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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Grey's Anatomy - What If?

We were not in the mood to watch this episode. It seemed like one of this show’s usual waste of time experiments, like the musical episode, and what-if episodes have been done to death. However, this episode was a success, especially for long-term fans. The point of the episode is that even if things had been different, these characters would have ended up the same people, with the people they were supposed to be with.

The thing they changed: Ellis never got sick and was still in the hospital, running things. In Meredith’s words, she wants to be extraordinary, so she has to crush everyone and keep them ordinary. Yep, that sounds like Ellis AND it brings back memories of an episode where Ellis called Meredith “ordinary.” Also, Meredith wondered if she had a good dad, would things be different? At this point, we thought that this entire thing was a fantasy in Meredith’s head, or a dream, especially when her “good dad” came in the form of a stepdad, Dr. Weber. But as the episode went on, we decided to take it not as a Meredith fantasy, but as a picture of what really would have happened, from the writers to us.

Because Meredith would never make her sister a drug addict or have Alex cheat on her in a fantasy, right? One thing that didn’t make sense at first: Why would Ellis Grey being alive mean that Owen and Callie would have married years ago and had lots of babies? We traced it all back like this. In season five, when Owen showed up, Callie and Arizona were not together. Because Cristina was an even bigger bitch than she is in our usual reality, Owen went right for Callie, who shares his love of making babies. Why wasn't Cristina desirable? Because Meredith wasn’t twisted enough to go for Cristina as a best friend, because she had a living mommy teaching her and a good dad. Meredith must soften Cristina.

Also, Cristina was a pariah for sleeping with Burke. Since Meredith wasn’t twisty, she didn’t go for Derek so that a good guy could save her. Instead, she went for Alex so that she could save and change the bad boy, like a normal woman would. That means only Cristina slept with an attending. In both realities, Burke leaves Cristina. In this new reality, Meredith ratted out Izzie over the Denny situation (which means Izzie probably died of cancer because Cristina wasn’t around to save her), and George left after failing his boards. Presumably, he would still be alive.

We loved cutesy Meredith and Alex in the first half of this episode. Their alternate selves were hilarious. Callie looks great with that alternate hair and makeup. We even liked Lexie’s dreds. Now, if Ellis had ended up happy and with the chief, Thatcher Grey would have killed himself. Man, that guy is the worst. Without her good daddy, Lexie would end up on drugs and not a doctor. In any reality, April is annoying, but in this one, she is also a crappy friend. Jackson is still competent and nice. Bailey was always meant to be a bad ass, but she doesn’t do well under Ellis. She still ends up a teacher when she chews Alex out in the elevator.

Addison still cheats on Derek, but this time, she has Mark’s baby. Ellis makes Derek suck as a surgeon and his nickname is “McDreary.” There was a little dark humor when Charles was still alive and said, “Shoot me now” in disgust. So….Ellis’ presence scared off the shooter? Or maybe she just would not have unplugged the shooter’s wife? We loved watching Meredith and Cristina as enemies in the episode. They are just electric together, no matter the relationship. We were so happy when they ended up friends, using the same lines they said in the pilot when they made up after a fight. That warmed our little hearts. We swooned like ninnies when Mark found Lexie and carried her into the hospital. So romantic. We know those two aren’t over yet.

Without Cristina, Owen never got treated for is PTSD or faced down those issues. Three years and a bunch of babies with Callie later, he is miserable and probably about to cheat with Teddy. A mutual love of babies is not enough. Cristina is only nice to Owen, helping him when he hurts his hand due to his illness and advising him to get help. This sort of shows us that the writers think Cristina and Owen were meant to be too, if only for a short time in order to help him get healthy. It also shows us that kids would not make him happy by themselves, no matter how much those twins looked like Owen. Does this mean that the writers believe in C/O as a couple in the same way that the think MerDer and Meredith/Cristina were meant to be? Either way, it looks like Cristina is going to fix Owen, whether he is married to Callie or not. Callie and Arizona were looking a little friendly anyway.

The episode used music from season one of this show, and that was fantastic. It started with "Portions for Foxes". Even though Meredith’s life was cozier and she had a better relationship with her mom, Meredith saw Ellis for who she really was in the end. Meredith is always supposed to be a deep, rebellious, twisty, fearless girl. We think, in having these characters become who they are despite changed circumstances, this episode reminded us of all the things we love about the characters and all of their best moments. Finally, of course, Meredith and Derek ended up single, heartbroken and in a bar together, about to get wasted and hook up. Yessssss.

Episode grade: B+

Friday, February 3, 2012

Big News!!!! Our most-anticipated new show will air on March 1

NBC is giving up on The Firm, a show we thought was just mediocre, and pulling it from its timeslot. The Firm will air on Saturdays, and they probably won't make any more of that show.

What is going in its place? Jason Isaacs' trippy crime show, Awake. Jason was Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. We've been looking forward to that show for MONTHS (since we saw the first preview). Awake will air on March 1. We are so stoked.

The Vampire Diaries - Bringing Out the Dead

Oh, it's on now, y'all. 

Damon hid the last coffin in the cave where no vampires can go, a stroke of genius since only vampires want it. Bonnie and Abby work together to open it, with magic, but it’s hard and Bonnie is understandably still pissed at her mom for that whole abandonment thing. Elijah is awake and finds a note in his pocket that says, “Dear Elijah, Let’s get together and plot the destruction of your brother. XOXO, Damon.” Excuse us while we die laughing. The two meet.

Caroline goes to the hospital to pick up her father and finds him in a storage closet, covered in his own blood and seemingly dead from being stabbed. But Meredith healed Bill Forbes with vampire blood, so he has it in his system and he wakes up, halfway to becoming a vampire. Well, Bill Forbes is not having THAT. He’d rather die. His beliefs are what make him strong or whatever. Caroline contemplates force-feeding him blood, but Elena tells Caroline that his choice is all he has. Caroline respects his decision, takes him home, and watches him die.

Before his death, Bill is able to tell Caroline that while vampirism isn’t for him, he fully loves and accepts his vampire daughter. This is good, because we don’t need a 900-episode arc about Caroline’s daddy issues and we don’t want her to be sad and feel hated by her dead father. Bill said, “"You’re strong, you’re beautiful, you’re good. And even after everything that’s happened to you, you are exactly who your mother and I hoped you’d grow up to be.” Then Caroline started saying, “Please don’t leave me, Daddy. Please, please don’t leave me,” and if you didn’t at least almost cry there, we think you’re crazy. But they made up, and that was a great conclusion to the Caroline’s father arc.

Elena and Matt come to Caroline’s to comfort her. Caroline asks about Elena’s experience losing her own father. Elena says it was hard when she realized what her dad would miss; the things you need your dad for. We think fantasy is at its best when it serves as an allegory for what goes on in the real world. Example: In Lord of the Rings, the ring represents evil/sin and its addictive, destructive nature. In an early episode, Blood Brothers, the show seemed to touch on suicide/giving up on life. Here, we are reminded that many people have living wills or refuse treatment, and their children have to respect that choice and watch them die. Like Bill said to Caroline, “This is life. This is what it means to be human.” So sad, you guys. But so good. Beautiful acting and writing, all around.

Damon and Stefan join Klaus for dinner at his home, and Elijah is there as well. They are there pretending to negotiate a deal, but they really just want to distract Klaus while Bonnie and Abby get the coffin open. Damon and Stefan offer to give Klaus the coffin if he and his family leave Mystic Falls. Klaus says he won’t leave without Elena, because he needs her for his hybrids. Klaus also tries to deepen the rift between the Salvatore brothers, pointing out that Elena will probably end up either dead or turned into a vampire because of their fighting. Either way, she will be unable to live a normal, happy life and he won’t be able to milk her for his hybrids. So true, Klaus.

Klaus and Elijah reveal that they too once loved the same woman and ended up putting bros before hos. The girl in question was Tatia Petrova, the first doppelganger. They didn’t even care that she had a child by another man, which is a big deal because back then (and still, in some religious circles) a woman’s worth was her virginity. Klaus and Elijah’s Mom took Tatia, who couldn’t decide which of the Original Brothers she wanted. We would have picked Elijah, because Klaus is a whiner with way too much red lipstick on in this episode. It’s Tatia’s blood that the Original Mommy mixed with the wine she used to turn her children into vampires. This shows that witches, vampires, and the doppelganger are even more connected than we previously thought.

During the dinner, Bonnie and her mom open the coffin and the Original Mommy knocks them both out and escapes. Oh, did we just skip right to the big reveal? Too bad, because you should have guessed anyway. That was the only thing it could have been. Elijah double-crosses Klaus and undaggers the entire family, with Damon’s help. The Salvator brothers leave Klaus’ siblings to deal with him. They are Rebekah, Kol, and Finn. Yay, two more hotties! Outside, Stefan and Damon both admit that they love Elena. They are near equals on the love front now. Let the real fight for Elena begin.

Liz Forbes comes over and tells Elena that the stake used to kill the medical examiner belongs to the Fellowship of the Falls and has Elena’s fingerprints on it. Even Liz knows Elena didn’t do it, and Meredith has a solid alibi. All this means is that someone is using the Fellowship’s own weapons to kill council members. Is it Katherine? Would she have Elena’s same fingerprint? It seems likely, but why? Luckily this show doesn't like to drag things out too much, so we'll probably find out soon.

Alaric is also knifed by an unseen attacker. He is bleeding out, so Elena has to finish the kill so that Alaric’s ring would save him from death by a supernatural creature. Yep, as the doppelganger, Elena qualifies as supernatural. Can she please get some powers from the doppelgangerness? Super speed? Something? How many times do we have to see Alaric die before we just don’t care anymore? When and if he actually does die, we’re not going to believe it for weeks. He’s the boy who cried dead. Take that ring away. The point of this whole thing was for us all to see that Elena was bad ass enough to stab Alaric, even though he is the last remaining adoptive adult looking out for her, and it might go all wrong. She does it. Matt looks horrified. Alaric lives, obviously.

The episode ends with the Original Siblings telling Klaus that they are going to leave Klaus all alone, right after they kill Elena so he can’t make anymore hybrids that have to be loyal him. Then he will be completely isolated, as he deserves. Sidenote: Is “wench” Rebekah’s best insult? Possibly, since she's from a time where saying that probably resulted in getting your mouth washed out with soap. The Original Mommy comes in the house and we are horrified. Not by her power, but by her face. We don’t know where she had plastic surgery, or how she could've while be being daggered in a coffin, but we know she has. Maybe Klaus is just thoughtful like that? Eh. It looks weird and distracting. Overall, she’s arresting, mostly because of her voice and manner. She’s like an evil, quieter version of Galadriel. She tells the siblings that she forgives Klaus and wants them all to be a family again. Uh oh. Does anyone suspect that there is more to Mommy’s plan and intentions than this?

So, we think this is the episode where the season is really going to kick off. All the coffins are over. The stalemate is done with. Elena has kissed Damon and both brothers have recognized that they are in a head-to-head rivalry for her. Katherine might be back. All the Originals are up and together. It looks like the show is ready to rumble and get its second half on. The year of the Originals is finally all about the Originals, and not just Klaus and his minions. We’ve got Matt and Caroline embracing and being all nice to each other, Tyler working on himself so that he can get Caroline back, and Klaus with his adorable little Caroline crush, so she’s about to have some major love drama. We can’t wait. Meredith is still enshrouded in mystery, but we don't like her so far.

This episode had a lot of heart with the dead dad stuff, plus it brought all the action and mystery we love. It seems like we have our old Stefan back. He seemed like himself when he told Damon he loved Elena. We’re not gonna lie, one of us thought this season was starting to drag a little with the Stefan/Klaus stalemate that has lasted freaking forever. In all fairness, when we talk about something lasing "forever" on this show, we mean like 5 episodes. But this ep was a game-changer, and you know we never use that term. There were no gasp-worthy surprising moments, and that’s what we usually love most about this show. But everything else was so good, the episode was still perfect. The show doesn’t have to knock our socks off or give us a shocking twist every week for us to love it. The best part is that we have no idea where the show is going from here.

Good lines:
  • “You’re on speakerphone, dick.”- Alaric
  • “My favorite Original!...You clean up nice.” Damon to Elijah
  • "Hey Stef, remember when you killed Dad? Might want to dial down the judgment till dessert."- Damon
  • "We're just buying some time before my wicked witches find a way to pop it open."-Damon
Observations/other stuff:
  • When Elena and Matt stalked the Gilbert home with knives, following Alaric’s bloody handprints, Elena proved once again that she’s not a damsel in distress. She grabbed a knife right away and led the walk to Alaric. Elena was in front and Matt held up the back end, like a pansy (slash human). We loved it.
  • Why didn’t we get to see Alaric’s drunk dial to Meredith?
Episode grade: A+

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We are going to be more diligent about updating the "recent interesting links" page

One of us is going to tend to this page almost daily, keeping it up-to-date and informative. Newer stories will be put at the top.

As for the finished shows/active shows pages? Uhhh. Consider them relics for the time being. We'll get to those eventually. Maybe. Hopefully.

Justified - Harlan Roulette

Is it just us, or is season three getting a little complicated, what with all the new baddies and their plots? Boyd has his doings and Neal has his own, complete with a slew of underlings for Raylan to investigate and shoot arrest. We thought we’d start recapping Justified more in case any of ya’ll are getting lost in all the clever dialogue and Western-style action.

This week, we got a temporary criminal antagonist in the form of Fogle, owner of a pawn shop and drug trafficker. The pawn shop is a cover for illegal goods. Fogle employed Wade Messer who is still on the run from Raylan. Fogle only employs complete idiots. One of his underlings, JT, messed up, so Fogle had JT play Russian roulette in order to acquire a bottle of oxy. The junkie played, but he ended up dead anyway, after Fogle toyed with him a bit.

Bam! No more incompetence! That did get one of us wondering if Fogle could be charged with accessory to murder or something if he HAD put a bullet in the gun on the first place and if JT had been dumb enough to shoot himself for drugs. At least Ern has a question for a law professor if she decides she cares by tomorrow… Anyway, that’s an intro to Fogle. He has a charming personality (sarcasm), and it’s pretty funny.

When Raylan looks into Fogle, he gets on Fogle’s radar. Raylan deduces that the pawn shop is a cover for dealing drugs and tells Fogle his suspicions. Fogle calls Neal McDonough, mobster. Neal wants to make Harlan into some sort of oxy hub by setting up a fake medical business where addicts will get their prescriptions filled halfway and the other half will be shipped back to be sold. Neal explains this to his own underling, Wynn. Neal is using a house for his evil plan and he takes the owner and ties him to a bed. Neal goes into the bedroom with the homeowner and shuts the door. Wynn looks concerned, but we don’t find out what happened to the homeowner.

When Neal hears about Fogle’s problem with Raylan, it takes him a while to remember who Raylan is. Then he says, “Oh, the hat.” Hahaha. Neal then advises Fogle to take care of Raylan. Fogle orders Wade to kill Raylan, who easily outsmarts Wade. Fogle has to show up to take care of things himself and brings another incompetent druggie underline. Raylan plays the two, hilariously, and they end up shooting each other. We’ll miss Fogle, though we knew him briefly. Before he gets shot, Fogle tells Raylan a little about Wynn. Wynn is a stupid name.

Raylan crashes Wynn’s motor home where Neal is also present. Raylan punches Wynn in the face and drops a bullet on him, as a message. Raylan sees Neal and takes a picture of him with his phone so that he can investigate this new face and probable Big Bad of the season. Neal smiles for the camera, and it’s a creepy, belligerent smile. Neal is not scared. Just what Raylan needs is another drug-running enemy. This one wears a suit and seems to exude power.

And now for our main secondary character, Boyd. Some people were annoyed with Boyd’s character for giving religious people a bad name. We think that arc was realistic and disagree that it was offensive. Lots of people take on religion when it's convenient, socially beneficial, or when it contributes to their comfort. Boyd really thought he had changed and found God. Part of him was just using the whole thing to look good and to get power over others, but there was a part of him that thought religion could make his life better. Sadly, Boyd was using faith as a means to an end (like Santorum and Perry). Unless faith is the end in itself, it’s not going to be powerful enough to last when the going gets rough and you don’t get what you want. When trouble came to Boyd’s door and his followers were killed, he left his religious prophet gig. Boyd's into the prosperity gospel only. Now, he is full-on back into crime, in service of the almighty dollar. 

Boyd has always been funny and entertaining. He is still working with Arlo, who has always been a disappointment to us. He should have been what Neal is: a powerful criminal to be reckoned with. The Darth Vadar to Raylan’s Luke. But alas, he is pathetic. Ava gets Boyd a meeting with Limehouse. Boyd plans to kill Dickie so that he can get Mags’ weed money and he wants Limehouse’s help. Limehouse offers Boyd help with his weed situation. Limehouse’s men came to pick up the ruined weed. Boyd considers refusing Limehouse’s money, but he takes it in the end. Boyd takes the Harlan bar as his headquarters, ejecting the bar’s owner.

A character asks which Boyd he is dealing with. The racist one? The religious one? This new wanna-be crime boss Boyd? Boyd says that he contains multitudes. Boyd isn’t a simple character and even Boyd knows it. He has also decided that he wants nothing to do with prostitution when he builds his criminal empire. Good going, Boyd!

It seems like the religion thing killed off the racist Nazi thing, which is progress. It forced him to admit that it was stupid, he didn’t really believe it, and that he probably had never even met a Jewish person. Boyd has been alive this long. He may make himself into the mob boss of Harlan for Raylan to shoot in the series finale. Who knows? Dickie is still in prison and a corrupt guard wants the Mags money as well. Dickie might get released early so that he can join the rest of these motley villains/buffoons in entertaining us and complicating this show.

Episode grade: B+

Southland - Community

What’s this? A lackluster episode of Southland?  The themes were too obvious. Of course, it’s just one part of a whole season arc and we can see that the show is trying to do something different with the characters. Also, even this episode is better than any other cop show we've ever seen. Ben starts the episode banging a badge bunny who loved the youtube video of him punching that girl. Even though Ben is not getting negative consequences for the punch, you can tell by his face that he’s not feeling completely proud of it. 

Lydia and Rueben are called to investigate the murder of a woman named “Maria Moboro" and find evidence leading them to a homeless guy, named Danny, who wanted revenge on Maria for making his daddy poor. When the cops find Danny, he tries to run away, but he’s too wasted and weak to do anything but hobble. The officers think it’s sad, but we thought it was hilarious. They walk after him, shaking their heads. Danny doesn’t make it far and eventually confesses to killing Maria. 

Maria took the shirt off his father’s back, he declares, so he took the shirt off of hers. Come on, show. That was lame. See what we meant about obvious? Lydia drops Rueben off and then calls someone, asking if she can come over. A new love interest, perhaps? NO. We don't care. Please, show. No Lydia's love life. The detective cases should be the most gripping of the show, but they are not. They are the most boring. Adding a love arc for Lydia will only waste more of our time. We love her, but man are they wasting opportunities here by giving Lydia cases like this. 

Sammy has a beef with Two Trey gang leader, Day Day Crawford and harasses him in the morning before going to the station. At work, Rucker yells at Sammy for stirring the pot with Crawford. Rucker then decrees that Sammy and Ben watch the Two Trey gang on their “Hood Day.” If there is a police presence to protect the gang members who are coming out of hiding for this most sacred of holidays, maybe everyone will make it out without bloodshed. That was such a horrible idea, Rucker! Send someone who doesn’t hate Day Day Crawford so much.

We never really got what “Hood Day” was, but it sounds just wonderful. Once there, Sammy sees the car of a rival gang drive by. Day Day Crawford comes up to Sammy, and they bicker again. Sammy then gets a call reporting a stranded motorist and decides to leave Hood Day to answer that call instead. He’s done protecting gang members and will not let old grudges die (with good reason). Ben protests, but Sammy wins and the two leave. After helping two young girls whose car broke down, Sammy takes Ben to get tacos instead of going back to Hood Day. Ben weakly protests.

Sammy tells Ben that Day Day Crawford kidnapped a 13-year-old boy from the rival gang, sodomized him with a garden hose, and packed him full of peanut butter. Wait. Was the peanut butter in the hose? Did he just shove the butter in the kid’s mouth? Wait, we don’t need or want to know these details. Sammy doesn’t want to get in the way of the rival gang’s payback, if today is the day. Sammy and Ben get a call. A mother is screaming at her kid’s coach for not letting him play enough in the game. She whips out her taser and zaps the coach. She is arrested. This was funny.

Another call comes over the radio and this one takes them back to Hood Day. Sammy and Ben arrive to find MANY people dead and ho’s screaming, “Where were you people?” Thanks, show. We got it. We know lives would have been saved if Sammy wasn’t a douche on Hood Day. R.I.P. gangsters. It was actually sad to see all those dead bodies, even if they were baddies. Ben and Sammy find Crawford. Sammy catches Crawford and handcuffs him to a utility pole. Sammy and Ben chase another guy, leaving Crawford to his neighbors. By the time the cops come back, Crawford has been stabbed. Rucker shows up and does not yell at Sammy for leaving Hood Day. WHAT?!!!

Tang and Cooper respond to a burglary call. The woman who called, Rebecca, is the daughter of a strict Orthodox Jew. Rebecca’s father comes home and reams her for breaking the Sabbath by making a phone call. Rebecca agrees to ride along with Tang and Cooper to look for the suspect, against her father’s wishes. She spots him quickly. Cooper and Tang make a few jokes at his expense and then arrest the burglar. This does not lead to anything and we think it was only in the episode to show the diversity of the community.

Cooper and Tang come up on a guy with a bloody nose. Some other guy punched him for looking at him the wrong way. Bloody Nose doesn’t want the guy arrested, he just wants a chance to hit the guy back. The cops and criminal are ok with this. Bloody Nose gets a good hit in. This is really funny, but man, that can’t be good cop protocol. Can’t say it’s not fair though.

Later, a man in a hoodie runs up to Cooper and Tang, telling them that he’s been assaulted and he knows who did it. The cops tell him to lower his hood. His head has been badly shaved and someone wrote things like “child rapist” and “molester” on the bald patches. We will call him Chester the Molester in our heads. The cops drive Chester to the assaulter’s house. Cooper warns the guy to stay away from Chester, who has done his time, and lets the assaulter go with a warning. Chester yells, “That’s it!?” and the cops walk away. They go to lunch and discuss how all Chesters should be castrated.

Cooper and Tang get a call that night that takes them back to Chester’s neighborhood. His house is on fire. All of the neighbors are out, watching. Tons of them confess to setting the house on fire. Man, these people do NOT want Chester living near them. Tang says that she and Cooper should blame themselves, but Cooper doesn’t think it’s their fault. With this conclusion, there was no “happy, moral” ending to the story. It was a grey area. The cops on this show aren’t doing things by the book, but things are turning out badly for the bad guys anyway. This episode was called “Community” for a reason (to make us miss the show Community?). The community was driving the action and making the decisions. The cops were going along with it, letting things happen, because they fundamentally agree with the decisions of the community.

We like the new partnerships, we’ve decided. We didn’t before and we still lament that Ben and Cooper have spent all of five seconds together this season. Tang and Cooper work really well together. They respect each other and seem to agree and get along effortlessly. So far this season, their cases and calls have been the funniest and the most interesting. We are liking Lucy and respect her for doing this show, where she has to deal with funny and gritty, rather than glamorous stuff. She's not an untouchable Charlie's Angel here, nor is she O'Ren Ishii from Kill Bill with unrealistic fighting skills. She's more human and easy to relate to. Meanwhile, dunces Sammy and Ben are going to drive each other into the ground. We hope the show knows what it’s doing by turning these two previously likable characters into a couple of chodes. It’s exciting to watch and pretty ballsy. 

Episode grade: B-

Ringer - It Just Got Normal

Oh man. That was SUCH a weak midseason opener. This episode wasted so much time and spent so long on stupidity (Juliet and her teacher), and then it ended on a cliffhanger that probably won’t deliver any twists. The episode was hyped for showing the twins in the same location, but they didn’t even exchange words. Siobhan just watched Bridget in the shower. Agent Machado has to be the worst agent of all time if he can’t think, “Hmm, none of this is making sense and they look the same. Maybe I should make sure Siobhan isn’t Bridget.” By this point, with all the clues he’s gotten, why hasn’t the thought crossed his mind?

One of the reasons we hated this episode is that we had to wait so long to watch it. The return was promised on January 10th and delivered on January 31st. When the show left us, we still cared, at least a little. The show spent half a season winning us over, slowly. Now we are having trouble remembering where we left off and WHY we cared in the first place. The most intriguing thing in this episode was Bridget’s hair. She has bangs now, and we can’t tell if it’s a win or a fail. We’re leaning toward win, since SMG looked so young near the end of the episode with them. That’s right, douche-y kid at Ern’s school: SMG is not looking “old and saggy.” She’s still got it. Now with bangs. You, however, are still weird-looking.

Bridget meets an old friend of Siobhan’s named Greer. Shiv and Greer had a falling out, so Greer is acting cold, but Bridget wants to make up with Greer. She volunteers to help Greer’s fundraiser for Juliet’s public school. Bridget hosts a benefit for Greer’s cause. Juliet attends and gets drunk, so Andrew sends Juliet to her bedroom. Bridget intuits that something is going on with Juliet, so she goes into Juliet’s room to talk to her. You don’t get inappropriately drunk and holler across the room at your teacher for no reason. Juliet tells Bridget that she is trying to avoid Logan Carpenter. Juliet also tells a big fat fib that Logan slept with her.

This makes us seriously hate Juliet. Logan has handled this situation almost perfectly. He should have alerted a guidance counselor and another teacher that Juliet was throwing herself at him. Of course, that would have embarrassed Juliet. Bridget believes Juliet, marches out into the middle of the party, and punches Logan in the face. It’s a really good punch. Nice to see you, Buffy. The whole episode kind of built up to this moment, but we knew it was coming, because when the last episode of Ringer aired, we saw the preview for this episode. Then we waited until January 31st to see the moment, AFTER about 35 minutes of people walking around with their heads in their asses.

Greer and Bridget have a heart-to-heart and make up. Bridget finds out that Greer knew about the Henry affair and resented it. Bridget tells Greer that Henry is no longer in the picture and Andrew never found out. Speaking of Henry, Siobhan is in town and determined to get him back. We watch Siobhan sneak into Andrew’s apartment and then into his home so that she can steal info about his company. We don’t know what her endgame is and this takes up time, so it was more boring than it sounds. Siobhan also steals the ring that Andrew gave to Bridget. Bridget doesn’t know where it went and has to tell Andrew that she got it re-sized.

Andrew and Bridget are getting along swimmingly. While Juliet was mortified at the punching incident, Andrew was impressed with his “wife’s” new motherly tendencies. They are cute together, even though you know it’s all going to come crashing down. Agent Machado might be the reason these two will break up, because he’s getting ever closer, if only as slowly as a three-year-old piecing together a 500-piece Mona Lisa jigsaw puzzle. Henry is helping Machado find Bridget Kelly. At the end of the episode, the real Siobhan seems close to explaining things to Henry. Finally, Malcolm gets a job at Andrew’s firm so that he can keep an eye on Andrew.

You have to keep in mind that nearly everything that we just recapped happened in the last half of the episode. Maybe even the last quarter. We’re not going back to check. So there was a lot of filler and time wasting. There were no new revelations and we really could have skipped this one and watched the “previously” next week. There was a long wait and it was not worth it for this premiere. One of us considered dropping this show on this episode alone, because she’s sick of watching 43 minutes drag by every week with no pay-off. Nothing freaking happened, even though the manic tone of the episode suggested that it did. Also, we still haven't connected with Bridget's motives. We will tune in next week, but it had better be good.

Episode grade: D

New Girl - Jess and Julia

Well, this was a great episode. Possibly the best so far. If you are looking to get into this show, watching the episode “Wedding” and then this episode will help you realize if this is your humor and if you find Jess to be “adorkable” as Leeard does. Ern has decided that it’s cool to have a girly heroine, for once. All the “cool” heroines in entertainment have to act like guys, punch people in the face, where jeans (or leather catsuits), and talk in low, sarcastic voices or go to Ivy League schools. New Girl adds variety and shows that we, as women, can root for the girly-girls, even if they are going to steal all our Nicks with their innocent schtick. New Girl is bucking an entertainment stereotype.

The strength of this episode is that they got Lizzy Caplan’s Julia to stand for girls who hate Jess and think it’s creepy that “stupid little girl in a woman’s body” is cute and sexy. It gave Jess an opportunity to reply to the naysayers and make a fair point. Also great was that Julia wasn’t demonized or treated as some shrew who was just jealous of Jess or something (even though that was a small factor in her dislike of Jess, that she will take Nick away). Because smart girls who are offended by the manic pixie dream girl thing aren’t envious bitches; they are just sick of having to act naïve in order to be seen as attractive. We were five years old once. There’s no going back. That’s the point of the Zooey hate. Even if it’s mixed with the less-valid, terrifying prospect of being alone because we don’t want to dumb ourselves down or fit a girly stereotype, it’s a valid point. It was also good and fair to have Julia played by Lizzy Caplan who is pretty and likeable.

One thing we like about Zooey Deschanel is that she says femininity can be powerful. We too think it’s stupid that femininity is associated with incompetence, stupidity, and weakness. But then, Zooey’s character, Jess, is unable to function on a non-retard level, at times. Until this episode. In defending herself against Julia and then befriending her, Jess showed actual strength. She’s not the supergirl feminist icon some want her to be. She’s cute, and she has her ditzy moments, but overall, she’s not a weak girl. This was the episode that convinced us of that and it was long overdue. You also have to keep in mind that Jess is a kindergarten teacher. She spends all day with children, making dioramas with glitter and talking about baby animals (or whatever else kids are interested in). That’s bound to rub off on her attitude. That’s something for people who don’t find Jess believable to remember.

The episode starts off with Julia and Nick in bed, happy, but also too scared to tell each other that they want to be monogamous. Julia goes to the bathroom and watches Nick’s roommates talking in funny voices and arguing about damp towels, and she obviously thinks it’s all too weird early in the morning. Julia still tries to be nice to Nick’s friends by agreeing to help Jess get out of a parking ticket, because Julia is a lawyer. She wears suits and everything.

Jess and Julia sit down on the couch to discuss the ticket situation. Jess wraps Julia in a blanket and offers her a dessert. Julia explains that she’s not a dessert person and just wants to get on with the ticket thing, because it is clear that she and Jess have very little in common. Jess tells Julia that she was caught on camera running a red light because she was trying to avoid a hurt bird in the middle of the intersection, and she missed her first court date because her ex didn’t send Jess her mail. He doesn’t believe in mail. Julia is horrified by all the stupidity and childlike bird saving.

Julia tells Jess that “a judge might buy into this whole thing.” What whole thing? “Your thing. Your whole thing with the cupcakes and the breaking for birds and the bluebirds come and help me dress in the morning. It’s a great thing. The big beautiful eyes, like a scared baby. I’m sure that gets you out of all kinds of stuff.” Caplan’s delivery was perfect, and Ern barked out a laugh just as Leeard started hating Julia a little bit for being mean to Jess. That WAS rude and condescending. Jess wasn’t socially retarded enough to miss that these were major disses to the whole thing. Then Julia makes the mistake of asking Jess if Nick has been having other women over for sleepovers. Jess doesn’t answer, because she’s not a crappy roommate.

Jess calls CeCe and her gynecologist lesbian friend, who we have seen briefly in previous episodes, and they come over. We like the new lesbian friend. She’s funny and seems adult. There needs to be an adult on this show besides Nick, because you know Caplan can’t last long. Jess and Nick are endgame!!! Jess and her friends agree that Julia is weird for not being a dessert person, but a total bitch for implying that Jess is weird for acting like a child in a Disney cartoon. Nick walks in on this whole discussion. The girls explain to Nick how women can subtly, condescendingly diss each other while veiling it as a compliment or just an observation. This is something that neither Leeard nor Ern do, and we have no patience for it. We insult each other outright. Mmhmm. But Ern saw it done in her sorority, so she knows it happens, and we both went to high school. We think the show did a really good job of trying to explain the nuanced, specific way girls can be mean to other girls; it's very difficult to explain to guys, but it's there.

Nick says Julia thinks like a guy and has always been direct with him, so she can’t possibly have been dissing Jess. Jess comes back with something like, “Oh yeah, if she’s so direct, then why did she ask ME if you’ve been sleeping with other women.” Good point. At the bar, Nick asks Julia about that, throwing Jess under the bus. Jess deserves it for throwing Julia under the bus. Julia pretends that she is seeing other people so that she doesn’t come across as the pathetic girl trying to get some guy to settle down. Nick pretends that he is also seeing other people. Dumb. Julia runs into the bathroom to cry and Jess comes in.

Jess tries to apologize, but Julia confesses to Jess that she doesn’t like her (see! That was direct!) and asks Jess to leave so that she can cry. Jess wants to cry too, so she runs into the men’s bathroom…where Nick is crying. So adorable. This sounds awful, but there’s really nothing cuter than a sad guy, who isn’t usually sad, who is usually manly, and who was already cute. The next day, Julia comes to court to help Jess get out of her ticket, because she said she would. Jess pleads guilty to the ticket by accident. We all roll our eyes with Julia.

Walking out of the courtroom, Julia says something like, “I guess we’ll never know how the bird defense would have worked out.” Jess replies, in a strong, impassioned voice, “I break for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children, and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird and it freaks me out. And I'm sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pantsuit and I wish it had ribbons on it to make it slightly cute. And that doesn’t mean I'm not smart and tough and strong.” We had to find that exact quote, because it was such a good defense of Jess, and it is true, because Jess was strong enough to stand up for herself. Girliness wins the day. For now. We need to see that side of Jess more often and she needs to never be confused about when to wear overalls ever again.

Julia comes to Nick’s apartment to apologize to Jess, but it’s unnecessary. Jess invites Julia in to crochet with her and her friends. We are reminded of Julia’s little anger issue (seen in the last episode) when she has a mini meltdown over her inability to crochet. We LOVED how Jess diffused Julia's anger. While we're both more like Julia than Jess in real life, it's nice to have someone like Jess who can help you get into a happy mood. Jess advises Nick to tell Julia that he only wants to see her. Nick takes that advice and the two have a cute little exchange, complete with kisses, that makes us wish we could have Julia around forever, as a foil to Jess and as a funny chick in her own right. But her episode arc is only three long. Next week, she will be gone.

So, remember ladies, you can wear pretty clothes, curl your hair, and break for animals. That doesn’t negate the qualities you have that other women WON’T hate you for. It doesn't make you an enemy of women to look cute. It just means you like looking cute. As for men? They love femininity. That’s why Ern wears mostly little dresses, even to law school. The boys love ‘em. Don’t let all the commentary on female politics and gender mores make you think that this episode wasn’t funny. It was a huge laugher. There were lots of clever lines. We didn’t have time to include all the Schmidt exchanges, Winston’s quest to get a girl to go out with him even though he has no game, and the reference to gumbo that one of us doesn’t completely get. So watch it yourself. This one was funny and good for the show.

Episode grade: A+

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Glee - Michael

Yes, there was a plot to recap and it mostly involved Rachel. But the episode was mostly about Michael Jackson. This was great for the show’s ratings, because plenty of people want to see MJ commemorated. We must admit we had a little fun too. Half of the songs and performances were flat and unworthy of Michael and half were really fun. We’ll get into which ones weren’t necessary. Overall though, this episode was respectful, funny, and very Glee. This show is not afraid or ashamed to just be a musical that makes no sense. We liked that the show didn’t go for the obvious songs like “Billie Jean,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” or “Beat It.” They dipped into the lesser-known hits so that a new generation can appreciate the stuff they haven’t heard.

The girls who left New Directions when they covered MJ were sad that they missed their chance to perform his songs. Everyone says, “No problem! We can cover some of his other songs for Regionals.” Blaine starts things off with “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and we were less than blown away. Blaine’s facial expressions are starting to annoy. Blaine foolishly tells Sebastian the plan, but Blaine gets what’s coming for that mistake. Stupidity isn’t a crime, but it pays. Good thing you’re cute, Blaine. Sebastian convinces the Warblers to do MJ at Regionals too, and the Warblers are slated to perform first.

New Directions takes the fight to the next logical step: A musical rumble in a parking garage where the groups perform “Bad” in each other’s general directions. Ugh. This song was one of the best covers used in the gayest possible way. How is singing ever going to resolve a fight if there are no judges to declare a winner? That must be what the Warblers were thinking, because Sebastian ends the whole thing by slushie-ing Blaine in the face. Blaine collapses and pules. We think he’s a sissy until New Directions figures out that this particular slushie was different. There was an ingredient in the slushie that scratched Blaine’s cornea. Ouch. Now Blaine needs eye surgery.

When the group hears Blaine’s medical news, Artie loses his shit. He starts freaking out at Mr. Schue, dissing the “it gets better” movement (ugh, that’s a good movement, Artie), and fantasizing about dancing aggressively while singing “Scream”. It’s weird and lame. Our eyebrows were raised. We don’t like that song to begin with. Die Artie. Die. Even Mike Chang’s dancing couldn’t save this embarrassment. If Glee could stop imitating music videos, we would take that as a favor. Thanks.

Full of dance-y, gay rage, the group plots revenge. Kurt takes a stand against violence, as he tends to do, so Santana takes things into her own hands. She goes to Sebastian dressed like a stripper in a top hat, or something (sidenote: whatever Ern, girl looked awesome), and they sing “Smooth Criminal” to cellos. This cover is so great that it’s justification for the entire episode. Santana tapes a tape recorder to her underboob (ha) and gets a confession out of Sebastian. He put rock salt in the slushie. Santana wants to turn this evidence over to the police. First of all, Santana, it’s illegal in many states to tape someone without their knowledge. Secondly, the regular slushie should have been enough for the police to get involved. There doesn’t need to be rock salt to have a battery.

What kind of limp-weenied cops are these? Considering the injury, there should have been consequences. The adults should have gotten a lawsuit going, at least. Santana thinks it will make all the difference if she proves that it was an irregular slushie. No, a regular slushie should have been enough. Lima, Ohio has got to be the worst town of all time. Either that or Glee doesn’t make logical sense…. Naw, Glee always makes sense.

Kurt smacks down Santana’s plan anyway. He wants to beat Sebastian at Regionals, not have Sebastian shipped off to juvie. Kurt invites Sebastian and the Warblers to the McKinley auditorium where they sing “Black and White” to the Warblers. The episode includes the face morph feature from the music video and Rory’s face is part of it. There goes another one of your episodes, Damian! Nice to see them put him to good use (major sarcasm). New Directions does such a jammin’ job that the Warblers (except for Sebastian) leap to the stage and groove with them as the magic of Michael Jackson’s music makes them forget that they are rumblin’ enemies. Kurt and Santana tell Sebastian that they have a tape of his confession, but that they are so holy they won’t turn it over to the cops. They are just going to sing the Warblers to death at Regionals. Mmhmm.

Along the way, Finn, Rachel and Kurt visit Blaine, who is in bed with an eye patch. All cornea scratches require bedrest. They sing “Ben” to him, which is not an obvious choice for an MJ episode. It’s too obscure. We also thought it was a waste of time. The words don’t fit Blaine at all. Mercedes and Sam sang "Human Nature". We love that song and it was a good cover. It’s one of the more obscure songs too, but that just makes it extra nice that Glee covered it. Mercedes and Sam kissed too! They have no chemistry, but we like their voices together and they are both decent people (by this show’s standards). So we are rooting for them.

Quinn gets into Yale and we are so excited for her. Quinn advises Rachel against marrying Finn. Quinn’s advice was half awesome and half too-cynical. We liked the bit about what really matters and Rachel’s future. We didn’t like the bit about women’s magazines saying that girls change their minds in their 30s. That’s true for a LOT of women, but not all. Plenty of people do just fine with their high school sweethearts. Overall, we agreed with Quinn, just like we did when she advised Rachel about losing her V-Card. (As usual, Rachel gets solid, mature, logical advice from Quinn, ignores Quinn, and follows her heart.) Quinn looks back on her old high school flames while singing “Never Can Say Goodbye.” She looks gorgeous, as usual.

Kurt hears that he’s a finalist for NYADA and Rachel freaks because both Kurt and Quinn are going to live their dreams. Rachel doesn’t hear from NYADA and cries in Kurt’s arms. It’s actually really sad. Lea Michele is a great crier. Burt, the best dad on TV, gives Kurt a wonderful speech about how Kurt went through so much and beat all the haters. “Today, you won,” he said. We loved the words, but it would have been better to save them for the actual win. Like, you know, when Kurt goes from finalist to “accepted student.” Seemed a bit premature.

Rachel feels like she has nothing but her boyfriend, so she accepts Finn’s proposal. They also sing “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” and it’s boring. When she finds out that she is a finalist for NYADA too, her face tells us that she regrets saying yes. There will be drama…. All-in-all, the reason we are still watching Glee is the musical element, so we are glad the show included so many MJ songs and so little stupid plot. Glee has a tendency to juggle too many stories in one episode, so only having about four or five was a nice change. They had to make time for the songs.

Episode grade: B+
Because were we not entertained?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Alcatraz - Cal Sweeney

Four down, 300-ish to go. This week’s criminal is Cal Sweeney, a bank robber who seduces tellers in order to get to safe deposit boxes. Rebecca, who are you calling average-looking? Those tellers were above average looking. Have you seen normal American women? They are about 40 pounds heavier at that age. Rebecca and Doctor Diego Soto track Cal to the next bank he is going to hit and arrive too late. Cal has accidentally triggered an alarm and was forced to take the entire bank hostage.

Rebecca sneaks into the bank via air vents and convinces Cal that she’s there to rescue him, presumably for these bosses or whatever forces brought the Alcatraz criminals to our time in the first place. Cal and Rebecca escape and jump into her cop car. Cal shows Rebecca a little black bag that he went into the bank to get. He doesn’t know what it is or why it is needed and he feels like he isn’t supposed to open the bag and see what’s inside. This shows us that Cal is operating under orders.

Rebecca maneuvers her car so that Cal is knocked out because he isn’t wearing a seatbelt (because it wasn't a law back in the 60s). This is EXACTLY what Ern’s dad told her to do if a bad guy ever got in her car and told her to drive. Ern’s dad assumes that no criminals would be smart enough to put on their seatbelts. After seeing this episode, they probably will be. That was a cheesy line Rebecca delivered right before spinning the car to a stop. We got it when Rebecca looked at the empty seatbelt buckle, thanks.

Rebecca opened the baggy and found another one of those gold keys. She turns it over to Hauser, but Hauser doesn’t tell Rebecca and Doc what the keys are for. Hauser takes the key to Neo-Alcatraz to be studied by his scientists, who are still trying to figure out how the prisoners arrived, where they have been, and who is orchestrating this whole debacle.

Of course, in the flashbacks we got a little of Cal’s story. He ran the black market in Alcatraz, just like Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption. Cal has a young assistant named Harlan who he warns against showing weakness. Deputy Tiller wants a cut of Cal’s operation, and when Cal refuses, Cal’s cell is tossed and a personal item is taken. It’s a tin box and Cal really wants it back. Cal conspires to get Tiller alone so that they can make a deal without Cal showing the other prisoners that he caved to Tiller to get the box back.

Alone in a bathroom at Tiller’s birthday dinner, Cal demands his box after striking a bargain. Tiller says he doesn’t have it, so Cal tries to drown Tiller in a toilet. The swirly wasn’t enough to stop Tiller from stabbing Cal in the upper thigh with a pen and leaving him, bleeding, on the bathroom floor. Cal was sentenced to 30 days in the hole. Just before Cal is taken to the hole, Harlan returns Cal’s box to him. It was Harlan who stole it because Cal showed Harlan his weakness. The box was the only thing left to Cal from his childhood home that burned when he was ten (and his family along with that home). With Cal out of the way and all the information about the operation in Harlan’s head, Harlan is free to take over the project. Cal is upset and smashes the tin box, his only weakness.

Warden James and a mysterious someone are impressed with Harlan’s scheming, so the warden takes Harlan to a dank, dark place that seems to be on the lower levels of Alcatraz. Down there, the warden uses three keys (the same mysterious keys Hauser now has) to open a large, metal door. Harlan is to be introduced to someone inside that door. Roll credits.

Cal killed a few people with one of those cattle guns that Javier Bardem carried around in No Country for Old Men, so this episode was more violent than previous installments. We didn’t mind. We like when shows like this get a little violent, because that brings some darkness that ushers out campiness. We want serious J.J. Abrams shows. We like that each episode brings us some hint of the larger story and answers to come. We are still digging this show. It has a definite formula and isn't turning out to be the most original show on earth, but it's fun, and we are still interested.

Episode grade: B

Being Human - All Out of Blood

At the start, Aidan is still boning Julia. He wakes up in her bed and he has not yet turned or eaten Julia. Yay! Julia brings up her last boyfriend, who was “dead inside.” Ironic, because Aidan is dead…outside? Haha. The hospital figures out that someone is stealing blood bags and decides that they are being sold to drug addicts who need to pass blood tests. After The Vampire Diaries, if we worked with hospital security, Damon would be our first thought. Now, only supervisors can access the blood room, and this does not include Aidan. Aidan looks worried at this news, because blood packets are the way he is controlling his urges. He can only sleep with Julia if he’s just eaten, after all.

Josh rents two storage units for himself and Nora to transform in. Sally will lock them inside. Nora wants to change in the woods, because being locked in a metal container and filmed by Josh for “research” is, admittedly, creepy. This is how Nora phrases it: “I will let a ghost lock me in a storage unit so that you can videotape me while I take my clothes off and turn into an animal.” Josh feels guilty and the two kiss.

At the hospital, Sally teases Aidan about Julia. It’s really cute. One of the things we love about this show, and this episode especially, is the roommate banter. Like when Josh asked Aidan to use a glass for what looked like his last blood bag or when Aidan questioned Josh’s lame use of the thumbs up sign. Josh is more concerned about the Julia situation, because of what happened to Aidan’s last girlfriend. Man, thank God that last girlfriend is dead. She was disastrous AND annoying. Aidan refuses to let Julia meet his roommates, because he’s keeping it casual and fun. Josh gives his blessing. Aidan says he wasn’t asking for Josh’s blessing. Josh was all, “You know you wanted it.” Ahhh, roommates.

Sally keeps seeing a dark shadow. It’s the thing she saw come toward her from the mirror in her dream. It’s stalking her and freaking her out. Sally goes to the hospital’s maternity ward to look at the cute new babies. A nurse passes and says that she can’t hang out there. Since the nurse can see Sally, Sally thinks the nurse is dead, but the nurse can see dead people. The nurse tells Sally to get in line. Sally turns to see a queue of ghosts waiting outside the maternity ward. A ghost in line tells Sally that the nurse, Zoe Gonzalez, can get ghosts reincarnated. Zoe can match a ghost with a baby and help the baby accept the new spirit along with its own. Sally thinks this is groovy.

We raised our eyebrows. It’s the BABY’S life. The ghosts already had theirs, even if some of them were short. How messed up would it be to go through life with a passenger? A whole other person? Even if the baby’s spirit accepts the ghost, it’s still dodgy, and we've already read The Host. We’re sure the age of consent for having another person inside of you should be above, say, two weeks. The next morning, after both Josh and Aidan have had their girlfriends over for sex, Sally tells them about the reincarnation option. They laugh at her and Sally’s anger shakes the house. Aidan tells Sally to cut it out, because Julia is upstairs.

Julia comes down to the kitchen to meet Nora and the roommates. Then we are all OH SNAP because Julia is JOSH’S JULIA. Julia is the fiancé that Josh abandoned after he became a werewolf. It’s the same name on the same show, she’s a doctor, AND she talked about a bad ex. How on earth did we not see this coming? We're really glad we didn't, because that was awesome. Julia freaks and storms out. Josh follows, trying to apologize for leaving her. He tells Julia to trust him that it was for the best. Julia smacks him. The two actors are great together and this is a believable scene.

We’re team Josh here, obviously, because we know the whole story. Also, it’s crazy that she thinks Josh is dead inside if she was once close to marrying him. Even with his leaving her abruptly, it’s pretty obvious that Josh is a sensitive, guilt-ridden, caring dude. If Julia knew him well enough to marry him, a part of us thinks that she should sense there is something going on with Josh that’s out of the douchebag norm. Josh turns to go back inside his home. Nora is in the doorway and she doesn’t look pleased. Aidan tells Josh that he will stop seeing Julia.

Sally goes back to the maternity ward and sees Zoe putting a ghost into a baby. Zoe sees Sally afterward and Sally tries to convince Zoe to help her reincarnate. Zoe wants to meet Sally’s roommates so that she can interact with people who can see ghosts, like Zoe can. After interviewing Aidan and Josh, Zoe determines that she can’t help Sally reincarnate because Sally might have unresolved anger issues that could negatively affect the host baby. Sally begs Zoe to help, because she is afraid that the dark thing pursuing her will take her out. Zoe tells Sally that becoming an infant won’t help Sally defend herself against the dark thing.

Nora and Julia see each other in the hospital. Julia decides to clear the air and get everything on the table. Julia tells Nora that she knows the real Josh (and that he’s an a-hole) and that soon Nora will know this too. Nora meets Josh in the storage unit, where he is mounting a camera. Nora tells Josh that she doesn’t want to be locked up and confesses that she remembers killing the vampire. Josh asserts that his plan is for Nora’s protection. Nora says, “If you wanted to protect me, you would have run away before you did this to me. Like you did for Julia. For me, you had no problem cursing me.” She walks away and Josh is too stunned to even yell, “It SO wasn’t like that.” Burn. Poor Josh. Poor Nora.

Aidan is at home, sick and pale from not eating. Sally warns him to take care of the situation so that she won’t have to come home to a mountain of dead bodies one day. Aidan says that he is hesitant to drink from a willing donor, because when he drinks a live person, he has a hard time controlling himself. He is afraid that if he goes back to live people, he will lose control and become the monster he was in the past. Aidan sees Julia at the hospital and he tells her that it’s over. He says that their fling is not worth a friendship. Bros before hos, lady. It’s the code. He’s firm and cruel enough to be sure that he’s rid of her. He says, “It was just sex.” Julia is crushed, because they actually bonded and she thought it meant more to Aidan. This is the second time this woman has been dumped for her own protection. We kind of think that Julia is owed the truth. Couldn't it at least have been a discussion between Aidan and Josh?

Sally goes up to a baby and tries to get the baby to let her enter. Why would Sally pick a male baby when she has the pick of the ward? She stops attempting to enter when she sees the dark thing manifest in the ward. Sally doesn’t want the thing to follow her into the baby. Sally tells the thing to stay away from the child. The dark thing goes through Sally and Sally finds herself outside the maternity ward. Sally sees Zoe and tells her what happened. Zoe agrees to try to help Sally with the dark thing.

Nora sees Julia leave work and stalks Julia to her house, filled with anger. For a second, we think Nora is going to try to kill Julia. A car nearly hits Nora and she snaps out of her bloodthirsty stupor. Nora meets Josh at the storage unit, ready to go along with his plan. Sally locks Josh and Nora into the units where they change. One of them bangs up against the unit’s wall, denting it. They may have to pay for that…or at least explain it. Ha. Meanwhile, Aidan visits an older lady and pays $300 to drink her blood. There is a muscle-y man with a wooden stake to serve as protection for the woman, in case the vampire is too rough or loses control. Aidan drinks too much and the man has to pull Aidan away. Aidan looks positively intoxicated from the experience of drinking live. It’s spine chilling.

We feel worst for Aidan, at this point. Josh is a werewolf once a month. Aidan is ALWAYS facing his temptations and it’s hard to resist something when you were immersed in it before. It’s like a girl who went to third base with her first boyfriend. When she gets her second boyfriend, she will get to third base a hell of a lot quicker if she doesn’t have self-control, simply because she has done it before. That’s how temptation and giving into temptation is. It’s almost more honorable when someone ceases an activity they have already and fully been engaged in. Breaking a pattern is a lot harder than never indulging at all. We know that the show is going to take Aidan to a dark place this season. That's apparent. We hope this arc brings more to that theme than we are seeing in The Vampire Diaries this season. We want to see something new, not an older, darker version of The Stefan Chronicles.

We love the actors on this show, particularly Aidan and Sally’s portrayers. Aidan comes across as mature, and this is very realistic. Sally could be an annoying whiner just watching others live their lives, but she’s sympathetic. She pulls off "worried" and "regretful" well with every facial expression. Julie was well-cast. We’re surprised that we enjoyed the vacation from vampire politics, because that’s an aspect of the show that we find fascinating. This episode didn’t need it though. The Julia twist was great. There were lots of “oh snaps” in this episode, and we chuckled a few times as well as felt genuine sorrow for the characters’ plights. This one was emotionally rich and dark, and the pacing was expert.

Episode grade: A

Pretty Little Liars - A Kiss Before Lying

Kate arrives in Rosewood and goes to the Liars’ school. Spencer sees Kate and recognizes her from somewhere. Eventually, Spencer remembers that Kate went to summer camp with her when they were younger. Kate confronts Spencer and asks if Spencer is “going to tell” and asks Spencer what she wants. Kate even offers Spencer money to keep her mouth shut. She wants to keep it a secret because Kate got bitten all over her face by bugs, and Spencer has a picture of her looking ugly. Spencer threatens to show people the picture if Kate is mean to Hanna, and it’s awesome.

Hanna is upset that her friends seem to be shutting her out. Really, they are still hacking A’s phone with Caleb. On the phone, they find a picture of a fake I.D. belonging to Alison. On the I.D., Alison’s hair is dark brown. Alison used to pretend to be someone else. She also liked Vladimir Nabokov. Of course she did. Hanna whips out a copy of Lolita that she borrowed from Ali. In the book was a claim check. Spencer called the number on the check and asked if she could claim her item. The man on the phone called her by Ali’s pseudonym on the I.D. and let Spencer know that she could pick the object up. So the Liars are about to find yet another clue.

Hanna gets a text from A telling Hanna to stop Caleb from doing his tech thing. If Hanna doesn’t stop Caleb, A says she/he will tell the police about Mrs. Marin’s stealing. Hanna tells Caleb about the threat. Caleb thinks the threat came from Jenna, so he goes to Jenna’s to confront her. Garrett sees and questions Caleb in front of Jenna’s house. Jenna is not home, and now Garrett is suspicious of Caleb.

Byron gets Ezra a promotion that would cause Ezra to move to New Orleans. When both Aria and Holden’s plan fall through, they actually spend a date together. Aria sees bruises on Holden’s body and he brushes off her questions. We smell an underground fight club. Holden is so much more interesting than boring old Ezra and his boring old geezer clothes. Aria suggests to Ezra that they melt Byron's glacier self by "generating more heat." Gross. And inappropriate. Who wants to think about their father when they're talking sexy with their boyfriend?

Spencer cries over Toby, and it’s sad. Noel is still dating Jenna, so the Liars have decided that Noel is “A’s eyes” and they hate Noel for it. Emily’s mom comes back to Rosewood and offers to take Emily and Maya to dinner. Maya acts like a huge, awkward bitch. She keeps bringing up pot and the Bible camp she was sent off to. One of us holds grudges but still doesn’t feel bad for Maya. Yeah, Maya has a reason to hate Emily’s mom, but she could have tried to grab the olive branch, for Emily’s sake. Maya redecorates Emily’s bedroom to make it up to her. Maya tells Emily she loves her and Emily returns the sentiment. Then they make out and lie on top of each other in Emily’s bed.

At the end, A sent everyone in the high school a naked picture of Kate in the locker room and set it up to look like Hanna sent it. Whoa. Poor Hanna. Ern also feels bad for Kate. Kate is the worst, yes, but that would be so horrifying. If everyone in Ern’s school saw her naked teet, Ern would vomit. Too far, A. Too far. (Sidenote: really? A naked breast is too far, but MURDER isn't? Ern is weird).

Nothing really happened in this episode. It’s filler if there ever was filler. However, it’s cool seeing Hanna open up to Caleb about the A situation (which one of us thinks is a pretty big deal). We would fear for his life, but he’s been promoted to series regular for season three. (Thanks, commenter who showed us that story). He will probably just ALMOST die now. Only seven more episodes until we know who A is!

Episode grade: B-

Gossip Girl - G.G.

Oh man. Oh man. This episode was perfect in every way. Ok, not every way. We are disappointed in who Gossip Girl was. But the build-up to the wedding was all worth it.

The episode started with a Serena dream. Hers are a lot more musical than Blair’s, it seems. She is Marilyn Monroe to Blair’s Audrey Hepburn, and she is singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Marilyn’s voice, surrounded by boys. This was weird, stupid, and campy, but we completely loved it. Audrey Blair shows up to take Dan away from Marilyn and Serena wakes up. It’s the morning of Blair’s wedding.

We then see Chuck. If you were worried last week that he was going to become a villain again, you will be pleased to see that Chuck double-crossed the priest and decided to sabotage the priest’s plan to ruin Blair’s wedding. Chuck wants Blair to be happy. One, two, three: Awwww. That was always Chuck’s plan. Chuck poisoned the priest with Mexican toilet water from a Bass resort. Ha. Did he have that over-nighted or something? We mourn the lost opportunity to see Chuck don the priest’s outfit the father tried to give him.

Dan is Louis’ best man. What??!! That’s weird. Blair asked her stepdad to walk her down the aisle with her father, which was sweet. And, yes, Wallace Shawn had to utter the lines, “Look! It’s The Princess Bride.” Oh, har har har. Alright, we really did think it was clever. If inconceivable. We liked Blair's dress and veil, but we're not sure about her scraggly wedding hair or the bridesmaids dresses she chose. They looked like sponges, but they were nearly appealing. 

Georgina shows up with her husband to ruin the wedding so that she can get back at Blair. “That bitch got me remanded to rehab, banished from Bible camp, and abandoned in Belarus,” Georgina groused. Georgina had baby Milo with her, and he’s still an immobile cherub in a stroller. We’re pretty sure he should be walking by now. He was born years ago.

Nate meets the real Charlie who is a cater waitress for the wedding and there are sparks. What a coincidence! Apparently, she has catered for him before and he didn’t remember her. As a grand romantic gesture, Nate investigated her and found out everything about her, like that she was a student at Julliard. Top-notch journalist that he is, Nate did NOT find out that Lola was Charlie Rhodes. Bravo, Nate. You’re useless.

Blair has a panic attack when she puts her wedding dress on, so Eleanor uses her motherly intuition and realizes that this is a mistake. Eleanor runs right to Chuck. Chuck goes to Blair and Blair tells Chuck that she loves him and is actually marrying Louis for Chuck’s sake. Blair turns Chuck away, choosing Louis. Georgina is taping them and gets Blair’s confession saved to her phone.

Serena tells Chuck about Blair’s pact with God (groan). During the ceremony, when the “speak now or forever hold your piece” line is said, Chuck does not object and we were shocked by this. Come on, Chuck! Blair said she loves you and that she loves you more every day! That’s actually what old married couples say about each other when it’s a real, lasting thing. Everyone was looking at Chuck, waiting for him to do something, but he just kind of swayed in the hallway. This is why he deserves to lose Blair…for now.

Gossip Girl interferes. She texts everyone the video of Blair and Chuck. Jeez, people, turn your phones off in a wedding. Blair runs offstage. Blair tells Louis that she chose him, and that if he takes her back, Blair will never embarrass him again. She does this right in front of Chuck, who came back to apologies for coming to her wedding. Louis goes back to the altar with Blair and the two marry. During their dance at the reception, Louis says tells Blair that he married her for show. He doesn’t forgive her for loving Chuck and ruining their wedding.

Then Louis said that Blair needs to smile for the cameras and pretend to love him, because he will keep their marriage going for show until he tires of her, or something. Blair was all, “What about your beautiful vows?” Louis said, “Dan wrote them.” Why didn’t we get to hear those vows, by the way? We were cheated.

Meanwhile, Serena confesses her love to Dan. Dan has no reaction. Poor Serena. She really is a nice and pretty girl. She needs to realize that Dan hasn’t wanted her since he was, like, 16. He’s ready for someone smart who likes to see artsy films and read literature. Blair calls Dan after her horrific dance. Dan drives Blair away. Blair SHOULD have called an attorney to seek an annulment, immediately.

We’ve always complained about this show dragging out Chuck and Blair and ruining their romance, especially in the last two seasons. But this season has redeemed that, especially after the last episode. As perfect as it would have been for their romance to be complete at the end of season two, they were not good enough people to make real love last yet. They were not yet unselfish. Now, Chuck has done major work on himself and Blair sees Dan’s worth while also seeing that being a princess isn’t everything. Also, Dan is a real and realistic way to keep Blair and Chuck apart. The Blair/Dan romance isn’t a distraction or contrived obstacle. It feels real. It feels like the show is making Blair and Chuck a bigger, longer story than we previously thought it would be, but that it’s going to make sense in the end.

The episode ended with Gossip Girl typing and talking. We saw hands, and then the camera turned around to show Gossip Girl’s face. It’s Georgina! Gasp! Actually, lame. Dorota would have been better. (Speaking of, Dorota looked nice dress for the wedding). We already KNEW that Georgina was a double-crossing, sociopathic schemer. We hope that there is more than one Gossip Girl or something. Maybe she hacked GG’s site briefly or something.

This episode tried so hard. It deserves a perfect score for such effort, and it was entertaining and eventful as well.

Episode grade: A+

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Good Wife - Another Ham Sandwich

This show is so much better this season than it ever was in previous years, and this episode might have been the best of this season. The happenings were simple, so we can keep it succinct. But if you missed this one, you should go watch it, because it’s so satisfying  and delicious to see it play out. The drama, double-crosses, cleverness, emotion, and burns in this episode would blow your average episode of Revenge away. That’s quite a compliment, since you know how excited we get about Revenge.

It’s Grand Jury time. Will and Kalinda scheme and plot enough that Will is not indicted. The information in the file Kalinda slipped Dana was falsified. Dana slaps Kalinda in the face after that comes back to bite Wendy in the butt. Elsbeth has all her witnesses bring Peter up whenever possible so the Grand Jury is confused into thinking the State Attorney is the real guilty party.

Alicia tries to get Peter to drop the indictment. When Peter cracks that Alicia is sleeping with her boss, Alicia says, “Is that the issue.” Peter explodes, “Of course that’s the issue!” It’s ugly and interesting and long-awaiting. Alicia says that she’s not sleeping with Will. Which is true. They aren’t doing it anymore. Peter doesn’t believe her and storms out.

Wendy freaks out when things don’t go her way and calls Alicia to testify about her secret, personal relationship with Will. Cary told Wendy about that. To his credit, Cary is appalled that Alicia is being called and lets Wendy know it. Alicia admits to sleeping with Will and then walks out of court, risking being held in contempt. Everyone hates Wendy even more now, even Peter.

Peter fires Wendy. Wendy doesn’t take that lying down and tells Peter that she will be taking the case to the Bar Association. The show is leaving the question of whether Will is actually innocent unanswered for the audience. Everyone is on his side. Does he deserve it? It looks like Diane had some doubts in the courtroom.

Eli tries to get a job working for a gay rights group in Chicago. Caitlin saves the day for Eli, even though Eli has been torturing her with menial tasks to get back at David Lee. Eli and Stacie Hall have sex. Stacie orchestrated the tryst so that she could drop a bomb on Eli: She will be running Eli’s ex-wife’s campaign for governor. Eli is upset. We love seeing Eli thrown off kilter. He has two weaknesses: children and his ex. 

We won't get more for three weeks, so savor this one.

Episode grade: A+

Shameless - A Beautiful Mess

Mess is right. Beautiful? We don’t see it. We were actually a little stressed-out for the characters this week, even though it was the funniest episode of the season so far. Karma hit Fiona in the face like a chocolate milkshake when Craig’s wife, Lucy Jo, shows up at the Gallagher house looking for revenge. Lucy Jo tries to get her beat down on and Fiona has to flee from the Gallaghers' to Sheila’s house or risk being hit with a baseball bat for sleeping with Lucy Jo’s husband. We love Fiona, but we also love Lucy Jo. That is just the perfect reaction for when a woman bangs your husband. Lucy Jo for president. How did Lucy Jo find out? Craig told her, because “he’s a pussy.” Fiona’s friends and family tell her that she “always picks pussies.” Angry Fiona texts Craig that he’s a pussy and sends him other charming messages trying to get him to call off his wife.

Lucy Jo continues to wreak hilarious havoc over the course of a few days. She beans Fiona with a milkshake and paints a lewd statement on the Gallagher door. She also has her children stand on the side of the road under a banner that says, “Fiona Gallagher Had Sex With Our Daddy.” In the end, Fiona breaks down. The stress is getting to her and she is only wasting her time with these guys to get over Steve anyway. She keeps calling Steve and getting his voicemail. Jasmine is still trying to lead Fiona down a bad path of sugar daddies and Fiona almost hooks up with Adam, a guy who looks kind of like Steve. In the end, Lucy Jo and Craig show up on the advice of their priest to get Fiona’s forgiveness. It is a painfully awkward, hilarious scene. Fiona escapes to the bathroom and cries. Dirty slut or not, we feel bad for her and we hope Steve gets his tail back to town by next week.

It’s a bad week for both Gallagher women. Debbie breaks out in a stress rash and smashes Barbies to deal with her chaotic life as a 4th-grader running a daycare. Fiona tries to get Debbie to relax by having Debbie throw a slumber party. But this is even more stressful than nothing, because Debbie has no friends. Debbie has to bribe Simon, a nerdy kid from the library who has a crush on Debbie, to introduce her to the popular girl, Holly. Holly is 15, mean, in fourth grade, and gorgeous in a skank sort of way. Holly agrees to come to the sleepover because she has a crush on Lip. Carl brings his new friend, Little Hank, to Debbie’s party. Little Hank is amazing. He is a kid with a housesitting business. He uses the empty houses to drink stolen booze in. Debbie has a crush on Little Hank, even though Simon is much cuter and worthier. Little Hank likes Holly though. It’s kind of cute until Holly sneaks into Lip’s room in the middle of the night to bone him. Lip is not his father, it seems, because he yells at Holly and throws her out. Holly leaves the party and Little Hank follows. Debbie is crushed and blames Fiona for the entire bad experience.

Sheila finally makes it to the beauty salon and the Alibi Room is only a day away. Frank tries to reawaken Sheila’s agoraphobia by making up local disasters, having his armless friend run into the house with a “bleeding” stump, and shooting at Sheila from a safe distance…with a gun containing the wrong ammunition. This literally backfires and fragments scratch Frank’s cornea. He is forced to wear an eye patch for the duration of his panic day. The Luger and the story of the Luger was pretty awesome. On the day of Sheila’s outing to the bar, she walks out and a piece of the plane falls from the sky. Sheila freaks and rushes back into her house, broken. Frank hits his knees to thank God. We laugh, even though it’s awful.

Ethel is starting to grow on us. Kevin introduces her to Malik, a black boy her age with a child of his own. They set up a playdate and bond. Vanessa is concerned that Malik isn’t good for Ethel and Kevin is happy to see Vanessa acting like Ethel’s “mama bear.” Lip spends the episode investigating Jody, trying to find dirt on him. When he finds out that Jody (chodie, haha) has no skeletons in his closet, Lip sleeps with Mandy. He tries to get Mandy to seduce Jody, but Jody refuses Mandy and then tells Karen. Karen goes to the Gallagher house and kicks the crap out of Lip. She tells him to leave her, Jody, and THE BABY alone. Uh oh. Karen has only been sleeping with Lip, not Jody. Jody is older and can provide. Lip cannot. So that’s why she’s doing it and not because of Jody’s dong. Did you SEE that thing?

Quote of the week: “I never should have f***ed Dotty to death. Coulda made that work.” –Frank

Episode grade: A-

Once Upon a Time - Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

Storybrooke, Maine: Sidney goes to Emma with the news that Regina had him fired from the paper. He wants revenge on Regina for that and for making him look like a fool in the election for sheriff. He tells Emma that Regina has stolen $50k from the town. Emma and Sidney break into Regina’s office and find evidence that Emma deems “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Fruit of the poisonous tree, in legal terms, refers to “the principle that prohibits the use of secondary evidence in trial that was culled directly from primary evidence derived from an illegal search and seizure.” So, no Emma. The stuff you found in Regina’s house wasn’t the fruit. It was the tree. Don’t worry. Lots of real cops don’t know the rules of criminal procedure either. The non-law schooler knew what you meant though, Emma, so don't feel too bad. Plus, we get what the showrunners were getting at (what with Regina being the Evil Queen and all).

Be it fruit or tree, Emma can’t use it against Regina in court, but she CAN go to a town meeting and brandish it about so that Regina will be discredited in the residents’ eyes. Emma ends up looking like an idiot when Regina admits that she used the money to buy land from Mr. Gold to build a new playground for the town’s children. Regina threatens to get a restraining order in light of the break-in, so Emma needs to stay away from Henry for a while. She can still contact Henry on the walkie-talkies though. We like that Emma got slammed for breaking into Regina’s office. We like that she knows she acted like a bad guy there, because she did. We didn’t like seeing it. Emma and Sidney meet in the diner and talk about their new alliance. Then the show cuts to Sidney meeting Regina and discussing their alliance. They’ve been tricking Emma together THE WHOLE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ugh, we know, show.

Dear Once Upon a Time: You are so much better than this. As a family-friendly, fantasy show, you have been cleverer and we are going to hold you to that standard. We are supremely irritated at the Sidney set-up. We knew he was lying the whole time, and yet Emma had no idea. This is the same Emma who keeps talking about how she has a superpower where she knows when people are lying to her. Was this just a bluff that she uses on little kids? Because we thought that was factual information. If so, that's fine, but we need that made obvious to the audience. We really hope that Emma is wise to Sidney’s intentions and just playing along, because that would actually make sense and fit the rest of the episodes where Emma is street smart and cynical. This episode, Emma was not only dishonest, she was confusing. Consistency, people.

In the fairytale world, King Leopold, Snow’s father and Evil Queen’s husband, finds a magic lamp. He rubs it and a Genie comes out. The Genie of Agrabah is Sidney/the Magic Mirror and he’s wearing the most ridiculous outfit. Ladies and Gentleman, Gus of Breaking Bad is no longer scary. All it took was one crazy genie outfit. The king says that he has no wishes, because he has everything he wants. This makes us like him and simultaneously roll our eyes. There are no people like that! Especially rich people with power! The king wishes the genie free and uses his second wish to give Genie his third wish. Genie says he will never use that wish, because he has granted 1,001 wishes and has seen them all go badly, in the end.

The King lets Genie chill in his pad and holds a party where he tells Snow she’s everything to him or something. He also waxes on about his dead wife, who was just as beautiful as Snow. We instantly stop liking the king, because anything that happens to him is what he deserves after such stupidity. Evil Queen was IN THE ROOM. You don’t keep talking about your gorgeous dead wife, who you still love, right in front of your new one. It’s just not smart. Genie takes one look at Evil Queen and decides she’s the love of his life. He gives her a mirror and says that she is the fairest in the land. The queen writes in her diary about her new gift and how a new flame has renewed her hope in love. Girl, come on. Neither of these men are hot.

The King reads the Queen’s diary. Well, that’s a violation. He’s the worst. We don’t get how the king could be so content and Buddha-like and yet be such an ass in his personal life. He doesn’t seem to love the queen at all, but he’s upset that someone might steal her from him. The King shows Genie the diary and asks for Genie’s help in finding the queen’s new paramour. He also locks Evil Queen in her rooms so that she can’t see this guy anymore. Controlling creeper. We really did not enjoy the writing for King Leopold.

The Evil Queen’s father brings Genie a locked box and tells him to bring it to the queen. Genie does and the Evil Queen unlocks the box. It contains the snake of Agrabah. Or snakes. We don’t know. There were two heads, but it could have been two-headed. It was super fake looking, in any case. These snakes can kill with a single bite, like lots of poisonous snakes, so we’re not impressed. The Queen pretends that she is going to let the snakes bite her, but Genie stops and her says they should kill the king with the snake(s?) instead.

Genie brings the snake to the King’s room at night and puts them in his bed. The king is bitten and wakes up. The Genie confesses to the dying king that he is the queen’s new man. The king looks pretty shocked, and even though we don’t particularly like Snow’s father by now, we are scandalized at this betrayal. You don’t KILL the man who freed you. You may steal his wife, for true love’s sake, but kill him? That’s cold. The king says, “You were right. I never should have made a wish.” Way to hammer it home, show. We got that when it was foreshadowed in the first five minutes.

Too late, Genie figures out that the queen only needed him to pin the king’s murder on, and she does not love him. The genie doesn’t care that she doesn’t love him and uses his wish to be with her forever and always look upon her face. Wish granted. He is now trapped in the queen’s mirror. Dude, 1,0001 wishes later, and you still don’t know that you have to make wishes specific?

Also, the stranger has Henry’s Once Upon a Time book and when he held it up in the show’s final minutes, his face held a mixture of awe and…nausea? We don’t know, but the expression made us think that he has some clue of the book’s significance. Did he write the book? What is the stranger doing here? He’s not killing an Arab, so what? In other news, David and Mary Margaret are still canoodling, unmolested by the queen.

We didn’t like this episode. We did think it was cool how the show had a new twist on the Genie plotline and how everything fit together, but it hardly makes any sense at all that Sidney would still be in love with the queen in the fairytale world after what she did. In previous episodes, it looked like Genie and the queen still had a good relationship, or at least a working relationship. You would think there would at least be some awkwardness between them after all that drama. The double-cross thing is lame and Snow's father evoked no sympathy. 

Episode grade: C

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The death of Butterface and other happenings on TV this week

Shameless - I’ll Light a Candle for You Every Day

Fiona’s moral compass is off this week, and she sleeps with a married crush from her high school days. He's played by Taylor Kinney from The Vampire Diaries (Uncle Mason), so we can't really blame her. Even Lady Gaga had to get a piece of that action. However, that is the ONLY time you will see us excusing adultery. It's not like Fiona has any role models at all. Fiona also finds a purse left on the train with five hundred bucks in it. Because the purse is designer and real, Fiona assumes that it belongs to a rich woman and decides to keep the money and spend it. Then Fiona finds out that the woman who owned the purse is poor, with children, and from Fiona’s neighborhood. Fiona busts her butt at work and makes the money back so that she can return it to the woman. When she tries, the woman accuses her of stealing it in the first place and the two get into a fight. Fiona walks away, her attempt at being nice ruined. She then calls Steve, just to say hi. We see him, in paradise, getting a blow job. So sad.

Frank gets Butterface to agree to marry him so that he can get her pension money when she dies. When she is in the shower, Frank intercepts a call from the hospital offering her a heart and tells the hospital that she has passed away. When Butterface hears that there was a heart she missed, she offers Frank money to sleep with her so that she will die. Any redeeming quality Frank ever had is negated by this storyline, and we are surprised the show had him do anything as horrible as killing Dottie. This makes sleeping with his son’s girlfriend and surrogate daughter seem like nothing.

Debbie becomes obsessed with death, Kevin thinks about buying the bar even though Veronica doesn’t think he can handle it, Lip meets with a soldier to get information for Ian about West Point, and Jody asks Karen to marry him. Poor Lip. Overall, this week was a little sad, but still funny. We’re glad that we finally saw Steve and we hope he’s back in Fiona’s life soon. The plot with Fiona’s high school crush was funny, mostly because he ended up being so comically bad at sex. We think Fiona learned her lesson.
Episode grade: B

Being Human - Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

Nora, transformed into a werewolf, kills Heggeman, much to Leeard’s joy, because she’s been hating Heggeman for a while. Daughter turns out to be named Suren. Lame. We had hoped her name would just be Daughter. Aiden digs her up from her grave and she is one ugly puppy for a few hours. Aidan feeds Suren willing people until she regains her strength and her looks. And hey! Look! It’s Sierra from Dollhouse. Nice. We think she’s pretty cool-looking. Aidan suggests that they get a vampire police officer to assist them, but Suren takes a human police officer named Cecelia off the street. Believing that one of their own sires, rather than one of Bishop’s would be more loyal, Suren asks Aidan to turn Cecilia, fully knowing that Aidan is trying not to eat humans. He refuses and Suren turns Cecilia.

Sally’s plot was the weirdest this week. She didn’t like the experience of sleeping while dead, because of the nightmare she had. She has Stevie and his friends Dylan and Boner over to the house. The best line of the episode was when someone said that a ghost hadn’t moved on because he hadn’t seen Scarface. Ha. You know Ern hasn’t seen Scarface? Now that Nora is a werewolf, she can see Sally. Josh tries to get Nora to live normally and forget about her miscarriage and lycanthropy. The two go to a first-year med student mixer, where Nora gets drunk and almost spills all her bad news to the partygoers.  Josh decides to drop out of medical school and look for a cure for lycanthropy. Yeah…good luck with that. We feel so bad for Nora, but we like seeing Josh trying to take care of her and make little jokes. It’s endearing.

Sally and her ghost boys go to a party where Sally finds out that ghosts can possess living people’s bodies if those people are either willing or not in their right minds. The young people at the party were drinking, so they were ripe for possession. After a few botched attempts, Sally is able to possess a girl and heads right to the snack table. That’s the first thing we would do too, girl. Sally is happy that she is able to feel and taste, until Dylan pretty much tries to rape her right in the middle of the party. Stevie pulls both Sally and Dylan out of the bodies in order to help Sally, and then Stevie annihilates Dylan. That’s the best word for it, really. Stevie permanently destroys Dylan, causing him to disintegrate. Sally is upset and afraid that ghosts can destroy each other. Nora tells Sally that it’s better to know what you are capable of and it is revealed that she remembers killing Heggeman.
Episode grade: B+

Justified - Cut Ties
This wasn’t the best episode of this show, but it wasn’t bad either. Raylan and a Marshall he used to know, played by Carla Gugino, spent the episode trying to protect someone in the witness protection program. Art steps out from behind his desk to help. It was pretty cool to see Art out and about. We generally don’t like him because of how he hates Raylan, but he was competent and charismatic in this episode. There was a little mystery as to who got one witness killed in the first place and it was fun to see that unravel.

Raylan realizes that Boyd wanted to go to prison so he starts trying to get Boyd out by recanting his statement about the fight. Through hard work, Boyd is able to get alone with Dickie so that he can threaten him and find out the location of all the Bennett money. Dickie reveals that Mags gave all her money to Limehouse, a mob guy/crime lord in Harlan County. Yep, that’s gonna be important later. This episode was filler, but Justified filler is still pretty entertaining. Everything we’ve written about this show has been really short because all we ever want to say is, “Good dialogue.”
Episode grade: B-

Gossip Girl - The Father and the Bride
It’s time for this wedding already. All this lead-up is driving us crazy. They’ve been talking about this Blair wedding forever. We need to see her in the dress, see the ceremony, and then have her take off with Chuck or something. If the wedding actually goes through to the “I do’s,” we will be surprised, but we won’t be pleased. This week was the bachelorette party and Beatrice conspired to get Blair really drunk so that Blair would say something that Beatrice could use to stop the wedding. Beatrice was scheming with her cousin, the priest. A priest scheming to get a young girl really drunk just sounds wrong. Beatrice has a change of heart though, and the priest is forced to choose Louis’ mother as his new partner in his “stop the wedding” conspiracy. All this would be intense if anyone really wanted this wedding to happen anyway. Hilariously, Blair’s bachelorette party ends in her brief arrest for having a doobie in her mouth. That scene was great work from Meester, who really can be funny given the right material.

Nate, Serena, and Gossip Girl get together to find out that Trip was the one responsible for the car accident. Trip was just trying to ruin Nate’s night. He didn’t actually want to kill or seriously injure anyone. But Trip’s life is over now and we don’t care. The only time we even remember that guy is when the show brings him up. We’re not even sure if his name is spelled with one or two “p’s” and we’re not going to look it up. Serena still has feelings for Dan and asks him to keep up their fake relationship, for Blair’s sake, even though Blair told Serena that they could stop pretending. Dan wrote Louis’ vows for him, and Blair saw them and thought that Louis really understood her or something. This made her more sure of her decision to marry Louis. Good grief. What a circus. But we are really like the plotline where Serena is trying to win Dan back just as he’s trying to ditch her in order to help his writing career.
Episode grade: B-

Parks and Recreation - Bowling for Votes
Ben and Leslie hold a focus group where one man doesn’t like Leslie, because she doesn’t seem like someone he would like to bowl with. Leslie freaks out, invites this man (anonymously) to a bowling party soon after and proceeds to try to win him over. It doesn’t work, because this man is obviously a douche. He calls Leslie a bitch and Ben punches him. In a press conference, Leslie stands by Ben and this causes the people in her next focus group to like Leslie a lot.

Meanwhile, April, Chris, Andy, Jerry, Donna, and Ron try to raise funds for the campaign. Chris and Jerry make it into a competition which April is determined to win so that she can ruin Chris’ happiness. April shows Chris kindness after Millie dumps him. It’s so funny to see April try to be sweet. We are kind of feeling Chris and Ann again. Anyone else? This episode was cute and funny, as usual. Both plots worked for us and were equally funny.
Episode grade: A