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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscars were boring, but TV was not.

Sunday shows:
Shameless - A Bottle of Jean Nate
We liked the stuff with Kevin and V mourning the loss of Ethel. We were horrified at Jody's sexual habits. When is "Kiss from a Rose" going to catch a break? That's a pretty song. Jasmine is a sketchball, but Fiona sort of did owe her a place to stay. 
Episode grade: B

Once Upon a Time - What Happened to Frederick
The stranger has a name, and it's August. We still miss Graham, but August is growing on us. In fact, his scenes with Emma might have been the highlight of this episode. We also really loved that Abigail/Kathryn has her own love. The evil queen's curse actually did something for Kathryn's happiness! It stopped her from leaving Storybrooke and going to law school. 
Episode grade: B

House of Lies - Bareback Town
We already knew that Marty has no morals, but this episode finally proved it. He threw one of the client's employees (someone he's known for years) under the bus just to keep the client. This will not go over well, since she has a new job with the competitor. We really enjoyed this episode because, though he has proven and will continue to prove that he has no scruples when it comes to his job, he's actually starting to care for the stripper we met in the pilot. He's just such a confusing man. His ex-wife is absolutely insane (or, well, more insane than we already knew) if she thinks that she could get full custody of Roscoe. Not only are you certifiably crazy, you're on the road as much as Marty is, and Roscoe's grandfather takes care of him when Marty isn't around. She probably has some psycho tricks up her sleeve though, not that she's usually wearing shirts when we see her onscreen.
Episode Grade: B+

Monday shows:
Pretty Little Liars - Breaking the Code
We have another couple we like: Wren and Spencer. How adorable are they? He brings out her sexy, drunk, even crazier side. Mona just made a bid to become one of our favorite characters. You can't threaten someone who isn't afraid of the truth. What a freaking bad ass. Mona is a great friend. This episode might have even ended with Maya's death. The show did spoil that there would be a death. We almost got rid of Ezra, who keeps chickening out. Aria has to always put the pieces back together and find a way for them to date. Now Ella is helping them work it out? Ugh. But we still think Ella is the best parent on this show of pretty awesome parents. This episode had some great emotion and is starting to address all the Melissa theorists. That probably means it isn't Melissa, unless they want to reveal A's identity before the finale. Doubt it. 
Episode grade: A

The Lying Game - Not Guilty as Charged
Wow how much does Sutton suck? While there are quite a few times that we enjoy her as a character, most of the time we just wish the tv series had started in the same way as the book series - with Sutton's death. Anyway, Ethan's case was dropped due to insufficient evidence, so that's definitely the last we'll be hearing about that case, right? Ha! Sutton pretended to be Emma and told Ethan that she (Emma) had slept with Thayer when Ethan and Sutton were hiding out on the ranch after Ethan told her (Sutton pretending to be Emma) that he had made out with Sutton but that she doesn't mean anything to him. Ouch, but seriously Sutton - you're the worst. You totally deserved that. Sutton then told Emma that she (Sutton) and Ethan slept together on the ranch. We hate you so, so much Sutton. Mads finally called Sutton out on being basically the world's worst friend, and while that might make a normal person change her ways, this is Sutton we're talking about. Also, Laurel and Baz are heading in the right direction, which we're pretty excited about. Justin is a horrible boyfriend and person, and Laurel deserves so much better, because she's pretty awesome.
Episode Grade: B

Hart of Dixie - Snowflakes & Soulmates
Lemon and George tried to elope, but obviously that wasn't going to happen. Lavon got his parents back together and broke up with Didi, because he's obviously still in love with Lemon. Zoe tried to send some macaroons to her dad in Germany, but found out that he moved back to New York and hasn't tried to contact her. Ouch. She and Brick had a little heart-to-heart about that while Zoe drove him to South Carolina (for Lemon and George's elopement which, again, was never actually going to happen). All in all, a pretty decent episode for this show that one of us likes more than is rational.
Episode Grade: B

Smash - Enter Mr. DiMaggio
Ugh. We almost got a male character involved in the show who was straight and not a douche. But it turns out he slept with a married woman and is being awfully friendly to her now that they are reunited. Julia cheated on her caveman! We like the new character though, and we like how that assistant is turning into a full-on villain. The songs were ok, although we don't know that "Redneck Woman" needed to be covered by this show. At least the rock version of "Grenade" made sense in the plot. 
Episode grade: B

The Voice - Blind Auditions Part 4
The only notable voices in this episode, in our opinion, were Jamie Lono (who sang "Folsom Prison Blues") and Charlotte Sometimes (who sang "Apologize"). Jamie really brought something to "Folsom Prison Blues", and honestly, and version of a Johnny Cash song that doesn't immediately make us go "ugh please stop" is really, really good, because we love Johnny Cash. We're glad he's on Team CeeLo. Charlotte Sometimes a) cannot be her real name and b) reminded us of Xenia a little too, so we're glad she's on Team Blake.
Episode Grade: B

How I Met Your Mother - No Pressure
Shockingly, despite lack of early-season hilarity, we liked this one. Maybe it was the hopeful, smart ending. Maybe it was the inclusion of Florence and the Machine's "Shake It Out." Maybe it was how much we were reminded that Marshall and Ted are such great friends. But, overall, this episode did not leave us annoyed and angry, like the last couple. We wish Marshall had paid up at the end though, since we know Robin isn't the mother.
Episode grade: B

Being Human - "Addicted to Love" and "Mama Said There'd Be Decades Like This"
Sally is a rapist who drove a woman crazy now, and Josh is concerned. We're not gonna lie, we thought it was awesome when Josh went to town on Nora's Chris Brown. But it was even more awesome when Nora and the siblings killed him. That storyline was part of the wolves' downward spiral, but this particular step in the downfall wasn't entirely unwelcome. This season, we are liking Nora and Josh more as a couple. We got to see why Mother punished Suren in the first place, meaning that we got a few more shots of Aidan's hideous little mustache. We loved the twist that Henry, Aidan's traitorous underling, was alive. We weren't digging the ghost/imaginary Bishop. Also, we were shocked when Josh traded the purebred siblings for Nora/his freedom. That's pretty rude, but we don't blame him.
Episode grades: B and B

Tuesday shows:
Glee - On My Way
NOOOOOOO Quinn! Maybe you aren't as sad as we are about Q, but we've always liked her. Even when she acted psycho, she at least had a reason to be a jerk, unlike when Mercedes started acting douche-y this season. Quinn's recent good advice, good decisions, and that moment where she advised both Rachel and Mercedes when they went through their "looks insecurity" phase makes her someone we root for. We can't believe we have to wait until April to find out if Quinn is OK, although we are guessing she ___, because of these set photos. Glee did manage to send an important message about texting while driving, we guess. Glee made us cry this week. Literally. And over KAROFSKY, so, bravo show. We know we have a lot of teen readers and that those years can be hard. (Not that suicide is just for teens) If you ever feel hopeless and hate yourself enough to consider suicide, please call a hotline and/or keep fighting. It really will pass and you don't want to give whatever is trying to tear you down a victory. Getting help and sticking around shows that, while you have your problems and life sucks right now, you're a bad ass and won't go down, ever. In "what the hell?" news, Sue is pregnant and the Finchel wedding was moved to right after Regionals (although Quinn's crash might stop it). Also, New Directions won at Regionals. The third place show choir might have been the funniest thing about this episode. We were disappointed in the Kelly Clarkson song, because the voices just didn't have the same oomph as Kelly's. It was a misfire. Also, Rachel's solo didn't fit her voice at all (the original version of the song is fun though). We feel cheated, but not by the cliffhanger and hour-long anti-suicide PSA. Lots of people thought that stuff was sensational and cheap, but we thought it was nice, shocking, and that it fit the show. They hadn't really ever addressed that topic and honestly, given the characters they have, we're surprised it took them this long.
Episode grade: A

Switched at Birth - The Art of Painting
Regina had her art show and Bay was jealous, but got over it (basically). Emmet is still doing speech therapy, and told Bay he wants to drop out of school because he thinks getting a GED is the same as a high school diploma and he doesn't need any more than that to be a photographer. Bay told Emmet's mom, and she forced Emmet to go back to school. Bay, you did the right thing. Don't let Emmet make you think differently. Also, Daphne found out that the Carlton women's basketball team is going to be cut, so she leaves Buckner to go back to her old school. We're glad, since it didn't really make sense that she could leave in the first place. Side note: we really don't mention this show enough. We're working on rectifying that.
Episode Grade: B

Jane By Design - The Wedding Gown
Donovan Decker designed a wedding dress for "American royalty" that the soon-to-be princess didn't love, so Jeremy, India, Carter, and Jane had to stay late to make a new dress for her. Of course, infallible Jane designs a gorgeous gown, that India takes credit for. While we like that India tried to give Jane credit while showing the dress to Jeremy, we wish she would've just owned up to it when Jane told Jeremy that it was her design. We get it, India sucks and Jane is awesome. Anyway, of course the future princess loves Jane's design (which was based on Jane's mother's gown), but the redesign process caused Jane to miss a date with Billy and Nick. Luckily, it gives the boys time to bond and they become friendly. Honestly, this show isn't great, but Erica Dasher (who plays Jane) is just so, so likeable.
Episode Grade: B

Wednesday shows:
Suburgatory - Fire with Fire
Other than Happy Endings and Cougar Town, this is probably the funniest show that no one is watching. We haven't really looked into the ratings, but no one we know watches Suburgatory. Dallas filed for divorce and is feeling and looking better than ever. This inspires Noah's wife to leave him. He wins her back by pretty much every romantic gesture we can think of. Dalia is still upset at Tessa for "stealing" Scott Strauss so she steals Lisa as a friend. Tessa fights back and steals Kamantha as a friend, and Lisa comes back when she sees Kamantha and Malik doing the Dougie at a school dance. Re-reading this paragraph makes us wonder how this show is actually as funny as it is, because nothing in the recap really stands out. Trust us though, it's laugh out loud funny.
Episode Grade: B+

Thursday shows:
Secret Circle
There was no new episode this week, but we have a question: Why did no one point out to us that Daddy is SULLY from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman? Yeah, we should have noticed ourselves, but he was covered in beard, had short hair, and has aged a bit. Still. That's important information.

The Office - After Hours
Ryan tries to hit on Erin, but either realizes he's "in love with Kelly" when Erin says something about waiting six months to do it or realizes he doesn't want to wait six months for Erin when he has a sure thing waiting in Scranton. Nellie tries to sleep with Dwight. Kathy tries to sleep with Jim. Dwight preventing hookups might just be the best thing this show has done in a while. Sidenote: Poor Darryl.
Episode Grade: B

Parks and Recreation - Sweet Sixteen
The Ron/Leslie relationship is so darling. Ann and Ron are STILL happening, despite April's best efforts (go April!). It looks like Chris is depressed about that. Jerry's birthday surprise was hilarious when only Ben popped up. We love this show. 
Episode grade: A-

Grey's Anatomy - If Only You Were Lonely
Cristina thinks Owen is cheating and Meredith's VO left us unsure. Either Cristina is crazy, or one of our favorite geek goddesses (Summer Glau) is banging Cristina's husband. If Owen cheats, we will be firmly on team Cristina, forever, rather than our current team, which is "Team Both of You Are Wrong But For Good Reasons." You all know we don't care about the Chief and Adele, but this episode made even us feel bad for them. The stuff with Zola's hair was dumb. Bailey just should have told Derek right away. We loved the peds case. The shrapnel in the guy's chest was disgusting. Overall, this was emotional, funny Grey's at its best. 
Episode grade: A

Movies: We watched Courageous, which is definitely a Christian movie. Why is Christian stuff is so bad usually, in modern times? Religious music, like Handel's Messiah, used to be the most beautiful stuff around. There is some good Christian music, but most of it sounds lame. Christian-themed books, like Dostoevsky's stuff, Dante's Inferno, or Lord of the Rings used to be deep and subtle. Courageous was one of the better Christian films we've seen, and it still wasn't very good. Its worst crime was hammering moral points home in such an overt way that it insulted its audience. The audience should be able to apply ideas to life themselves and pick out the themes, not have it spelled out for them. Most of the acting was bad. The plot was all over the place. The movie was hard to get through, and the heavy-handed dialogue proves that just because something is labeled "Christian" doesn't make it good, unless the message of movies are all that matter to you and you are a Christian. We feel cheated, because the opening scene was cool.  Grade: D 

Books: We read Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, which is the first in a series. The reason we read it was because we saw a reviewer call it "everything the Anita Blake books should be." Now, the Anita Blake books are entertaining reads with a LOT of problems (not the least of which being the main character turning into a super slut and the books having no plots halfway through the series), so a series that fixed those problems appealed to us. The main character of Moon Called, Mercy, can turn into a coyote because of some Native American blood. We were not enthused about this because that's not a very cool power. However, Mercy is a cool girl, even if it took her half a book to grow on us. She's less of a Mary Sue than Anita. Her neighbors are a pack of werewolves, a couple of witches, and a few vampires. We didn't see a lot of the vampires, but what we saw was good and creepy. The book started off entertaining, then it slowed to a crawl just before halfway through. Fortunately, it picked up and got entertaining again in the second half. We started to like the secondary characters and could see them being set up like pieces on what should be an entertaining chess board in subsequent books. There's a nice love triangle shaping up. We're team Adam so far. We're not obsessed with this series yet, but we will read another book. 
Grade: B

Ern is watching Veronica Mars for the first time. She's 11 episodes in, and it's everything everyone says it is. It has a quick wit and snappy dialogue, Kristen Bell will win you over in at least the first couple of episodes, and you will actually care about the overarching plotlines. Bell plays the titular character, a high school girl who works for her PI dad. The show is so good that Ern doesn't even care when Veronica blatantly breaks laws that even PIs have to follow, as if she can't get in trouble. She's just that cool. This is one of those shows like Firefly and Arrested Development that no one watched (even though it got 3 seasons), but everyone should regret their decision that now that the DVDs are out to binge upon. We hear quality drops in season three, but we will tell you if it's worth watching in that final season. This show is smart, funny, and there is drama to spare. Don't you want to see what The O.C. would be like if it were a Twin Peaks-esque mystery instead of a soap opera? There's a gangster kid named WEEVIL. Weevil love you long time. There are a lot of great guest stars (except for Paris Hilton), including future Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, Aaron Paul, Schmidt on New Girl (whom Leeard calls "Deputy Leo from Veronica Mars" when she watches New Girl), and Josh on Being Human. We recognize someone new every episode. This is one of Leeard's all-time favorite shows, with good reason. Ern is happy Leeard is making her watch it. Leeard is gloating, since she's been trying FOREVER to get Ern to watch it, and is finally vindicated.
Pilot grade: A-, Credit Where Credit's Due: A, Meet John Smith: B+, The Wrath of Con: A-, You Think You Know Somebody: B+, Return of the Kane: B, The Girl Next Door: B-, Like a Virgin: B+, Drinking the Kool-Aid: B+, An Echolls Family Christmas: A, and Silence of the Lamb: A-

Ern hates most country music, but has come around to Miranda Lambert due to Miranda's attitude about Chris Brown. Leeard notes, "Duh, Miranda Lambert music is good." Miranda is as not-ok with Brown's comeback as Ern is and said, "Where I come from, it's never OK to hit a woman...that's why my daddy taught me to use a shotgun early on." Amen. While Leeard still enjoys Brown's music, Ern thinks he forfeited the right to be famous and have his art heard when he hit a woman, even if Rihanna forgives him. Miranda held up a sign that said "take notes Chris Brown" during a performance of her song "Gunpowder and Lead." It's about a woman shooting an abusive husband. "I'm gonna show him what little girls are made of/gunpowder and lead." It's a good song, even to the ears of a country hater. Also, Ern has finally gotten the Mumford and Sons CD and it's good, especially the lyrics. Due to the Glee episode, we bought Young and the Giant's CD too. Also good.