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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Daniel really doesn't deserve to die....say it ain't so

Sons of Anarchy - “Fruit for the Crows”
Bobby calls a vote for a new president, and Clay allows it, but he isn’t pleased. The club struggles to deal with Tara’s death threat letter and an attack against the Mayans. Juice tries to kill himself. This episode was seriously intense. Does anyone want to place any bets on whether Bobby will be the next character to die?
Episode grade: B

Parenthood - “Tales from the Luncheonette”
Adam and Crosby host Cee Lo Green in their music studio. At first, it seems like Cee Lo and his crew aren’t happy with the studio and how things are going, so Adam and Crosby fight. Adam also made rash promises to Cee Lo and sort of counted chickens before they hatched, making Crosby nervous. However, it all worked out in the end. Julia and Joel announce that they are adopting Snarky Coffee Girl’s baby to Julia’s parents, and Zeek questions whether it’s a good idea. Kristina tries to juggle a new baby with Adam’s crazy schedule and paying attention to Haddie. Drew has his first kiss, thanks to some helpful tips from Amber. Many people probably want kissing advice that good.

Finally, Mark Cyr feels insecure when Sarah lets Seth sleep over and cleans him up. Sarah tries to get money from Zeek to put Seth into rehab, but Zeek thinks that Seth is just tricking Sarah to get cash. Julia loans Sarah the money to put Seth in a private facility. Zeek doesn’t like this, but Joel (rightfully) tells Zeek that the decisions of Joel’s family are theirs. When you move out and get married, it’s important to leave home emotionally and make your own household. We don’t know if Zeek is totally wrong about Seth though… It seems like Sarah is getting set up for another fall. Hopefully it doesn’t kill her new relationship as well.
Episode grade: B

Person of Interest - “Judgment”
A judge’s young son is kidnapped by gang members who want the judge to throw a case and get a guilty defendant off, scot free. Reese appears to the judge and works with him to get his son back. The judge might prove to be an ally to Reese later. This episode entertained us and gave us hope that some storylines might create more overarching plots. We like when Reese reveals himself to the people he is trying to help. It just makes him look all the more mysterious and good. We’re still hoping for this show to get picked up for a full season. Having Michael Emerson on our screens again is just too good to lose.
Episode grade: B+

Nikita - “Looking Glass”
Nothing really grabbed us here, and we DON’T like the fact that Michael has a son. He once slept with a woman and seduced her for Division. Now, Michael feels guilty for using Cassandra and when he sees she is in trouble, he sets up a mission to help her. Nikita is understandably wary, but she helps and saves the day, as usual. The episode ended with Cassandra telling Nikita that her child, Henry, is Michael’s five-year-old son. Michael does not know. If he finds out that Nikita kept that from him, he won’t be happy. Sean and Amanda go on a mission together to do some good and do something unrelated to Division or Alex’s revenge. We guess we won’t be seeing Nathan again. Our money is on Sean for Alex’s new flame. Sean also begins to doubt Division.
Episode grade: C+

American Horror Story - “Murder House”
With horror, you want to be unsettled. You don’t want to be left with a sick feeling though. You want to be thrilled, scared, and excited. You might want to worry about nightmares before you go to bed. But there is an icky feeling you don’t want. This episode gave one of us that feeling. We don’t know why, but we do know that effect knocked the grade down a few notches. The Harmon’s can’t move because they are too poor and can’t sell the house. Ben tries to fire Moira for coming onto him, but Vivien comes down on Moira’s side, calling Ben “paranoid.” All she sees is an old lady, not a sex possibility for Ben.

Someone (probably Moira) starts drugging Ben so that he blacks out and wakes up with memory loss. We liked seeing how Moira died and think it’s creepy/cool the way Constance is keeping Moira from moving on in order to punish Moira for sleeping with her (Constance’s) husband. Hayden shows up, ready to tell Vivien about the pregnancy and move to town. Larry pops out of nowhere and kills Hayden by hitting her over the head with a shovel. Larry buries Hayden and Ben builds a gazebo over the grave. Vivien hears about the house’s first owners: A couple who performed illegal abortions. The ghost of the wife meets Vivien.
Episode grade: B-

Revenge - “Guilt”
Lydia reappears, looking to get her friendships and her house back. The annual Flight 197 victims fundraiser is thrown and Victoria is honored for starting it. Lydia nearly tells the gathered crowd of Hamptonites about how Victoria and Conrad framed an innocent man, but Victoria pretends to be Lydia’s friend long enough to get Lydia to change her mind. Frank, the man working for the Graysons, breaks into Lydia’s apartment and finds her files. Lydia returns home and Frank accidentally throws her out of a window and onto a car. Bye bye, Lydia. Daniel and Amandily rectify their miscommunications, and Daniel tells his father that he doesn’t want to be a part of the family business.

Daniel loses his trust fund and also finds out about how his father cheated on Victoria. Daniel and Amandily have sex for the first time. Conrad tries to win Victoria back with an expensive car, but Victoria gives it to Charlotte in an attempt to reconcile with her daughter. Charlotte takes Declan on a joyride that ends with them both getting arrested when the car was reported stolen. Daniel bails Charlotte out and gets Declan off, and Jack gives Daniel a job at his bar. Great, just what an alcoholic needs: to be surrounded by alcohol at work. Finally, Victoria’s guilt over what happened with David Clarke reemerges. We didn’t like the use of flashbacks in this episode, but we are thrilled that Lydia came back. This isn’t a show that forgets what happened last week, even if it is sort of a procedural soap. We also like how Nolan is continuing to protect Amanda and further her interests.
Episode grade: B+

Friday, October 21, 2011

She’s a whole lotta ball of fire with no flame.

How I Met Your Mother - “History v. Mystery”
Everyone bought smartphones, causing Barney and Robin to research all of Ted’s dates before he goes out with them. Ted goes out with the perfect woman, and Robin and Barney ruin it by letting him know that she is perfect. Thus, he is too intimidated to talk to her. Of course, because it’s Ted. Marshall and Lily try to keep their baby’s gender a secret from everyone, including themselves. But Barney doesn’t like that plan. Turns out, it’s a boy, so now Marshall and Lily can get that ugly yellow color off the nursery walls. We thought the flashback to Ted’s horrible dates were funny, and we like Robin’s boyfriend and think he’s fitting in a lot better than Zoey did. However, pregnancy has been done to death on TV and Ted’s main date was kind of boring. This one wasn’t bad, but it was forgettable.
Episode grade: C

2 Broke Girls - “And the ‘90s Horse Party”
Caroline plans a ‘90s party at the diner when she realizes that rich hipsters will come and pay money to ride her horse. This takes care of both Max’s bad credit and her student loans (Max was an art major). Man, how come our mutual friend named Caroline doesn’t own a horse that can help us pay off our debts? Caroline’s ex-boyfriend shows up at the diner multiple times. He stopped calling when Caroline lost her old life and money. Caroline was not yet ready to face him, but Max was more than ready and willing to be a total jerk to him. It was wonderful. An episode where a filthy, cowardly ex gets told off, the girls bond even more, and hipsters get made fun of? We like.
Episode grade: B+

America’s Next Top Model - “Coco Rocha”
Now THERE’S a photo shoot we like. However, we think it’s pretty funny that these girls are always having to do these dramatic photo shoots with emotions and character. Every time we flip through a Vogue magazine, the models are just standing there, with no expression, wearing clothes that would look better on a little boy’s body than any woman’s. But it is fun to watch. Kayla and Alison sucked on set, but because they are so dang photogenic, it worked out for them. It was down to Alexandria and Bre for the cut. Of course they wouldn’t get rid of drama/entertainment source Alexandria. So it was Bre’s turn to go. We don’t mind. As long as Alison wins, this Cycle will justify its existence. Also, the quote in the title was from this episode. Haha, these models don’t even know what they are saying.
Episode grade: B

Up All Night - “Birth”
We get a whole flashback episode where Reagan is still pregnant and has to have a C-section when her birthing plan goes awry. Chris debates leaving his law firm and Ava makes it all about herself, as per usual. Yeah, this stuff happened. But we don’t remember ever asking to see it. We still like this show, but we didn’t laugh much in the episode. Maybe we’ve just seen too many TV births. Unless they were going to have something crazy happen, this was unnecessary. Leeard liked it a lot more than Ern did.
Episode grade: B-

Suburgatory - “Don’t Call Me Shirley”
Sheila’s daughter steals her Shirley Temple doll collection, and Sheila thinks it was an intruder who stole them. This makes the whole town a little crazy. Dallas and Dalia stay at Tessa’s house for protection. Tessa tries to take the blame so that her dad will think the suburbs are having a bad influence on her, but he’s no dummy. We thought it was really sweet how Tessa’s dad joked at the end about how well he knows her. We loved Tessa’s line when Dalia was sleeping.
Episode grade: B

Modern Family - “Go Bullfrogs!”
Phil takes Haley to his old college to try and spark her interest in higher education. Gloria worries that Manny is hiding Playboys. It turns out that he simply bought a device on the internet that was supposed to make him taller so that he could win the affections of a female classmate. Finally, Claire tries to have a night out with Mitchell, Cameron, and some other gay guys. But Mitchell and Cameron are too old for late nights out and they leave Claire with a straight French guy who she flirts with because she thinks he’s gay. Jay gets hooked on a soap opera. Why did we love this so much? Because we got to see Claire not being uptight! We got a few nods to her wilder younger days. Finally, Julie Bowen got to have a fun storyline all to herself. The Jay/Gloria/Manny stuff was the weakest storyline. We also liked that Haley was nice to her dad for most of the trip. And Phil’s bulldog noise.
Episode grade: A+

Happy Endings - “Secrets and Limos”
Jane is into The Secret, it seems. She convinces everyone to make “vision boards” so that they can focus on what they want in life, and the universe will sense that force of desire they create and give them their desires. Penny wishes for outlandish things, and Jane tries to deliver so that Penny keeps believing in the boards/is happy. Brad has trouble telling his boss that he has food on his face. Max does not share this problem. Max and Brad’s boss get along well, until Max misreads a moment and kisses him on the cheek….awkward. Dave gets a horrible, vapid, and offensive girlfriend. She was funny, so we hope she will be back. There’s a good chance he won’t hang onto this one for more than one episode though.
Episode grade: A

South Park - “Bass to Mouth”
The Gerbil on a Mission thing is back. And so is the singing that goes with it. That’s cool though. You expect a certain amount of weird when you watch South Park. The best thing for us (as usual) was the Cartman storyline. We think the lesson of this episode, the midseason premiere, and Scott Tenorman must die is clear: NEVER EAT ANYTHING GIVEN TO YOU BY ERIC CARTMAN. We chuckled more than a few times in this one. So far, South Park is three-for-three with the second half of season 15.
Episode Grade: B+

Also, we caved and caught up on The Office. The Dinner Party episode was good. There was no new episode this week though. Same with Community. We're both bummed.

I have had an outfit planned for this day for the past two years, and this is not it.

The Secret Circle - "Wake"

Plenty happened in this episode. We have a bunch of new enemies, a possible mole, a death, and the breakup of two major characters. We can't decide who is hotter: Nick or the guy they replaced him with. What say you? This show continues to deserve its slot as one of our top seven new shows this season with an episode that moved pretty fast. Our only complaint? We need enemies who are actually fearsome. The new enemies show potential. While recent enemies may be a threat to the characters, they don't scare us.

Nick is dead (there was a wake and everything) and this brings his older brother back in town. That means that there is still a bound circle. The Circle is bound to the family bloodlines, not the individuals. So Nick is out and Jake is it. Unfortunately, Jake has even more issues than his brother. Being mean to a girl who slept with him is the least of his complications.

Everyone hates Jake. Jake stole all the money from The Boathouse after Adam’s father gave him a job there. The Boathouse nearly had to close down because of it. Adam’s still mad about that. We think that if Jake is such a changed guy, as Cassie seems to think, he would save that amount up and pay Adam and his dad back.

Faye isn’t a Jake fan because he broke her heart back in the day. You don’t get to be a wise maneater by watching, we guess. So when Cassie lets everyone know that Jake is a part of the Circle, no one wants to hear it. Adam gets jealous when he sees Cassie and Jake being friendly with each other, and Diana sees this. Melissa is still mourning Nick, even though Faye would rather speed up the grieving process.

Grandma Jane goes to Dawn and discloses that their kids have a Circle. Dawn pretends not to know already, and then she crawls back to Charles and tells him that Jane probably has a crystal they can steal. If they get another crystal, they can power up their old one, find all the crystals, and regain their powers. Meanwhile, Grandma Jane gives Cassie her crystal and tells her to keep it secret, keep it safe.

A goth girl attacks Cassie in her home with this creepy cleaver-looking thing. The girl got some of Cassie’s blood. Jake heard Cassie scream while passing by, ran inside, and drove the goth girl out, with magic. Turns out, Jake knows goth girl, and her name is Simone. That’s such a goth name. Simone is a witch hunter. Jake went to Simone’s motel and took Cassie’s blood away from Simone.

At Nick’s wake, Adam’s dad, Ethan, gets drunk and feels the pain of both this loss and the ones from the fire years ago. Ethan tells Diana that she needs to let Adam go, because Cassie and Adam are written in the stars, and you don’t mess with fate. Diana actually breaks up with Adam (way to give up, girl), and then runs to Cassie for comfort, because she doesn’t have a best friend anymore. Jake and Adam trade insults at the wake and nearly have a physical altercation. Charles is reeling from the guilt of killing Nick.

Simone has a plan to kill everyone in the Circle, and Jake is in on it. Jake tells Simone that he won’t kill Cassie, so Simone attacks him with a knife. Cassie sees them fighting. Simone loses the fight. Cassie gets Jake to agree to stay in town for a while. The episode ended with Jake meeting this man who looks like his middle name is “Power.” They discuss Simone’s death and Jake accepts a mission to kill Cassie. This guy seems to be the boss of all the witch hunters, and Jake is one of them. Jake wants to avenge the death of his family members. Jake's witch-killing group is called "True Believers." Sounds serious.

Episode grade: A-

Nobody's Acting Right These Days

The Vampire Diaries - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Perfect name for this episode, by the way)

Is that the end of Vicki Donovan? We thought that was a little anti-climactic. After all the build up and cliffhanger-y excitement of having her back, when she got into this world, all she did was set a car on fire. Big whoop. Yeah, she tried to kill Elena and Stefan almost died too, but like they’d really get killed by a ghost in this episode. All this was Matt’s fault. He did a spell to get Vicki back into this world. Then Vicki showed up and was all, “Peace out. The witch helping me on the other side require balance, and in order for me to stay, Elena must die so that Klaus can’t make more hybrids.”

So Matt ran to Bonnie for help. Bonnie helped get Vicki under control, and then Matt blocked Vicki out of his head so that she can’t even appear to him anymore. Apparently, the afterlife in this show is a dark and lonely place where Vicki has no one. That’s not comforting. Maybe Vicki just went to a bad place because she was a bad girl. But she was also a girl we felt sorry for. Where’s the mercy? Maybe Jeremy, Bonnie, and Matt can focus on making the afterlife better for all the ghosts. Put your magic to that.

Poor Matt. He knows his sister isn’t having fun over there, she used him, she manipulated him, and she hit him in the head with a wrench, which could have been a lot more damaging. In fact, it should have. We didn’t even see a mark on his temple when he woke up.

Meanwhile, Stefan is having girls play Twister in his house while he watches and feeds. Damon gives him a few long-suffering looks, some questioning words, and then starts morosely cleaning up the house. He’s not even going to try to argue with Stefan. Damon is like a tired dad with an out-of-control teenager who has just given up. Then Damon gets just what he needs - yet ANOTHER teenager. Rebecca moves into the house without permission, but she’s too powerful for anyone to stop, so Damon just bears that too.

Stefan and Rebecca show up at school for senior year, because Stefan has to protect Elena, and Rebecca is supposed to keep an eye on Tyler. Rebecca taunts Caroline about possibly stealing both her boyfriend and her place as Queen B of the cheerleading squad. Seeing Stefan traipsing around the school gets old for Elena, fast. Elena asks Damon if they can just dose Stefan with vervain and lock him up until Katherine returns with Michael.

When Michael kills Klaus, Stefan will be free of his compulsion. Damon agrees, and Alaric is in on it too. But the bromance is NOT back on. Alaric is still mad at all vampires (especially Damon, since he killed him and all). He takes Elena out into the woods and shows her how to use cool vampire-killing weapons. FINALLY. This needs to continue. At the senior bonfire, Damon tries to distract Rebecca with flirting, but Rebecca must be touched in the head, because this didn’t work at all. Elena gets really drunk, gets Stefan alone, and then falls off the school bleachers. Stefan catches her, and then Alaric immediately shoots Stefan with darts full of vervain. The drunkenness was all part of the plan. Stefan gets away when Vicki and her witches burn up Alaric’s escape car and Elena/Alaric save Stefan’s life.

Later, Stefan asks Elena why she saved him and she says that it’s because she still has hope for him and that she knows who he really is. Stefan tells Elena that she is pathetic. Elena tells Stefan that hope isn’t a weakness and that she is strong. And then she stakes him in the stomach with this cool device Alaric gave her that she wasn’t strong enough to use before. Those little stick arms sure look pretty, but they don’t help good punches. Unless they are fueled by anger, we guess.

Speaking of anger, Caroline is super miffed with Tyler for acting like his season one self. He is excited about being a hybrid, and Damon says that he’s been “sired.” This means that he is grateful and loyal to Klaus for making him a vampire. Caroline calls Tyler out, and Tyler says that he hated his old self and that the thing he likes about himself is Caroline. Aww. But the problem wasn’t completely solved. Rebecca brought Tyler a victim to munch on, and Tyler couldn’t resist.

Bonnie spends most of the episode being jealous of Vicki and Anna, the girls that Jeremy can’t stop thinking about long enough to stop seeing them. We thought it was a little irrational for Bonnie to be THAT jealous of dead girls, but we guess that’s how secure she is in that relationship. Later, Jeremy found out that he can touch Anna. Ok, now Bonnie has a point. Whatever Matt did messed the ghost thing up even more. So much so that UNCLE MASON is back. And he can touch people too. And he’s really pissed at Damon. And we're excited.

Finally, Katherine spends days trying to wake Michael up. Human blood finally wakes him, but Michael is angry that Katherine shoved him off the wagon. He hadn’t tasted human blood in a while. Katherine unchains him, like an idiot, even though she knows that he is a Vampire-Hunting Vampire. Michael tells Katherine that he is going to kill Klaus. Then she asks him what kind of blood he drinks. Oh, Katherine. We don’t feel bad for you, because you gave him a straight line that good. Michael jerks Katherine down into his coffin and starts drinking from her. Don’t kill her, Michael!

This episode wasn’t as good as last week’s, but since last week’s was amazing, we’re not that bummed. While we weren’t digging the car on fire and Bonnie’s jealousy, this episode is a win because of Uncle Mason’s return. Does anyone think it’s time for Elena and Damon to hook up? This season, while this is all going on, would be the perfect time. In five or six episodes, the time may be ripe. And then the compulsion on Stefan will get broken, and then we will have the triangle of which we have always dreamed.

But, for now, we have Damon's flirting skills failing him, Rebecca ruining Caroline's life, Stefan as a ripper who is mean to Elena, Elena using alcohol to numb her pain, Alaric holding a grudge against Damon, Tyler feasting on girls, Caroline trusting Tyler, Bonnie getting jealous, Jeremy holding hands with Anna, and Matt ruining everyone's life. Sounds like great ways to get these characters into even more trouble! Yay!

Episode Grade: B+

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pretty Little Halloween Special (spoilers)

Pretty Little Liars - “The First Secret”

We’ve always wished that Alison hadn’t started the series dead, because she’s lots of fun and we want to see her. So this was a treat for us, because not only did we get to see Alison as the center of the gang for a whole hour, but the episode was also mostly from Alison’s point of view.

Also, we got a huge mention of what we call “Twin Theory.” This episode could be confirming this theory. OR the show was just messing with the fans who know about it and think it’s going to happen in the show. We really don’t know much more about twin theory from what we saw. Anything is still possible. The show might not go with the books, especially because of the campy way it showed that storyline. It's likely that it was just a nod to the fans. Either way, we enjoyed it.

The episode showed Aria catching her dad cheating, which we’ve seen before, but then it also showed her confronting him, which was pretty great. We don’t usually like those little teen highlights, but they look pretty great on Aria. A cop (now Detective Darren Wilden, who has been on the show a BUNCH and the blogger who edited this post doesn't know why the other one never recognizes him) gives Ashley Marin a ride home and then tries to get with her. She shuts it down. Aria is the same, only better because she hasn’t met Ezra. Hanna is the same, only she has a pillow tied around her waist. And Emily is the same, only she’s not out of the closet yet. And she was scoping out Jenna, pre-blindness.

Spencer is running for class president, and Alison has to fix it so that she wins. Early Spencer is the most fascinating of the four. She is timid, sweet, mousy, and she wears glasses. She is close with her sister Melissa, even though Alison tells Spencer that Melissa is putting on an act and doesn’t really care. The other character who was significantly different was Mona. She was a loser/nerd, but she was still gorgeous, so that’s unrealistic.

Noel Kahn had a Halloween party and Alison claimed that she had to work hard to score her friends an invite. What did the girls dress up as on Halloween? Since they are TV teens, they didn’t go as “Total Sluts” like most real life women on that holiday (Mean Girls nailed that one). Hanna went as Britney Spears in her “... Baby One More Time” phase. It was a really modest version, because Hanna is still “fat” in this episode.

Spencer went as “Mary Queen of Scots” and no one knew who she was. (Too right. From the promo photos, we could have sworn she was going as Elizabeth I.) It was hilarious and awesome and made us love Spence even more. Emily went as a Native American princess, and Aria was Morticia or something.

Alison met Jenna for the first time in a costume shop and informed said new girl in town that she was going as Lady Gaga, only Alison and Jenna kept calling her “Lady G.” Who calls Gaga “Lady G”? Jenna went as Gaga too, but her costume was way better than Ali’s. What was with the awful wig on Alison’s head? Upstaged, Alison went to Jenna during the party and offered Jenna a place in her clique.

Like Harry Potter before her, Jenna turned down the offer, preferring to choose her own friends. Or no friends, by the looks of it in episodes set in the future. That’s ok. All the more time to sleep with that new stepbrother… Too bad her character became the nastiest character on the show, because Jenna was ballsy and cool when she first came to Rosewood.

Throughout the episode, Alison started receiving creepy packages, threats, and other messages from A, but she didn’t share these with the girls. It was cool to know that A messed with Alison before her death, because it makes A’s threat on our main four girls even more credible. Alison played a stupid prank on the girls to test their loyalty. The girls were mostly annoyed by this.

Alison planned this prank with the help of Noel Kahn. She planned for Noel to dress up and attack her/pretend to try to kill her. The person in the suit pushed her around harder than Alison thought he/she would, and she found out that it wasn’t Noel at all. It might have been Lucas, Mona, or A. After the show’s REAL death scares, we found this toying with Alison/prank to be lame. We already knew she wouldn’t die yet or anything.

This episode served its purpose of whetting our appetites for the continuation of season two. A flashback was just what the doctor ordered for this show. Every bit of it was perfect, except for the prank thing taking up too much time and boring us.

Episode grade: A-

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Top Three New Fall Shows (Plus Two Other Favorites Per Blogger)

These are the new shows that we agree are the cream of the crop. After much grumbling, list making, debating, and ranking, we have come up with these three as our joint favorites. And this is without factoring in Grimm and Once Upon a Time, which premiere shortly. In total, Leeard has picked up 13 new shows and Ern has picked up 14. Of these, we agree that these are the ones we mutually enjoy.
  • New Girl: What can we say? We both find Zooey Deschanel to be adorable. We like the supporting cast, and the jokes bring forth laughs. Also, her wardrobe is to die for. We both wish baseball would just quit now so we could have new episodes.
  • American Horror Story: This show doesn’t know the word “subtlety,” but it’s a weekly sideshow, so maybe subtlety would just try everyone’s patience. But it’s a great gallery of homages for horror fans, we like the cast (ok, we like the daughter, Jessica Lange, and Connie Britton), and it gets to play with a lot of themes. It’s funny, it’s creepy, and, most of all, it's entertaining.
  • Suburgatory: New Girl and American Horror Story made this list quickly. Suburgatory had to fight off Prime Suspect, but its likable, snarky heroine, plentiful jokes, and funny cast lifted it to top three status. Best of all? No laugh track.
To placate ourselves, we were allowed one independent pick each and an honorable mention.

Leeard’s pick: Revenge
Leeard would date this show. She would lose her virginity to this show. She’d have a one-night stand with this show, and she’d be really disappointed when it didn’t call her a few days later. But she’d understand, because it’s THAT good and she doesn’t deserve it. Who doesn’t love a plot about revenge? The female characters in this show are the kind of WASPy, passive aggressive evil that WASPs everywhere THINK they are, but they are not. Because the women here are evil, gorgeous geniuses, and when they come down on the competition, it’s delicious. Then we have Nolan, a character who could carry this show all by himself. The show is just so intriguing; we don't know who Emily/Amanda is going to destroy next, but it doesn't really matter. We know it's going to be awesome.

Leeard's Honorable Mention: 2 Broke Girls
This show definitely isn't for everyone, but it's absolutely for Leeard. The banter between Max and Caroline is great, and the show is random without being absurd (well, the horse is a little absurd).

Ern’s pick: Homeland
This was a “duh” thing for Ern. There’s so much interesting stuff going on in this thriller that it threatens to blow Ern’s head off every Sunday. It’s something both guys and girls can enjoy. Half of the sex can cross into “unnecessary”’ territory, but the other half is totally necessary and helps with character development. If you’re looking for humor, this is really not your show. But if you are looking for thrilling, adult drama with multilayered characters and good acting, this will be your favorite fall show. Usually the only shows Ern can't find much to complain about with are Breaking Bad and The Vampire Diaries (ok, the back story is ridiculously complicated), but Homeland is joining that list.

Ern's Honorable Mention: The Secret Circle
Ern is a sucker for stuff with magic and shows that move quickly.

New Show: Bent

NBC, midseason

Starring: Amanda Peet (A Lot Like Love), David Walton (Fired Up!), and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development)

Plot: A hardworking lawyer and single mom, Alex, hires a contractor, Pete, to renovate her kitchen. Pete is a womanizer who is recovering from a gambling addiction. He also lives with his father, played by Tambor. Alex’s husband cheated on her and is in prison for insider trading.

Why We Are Excited: We kind of already like the main characters just from the preview. It’s single camera, and it looks more mature than, say, Free Agents.

Why We Are Not Excited: It might bore us.


Anticipation Score: 6/10
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Ringer continues its "not pissing us off" streak

Ringer - "The Poor Kids Do It Every Day"

Bridget and Andrew try to get Gemma on the phone, but they keep getting her demanding voicemail. When Juliet hands Bridget her stash of drugs, Bridget had to get rid of it. She nearly jizzed in her addict pants just holding the drugs. She called her Narcotics Anonymous friend, Charlie, and he met her at a restaurant. She gave him the drugs and he threw them in the garbage for her. He later agrees to be her sponsor if Bridget agrees to meet him regularly. Man, all of Bridget’s NA sponsors are hella-cute. We’re not fooled into going to a meeting though. This is the CW, where everyone is pretty. And we’ve seen Faces of Meth.

Henry takes Bridget into his home and tells her that Gemma is missing and he found blood! And he freaked out and cleaned it up! Bridget tells him that was a terrible idea that would make him look guilty. Henry accuses Bridget of killing his wife, and Bridget, in turn, is pretty convinced that Henry did it. We’re pretty sure Henry did it, at this point in the episode. Henry tells Bridget about an incident where Siobhan suggested getting rid of both Gemma and Andrew. When Henry wasn’t into that. Siobhan acted like she was joking. Finally, Henry decides that Siobhan wasn’t capable of murdering her best friend, so he tells Bridget that he threw the cleaning supplies, broken pot, and bloody rags in a dumpster.

Bridget goes dumpster diving. Then she calls the police, anonymously, and says that Gemma was probably a victim of foul play. She offers up the location of the evidence as proof of her claims. The cops investigate and question Henry. They stop when they find Bridget Kelly’s fingerprints on the pot. No, Bridget isn’t that dumb. In fact, she’s thinking way more than she usually does. She left the fingerprint on purpose in order to get the cops’ scent off of herself and Henry. Agent Machado received a call from the cops investigating the Gemma Butler matter, and they give him the information about Bridget’s fingerprint.

Agent Machado almost finds Malcolm, but like a STUPID DUMBASS goes to the strip club without a warrant and asks to look around. This gives the gangsters plenty of time to clean up their basement and move Malcolm. By the time Agent Machado returns with his warrant, it's too late. Malcolm, meanwhile, is close to breaking and telling the gangsters where Bridget Kelly is. The last part of the episode blew our minds (well, as much as this show can blow our minds). Siobhan takes a phone call from someone who lets her know that “the Gemma problem has been taken care of.” Siobhan replies, “I didn’t want it to have come to this.” We can’t believe it wasn’t Henry!

In subplot, Juliet has her first day of public school, and she’s decided that since the poor kids don’t have enough clothes, she shouldn’t wear too many. It’s more likely that she wore a short skirt was in order to get a rise out of her dad, whom she is clearly seeking attention from. Bridget reminded her that this is a fresh start, and who in the world doesn’t want a fresh start? So Juliet changed clothes. She should have taken off one of her 50 pieces of jewelry. Too much bling is tacky, distracting, and, in Juliet’s case, it screamed, “I’m a rich girl.”

When Juliet gets to her first class, a mean girl demands five dollars. Juliet gives the girl a 20 and makes a crack about it being enough to feed her family for a week. Oh, Juliet. The best tactic would have been to refuse her any money, give her some intense eye contact while doing so, and then to turn around and ignore her. But teens on The CW never make the best choices, do they? Juliet’s teacher is Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars (YAY!), and we saw sparks between him and Juliet in their second scene together. Oh dear. Another teacher/student thing. But we actually think this might be healthy for a girl as messed up as Juliet, so you won’t see us whining like we do with Pretty Little Liars. Also, one of us will always love Logan Echolls.

The mean girl shoves Juliet in the hallway, and Juliet retaliates. The girls are pulled apart mid-fight, and the students tell the principal that Juliet started it, because they are all on the mean girls’ side. Andrew is called to the school, and Juliet is scandalized when he doesn’t believe that she didn’t start the fight. We are a little sick of how devastated Juliet is when her father doesn’t trust her. When your permanent record “reads like a rap sheet” (thank you, clich├ęd dialogue writers) and you keep hard drugs in your room, you have lost the right to have your word taken at face value. The teacher, Mr. Carpenter, backs Juliet’s story up, even though he didn’t actually see how the fight started. He just felt bad because Juliet cried to him about being the new kid who couldn’t ditch her sordid past.

This was one of the best (if not THE best) episode of Ringer yet. We like that Gemma is gone, because we never really liked that character. Our main complaint at this point is that they are wasting LOST’s Nestor Carbonell on a character who is not very savvy and is given very little to do. Agent Machado needs to step it up. They need to involve his character in the doings of the others on an emotional level. Also, Henry needs to die.

Episode grade: A-

Sha la la la la la la

Man Up - “Pilot”

Lots of (smart) people are getting really sick of the “being a real man” premise. The first problem with this premise is that it defines a man based on gender stereotypes. The second problem with it is that it paints girls, in comparison, as weak, shrill, shallow, materialistic, nagging, overemotional, and impractical.

This fall, we have Last Man Standing, How to Be a Gentleman, Work It, and, of course, Two and a Half Men still exists. And now we have Man Up. But let’s not be too hard on Man Up because of the others. It’s probably the best of the bunch (the second best being Last Man Standing).

Due to good chemistry between the three guys, an inoffensive message, and a refusal to hammer us over the head with the show’s male-oriented theme, this show wins where the others tend to suffer. It’s actually pretty funny.

We also seem to be missing the obligatory “playboy” character, which is such a relief. Being a real man to these guys include trying to win back an ex, competing with a guy dating your ex, and trying to appear brave in front of your son, as well as buying your son a good birthday gift.

You have to admit that all of these things are better than drinking another guy under the table, actually punching someone, lacking emotion/not caring, making fun of women, or bedding as many hot women as possible. Man Up still wallows in the "manchildren" theme, but that can be funny. We would not recommend Man Up or Last Man Standing to anyone, at this point. It’s not on our list of things to try to make people watch. But if you are interested, we won’t try to dissuade you from checking either show out. If it were cancelled, we wouldn't be sad, but while it's on, we will watch it. Especially while baseball is taking New Girl and Glee away from us.

Episode grade: B

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Lying Game- Season One First Half and Midseason/Fall Finale

We are a little disappointed with the finale. Highlights include Annie showing up in Phoenix (we only get a glimpse of her though), Sutton crashing her car into a lake (even though we know she’s not going to die), Ethan telling Emma he loves her, and the twins having a fight. Most of the episode was spent hinting and taunting us. A finale is supposed to give some catharsis and closure. Emma almost coming clean to everyone about ten times nearly killed us. We thought the show’s penultimate episode was stronger than the fall finale.

Overall, we liked this season and show though, and we will be tuning in the next time the show airs. We liked Alexandra Chando’s acting. We can tell the difference between Emma and Sutton. We weren’t digging the Ethan character, first, but now we like him. We aren’t too interested in Sutton’s interchangeable, boring best friends, and we think the show needs stronger teen guy characters. But Sutton’s sister, Laurel, and her perceptive boyfriend make up for that a little bit.

In the last few episodes, Emma’s life in Vegas was fleshed out a little more. We liked seeing Emma be nice to the people in Sutton’s life, but we liked watching Sutton stand up to Emma’s foster mom even more. Having Sutton’s end of things become just as interesting as Emma’s half of the story these last few episodes was a real plus. This is something Ringer hasn’t yet done. If you have two twins lying and swapping, both storylines should be good. We also enjoyed meeting Emma’s best friend, Lexie.

As nice as a twin showdown is, and even though we mentioned liking twins at odds, we are ready for Emma and Sutton to make nice. Sutton is being irrational. Emma didn’t steal her life. Emma just stole Sutton’s boyfriend, and she wasn’t treating him nicely anyway. Our wish is that the Annie mystery is solved in the next half of the season and that the twins start being real sisters. We also want a guy who can handle Sutton for her to fall for. We actually like Sutton. She has balls.

Season One, Half One Grade- B
Finale Grade: B-

So Much Potential, Money, and Talent. Why Did This Have to Be a Kids' Show?

Terra Nova - “The Runaway”

A girl of about ten years runs away from the Sixers camp and is picked up by Terra Nova residents. Her name is Leah, and she has horrible hair. Finally Maddy Shannon gets her to brush it, but it’s rough going for a while. Leah is no fan of Taylor’s, calling him “the bad man.” The Shannons temporarily adopt the child. Soon, Mira and some Sixers arrived with captured Terra Nova soldiers in tow. The Sixers offer their prisoners in exchange for Leah, and Taylor says that Leah is free to go if she wants to go. Jim brings Leah out to talk with Mira. Leah tells Mira that she is going to stay in Terra Nova.

It turns out that all this is just a ruse. Leah was sent by Mira into Terra Nova to get a container from Mira’s former house. Leah is caught before she can escape with the box. Leah tells Jim Shannon that Mira has her little brother, and that she had to become a mole to save him. Against Taylor’s orders, Jim went out to try to save the little boy. He falls into a Sixer trap, is almost eaten by a dinosaur, and is taken to Mira by passing Sixers. Mira tells Jim that she wasn’t going to hurt the boy; she only wanted to encourage Leah to bring her the container she wanted. She also tells Jim that powerful people back in 2149 aren’t too into Taylor.

If Mira can get rid of Taylor, those powerful people will reunite her with her four-year-old daughter who is still living in the future. Mira advises Jim to be on her side, for the sake of his family. Mira lets Jim go, along with Leah’s little brother. Jim returns and does not share the info he got from Mira with Taylor. It looks like Jim is keeping his options open until he has all the information. That’s the smartest thing he’s done so far.

Leah is reunited with her brother, and she hugs Jim in gratitude. A widow in Terra Nova adopts both children. In teen love news, Josh isn’t featured a whole lot in this one, but Mark finally asks Maddy if he can date her. Maddy tries to apprentice under her mother to study medicine, but blood and guts make her sick (one of us is completely the same way), so that’s not going to work.

This show is really lame, but with The Lying Game gone now, what else do we really have to watch on a Monday nigh? We are NOT forgiving Gossip Girl for the last two seasons, so don’t even suggest that we take it up again. We will watch that when it’s on DVD later. It’s lost “real time” status. Terra Nova is just too sweet for us. It’s like it’s aimed at an 11-year-old girl who likes a little action. This is a kids’ show. We’re still sticking with it for the duration of the season. We like that this episode focused on the Sixers and some overarching mystery. At least this one was better than the Dinobird episode, right?

Episode grade: B-

Cut Loose

We don’t really see the need for remakes. Usually, the original is better (or at least more ingrained in pop culture). Footloose is definitely an unnecessary remake, but we liked it anyway.
The story is pretty much the same; if you’ve seen the original, you know what’s going to happen in this version as well. The dance moves are updated, of course, but it’s the same plot. Kenny Wormald is definitely a better dancer than Kevin Bacon (well, Kevin Bacon’s stand-in), so that was a plus. Also, the new Willard (though a UGA fan) is more entertaining than the older version’s. The only big change from the original that we noticed is Ren’s mother’s death being the impetus for his move.
When people hire dancers instead of actors, we expect the acting to be subpar and the dancing to be really good, which is pretty much what happened here. We like Julianne Hough as both a person and a dancer, but she’s not the best actress. Honestly though, if you’re going to see Footloose, you probably aren’t expecting Oscar-worthy acting.
One recommendation: see the movie with someone, preferably someone who likes to have fun. This blogger saw it with a friend and it was one of the better movie-going experiences she can remember. They danced in the aisles and sang along with a bunch of the songs. Another recommendation: see the movie at an obscure time, so you’re able to do both of those things.
Movie grade: B

Sam is in talks to come back on Glee!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Peter Is Back!

Friday Shows

Nikita - “Partners”
Nikita’s old Division partner, Kelly, escaped from a Turkish prison. Nikita thought Kelly was dead and blamed herself, because Kelly was arrested during the same mission that Nikita used to escape Division. Nikita convinces Michael to go to Turkey and help Kelly. Meanwhile, Amanda sends Alex and the guy who melts people in chemicals to kill Kelly. Kelly turns out to be working for Gogol and seeks to capture Alex for them. Nikita has to shoot Kelly, and Alex sees Nikita protecting her. Kelly was played by Katheryn Winnick (Hannah in Bones), and we still hate her because of Bones. We are glad she died quickly on Nikita. This was an average episode of Nikita. Nothing too gripping here, but Gogol did find out Alex’s identity.
Episode grade: C+

Fringe - “Subject 9”
Some blue force stalks and burns Olivia, and Walter surmises that it has to do with his experiments on kids in the past. Olivia and Walter go looking for “Subject 9,” one of the kids. It turns out that he isn’t doing it, but this escapade does get Walt out of the lab. He needed to convince Olivia not to recommend that he be hospitalized. It was really sweet when we saw that Olivia advised against Walter’s commitment, even as the heartless, Peterless version of herself that we are seeing this season. Olivia uses her powers to bring Peter fully back into this world. However, Olivia and Walter have no memory of him, and Peter seems to remember everything. Do we get to see Olivia fall in love with him all over again? Actually, we smell a triangle with Lee. The Walter stuff in this episode was great, and so was the ending. The case of the week and the rest of the stuff was weak.
Episode grade: B-

A Gifted Man - “In Case of Separation Anxiety”
Michael treats a patient who is hearing voices and gets Shaman Anton’s help. Dr. Kate starts at the clinic on the day when a car accidentally crashes into it. Michael’s sister is back. We guess she didn’t quit the show. This episode emphasized the ghostiness/spiritual more than the medical, and we liked that. We’d like to see this get a full season pickup, because we think more time and an ability to make a large story arc is what this show needs.
Episode grade: B

Sunday Shows

- “Smokey and the Bandit”
When a prostitute is murdered and left with half a tooth, Dexter recognizes signs of an old serial killer from the ‘80s that Dexter revered in his teen years. Dexter tracks the man down, and it turns out that he lives in a retirement home, has a grown son, hates life, and is extremely crotchety. He’s also smart, because he checks Dexter out and realizes that Dexter is with the cops. Fortunately, Dexter is able to kill the man. Debra hires a new detective against LaGuerta’s advice, and Debra also struggles with insecurity in her new job and Quinn being a dipwad. Quinn is boning everything in sight in an effort to get over Deb, and he thinks that she dumped him because of her new job. The two “religious murderers” try to get the guy they kidnapped to repent of his sins. Once he does it sincerely enough, they kill him and do something very interesting with his body. These guys are crazypants. Mos Def invites Dexter to a baptism and picnic, and we think he will go. This episode briefly ponders the places where people seek meaning in their lives. We were entertained by this one, but it’s not one for the ages or anything. We kind of hate Masuka’s intern. What a weirdo.
Episode grade: B

Pan Am - “Eastern Exposure”
We are rooting for this show, and we really like it, but this episode was kind of a huge mess. It focused on the lamest characters (rather than Maggie and Colette), and Kate is pretty much the worst spy of all time. The first half was fairly slow. One of us teared up in this episode, however, so it does get points for emotion (in case you were wondering, it was when Ted was talking about his desire to be an astronaut. She's originally from central Florida, so the space program has a special place in her heart). The flight crew spent time in Indonesia. Maggie tried to show Laura a good time, but it ended up sparking a huge fight between Laura and Kate. When the girls return, Laura moves in with Maggie. We find out that Ted’s father had a chance to save Ted’s past job and reputation, but his father chose to protect himself. Dean and Ted fight and Ted punches Dean, but they make up at the end of the episode.
Episode grade: C+

The Good Wife - “Feeding the Rat”
Diane takes Legal Aid and makes it a part of her firm after it loses its funding. Eli Gold tries to poach Kalinda and Alicia for his exclusive, full-time use. Alicia defends a pro bono case. The defendant is innocent of robbing a convenience store, and Kalinda’s snooping proves it. Will turns down a job offer from Celeste and accidentally says, “I love you” to Alicia. They both agree to forget it happened and not discuss it. This episode was enjoyable. We like having Eli in the firm, but we think the show needs to give him better things to do. Also, confession: We’ve never been Kalinda fans, nor are we really that interested in finding out about her character. She could leave the show and we wouldn’t care.
Episode grade: A

Homeland - “Clean Skin”
Carrie’s asset was killed (everyone saw that coming). Brody and his family spent most of the episode preparing for an interview. The daughter knows that the mom slept with Brody’s best friend, but she didn’t tell her dad in this episode. Brody and his daughter bonded a little bit. We got no clues as to what Brody is up to, but we know someone is up to something, because an expensive necklace was smuggled into the country and used to get terrorists cash. Then a couple purchased a home near the airport … and the husband’s skin is very brown. There was a pretty sad scene where Brody had his wife take off her shirt and then he just jacked off. We were depressed for her, but it’s understandable. There’s a theme to these sex scenes: Brody is not in the right place to have sex with another person and be aware that the other person is there and involved. This episode was mostly filler, but it was good filler. It continued what is, so far, a pretty great first season for this thriller.
Episode grade: A-

The Walking Dead - “What Lies Ahead”
The little girl, Sophia, goes missing after the gang is attacked by a herd of zombies. Rick’s son Carl is shot during the search. Shane contemplates leaving the group, and Andrea wants to go with him. She’s also really ticked at Dale for forcing her to live in the season finale last year. This was a solid premiere, but we certainly weren’t blown away. The monologue at the beginning tried our patience. Who wrote that?
Episode grade: B-

New Show: Work It

Work ItABC, midseason

Starring: Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break, Chase)

Plot: Two men dress up and pretend to be women at work, because they find it too hard to get jobs as men. It's basically Bosom Buddies.

Why We Are Excited: We are not excited at all. Not even a little.

Why We Are Not Excited: This. looks. horrifying. We try to watch every new show, but we may be tempted to skip this one. First of all, why is it harder for men to get jobs in America than women? Why is being male a disadvantage? We’re not feminists scrounging for the littlest pay difference between genders, but we are pretty sure pretending to be women wouldn’t actually help. This looks like the dumbest, least funny show ever. We wonder what people were thinking when they created this. Watch the trailer for yourself. But be warned: It’s not pretty, and neither are the Shemales.


Anticipation Score: 0/10
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Show: The River

The RiverABC, Midseason

Starring: Bruce Greenwood (I, Robot), Daniel Zacapa (Se7en), Joe Anderson (Across the Universe, Becoming Jane), Leslie Hope (24), and Paul Blackthorne (Lagaan, 24)

Plot: Dr. Emmet Cole, an explorer, went to the Amazon looking for supernatural/paranormal stuff and never returned. Millions of kids grew up watching his nature show, but his son, Lincoln, feels like he didn’t really know him. Lincoln, his mother, and others go looking for him with Cole’s ex-producer tagging along to film a documentary of the mission.

Why We Are Excited: It’s described as a paranormal/adventure/horror series, so that sounds like it’s worth checking out. It also sounds like this family is like a real-life Wild Thornberries. The magic Cole was looking for probably won’t let them talk to animals, but any magic is better than no magic. The trailer looks cool.

Why We Are Not Excited: We hope the documentary format won’t annoy or contribute to a shaky camera that distracts from the story.


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!