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Saturday, January 7, 2012

This week's midseason premieres

How I Met Your Mother - Tailgate
This week, Ted told the story of Marshall telling the story of everyone’s New Year’s Eve. Stop telling stories within stories! This whole show is a story! For the midseason premiere, Robin still looked dumpy and was still mostly sad, but it’s good to see her career getting some life in it. We want to see some success for Robin after her woes earlier this season. Ted’s James Joyce commentary made us chortle, and the single audible laugh that escaped our lips was during the “Puzzles montage” of everything going wrong in Ted’s new bar. This episode wasn’t bad or annoying, but it won’t be one to remember. We DID tear up a little when Lily’s dad drove all night to see her though, as completely expected as it was.
Episode grade: C+

Revenge - Duress
Can we be Nolan’s beards? Please? We won’t ask any questions. We are getting pretty sick of the flashforwards on this show. It might be the only thing that Leeard dislikes about it. "Truth or Die" was a great game idea, Tyler, but it didn’t last long enough. No one told the truth and no one died. There was a lot of potential here with no pay off. And after they built it up with the flashforward… Ugh.
Episode grade: B-

Happy Endings - The Shrink, the Dare, her Date and her Brother
One thing we want to say about this show in general: You can’t half watch it. You have to pay attention and look at the screen. The jokes fly by fast and the characters are so zany, that if you are only listening, they can grate. If you are watching, focused, it’s one of the best comedies on TV right now. This episode was pretty good. Are Penny and Dave on now? Dave seems to be pretty over Alex. We hope Alex stays cute and that the show doesn’t make her a stereotypical stupid blonde…
Episode grade: B

The Vampire Diaries - The New Deal
Everyone knows we choke our chickens to this show. Which is why Ern is annoyed that so much of this episode felt like filler. TVD premieres usually knock our socks off, but we didn’t feel the threat when Klaus went after the gang. We worried about Alaric a little, because we love him so much, but we didn’t really think he was going to die. Ern may never like Tyler. There wasn’t enough (or any) Caroline. Something needs to change with this stalemate thing. The last couple of minutes were amazing though. OBVIOUSLY the kiss was the moment that Delena fans (us) have been waiting for. It was perfect. It took three seasons to have a decent kiss where no one was dying and no one was Katherine. It made sense that Elena and Damon had to get to this place of friendship and this place of Stefan being a douche in order to share that moment. We are getting a little sick of Klaus. He’s such a whiner. Bring on someone or something scarier. We got teary when Elena sent Jeremy away though. Just about no one thinks that plan will work in the long run, but it was a good idea (and honestly probably should've happened in the first season).
Episode grade: B- Last five minutes grade: A+

Parenthood - Road Trip
Is it just us, or did Parenthood feel a little too “sweet family special” this week? And Christina should NOT have caved. We loved when Adam got miffed at his daughter for spending all her time texting. We also get annoyed with people who pick phones over people who are actually present. Sarah was funny in this episode. But everything else was a little too sweet and perfect.
Episode grade: B-

Grey’s Anatomy - Suddenly
This might be the best midseason premiere of the week. We got a whole lot of depressing stuff, followed by one of the happiest moments on the show, ever. That’s how you tug heartstrings, show! Mix the bitter with the sweet. The family of patients and the oldest daughter’s passage into adulthood was inspired. We loved the glass in the youngest daughters eye and the way the show turned Mark’s girlfriend into an adorable, competent person, rather than someone for Lexie to just bean with softballs. We hope she sticks around…and doesn’t become annoying. Speaking of annoying, April still hasn’t grown on us after all this time. We loved Cristina’s impression of her voice. Spot freaking on. Way to keep it together and pretend to have fun during an impossible surgery, Cristina. And Owen should NOT have been mad at Cristina for breaking the news to Teddy. Yang kept her mouth shut long enough. We are really glad that Teddy didn’t freak out on Cristina like we expected from this show. Ben and Bailey are still an ongoing storyline. Stupid. We are glad the show made us think that Meredith and Derek really wouldn’t get Zola before giving Zola back to them. Teary eyes and lots of happiness ensued in our living rooms. Love Mommy Meredith.
Episode grade: A-

Secret Circle - Darkness
Diana’s grandmother came to town to thicken the plot and try to kill Cassie, to test Cassie and awaken her powers. Why are even the grandparents on this show more attractive than your average 25-year-old? This episode was good but we feel like the show is saving much of the forward-moving action for later episodes. We like Melissa starting to blow off Faye. We don’t need a circle member who amounts to little more than a sidekick, and Melissa has shown the potential to be our favorite Circle member. Charles and Dawn are on the outs too, which should be interesting. Cassie using her black magic on Adam after losing her temper was intense. Maybe this darkness is something to watch out for…
Episode grade: B+

Friday, January 6, 2012

Angry Boys - Episode 1

Chris Lilley of Summer Heights High has another show and it’s airing in the U.S. for the first time on HBO. We checked out the first episode, but internet-savvy readers will be able to find the whole first season on the web. This show features Lilley in playing multiple parts while spoofing the “culture” of modern young men. It’s pretty weird and not as funny as Summer Heights High yet. Nothing can really beat Mr. G, can it?

Lilly plays Nathan and Daniel Sims, 17-year-old twin brothers who aspire to run their dead father’s farm. Nathan is 90% deaf…and getting deafer every day. Daniel spends most of his time mocking Nathan. Nathan flips birds most of the time in response to everything.

The accents help this show be funny, and so does the profanity and the characters’ generally terrible attitudes. In Daniel, we have potential for another Jonah Takaluah. There is a lot of potential in the nearly silent Nathan as well. A lot of the humor feels forced at this point though, but it's good for a 28-minute pilot. It's crass, politically incorrect, and irreverent (all of which we love). 

Nathan and Daniel have a grandmother, also played by Lilley. “Gran” is an officer at the local Juvenile Justice Center. She is pretty racist but “gets results” for the justice center by being both mind-bogglingly mean and weirdly kind to the inmates. She makes them pajamas and does karaoke for them. Gran also has 23 guinea pigs. Later in the show, the boys’ favorite rapper will appear (also Lilley).

Overall, this isn’t something that we are going to follow weekly. On a rainy day, we will watch the full first season. If you liked Summer Heights High or are a fan of that kind of humor, this is a good pick. It’s not as good as SHH yet (if you haven't seen THAT show, we recommend it), but we can see Angry Boys getting funnier as the characters are fleshed out more. We like Lilley and we will definitely watch this one summer when we have more time.

Episode grade: B

Community will be back this season!

The excellent Christmas episode will not be the last we see of Community and NBC will also be moving it to a new time slot, far from The Big Bang Theory. Yay! No news of a fourth season yet though.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Lying Game - O Twin, Where Art Thou?

After this episode, we are wondering if we should drop this as a weekly show. It was entertaining enough during the summer, but set up against regular shows? It’s not looking as good now that we are out of the summer drought. The episode was hard to stay with and get engaged in. Mostly nothing happened in the episode. The music was soapy and so was the acting. The episode was all set-up for future events with few forward-moving plot developments. This show is really dragging things out. We can't believe this was a midseason premiere!

After taunting us with the possibility of Annie Hobbs hitting town, instead we got Char’s aunt, Rebecca, who isn’t as interesting as we wanted her to be. So far anyway. She did get Char’s mom sent to rehab for being a drunk. After taunting us with the possibility of Emma confessing, Emma’s lips are sealed again. Will this show run out of story once all its secrets are out? Vampire Diaries this is not.

It’s ridiculous that Thayer was able to shake Emma’s core with his ridiculous Ethan theory. It’s also ridiculous that anyone believed Ethan’s implausible “glory days” lake story. Also, note to Char’s mom: Way to set an example for your kid. If you are hateful and unforgiving with your own family members, your kids are going to notice and think that’s normal.

We can’t believe Laurel lost the bracelet! We still love her though. The bracelet stuff annoyed us for most of the episode but ended up being interesting. Justin seems to have some guilt about his mom’s death and the fact that the bracelet was his mom's was a secret? What’s going on there?

This episode was Suttonless. But Emma received a piece of Sutton’s dress and a threat that said, “Keep being Sutton, or you’re next.” Hmm. The plot thickens, but the twin charade part of the show is probably going to stick around. No one in the Mercer family is figuring out who Emma is any time soon, unfortunately. You could probably skip this episode and just watch the recap next week, if you hadn’t already seen it. Except for the final few minutes and a little Rebecca/Alex co-scheming, this episode was a slow waste of time.

Episode grade: D+

Pretty Little Liars - Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares.

One month after the midseason finale, the girls are on the highway picking up garbage, a punishment for “tampering with evidence.” Spencer and Emily get into a fight and are assigned two additional weeks of community service. It seems the girls are on the outs. Or are they? No. Spencer planned to pretend that Emily was cut out of the group so that A would target Emily, and the girls could be one-up on A. If A thought Emily was an outsider, A might try to turn her. A took the bait.

Spencer refuses to take Toby back, and it’s heartbreaking. Aria has also cut off Ezra, which is less heartbreaking. Ezra finds out about Jackie Molina’s blackmailing and decides to come clean to the Montgomery parents about his love for their daughter. They take the news badly, and even though we are not fans of this couple, we still felt bad for them in this scene. You should really watch it yourselves if you haven’t. Ezra got points for nutting up and telling the Montgomery’s. Mike hit Ezra in the face so that his dad wouldn’t. In general, it was pretty great.

Hanna has been spending time with Lucas while Caleb was in California with his mom. Caleb returned to town, much to Lucas’ disappointment, even though Caleb and Lucas are still friends (and living together). Also moving to Rosewood are Hanna’s dad, his new wife, and Kate. Gross. Yep, Hanna got the wedding canceled, but the marriage still happened at city hall once Hanna’s dad fixed the relationship.

Emily and A planned to meet alone in a greenhouse. Emily pretended that she and the other girls had evidence implicating A. Emily taunted A before revealing that she had nothing. The other three girls were late to the meet-up site, ruining everything. A attacked Emily, but the girls arrived long enough to break up the fight. They were too late to catch A and find out A’s identity though, naturally. A ran away, but not before being hit (lightly) with Hanna’s car. Amazing. The girls ended up with A’s cell phone, which A dropped. That should go to Lucas, right? He’ll hack that action. (Sidenote: um no, they should go to Caleb. Apparently the first blogger doesn't remember Caleb's mad phone-hacking skills).

This was an intense premiere worthy of the show. Let the countdown to catching A (at the end of this season) begin. We think this episode proved that Emily is hardly weak. Also, one of us has decided that A is tiny. Not an adult male, that's for sure.

Episode grade: A-

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

-To blog more
-To watch and review all the new midseason shows
-To stop dating guys who, when you ask what their favorite show is, reply, "I don't watch TV," as if that's going to impress us. We've decided they haven't seen TV, because if they had, they would know it's great.
-To get into Castle and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
-To get more people to watch The Vampire Diaries (Did Ern successfully get her 19-year-old brother to watch the whole first season this week? Yes, and he has a man-crush on Stefan.)