-books -dates -Lists -Movies -Music -musicals and broadway 24 30 Rock 666 Park Avenue Alcatraz Alias America's Next Top Model American Horror Story American Idol Americans Are You There Chelsea? Arrested Development Arrow Awake Awkward Bates Motel Being Human Ben and Kate Bent Best Friends Forever Better with You Big Bang Theory Big Brother Big C Big Love Blue Bloods Boardwalk Empire Body of Proof Bones Borgias Boss Breaking Bad Breaking In Breaking Pointe Bridge Bunheads Camelot Carrie Diaries Charlie's Angels Chicago Code Chicago Fire Chuck Community Continuum Copper Cougar Town Cult Dark Tower Deception Defenders Degrassi Dexter Doctor Who Dollhouse Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Downton Abbey Elementary Emily Owens MD Enlightened Episodes Event Fall Falling Skies Family Tree Felicity Finder Firefly Following Fosters Freaks and Geeks Friday Night Lights Friends Fringe Game of Thrones GCB Gifted Man Gilmore GIrls Girls Glee Glee Project Good Wife Gossip Girl Grey's Anatomy Grimm Hannibal Happy Endings Harry Potter Hart of Dixie Hawaii Five-O Hell on Wheels Hellcats Hemlock Grove Heroes Homeland House House of Cards House of Lies How I Met Your Mother How to Be a Gentleman How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) I Hate My Teenage Daughter In Treatment Intervention Jane by Design Jersey Shore Justified Last Man Standing Last Resort Life Unexpected Lone Star Longmire LOST Louie Lying Game Mad Men Make it or Break it Man Up Mindy Project Missing Mockingbird Lane Modern Family Mr Selfridge Napoleon Dynamite Nashville New Girl New Normal Nikita Nine Lives of Chloe King No Ordinary Family Off the Map Office Once Upon a Time Originals Outlaw Outsourced Pan Am Parenthood Parks and Recreation Perfect Couples Person of Interest Playboy Club Pretty Little Liars Prime Suspect Psych Raising Hope Real Housewives of New Jersey Revenge Revolution Ringer Rob Rookie Blue Running Wilde Saving Hope Scandal Scrubs Secret Circle Secret Life of the American Teenager Sex and the City Shameless Sherlock Smash So You Think You Can Dance Sons of Anarchy South Park Southland Suburgatory Supernatural Switched at Birth Teen Wolf Terra Nova The Fall The Fosters The Killing The River The Voice Touch true blood Twisted Two and a Half Men Two Broke Girls Under the Dome Unforgettable United States of Tara Up All Night V Vampire Diaries Veep Vegas Veronica Mars Walking Dead Web Therapy Weeds White Collar Whitney Whole Truth Wilfred Work It X-Factor X-Files Zero Hour

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ern's Hunger Games review

Initial Reaction:
I knew I loved this movie about 25% of the way through it because I found myself on the edge of my seat, totally invested. The movie succeeded in touching me emotionally, entertaining me fully, and even surprising me. I thought the tone, intensity, and emotion of the book were spot on. It felt like the same material. The shaky camera in the beginning was an annoying attempt to make the movie seem serious, but they used the shaky camera better in the arena. It was cool to get to be in the position of spectator. In the books, you are so in Katniss’ head that you don’t know what it would be like to watch the Hunger Games as a Panem citizen. Now we do. The television show element was something the book couldn't bring as well as a movie could.

The movie’s messages are the same as those in the books. Really, it’s about how staying kind, honorable, and continuing to value others’ lives, even in the most dire circumstances, is a powerful rebellion against the status quo. The status quo is about staying as comfortable, rich, numb, and distracted as possible, worrying about our own problems. We are going through an economic depression and are mostly consumed with our own lives, survival, stress levels, and images (how we are looking to others). Jennifer Lawrence said that the movie is a warning of what our society could be like if we became desensitized to trauma and to each other's pain. Continuing to step in for the Prims of the world is what will stand out and inspire, both in a future dystopian fantasy world and our violent, lonely, uncertain world today.

Comparison with the books:
Yeah, the movie not as good as the books (and anyone watching the movie without having read the book might get a little confused), but that’s a high bar.  The fact that they added in scenes and changed a few things brought some tension even to someone who has read the book and knows what’s going to happen. There was an element of surprise because of it. While parts of me always wish that movies were exactly like the books and the visual images in my head, this isn’t possible. 

One can only hope that the movie offers an interpretation that is interesting, unique, and true to the most important parts of the book. So if there was a fault in this movie, it was that it was too close to the book. I’ve already read the book and there is no reason for a movie unless it brings something new to the table. It’s important to stick with the book as far as key themes, characters, scenes, and (most of the time) plot points. But there is wiggle room for creativity. 

One change I liked was that Katniss just shoved Peeta up against a wall. She didn’t push him through glass and have him cut his hands. In a movie, this would have come across as melodramatic. This isn’t a Lifetime movie. We saw her anger manifest physically, and that was enough. Lawrence really sold that moment.

The performances/actors
While Jennifer Lawrence was great, Ern was more impressed with Haymitch and Peeta. They really came across as the characters in the books. Haymitch was always entertaining and multifaceted. There was one false moment for me when Haymitch put his foot on Peeta’s chest. It just didn’t feel right. Peeta did not get awesome or turn into Neo from the Matrix halfway through, like in lots of action movies, which was good. Gale was all wrong, both looks-wise and acting-wise. The sets were merely ok and the costumes were pretty great. Stanley Tucci was perfect and hilarious. Effie was fine.

Answering some of the haters: Issue #1- Jennifer Lawrence is too healthy looking to play Katniss
Jennifer Lawrence is a little too curvy to play someone who  grew up in a nation that starves people to keep them in line. Yeah, she can hunt for food, but she mostly hits squirrels. We love Lawrence’s healthy, gorgeous body and refusal to diet. We love real women’s bodies in movies. However, this is one time where a smaller girl might have fit the story better. Still, I wouldn’t trade Lawrence for any other actress. Since everything else about her was perfect, the physical traits are a small complaint. It's a small price to pay for that performance. 

Issue #2- “Oh, the premise isn’t very original. Kids have to kill each other just like this in Battle Royale.”
Aw, shut up, trolls. Battle Royale wasn’t the first to do this either. This is an old concept and formula. There is nothing wrong with taking on an old idea if your iteration on that idea is fresh and the best iteration in a long time. People were saying the same thing about Warrior. Yeah, it’s a boxing movie and if you are any good at predicting movies, you will predict all of it. But added to the formulas in both Warrior and The Hunger Games are compelling characters that we love, powerhouse scenes, good action sequences, relevant messages, and a whole lot of heart. Everything is an iteration. Just make it a good one.

Issue #3- “The film is hypocritical, since it tells us not to be like Panem’s Capital spectators, but it also has us watching violence for entertainment.”
The Capital people are watching children actually die, so it’s a tad freaking worse. It’s reality TV for them. The books are condemning voyeurism. We should feel worse about watching The Jersey Shore than we do about watching The Hunger Games. (As Gale said, “What would happen if we all stopped watching?” There are certain entertainment choices we make that don’t reflect quality and keep banality around.) Sometimes you have to show some violence to show how bad violence is.

Overall, I enjoyed watching this immensely and nothing ticked me off too much.
Movie Grade: A-

Stay tuned for our list of casting ideas for the second and third books.

Leeard's Hunger Games Review

At first, I honestly didn’t know if I liked the movie or not. While Jennifer Lawrence was AMAZING as Katniss, the movie changed a lot (which I didn’t like). It also added some things (which I did like), especially adding Caesar Flickerman and Claudius Templesmith as color-commentators. It felt very realistic and helped bring a little depth to the movie. Since the books are told from Katniss' perspective, the reader doesn't get to see this happening. The first book is about the arena and then the next books are about the revolution. The added scenes with Snow and District 11 starting to rebel will make the transition from arena to revolution smoother for viewers, which made viewers see why Snow was so concerned about Katniss and so angry that she and Peeta lived. In these scenes, you can see the danger that too much hope can topple an empire.

I plan on seeing the movie again soon to get more concrete feelings about it. The sets and incarnations of Panem were uninspired. In fact, Panem itself wasn’t spelled out enough for new viewers. It would be hard to buy this premise if the world and history of Panem weren’t fleshed out enough to make it believable. In the books, this obviously wasn’t a problem. The movie could have used a little more world building to get us interested in the when and where of the story.

Cinna could have used more screen time because we both love him. Lenny Kravitz was a good choice. Most of the arena stuff was good, however the effect wasn’t dark or dreadful enough. And what was up with the dogs? Those were less terrifying and more annoying (and not the muttations described in the book AT ALL). I understand that they were trying to avoid an R rating, but that was an important moment in the book. Another good thing was the way the love triangle wasn’t front-and-center. It was clear that the boys were not the heroine’s main concern and her struggle was about more than romance. For now, I am a little disappointed. It could have been better. With all the talent and care they took, it should have been.

I really don't think this movie is for people who haven't read the book. The entire time I was watching the movie, I kept thinking "would I have understood this if I didn't know the source material?" Too many times, the answer was no. Honestly, the fact that I was able to think that and wasn't too busy watching the movie shows just how much I wasn't invested in the movie. I couldn't put the books down, reading them during work and only getting a few hours of sleep in between, and I didn't feel that during the movie.

I literally can't emphasize this enough, though: Jennifer Lawrence is pretty much the perfect Katniss. From her first line, she sold it. Again, I'm planning on seeing this movie again, so my feelings may change. I hope they do; I wanted to love this movie as much as I love the books, but right now, I'm just disappointed.

Movie grade: C+

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Secret Circle- Curse

What Happened- 
Cassie and Adam wake up in bed together and then got outside to find Cassie’s yard full of dead blackbirds. John appears and tells them that they unleashed a curse set against the Blake-Conant family. John takes Cassie to Jane for more information, and she tells them that a witch cursed the lines years ago, to keep them apart. If they don’t break the curse, someone in Cassie’s circle will die. Cassie quickly attempts to make sure that everyone is ok and finds Jake sick in his bed. There is a cure: an herb that can be mixed into an elixir to save Jake. Most of the ingredients can be bought at Calvin’s shop from his niece who runs the store in Calvin’s absence.

Cassie and Adam go to the woods to search for it, bringing Jake along. Jake acts like a jerk, hallucinates, and then reveals that he killed Calvin. Thinking Adam is Calvin’s ghost looking for revenge, Jake starts to strangle Adam. Cassie throws Jake off of Adam, using her dark magic. The only reason she does not hurt him more is that Adam is making eye contact with her and screaming, “No dark magic!” They find the root and make it back to Cassie’s house. John Blackwell tells them that the elixir will make them forget their love. Sadly, the elixir isn’t strong enough to work on Cassie. It only works on Adam, and Cassie is left devastated.

Dawn confronts John and tells him a) that she knows he still has power and b) she knows there is no such thing as the Blake-Conant curse. John fesses up to this. He faked everything, even Jake’s sickness, using magic. John reveals that Ethan and Amelia wanted to run away together when they fell in love, and their abandonment resulted in the boat fire and all the deaths on it. John also tells Dawn that witch hunters are still after their town’s witches and that there is a witch working with them. Charlie pays a late-night visit to Jane in order to use the crystal to fix her. Their goal once Jane gets her mind back? Destroying John.

In B plot, Faye goes looking for Lee and nearly gets Melissa and Diana arrested for helping to break into Lee’s car, searching for clues. Faye realizes that Eva has some of her powers. Faye breaks the totem under Eva’s bed, taking away Eva’s power. Faye tells Eva that she can’t bring the corpsicled Lee back to life and leaves.

Comments- Y’all, Ern is rethinking her Team Adam stance. Even though you can’t fight what’s written in the stars, everyone loves an underdog, right? Everyone loves a redemption story too, and we may get to see that with Jake, eventually. You know what’s sad about the CW? How the sex scenes have to be nudeless and tame. We got to see Adam and Cassie jumping on each other through a window last week, and we saw nothing this week. Still, Cassie and Adam had sex. We felt so bad for Diana when we saw her face after she heard the news. We guess the 17th episode is long enough to wait? Cassie wakes up with perfect eye makeup like every girl on the CW.

At first we were like, “We’re really glad the loss of our virginities doesn’t hit our fathers’ radar with a lawn full of dead blackbirds. News bulletin! Your daughter just slept with the wrong person. Awkward.” However, things are even weirder now that we know John was probably watching them do it, keeping too close of an eye on Cassie, or having magic alert him to the possibility of sex. He knew right when to make it rain dead birds. If only every father had that method of ensuring abstinence in their daughters! You wanna have sex? Well, it’s going to kill things. Birds and friends. It’s in the Bible, look it up.

Ern thinks Faye is the prettiest girl she’s ever seen, but Leeard disagrees. We also have a contender for ugliest thing we’ve ever seen: Lee’s desiccated corpse. We could have used a better look at the thing in order to tell for sure though. Poor Mummy Lee. Is he really gone for good? We finally got to see Cassie’s grandmother! It’s been too long and we’re sick of adults getting sidelined or shipped off. In general, this channel needs to figure out what to do with parents and authority figures. Most teen shows do, actually. The biggest culprits are Gossip Girl and Glee. You need to make the adults just as human, complex, and likable as the kids.

The thing that did it best? Harry Potter. The supporting adults were the most beloved and most interesting characters. Making them mysterious, giving them shades of grey, and having them nurture protect Harry at times gave them shape and a role to play. This show seems to be following Harry Potter’s ways by bringing on John Blackwell. The more we see of Cassie’s dad, the more we like him and enjoy having him around. He’s not a villain, but we can’t fully trust him either.

We liked Faye’s determination to find Lee. For once, her stubbornness led her to do the right thing. We were annoyed that Adam had to lose his love for Cassie in order to save Jake. You know that means the love will either come back or they will just fall in love again after a while. We feel bad for Jake and were glad that John Blackwell gave him a self-worth pep talk. We knew right away that the elixir only worked on Adam and not Cassie. Poor girl. At least she has good taste in TV to keep her warm at night (Game of Thrones).

The twist where there was no curse and John still had power was sweet. We’re still not fully sure why he wanted to fake the curse. Is being afraid of the Blake/Conant love or his grudge against Ethan enough of a reason? Or is John just really that committed to Team Jake? If this show actually killed another circle member, it should either be Melissa (because she’s the least interesting), Diana (because it would be the saddest), or Adam (because that would be the most shocking). This show is good and we are seeing potential for it to be great. Six seasons and a movie!

Episode Grade: A

Dear Pretty Little Liars fans

We looked at the blog's stats and noticed a decline since Pretty Little Liars went off the air. Don't worry, everyone else. We still have more than enough readers to make blogging worthwhile. However, we miss the PLL crowd. We know they are suffering without their favorite show and they are not forgotten here. If you are mainly a PLL fan, we still think you should stick around the blog, comment, make recommendations, and try to find other shows to watch. In order to convince you to stay and play with us, we have made this post which includes a list of other shows for you to check out, if you haven't already.

We sometimes cover movies and teen books too, and we never recommend anything we aren’t sure of. Our Hunger Games movie review is coming tomorrow. We watch multiple movies per week. Most of the fiction we read is young adult fiction because we want something light after our ridiculously boring, dense textbooks. We like to stay on top of books with buzz and new TV shows, so if the next big thing comes out, it’s possible that you will hear about it here first, before all the other wet blankets at your school hear about it and ruin it.

Also, Pretty Little Liars interviews and spoilers will come out in the weeks leading up to the season three premiere. If they are juicy, we will repeat and discuss them here. We will also make a new summary that incorporates the second season's events, and we need you to read it and tell us if it sucks. We also want to start making more fun lists like "the best TV villains" or "the best TV deaths." You know PLL will be mentioned on a lot of those.

Pretty Little Liars is a special show, in that it has mystery, scares, humor, fashion, high school drama, romance, and cool characters all wrapped up in one package. But there are other shows on TV that might appeal to its fans, even though there’s nothing else similar to it. The Lying Game is a little similar, but it’s not as good. We still enjoy watching it though. Season one just ended and you can catch up. The better option might be Revenge, which has mystery and a secret plotter trying to get payback. Catch up before the hiatus ends in April.

If you have a Netflix account, you can stream the first two seasons of Make It or Break It before the third season premieres next week. That’s also made by abcfamily, and it’s really intense and fun. It may be for a younger crowd, but it has so many likeable characters that you should check it out. If you like everything PLL has to offer and you also like fantasy, you really can’t go wrong with The Secret Circle or The Vampire Diaries, both of which are excellent, entertaining shows.

PLL fans might also enjoy Jane By Design, Switched at Birth, Hart of Dixie (which gets better as it goes along), and the underrated Teen Wolf, all shows that Leeard enjoys. Say you are looking to get into clever shows that are good for a more mature female viewer. If so, you can’t go wrong renting Veronica Mars or Gilmore Girls. The entertainment world is your oyster. There are more shows than PLL, and one day, there will be a new show premiering that you will end up liking just as much. Try a few of those shows out and come back in every couple of weeks and visit. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Smash Renewed for a Second Season/short review of "The Workshop"

We find this to be welcome news, since we liked the episode this week and think this show needs some time to mature. We'll go ahead and post this week's mini review before this Sunday, since we're already talking about the show.

Smash - The Workshop
The episode started with Katherine McPhee singing the only tolerable song on Colbie’s new CD ("Brighter Than the Sun"). This song annoys the crud out of Ern. We felt for Karen when the guy told her to quiet down in the recording studio. It’s hard for a live performer to swap to recording without advice or a producer because they don’t understand that volume just doesn’t come through as well in a recording. It’s best to quiet down and focus on tone or emotion. Sometimes we can’t believe Anjelica Huston has an Oscar. Bernadette Peters appeared! We love her and think her appearance saved this episode. That said, Ivy’s mother is awful. Peters still has that very distinctive voice and we like it on certain songs. We don’t think “Coming Up Roses” is her best option, but we’ve come to expect weird song choices from this show.

Rule number one of adultery: Don’t let your wife and child visit you in front of your mistress. Michael looks a lot like Prince Charming in Once Upon a Time, especially around the mouth. Derek is so oblivious, haha. He didn’t know that Michael and Julia were really fighting. Joe DiMaggio’s new song was good and the scene was affecting. We started to see why a Marilyn musical might actually be touching and tragically romantic at that point. We’re sorry that Michael is going because he won’t have a job, and that affects his kid. He deserved to be fired for cheating, but he needs to know it’s about that and not his performance, because he was good. We liked Karen keeping her word and doing the workshop. That was very professional. We also liked whoever mocked her saying “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” Great funny British accent, dude. Just when we had stopped caring about Julia’s delinquent son, we started caring again. This was the best Smash episode in a while.
Episode Grade: B+

New Show "Bent" - Pilot + Smitten

First of all, we are glad this is a half-hour comedy. We need more of those quick, fun shows. We caught this on hulu, and that site kept offering us the option to watch Bent commercial-free if we would just watch the Prometheus trailer first. Yes, please. That movie looks bad ass. We wonder why they made Michael Fassbender have the gayest hair of all time. Seriously, that hair color is the worst possible option for everyone. We hope he dies first, so we don’t have to look at it. Fortunately, Bent started right after the trailer.

Bent is your typical “opposites attract” comedy about a straight-laced female lawyer and single mom, Alex, who hires a contractor to improve the new house she bought. The contractor, Pete, is a womanizer who lives with his dad and is trying to get on his feet. The episode won us over quickly with the nice tone and the line “Too soon for nicknames?” There were lots of cute one-liners like that.

Something didn’t feel genuine about the first dinner meeting Pete had with his crew. Maybe it was Pete’s acting. We love Amanda Peet though, and when she is onscreen, she can save scenes. We like the way she can play professional without coming across as uptight or unlikeable. One of us loves David Walton, too, so this is a pretty good show for us. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) is also in this. He uttered the line from which we get the name of the show. “I’m bent, not broken, gentlemen.” This is an obvious theme, since both main characters recently went through setbacks (a divorce and gambling addiction).

We remember Screwsie from the Disney Channel’s Even Stevens. It’s nice to see fair-skinned beauty Tawny getting work and finally playing someone her age. She really needs to go back to darker hair though. Friday Night Lights’ Landry is all grown up and looks a little better at this age. There is a child on this show, and while that could have been annoying, Charlie is alright. We liked Charlie “hazing the new guy.” We raised our eyebrows when Pete stole Charlie for the day, even if it was to help her get over her fear of playing piano in public.

We started the second episode and watched the Prometheus trailer again. We love a trailer that doesn’t give too much away. It was a good decision to give Pete a rival for Alex’s affections. We also liked seeing Pete’s crazy, clingy ex. She had an adorable dog. Who turns down airplane sex? “Smitten” is a white person word, haha. We think this comedy will appeal more to women than men. We’re not in love with Bent. Still, there is something pleasant about this new show.

We wonder why NBC is putting it up against Modern Family and showing two episodes per week. There are only six episodes, so this first season is going to be a three-week blip on our radar. The show isn’t nearly bad enough to deserve such treatment, but it looks like NBC is giving up quickly. Hopefully there is some closure in the six episodes, just in case it won't be coming back. However, ABC did something similar to Happy Endings in its first season, and it came back, so don't count out Bent.

Episode grades: B+ for both

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pretty Little Liars - UnmAsked

What happened - The Liars get a clue that leads them to a hotel in the woods outside of town. The whole thing turns into a mini homage to Psycho when the girls stay there and Hanna takes a shower. They find out that Alison was stalking A and stayed in an adjacent room the day she died. They leave the creepy hotel and go to a Masquerade Ball at their high school. Mona gets Caleb to attend, and Spencer tells Mona she is a good friend for doing so. Then Spencer figures out that A rented a room at Hotel Creepy for months and surmises that this is A’s lair. Spencer grabs Mona, and the two drive back to the hotel.

We see A’s lair, and it is impossibly scary. It has pictures of the girls and Ali everywhere (with their eyes cut out). It has creepy dolls, masks, and all sorts of nasty things. It’s like the guy’s lair in Se7en, only less bloody. Mona finds a picture of a masquerade gown in the style of Black Swan. Spencer tells Mona to call Hanna and tell her to look out for someone dressed like that. We see someone is there dressed like that, and she is surrounded by Jenna and Lucas.

Ezra shows up at the ball and says he can’t stay away from Aria. Ugh. Paige tries to get Emily to date her again, and it’s adorable. Back at the hotel, Spencer realizes that Mona is A, since she finds a gum wrapper for gum that Mona often chews. Mona runs to the car and comes back wearing a black hoodie. Mona is A! Mona delivers a slap that knocks Spencer out, and then Mona puts Spencer in her car. When Spencer wakes up, Mona tells Spencer that she can join the A team or suffer the consequences. Spencer video chats the conversation to Aria, and the Liars jump in the car to go to Hanna’s rescue.

Mona monologues that she wants revenge on the Liars for taking her only friend, Hanna, and she also wants revenge on Alison for bullying her. Additionally, the Liars didn’t stop Ali from bullying Mona. It makes sense, right? Spencer escapes Mona. Hanna shows up, driving her car, and almost hits Mona. Then Spencer accidentally throws Mona off a cliff. Mona survives, intact. Cops and ambulances arrive, and so does Dr. Anne Sullivan.

Dr. Sullivan says that A threatened her son, and that Mona is crazy because she has adrenaline spikes keeping her in a constant state of hyperreality. Also, Mona is a genius. Mona is sent to a mental institution where someone comes to visit her, and we find out that Mona has been taking orders from this someone. There is a bigger A or someone controlling A. But why? Who else needs revenge that badly? Toby and Spencer reunited and kiss. Then Maya’s dead body is found, dead and buried at Emily’s house.

Comments - We hope you enjoy your job in the fast food industry, Ezra, while you molest your child girlfriend. Ugh. What is he thinking. That slap Mona gave Spencer wouldn’t knock anyone out. It was straight from her stick arm and didn’t come from the body at all. It was just a swipe, like you would swipe at a fly. We can’t believe the showrunners didn’t teach Mona a proper fake hit or that they went with that take. It totally broke the illusion of reality for us. It took one of us out of the show for a second.

So, there are multiple As. We already knew that from the books and common sense. But we’re glad that the show has revealed one of them. Leeard is okay that it’s Mona, but Ern feels really cheated and disappointed. We are both glad that Maya is dead, obviously, because she was a jerk. We loved Emily’s acting when she found out the news of Maya. We still don’t know who was dressed as the black swan or why A had a picture of her costume in her lair.

What’s up for season three?
According to the showrunners, we will see more of Mona. Maya’s death is one of the season three mysteries. Aria and Ezra are “closer than ever” and we will see Ezra’s family (mother, father, and brother). That brother better be hot. Melissa will have her baby. They will keep Jenna’s sight a secret from the PLLs for now. We will also find out more about Lucas. Of course, all this is merely possible seeing as people from this show have lied to us before (they said A wasn’t who she was in the books). Take it with a grain of salt.

Episode grade: B

Our Pretty Little Liars chat

The recap, comments, and questions are coming later, but for now, you can see a few of our thoughts from last night. Ern had watched Pretty Little Liars live and Leeard was sitting down to watch it online shortly after the finale aired.

Leeard (9:21:35 PM):      I finally found a link. I'M WATCHING NOW
Ern (9:21:43 PM):             I know who A is and you don’t. How does that feel?
Leeard (9:21:48 PM):      I’m more mad that I didn’t get to watch live than that you know and I don’t.
Ern (9:23:02 PM):             I was gonna go to bed, but I'm gonna stay up and chat with you while you watch it
Leeard (9:23:06 PM):      GOOD. Oh Melissa. What a ****ing weirdo. Who takes someone else’s ice cream?
Ern (9:24:15 PM):             Um, who doesn't? Ice cream is the best.
Leeard (9:24:20 PM):      Um, exactly. If you ever take my ice cream, I’ll stab you with my spoon. HA. Okay, so when Spence was like, “Hide and seek was always my favorite game with Melissa. Wanna know why?” I was like, “Um, because you always won, you competitive b*tch?” By b*tch I mean “best person ever.”
Ern (9:26:06 PM):             Mmhmm. Also, ice cream is worth being spoon stabbed.
Leeard (9:26:31 PM):      I will file it into a shiv
Ern (9:26:44 PM):             And I would still own you
Leeard (9:27:08 PM):      Please, you'd be too distracted EATING MY DAMN ICE CREAM
Ern (9:27:18 PM):             Ok, thats true. I get distracted by food. I am such a pig. i weighed myself before and after eating taco bell, and I ate four pounds. I blame my dad for telling me about the Dorito shells on the new Tacos.
Leeard (9:28:29 PM):      That's gross. Speaking of gross: gross gross gross. Aria just told the Liars about sleeping with Ezra. “It’s kind of…sacred land.” GROSS.
Ern (9:29:28 PM):             Gross
Leeard (9:30:05 PM):      S*** that scared me. That deer or whatever. “What is that?” Um, only the CREEPIEST EFFING HOTEL EVER. This motel dude is creepy too. Ha. “Mary Smith.”
Ern (9:31:43 PM):             I thought hotel dude was hot
Leeard (9:31:49 PM):      Not even a little. And he’s a liar. “The name doesn’t ring a bell.” MY ASS.
Ern (9:31:58 PM):             That was sarcasm. He’s an uggo.
Leeard (9:32:00 PM):      Oh okay. Good. “You’re little…but you’re big.” I need Spencer in my life. I’m totally Team Sparia. Not in a lesbian way.
Ern (9:34:33 PM):             Aria doesn't deserve that compliment
Leeard (9:34:35 PM):      DON'T LEAVE THE ROOM, EMILY. Why can’t they hear me? This is the second time I almost screamed. This music is so intense. Ha, did Spencer steal the registration book?
Leeard (9:39:20 PM):      Um, Toby let YOU in, Spencer, and look how that went. How did Jenna get access to a car if people think she’s blind?
Ern (9:40:20 PM):             Her allies?
Leeard (9:40:29 PM):      Yeah. It’s just so weird. OMG, the ball. Why was my high school not this cool?
Ern (9:40:53 PM):             No high school is. I hate all their dresses, except for Emily’s. Spencer’s is ok.
Leeard (9:41:08 PM):      I think they look damn good. Hanna’s isn’t great. I think Hanna’s dress would have looked better in a different color. Mona looks boss.
Ern (9:41:19 PM):             Aria's is the worst though, right? It looks chunky on her. It was a cool concept though.
Leeard (9:41:30 PM):      I actually like Aria’s dress, but not the gloves. I love Emily’s mask. Spencer, do NOT tell Mona anything. Dammit Jenna. So creepy and for no reason. Oh Ezria.
Ern (9:46:14 PM):             They will never die. I’ve accepted it.
Leeard (9:46:53 PM):      ****ing A, Spence, don't get in a ****ing car with Mona. This is just like the book, which makes me think it ISN’T Mona. But she’s so suspicious. Oh Ezra. You’re so ****ing gay.
Ern (9:49:51 PM):             I was so annoyed. By that point, you still don’t know who A is, so my patience for Ezra time was thin indeed. It’s like, NOW they are choosing to waste my life with this creep?
Leeard (9:50:25 PM):      I'm trying to enjoy the ride, but I would have been like that if I had watched it live. Aw, Paige! OH MY GOD WHY THE CREEPY CLOWN FACE?! OR THE BABY DOLL?!?! OH MY GOD. I'm going to have nightmares about that room
Ern (9:51:13 PM):             I love that room. A is the best.
Leeard (9:51:21 PM):      I mean, I agree. Man, Emily would be the best girlfriend. Okay, now I’m getting pumped. Ugh, it had better not be Melissa.
Ern (9:54:08 PM):             I wouldn't have minded/wouldn't mind/didn't mind Melissa
Leeard (9:54:35 PM):      I just think it would suck if it actually was the person they've suspected all along. Well, for the past few episodes. YES. F*** YES. HELL TO THE YES. I actually love that it’s Mona. That it’s pretty much EXACTLY what happens in the book. I’m marginally bummed because I liked when Mona was being awesome.
Ern (9:56:32 PM):             You love that it's Mona? I was pissed, because I thought it was her and then they SAID it wouldn't be who it was in the book. I feel lied to. Millions of fans have been trying to guess, and it’s an insult to them that it’s Mona when they said it wasn’t freaking Mona.
Leeard (9:56:44 PM):      I’m okay with it. I still thought it was Mona, even after they said that. So I feel vindicated.
Ern (9:57:13 PM):             I mean, they kept making her awesome, which is a red flag, AND it makes a ton of sense, so yeah. But also, even if there were no lies, I don't think it's surprising enough. I wanted to be blown away. I’m a bad guesser, and I would have guessed her if they had not said it wasn't her
Leeard (9:59:30 PM):      Damnit why didn't Hanna kill Mona and OH MY GOD SHE'S INSANE. Wow, this is EXACTLY like the book. Emily says, "It's over, aria." Oh Emily, you’re so funny. Dude, Mona wrapped in a blanket? The creepiest thing in this episode. MONA VOICE-OVER?!?! Weirdest thing.
Ern (10:10:43 PM):           I thought some of that crazy Mona stuff came off as stupid. Part of it was Mona's acting, I think.
Leeard (10:11:03 PM):    TOBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to cry. (After Maya's body is found) Yes!!!!!!!!! At first I thought it was going to be Emily’s mom, because I just saw the ambulances. Paige did it. I mean, I feel bad for Emily, but I’m fine with Maya being dead.
Ern (10:12:57 PM):       I’m more than fine with it. But I’m ticked Toby is with Spencer at the end of season two and not Wren.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Good Wife - Gloves Come Off

Ern wants to be a more politically moderate Diane when she is old. We love her loyalty to Will, her strength, her poise, and her intelligence. We can’t believe there was a time when we didn’t like her. Part of it is the fact that she looks like she should live in Who-Ville. She has a Who nose, straight out the Jim Carrey movie. In fact, she was in that movie. We are rooting for her and Jack, but Kurt has the kind of mustache that women Diane’s age yearn for.

The plaintiff in Alicia’s case was cute, but he needed a haircut. How sad was it when Alicia didn’t have a beer with Kalinda? Kalinda handled it so maturely. We knew there would be some closure at the end of the episode, and we were pretty happy with it. These two absolutely need to be friends again, and we respect that Alicia needs Kalinda to be more open. We like Kalinda more when she’s Alicia’s buddy.We love this show for giving Michael J. Fox a recurring role. They wrote in his disability and work with it. He needs to be back on our TVs, even if he can only guest star due to his health.

We agree with Fox’s character that it’s fine for Alicia to switch to a firm that will pay her more. Loyalty is important, true, but if the firm isn’t loyal enough to give Alicia what she deserves for being awesome, then we would love to see her competing with Lockhart Gardner. Excuse us: Lockhart and Associates. It would be really interesting and we sort of resent the show for dangling the possibility in our faces multiple times, when we know Alicia won’t swap firms.

We liked that Alicia told Diane about the job offer right away. It was annoying when Diane guilt-tripped her. It’s business! Stalin and Associates made an executive decision and kept Alicia. What a surprise. This episode didn’t grab us like the last couple did. We were bored with the case after the snowmobile accident footage, which was pretty good. We even like Hockey, and we weren’t engaged. 

Episode grade: B

Once Upon a Time- Heart of Darkness

What Happened- In the Fairytale World, Rumpy’s potion didn’t just take Snow White’s love of Prince James, it took her love of everything and everybody. Her love is gone, and with it, her real self. The dwarves hold an intervention where Jiminy Cricket accidentally convinces Snow that she needs to take out her rage on Regina. Snow takes off to kill Regina. Grumpy finds Snow and takes her back to Rumpy to see if he can reverse Snow’s condition. Snow goes along so that she can ask Rumpy for a way to kill the queen. Rumpy tells Grumpy and Snow that there is no antidote. Grumpy gives Snow a bow and arrow to kill Regina and tells Snow where to wait to see Regina traveling. He asks for nothing in return, saying that he is just “invested in Snow’s future.”

Red Riding Hood and Charming are looking for Snow. Red gives Charming a head start by turning into a wolf and attacking King George’s men, who are still chasing the prince. When Charming hears news of Snow’s terrible new personality, he goes to Rumpy to find out how to reverse it. Rumpy tells Charming to try True Love. A kiss! Of course. He takes Charming’s cloak as payment. Later, Rumpy takes one of Charming’s hairs from the cloak and puts it in a bottle with Snow White’s hair. They glow and encircle each other. It looks like Rumpy has bottled true love.

Charming finds Snow and kisses her, but it doesn’t reverse the Evil Snow effect. Snow knocks Charming out, ties him to a tree, tells Charming that she is going to kill Regina, and then leaves. Jiminy Cricket appears and bites through the ropes, then he advises Charming to help Snow remember her true self before Charming tries to help Snow remember a romantic relationship. Charming leaps in front of Snow’s arrow, saving Snow from the fate of becoming a murderess. This makes it clear that Charming is willing to die to save Snow from having a heart of darkness. Snow kisses Charming and then remembers everything. Just then, King George’s men appear and take Charming away. Snow goes back to the dwarves to apologize and they volunteer to help her rescue her prince.

In Storybrooke, it is revealed that the heart was buried in a jewelry box belonging to Mary. DNA confirms that the heart is Kathryn's, then Emma finds the murder weapon in Mary’s house. Emma is torn between wanting to help her friend, who Emma still believes is innocent, and doing her job and following the evidence. If Emma gives Mary a pass, Regina will have cause to replace Emma. Gold shows up and offers to be Mary’s attorney, saying that he is invested in her future. Mary accepts.

August tells Henry that he is a believer in the Enchanted Forest and gives Henry a clue as to how to help Mary. Henry’s book tells him that Regina has keys that open any door in town. Henry steals the keys and shows Emma that they open Mary’s house too. That’s why there is no evidence of a break-in. Henry reasons that the jewelry box was stolen from Mary by his adoptive mother. Emma is shocked when the keys work. Later, an incarcerated Mary finds a key in her cell that opens it.

David, meanwhile, undergoes hypnosis to remember what happened during his blackouts. He goes too deep and actually remembers the Enchanted Forest. He remembers being Charming and telling Snow not to kill “her.” David wakes up before he can get more details. David visits to Mary and tells her that he remembers her telling him that she wanted to kill Kathryn. Mary is upset that David doubts her when she never doubted him. Mary uses the key to escape. After realizing that Regina is probably setting Mary up, Emma goes to Gold for help and tells him she’ll do what it takes to save her friend. Rumpy tells Emma that she is more powerful than she knows.

Comments- Raise your hand if you’ve ever read Heart of Darkness? If you haven’t, we think you can skip it. This episode was so sweet in the fairytale world portion. We were actually touched. We liked the way the show didn’t try for wolf-transformation special effects. It knows its strengths and its budget. Special effects aren’t needed. We absolutely LOVED Snow trying to kill the parrot. Then things got even better when the episode turned into the show Intervention. A potion that gives you amnesia is nowhere near as interesting as a potion that turns you evil as well, so good job, show.

Are we wrong to prefer Evil Snow? Especially when she made fun of James introducing himself as “Charming”? Jiminy Cricket’s advice to help Snow first remember who SHE is felt a little like a Sesame Street lesson. Maybe it’s just the way the line was delivered. It’s funny that the queen’s impressive security detail didn’t think about Archers on higher ground. They could never work for the Secret Service. We also loved that True Love’s Kiss by itself didn’t work, but True Love’s Willingness to Die For Snow did. Because that’s what true love really is.

Speaking of, this episode had a lot of little philosophical and moral nuggets, like “Evil is made, not born.” That debate has been raging for ages. It seems to us that the answer is that it is BOTH made and born, because if no one was born with it, no one could make it and pass it to others. Also, as one writer pointed out, you never have to teach children to be bad or to hit each other, even if they are sheltered from all other children and have only loving parents. It’s intrinsic. It’s obvious that we’re all born with both good and bad leanings and then our lives shape which one is the strongest. Pro tip: If there is a debate raging for hundreds of years with only two options, the answer is often “both.”

We wish Mary Margaret had a different haircut. We like short hair, but not like that. Maybe we should be complaining about her outfits instead. We were shocked when the heart was a match for Kathryn, and we're sad because we feel like we just found out that Kathryn is cool. Maybe the tests were rigged? It’s a good thing Emma is wise to Regina’s intentions now. We think this season will end with Emma believing in the Enchanted Forest completely. We still only like Jennifer Morrison when she is married to Joel Edgerton though…and even then she dragged down the material. We could not love Mr. Gold/Rumpy more. He’s one of the best villains we’ve seen on TV. Overall, this was a good episode in a line of good episodes that this show has been churning out recently.
Episode grade: A-

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Rest of the Shows We Watched

Well, Ern decided to go goof around at Disney World for three days. If you saw a grown-ass woman trotting around Hollywood Studios, swinging a blue lightsaber and making dinosaur noises, then you saw  Ern. Sadly, that means no one watched new shows Touch and Missing yet, since that was Ern's job. Hopefully that will happen shortly/next week. But here are the rest! Thank Leeard, mostly, lol.

GCB - Hell Hath No Fury
Leeard is still enjoying this show, but we're both hoping some things change in the next few weeks. It's getting repetitive and it's only been on for two weeks.
Episode Grade: B

House of Lies - Ouroboros
Marty finally found out that Jeannie is engaged, but plays it off to help her save face with Wes. Monica is mad that Marty is seeing someone else, so she files for sole custody. Oh Monica. You dumb, crazy bitch. Marty's new girlfriend is great with Roscoe and we hate Monica, so we're rooting for Marty. Also, Monica's consulting firm is doing the due diligence for the MetroCapital merger, which obviously sucks for Marty.
Episode Grade: B

Alcatraz - Clarence Montgomery
A man is sent to Alcatraz after being wrongfully convicted of murder. We should mention that he's black and he was convicted in the 1960s. He's in our time now and actually committing crimes. Apparently, he was brainwashed back in Alcatraz so he's convinced he's guilty and won't be anything but a murder for the rest of his life. He finds an old friend from the rock who notices he hasn't aged. When Rebecca, Doc and Hauser find Clarence at his friend's apartment, Clarence asks his friend to kill him so he both stops murdering and doesn't go back to jail. Hauser is upset, because Clarence had the lady doctor's blood type and could've saved her life.
Episode Grades: C

Switched at Birth - The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
Part of this episode was pretty cool. We like that Bay and Daphne teamed up for Emmett's birthday gift - making a deaf zombie movie. Too bad he doesn't deserve it, because he and Simone are acting cagey as hell pretending that they didn't sleep together at the basketball tournament. Wilke finds out because he accidentally reads Simone's texts with Emmett and he obviously disapproves. We obviously disapprove because Simone is the worst. We don't really know how to feel about Emmett not telling Bay. The truth is obviously going to come out eventually (probably next week, since that's the season finale), and it's not going to be pretty.
Episode Grade: B

Cougar Town - A One Story Town
That end tag was probably the best ever. So funny, even for people who don't love Scrubs. Jules got way too involved in the lives of her friends, as usual, but it's always out of love. She tried to set Bobby and Travis' photography professor (Angie) on the perfect date leading to the perfect kiss, because Bobby is a horrible date but the best kisser (according to Jules). Obviously, things go awry, but it obviously ends up all right. This is honestly one of the shows we wish we could live in.
Episode Grade: A

Body of Proof - Identity
We are so sick of crime shows doing an episode with this plot. Two girls who look similar are in a car accident in which one dies. They're misidentified at the scene. Seriously, when we were watching and found out that two girls had been in the car accident we said to the tv "please don't do this plot, you're better than that". Unfortunately, the show didn't listen to us. We still really like Megan and Aiden (mainly because Jamie Bamber is gorgeous and we miss Battlestar Galactica), but this show needs to stop recycling plots from every other crime show.
Episode Grade: D

Suburgatory - Independence Day
Tessa wants to become an independent, self-sufficient woman, so she gets a job at Dallas' crystal store. George worries that there's something going on in Tessa's life that she won't share with him. He finds the poem she wrote for the cool teacher's poetry class and worries even more about if this means that Tessa wants to see her mother. He meets with Tessa's maternal grandmother to see if she or her daughter (Tessa's mother) want to see Tessa. Apparently they don't. Whatever, Tessa is awesome and they're missing out. Also awesome: Dallas. She and Tessa are probably the best things about the show.
Episode Grade: B+

The Office - Get the Girl
Andy drives down to Florida to get Erin to come back to Scranton with him. He succeeds of course. In Scranton, Nellie has arrived for a job in the branch and, seeing Andy's office has no one sitting in it, decides she'd be a good manager. She gives everyone a raise and somehow convinces Robert California of her talents. Not that she really has any. It was a weird episode.
Episode Grade: B-

Community - Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts
If this episode hadn't been the first after an extended break, it would have been fine. As it was, it definitely didn't live up to our expectations. Granted, it's Community, so it's still hilarious (like Troy and Abed "de-whimsifying" themselves). We really wish we had gotten to see Troy and Abed's 24-hour marathon of weird in the dreamatorium.
Episode grades: A-

The Vampire Diaries - 1912
We can't believe that after all our complaining about Alaric death fake-outs, we found out that all the dying was for a reason. That was leading up to something! Dying too often and being saved by the ring messes with your head. This show is so brilliant. Even the stuff that annoys us turns out to be important. We found out that the person who made Damon a bad guy was a vampire named Sage. We bet she's doing MMA now. Damon and Stefan grow closer, and Elena and Matt share quality time together. Matt is STILL in love with Elena, at least a little bit. Poor thing. Although we enjoyed it, this episode won't get a perfect grade, because we think it's dumb that Meredith shot Alaric for his own good, and Liz acted irrationally. Their actions just didn't make sense.
Episode Grade: B

Grey's Anatomy- One Step Too Far
There is yet another gap for this show, and it's driving us crazy. At least other shows have ONE long gap and maybe two. This one seems to have about five per season. About the episode...well, everyone is on Team Cristina at this point, right? The abortion was debatable in some circles and we could at least half understand her point. But cheating is always wrong and cowardly. We actually still think that these two are endgame, but we don't enjoy adultery storylines, so it's a shame the show took us there. The abortion plot was at least interesting. We were surprised that Owen cheated, but we were glad that it wasn't with Nurse Emily. We love Summer Glau. We love Catherine Avery too, and we feel really bad for Morgan. Alex needs to shut it down before he hurts her or he needs to love her back. Callie is usually right, Alex. We can't BELIEVE Meredith and Lexie took out that tumor without consent. These doctors make so many mistakes in this hospital that we shouldn't be surprised, but they absolutely deserve to be sued for that. That was so bad. Of course, Derek took it all on himself, so we have to watch Saint Puppy-Dog Eyes in a lawsuit storyline. Snore.
Episode grade: B

The Secret Circle - Lucky
Faye told her mother about Cassie’s dad?!! Oh Faye, you’re the worst, even though we love you. John Blackwell is still decidedly Team Jake. It’s doubtful that all the adults would be ok with a school hosting a Casino Night. We loved Grant right away and wanted him with Diana so that she will be happy. He seems too perfect though. He donated 100s to the school, he has an accent, he reads books, he’s confident, and he’s cute. Since it’s this show, he has to be evil or something. It was awesome when Cassie almost killed Ethan for stabbing her father. We love when she gets dark and vengeful. John must really be in Cassie’s corner, since he didn’t let her kill Ethan. This is going to cause more rifts between Adam and Cassie. Both those dads are pretty hot. Dilfs. We don’t want either of them gone. We are pretty happy with this show, but the one thing that could make it better is if it became more of an ensemble drama, like a witchy Grey’s Anatomy. Cassie is not as likeable as some of the others, and the whole circle needs equally screen time. Cassie needs to not be the “main character.” There need to be six main characters.
Episode Grade: A-