We will be studying hard until May 13 (well, until May 3rd for one of us). We may post occasionally before May 13, but not regularly/daily. We will be sure to write make-up posts on the episodes we missed.
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Friday, April 27, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
What Happened - Jess runs into Ouli at the gym’s steam room. Ouli hugs her, naked, and Jess is so weirded out that her awkwardness gets the better of her. In order to quash it, Jess invites Ouli to dinner with her and Russell. At dinner, Jess notices that Ouli and Russell are two seconds away from having hate sex. They burn with passion, even if it’s mostly negative. Jess tries to annoy Russell into feeling similar things about her, but that just ticks him off. Jess breaks up with Russell because they don’t have enough passion.
Nick is upset that his year has been filled with heartbreak, so he devotes his time to a new hobby: planting tomatoes. The birds ruin that and Nick ends up sleeping with Caroline. Jess comes home to find Caroline in the apartment and has the kind of preschool fight with Nick of which she has obviously been dreaming. CeCe tells Schmidt that they need to take a break after the pregnancy scare. Schmidt sleeps with CeCe’s roommate and she breaks his penis. CeCe confesses to Schmidt that she likes him, so it looks like they are back together.
Comments - Winston in love is boring. Nick’s tomatoes kept him too sidelined. The stuff with Ouli and Russell was neither original nor particularly funny. Schmidt nearly the episode by dating the Russian model (at least until he broke his penis because we’ve seen that on Grey’s Anatomy). Nadia needs to make a few return appearances so that she can be creepy and say weird, foreign things. She shouldn’t come back too much though. Less is more with her. It’s weird that Jess wanted to be more like Ouli and annoy Russell a more. That relationship didn’t work and he’s grown out of it.
Jess acting like a seven-year-old is not going to inspire passion. We knew Russell and Jess had to end, but that was kind of an immature reason to end it. It seemed too quick and out of left field. Of course, the obvious lesson is that Nick and Jess fight, therefore they have passion. We are okay with this lesson. The fight between Jess and Nick was really cute and the highlight of the episode. Ern knows someone who is just like Schmidt in every way. It’s better on TV, haha.
Episode grade: B
Nearly everyone has stopped caring what happens in this show, but there is still music, so we still watch. How Will I Know was beautiful. We liked the way they slowed it down. It might have been the best song of the episode, so it’s a shame it came so early in the episode. We had already seen it in sneak previews, but still. Ern is over Blaine. When he did Teenage Dream and When I Get You Alone, she loved him. However, as soon as he got rid of the Warblers backing him and the super cool song arrangements, Ern realized that he was over-autotuned and often comes across as douche-y. We will always love Darren Criss from A Very Potter Musical, but on Glee? Meh. However, it was so sad when Blaine found out about the flirty texts.
Kurt was being a selfish little baby. We kind of like that. We hate when this show makes Kurt a saint every week. This week and religion week, we got to see Kurt mess up. It’s like Kurt doesn’t actually love Blaine or like Chandler; he just needs someone to make him feel nice about himself. If you’d throw away a real relationship for your ego getting stroked by compliments, we don’t know what to tell you except that we guess it’s pretty common these days.
It’s Not Right, But It’s Ok was…okay. This show needs to scoop up Pip, who was recently ousted from The Voice, so that they can have a guy singer on this show that doesn’t need a computer to make him listenable. We find it unbelievable that Darren Criss would be able sing over the Glee club in the background and the musicians without a microphone. Leeard will always love Darren Criss, due to hotness. I Wanna Dance with Somebody was adorable and perfect.
Quinn started out with a good attitude, but Artie ruined it by bumming her out and making her see his version of reality. The doctors said she had a chance for a full recovery soon. She should have stuck with that belief for a while. Ryan Murphy seems happy to have his Christian character that he always wanted. Of course, in order to be acceptable in entertainment, a Christian who is nice usually either has to be black or a simpleton. Joe is a simpleton, but he’s sweet. We like the emphasis on deeds and not just words with him.
Quinn is actually the most fully realized Christian character. She started out mean and hypocritical, but after she went through all her drama, she came back wise and nonjudgmental, yet still Christian. Saving All My Love was a little boring. Dreds are gross, but Joe is sweet, so we are rooting for him and Quinn. So Emotional brought it. We liked the Santana/Rachel pairing, since we like both those voices. They meshed better than we thought they would. Sidenote in the middle of a paragraph that really has no theme anyway: This show needs to be FUNNY again. Remember when this show was funny?
You know what we’ve stopped caring about? Emma and Will getting married. Yawn and snore. We laughed pretty hard when we realized that moving the wedding date was because Will wanted the Glee kids at his wedding. Then he started crying about it. Dear Lord, we hate this show. At least Sue wasn’t on it this week. We’re glad that we finally saw Burt Hummel again, because he remains the best. I Have Nothing was a sweet song choice, lyrically, but we would much rather have a Rachel Berry version of the song. Kurt singing that high is a new level of horrible. We like that the show didn’t have Mercedes do a full solo. She already got a Whitney song weeks ago, and we need covers that are significantly different from the originals. The last song was okay.
Episode grade: B-
Game of Thrones- Garden of Bones
Catelyn tries to get Renly and Stannis Baratheon to band together against the Lannisters. Then she has to see Ned Stark’s remains in a box. GROSS, LITTLEFINGER. She should have just stuck with the mental image of him alive. Now she has the mental image of him rotting, and a nice smell to go along with it. Joffrey becomes even more of a jerk than usual, but at least this leads to the best line ever (“There’s no cure for being a ****). Daenerys finds a city to take her in, and Tyrion continues to be awesome. Arya ends up a cupbearer for Tywin Lannister who hilariously realized she was a good as soon as he saw her. Gendry barely escaped with his life. We’ve heard of that rat torture before, and we have to say, that must be one of the top ten worst ways to die. GROSS. We ship Robb Stark and random healer girl. Melisandre gives birth to a smoke thing. She’s so eccentric.
Episode grade: A-
Rebecca Duvall starts inviting Karen out. Paparazzi follow. Jerry and Nick meet, and Jerry is not happy about it. You know, Nick is way too cute for Eileen. We just have to throw that out there, because we are shallow. But we love the way he handled Jerry. Leo thinks his parents splitting up gives him a blank check to just be a dick. He runs away from home and allows his parents and the cops to worry about him for days. Turns out, he’s sleeping on his friend’s floor. He comes home and apologizes, but seriously dude? Plenty of parents split up and many kids think about running away just to get away from it all and build a wall between yourself and parents who hurt you, but you don’t do it, because it’s mean and it helps nothing. Except in this case, it brought Leo’s parents close enough for a hug, because it’s this show and it’s unrealistic. Hear that kids? Just run away and your parents will unite to look for you. The emotion will bond them!
The Bollywood number was weird. And isn’t A Thousand and One Nights an Arabic story? The show seems to be saying, “Hey, they are all brown and exotic, so what’s the difference?” It was pretty fun though. We like this show a little ridiculous rather than just boring. It’s time for Dev to go, and we are glad that Ellis got stuck on smoothie duty, where he belongs. Ivy’s plot to steal Karen’s dull solo was pretty clever, but she has to know that she will be found out. It’s on again. We like Rebecca Duvall. She tells it like it is and wants some control over her projects. Yeah, she can’t sing, but she’s not going to end up an empty puppet like Marilyn Monroe. Uma Thurman brought life back to this show.
Episode grade: B+
Make It Or Break It- Dream On
It’s semi-qualifications time, so there are cuts. The main cuts victim is Kelly Parker. Fortunately, Kelly is now strong enough to tell her mom to get out of her life. She has a room waiting for her at her dad’s, knows that she will be ok, was strengthened by Kaylie’s friendship, and is ready to discover that there is more to herself than gymnastics. She even admitted that she peaked at World’s and her progress has been stagnant. So yeah, she took it well. It made us like KP more. We’re sad to see her go, but we know that someone important had to be cut this episode. Lauren Tanner’s dreams have been halted since Payson told Coach McIntire about her health problems. Lauren hates Payson now, but we suspect that Lauren will be right back at the training center in a few episodes. Also, Wendy is the mole. Meh. Why do all the girls on this show except for Payson, Kaylie, and Emily have to turn out to be secretly underhanded and bitchy? Come up with a new plotline, show. We’ve decided that the actress playing Jordan is not very good. Leeard hates Jordan with a fiery passion, but Ern kind of likes her. This episode was really touching with the KP stuff. It felt like old MIOBI.
Episode grade: A-
The Good Wife- The Penalty Box
Cary is back! CARY IS BACK! Yeeee! Also, Kalinda and Alicia are hanging out in bars again! Friends! Friends forever! Those things are awesome. The rest of the episode was ok. Alicia defends a judge who is in hot water for actions during his time as a prosecutor. We liked her questioning her role and the law at the end of the episode. We couldn’t care less about Kalinda’s FBI business or Will’s new fling. If we could only take two famous people to a desert island? Ern would probably take Tim Keller and Stephen King. Leeard would probably take Donald Glover and Jenna Marbles.
Episode grade: B
The Voice- We are sad to lose Pip and Mathai this week. Pip was versatile and had a genuinely good voice. He just hadn’t found his niche yet. The loss of James Massone was fine. We don’t know what Adam sees in Katrina Parker over Mathai. We don’t need a less good ADELE, and Mathai’s singing was consistently good. Cee Lo continues to make mostly excellent choices. Keeping Juliet Simms over Cheesa was a good call. We didn’t like either of the songs Juliet sang this week, but we liked her voice so much during the first live show last week that we think she needs to stay around so that we can hear more of that. Tony Lucca’s Baby One More Time was a great cover and an even better idea, so he deserved to stay. We think Jamar Rogers was voted saved by the American public partly due to sob story factor, but he has a good voice. Contestants we are rooting for now: Juliet Simms, Lindsey Pavao, Chris Mann, Erin Willett, and Tony Lucca.
Mad Men- Far Away Places
This show finally gave us someone to love. Yeah, Peggy is a nice person, but she started out so timid and she occasionally shows that she has no self-respect. Peggy gave a handjob to a stranger in this episode as a way to forget work and her relationship problems. Megan, on the other hand, is not only interesting but incapable of taking crap from Don Draper lying down. Scenes with her are never boring, and we love the way she’s not afraid to tell Don when he’s being a chauvinist pig, even if it devolves into a melodramatic fight. These two are hilarious. We actually laughed when Don was chasing Megan around the room. Don really loves Megan and we think she’s the best thing for him (at least for now). We used to think that was Faye, but it looks like it’s Megan. As for Roger’s tripping balls, we just kept thinking, “Take those big earrings out before you take LSD.” Try couples therapy with drugs!
Or not. It just gave Roger permission to leave his wife even if it also gave him some clarity and courage to be honest. That guy is a 15-year-old wreck. At least Don shows a little growth sometimes. But get back to work, Don. This was one of the more entertaining episodes so far this season. The LSD sequence was inspired. We loved the lack of Pete and the format of three short stories with a common theme. It wasn’t your average Mad Men episode. Sometimes the jumping around between characters in this show causes us to be unable to engage with one particular story. This episode stayed with characters until their story was told and it really sucked us in. On a more technical note, this was visually great. We liked the camerawork and many of the shots.
Episode grade: A
Monday, April 23, 2012
What Happened - In Storybrooke, Mr. Gold finds August snooping around his office with Henry’s help. Gold breaks into August’s room and sees a drawing of the dagger that can kill Rumpy. Gold starts to suspect that August is his son, Bae, and a nun in cahoots with August confirms the theory. Gold goes to Archie and confesses that he believes his son is in town and has come to kill Gold. Archie tells Gold to confess his wrongdoings and apologize. Gold confronts August and asks for forgiveness.
They hug and dig up Rumpy’s dagger. Gold asks August to destroy the dagger, but August instead tries to control Rumpy through the dagger. Gold realizes that his son would never do this. Also, his son would know that no magic works in Storybrooke. August is unable to kill Gold, and Gold spares August. You see, August is dying anyway and Gold presumably wants August to wake Emma up to the truth before he expires.
Meanwhile, Mary Margaret has been cleared and gets all her friends back. David tries to make up with her, but Mary Margaret has realized that something is trying to keep them apart. They are not back together, because Mary Margaret a) doesn’t forgive David for believing the frame-up and b) doesn’t want her good memories of David poisoned by whatever force is trying to keep them apart. Regina is upset with Gold for screwing her over by releasing Kathryn, who remembers nothing. He went with the letter, not the intent. All the evidence points back to Regina, so Sidney takes the fall for her. Emma is not buying it and tells Regina so. Emma also tells Regina that she is going to take Henry back.
In the Enchanted Forest, Baelfire, Rumpy’s son, becomes concerned that his father’s dark magic is continuing to turn him into a different person. Rumpy kills people, and Bae does not like that. Bae asks Rumpy if he would give up magic if Bae could find a way of doing it that wouldn’t kill him. Rumpy, thinking there is no such way, agrees. Bae finds the Blue Fairy who gives him the last magical bean in the world, telling Bae that it will take him and his father to a land where magic doesn’t exist.
Bae goes to his father, throws the bean on the ground, and creates a vortex that will transport them to an unknown land. Rumpy is scared and wants to keep his power, so he drops Bae into the vortex and does not follow him. When his son is gone and the vortex is closed, Rumpy regrets his decision and asks the Blue Fairy to help him get to his son. But there are no magic beans and the only way to get to a magic-less world is to perform a large curse for which Rumpy is not yet powerful enough. Rumpy swears that he will do it one day.
Comments - UGH, Ern thought August being Rumpy's son was so cool, but it isn’t true! We guess the son will be revealed in due course. Is it Henry's father? But still, that’s way better than someone being Pinocchio. We’re pretty sure August is Pinocchio though. Leeard is glad that he wasn’t Rumpy’s son.
August can’t die. They’ve already taken Graham away from us, so they can’t also take away our consolation prize. We can’t believe Rumpy dropped Bae! We’re glad that he regretted it instantly. This was the only deal Rumpy ever broke, and it was a doozy.
Rumpy was a coward to not give up the familiar and control in order to follow his heart. It’s crazy that Storybrooke and the whole deal with the Queen is actually Rumpy’s search for Bae. So maybe this world (Storybrooke) isn’t the evil, dour place it was made out to be by the first couple of episodes.
It’s a place of renewal and salvation that the Queen just thinks is a world where no one will be happy and she can have her revenge. Yeah, they have no memories and magic, but it looks like Gold is in control, not Regina. That’s awesome, because you know how we prefer Gold to just about any villain ever.
Episode grade: B+
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Detective Britten bonds with his wife after helping a couple in his son’s world enter the witness protection program. He also makes strides in accepting the move to Oregon. He introduces Detective Vega to his C.I., Jake, hoping that Vega can replace them in his relationship. Jake is hurt that Britten pawned him off on another detective with little ceremony, since he considered Britten to be a friend. Vega tells Britten that he messed up, and Britten is able to patch things up. This was a good episode of this show. We enjoyed the case with the witness protection program couple. We missed seeing Britten’s son, but we are glad the episode didn’t try to do too much. It was nice to have a break from the shrinks and the usual format. Someone save this show!
Episode grade: B
Touch- Lost and Found
Clea finds her mother and Martin finds a kidnapped boy. Will, a businessman, survives a plane crash just long enough to save a jazz club and Clea’s mom’s life. He also ends up saving an Asian lesbian who is about to become a mother. Guess who the sperm donor is going to be? Will. What a coincidence! But it’s these heartfelt little connections that make the show. We don’t care if they are contrived. We are touched anyway. Our disbelief is completely suspended for this sweet show. This episode also gave us a little more information regarding Teller, Jake’s numbers (called “The Amelia Sequence”), and some sort of conspiracy the facility is involved in. This show is still chugging along with enough quality to keep us attentive.
Episode grade: B+
Parks and Recreation- Live Ammo
April struggles to fill Leslie’s shoes at the parks department but manages to get some cute puppies adopted. Leslie saves the Parks Department budget from being cut and meets the current City Councilman that she is trying to replace. He really likes ships in bottles. Chris tries to get Ron into meditation, which is less funny than you would think, but it was also the best part of the episode. Chris also realizes that he might lose his job. We are loving depressed Chris this season. This episode was fine, but it was probably the least funny of the season. That’s not a huge diss, because this season has been mostly great. Still, we were expecting more from the episode following that long hiatus.
Episode grade: C+
P.S.- The Office was really bad this week, huh? This is probably our last season watching that show. Free Mindy Kaling!
P.P.S.- We finally get Once Upon a Time back tonight!!!!!!!!
Scandal focuses on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a woman who helped the president get elected and then started her own crisis management firm. She’s a more likable (yet less delicious) version of Eli Gold on The Good Wife. Olivia is a fixer. She does not work for truth and justice, but for her clients, which is fine with us because we have enough shows focused on ensuring justice. Her team includes former CIA and lawyers who investigate claims and try to get her clients out of hot water in Washington D.C. The clients are mostly politicians. Quinn, a new recruit, brings wide-eyed idealism and awe of Olivia to the table. Desmond from LOST is in this. The president is pretty hot for an old guy.
Leeard warmed up to this show a lot quicker than Ern did. Grey’s Anatomy meets The West Wing, so pretty much the perfect show for Leeard. Ern thought the pilot was sleazy and that it was difficult to care about any of the characters until the next two episodes aired. The first couple of scenes tried way too hard. They are too talky. You know Shonda Rhimes speeches, right? Well you get about three too many in the first scenes of the pilot. You know how her characters always speak fast and nervous? It’s the same thing here. It’s clear Shonda wrote this. Did they have to say that they were “gladiators in suits” 1,209 times? Do people have to verbally point out that Olivia Pope is legendary? The rule is “show, don’t tell” for a reason.
Also, the first episode had some annoying, uninspired, heavy-handed political bias toward the left. The blogger writing this paragraph is a moderate, but in the entertainment world, any bias or preaching toward either side turns off half the viewers in this country. Fortunately, the show dialed it down and recognized that scandal does not favor one political party over another. They all mess up and sleep around. Neither of us appreciate the red-headed character, Abby, who comes across as smug, self-righteous, assumptive, and not at all aware that there are good people that just genuinely disagree with her.
After the pilot, Ern wondered if she was going to care about politicians and their scandals. Most of them are sex scandals. Is that the only thing a politician can do wrong? Is sex the ultimate dirty thing? (No.) We’d like to see Olivia and her team tackle some other kinds of issues soon. Why should we be rooting for their problems to be fixed or their failures to be covered up? All truth should and will come out. Covering up people’s dirty laundry is the worst thing for them as people, even if they are politicians. The final scenes of the pilot made Ern wonder: Is Olivia Pope a bad guy? The show takes great pains to tell us no, she’s not bad. Olivia is supposed to be a superhero. A crusader. A character said, “She’s one of the good guys.” Another replies, “No, she’s the best guy.” Later, someone says, “Olivia Pope. She wears the white hat.”
But Olivia is a fixer. This show is focused on making Olivia look good rather than delving into the grey area that is her occupation. Maybe Olivia is a good guy trying to do a dirty job the best she can. Maybe wearing the white hat means that when Olivia has a choice, she helps politicians who are good for this country or she occasionally takes on victims as clients. Maybe it means that she does the best she can with the situations she is given. In one episode, Olivia saw to it that someone took responsibility for their actions. These days, the media are so intrusive and the public so judgmental that holding the hands of people who have messed up is an honorable job. Maybe a white hat would mitigate damage so that mostly successful, influential people can move on with the good parts of their lives. Maybe it’s compassion for the imperfect.
But it seems on Scandal that being savvy, strong, reputable, clever, and excellent at your job is a good in itself. There’s good and bad in every occupation. Hell, one of us is months away from being a lawyer. There are very few greyer-area jobs than that. Still, this issue needs to be addressed. A strength of this show could be watching Olivia face interesting moral quandaries as a generally good person in a cesspit. We’d like to see a few issues like the end of the movie Gone Baby Gone. This premise could raise similar questions.
We would like to see the show ask tough questions rather than simply try to dazzle us with how cool, flashy, and skilled Olivia and her team are. Stop telling us she’s a white hat. Show us how that’s possible as a Fixer. The third episode started to do that. It was mostly the pilot that seemed unaware of its ethics issues and over-pushed Olivia as the best thing since sliced bread. Leeard didn't have Ern's problems with this show's morals. Leeard thinks that if the characters on the show think Olivia is good and if Shonda does, it doesn't matter what we think, but she does agree that to the audience, there should probably be some debate about whether Olivia and her team are good or bad. We both fully expect there to be some episodes where Olivia faces a moral dilemma. As usual, we understand where the other is coming from and agree to disagree.
Some of the plots move too fast to avoid holes and come off as unrealistic, but the overall premise is believable, fresh, and creative. We know that any Shonda Rhimes show is going to have storylines that drive us up the wall. We also know that any Shonda show is going to have elements of her own personal fantasies. We’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy and what works there works here also. In the end of the pilot, an affair is revealed and we are wondering if Shonda thinks this is supposed to be the new Meredith and Derek.
There are plenty of fun twists, even though two of them we’ve seen on other shows, and there is good pacing. The cast and acting are perfect. Like Grey’s Anatomy, there are soapy and serial elements as well as cases of the week. We love Liza Weil (Paris from Gilmore Girls) as Amanda Tanner. We’ve always loved that actress. Fortunately, it’s less cutesy than Off the Map (which Leeard still misses). This is going to end up being like Grey’s Anatomy in that there will be portions that drive us crazy, but overall, we think we are going to be addicted to this show. Problems aside, we’re definitely going to finish the season. If you don't like this show from the pilot, definitely give it a couple more episodes.
Sweet Baby (Pilot): C
Dirty Little Secrets: B+
Hell Hath No Fury: B+