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Friday, August 17, 2012

The Campaign and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The Campaign - Not as funny as it should have been, but a few good moments and a good heavy-handed point about how corporations control candidates.
Movie grade: B-

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Snore. Sweet though. We bet it was a better book.
Movie grade: C+

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ern Reads 50 Shades of Grey post 4

By Meul (Meul) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons





I read these chapters while I blew my hair dry the other day. That’s how long it takes to dry my hair. #thickhairproblems. There has been some controversy because someone said that Matt Bomer can’t play Christian Grey because he is gay. I totally disagree because, as his defenders have said, gay men can play straight roles just like straight people can play gay ones. Also, it might be nice for the actress to have a gay man act with her, so that she can feel more comfortable doing the out-of-the-ordinary things this movie would require. Also also, Matt Bomer is the best-looking man alive.

Chapters 6-7
Sigh. These chapters. I don’t even…They were weird. Christian drives Ana to her duplex, and on the way, they listen to Lakme. Good opera taste, Mr. Grey. Elliot Grey is there, having just boned Kate, who is very happy about that. Methinks she got the nice, normal brother. Ana still can’t see what Christian sees in “mousey” old her. We get it, E.L. James. Christian flies Ana to his home that night, in his helicopter. His love of strapping her into the harness so that she couldn’t move much should have tipped her off to Christian’s predilections. We get some boring pages where he flies the helicopter and speaks into his headphones. Then we get a boring description of his lavish pad. Like Edward Cullen, Christian can play the piano. Ana signs a nondisclosure agreement so Christian can show her the dangerous, awful thing that’s going to make her run away. After she signs it, he shows her his bedroom that’s full of chains, whips, and medieval stuff. 

Ana is shocked, but not deterred. He shows her a bedroom where she would stay if she agrees to the arrangement he will propose. They go into the dining room to discuss what Christian showed her. He says that he doesn’t do relationships, but he will lavish her with clothing so that she can look good in the bedroom and accompany him to functions, as a date. She would live with him on weekends and sign a sex agreement. Ana asks Christian if has trouble getting women to let him dominate them. He says, “You’d be amazed.” Actually, I am amazed at how many women get their rocks off reading this stuff. I’d be lying if I said my imagination never went there once or twice, but a) it imagines the girl being the dominant just as much and b) it’s not this extreme. There are no medieval torture devices or spanking/beatings. I think a spanking would just remind me of my dad. Not sexy. 

I mean…dude. I’m just amazed that MILLIONS of women want to read something that looks like it’s going to be some seriously hardcore S&M porn. I don't even know if I can handle it. Or if I SHOULD handle it. And I'm a dirty bird, guys, mentally. To think, the old lady living next door to me, the college girl, and the librarian want to read this, and I'm kind of wanting to back away from it. Wow, I actually found something about this book that I’m interested in: I want to know what it is, psychologically, that drives women to this book. I want to know what modern mindset makes this the #1 bestseller today. Where is our consciousness at that women secretly think about a man hurting and controlling them in the bedroom? And is it healthy? And how does it tie in with the sex drive? Is it just curiosity? Did the messed-up parts of Twilight ease them into it?

Christian whips out a contract that has his rules. Ana has to obey him at all times and without hesitation, get at least seven hours of sleep a night when she isn’t at Christian’s, eat regularly from a prescribed list of foods and not snack on anything other than fruit (I would be OUT of there at that one), wear clothes picked out by Christian, exercise four times a week, wax herself (ouch), refrain from drinking/recreational drugs/smoking/danger, and sleep only with Christian. If she breaks the rules, it will “result in immediate punishment, the nature of which shall be determined by the Dominant.” Ugh. This is far from romantic. They negotiate a little about the exercise portion. Ana only wants to exercise three times a week. Hipsters don’t exercise!

Then Christian outlines his list of the things he won’t do. His “hard limits” during sex. He has a few of mine listed, I noted with some amusement. We wouldn’t do anything involving urination or defecation, and nothing with kids or animals. The rest of the stuff is odd. He doesn’t like “acts involving fire play.” He vetoes fire twice. Is he afraid of fire? Or just sane? I hope he’s afraid of fire. Ana is amazed that this stuff has to be written down. As are we. Christian asks Ana to add her “no’s” to the list. Ana tells him that she can’t think of anything because she’s a virgin. This is going to be a problem. He gets angry and says, “Why the f*** didn’t you tell me?”

Other comments: You have to give the guy credit for being totally upfront about all this. He handles it pretty professionally. He wants Ana to agree, in advance, to the things that she finds uncomfortable, and he really puts all his cards on the table. Is this what “true love” looks like? Probably not. Do I know what it is? No, I have no idea about any of this. I know that his control of her outside the bedroom and his love of power concern me and cannot, in any way, reflect love or a good relationship. But he says this isn’t a relationship. It’s play. It’s sating his desire. And he’s been completely honest about everything. I heard that people in the S&M community say this book doesn’t reflect healthy S&M community practices, that it is bad for S&M, and that it’s abusive. We haven’t really gotten into the sex, but at some point I am going to research what their exact problems with Christian Grey’s habits are and how real S&M differs. It should be awkward, but we don’t want to end up as na├»ve as Ana, now do we?

Doctor Who - Rose (Season 1, episode 1)

By BBC [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
We’re starting Doctor Who. We’re not going back to, like, the 60s when this show started. We’re starting with the 2005 incarnation. We are anxious for the doctor to change incarnations because we aren’t digging Christopher Eccleston yet. We meet Rose, a blonde girl who dropped out of school, has a crappy job, and isn’t really in love with her dull boyfriend.

Her mom is really annoying. When Rose goes to her job, shouting for a “Wilson” in a truly amazing English accent, mannequins start attacking her. She is saved by The Doctor, a man who talks fast and moves faster. She ends up taking a mannequin arm home. The Doctor shows up at Rose's house the next morning just in time to save her from the plastic arm. The special effects on this show aren’t great, at least in 2005 (the first season of the reboot).

The Doctor disappears and Rose goes online to research him. She finds a father in a suburban neighborhood who is obsessed with The Doctor. He tells her that The Doctor is a time-travelling alien. Rose decides the guy is crazy. Meanwhile, Rose’s boring boyfriend gets taken by the plastic forces and replaced with a plastic doppelganger. Even though he looks like he’s been dipped in shiny chocolate, Rose doesn’t notice he’s not himself for a while.

The Doctor figures it out and defeats Plastic Boyfriend. The Doctor says that forces from another planet are controlling the plastic and making it evil in an attempt to take over the world. The Doctor has to find the incarnation of the plastic forces and kill it with anti-plastic. The Doctor shows Rose his ship, the TARDIS, which can travel through time and confirms that he is an alien. Rose helps The Doctor find the plastic consciousness, where they also find Boring Boyfriend still alive.

The Doctor tries to reason with the plastic thing, instead of killing it instantly. The Doctor is grabbed by a mannequin, while Rose and Boyfriend look on for too long without doing anything. The plastic invasion starts. The mannequins start killing people. It’s very Mars Attacks. Finally, Rose gets it in gear and uses her gymnastics skills to free The Doctor and kick the antiplastic into the pit where the consciousness is. It’s pretty hard to explain, for something so stupid.

The Doctor asks Rose to join him as his time travelling companion, and she eventually agrees, ditching her entire loser life (mom and boyfriend included) to go on adventures. Because, duh, of course she would. We totally would too. So far, this show is truly nerdy and has potential as a cult series (obviously, since we know now that it’s a cult series). Hopefully it can suck us into the cult, but it isn’t doing it yet. It’s going to have to get better. And less stupid. Or, if it keeps the stupidity, it needs to be funnier.

So far, what we like is the funny parts, the fast talking, and the way The Doctor cares about humanity. It’s pretty zany and reminds us a little of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the book. Does anyone know how long we should give this show to lure us in? It must get awesome because tumblr goes hard for it. They are also obsessed with Harry Potter and Supernatural, both things of which we approve. Also, one of our most awesome friends told us to get into this.

Episode grade: C-

The Glee Project - Glee-ality


For a show that takes itself so seriously, it should really stop with the episode titles in season three. Well, one of us just came from running around outside in the pouring rain and jumping in puddles (because that’s the only time running is fun/and oh yeah, I’m a freaking child), so that blogger is a little damp but ready to edit/write/add her two mocking cents. That blogger is team Aylin, but wants anyone but Ali. So, Blake or Aylin. The other blogger has always hated Aylin. It took so long for someone to put this episode online. It’s one of the hardest shows to find links for, so we are glad it’s over for now. The homework assignment is "You Can’t Stop the Beat" from Hairspray, and they butchered it almost as much as the real Glee kids did. At least they had more energy and it sounded more raw. All the eliminated contestants came back to sing backup. That means Charlie made a beeline for a very excited Aylin. Our ideal top three would have been Lily Mae, Shanna, and Dani, but this show sucks. It was nice to see them all again. Even that country western guy no one remembers. He’s cute though. The guest mentor is Chris Colfer and everyone is excited about that. It may come as a shock to you, but one of us really likes Chris Colfer. He seems like a decent, grounded human being.

Chris is pretty much the same person as Ryan Murphy, since he picked all three as the winners. Ryan is determined to not do that this year, oh no. He’s only picking one person. The final video is "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae, a song that has been annoying since the first time we heard it. The concept for the video is prom, a thing that has been annoying since the first time we heard of it. Aylin is playing a girl sneaking out for prom/hiding it from her parents. Blake is a humble, popular prom king (something Chris doesn’t think exists; neither do we. Hardly anyone is really, truly humble, and almost no one is in high school. Let alone the prom king). Ali is the flirty mean girl.

The judges worry that Aylin won’t be able to handle the backlash that will come from the Muslim character they will write for her. Um, there hasn’t been any backlash from her being on The Glee Project. Then again, she’s no Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Blake does a good job in the shoot. Ali looks forced, as usual. They bring Damien McGinty back to parade him in front of the finalists. He says boring things in his adorable accent. We are reminded of how poorly used he is on Glee. Maybe no one ever wins this show. They used Samuel pretty well though. The video is meh, as usual. We wish our proms had featured balloon drops and swings. WE LOVE SWINGS.

FINALLY, we get to the Last Chance Performances, which are the best thing about this show, for real. Several writers, stars from Glee, and the old contestants are watching them perform, as well as Ryan Murphy and the regular judges. Dianna looked great. We have a girl crush on her looks, Jenna Marbles-style. Ali sings "Popular" from Wicked, wisely playing into the writers’ idea that she play yet another mean girl on Glee. It makes us like her better to know that she is freaking brilliant and will do anything to win, even stop being a “ball of light.” It’s a good song for her thin, excruciating voice too.

Blake chooses to sing "I’ll Be" by Edwin McCain because the song is special to him. Ahhh, so he’s going to act really gay and sensitive so Ryan will fall in love with him. Psh, that will never wo- OH MAN. That totally worked. Ryan is smitten. To his credit, Blake is super hot and Ryan likes the peen. Blake ends things with a sensitive poem about himself that everyone eats up. We thought it was mostly lame with a side of cute. We liked his little dance moves during his song though. He’s a showman.

Aylin sings "Rolling in the Deep" because she realizes her strongest card in this game is her singing voice. And damn she sounds good. It’s hard to sing an Adele song and make it sound like you should be singing it, but Aylin pulls it off. She gets a standing ovation after killing it. But this isn’t a singing competition. It’s more like a beauty pageant where everyone does the same thing for their talent. Before Aylin sings, Abraham shouts, “WORK!” We guess he’s getting more comfortable with his androgyny.

The judges deliberate. Then Charlie makes this speech about why Aylin should win, and he sounds like he’s about to cry. Ryan comments on how emotional he is. Oh how we cringed during Charlie’s speech. He’s actually in love with Aylin. Poor fool. Ryan is like, “Everything you’re saying, I’ve already said. Stop copying me. I’m in love with Blake.” Aylin’s pros: She’s Muslim, she sang Adele. Ali’s pros: She’s actually in a wheelchair (unlike Artie who can get up and walk any time). Blake’s pros: He’s talented, good looking, and he has a good attitude. Also, remember guys, he can act the best. Blake actually wins. We are really surprised because he’s the least Super Special. We’re happy with the winner. The lesson on The Glee Project is that Super Special people will get attention and consideration early, but in the end, the likeable guy always wins on a reality TV show.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pretty Little Liars - What Lies Beneath

By Carol Carol (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hmm. Maybe it was our moods, but we found this offering a little dull, especially after the great episode last week. Ezra found ex-girlfriend Maggie in Delaware. Hanna and Emily find pictures of Maya at Noel’s cabin during the daytime. They go to the cabin and find a secret room behind a bookcase. Inside the room is a dirty mattress, Maya’s unused ticket to get out of Rosewood, and Maya’s duffle bag. The cabin door and the shutters slam shut. While the girls are trying to get out, Hanna cuts her leg. Outside the house, A has painted “I’m saving you for later” on the fence.

Hanna has to call Dr. Wren to stitch her leg up, and more sparks fly, even though Hanna makes it clear that the kiss “can’t happen again.” We bet it happens again. One of us kind of hopes it happens again. Hanna is with Caleb now, only they are keeping it a secret. If Hanna cheats on Caleb, we won’t be pleased. But we will understand. After Noel catches Spencer in the boys’ locker room, snooping, he sends her a hilarious email with an attachment that included security footage of his cabin the night Maya was murdered. We see Maya getting grabbed, and the video proves that Jenna, Noel, and Garrett didn’t kill her. Please, show, tell us who killed Maya so that they can become our favorite character.

Meanwhile, Ella is getting closer to the coffee shop owner (and we love that). Does Zack remind anyone else of Lee Pace? Aria didn’t do much in this episode except help her mom get closer to Zack and act coldly toward Ezra for the Maggie secret. Then we have Emily kissing Nate. Paige, once again having the worst timing ever, walks up and sees it. We thought Emily was gay.

If Emily isn’t gay now, we’re going to be annoyed. She’s been gay for three seasons and that’s not something you just instantly change because now the show has a cute black guy. We love the idea of Noel helping Spencer out. Noel might not be a bad guy for Spencer to go out with now that Wren might be taken by Hanna. He’s so weird though, seriously. Last week was better.

Episode grade: B-

Leeard completely disagrees with this assessment. She gives this episode an A+. SO MUCH STUFF HAPPENED! This episode should get an A based solely on that creepy kidnap room. Also, to continue to disagree with Ern, just because Emily kisses a guy doesn't mean that she isn't gay anymore. Or maybe she wasn't "gay" to begin with. Sexuality is fluid.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bunheads - No One Takes the Khaleesi’s Dragons

By The Huntington from Boston, Massachusetts, USA (Sutton Foster) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, that’s really the title of this episode. This show is so crazy. It’s like Amy Sherman-Palladino loves Game of Thrones even more than Leeard. Wait, not possible. Anyway, this show worked really hard to fit that reference in, even when it made no sense. Fanny is looking for a new Clara, and no one wants to fill the role. Fanny has gone crazy. Once of the dancers has a black eye. COMICAL. Sasha doesn’t like cheerleading, and Michelle gave her a talk about how she needs to suck it up and go back to ballet. It seemed to go well.

Michelle tries to get a new market to open in town, with no success. The bartender hits on Michelle and then buys her a coffeemaker. Boo tried to make up with Carl and even got a kiss from him, but then she ruins it again. Ginny has a crush on Charlie now, and Boo thinks she broke “bra code.” Carl hears Boo scolding Ginny and just leaves. Boo realizes she’s an idiot who lost Carl again.

Kirk from Gilmore Girls shows up as a coffee barista who takes his art very seriously. He’s won awards and takes forever to make a cup of coffee. It was really funny, especially in the cold open, but we hope he doesn’t stick around. The joke has been told. We also thought it was funny when Ginny was acting so weird around Charlie. The Truly stuff was funny too. A little of her goes a long way. We want Michelle to at least give the bartender a try, but he doesn’t seem like endgame for her, does he? It might be fun though. She needs fun.

Those cheerleading outfits were cute. We still don’t know what this show wants to do with its characters or where it’s going, if it’s going anywhere, but we enjoyed this hour of TV. If the show doesn't get a second season though, we understand. If it weren't summer (when there are fewer shows), we probably wouldn't still be watching it. 

Episode grade: B

Supernatural - What we thought and how to fix what's wrong

By http://www.flickr.com/people/28821738@N05 [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
We are caught up on Supernatural. We updated the episodes you can skip post too, in order to include season seven’s time wasters. So…what did we think? Overall, we really liked it and will definitely watch season eight this fall. But we are also angry. This show has a ton of potential that it only occasionally realizes. When the show is good, it stays with you for days. We have no idea what the show was doing in seasons six and seven. We understand season one being cheesy and bad because they were still figuring out what the show was. By season six, the show knew what worked and what made its best seasons good. And then it went and did the opposite of that.

The good news is one of the brothers is always awesome, no matter how bad the show is. We’re obviously talking about Dean. We don’t hate Sam. He is in no way annoying or unlikeable. He just doesn’t have as much personality. And Dean is infinitely cuter. We also like, Castiel, obviously. We like all the salt they use too. If you know why, you’re awesome. One of our complaints about the show is that sometimes it’s too depressing, especially in season three when hell was hanging over Dean’s head for a year. The boys have few allies, and the ones they do have tend not to last long.

There’s a lot of dark forces and not a lot of light powers to counter it. Even the angels on this show are dicks. God exists, but he is absent, only taking an interest a couple of times. We have never met him on the show. The show’s version of God seems like a faraway jerk who won’t even let his angels see him. (On that note, the theology/spiritual theories often change based on what the writers want to do with the show, so it all comes out murky and inconsistent. Much like real theology, haha. It’s funny what this show thinks purgatory is.) So when Castiel came onto the scene, he provided much-needed comic relief. Without him, the events can be dreary and wear on a marathoner of the show.

We love when the show has a sense of humor about itself, like in "The Monster at the End of This Book" in season four and when the brothers were transported to the real world. It’s a humble show that pokes fun at its stumbles/worst episodes, long running time, actors, and staff. The show is better when it’s a serial and not a monster-of-the-week show, but it inability to decide what it is hurts it. The show’s best seasons (three through five) had strong overarching plotlines and lots of continuity, turning it into more of a serial. That’s what this show is good at. It builds tension, it develops the characters, and it makes us feel like we are heading somewhere.

We have nothing against procedurals when they are good. That means the cases each week and the temporary characters in them have to be interesting. That’s almost never the case with Supernatural standalone episodes. It just turns into a ghost or slasher story that’s usually fun, but mostly unoriginal and dragged out. It’s like those episodes don’t have enough plot to sustain a 42-minute running time, so the episodes drag. When the show good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad, it makes us hate it. We never really want to stop watching it though. Even after the last two sucky seasons, we still want to watch more.

We think one of the things that makes Supernatural so addictive is that it plays like fan fiction. It gives the viewers what they want. Sure, there has been no Wincest and Dean/Castiel are gay together, but other than that? Yeah, it’s like fan fiction. There are fun weddings, people randomly come back from the dead just because viewers miss them (and if they can’t come back, the boys will time travel to see them), the show acknowledges the fandom, and we get a ton of back story and time travel, even when we don’t need it.

Season breakdown: Season one is sooooo cheesy and slow. Season two strikes a perfect balance between procedural and serial, but it was pretty average. We missed John Winchester after season one, but you have to admit, that dude was kind of a dick. Season three was really good, and we liked the blonde incarnation of Ruby. The new one was prettier, but Katie Cassidy had more snark and charisma. Seasons four and five were the best. Season six dropped back to season two quality. Season seven was a complete mess in almost every way due to lack of continuity. But hey, it’s tough to top the apocalypse when you had it in the middle of the show.

We don’t think the show should be cancelled. There’s a new showrunner taking over for season eight. Thank God because whoever ran season seven (we know it was Sera Gamble) did a real hack job. It still has life in it and it can still do what it does best (and maybe do it even better), but only if they add some new blood and do the following:
  • Look at what the good seasons did. Do that.
  • Have more continuity and fewer cases of the week, as per the strongest seasons. Stop with the standalones. Standalones aren’t for longtime fans. Those are for catching viewers. All they have are caught now. Maybe the show can win back older viewers who dropped out in the last two years.
  • Make Dean suffer, not Sam. For some reason, when it’s Dean’s soul, life, or sanity on the line, it makes for a better season. When Dean is in pain, the audience wants it fixed NOW. Again, the best seasons had Dean on the ropes, not his brother.
  • Get a better, scarier Big Bad. You have to top the apocalypse, Eve, leviathans, demons, archangels (which were awesome), and the devil. So you’re really left with three options. If it’s not going to be the last season, have a really powerful actor. Maybe a wizard that has tapped into another dimension and can bring some scary crap here, but make him a charismatic, complicated, Hannibal Lecter-type presence. But end with either God or the devil as the antagonist. Wow, did religious people just write that? Yeah, we did. But it would fit the rest of the show to have Sam and Dean disagree with God about something. It would have to be written and ended very carefully though. Let’s face it, they’d probably fudge it. They’d need to get Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Rob Bell to meet and write it if they wanted God as a Big Bad to pan out in a good, intense, intelligent, and deep way. The actor they have for the devil is good and enjoyable in that role, but he’s more amusing than scary. God would be better. If that's too controversial or risky, make the devil scarier and bring him back. 
  • Please don’t make the Big Bad Crowley or the vampire king. The latter was hinted at as a future big enemy in season seven, but let’s all admit that the vampire alpha turns every episode he’s in into a nasty bore fest.
  • Stop killing people then bringing them back. It kills the intensity if everyone comes back. How many times has Dean Winchester died? It was only necessary in the Groundhog Day episode and the time he went to hell. It seems like everyone on this show has been dead and come back in some form.
  • If you are going to bring people back, we want to see either John Winchester or Pamela the psychic. We’d rather them not bring anyone back though.
  • We need another good side character, particularly a new good female character. Thank God wet blanket Lisa is gone. Ben was a cool kid though.
  • Bring on the manhunts! Prison is an actual threat to these guys. Have them arrested and let one of them stay in prison for a while so that it’s an actual consequence.
  • Have shorter scenes
  • Don’t drag things out. We need a Vampire Diaries writer on this, pronto.
Season One: C
Season Two: B-
Season Three: B+
Season Four: A
Season Five: B+
Season Six: C+
Season Seven: C-
Show Grade, So Far: B-

Breaking Bad- Dead Freight

Using legal pictures sucks, but I'm all antsy about copyright stuff. I know too much, haha. I'm about to draw my own pictures for this blog. They will be horrible, but they might be entertaining. 

First person then. Everyone knows this is Ern writing about this show. After this episode, I just kind of sat there for 30 seconds with my mouth hanging open. I can’t decide if that ending was horrifying or awesome. At the beginning of the episode, a little kid is riding a motorized bike. Is this a dirt bike? Sorry, I was a peasant growing up. My parents made me pedal. Anyway, it looks pretty cool and I want one. The little boy is cute. He stops to pick up a tarantula and put it in a jar. It’s neat how he’s not afraid of it at all.

Walt bugs Hank’s office, and Mike forces Lydia to report the bug to Hank so that they can see if the police planted the trackers. It turns out Mike was wrong about Lydia. The F.B.I. planted them. Lydia tells Jesse, Walt, and Mike that they can rob a freight train to get methylamine. Yes, I keep having to look that word up in order to spell it right. I got a D in chemistry in high school. More fun facts about Ern! No? Okay, back to the show. Mike says that in order to rob the train, they will have to kill the conductor and engineer onboard.

Mike makes it clear that there are two kinds of heists: Heists where the perps get away with it and heists with witnesses. Walt strongly considers killing the men, but Jesse won’t have it because Jesse is the best. Instead, Jesse comes up with this insanely brilliant idea to stop the train, drain the methylamine, and then replace it with water, using pre-prepared, buried tanks and hoses. That way, when the tank is weighed, no one would even know the train had been robbed. When the buyers find diluted methylamine (by only 4%, by the way), they will blame the supplier (China). It’s so smart, it’s scary. Jesse is a genius when he’s not on meth. He’s the MVP so far. Remember the magnets idea too?

They get Todd (Landry from Friday Night Lights) to help with the actual deed. Shockingly, they pull it off. No one sees them. The train stops because they planted another of their guys’ trucks in the middle of the tracks so that the train had to try to get that truck moving again. It’s a tense, long scene, and it’s great. The train starts moving just when they are finishing up. Jesse almost gets run over by the train. Todd has to jump. They all meet under the tracks as the train leaves. Walt laughs. Jesse says, “YEAH BITCH.” Because I’ve seen this show, I know that the episode can’t end this way, with the success. This show is too dark for that.

That’s when I remembered the kid from the cold open. Literally five seconds later we see him. He waves hi to the three thieves. Todd pulls out a gun. Jesse screams in protest. Todd shoots the kid in the head. Oh, Jesse is gonna KILL this guy. Even evil Walt looked shocked. In other news, Flynn is emo. No one cares. No one shoots him in the head. It should have been Flynn. Sklyer is a little more sane in this episode, and she and Walt have reached some sort of (probably temporary) deal where Skyler will keep doing Walt’s dirty work if he lets the kids stay with her sister. In order to drive home the point that this is a heist episode, the movie Heat is referenced. Now I want to go watch Heat.

Episode grade: A

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ern's picks - Tubey Awards Finals Round Three

Best Unexpected Plot Twist - Vampire Diaries.
There is no way I am putting the plot twists on here in full. No way. They are too great and too spoilery. I’m mad Leeard saw two of them. I’m not picking Supernatural because how is that unexpected? That’s literally the only place Dean hasn’t been. It’s about time. The Dexter one should have happened one season early and I saw it coming. The Mad Men one wasn’t much of a shock either. I don’t watch Sherlock. The Once Upon a Time, Walking Dead, and Fringe ones were good, but can’t compete with the others on the list. Saw the American Horror Story twist coming a mile away, and it wasn’t that original. That leaves The Vampire Diaries and Breaking Bad. The great thing about these twists is not only were they surprising, they will cause repercussions in the shows’ futures. They were game-changers. I think I was shocked by the Breaking Bad twist the most, but I liked the Vampire Diaries one better.

Best “Hell Yeah” Moment - Joan kicks her husband out of the house, lets him know that she never forgot the fact that he raped her, Mad Men
I liked: “There are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them.” – Game of Thrones, Elena kissing Damon on The Vampire Diaries, Lane punching Pete on Mad Men, Leslie winning the election on Parks and Recreation, Tyrion slapping Joffrey again on Game of Thrones. I didn’t see: The Castle kiss, The One Live to Live death, and the Sherlock fake. I didn’t like: The Supernatural one. How was that a “hell yeah” moment? The one I picked was the one that actually made me say, “Hell yeah” out loud, so that’s the winner. That needed to be addressed. Plus, I really love Joan.

Best Pop Culture Reference - Mr. Garrison explains the plot of Game of Thrones, South Park
This was the funniest one left in the categories. That show NEEDS to be explained. Plus, it’s classic inappropriate Mr. Garrison.

Most Overrated Show - Modern Family
At this point, I don’t think 30 Rock, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, and True Blood are getting much praise. I like Girls, Mad Men, and The Vampire Diaries more than most people. It comes down to Big Bang Theory and Modern Family for me. Modern Family gets more praise, and this season was just okay. I’d call it repetitive, but since I’ve said it before, that would be ironic.

Most Underrated Show - Parks and Recreation
This was a much harder pick. I strongly considered Awkward. (for being on MTV, this show has some substance), Cougar Town (for being adorable), Justified (for excellent writing and dialogue), Vampire Diaries (for being the best show on TV after Breaking Bad), and Parenthood (for general excellence). I picked Parks and Rec because its last two seasons have been stellar and I feel like no one I know watches it. It is shunned with awards, and I don’t think anyone knows how funny and sweet it is.

Best Competitive Reality Show - The Voice
Ugh, I hate them all. I can remotely stand So You Think You Can Dance and The Voice. The Voice keeps me longer. I usually drop out somewhere in the middle of these shows’ seasons.

Best Candid Reality Show - Dance Moms
Intervention is not on here. POO. Hoarders is funny, but it’s mostly the same thing every time. Someone hoards. Breaking Pointe wasn’t as good as it should have been. It was too tame. You know what’s not tame? My pick.

Best Reality Smackdown - Nikki calls Lindsay out on having a fake emotional moment, The Glee Project
I didn’t see most of these because scripted TV is too good to waste my time with reality TV. But Nikki telling Lindsay to get real was appreciated.

Most Egregiously Offensive Reality TV Show - Toddlers & Tiaras
Now, here’s my category! Toddlers & Tiaras beats Jersey Shore by a nose. Those kids don’t have a choice. The Jersey chodes do.

Best WTF Moment - Zou Bisou Bisou, Mad Men
Of course the Breaking Bad death was in the running for me, but I still can’t get Zou Bisou Bisou out of my head. It took me a LONG time to decide if I liked it. I was like, “What is she doing?” It was the definition of WTF.

Worst WTF Moment - Deb loves Dexter, Dexter
The way I picked this was asking myself which moment I would eliminate/take back from the show. I nearly picked the Grey’s Anatomy death that made me so sad. But I think the Dexter thing is the worst, most unnecessary thing to happen to any show I’ve ever seen. I don’t give a crap about how Santana came out of the closet. We’ve had enough of those scenes on Glee.

Best Scene-Stealing Supporting Character - Castiel, Supernatural
I asked myself, “Who steals the most scenes?” I almost picked Castiel, Schmidt, Rebekah, and Jaqen, but I think James Van Der Beek makes his show. So I was gonna pick him. But then I picked Castiel because he’s cute. I hit the button on that. So I have to be honest with you guys on what I actually wanted to win this one, haha. I actually don’t like Colin Sweeney on The Good Wife that much!

Most Annoying Teenaged Character - Declan, Revenge
I disagree that the following people are annoying: Blaine, Elena, Kurt, Rachel, and Sugar Motta. Sugar is funny. The only time I’ve hated Kurt is when he compared something to “modern-day stoning” when there is still real stoning. Idiot. Joffrey isn’t annoying; he’s detestable. Declan is a useless, un-hot diversion from interesting things on his show.

Favorite Showrunner - Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
Well, I haven’t met any of them. THAT needs to change. I like Bill Lawrence as a person, but I think the person doing the best job as a showrunner is Vince Gilligan. He refuses to compromise on this show, taking it to dark and moral places. He’s not afraid to try his audience’s patience. He’s teaching us to wait, analyze, and commit to something great again. I love shows that require my patience and brainpower, and then reward me sufficiently. Like LOST.

Leeard's Picks - Tubey Awards Finals Round Three

Best Unexpected Plot Twist - Elena is apparently a vampire, The Vampire Diaries
The only other choice I came close to picking in this category was Violet is a ghost, American Horror Story. I didn't pick that because there was so much speculation about it in the weeks leading up to the "big" reveal, so I'm pretty sure a lot of people saw it coming. While Elena's transformation in itself isn't unexpected, I was surprised they decided to do it this early. And I'm really excited to see where it takes the show.

Best "Hell Yeah!" Moment - Castle and Beckett finally kiss for real, Castle
Literally every time Tyrion slaps Joffrey is the best, so I couldn't choose just one of them. I had to pick that Castle and Beckett moment; Elena and Damon had a hot kiss, but I had four years of build-up for Castle and Beckett. It was awesome.

Best Pop Culture Reference - Law & Order parody, Community
Too many good choices! I think this is the one I got the best (being a big L&O fan), so it's my choice.

Most Overrated Show - True Blood
I wasn't aware that America's Got Talent was popular enough to even be considered overrated. I pretty much want to punch everyone who voted for Girls and The Vampire Diaries enough to get it to the final round - if anything, those shows (especially TVD) don't get enough credit. As much as I recognize that How I Met Your Mother has declined in quality, I still don't think it's overrated. Gotta go with True Blood.

Most Underrated Show - Awkward.
Easily. It's getting some more love now, but it really is one of the best shows that no one is watching. Grimm and Teen Wolf are also a lot better than you'd expect. And can I just say that I love that The Vampire Diaries is nominated in both most overrated and most underrated show? That's awesome.

Best Competitive Reality Show - So You Think You Can Dance
My love for SYTYCD is well-documented on this website; I don't think I need to go on and on about how great everything (dancers, choreographers, host, judges, music) about the show is. It's just great.

Best Candid Reality Show - Storage Wars
I love this show. I honestly have no idea why. I just do.

Best Reality Smackdown - The Situation vs. the wall, and the wall wins, Jersey Shore
That entire scene was golden.

Most Egregiously Offensive Reality Show - Toddlers & Tiaras
No explanation necessary.

Best "WTF" Moment - A's lair, Pretty Little Liars
Ugh this was such a horrible category. Literally none of these (since I'm not caught up on Breaking Bad). I guess I have to go with A's lair just because it was the only moment of those listed that I actually liked.

Worst "WTF" Moment - Brennan ditches Booth, runs off with their newborn baby because she's being framed for murder, Bones
Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That's pretty much all I have to say about Bones anymore. Robb marries Talia on Game of Thrones is a very close second though.

Best Scene-Stealing Supporting Character - Schmidt, New Girl
I love this man so much. I'd watch The Schmidt Show, no doubt.

Most Annoying Teenaged Character - Declan, Revenge
Just .... Obnoxious. And since I can't vote for Charlotte, I'll vote for the second best option.

Favorite Showrunner - Dan Harmon, Community
Miss you already.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ern's Picks - Tubey Award Finals Round Two


Favorite actor - Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Hmm. This says “favorite,” not “best.” Acting is part of what makes favorite actors for me though, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t watch Sherlock, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons has gotten enough recognition, Ian Somerhalder and Alexander Skarsgard whisper too much, Jon Hamm has never impressed me, and Timothy Olyphant doesn’t have to pull off much on Justified (although good accent, Tim). So we’re down to Jensen Ackles, John Noble, and Peter Dinklage. I’m eliminating Jensen first, because while he is both hot and a Christian in real life (and that’s rare/I’m one too), the others are just better. I almost voted for Jensen because lots of people say he’s bad, and I don’t think he’s bad/I want to defend him. Peter Dinklage gets enough attention for Game of Thrones, and rightly so. I want to give this to John Noble because he seems to go unrecognized constantly, and he’s the best part of Fringe. But I can't rightly say that I prefer him to Peter. 

Favorite actress - Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Nearly anyone listed in this category could win, and I’d be happy. This is a solid mothereffing list. I love them all. I’m gonna eliminate Anna Torv first because she comes off sort of bland. Naya Rivera is next because I don’t think what she does is hard, acting-wise. The singing and dancing are amazing, but I’m going off of acting here. Emily VanCamp was surprisingly good in Revenge, but I actually wish it were someone else playing that part. I like Mayim Bialik as a person, but there’s no way she’s going to top an actress on a show I actually like. Maisie Williams is good on Game of Thrones, but there are better female actors on the show and, once again, Maisie doesn’t have super-challenging material. She’s a lot better than Danaerys, I’ll give her that. Alison Brie is perfect. Too perfect. Due to my jealousy, I cannot like her, and therefore she cannot be my favorite. I am a small, small person. Claire Danes, Amy Poehler, and Christina Hendricks are great. I think Nina Dobrev is my favorite though, just because she takes what could have been a boring character and makes me feel for her. Plus, she’s Katherine too.

Favorite Character - Abed Nadir, Community
I note that Damon Salvatore and Dean Winchester are on this list, but Stefan Salvatore and Sam Winchester are not. Look, just about everyone prefers Dean to Sideburns Sam, but some people actually like Stefan the best. I wish he were on here. Once again, I must eliminate Sherlock, but I’m going to have to make that my next show to catch up on. Raylan Givens doesn’t interest me enough, but he is bad ass. The Dowager Countess is freaking amazing, but not my favorite character on this list. Schmidt reminds me too much of someone I know in real life which then reminds me of an annoying life event that brought us together. They are the same freaking person. Dean and Damon get enough love (and were they here, I would give them more, literally). Arya Stark is great, but I’ll pick her later. She gets cooler than what we’ve seen on the show. Tyrion is my favorite Game of Thrones character, as you all probably know. Abed Nadir is a stereotype breaker for Muslim television characters. See, Ryan Murphy? You want to make a Muslim character around Aylin, but you’re missing the point when you make everything about how they are Muslim. Abed’s identity is based on his friendships, his big heart, his love of pop culture, and his Asperger’s. Likewise, Leslie Knope is so loveable, and there’s really no one on TV like her. This was a tough decision, but I think I love Abed the most.

Least Favorite Character - Joffrey Baratheon
Carl and Lori from The Walking Dead suck, but so does almost every character on The Walking Dead. I genuinely like Rachel Berry on Glee. I still think Chang can be funny on Community. Sometimes. Rarely. I love when Betty is on Mad Men. It can’t be my least favorite character if I love to hate them. Ellis on Smash was a jerk, but he didn’t incur my wrath. I didn’t care enough. Fake Amanda can be useful on Revenge, as can Emma Swan on Once Upon a Time. They fill their roles. I wish Emma Swan were played by a different actress though. I only liked her on House. Finn has good moments. Joffrey has none. He is literally the worst, most evil freaking kid in the history of television. I would shoot him in the face and enjoy it as much as an ice cream cone. When/if he dies (and you know he will, eventually), I may literally throw a party.

Best Almost-Romantic-But-Not-Quite Relationship - Don Draper/Joan Harris, Mad Men
As someone who just caught up on the show, I don’t see how Dean and Castiel are almost romantic. Maybe I need to spend more time on tumblr. It would be hot though. I still need to watch Castle (after Sherlock/when Leeard catches up on Breaking Bad, as per the deal). Nick and Jess will have their day, and today is not that day. Elena and Damon had some great moments this season, but their time is yet to come as well. Plus, I ship Stelena. Klaroline interests me, but he’s still too much of an asshat. Jack impregnated fake Amanda. He’s on my bad list. No awards for you! Jeff and Annie are creepy. Carey is too good and big-hearted for Kalinda. The only reason I didn’t pick Arya and Gendry for this is that she still looks too young for me to comfortably think of her in a romantic relationship. Still, she’ll grow. Don is obviously the only character at the firm who cares about Joan, and they are the two hottest people on the show. How can they not have hooked up by now? Even after that day together and bar scene? They dangle it, and then they snatch it away. There is a mutual respect there that is missing in every other relationship on Mad Men.

Best Non-Romantic Friendship - Tyrion and Bronn, Game of Thrones.
This is another category where I would be happy with any winner. April and Ron are a romantic relationship. Just a horrible one. Damon and Alaric are great. But I know they were secretly f***ing and you cannot tell me differently. Dean and Castiel were great together in seasons four-six. I’m halfway through season seven, and I don’t think they deserve it this year, unless something big happens toward the end that I don’t know about yet. Again, no Sherlock. So I am left with: Don/Peggy, Emily/Nolan, the New Girl gang, the Pretty Little Liars, Troy/Abed, and Tyrion/Bronn. This is an impossible choice. I cannot eliminate any one of these. They are all such great friends that I enjoy watching. I’m going to pick my favorite show of these and give it some love.

Best Family Relationship - Marshall and Lily, How I Met Your Mother
Because I compared them to everyone else on this list and decided they were better. Behold, the perfect young marriage.

Supporting Actor/Actress Deserving of a Starring Role - Alison Brie, Community
I can’t see Aaron Paul, Retta, or Max Greenfield as leads. These are character actors, made to support. Archie Panjabi needs to show me more. Candice Accola is so blonde, and I don’t think female teenaged audiences support blonde leads as much. I see her as an ensemble actress. The role she’s playing now is perfect for her. Leave her there forever. I’m not nuts about Norman Reedus, possibly because his Irish accent sucked up the Boondock Saints. I love Dianna Agron, but she was “blah” in I Am Number Four. She needs to be a supporting character. I hate myself for writing this, but Maisie isn’t pretty enough to be a lead actress. I like her as Arya. Leave her in that. Of the choices, I think Alison Brie is the one who could most definitely pull it off. She can do both drama and comedy, and she has charisma. Misha Collins would be my second choice.

Best Season Finale - The Vampire Diaries
Didn’t watch Castle or Sherlock. It sure isn’t gonna be Gossip Girl. Community’s wasn’t memorable. Game of Thrones had a better penultimate episode than finale. Once Upon a Time surprised me by bringing magic to Storybrooke. Balls and plot progression. Breaking Bad’s had two cool moments in the middle and one great twist at the end, but I can’t say it topped Parks and Recreation, which was great all the way through and made me cry. Still, you can’t beat The Vampire Diaries for all its surprises and prime entertainment. It hurts to not pick Parks and Rec or Breaking Bad though.
Top of Form

Worst Season Finale - How I Met Your Mother
Man, most of these were bad. Who put TVD on this list? The people who voted for it probably don’t watch the show and just want to diss something that sounds stupid and immature. I liked the Glee finale too. I didn’t watch The Killing, Ringer, Gossip Girl, or The Office, having dropped out of those shows before the finales. True Blood’s finale was alright. At least stuff happened. I hated the events of the Grey’s Anatomy finale and the cliffhanger ending, but at least I enjoyed watching it and was surprised by the death. How I Met Your Mother was predictable and not all that funny. What’s sad is that the show used to be so good.

Worst Single Episode, Drama - "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding", Supernatural
"If/Then" was good, dammit. That was so funny and enjoyable for longtime Grey’s Anatomy fans. Quit hating on Grey’s, people. It’s yards better than most shows in their 8th seasons. I’m going to have to eliminate the Ringer, Desperate Housewives, and Gossip Girl episodes because while I might have seen them, I forgot them. I’m sure they were bad though, and I wish I could pick one of them. True Blood is not my favorite show, but this wasn’t the worst episode. I mildly enjoyed Smash’s "Bombshell". Singing and dancing make me happy. I’m not hard to please if you have those things. I’ve actually seen both the Supernatural episodes they are talking about, and man are they right to be on the list. Like I’ve said before, this show can go from an A episode one week to an F episode the next. It’s the most inconsistent show of all time, but overall, I love it. I think "Season 7, Time for a Wedding" was worse than "Defending Your Life".

Worst Single Episode, Comedy - "The Burning Beekeeper", How I Met Your Mother
I liked the Glee finale, and the rest of the Glee episodes had singing and dancing. I’ve decided they entertained me, even if some of them were technically bad. I didn’t watch most of The Office this year because that show sucks now. Whitney was terrible, but I think "The Burning Beekeeper" was even worse than that. Not only was it a bad episode, it was boring. It was the worst episode of a poor season.

Best On-Screen Death Scene - Gus Fring, Breaking Bad
Whoa, spoiler alert in this category. Alaric died too many times to get this award. By that time, I was like, “Die. Just die.” I don’t watch NCIS or Sherlock. Olivia and Renly’s deaths were equally, moderately good. I’m not giving it to Revenge’s Sammy. I hate when dogs die. Zombie Sophia’s death was great, but I wasn’t hoping for her to die as much as I was Gus, so it wasn’t as satisfying. Lexie’s death was BALLS. It was unnecessary and I will never be over it. Gus’s death was bad ass. It was just the best. Honorable mention to Big Carl.

Leeard's Picks - Tubey Award Finals Round Two

Favorite Actor - Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
As far as I'm concerned, this is the only appropriate choice. Ian Somerhalder is great as Damon and Jon Hamm is the only person that could be Don Draper, but it's gotta be Dinklage.

Favorite Actress - Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
I was torn between Maisie and Amy Poehler. I kind of want to give it to them both because they're so different, but I had to go with Maisie Williams. If you've seen her cinnamon challenge video, you'll understand.

Favorite Character - Abed Nadir, Community
Oh god this is the hardest category. Obviously Tyrion, Arya, and Leslie Knope were all in the running. I picked Abed partially because he really is an awesome character and partly because I'm afraid this is the last time I'll think of Abed as an awesome character. I have no idea what the new showrunners are going to do with this weirdo.

Least Favorite Character - Ellis, Smash
Man do I hate this guy. I hate him more than Joffrey Baratheon, which is saying something. At least a) Joffrey is played by a talented actor and b) I can usually understand Joffrey's motivations. Ellis is just a horrible, horrible person.

Best Almost-Romantic-But-Not-Quite Relationship - Nick Miller and Jess Day, New Girl
This one hurt too! Massive shout-out to Arya and Gendry, because they are my real OTP, but I've already given Game of Thrones so much love here. Also Elena and Damon from The Vampire Diaries, obviously. And Castle and Beckett, but that's now the wrong category for their relationship (yay!), so I couldn't pick them for that reason.

Best Non-Romantic Friendship - Troy and Abed, Community
I was this close to picking The Liars from Pretty Little Liars, but we got to see some real depth from Troy and Abed this year, so I picked them. Also, again, because I'm afraid the new showrunners will ruin Troy and Abed and I want to show them love while I still can.

Best Family Relationship - Marshall and Lily, How I Met Your Mother
Lily can honestly be the worst person on TV occasionally, but the Eriksen marriage is one I'd like to emulate. That's love, bitch.

Supporting Actor/Actress Deserving of a Starring Role - Candice Accola, The Vampire Diaries
I think I've said this before, but if you told me during season one of TVD that Caroline would become my favorite character, I would've literally laughed in your face. She's the best now.

Best Season Finale - Castle
I wanted to pick The Vampire Diaries, because it was amazing and I loved it, but I have to go with Castle. No other episode of a show has made me cry two months after airing based on a single gif. Such a wonderful episode.

Worst Season Finale - The Office
I'm so over this show. Season 9 better be the last, because I'm sick of it. I can't bring myself to stop watching, though; I've been with it for 8 years. That's hard to give up.

Worst Single Episode, Drama - "Bombshell", Smash
Honestly, it's the only episode on that list that I've seen, so it was the only one I could pick.

Worst Single Episode, Comedy - "The Spanish Teacher", Glee
So, so stupid.

Best On-Screen Death Scene - Sammy the dog, Revenge
Still not over it.