a Time"

This week, the pendulum swung the other way. Last time, religion didn’t come out looking rational. This week, it still doesn’t look rational, but it was portrayed as ballsy, life changing, and powerful. We do not deny that religion has effected and changed individual lives for the better. Our only complaint is that the good religious person is black. That sounds bad, so let us explain. There is nothing wrong with black Christians, but it’s just another example of the fact that TV has trouble having nice Christians who are also white.

It’s like if you are white and a Christian, you are the devil. But if you are black and spiritual, you are a magical Morgan Freeman type. Examples: The Shepherd on Firefly/Serenity, Mercedes on Glee (compare to Quinn), Rose on LOST, Mr. Eko on LOST, Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy, and Chris Turk on Scrubs. 7th Heaven is a big exception, but that wasn’t really a mainstream show in that it catered to a specific audience (white Christians). Also, some of those characters sucked.

It’s a rule in TV and movies that if you make your Christian character black, then they are allowed to be sympathetic, and your show will get away with it rather than appear preachy. This is really odd to us. What’s the reason? Because we’ve noticed it multiple times. Is it because people remember Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. as the last respectable popular minister in the media? Is it because they are seen as underdogs not using it to gain political power?

Just as it’s not fair for white Christians to always be portrayed as hateful, it’s unfair to black atheists and agnostics to always be portrayed as Christians. We knew one young black woman who told us that she grew up thinking “all black people are Christians.” This is interesting to us, because we don’t know why TV has embraced these stereotypes. If you don’t believe us, just keep an eye out. You’ll start to notice it’s the rule rather than the exception. In any event, now we have Brother Sam on Dexter, and he is, in fact, a brother. He’s played by Mos Def, whom we love.

What’s going on with Travis and his older boss? They are those guys who put snakes in people. Is it a weird cult? What’s going on there? Dexter seems to think it’s a person in a league of serial killers who treat their dark passengers like a religion. They seem to think some sort of end is near, and Travis isn’t allowed to see his sister? Very weird, and very creepy. Also, fun. We liked the shot of Travis at the end, about to hit a fatally helpful guy in the head with a rock.

Poor Quinn. We actually don’t dislike him, like a lot of fans do. Deb is his boss now (the perks of being a YouTube star), and they are definitely not getting married. We sort of hope that Deb misses him and decides she wants to marry him at the end of the season. But, more than that, we want her to find out about Dexter. After last season, she can handle it. We like that Deb is the Lieutenant, and she handled things perfectly with Angel. It was kind of sad at the end where Dexter realized that it was time to hide his true self from Harrison. Aww, he had another year before the memory would become a problem, at least.

Overall, this was a set-up episode. Pretty much a 50-minute teaser to the creepy things to come (hopefully).

Episode grade: B-

Actually, JFK didn't make a mistake in his speech/call himself a jelly doughnut. Just fyi.

Pan Am - "Ich bin ein Berliner"

Which Pan Am do you guys prefer? The fluffy, fun period piece with girls avoiding their moms and standing up for their rights against that old lady who forces them to wear girdles? Or the Cold War spy drama? Critics seem to prefer the fluff, and while that is better done, without the Cold War drama, it might come off as shallow or stakes-free. Because what real problems do these women have other than that?

Ern loved this episode because there was German in it. Ern is trying to learn German, and it’s slow going, but it will happen. Leeard likes this show partly because she thinks the CIA handler is cute. We’re not liking Laura yet. She’s still a bit dim and helpless for our tastes, but in the ‘60s she was probably raised to be that way, and maybe she will get a little bolder as the series goes on and she gets more life experience.

Laura turned down a kiss from Pilot Ted, who excuses his attempt by saying that she’s so pretty he cannot be blamed. Later, they talk and Laura gives him a smile, so it seems like she’s not completely turned off by this guy. We are.

Maggie is a die-hard JFK fan. She knows he is going to be in Berlin where her layover is, and so she does not give up until she convinces one of the reporters on her flight to hook her up with a press pass. We are not Christina Ricci fans (she should have stopped after The Addams Family), but Maggie is a fun and very tenacious character. She gets a wave from Kennedy for all her trouble. The silhouette looks nothing like him. The shadow is a little bigger than we would have thought Kennedy was, anyway.

But we did feel for Colette in the last scene when she said that she came to try to forgive, but it wasn’t possible. She and Dean are getting closer, which will cause triangular drama if and when Bridget comes back. We feel like she should. The Dean character should get both information and closure there.

Kate’s mission goes awry this week when her contact, Greta, is compromised, and Kate wants to save her from the Commies. But her handler is all, “That’s not our problem.” Kate makes it her problem. She sneaks Greta into a party dressed as a Pan Am stewardess and hands her off to someone who can get her out of the country. Her handler is not pleased, but Kate is still allowed to be a courier.

This episode went for our emotions by referencing the German occupation of France/the Holocaust/WW2. It was only a little more than 20 years ago that this happened, so it seems fitting that the show addressed it while the girls were in Germany. We were a little annoyed with Colette having to sing in German and cry in front of everyone. Also, she was rude to several German people who may or may not have had anything to do with the terrible events that caused Colette to lose her parents.

Colette also got all up in Greta’s lederhosen for delivering bread to the enemy when she was about five years old. Like she had a choice. Colette is still adorable though. And her singing voice is decent too. All the bad things happen to her! Getting lied to by a married man, having no family, and possibly crushing on Dean, who is in love with Bridget is a lot. Unfortunate things need to happen to other girls, because Colette is stealing the ensemble show.

We actually like both the spy stuff and the fluff stuff. We think they both need to be done better though. The spy stuff needs to be fleshed out a little, we need to hear or see what happens as a result of one of Kate’s deliveries, and it needs to make more sense. Maybe Kate should hook up with her handler too. We did not like the flashforward. Overall, we liked the episode.

Episode grade: B

Holy Moly- Are you still rooting for Walt, what did you think of the episode, and where is the show going next?

Breaking Bad- "Face Off"

Does anyone remember Dragon Ball Z? Ern’s little brother used to watch it with her, and we would just sit and complain about how nothing ever happened. It was an action soap opera. It was like there was only one fight per season, and everything was building toward the hero’s defeat of that one enemy per season. The people would stand with their arms raised and just grunt and scream at each other, while the side characters danced around, uselessly. And yet, we watched the show every day, because we cared, and we wouldn’t have missed a second of those battles. This season of Breaking Bad reminds us of that. It took Walter White forever to gather that spirit bomb. And like it Dragon Ball Z, it was terrifically violent and totally worth it in the end.

Jesse is held and questioned about Brock’s poisoning. He calls Saul, and Saul shows. Jesse tells Saul to tell Walt that his opportunity to kill Gus might come in Tio Salamanca. Gus’ house and businesses are watched, and Gus has his guard up regarding anything with Jesse or Walt. So Walt crafted the craftiest plan of his life to get Salamanca on his side and kill Gustavo Fring.

Salamanca asks to see the DEA (Dea’s not a word, honey), and Hank has to go down to the office to see Salamanca. Salamanca spells insults out at Hank, and it’s apparent that he’s not giving the DEA anything. Ratting Gus out to the DEA was not Walt’s plan though. Walt just wanted Gus’ man, Tyrus, to see Salamanca there. Walt hides outside the old folks home. That old lady had a crush on him! But Walt had no time to get some. Gus came into Salamanca’s room with a lethal injection. Salamanca gives him the best dirty look we have ever seen in our lives and Walt’s bomb goes off. The room explodes. Gus walks out looking worse than Two Face, and then he collapses.

Some might criticize that shot as unrealistic, cartoon-ish, or silly. We thought it was fantastic. When you do a slow build to extreme violence, the violence really has to deliver. At that point, waiting tensely for Gus’ downfall for weeks, we wanted him dead and we wanted him REAL dead. We cackled mercilessly at that shot. It gave us the catharsis we wanted. At that point, we were hyperventilating with excitement, because we saw that there were about seven minutes left in the finale. How was the finale going to top Gus’ death and leave us breathless in the last couple of minutes?

Brock’s doctors figured out that Brock was poisoned by a flower called Lily of the Valley, not ricin. Jesse is released and taken by Gus’ men to the lab. Walt comes in, gun blazing, and he saves Jesse. Jesse and Walt go burn down their lab, which was awesome. At this point, Walt has bombed a nursing home, killed multiple men, and now risked the lives of a bunch of immigrant workers. Jesse tells Walt that it looks like Brock is going to make it. Walt looks relieved and emotional. The two shake hands and part, agreeing that even if Brock just accidently ate some flowers, Gus still needed to die.

Skyler watches the news and calls Walt about the explosion and fire. She asks Walt if he killed those men. “What happened?” she asked. “I won,” Walt answered. Behold, the one who knocks. So, we were all sulky because the episode didn’t end with Hank realizing that Walt is Heisenberg. We thought that was going to happen this season. But we think it’s fitting that this showdown occur during the final season, especially since we think the show gave us something better.

The last scene was a shot of Walt’s pool area, and there sat a potted plant labeled “Lily of the Valley.” WALT!!!!! We’re pretty sure that Walt didn’t mean to kill Brock in order to secure Jesse’s allegiance, because he’s an expert chemist and would know how much to give the child to kill him versus threaten him. And he seemed really relieved and emotional that Brock was ok. But we are still appalled. That’s nothing to what Jesse is going to be. Walt hurt a child to take Gus down. That’s a line crossed. We thought Walt was getting a little better, but no. This ushers in the reign of evil Walt.

Now that we’ve seen the end of the season, a few things have become clear. First of all, the spinning gun next to the pool. Twice it stopped at Walt and the last time it spun to the flower pot. This shows us how long Walt has been planning this. We wrote the gun spinning off as a show of nervousness, but now we have been corrected. Repeat after us: Everything Breaking Bad does is intentional. Also, was that a school schedule that the legal secretary was shredding? Did Saul and Walt poison Brock while he was at school?

For anyone who questions whether Walt actually poisoned Brock, read this Vince Gilligan quote about his brilliant ways: But there’s the old Billy Wilder quote, which I am going to misquote, that if you give the audience 2 plus 2 and let them add it up to 4 themselves, they’ll love you forever. I abide by that. The audience is plenty smart, and I like giving them as little as possible, and letting them do the math themselves.

There is also a question as to whether Tyrus died in the bombed room, because the reporter said, “Three men may have died.”Tyrus could be in critical condition. We can just see him joining forces with Mike to get revenge. What about Mike? We are really glad he made it through the season and look forward to his character being used later. We think it’s probable that Hank or someone will find Jesse and Walt on Gus’ security tapes. And we know that there will come a day when Jesse finds out about both Jane and Brock. This whole thing could kill with Jesse blowing Walt away. And Walt will deserve it. Team Jesse!

Episode grade: A+
Season grade: B+

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thanks for telling us Nikita got better, readers.

Person of Interest - “Mission Creep”
This show is definitely a procedural, but it’s a decent one, so we watch it, even though there are pouts on our faces about the 24-like serial that might have been. In this episode, the machine coughed up the number of a former Marine named Joey. When he returned from the Middle East, he joined a crew of former soldiers who have become thieves for hire, because he wanted to get money for his dead solider buddy’s little girl. Reese saves Joey, duh. The man behind it all is named “Elias M.” and a man named Latimer works for him. We have a feeling that these two are going to crop up again. We also see that Reese used to have a girlfriend, and they clearly still have feelings for each other. We want to see the machine flashback now.
Episode grade: B+

Nikita - “Knightfall”
We’re finally caught up on this show. It got better around episode five. The first episode was all about sex appeal and stick-thin women inexplicably kicking the asses of large guys, and that turned us off. We’re not really the audience for that. But we marathoned the show once the whole season was out, and had developed enough of a story and fun pacing that it hooked us. There have been some changes since the first season. Notably, Alex is now with Division as a mercenary and Amanda is running the whole thing.

We enjoy the game change, but we look forward to Percy getting out of his Magneto prison. During this episode, Nikita foiled a Division op yet again! Even though one of us hates Shane West, we like Michael and Nikita together. The end opened up new possibilities for Alex’s character. That’s good. It’s nice to keep things moving while having week-to-week missions. We'd really like to see some follow-up with the Nathan character. Last we saw him, he had found out about Alex's secret and shot Alex's rival, killing her. What happened to that guy? Doesn't Alex still want to make babies with him?
Episode grade: B

A Gifted Man - “In Case of Discomfort”
The formula for this show seems to be “one rich patient, one poor patient.” The rich patient had some sort of bug in her brain from eating pork (aaaand we’ve just picked up the pork-eating habits of Jews and Muslims) and the poor patient had heart problems. Rachel Lefevre showed up to run the clinic. We don’t know why we are enjoying this show, because it has a lot of the factors we usually hate. Case-by-case, not too attached to the characters (what happened to Michael’s sister and nephew?), and nothing too unique. And yet, we continue to enjoy.
Episode grade: B

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The next couple of polls will determine which shows definitely get long reviews, rather than just mentions/paragraphs.

New show: GCB

ABC. Midseason

Starring: Kristin Chenoweth (Glee, Wicked, Pushing Daisies)

Plot: Stands for Good Christian Bitches (or Belles). A mom moves back to her old town that’s full of mean girls. She was one herself, but then she got out of her bubble.

Why We Are Excited: There was a time when we wouldn’t have liked the idea of this show, because Christianity and Catholicism are such common, trendy whipping boys on TV/in movies these days. But now we know, there are some bitchy Christians in the world. They need to be mocked. Kristin is a Christian herself. It’s ok to have a sense of humor about hypocrisy and snobs. It seems like the perfect role for Kristin too. Plenty of women have been burned in a holiness/perfection competition with other women, Christian or not, so we feel like people will be able to relate.

Why We Are Not Excited: This could turn into a one-joke show. Comedies have disappointed us recently.


Anticipation Score: 6.5/10
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