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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Awkward- season 2, episodes 11-12

Episode 11, Once Upon a Blog, was a fantasy episode that stalled Jenna’s decision on the love triangle, but it had its amusing moments. For the record, Jenna’s do-over of the closet confrontation with Matty was perfect and totally what she should have done. “Sorry, I’m not sorry” is not as good as “you’re welcome,” but Jenna looked really pretty when she was “popular.” Episode grade: B-

What we really care about is the finale, The Other Shoe. Leeard didn’t like that Jenna picked Matty, but Ern did. Jenna pining for Jake at the end was unexpected. We thought she’d be pining for Matty after making a smarter choice (smarter on paper anyway). Ern likes the idea of Tamara and Jake together for a while. Not forever, but for a while. We’re pretty sure not many other people have that opinion. Leeard sure hates it. Leeard thought the first half of the finale was weird.

The tone of the episode was weird, and it was odd to not have Jenna in the middle of an awkward problem. For the record, if one of our kids wanted to stay home from Europe to be with her high school boyfriend, we would force her to go to Europe for her own good. It’s EUROPE. This was a good season. Not as good as season one, but it’s still a quality show, and we’re looking forward to season three. Episode grade: B+

Check out lead actress Ashley Rickards with blonde hair here. Ern kind of likes it and thinks it emphasizes how good looking Rickards really is. Ern isn't sure about the bangs though. Leeard does not approve of the color.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Parks and Recreation- Ms. Knope Goes to Washington

By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

We can’t believe we’re in season five of this show. This is one that started out horribly, but then became one of the funniest, most character-driven shows on television. One of the things we like about it is that the female characters aren’t stereotypes. They are well-rounded, likeable, and funny women. Even better, Leslie has better hair this season. It’s a more natural look rather than that platinum color that really aged Amy Poehler. The season opened with Leslie and Andy visiting Ben in Washington D.C., as well as apply for a federal grant to clean up the Pawnee River. Andy points out that the Capitol looks like a boob.

Ron is left in charge of the parks department, so he has to organize a barbeque Leslie usually throws for employee appreciation. Ron becomes obsessed with the idea of teaching everyone how to truly appreciate meat. He brings a live, cute pig named “Tommy” to the barbeque and plans to butcher it in front of the kids. He writes his own permit. It’s a piece of paper that says, “I can do what I want.” Ha. Health codes have something different to say, so Ron has to go out for meat. The guests get hungry waiting, and Rob gets so annoyed that he drives away. Chris gives Ron a talk, and Ron makes things right.

We find out that Ann and Tom broke up a long time ago, but they are still living together and pretending to have a successful relationship. They want to prove the naysayers wrong and win a $1,000 bet with Donna. She lets them out of it. Thank GOD that relationship is over. It was a funny concept to have them hating each other, but in such a bad personal place that they would try that. But the joke has run its course. We loved Chris downing a box of “nature’s candy” (raisins) and Ann getting revenge on Tom for ruining all her clothes.

After Leslie’s grant request doesn’t go as planned, Ben takes her to a cocktail party where she can meet all the politicians. The whole thing just makes Leslie feel like a failure, even getting to meet heroes Olympia Snow and Barbara Boxer. She goes into a coat closet where John McCain tries to comfort her, but she doesn’t even turn around to see who he is. McCain is always good in cameos like this. He was funny on SNL. He’s a reliable comedy guest politician, natural and likeable. It’s always nice to see a Republican other than Arnold treated well on TV, if only for a change of pace. We were sad Leslie didn’t turn around and look at him. She would have been excited.

Leslie returns home, worried that Ben is going to prefer Hot Rebecca, an imaginary woman with all the qualities and tallness of most beautiful, capable D.C. women. Andy gives her a pep talk, and Leslie decides to clean the river herself. Gross. Overall, this was a decent premiere, but it wasn’t as funny as we are used to with this show. This is partly because a lot of it took place out of town. The gang works better together. It’s also partly because the show had to recap what everyone’s been doing this summer rather than get into any really funny situations. Still, we're glad this show is back. After the more-than-solid last two seasons, this one's not getting dropped.

Episode grade: B

Glee- Britney 2.0

By Heather_Morris_PaleyFest_11a.jpg: Jennifer Tse from Los Angeles, CA derivative work: Tabercil (Heather_Morris_PaleyFest_11a.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What Happened: Coach Sylvester throws Brittany off the Cheerios when she finds out about Brittany’s grades. They set a poor example and are the reason she was held back this year. Brittany loses it, much like Britney Spears years ago, letting herself get to rock bottom so that she can make a comeback to normality like Spears. She nearly ruins the glee clubs reputation by having them all lip sync though. Trouty Mouth Sam gets her to finally drop the meltdown act and get back to her plans. Will and Emma are tutoring her every week to bring her grades up, and she is back on the Cheerios. Still, she misses Santana, who is too busy for Skype. Marley and Jake nearly get together, but it turns out he’s a player dating Kitty. Marley was warned by Unique, so she should have seen it coming?

Rachel and Kurt get a huge loft together, and Kurt tells Rachel that Cassie is known for losing it during a Broadway performance. A cell phone went off and she grabbed a baseball bat, going for the owner. After Cassie tells Rachel that she isn’t sexy, Rachel enlists all her new friends for a group dance that will prove her wrong. Cassie wasn’t impressed, so Rachel loses it and insults Cassie. Cassie throws Rachel out of her class. Rachel apologizes. Cassie tells Rachel that she’s hard on her students so that what happened to Cassie (buckling under pressure) won’t happen to the kids. Rachel is back in the class, but only because of school policy. Cassie doesn’t believe in second chances. It looks like she never got one. The hot guy brings Rachel an orchid and hits on her, but Rachel still loves Finn. Of course, the last scene, where she painted over his name on the wall, shows that she might be ready to move on.

What We Thought: Brittany’s Hold It Against Me was pretty good. We find that song boring, so we didn’t care if she butchered it. She didn’t, but we still don’t like the song. We loved all the Brittany jokes in this episode. They are what made this episode a little better than last week’s. The test where Brittany wrote “see other side” and drew a world without math was classic. We also laughed at how Becky spelled her name “Bocky.” We saw two alums, Santana and Puck. This is exactly how all those old students should be used. They should pop in when it makes sense. We like that Puck’s speech got rid of his brother’s bad attitude, but it was kind of a bad, crazy speech that really wouldn’t convince anyone of anything in real life. They looked like brothers though.

Rachel’s plot was the weak point. Oh great, Rachel’s sex appeal is called into question, so we get yet another opportunity for Lea Michele to prove she’s sexy. Any feud that ends in some kind of pathetic, attention-seeking dance off failed to bring it, unless it’s in West Side Story. This episode “treated” us to more Artie rapping in a mash-up of Boys and Boyfriend. Even though Blaine assisted, that number was painful. The second worst song was Womanizer. Not because it was bad in itself, but because it didn’t compare well to the Britney version. Britney has a crappy voice. If this glee club can’t improve on the originals, we don’t know what to tell them.

We loved Cassie’s youtube video. Kate Hudson does “insane” as well as she does “sweet” in those romantic comedies. She was excellent in Almost Famous. We wish she’d pick better movies and parts, because she doesn’t suck at all. We’re also into Tina’s highlights. Ern wants them; Leeard isn’t sure they will look good on Ern. By now we were thinking that there were too many songs in this episode. It was starting to feel choppy. Then a song that made the choppiness worth it came up. By far the best song in the episode was 3 by Tina, Sam, and Joe, THE SCHOOL CHRISTIAN. He must have been too dumb to listen to the words. The cover really improved on the original though, and it’s just the kind of thing they should have Tina singing.

We need to know more about Marley before they put her in a romance. All we know is that she’s sweet, thin, pretty, and she has a large mom. Yeah right  would she be that thin with that large of a mom. Marley is the most naturally thin girl in the show’s history. Not that it’s full of chubby girls at all. Marley’s just really tiny. The mashup of Aerosmith’s Crazy and Brit’s (You Drive Me) Crazy was pretty and our third favorite song of the night. We like Marley’s voice better than Jake’s, but they are both nice voices that go well together. Lots of people are hating on Marley for her headpieces, but we like them. It’s just the sort of awkward attempt at a style that a high school girl would try. It’s endearing. Her version of “Everytime” was pretty and the words fit the plot. Marley could annunciate enough that now we know what that song is about. Yay!

Rachel sounded great on Oops I Did It Again, making it our second-favorite cover, but the other dancers were sexier. What did she think she was a gonna get from Cassie? An “I was wrong?” She was rude at the end. We were horrified. If they are going to dedicate half the show to Rachel, it’s time for her to stop being such a freaking idiot. It was good of her to apologize though. We want her with the new guy. We stopped caring about Finn sometime in the beginning of last season. Gimme More was funny. We like the way this episode covered more of the trainwreck Britney Spears who was going through a hard time, whereas the first Britney episode mostly worshipped her and ignored that part. We thought Mr. Schu learned his lesson about oversexualized high school performances during the Rocky Horror episode. All-in-all, there were some goods songs, it wasn’t boring, and there was some good humor.

Episode grade: B+

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The New Normal- Baby Clothes

Pic By Nick Step ( [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This episode needed to move forward from establishing premise and message. It didn’t. We feel like this show would be a better movie. Where are they going from here? At some point, won’t they repeat all the jokes? We liked the pilot because it was funny and entertaining, but since then, we’ve been getting bored watching this “controversial” show do all the things that better shows have done before it. What this show is doing is not completely working. It belongs on televisions ten years ago. 

This week, Bryan bought Shania a shirt that showed her stomach, so a boy in her school took notice of her. Grandma found them making out in a closet and raised hell. She got the boy’s parent to talk to him about sex, and she got Goldie to realize that she needed to protect her daughter’s innocence. Bryan bought clothes for the baby, but David wanted to wait to do that until all the tests were in and they were sure the baby would be healthy and brought to term. Finally, he caved.

Also, a mean man in a fanny pack started berating David and Bryan for being gay in public. David and Goldie ignored it, and Bryan yelled back with some pretty good comebacks. At the gym, David cracked and punched a fellow gay guy for making fun of a mentally retarded person who turned out to be a bigot himself. Jeez! People are NOT that mean outside of a frat house or high school football team, are they? The most homophobic person we know is still nice and friendly to gay people’s faces. We know there are some real jerks, but they aren’t around every corner like in this show. Right?

The only thing we loved was the fact that Bryan confronted the bigot in a frog hat. We want one of those hats. We also liked that the grandma was right about something, for once, and that she’s seemed to have thawed a little toward the boys. If we were David, we wouldn’t have had the clothes taken back. Keep them boxed up and store them until the day comes. 

There weren’t that many good one-liners in the episode. The episode seemed to be telling us that ignoring hate isn’t good enough. We think it’s the best option. What do they want? Rules against it in local gyms? Actually, that’s not a bad idea. And we agree that you should stand up for your friends when you see hicks hating on them. But really, there’s not much else you can do. At this point, we only love Shania and the actor playing Bryan.

The show had its protagonist defend a mentally retarded person from being made fun of…after the show made fun of the mentally retarded person. Yep, that’s how you know it’s the same creator who did Glee. Redheads, babies with Downs, babies with defects, CNN anchors, people with tattoos, and people who take the bus are also targets for this show’s jokes. We like the lack of political correctness, but on a show that preaches political correctness for one group, it doesn’t fit.

Also, the tone was really uneven. Post-Modern Family. Will and Grace, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this show isn't needed. What would better serve gay people are shows like Grey's Anatomy grafting in gay characters who are just normal people who love each other, rather than stereotypes. You can't hate Callie and Arizona. You just can't. Also, movies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang having gay men who are just a lot of straight men. It needs to be not a big deal. It needs to actually be treated as the new normal, emphasis on the normal. Also, these mainstream shows reach your audience that needs to be softened. The New Normal preaches to the choir. 

Ryan Murphy is stuck in the past. He needs to focus on projects like American Horror Story. We love when his shows get preachy about beauty and that industry. That's the issue that's still an issue in the media. The media is defending gay people right and left. The first season of Murphy's Nip/Tuck made Ern not ever want to have plastic surgery. She was a teen when she watched it. That's a good job well done, making a teenage girl go, "Oh...looks really aren't that important." Don't worry Ryan, if we ever meet the fanny pack-wearing dude who hurt your feelings, we'll punch him for you. 

We don't see things changing, so we are nixing this show from our schedules. We've replaced it with the upcoming Chicago Fire for now.

Episode grade: D

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Popular Music- 9/19/12

An orchestra and choir covered Call Me Maybe. We think they improved on it.

Kanye West released an album called Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer where he teams up with big name guests on every track. We have to admit we like the first single, Mercy. 1. Sure, it’s a song about a woman who is “thirsty” for a celebrity’s penis and crawls into his limo to cheat on her boyfriend, but it’s pretty funny. Unfortunately, Mercy is the standout, and you’ve already heard it if you have a radio. “To the World” with R. Kelly is alright because Kelly can actually sing. Otherwise, there’s lots of that autotuned singing we hate. Kanye gets political (and inaccurate) in places, but no one cares. These songs are about the beat, not the arrogant, vapid lyrics.

Grizzly Bear has a new album, Shields, and while they are a good band with songs that are good to chill to, they kind of bore us. We’re not hipsters. Still, we have admit this is a musically good album, even if it’s not our taste. Ben Folds Five’s new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, is a lot more fun than its pretentious name would suggest. The mostly piano-driven songs are upbeat, quirky, and what you would expect from these guys. Fans should be pleased. There are only ten songs though, and there isn’t one that we can see getting addicted to. The biggest pop release is either The Truth of Love by Pink or Carly Rae Jepsen’s album. We’ll start with Pink’s. First off, if you want this CD, get it on amazon’s mp3 store. It’s only $5. It doesn’t have two tracks that the iTunes deluxe album does, but you’re still saving money even if you have to buy those separately. It’s a very modern, beat-driven CD. Pink knows how to make and sing hits. We like her first single, Blow Me (One Last Kiss).

We appreciated that there were some mature lyrics about love and life on here. We hate when singers grow up, get married, and get pregnant and still write songs as if none of that happened, trying to stay young no matter how dumb they look (Madonna, Christina Aguilera’s last CD). We liked the way she sounded with that dude from fun.. Too bad we didn’t love the song. Pink has a great voice, and she sounds better than ever here. It’s like her range has increased. Shockingly, we liked Slut Like You. It was hilarious and well-delivered by Pink. It wasn’t judgmental like it sounds either. We also like that the “slut” in the song was a guy. There’s a lot of variety on this CD, but nothing as good as F***in Perfect. There aren’t a lot of slow songs, which is a shame, because we love her voice on ballads.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s Kiss has a whopping 16 songs on the deluxe version, including the “song of the summer,” Call Me Maybe. Carly has one of those cutesy little voices that’s not really bad, but not that memorable either. It’s like if Taylor Swift could actually sing and wasn’t country. Oh, wait, she’s not anymore. Carly doing a duet with Justin Bieber was a stroke of genius, sure to please all their mutual fans. We feel like there would be a lot of overlap. Still, it sounds like a Colbie Callait song, but not in a good way. We’re unimpressed with the second single, This Kiss, but we kind of like Good Time. It’s a song we’ll get sick of soon, but it’s not the most annoying thing on the radio right now. The rest of the album is bubble gum, pretty, dull filler. This girl is about the singles, nothing more. This stuff is mostly annoying to us.

We forgot that Nelly Furtado was putting out a new album, but we liked a lot of the songs on Loose, so we were excited. Her new release, The Spirit Indestructible, disappointed though. On the first three tracks, Nelly sounded annoying and nasal. That’s some thin vocal delivery. It’s like a whiny 12-year-old learned how to belt. We can’t believe it’s her. Later, things improved. The CD had tons of variety. Sadly, we didn’t end up liking any of the songs. Third Day is a Christian band best known for its amazing song Show Me Your Glory. Their new single, I Need a Miracle, is no Show Me Your Glory.

The Killers FINALLY have a new album, Battle Born. Flesh and Bone is a good opener, and it’s possibly our favorite song on the CD. Runaways could have used a tighter melody. Here With Me had a good, controlled melody. We don’t like when The Killers sound like they are all over the place, because it keeps the songs from being catchy enough to remember. Some parts of the album reminded us just a little of classic rock. We liked the dramatic The Rising Tide, the value-filled Be Still, and the title track.
Overall, the album was joyful, uplifting, and well-made, containing good, thoughtful lyrics. However, a hit single like Mr. Brightside was nowhere to be found. But, then again, this band has changed a lot since then. It’s going from catchy, energetic songs about romance to soaring songs about spirituality and everyday struggle. Whether you like that is up to you.

Go Radio released a CD called Close the Distance. It’s a shame they have their lead singer because his voice is generic and sounds just like every alternative guy on the radio. Their songs aren’t bad, especially Baltimore and Collide. Matchbox Twenty released North. We didn’t like the first single, She’s So Mean. It wasn’t anything we ever wanted to hear again, and calling people mean is mean. The rest of the album is good though, if you like them. We think they’re okay. Christina Aguilera is clearly reaching for the top of the charts with her single Your Body. We think she’s belting too hard in it. She actually has a really pretty voice…not that you can tell from this song and her last album. This isn’t the kind of thing we want to hear from her. The verses are catchy. The chorus is hideous. We think she should stop trying to be number one, bringing the sex pot thing, and just make good music, like Back to Basics.

Missy Elliot also released two singles, 9th Inning and Triple Threat, both featuring Timbaland. We welcome this because Nicki Minaj needs some competition. Missy’s a pretty good female rapper. We liked all the piano and we’re glad she’s back, but we can’t say we loved either of these songs. There was too much Timbaland. Speaking of Nicki Minaj…Her new song The Boys, featuring Cassie sucks. Another woman coming onto the scene is Lindsey Stirling, a really talented violinist who makes electronic music. Her self-titled album dropped this week. That’s not our favorite genre at all, but we gave this a chance, and it’s interesting. If you love strings, you’ll like this. We prefer songs with verses, choruses, and people singing, but we wouldn’t complain if you turned this on.

So yeah. The Killers win this week. If we missed anything good, please let us know. We love music and we buy it all the time. 

Parenthood- Left Field

By Thomas Attila Lewis at (Monica Potter) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

With an episode title like that, you know there's either going to be a shocker or someone is going to be playing baseball. This isn't really a sports show. 

Crosby and Jasmine are having sex on the kitchen floor, so Crosby pities Adam for having to schedule sex. But when things get disorganized between Crosby and Jasmine, he realizes that he needs more structure. Kristina and Max want a dog, but Adam is hesitant. Sarah’s son, WHOSE NAME WE CAN NEVER REMEMBER, even though we’ve been watching this show for three years, is starting his senior year of high school. But then his girlfriend, Amy, breaks up with him and calls him “Drew,” so we’re going with that. Poor Drew. Ray Romano’s Hank manages to comfort him.

Victor doesn’t want to go to school, so he plays sick. On the third day, Julia promises to sit in the car outside the school, all day, in case he needs her. She does. It’s incredibly sweet and earns her a kiss from Joel. The shocker at the end was Kristina’s apparent breast cancer diagnosis. We don’t know what stage she’s at or how bad it is, but she was crying. Which means almost nothing because Kristina is always crying.

We loved when Crosby played “Funkytown” and when Sarah said, “Gross, Dad. Why does knowledge have boobs?” We guess we know how the show is going to handle the Haddie situation. When she’s at college, she will stay mostly offscreen. Maybe there will be a scene or two if her parents call her, but she was completely absent in this episode. We’re sure she’ll fly down a few times to be with her mom and we will see her over winter break and possibly the summer.

Drew and Amy were too perfect. It was time for them to split up. Drew always seems to have this wet blanket, boring, bad attitude, so we were glad when he joked with Sarah. Of course, it was jokes about suicide, but we’ll take whatever personality we can get with this kid. The only person on this show that we dislike more than Drew is Zeke. Crosby comes in at third for our wrath. Max needs to learn not to throw fits and shout over people. We know he has Asperger’s, but we don’t ever see his parents trying to discipline him into just basic obedience. Asperger’s affects social skills. Not obedience, punishment, and reward.

This episode changed the game plan for the season. Kristina’s cancer is no doubt going to be handled well by the show, but we’re expecting lots of rough scenes. It’s going to be super awkward when Max tries to comfort his mom, and watching Adam go through this is going to be tear jerking. This show can get REAL real. Hey, at least their new puppy is cute. Maybe this episode should have been the premiere with an added scene of  Haddie leaving for college. It was more eventful and gave us a sense of what's going to happen on the show this year. 

Episode grade: B+

Weeds Series Finale- It's Time

Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, the series ends with the original version of Little Boxes. We’re glad. Whoa! There’s been a major time jump. Nancy is a rich owner of several stores. She married the rabbi, but he died. She has new hair, and we kind of like it. It’s not her best hair, but it’s a fun summer thing. Stevie is in middle school (even though he looks 18), he’s just as contrary as Silas, and he’s into soccer. Zombies worship Uncle Doug/he’s a guru. Silas has a horrible goatee that completely freaking ruins him, but he’s married to Megan and they have a baby girl. They are visiting Nancy for Stevie’s Bar Mitzvah, and Megan resents Nancy for how Silas spent his youth. Also, marijuana cigarettes are now legal.

Tim works for Nancy. We love that so much. Very funny, show. Nancy sure isn’t a grudge holder, for all her faults. The only thing worse than Silas’s goatee is Shane’s mustache. He’s still hanging around with Mitch the cop, and Mitch seems like even more of a scumbag than he was last time we saw him. Shane’s an addict. Andy doesn’t talk to Nancy, but Nancy really wants to talk to him. Stevie wants to attend boarding school. Smart kid. Jill is living in India, so she’s GONE, thank God. Conrad is married, and his wife is pregnant with twins. We got to see a few more characters from the past attending the Bar Mitzvah. Nancy’s red dress was cute and age appropriate. Loved it.

Guillermo tells adorable Stevie that his dad was a gangster. We loved when Nancy took Shane back from Mitch. Doug kidnaps his son, Josh, twice in order to make up with him. Whatever. How many episodes was Josh in previously? One? Two? Did we REALLY need something sweet to happen to Doug? We don’t remember Josh very well, and we don’t care, even if it is Justin Chatwin. His dog is cute. Nancy takes Josh in and offers him some ostrich kabobs. We love Rich Nancy. Silas tells Nancy that Andy has a three-year-old daughter with a truly awful last name. His mother is Annika, a waitress Andy slept with. They are still friends. We love the name Annika. Andy shows up the next morning. He is friendly, happy, and making breakfast. He’s talking to Nancy, but not really looking directly at her.

Stevie seems pretty cool. We liked his speech at the temple. He’s honest. Nancy brings the fashion again with the great black dress. We liked how she handles Stevie and Shane, and how Stevie went through with the rest of the party. Man, that was a nicer Bar Mitzvah than most weddings. It seems like Nancy actually has a good relationship with her sons. Nancy’s finale dress was too slutty. Still cute though, and she has the body for it. We liked that Nancy loves Andy more than all her money and new power. It’s a good thing Mary Louise can show emotion so well through her voice, because that botox has frozen her face so much that it was distracting us during her sad scene with Andy. We like that he knows Nancy is bad for him and stuck with his guns.

This season wasn’t as bad as the last one. The show didn’t embarrass itself going out. It wasn’t good, but it was respectable, and we’re glad it’s over. The finale hit mostly wrong notes. It was a heartfelt, happy ending where Nancy ended up with everything. It’s not like we were emotionally invested in these messed-up characters by this point. The great thing about Weeds in the past was that it was funny. The finale should have had more humor, less 7th Heaven reconciliation. It’s unrealistic that after everything that went down, everyone turned out so well. Yeah, Nancy was left alone, but she doesn’t deserve to have her family with her at all. This is as perfect as it could get for her. Also, the finale was a little dull and long. It was missing Celia Hodes. We will also be forever disappointed that Esteban was really dead.

If you want to start watching this show, we suggest you end at season three, unless you really love it and want to see what happens.

Season grade: B-
Finale grade: C

Revolution- Pilot

By Genevieve719 (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The new nerd fare this season is Revolution. We love us some nerd fare, so we were rooting for this show, but our hopes for stuff like this are down. We like the premise of this show. Isnt this what was supposed to happen with Y2K? One of our dads was SUPER prepared for that. We’re talking warehouse full of freeze-dried food, boat, and guns. Hilarious. We figured people would be able to make some kind of generator or water wheel to get power going again, but the show will explain that away by saying, “the laws of physics have changed.” Suspend belief, people.

So, the show. Elizabeth Mitchell is a good sign. Apparently, she’s dead, but we wouldn’t mind if it turned out she wasn’t. We like that it’s not a dark show. We wouldn’t call it “gritty,” and it doesn’t carry the hopelessness of other post-apocalyptic shows, like The Walking Dead. We also like that it’s not as cheesy as Terra Nova. Hopefully it doesn’t turn into a similar “family show.” Sci-fi should not be for the whole family. It should be for adults if it wants to survive. Once Upon a Time took the family spot and is doing well with it.

In the first scene, we see a man named Ben and his wife living in Chicago. They have a young son named Danny and an older daughter, Charlie. Ben realizes “it’s about to happen” and calls his brother, Miles, just before the power goes out for good. If that happened, we would immediately run to the grocery store with a pick-up truck and start loading in food cans. Weapons would be next. Fifteen years later, Ben’s wife is dead and his new girlfriend, Maggie, is the town doctor. Oh yeah, the town. Ben is seemingly the leader of a little settlement where they grow lots of corn, and catalogue model Katniss-esque tomboy Charlie is supposed to watch over her asthmatic little brother, who does something stupid within the first 15 minutes.

A militia containing Gustavo Fring rides into town to take Ben away and find out where his brother Miles is. Danny interferes and Ben is killed. Danny is kidnapped. Charlie was chilling in the woods by herself the whole time. Gus Fring works for the militia’s leader, General Monroe, a power-hungry guy looking for a way to get technology back so that he can monopolize it. Charlie sets out to find her uncle with Maggie and a pudgy, nerdy guy named Aaron. Aaron has the necklace thing that Ben gave him, and it’s probably the key to turning the power back on.

On the way, they are attacked by rapists, but Maggie poisons them (we love her already), and a mysterious, hot archer shoots one off of Charlie. Charlie trusts him and lets him join their band. They make it to a hotel in Chicago where they find Miles, who refuses to go with them to get Danny. Mysterious Archer Guy betrays them and leads the militia to Miles. Miles kills almost all of the baddies, and Charlie comes back at the last second to help. Mysterious Archer Guy intentionally fails to kill Charlie. He has a crush. Miles goes with Charlie and the others. At the end, we find out that Monroe used to be Miles’s Marine buddy. Also, Ben isn’t the only one with a necklace giving the ability to turn on the power.

We’re not impressed with Charlie’s acting, especially when she was crying to her uncle. She’s lucky to have those eyes though. Her pupils always seem dilated. It’s weird that her eyes were kind of green when she was a kid and blue as an adult. We like that Charlie open-minded and trusting, and that the paranoia she was raised with didn’t completely brainwash her. Yeah, it’s going to get her in trouble, but it gives her a soft side. We like that her father saw her as the more capable child. Even though he wasn’t on the show long, Ben treated Charlie convincingly, like a father would really treat his oldest. At least they aren’t trying to pass Charlie off as 16. If her brother is 19, she’s got to be around 24 or 25.

Miles is a dick, but he's bad ass. We liked the big action scene near the end. We were surprised and grateful that Danny escaped for a while. It led to interesting things (the woman with power), and it kind of redeemed him a little. He’s not completely useless. When we saw Gus Fring, we wondered who on Earth could be even scarier than him, since he’s not the boss. Monroe is. We wouldn’t say Monroe is scarier yet. We haven’t seen much of him. He hardly utters a word. He’s really damn hot though. We’re going to keep watching this show, for now. We aren’t blown away, but we were entertained and we would call this a solid beginning. We don’t know where the show intends to go from here, but the first chapter was more than promising. It has to stay quality for about five episodes in order for us to really trust it though. We’ve been burned by sci-fi...and JJ Abrams...before.

Episode grade: B+

Monday, September 17, 2012

Downton Abbey- Series 3, episode 1

By RedAmarilla (Flickr: National Television Awards 2012) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This show airs later in the U.S., but it’s on British TVs now, which means that it’s on the internet and we can find it. Joy! We’re so glad this show is back, but the premiere wasn’t as eventful or exciting as we wanted it to be. Sure, the last two amazing episodes were the finale and Christmas special, but isn’t the first episode of a new season supposed to be just as good as those?

Mary is so proper and socially savvy. We love her. She’s smart, spirited, and she loves her family. She’s not a flat character, nor is she perfect. She’s the sort of female character we wish we’d see more on American TV. We liked that she stayed in touch with Sybil and is still protective of her. Even though she couldn’t have approved, you couldn’t detect a hint of judgment from her last night. One of us doesn’t think Mary is pretty. Just thin. It might be that her eyebrow shape isn’t the best possible choice. Sybil is the prettiest. Edith…poor Edith. We hope she finds someone better than the old dude.

Sorry, but we don’t care about Bates and Anna. We’re sad to say that if he were hot, we might care more. Still, we like that people are making “Free Bates” t-shirts. Lol. The big development is that Lord Grantham unwisely and against advice invested Cora’s fortune and lost it all?!! There’s no way he can lose Downton Abbey though. The show is called Downton Abbey! Cora took the news well. Too bad her husband macked on that maid last season. Ugh, we hated that so much.

We were Team Matthew in the fight. We get that Mary thought of it as a betrayal of her family, but it was for his integrity. When you marry someone, you have to take their side over your family’s. People were really mean to the new guy, Alfred. He’s kind of “meh,” but we hope the show figures out something interesting to do with him. We don’t think the show has had something interesting to do with Thomas in a while.

We figured since the Mary/Matthew relationship is the heart of the show, there was no way they could actually go through with the wedding. But we were wrong! Mary’s wedding attire was perfect, but the best fashion moment was Sybil’s cute short haircut. Matthew continues to be perfect. We liked when he stood up for Branson and made him the best man. We also like that Sybil is sticking by Branson. If our husbands looked like that, we wouldn’t care at all if our families didn’t like him. He does need to stop talking about Ireland though…He could try to make things easier, in general.

Episode grade: B-

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Big C - season three

Season three continued season two’s trend of being way less depressing than the first season. We approve. When the season started, we were like, “What?!! Paul’s not dead? Ugh.” We never really liked him and we always love when Kathy flirts with someone new. Cathy is looking gooood this season. Please, God, let us look like Laura Linney when we are 48. Or Ern’s 48-year-old mom. That’d be good too. Lucky bitches. We liked when Paul shocked his heart for the first time though, and we guess it would have been too much of a bummer if Cathy and Adam spent the season dealing with major grief over to Paul’s death. The third season started out happily. We teared up in the first episode when Cathy got the news that her tumors were shrinking and some were gone.

We’ve always dreamed of finding a bar with cool strangers who just want to hang out (as opposed to the creepers who want to hit on us and the people who just keep to themselves). We loved the black Jesus picture on Andrea's wall. We like that she is still on the show, but we figured she had to stop with the Ababu stuff right away.  We completely forgot about the affairs Paul and Cathy had. This show is entertaining, but it’s not easy to remember what happens on it year-to-year. We’d like to see Paul’s blog to recap.

We love that Adam was acting like a real human in the first episode, but he was soon back to his angry, cold self. We were only on his side when his mom got drunk and confessed all her secrets in front of Adam’s classmates. At first, we enjoyed that Adam’s Bible group was down-to-Earth and not the usual cliché attack on religious teens. We kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and the kids to end up crazy, because most TV Christians do, and of course it happened. The Big C stole the Christian anal sex bit from Awkward. As far as we know, that’s not what Christian girls do when they are saving their hymens. If they were going to be that technical, they’d just stick with oral. But it’s actually possible to not have sex and just turn a guy down. Blue balls don’t kill them.

And the implication that religion beliefs aren’t smart? Ugh, tell that to every intelligent religious person who ever lived. There are a lot. If you require a list, we’ll give it to you, but wow, you shouldn’t require one. What, does TV think that it can make religion seem deeply uncool and then everyone will stop believing in God? Whatever. If it were any other religion, group, or culture, it wouldn’t be attacked like this. You know that we’re not just defending Christianity because that’s closest to our own beliefs. We’ve defended other groups on here. You get unfairly attacked, you get defended on this blog. That’s the way it is.

This is the season where Cathy acted super crazy. We loved it, but we were irritated with her at the same time. Her alter ego, Alexis, was great, down to the tattoo (hating tattoos is "provincial" haha). Cathy also tagged the living room, decided to adopt a kid, posed as a stewardess, pretended to take pilot lessons, and stole stationary from her doctor. Shawn is always a show highlight, and this season is no exception. He gets two jobs, one as a gay phone sex operator and the other as a school janitor. We ship him and Andrea. Does anyone else?

Seeing Susan Sarandon as a guru was a real treat, even if she overstayed her welcome a little with her gross, judgmental, flaky character. Why on Earth would she ever want to have sex with Paul? GROSS. We also liked Victor Garber as the gay phone sex operator Shawn supplanted. Why is he always gay on Showtime? Hahaha. Shawn is the superior operator. It’s all about being shameless.

The adoption storyline came out of left field for us. Yeah, they need another baby. /sarcasm. Because Adam turned out to be such a GEM. It’s a bad idea, and it’s not about a baby. Cathy feels like if she has a baby, she has to be alive to raise it. A tad selfish, but understandable. At least it brought us Meryl Streep’s daughter who we loved on Off the Map. We liked it a lot better than the plotline where Paul rubbed noses with famous people. Paul’s foray into motivational speaking was painful to watch. He’s good when he’s real though. That whole plotline just made this feel like a different, quirkier show, and we liked the show’s tone the way it was.

Another good guest star was Brian D’Arcy James from Broadway and Smash as the gay guy who comes to meet Shawn. We still haven’t gotten to hear him sing on TV though and WHY ELSE would you have him? It’s not like he’s hot. It’s the voice that makes him, not the Devil’s threesome abilities. Throuples are going to be the new thing. That was hilarious.

We can’t believe Adam pissed all over the storage locker gifts. That was the best part of season one and it made us cry hard. Adam has TAINTED it. Despite hating him, we were embarrassed for Adam when his mother stole the car. We loved when she stole the car though. So many mixed feelings! We started suspecting baby-daddy Dave was trying to leech money from Cathy in the seventh episode, but we had no idea that Maxine wasn’t actually pregnant. So wrong! Someone should have told them, like Andrea said, “You don’t want to get on the wrong side of Mrs. J.” The Big C ripped off more teen entertainment by having Susan Sarandon get hit by a bus, like Regina George before her. Thank God though. It was time.

We didn’t feel bad for Paul at all when he discovered the bar. We get it. Cathy needs it. Hell, WE need something like that, and we aren’t even dying of cancer. We usually hate when TV shows have their finales set on vacation, because it feels lazy and hardly ever drives the plot. But this wasn’t lazy at all. We liked that Andrea realized her name and new identity were stupid. We loved when Cathy realized that she was unhappy. We hope she ditches Paul and her son completely and finds some peace before she dies. The Angel boat stuff was cute. We were shocked when she swam back to him. What does she think she’s going to do? We guess we’ll see next year.

Season grade: B+

Ern reads 50 Shades of Grey, final post/review of entire book

I finished 50 Shades of Grey. Well, I got to about 68% on my kindle, and then I sped-read the rest of it, stopping to get the gist of every sex scene and reading mostly the conversations, skimming the awful prose. I just couldn’t read it normally or I never would have finished it. I have other things I want to read and this was taking too long. I hated this book more than I ever could have imagined hating it. I thought I would get a kick out of the sex, but even that was mundane. I’ve had crazier/sexier DREAMS than that. And no, I’m not sharing. Or maybe I should…I might have the next bestseller. A plot never really emerged, other than, “Will Ana have kinky sex will this billionaire? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.”

Ana had no self-respect. That was the worst thing about it. I’m so sick of girls dissing themselves and their looks, digging for affirmation, and thinking it’s humble and likeable to always be down on yourself. It isn’t. It’s still self-absorbed/prideful. It’s just pathetic as well. That goes out to nearly everyone on Tumblr. I loved Kate. I wish the book had been about her. Plot: Kate’s roommate, Ana, is getting into an unhealthy relationship. Kate can’t talk sense into her, so she concocts an elaborate, evil plan to take the billionaire down and sabotage his relationship. Hilarity ensues. Now THAT I would read. In real life, Kate would lose Ana. People almost always pick their lovers over well-meaning friends and family who don’t approve of them. It’s best to just keep your mouth shut until people wake up and smell the coffee.

The descriptions are the worst thing about the book. I’ve never seen more laughable descriptions in my life. The BDSM was tame. There was nothing shocking about the sex in the book. Sorry. Your average episode of Sex and the City brought up more about sex and power in relationships. I have no problem, personally, with that kind of sex at all. I have a problem with Ana having no self respect, Christian being controlling and protective, Christian dictating every facet of Ana’s life, and Christian demanding an overall attitude of submission even when they aren’t in the bedroom. The book could leave you feeling depressed, hating women, hating men, hating society, and hating reading in general.

I was looking up what real BDSM enjoyers say about the book. The consensus is that it’s not representative of the relationships they have. They deem this relationship abusive. In this awesome article, Sophie Morgan says, “For me, the book is as much a fetishisation of capitalism as it is a discourse on BDSM. Christian Grey may be a stalkerish sort with epic amounts of emotional baggage, but the accoutrements of wealth he offers – designer labels, helicopters and expensive gifts – are deemed enough that our virginal heroine should stick with him, endure his peccadilloes and keep trying to change him. It's very much focused on ending up married and settled and financially secure – Mills & Boon with butt plugs.” It’s true. Ana didn’t want this kind of sex. She just wanted him. Sure, some of it turned her on. But a lot of it was pushed on her when she wasn’t comfortable with it yet.

It kind of bored me too. It was REALLY repetitive, and it was hard to get through and easy to put down. I’d read a scene then put it down. I’d read another scene. Then a week would go by before I’d read another scene. Fans call it an “easy read.” Well, maybe the prose was easy to understand, but that doesn’t make something easy to read. The idea that freedom and choice is a burden too heavy and onerous for women to bear was offensive. Defenders of the book say, “But without all the smut, it’s a great story. It’s a love story!” They say this with a straight face. The story is stupider than the smut! We are so messed up and secretive about sex in this society that we can’t distinguish what’s the abusive part of this story. It’s not the type of sex that’s abusive - that was consensual and honest. It was the relationship that was twisted and unhealthy.

I wonder…and would like to discuss with anyone who thinks they know…what it is that women these days see in this sort of relationship. Twilight was a hit for a lot of the same reasons. Take out the kink and it’s the same relationship: control, protectiveness, loss of free will, no self-respect, irrational “humility,” and leaving your life for a beautiful guy who has everything. Why is regressing back to inequality such a fantasy that it’s taking literature by storm? What is it about society and women today? Is it that men are such metros and we want someone strong? A protector? Security? I think a lot of it is the desire to feel wanted and lovely. Christian Grey and Edward Cullen both gush to their women about how perfect they are and desire them fiercely. They lavish them with gifts. That’s probably a lot of it and that’s sad. Call me crazy, but when you look to men alone to provide you with a feeling of being beautiful and worthwhile, as well as security, that’s a scary place to be. I hope we get out of it.

Maybe it’s sheltered women fascinated with the idea of something besides “vanilla” sex. For the “mommies” who love this “mommy porn,” maybe this is their first introduction to BDSM and that thrills them. I read my first book with BDSM scenes at 13. And yeah, I was fascinated. I agree that this is too young to be reading stuff like this though, and in all fairness at least my teen book choices had plot/action/good characters, unlike this. I’m not reading the next one. I don’t know why I read this one in the first place. I deserve to suffer for even buying it. Sadly, I bought it on Kindle so I can’t even recycle it for toilet paper. I feel like I know what happens: Ana wallows in near-suicidal grief over her breakup until they get back together. Then she teaches him how to really love and treat her. She gives him a real heart. Yep. Because this is all fantasy, no reality, no truth.

Book grade: F-