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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blog Update

We've only let the poll go for half a day, but the results are pretty conclusive, haha.

We have decided to post whatever we want, relating to entertainment, on Mondays. There might even be multiple posts, but they will all go up on Monday, so you know when to look for new information. If there's a particularly awesome season finale or something, heck, there may even be a recap.

Thanks for understanding :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Goodbye all! (possibly)

After a year and a half of blogging about TV nearly every day, it pains us to say we must stop. As fun as it is, stupid real life is upon us, and we realized something has to go. We are about to graduate and get real jobs and take big tests and stuff. We knew this day would come, but you probably didn't. Sorry about that. 

Anyway. Thanks for reading and happy watching

Updated: Okay, we're considering blogging once or twice a week, incorporating all of the shows we watch/want to comment on in those posts. Vote in the poll or comment, and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Voice - Blind Auditions Part 3

Let's get right into the performances.

Sarah Golden - We like when they do the shadowy “what do they look like?!!” thing with the audience. In Sarah’s case, the first question was “is it a man or is it a woman?” We decide it’s a man, and then the man says, “Record labels told me that I needed a different look.” Then we decided it was a woman. Record labels let uggo guys sings all the time. With girls, it’s practically unheard of. Decent voice. Not a favorite though. We like her as a person and her demeanor. We don’t know if her folk voice fit Lady Gaga’s power pop though. We really need to hear her sing something else. We will get to, because she advanced to Team Cee Lo.

Elley Duhe - Spell your child’s name right, people. This girl is 19 and quit HIGH SCHOOL. She did it with her parent’s approval to focus on music, even though she a) does not have Lea Michele’s voice and b) does not look like Britney Spears. Those are the only two things that would make dropping out of high school a good idea. She’s not good enough to do that. Fantastic job, parents. Good range, but an unpleasant tone and pitchy notes killed it. She had a good attitude too. She WAS humble and gracious. Her last note WAS good. But in the end, it was not enough and she was sent home.

Pip - Can we get a last name? Pip wears a bowtie to audition, so we like him already. He’s into musical theater, so that explains the wardrobe. All musical theater people are freaking hipsters. He’s adorable, but his voice might be too Broadway. We’d like to see him sing something besides "House of the Rising Sun". His voice could be good with a song that fit it. Really, after Haley Reinhart did "House of the Rising Sun" on Idol, no one should try it again. That version was unbeatable. All four judges turn around, but Adam ends up with Pip.

Erin Willett - Sob story alert! Dying father. We love her relationship with her father though. We also love her attitude about it. “One day he won’t be here; but today’s not that day.” Great voice, but it’s not very unique. One of us hates the song she picked though ("I Want You Back") and we both don’t think she’ll make it far. We got to see the dad tear up a little in happiness. Is this show trying to kill us? Blake picks her, and we are so happy, especially for the dad.

David Grace - College football player and coach?!! Hot. You know what’s not hot? That facial hair. This guy did a boring rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama", but at least he could play guitar. Blake makes a good point that just because they are country doesn’t mean he is going to pick them. They have to be just as good as the mainstream artists. This guy slid up to his notes too much and that hit the judges the wrong way. We agree and are glad he didn’t get picked.

Katrina Parker - Making us watch the audition invitation delivery was lame. She has a sob story too, and it involves mold. She has a little of that ADELE sound, only she is nowhere near as good as ADELE. She slid up to notes too, but Adam liked that she was “different” and turned his chair around, so she will advance on his team. Cee Lo hit on her. We love you Cee Lo, you weird effer.

Geoff McBride - This 51-year-old seems like a cool guy, but maybe that’s just the sunglasses he has to wear. He also used to kickbox and has his own sob story about his dead dad. Also, he has kids, so double whammy for those at home rooting for people over voices. Still, at this point we were getting sick of the sob stories and were waiting for a powerhouse voice or something we would download. You really can’t beat Erin’s cancer dad tonight. Geoff sings and  doesn’t sound very modern (he’s singing Stevie Wonder, so that might have been a factor), but he can sing. Christina pushed her button first. It was at this point we started to hate when the judges would holler at other judges to push their buttons. They think it’s good, but it’s not their taste, so they try to pawn people off on their co-judges. Stop it. If they are good, push your own button. Cee Lo must have heard us muttering at the TV, because he stopped trying to get Adam to turn around and just pushed his own button. This guy does have great energy, Christina. He goes with Christina.

Erin Martin - This is our second “Erin” of the night. “Erin” is a stupid name, haha. She is fantastically gorgeous and used to model. Even the crazy, awful hair she had didn’t ruin her. We were nervous about this one at first. She said that labels have told her that she needs coaching. Also, someone who has only been singing for two or three years makes us question their ability. With singing, you usually start in your teens or as a child, or you just don’t have it. It’s not a talent that hides itself. She gets picked early by Blake Shelton and Cee Lo who are probably delighted to see her. She has a raspy, Macy Grey thing going, but it’s pleasant, unique, on key, cute, and fit her song ("Hey There Delilah") perfectly. It’s like Macy mixed with Regina Spektor. Cee Lo hit on her. You know, she doesn’t have a great, showstopping voice, but it’s weird enough that we like her. She seems really fun. We kind of think she is lying about only singing for two or three years though. She goes with Team Cee Lo.

James Massone - This guy’s job SUCKS. He's from Boston though, so Leeard loves him already. We get yet another sob story. James’ friends were shot in a recording studio or something. He tells us that “you never know when it’s gonna be your last day.” Thanks for the memo, Oprah. He sounds like Zac Efron or something, and not in a good way. He sounds 12 years old. The judges think that equals cash money with the pre-teens, so three of them turn around. We raised our eyebrows. This guy is borderline bad. This is the first time this season that the judges picked a dud, in our opinions. Talk about pitchy. Talk about whiny. Bleck. He joins Cee Lo’s team. We guess we are happy to see him succeed, because he cried and he’s sort of sweet. He’s 23. Man, that voice is never gonna drop is it? Was this boy castrated?

Winter Rae - Parents, if you name your child Winter, she will end up with short, blue hair, cut in the most unattractive style possible. She will also have tattoos and work in a bowling alley. You have been warned. (If you name your kid “Summer,” the opposite will happen and she will be even more unbearable. Probably a blond, generic cheerleader who is mean to you.) She looks scary but she sings R&B, not rock. She’s friends with Perez Hilton. That’s probably how she got on this show. She is white, but she does not sound white. Her tone is thin. Lea Michele’s version of "Take a Bow" was much better. Winter did not get picked, but at least The Voice got a Perez Hilton guest appearance out of this woman. Adam gives Winter a speech about how they all were once rejected and how she should never give up. Blake tells her that her hair is cool. It’s not, Blake. Crazy hair is only cool if it makes you look better.

Chris Cauley - Sorry, bro, but Bruno Mars has the silkiest voice on "Grenade", and yours just didn’t measure up. His version of "Grenade" was also a little too toned-down. We think the comparison and song choice hurt him in the beginning, but two judges finally realized that the voice was good in itself and pushed their buttons. He joins team Adam, but in order for us to like him, he is going to need to bring us something a little less snooze-inducing. It was nice, but we don’t need someone to sing us to sleep like little snug babies. We need someone to knock our socks off. That still hasn’t happened in this episode.

The judges then pick three people who don’t get a chance to sing their whole songs. This is a blessing, considering one of them was an “M.C.” who sang “Let’s Get it Started.” Christina picked him, because she’s insane.

Jordis Unga - This girl has a Swedish mom and Tongan dad and is probably asked, “What race are you?” on a day-to-day basis. Or she would be, if people were way ruder than they are. She gets the last laugh, because she's great-looking. We liked her emotion and her spot-on Christina Aguilera impression, but we weren’t that impressed. She can certainly holler and the first two lines of the song were pretty. She has a great voice underneath her raspy style. She does squats when she sings, which is interesting. She goes with Blake.

We love when Cee Lo is shown holding his cat. We think everyone does.
Christina Millian, you still exist?
Blake: “Even Christina’s smilin’ and she never smiles.” Christina: “**** you!” Haha

Smash: The Callback recap/review

Bad news, guys. The Smash ratings dropped a LOT for episode two. What is wrong with people? This show is great. It probably won’t appeal to too many straight guys, but every musical-loving girl in America should be watching and are apparently not. Ugh. The show deserves more for writing really decent songs, having a stellar cast, and moving the plot along at 90 miles-per-hours. They already cast Marilyn, for heaven’s sake!

The episode opens with Kat McPhee doing a pretty rendition of “Call Me,” a song that’s not really supposed to be pretty. That song is supposed to be sung with personality, and it’s not really a good song to cover anyway. The song is happening in Karen’s imagination as she performs her waitressing duties, badly. She wishes the audition people would just “call me.” Ugh. The episode gets better guys, don’t worry.

The showrunners are meeting, while Tom’s assistant, Ellis, eavesdrops at the door. Julia still hates him. Tom wants Ivy, because she has the experience, looks like Marilyn, and is a great performer. Also, he’s friends with her. A few of the others like Karen because she is “fresh,” “innocent,” and “feels like Marilyn.”  Karen and Ivy are called back again. Karen has to prove that she can dance, so Derek is teaching her the choreography to a fast-paced number. For some reason, everyone in this episode keeps saying that Karen can dance. This scene makes us question that. Even when she learns the dance properly and does a good job, we are underwhelmed. She doesn’t really move with charisma.

Ivy shows up and sees Karen. Ivy utters a diss veiled as a compliment, and we get the idea that this show is going to start making Ivy a little more unlikeable. We don’t like this, because it’s generic. It was better when we liked Ivy and Karen equally. The show continues to ruin this by having Ivy bang Derek. We hope she had sex with him because she wanted to and because he is good-looking, but we think she did it partly to secure the part of Marilyn. Ivy, you were good enough to get it without that. Karen was bad at reading lines and Ivy can act. We hope the show doesn’t make Ivy into a slutty villain. It comes across like a morality tale.

Julia and her husband, Frank, are told that they have to wait two years to get a child from China. Mr. Julia is upset and says that by the time this kid is 18, he will be 65. He wavers on their decision to adopt. Their teenage son hears the wavering and gets upset. He tells his mom, “Ever since I was little, you told me I’d be getting a little brother or sister. My sister is in China, you said, and we have to go get her. She’s waiting for us. What’s going to happen to her if we don’t get her?” Good point, kid. The kid will still exist even if you are too lazy to acquire her.

When you’ve made the decision to adopt a child, it’s kind of crappy to throw in the towel just because it doesn’t fit perfectly with your perfect rich life and perfect rich timing. JEEZ. These people don’t even have to work! They can just sit at home and work on their adoption process. Most people continue with their lives while they complete this process. That whole thing sort of made us hate Frank a little, even if we still love the Broadway vet who plays him. When you hear him sing, his purpose on the show will be explained, we predict. Still, we laughed pretty hard when Julia acted turned on by him. No way. He looks like a caveman.

Eileen has a nasty run-in with her husband and his freakishly young, blond wife. Eileen wins this week, because Derek decides to do Marilyn with Eileen rather than My Fair Lady with Jerry, who has recently acquired enough money to continue with that show. Soon, it’s time for the final audition. Karen is coming from a hard night, because she missed her boyfriend’s important business dinner in order to spend more time working with Derek. Dev yelled at her. Still, Karen kills her rendition of “20thCentury Fox Mambo,” dancing and all. Halfway through the number, Karen is transformed into Marilyn. After seeing Ivy pulling it off last week in the baseball number, we are appalled that Karen is even an option. Stop trying to make Karen happen. It isn't going to happen. 

Even dressed up, Karen looks nothing like Marilyn. She can do Norma Jean and all-American innocence, but she’s one of the worst picks for Marilyn Monroe we’ve ever seen. It pains us to say that, because one of us loves Kat McPhee a LOT. She did a good job in the song, but she is clearly not the right choice. The showrunners see that as well and pick Ivy. The way she finds out slightly redeems her character after her actions this week. Ivy sings Crazy Dreams at a cabaret club. It’s a sweet song and Ivy’s voice is great, but this song didn’t really end the episode on a strong note. It was sappy. We get a shot of Karen lying on the couch, looking sad. We know the showrunners aren’t done with her yet. There are other parts in the play and they mentioned that she is “one to watch.”

Thank you, show, for being credible and picking the right girl for the lead. We are surprised and pleased. Oh! One more thing- That letter Julia wrote to the birthmother was just about the greatest thing you could ever write at one of those meetings. That bodes well for the dialogue in Marilyn. We also like that Julia and Tom have decided to make the musical less chronological. We like the theory that they are going to have Karen play Norma Jean (Marilyn before she was famous) and Ivy play Marilyn Monroe in all her glory. You know, the version all the drag queens imitate. It could still happen. None of the songs were amazing this week, but this is still a worthwhile show that we will continue to watch.

Episode grade: B

Pretty Little Liars - Ctrl: A recap/review

Aria meets Vivian’s “friend” in a restaurant. The rest of the Liars watch from an adjacent table. The friend is “Jonah,” a nerd who used to work for a cellphone company. Alison had Jonah try to track down A. Alison vanished before paying Jonah and he was fired from his job. Jonah knows who A is, but won’t tell the girls until they pay him what Alison owed: $2,000.

Meanwhile, A goes after Caleb, hard. Garrett and Detective Wilden seize Caleb’s laptop, which A stuffed with stolen school records. Hanna guesses Caleb’s password (the date they first had sex, which Caleb was cagey about, but which we totally guessed) and remotely deletes all the files on Caleb’s computer while he is being questioned. Caleb gets out and sees Hanna waiting outside the station for him. This recap isn’t doing that plot justice, because it was actually exciting, intense, and super-adorable. We love this couple! This is officially the first couple on this show that we really, truly care about.

Emily wins a swimming competition, and Ashley Marin throws the whole team a party. Maya is threatened by Emily’s dedication to her teammates and is also going through a hard time, because her parents found a joint in her room. Maya tells Emily it’s an old one, but her parents don’t believe her and want to send her back to True North. Emily catches Maya smoking a new doobie and the two fight. Maya tells Emily that she’s going to run away to San Francisco and stay with some friends. Maya invites Emily, who turns Maya down, because Emily is not crazy. Also because Maya is the worst.

Byron gets a note from A (a parent got a note from A!!!) telling him to go to a French, vegan cafĂ© to find his daughter. Detective Wilden has a photo of the Liars dressed up as candy stripers, standing outside the hospital morgue. Since a page of Alison’s autopsy went missing that day, this doesn’t make the girls look good. Fortunately, Hanna comes up with a quick excuse to tell her mom.

Aria has a good plot this week. She ditches Ezra in order to go with Holden to his secret fight club. This is lucky, because Byron doesn’t catch her and Ezra together. Holden does karate, secretly. His parents don’t want him fighting people, because he was born with an abdominal aortic aneurysm (heart problems). Holden tells Aria that he could die doing anything and that his life will probably be short, so he wants to live it to the fullest. Aria clearly draws a parallel to her relationship with Ezra and ruins the nice sentiment.

Holden does well in the fight, but we scoffed at how much spinning his opponent did in the sparring match. You would never spin around like that in a real sparring match against a trained opponent. It’s douche-y and liable to get you hit in the back of the head. No one does that.

Finally, Spencer (who looked extra-pretty this week) is basically living with Aria and doesn’t want to go home, because her family is full of liars. Jason thinks that Alison was using her knowledge of Jason’s paternity to blackmail. Spencer straight-up asks her father if this is what was going on, and he denies it, convincingly. Spencer tells Jason that he’s wrong. Jason blows up at Spencer, but later accepts the truth. He says that they are always at odds because they have the “same wiring.” It’s sweet. Spencer tells Jason that someone was threatening Ali and that Ali figured out who. Spencer has an idea for how to find out. Spencer asks Jason to trust her…$2,000 worth.

Frankly, this episode had it all. Plot progression, heart, romance, suspense, a fight club, answers, creepers, and Maya probably leaving the show! We will know who A is soon! Until then, if this is filler, it’s the best filler around.

Episode grade: A+

How I Met Your Mother - The Drunk Train recap/review

We think we can all agree that the drunk train portions of the evening were the funniest and that we like Quinn. She is played by that amazing Ugly Betty vet, Becki Newton, whose character on that show always brought the laughs and style. Quinn is the same, only she’s smart too! Yay! We didn’t like the twist at the end, but there were a couple of genuinely funny moments, which is more than last episode had.

The episode started with penis jokes. Always a win with the CBS audience. Ba-dum-ching. Barney tells the group that Ted forced him to spend an evening on a double date, so Ted owes him (Barney suggests participation in a laser tag tournament as repayment). Barney’s date was Quinn, a  girl who would not sleep with Barney. He tried to convince this girl, Quinn, that he had EPS (Enormous Penis Syndrome).

Quinn plays along and Barney thinks it’s going well until Quinn tells him that she’s suffering from her own condition:  I’m Not a Gullible Dumbass Disorder. Nora 2.0 only funnier! Back in the present, Marshall and Lily mention that they have to catch a train back to Long Island before they end up with the last train, which is always full of drunks and sluts. One of us loves late night trains/subways/buses. They're easily the most entertaining.

As soon as Barney hears about this drunk train, he decides Ted should accompany him on a train ride. Lily, Marshall, Kevin, and Robin leave on a Valentine’s weekend couples retreat. Marshall and Lily tell Robin and Kevin that the key to a successful relationship is to never keep score. Of course, Marshall and Lily then spend the whole weekend keeping score and remembering funny/awkward situations where they let each other down and should have owed each other.

We agree with their philosophy that, as long as two people are engaged and trying, you should not keep score in your relationship. This counts with good deeds  as well as mistakes. Just because you clean around the house more, that doesn’t mean the person owes you and picks up the slack. Do stuff because you love someone or want to do it, not because you want to be repaid, because you want to feel self-righteous, or because you are trying to get leverage/rack up points.

Kevin and Robin quickly become annoyed with the other couple and retreat to their hotel room where Kevin proposes. Robin tells Kevin that she needs time to think about it. Kevin agrees to give her that time. Points for not freaking out, Kev. Robin tells Lily and Marshall that she’s been keeping something from Kevin. Is she going to tell Kev that she cheated on him with Barney?!!! No, because Robin is, apparently, a complete jerk. Her worry is that Kevin doesn’t know she’s infertile. Umm, we think the cheating thing needs to come out before you marry the guy, Robin, but that’s just us.

Robin tells Kevin she can’t have children and he proposes again. She accepts and they hug. Later though, Kevin suggests adoption and Robin makes it clear that she doesn’t even want children. In yet another conversation, Robin tells Kevin that if he marries her, he needs to be 100% sure that he is ok with never having kids. Kevin un-proposes. Poor Robin, but we’re not really sad about this relationship ending. Kevin never totally fit in and the cheating killed it. We’ve both shipped Barney/Robin, but that might have ended in this episode….

Because, meanwhile, Ted and Barney are riding the drunk train. Their first attempt goes badly. They first fall asleep and then have no luck with the sluts, who keep yelling, “You think you’re betta than me?!” and throwing their drinks on the men. Barney sadly recalls how Quinn summarized his life and then gutted it during the double date. She told him that he usually ends up going to strip clubs, where he is lonely, he always wears a suit, and he is trying to convince himself that his sad life is “legendary.” Barney asks her if she practices the dark arts. No, she’s just made of awesome.

Ted is fed up with his long, unfortunate search for The One. We are too, Ted. We’ve been along for the whole ride and suffered through all the red herrings as well. The next day, Ted and Barney realize that they need to be drunk to enjoy the drunk train. DUH. This works and they nearly pick up two sluts. They don’t take them home though. Barney can’t stop thinking about Quinn. Quinn turns out to be a stripper at Barney’s favorite club. Whoa! Did not see that coming. This girl has layers. How many smart strippers have ever been on TV? The best part? Barney doesn't know Quinn is a stripper yet.

Ted returns to find Robin and listens to her spill about Kevin. Ted tells Robin that missing out on kids wouldn’t matter to him (UM, you have kids in the future, Ted, not that you know that yet), and then he tells Robin that he loves her. Are you serious, show?!! You’re doing this to us AGAIN? If so, the show had better give us something original in order for us to have a reason to a watch a relationship we’ve a) already seen, b) don’t care about, and c) know won’t work out. Love for Becki Newton has made one of us stop hoping Barney and Robin stop being morons and love each other. One of us hopes Quinn is his bride.

Episode grade: B-

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shameless - Can I Have a Mother? Recap/Review

This episode marks the return of Frank’s mother, Peggy Gallagher, and she seems to be a worse parent even than Frank. Oh, don’t worry. This episode doesn’t excuse Frank’s behavior or make you feel sorry for the man. He’s still hilariously despicable and worth laughing at. But we do get to see why Frank is the way he is. So…Peggy. Well, she used to run a meth lab until it blew up and killed people. She spent twelve years in prison and was released early because the government decided she was going to die soon anyway. She has the mouth of a sailor, the racism of lots of grandparents these days, and makes it no secret that she dislikes Frank. When Frank tries to tell Peggy how his kids are doing, Peggy says the topic does not interest her.

Frank spends the episode trying to convince Sheila to put him in charge of Eddy’s trust. Sheila refuses, because Frank is an alcoholic who wets her bed. Frank’s mother pays Sheila a visit with Frank. While Sheila is her usually sweet-but-batty self, Peggy yells that Frank made a bad choice in choosing to bone Sheila. “I’d rather nail a hooker down on Wacker.” Frank does not defend Sheila, who yells for Peggy to get out. Peggy pays a visit to a plastic surgeon who used to cook meth with Sheila. He has some of the meth money.

Sheila threatens the plastic surgeon with the possibility of revealing his past to his family. When the doctor refuses to give her the meth money, Peggy tracks down the doctor’s little girls in order to kidnap them. Frank goes to the doctor to warn him, and the doctor gives Frank money, but it’s a lot less than Peggy wanted. Frank goes to Peggy with the money and she is angry that it is so little. Peggy deduces that Frank kept some of the cash, so she sticks a screwdriver in Frank’s leg and makes him cough it up.

Meanwhile, Fiona finds out that Steve married the little South American tart he hauled home with him. Fiona and Steve go on a double date with said tart and Adam. Steve explains to Fiona that his marriage is just for immigration purposes and to appease a South American druglord he offended: the girl’s father. Steve and Fiona fool around in the restaurant bathroom. Adam is no dummy and realizes what they have done when they come back to the table. He dumps Fiona and leaves, telling her that he had never explained that while on a date with him, he did not like other girls to have sex with other men in the bathroom. With a  Gallagher, he really should have made that clearer. Poor guy.

Sheila throws Karen and Jody a wedding reception. Lip shows up, drunk and uninvited. He and Ian are still on the outs, by the way. It looks like Karen momentarily reconsiders her decision to be with Jody, half-jokingly suggesting to Lip that they run away together or something. Lip tells Karen that he wants her to get an abortion and she slaps him. Sheila gets drunk and gives a horrible toast where she mentions Karen sleeping with Frank. Peggy and Sheila get into a fight which ends with Peggy whipping out a handgun. Steve (yes, everyone is at this party) grabs the gun in time to stop anyone from getting hurt. Frank calls the cops on his mother, but Officer Tony waves them away when they arrive. Peggy is in the clear.

That night, while his mother sleeps, Frank points a gun at her head, and we actually wonder if he will pull the trigger. He does not. The next morning, Debbie tells Fiona that Steve’s real name is Jimmy and that his parents live on Lake Shore and think he’s in school. Fiona leaves him a message telling him what to go do to himself (it starts with the letter “f”) and refers to him as Jimmy in the voicemail. Peggy decides to be nice to her grandkids and gives them presents. Fiona gets $500 and a near apology from her grandmother for sucking as a relative. Is this the silver lining to a cloudy character or does Peggy have an ulterior motive?

Ethel hears the news of Clyde’s murder from her sister-wives. These women come, all dressed in black like Amish ringwraiths, and tell Ethel that they have hired attorneys to help get Ethel back to their creepy compound. Kev does not like these women, even though Ethel sees them as her family. Ethel hears Kev badmouthing the women to V, calling them “evil,” and is upset. Ethel tells Malik that if she goes back to the compound, she could marry Clyde’s brother, who is much younger than Clyde was. Around 60! Oh man. Malik tells Ethel that she has to think of her child and focus on being independent.

Ethel packs her bags and Kev goes to check on her. Ethel hides her bag and Kev tells Ethel that he is here if she needs to talk. Ethel thanks Kev “for everything” with tears in her eyes. That was super-sweet, but COME ON Kev, clue in! Kev does not intuit that Ethel is leaving. Ethel is gone the next morning and leaves a goodbye note. V and Kev see that Ethel left with his pot stash that he buried in his backyard. Ethel gives the pot stash to Malik, who sells it. Ethel and Malik are running away together with the money! This is so sweet and one of the least messed-up things to ever happen on this show. For Ethel, this is such a healthy decision.

Back at Shelia’s, a letter arrives saying that Eddy left all his money to Karen. Sheila is happy that Eddy was able to express love to his daughter before he died. Frank has a meltdown and yells at Jody for being so lucky as to stumble into the reward, when Frank has been doing overtime sleeping with and coddling Sheila. Sheila finally gets it. She asks Frank to leave. Wow, Frank. A plane falls from the sky and does all your work for you with this woman, and you ruin it with your big mouth? Wow. He goes home and yells at Peggy, trying to oust her from his house. She is unfazed. Fiona and Frank share a beer on the porch. Fiona says, comfortingly, “My parents suck too.” Franks shares a bed with Carl in the van. He wets the bed. Carl complains and Frank says, “Find a dry spot.” Oh, this show.

Steve, why are you so complicated? Ian, why are you still mad at Lip for trying to help you? Lip, why were you mean to Karen? Frank, why did you ruin your own life? Peggy, why won't you leave? Kev, when are you going to have your own kid? Clyde, are you enjoying hell (we hope not, you slimy bastard)? Fiona, NO MORE MARRIED GUYS. Funny and twisted episode, as usual. For once, it wasn't too overstuffed with plots either. 

Episode grade: A-

Once Upon a Time - Skin Deep

Whoa. That’s two underwhelming episodes in a row, show. Sure, there were some great moments, especially near the end with Regina and Gold’s talk, but the rest of this episode was awkward.

Fairytale world: Rumpelstiltskin was apparently the beast in Beauty and the Beast. When Belle’s town is threatened by Ogres, Rumpy makes a deal with Belle’s father, Maurice. If Rumpy can have Belle, he will save the town. Maurice says no, but Belle says yes. Belle becomes Rumpy’s housekeeper who has to sleep in his dungeon. Yeah, his house has a dungeon. We really shouldn’t be surprised. Belle drops a teacup and it chips. It’s Chip. Chip does not come to life and start singing, sadly enough.

The two develop feelings for each other, and Belle just must be the most compassionate person on Earth, because we don’t see how she fell in love with Rumpy. Since it wasn’t well-developed, it just came across as weird and a little messed-up that Belle would fall in love with a guy who is such a jerk to her. Rihanna? Is that you? Well, Rumpy didn’t hit her at least. He did catch her when she fell off a ladder. Still. Stockholm Syndrome is not true love. Rumpy decides to let her go. He sends her to town to get straw, not expecting her to return. If she returns, he promises to tell her the story we saw a few weeks ago of how he lost his son and got all evil.

Belle walks away from his house and meets the Evil Queen on the road. Offff course she does. The Evil Queen tells Belle that evil curses (like the one Rumpy is under) can be broken by true love’s kiss. This sounds nice, but we knew it would go wrong, because the idea came from the Evil Queen. Belle returns to Rumpy with straw, determined to break the curse. She kisses him and it starts to work, but Rumpy freaks out. He thinks she is in league with the queen to take his power and can’t really love him. Rumpy is mean to Belle, trashes his place, and then throws Belle out of his castle. Belle calls him a coward for not being able to believe that someone could love him. These lines almost worked and sucked us into the tragic love story the show was trying to write. However, context ruined the lines.

Later, the Evil Queen visits Rumpy and tells him Belle killed herself after being rejected by her father and locked in a tower. Where there were clergy with whips. Huh? Like a moron, Rumpy believes her. We are almost 100% sure that Belle is still alive, because she is alive in Storybrooke. Regina has her locked in a padded room, hidden in the local hospital. She looks all crazy and sad. Belle was played by Emelie De Ravin, who was better on LOST. Also, her accent didn’t match everyone else’s on this show.

In our world, Maurice is a florist named Moe French. He owes a debt to Mr. Gold, so Gold takes his flower delivery van on Valentine’s Day. That’s gonna hurt business, and Mr. Gold's chances of getting his money back. In revenge, Moe robs Mr. Gold’s place. Emma finds the stuff, but Rumpy says she didn’t find everything. He goes all vigilante, despite Emma’s warnings to leave it to her. Rumpy finds Moe, kidnaps him, beats him with his cane, and questions him, dropping weird hints about why he’s really mad. Emma shows up in time and arrests Gold. Moe is taken to the hospital.

Regina brings Henry to Emma’s office and offers Emma 30 minutes to have ice cream with her son. Regina wants a word alone with Gold. Regina admits that she put Moe up to steal from Gold. She has the missing item and will return it to him in return for his real name. Gold pretends not to know what she is talking about, but finally coughs up “Rumpelstiltskin.” Hmmm, so he knows that he used to live in another world. Not a surprise. Regina gives Gold the cup. In B plot, Sean proposes to Ashley (Cinderella, who we barely remember) at her girls’ night out with Mary Margaret and Ruby (Red Riding Hood). Mary Margaret grows dissatisfied with her wrong, secret relationship with David.

We liked the darker, creepier moments of this show, and Gold’s twistedness. The Gaston thing was funny. This show needs to skew dark, but its characters need to act in ways that actual humans would act. Last time, we got a king with mixed motives and weird, slightly despicable decisions. Here, we have a love story we didn’t buy, even though we love the Beauty and the Beast story. LAZY. This was a missed opportunity, overall, but it was a little better than last week.

Episode grade: C+

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Southland - Identity

Lydia is pregnant and she’s keeping the baby!  We don’t know about this, y’all. So far, it’s touching, but we’re not usually a fan of taking the main female character on a show and impregnating her. It makes stories screech to a halt. The father is yet unknown, but we bet it’s whoever Lydia called at the end of last week’s episode. We know. That tells you nothing. Tang advises Lydia to keep the pregnancy a secret as long as possible so the station doesn’t put her on desk duty.

Lydia is called to investigate the murder of a real estate agent, Brian Monroe. She finds out that Monroe let workers stay upstairs in his house for free. Lydia meets a worker, Melanie, and her daughter, Nicole. Nicole starts fighting with another worker and that worker audibly accuses Nicole of Monroe’s murder. Melanie steps in and confesses to the murder, obviously to save her teenage daughter. Lydia questions Melanie back at the station and finds out that Monroe and Nicole were sleeping together. Melanie and Nicole were living behind a 7-11 when Monroe took them in.

Melanie says that Nicole has always been a troubled child. Nicole has personality disorders as well as ADHD. Nicole’s behavior and the effort it takes to care for her cost Melanie jobs and apartments, but Melanie simply sees all this as a test from God and loves her daughter. It’s really sweet. Meanwhile, Nicole has run away and is on the streets. After evidence leads back to Nicole, Lydia finds and chases her through the street. Nicole cuts Lydia’s arm with a knife, jumps into a truck and tries to drive it away. Nicole hits a squad car that was blocking her exit, and Ruben shoots Nicole in the shoulder.

Nicole cries, saying that she ruined everything, as Lydia arrests her. Weirdly, even though this girl is clearly crazy, we felt bad for her. At the hospital, Nicole confesses to the murder, saying that she caught Monroe sleeping with another worker. Nicole is afraid her mother hates her, says she wants to die, and says that she doesn’t matter. Lydia assures Nicole that her mother loves her and her face lights up when Nicole comes up in conversation. The worker who slept with Monroe tells Lydia that when she has kids, they will be lucky. It’s a nice moment, but that worker is still a ho.

An off-duty Ben chases a guy away from his female neighbor after he sees the guy giving her a hard time. The woman thanks him and a police car pulls up. Ben tells the cops that everything is alright and they leave. The woman says that she hates cops and asks Ben if he heard about the cop who hit a girl for no reason. Ben looks uncomfortable and says, “That’s messed up.” Ben goes to a crime scene and stands with his partner over the dead body of Lupe, a victim who was well-liked in his area. They find the killer later. Sammy tries again to get Ben to move to his neighborhood. We also find out that Tammy has custody of the baby. Ugh.

Next, Ben and Sammy chase a purse snatcher. Sudden movement causes Sammy to pull his gun and shoot. He accidentally shoots a dog. This saddens us greatly. We hate when dogs are hurt or killed on TV and in movies. One of the things we liked about LOST is that they never killed the dog. Ben arrests the suspect while Sammy applies pressure to the dog’s bleeding wound. Sammy yells at the suspect for causing a dog to be shot. Sammy trades two Lakers tickets to get the dog a ride to the animal clinic. Sammy finds out that the dog needs surgery and it will cost $1,300. Sammy is willing to pay when the dog’s owners cannot, and everyone thinks he’s crazy. Watching the other cops make fun of Sammy (especially the card) was great. We also liked seeing Sammy not be a dick for once this season.

Sammy and Ben are called to a community pool where an Asian woman is threatening a man with a knife. She drops the knife when the police tell her too, maintaining that she can kill the guy with her bare hands. Ben notices a little girl floating face-down in the pool, jumps in, grabs the girl, and revives her. We’re not super-sure what happened there. Did the girl nearly drown because everyone was distracted by the fight? Was the fight over the girl? Either way, we like seeing Ben saving children rather than punching them, haha.

Cooper and Tang are asked to remove a homeless man from private property. The man, Tom Smith, is a mentally ill ex-marine who did not have an I.D. and so could not re-enter homeless housing. Tang wants to get Tom an I.D. so that he can go back to this shelter. Tang spends most of the episode on her cell phone trying to get help for Tom, while her partner deals with the other police situations of the day. Even a mangled body, completely dismembered from being hit by a train, cannot distract Tang from her mission to help Tom. There’s some black humor there.

Tang walks around the scene of that crime, screaming into her phone at whatever incompetent person has the nerve to not care about a veteran. We’re pretty sure everyone was won over by Tang in this scene, if there were any hold-outs. We’ve been fans from the start. Tang tells Cooper that her father was a marine. Cooper asks if Tang is going to rescue every marine they come across, which reminds one of us of one of her favorite episodes of The West Wing ("In Excelsis Deo", in case anyone cares). Tang replies, “Never leave a man behind.” Tom’s mental illness  and other obstacles get in the way of Tang’s plan to save him, however, and the two cops are forced to simply move Tom down the street, away from the private property.

This episode was really sad, but it hit all the right notes. This was a strong outing, but we want Cooper and Ben to make up and love each other again.

Episode grade: B+

Justified - The Devil You Know

We feel like this season so far has been more of an ensemble show than a show about our favorite rule-bending, wisecracking cowboy. It seems like all the criminals get way more screen time than Raylan, and we are not liking it. What we do get of Raylan this week was good, but we want more. Watching the mostly idiotic baddies bicker is getting old. We like Limehouse though.

Neal McDonough gets Devil on his side, and Devil tries to get Johnny to turn on Boyd with him. Johnny doesn’t take this deal and ends up shooting Devil in the chest in front of Boyd. Good. One less bad guy to take screen time away from our Hillbilly Whisperer. We did get to see Raylan visit Loretta. He got no information about the Mags money from her though.

Dickey and Dewey escape from prison, and this is pretty funny. Dickie arranges to get the Mags money from Limehouse for Ash. Raylan and Rachel block the way to Limehouse’s area of town so that no drug money can get in or out. Raylan tracks Dickie to a safe house, where he sees Ash in the street. Ash tries to pull his gun and Raylan runs Ash over with his car, twice. Raylan gets on out of the car, questions Ash, and calls an ambulance, all the while teasing Ash. We want more Raylan teasing people!

Ash’s men take Dickie to the Bennett general store where they are not very nice to him. Limehouse saves Dickie, but Dickie finds out that Mag’s money is only $46,000 rather than three million. Dickie refuses the money and tells Limehouse to take it back and increase it. Limehouse agrees in order to honor his original deal with Mags.

We ship Rachel and Limehouse. Not because they are both black, duh. Because they have clear chemistry. This episode was a little slow, despite all the happenings. Again, we chalk it up to the show switching its focus from Raylan to the ne’er-do-wells of the area. We like that Neal is a little scary, Boyd is a little crazy/a little awesome, and Limehouse has a definite good side. But the others can go pound sand. The focus on the villains' set-up may be good for the season overall though. While for one or a few episodes, it tries our patience, we admit it will make things so much better to watch when Raylan takes everyone down.

Episode grade: B-

This week, Happy Endings is great, The Office is ok, and Ringer forces us to drop it by sucking

Happy Endings - The St. Valentine’s Day Maxssacre
This was probably Alex’s finest episode. She was hilarious getting mistaken for a stripper, staying optimistic about love, and reciting all those historical facts about Saint Valentine’s grisly death. They ripped him tip to taint. We weren’t into Dave’s story, especially when it capped off with him missing a threesome. We are getting sick of the whole threesome trope. We did like his middle school email address. Very funny. Brad went to the dentist and got a little too much happy juice. He spent Valentine’s night high, drooling, covered in chocolate, and full of really amusing things to say. He also compared the gang to their respective Friends characters. Comical. Penny gets dumped by a guy she wanted to dump, but she felt like it would be kind to not dump him in the “break-up window.” That’s when a holiday or big personal event crops up and it would be cruel to dump someone. Max finds his ex, Grant, and the two share a kiss. Grant is played by the lead of that really good cancelled show, Lone Star. This episode had so many laughs that we are glad we’re not doing a full recap of it. We’re running out of synonyms for “funny.” It was so droll, you guys.
Episode grade: A

Ringer - What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?
We officially do not care about this show anymore or anyone in it. It moves at a glacial pace. The reveals are not shocking. We don’t care about the characters. The episode titles are immature and try too hard to be clever at the same time. The show doesn’t know if its audience is composed of stupid adults or of teenagers who enjoy watching mostly adults. The episodes are too long. We have six other shows that we watch on Tuesday nights. Its situations are implausible and character motivations are unclear. The show is not entertaining to us. For a while, it seemed to get better, but the long break took its toll on our ability to remember this show was even on. The two episodes, including this one, after the hiatus have only served to bore us to tears. We have much better things to watch and not a whole lot of time, especially since we started posting more and doing longer reviews. We may tune in for the finale, just to see the conclusion of this mess. Better luck next time, SMG and The CW.
Episode grade: F because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The Office - Special Project
The single best scene of this episode was when Dwight was in the conference room, teaching his new team about Florida. It had great small jokes, especially if you are familiar with Florida. We are. Yes, there are too many mosquitoes. This episode was just ok, but it set up some things that will likely pay off later in the season. Like Kathy being after Jim, sexually. What a whooooooore. We know Jim won’t cheat on Pam, but it will be fun to watch Kathy try to get him, only to fail and then get fired. Also, it will be fun to see Dwight and his team in Florida. Lots of people think Dwight plots are weak, but we can’t get enough Dwight. On The Office anyway. We are still unsure about the Dwight spinoff they are considering.
Episode grade: B-