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Friday, October 5, 2012

Scandal- The Other Woman

By Work for hire owned by TGE (the group entertainment), provided by Talent Manager Kyle Luker, cropped by me ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: The case-of-the-week involved covering up a revolutionary, admired pastor's 15-year affair. It was a success. Olivia continues to get in David Rosen's way, and he is asked to take a leave of absence. Olivia keeps getting nighttime calls from the president. Lindsay goes home to visit her father and finds that he doesn't believe she's innocent.

We find out that Lindsay could "bring down the government," and Olivia conspired with a Supreme Court justice in order to deal with the Lindsay situation, whatever it is. Huck is having Dexter Morgan-like urges and goes to AA meetings to deal with them. A CIA director tries to trick the president into warring with Sedan. Cy's partner wants a baby, but Cy is too busy to give him one.

What we thought: This week was all about forgiveness and the pain of being a mistress or cheated-on wife. The episode packed a lot in. It touched on the prospective war with Sudan, confirmation that the Quinn arc will be big and will matter, relationship/character development, David Rosen stuff, and Huck's unsettling bloodlust. Abby is still judgmental and in existence, but other than that, this episode was perfect.

We don't know that we like our White Hats doing a cover-up so that a man can remain worshiped and a church can't confront its problems. We wanted them to save the pastor partly because he sounded like someone who did good work and partly because the scandal was a private matter. This show is trying to get our heads out of boxes with the gay republican aid, a republican president with a heart, and the pastor who is nice enough to favor equality and yet cheats on his wife. Nobody is predictable.

David is going to become the Hank to Olivia's Walter White. We like Scandal showing the devastating problems the president has to face on the job (the possible war). The show is really trying to make us like this guy, and it's working. Olivia screaming at the president over the phone to get what she wanted made her come off as crazy. Then he ruined a perfectly good computer. These two are frustrated.

We were touched when Pastor Drake's wife comforted the mistress and her son. That was a great funeral scene. We guess this Quinn/Lindsay stuff is serious. We felt bad for her. She is less annoying this season.

We like that Olivia didn't answer the phone and told Fitz to let her go. Mellie is trying to mend her marriage, and after seeing what she saw this week, Olivia would be so foolish to keep letting Fitz pursue her that it would make her unlikable. We're sure Mellie will do something terrible soon in order to get that romance going again.

The case of the week fit really well with everything else going on in the show. There wasn't a single boring or emotionally barren subplot.

Episode grade: A-

Last Resort- Blue On Blue

By Gage Skidmore (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: American ships surround the island, and a 747 drops Russian soldiers. Sam, Grace, and a few others go to meet the soldiers and get into a shoot-out where Grace is shot in the arm. King, the navy seal, helps after the islander woman, Tani, tells him to be a peacemaker. Prosser still really hates Grace and tries to get all the navy members to distrust Marcus. Prosser's locked up now. The government tries to get Sam's wife, Christine, to cooperate with him by revealing that Sam kept secrets from her. They then send in an "old lawyer friend of Sam's" as a mole. The reporter, Kylie, gets closer to answers, but one of her friends ends up in a vegetative state.

What we thought: The episode started off a little slow and choppy for us. A lot is going on here, and it's hard to juggle since we aren't that familiar with all the characters yet. We're still learning and working to remember names. But things picked up in the second half, and the stakes are still sky-high.

Grace, Marcus, the reporter, and Sam continue to be awesome, but they are a little more layered now. We got some backstory on Sam and Marcus's relationship. Sam was a captive in North Korea; Marcus's son was killed by friendly fire two weeks ago in Afghanistan.

We didn't know Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse, Being Human) grew up in Australia until we heard that accent. She plays Tani in this show, by the way. She's interesting-looking, no? The Russians were random, but okay. The French woman needs to chill. We loved Marcus's speech where he was all, "Let me remind you who you are."

We're into the love story between Sam and Christine. It's cool that a TV show knows it can start off with a couple married and have things still be exciting to watch. We knew the government start threatening the wife with charges. Sometimes it feels like the federal government can just do whatever it wants, somehow. The lawyer trick is new to us. These people are dirty. Sic 'em, Kylie.

This episode shouldn't lose the audience it got from the pilot. It affirmed that these are characters we can care about and a story that doesn't have a quick, easy ending. The second episode drew us in further. We're digging this show so far.

Episode grade: B++ (shut up; that's a grade)

Parks and Recreation- How a Bill Becomes a Law

By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: Ben and April try to drive down to Pawnee for the weekend, but a presidential motorcade traps them in the parking garage before they can set out. They spend some time together, they are allowed to leave, and then they run out of gas. They decide to fly down next weekend. Chris sets up a hotline that directs callers to different parts of the government. Ron fixes a woman's pothole and gets a date with her (with help from Andy). Leslie trades her office to a fellow councilman in exchange for his vote on an issue.

What we thought: When this episode started, our initial thought was, "Ben and April aren't back yet. Ugh. When is this going to end?" So we appreciated them trying to get back to the gang. We like this comedy best when it's an ensemble and everyone works off each other. We love April in her little suit though.

Ben is the best comedy nerd ever. That's such a cool way to look at movie soundtracks, Ben! Quentin Tarantino makes the best mixes. It was idiotic for Ben to waste his fast like that, but the story line was funny. We like these two as faux-siblings.

Of course Donna is reading 50 Shades of Grey. We missed Ann in this episode. Leslie's hair was just starting to look good. Hopefully the perm idea stays dead. Her line, "Ann has told me repeatedly not to get a perm. But Ann's not here. So when the Ann's away, the mice get perms." Ann's a true friend.

We like that Leslie has a city council enemy. That could make her new job more interesting (and it needs to be). Jamm is the silliest character the show has had in a long time though. We wish Leslie would get a more terrifying nemesis. We preferred the elderly, racist Milton.

We love that Ron fixed the pothole himself. The joke where he does nothing and sits back and watches the government fail is getting old. Diane (Lucy Lawless) is perfect for Ron Swanson. Her name isn't even Tammy. She shops at his favorite store. The idea of Ron Swanson with two princess-y stepdaughters makes us laugh already. Andy is awesome. We love that Ron knows how to deliver babies. He can do anything.

The Ron Swanson and Ben storylines made this episode the best of the season so far. The jokes were good too. This episode felt tight and didn't bore us. We cackled when April referred to Chris as Ben's lover. Good episode title too.

Episode grade: A-

Grey's Anatomy- Remember the Time

By The Heart Truth (The Heart Truth Fashion Show 2008) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: We go back to the day the survivors of the plane crash were found. They were in the woods for four days. Meredith is the healthiest and recovers quickly. Bailey and Richard show up to Idaho to sedate the injured doctors and fly them back to Seattle. They bring Zola, which helps Meredith emotionally. We find out that Mark had a surge of energy that kept him alive enough to make instructions, say his goodbyes, and reflect on what's really important in life.

Cristina is psychotic and mute. She has to be restrained because she keeps attacking doctors. Fortunately, Owen is able to calm her down, take her home, and care for her. She tells him what happened in the woods. Bugs tried to get in Arizona's legs and animals fought over Lexie's body. Cristina didn't sleep all four days and Mark kept trying to die on her, which was "annoying." When Cristina gets her mind back, she runs off to Minnesota, despite Owen and Meredith's protests.

Derek's hand recovers to 80% function and Callie does a risky operation on him in an attempt to get it back to full usefulness. Arizona's leg is in bad shape, but she makes Callie promise to save it. When Arizona crashes, the doctors realize the leg has to go. Alex cuts it off. Callie takes the blame because Arizona already hates and blames Alex for her pain (because he should have been on the plane).

What we thought: And the hits just keep on coming. We're glad this wasn't the premiere. It was too dark. Still, it was well-constructed and didn't seem silly or melodramatic like last week. We haaate when Cristina goes nuts. That girl is not good after a tragedy. She's great during one though.

From her reaction, we thought Cristina had been attacked by zombies or something.  It was great when she threw the flower vase at the mean interns. Cristina's description of the four days made us realize it really was that horrible. Animals fighting over Lexie?!! So freaking sad.

Owen taking care of Cristina was pretty sweet, but it obviously wasn't enough to make up for the cheating, since she ended up moving. Guys, take note. It takes a lot to fix that. He was really reasonable with the Arizona situation too.

We're liking Owen a lot more this season. It seems like he's got it together and is making the wise decisions even when he knows he's not going to get anything out of it. Nobody is going to like him or stay married to him, but he plods along. Cristina is brilliant for leaving. Seattle Grace Mercy West is a death pit.

Nice LOST reference by Bailey in the beginning. Meredith asking about Lexie almost got us crying again. Mark's death was sadder in this episode than last episode. We love The Surge. The Surge is a gift. Surprisingly, Derek handled his bum hand with a good attitude. For once. 

We liked Derek trying to move on to Harvard and resigning himself to a life of teaching and advising. We loved him taking the risk with Callie. Callie is the new Cristina and Bailey all wrapped up into one. We could not love her more right now.

Arizona said awful things to Karev. How can people just vent like that? We guess she was devastated, but MAN. He doesn't deserve it. One day, he's just going to crumble beneath all his guilt. The leg plotline is riveting. There was one good joke (Chunky Stu), and the end with the phone calls was perfect.

We still like this show. It's just time to table the end-of-season tragedies for a couple of years. It's getting ridiculous. It's happy ending time this season, Grey's. Like in seasons four and five.

Episode grade: B

Glee- The Break-Up

By David Shankbone (Chris Colfer) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: Finn got kicked out the army for shooting himself in the leg and comes to see Rachel, who tries to get him set up in New York City with her. Finn isn't into it, realizing that this isn't his place. When he finds out Rachel kissed Brody, he goes back to Ohio. Rachel follows him there and breaks up with him very satisfactorily. Blaine cheats on Kurt because he was lonely and feels so guilty that he immediately goes to visit Kurt and confesses.

Santana comes back to Lima long enough to break up with Brittany because she feels like long distance relationships are too hard. It's more mature than it sounds. Will and Emma fight because he expects her to go to Washington D.C. with him and just drop her job for a while. Jake breaks up with Kitty after she treats Marley badly, but he turns down Marley's offer to hang out. The musical this year is going to be Grease.

What we thought: Ryan Murphy actually wrote this one himself. Glee hasn't had a crazy-awful episode this season yet, and this episode continued the streak of good choices for this show. Rachel and Kurt need to be single in NYC for a while. This is a good, while sad, decision.

Brittany and Santana started out as a joke, so their relationship hasn't felt real to us until this episode. It's partly that Brittany is so dumb that she can't mentally be in a real relationship with a normal human and have us be rooting for it. This episode made it seem like real love though..

Marley is so cute. We just want to squeeze her little cheeks.Marley will make the perfect Sandy in Grease. What is Jake's problem? There has to be some issue or reason he's staying away from a girl he's obviously crushing on. We've already had a male stripper, so what deep, dark secret will Glee whip out that can top that? Oh, hell, this show is so repetitive, it's probably that he's a male stripper.

Finn is so stupid! He shot himself in the leg and got thrown out of the army? It looks like Finn is going to end up taking over for Will when he goes to D.C. Ugh. We wanted a cool new teacher for the interim. We wanted Will to leave forever, actually. We guess Finn is back for good. He's not the character we want to see make a comeback.

We don't feel that bad for Finn. He messed up his own relationship, Little Lion Man-style. It was sad when he cried on Will's shoulder though. Finn, we're all trying to figure out what to do with our lives. Welcome to the human experience. He needs to work on his insecurity issues before he can be with someone though.

Ugh, we had forgotten about the Left Behind books. Ugh, more like Suck Behind. (That sounded cleverer in one of our heads.) We've read a few, and for books about the end of the world, they are pretty pointless and hatefully boring. The rapture stuff on the show was stupid.The left behind prank was hilarious though. Just so you guys know, only some Christians believe in the rapture. We don't.

We're not feeling Kitty. She's everything that was bad and annoying about Quinn without any of the depth of likability. She is one of the only graduated characters we want to see come back, and she's missing. For the most part though, the way the show is bringing back the old characters feels natural, un-rushed, and not too crowded.

We can't believe Blaine cheated on Kurt. Who was it?!! We guess Blaine is one of those people who can't be alone. We're loving Kurt's new haircut.

Just let Emma stay home, Will. Man, what a stupid fight.

Rachel's speech to Finn was right-on. We love when she's not a crazy jerk. We actually teared up a little. Oh God, maybe we do care about Finchel. That was a well-written scene. It had us rooting for Rachel again and respecting her new pair of balls. 

Long distance relationships can only work if you have a) self control and b) other things in your life other than love and relationships. Plenty of people can be single and happy for a long time because they know how to deal with loneliness. These are the people who can do long distance...for a while. But that requires maturity, and these kids are 18 and younger. It's cool that Santana knows herself well enough to decide that this isn't going to work for her right now. These two handled things the best. 

As for the songs, Barely Breathing sounded alright. Since it was a Blaine/Finn duet, we thought it was just going to be an Autotune Olympics, but most of the song stayed in their range. That helps.

We love when Glee does something different with the song they are covering and hate when they just make the same version with another singer. Turning Give Your Heart a Break into a piano-driven male/female duet was a great idea. It's not like one female singer is going to top Demi's version, even Lea Michele. This song is right in the good spot of Lea's range though. It sounded like karaoke too. Not overproduced, like usual. How short is Brody? Lea Michele is 5'2" and she's almost as tall as him in stilettos.

We didn't care much about Klaine, but Teenage Dream made us feel for Blaine a little. It did everything that song was supposed to and communicated the problems to Kurt. We forget Darren can act. The whole karaoke bar scene was great and natural. Darren Criss sounded raw, and that's a good thing.

Don't Speak sounded good, but it was awkwardly placed in the episode. The street scene was moving, and then the singing took it to a slightly cheesy place. Still, Lea needs to sing more No Doubt or Gwen. She's perfect for that.

Mine was nice, but Naya can't stop Songbird as far as a soft, sweet love songs to Brittany go, and it's weird to hear Santana cover a country song. Only one lyric really fit ("You are the best thing that's ever been mine"). We think a different song could have been used.

Our favorite version of The Scientist is the Natasha Bedingfield cover, but this one was really good too. The flashbacks mixed with the song really got to us. We teared up. We weren't emotionally invested in any of these relationships before this episode, but this one made us hope that Kurt and Blaine reunite. Finchel should maybe happen at the end of the entire series. We love tumblr's Faberry idea though.

 As Leeard put it once, we'll never stop caring about these a**holes. Once we're out, they suck us back in.

Episode grade: A

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Arrested Development Really Is Coming

New cast photo

Supernatural- We Need to Talk About Kevin

By Charlotte Kinzie from kamloops / Victoria, Canada (jandj004  Uploaded by Bjs) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: Dean escapes from purgatory after a year, brings a vampire named Benny back to life. In flashbacks, we find out that Benny saved Dean's life in purgatory and showed him the way out. In exchange, Dean got Benny out, since humans have a leg up in that arena. Dean finds Sam, who is living a normal life and is probably in love with a veterinarian. He didn't even look for Dean and has also been ignoring panicked calls from Prophet Kevin.

Kevin is running from Crowley after having killed two of his demons using a new Word tablet. Dean is angry. They find Kevin, and he tells the boys that he knows how to banish demons to hell forever. Crowley also catches up to them. There's a battle. Crowley kills Kevin's girlfriend, who has been possessed by a demon for months. Benny calls Dean at the end of the episode, and Dean doesn't tell Sam about it. Cas is still MIA. Dean says he just "gave up."

What we thought: Going into this episode and season, we knew it needed some help. It should have ended two years ago if all you care about is quality. But we like having the boys around, even when the show isn't great. We were glad to see that the new showrunner's last gig was Being Human on Syfy. That show does it right. Being Human takes the original show and does its own thing with it. That's what we need for Supernatural: Someone to take the old show we liked and revamp it to bring new life to it.

It's only been one week, and there was a lot of set-up with Benny and Kevin, but we didn't see much revamping. Yeah, the episode wasn't as woefully boring as some episodes in the last two seasons, but it didn't knock our socks off either. It was only a little boring. Still, there is time for the season to go somewhere interesting, and we were mostly entertained. The title card is better than last season's. In the past, Sam had a demon friend. Now it's time for Dead to have a baddie for a buddy and lie about it? Meh, Sam deserves it.

Sam didn't look for Dean? Ugh, this confirms that he is the worst. How could he not even look for his brother? How could he not even try or question it or call up a demon or SOMETHING? His excuses are a) they always promised not to look for each other and b) things were different this time, because he was truly alone with no Bobby, Ruby, grandpa, or Dean. What, like the past eight years or so haven't trained Sam to hunt alone if he wanted to? The real reason is the vet. It's just not brotherly. Also, Dean is still much hotter than Sam, and we feel like that's never going to change.

We liked the line, "Nothing says the family business like the whole family being dead." The first 20 minutes had a lot of the boys bickering. It was like a soap opera. Snooze. The episode gave us the overall story arc: the boys want to banish demons forever. This could be good, or it could be familiar. Like we said before, it's hard to top Satan unless you bring out God. Or Satan again. We're anxious to see more flashbacks that will tell us how Dean and Benny got so tight and why they seem to actually miss purgatory a little. We also want to know what happened to Cas and when his tasty self will be back. We liked the use of color in Sam and Dean's flashbacks. Sam's looked warm and dreamy; Dean's are cold and colorless. 

Episode grade: C+

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Parenthood- The Talk

By Greg Hernandez [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: Zeek becomes obsessed with a weird sound coming from his sprinkler system, so Camille suggests he fill his time by volunteering at the local veteran's center. He befriends Ryan, a guy who just came back from Afganistan. Hank has trouble bonding with his daughter, Ruby, but Sarah helps. Joel and Julia force Victor to do an after-school activity, and he picks baseball. At first, it's rough, but he comes around at the end. Jasmine gives Jabbar a talk about racism. Christina tries to push back her surgery so that she can help Max run for president, but Adam makes her take the earlier date.

What we thought: At first we were with Crosby in thinking that Jabbar hearing that word shouldn't have been made into a big deal. We thought, "Don't tell Jabbar about racism yet. Let him keep his innocence. He heard the word in a rap song. From a black guy. That's not racism, so why make it about racism?" But something about Jasmine's speech to Jabbar made us tear up. She did it well. Maybe it IS better to talk to your kid about racism before they inevitably experience it.

If someone is ever racist toward Jabbar, Crosby is going to kill him. That might be the best we've ever seen the topic handled on TV. We're glad Crosby and Jasmine didn't use the term "the n word." We agree with Louis CK. Using that phrase plants the word in people's head so it's the same thing, and it's just a way white people can get away with saying that word. Great Harry Potter reference, by the way.

Reading The Hunger Games is always better than reading Twilight. That IS a smart kid. Well, she was. It's not cool anymore? If Hunger Games is uncool, we don't want to be cool. How can you be Team Gale though? HOW? We weren't crazy about the Justin Bieber lie. Ruby will be even more uncool if they find out that she's lying. Can't you find out where Bieber was on any given day using the internet?

Ray Romano's daughter looked way older than 11. And isn't 11 too young to start hating your parents? Maybe that's what happens when you give them a cell phone that young. Our kids won't get one until he or she drives. Man, our kids are going to hate us. Also, we can't believe we're starting to ship Sarah and Hank now. But we do. Ugh. We like his stupid art too. Hank, why do we care about you now? Did you guys know that the actors playing Adam and Sarah (Peter Krause and Lauren Graham) are dating right now? Is it weird that we find that gross, since they play siblings?

This episode had the Joel/Victor bonding we've been wanting. But it seems like Julia is better with this kid. Her moment was sweeter. Still, now they've both grown closer to him. It's only episode four though...isn't it unrealistic that it should be this easy? Team Christina. Adam is wrong. Max should be allowed to run. A kid should always be allowed to try something, even if it's likely he will fail. Failure is a test and learning experience, just like success is.

Also, he got the 25 signatures. We can't believe that! Plenty of "normal" kids would find that a daunting task. This might be the first episode in a while where we liked and respected Max.
This is one of Zeek's best episodes in that he wasn't as annoying and selfish as usual. Talking with veterans and bonding with them might be a calling. He should spend more time around there.
Episode grade: A-

Also, we've made changes to the weekly schedule page.

New Girl- Fluffer

By Genevieve (Max Greenfield) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened:  When Jess realizes that meaningless sex isn't the best thing for her, Schmidt suggests that he and the other roommates take her out on a date before she sleep with Sam. That way, she can get her emotional foreplay on with an actual connection. Schmidt and Winston bail to go to a club, and Nick gets left with Jess. They have their date and then she starts using him as a surrogate boyfriend/emotional fluffer.

Winston tells Nick to stop doing this, but Nick doesn't really like someone telling him what he can and can't do with his friend. Jess and Nick have another funny little fight. He builds her a dresser and makes her a "sexy" mixed CD. Jess plays the time the next time she sleeps with Sam. Meanwhile, Schmidt gets into the club by pretending to be a Romney, and he keeps it going for a while. Winston's relationship with Shelby is sexless and fightless. This does not get resolved.

What we thought: The plots on this show have been genius lately. We're mostly talking about the Tag Romney bit. It's hilarious that it wasn't so much about landing chicks, but about Schmidt wanting a real dad like Mitt Romney. We love that it never got political too. It just stayed fun. We don't really think he looks like one of the Romney boys though.

We know in TV land it's "normal" and "healthy" to have casual sex without getting into an intense relationship, but in real life, girls have the same reaction as Jess. Truth is, a lot of guys have that reaction too. Sex is an act that connects people, whether they want to make some sort of commitment or not. Sure, you can have tons of sex and harden yourself to it, but is that the best way to go? It's not shameful to want human interaction before and after sex.

We like that Nick realized that being around Jess as a friend was a "reward" in itself. It was time to broach the subject of whether they had feelings for each other, and this episode did that in a realistic way while also putting actual romance off for a season or two. It was hilarious that Jess was only attracted to him when he was making his peanuts talk at the bar. To be fair, that was adorable.

Shelby, what's your deal? Winston is the most normal, reasonable guy ever featured on this show. Land that! Sleep with that! Cece comforting Schmidt was sweet. We like that there isn't hostility there. Her hair at the club was fantastic. How does she get body in the back of a ponytail like that? Why can't we do anything cool with our hair like that?

Episode grade: B+

The Mindy Project- Hiring and Firing

By Kristin Dos Santos (Mindy Kaling) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: Mindy meets an architect in a bookstore, and he takes her to get yogurt. A nurse, Beverly, needs to be fired, so the boss tells Mindy to hire someone new. Danny is afraid she will hire someone else just like her, so he joins in the interviews. When Jeremy can't bring himself to fire Beverly, Mindy does it, and Beverly punches her in the nose. The weirdest job applicant helps Mindy, so she hires him.

What we thought: Ewww, we're not loving the theme song. We love that she mocked architects always being the love interest in movies and TV shows. It's true that the media have a skewed view of what these people actually do and how much it really sucks. It's not a financially stable, creative job. We also loved the opening scene on the subway. Then things got rough. Will Ransom be a good new character for the show or a cartoonish, unfunny one? We didn't laugh much when we met him.

Maybe we were just tired, but we didn't think the middle of the episode was as funny as the pilot. We were a little bored. It seemed all over the place because it started with an architect and then spent most of its focus on replacing Beverly. Gwen was underused again. We actually liked the ending where Mindy pretended Danny was her abusive husband on the subway. That might not be the most politically correct joke, but it was funny and something a real co-worker might do to their teasing nemesis.

We love Mindy and believe this show can get better. One of us already loves it; one of us knows its star is a better writer than this.

Episode grade: B-

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Good Wife- I Fought the Law

By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened:  A man comes into Kalinda's place of abode, and she defeats him with a hammer. He was sent by her ex, Nick, who she also battles. They end up having sex though. And, oh yeah, he's a client of the firm. Speaking of, the firm is in financial trouble and the court appointed a trustee who tries to pit Diane and Will against each other. It doesn't work, and Will's suspension is over. The trustee gets David Lee back and tells the partners that they will have to lay off 30% of the staff. Zach has trouble with a cop who subjects people to illegal searches, but he gets off.

What we thought: This is yet another nearly flawless show that renders our ramblings unimportant. Seeing Kalinda kick that first guy's ass was pretty sweet. Seeing her fight her former husband just took it to a silly place. Obviously, that cop was a dick. We loved the Zach plot this week and that he was the one who got himself out of hot water, not his dad. We think he was totally impressed with his mom in court though. We loved Alicia's green jacket in the scene where Zach was arrested. We also love Zach's chicken cluck-sounding song and must have it. Alicia and Carey are even more fun as friends than Alicia and Kalinda. K Cheno is best in guest spots. She's perfect here. Alicia handled her well. We love how classy and smart Alicia is.

Nathan Lane is the trustee! Who doesn't love Nathan Lane? He's being a poop though. Is The Good Wife campaigning for Obama by having Grace put up a Hope poster in her room? We don't love when shows jump into politics like that. It's fun how crazy Eli gets over Peter's campaigns. How did they get in this horrible financial situation again? Maybe the trustee was right about the firm suffering under Diane's leadership. Does she not know how to handle money/hiring? Our perfect firm staff is in place. Don't ruin it, show. This premiere was quieter and more normal than most premieres, with little drama other than Kalinda's violent, sexy, and weird marriage. Still, it was good.
Episode grade: B+

Music 10/2/12

Mumford & Sons, Babel
Last week, we said we wanted to take a whole week to savor this album, and we're glad we did. It took everything we liked about the first album and amped it up. The banjos are louder and bigger, the songs more soaring, and the band more ambitious. Lyrically, this album wrestles with and finds hope in spirituality, and it also explores how this spirituality coexists with romantic life. There isn't a song we dislike. Favorites include the title track (the lyrics here are great), Below My Feet, Hopeless Wanderer, Lover of the Light, Holland Road, Reminder, Broken Crown, and The Boxer. The whole thing is beautiful, original, and passionate.
Album grade: A

Bruno Mars, Locked Out of Heaven, single
We all know this guy can sing. His tenor voice is clear as a bell and versatile. This song is about how a woman and "her sex" take Bruno to heaven when he's been locked out too long, because love and miracles normally aren't his thing, but romance is a good substitute for spirituality. The song is catchy and likable even on a first listen. It's probably going to be overplayed on the radio. For us, it's another reminder that the modern religion is sex and romance, and we go to the gym and the clubs (churches) to pay homage and prepare ourselves for the spiritual encounter. Maybe we're overthinking it and it's just a fun beat. It's not as heavy on the synth and autotune as other recent aspiring hits, and for that, we are grateful.
Song grade: B

Taylor Swift, Red, single
This song is about an intense relationship that didn't last. The song has strong lyrics, but the melody isn't that memorable. It has the more country sound we like from Taylor, and she sounds good.
Song grade: B+

One Direction, Live While We’re Still Young, single
In this song, a boy tells a girl to let him sneak her out so that they can have a crazy night and have fun in their youth. It's heavy on the synth, pop, boy band sound, and beat. It sounds like most of what's been on the radio this past summer. It reminds us of their other songs too. If you like their stuff, you'll like this song. The words are fun and upbeat. No one is loving a girl just because she's both pretty and insecure, so that's a plus.
Song grade: B-

Cher Lloyd, Sticks and Stones
It's impossible to hate Cher if you youtube her X-Factor audition and subsequent performances. Her accent is adorable and so is she. But then Simon Cowell and the rest of the media got ahold of her. Now, she looks perfect, her eyebrows are better, she has great clothes, she's covered in a sheen of gloss and fakeness, and the cute awkwardness has vanished. Cher was born to be a pop star, sure, but Want U Back is a waste of her considerable singing talents. It's one of those songs that we know we should hate, but we don't change it when it comes on the radio either. It's a guilty pleasure with vapid lyrics about a girl who doesn't want her ex until she sees him with someone else. This is what happens when you let other people package you and write your songs. We listened to the album to see if there was a track with a smidgen of honesty or artistic value. 

The good news is that most of the songs are better and less annoying than Want U Back. She raps a lot. We kind of like that. Everything sounds good with an English accent, even white girl rapping. Not all the songs are bratty either, especially Oath, a song of devotion to a best friend. Playa Boi has surprisingly healthy lyrics. We can see why the song Swagger Jagger failed to garner acclaim. It's the worst song on the CD. We liked seeing Carolina Liar guest on her album, because we like about two of their songs, and they are good for ballads that give Cher a chance to show off her voice a little. We also liked the last song, Riot. In short, we didn't hate this and we expected to. It's fun. Still, we think she can do better.
Album grade: B

Tori Amos, Gold Dust
We really like her voice. This album is beautiful and relaxing. It's not catchy, and it's different from anything that's popular right now. It's kind of like Enya mixed with Broadway mixed with Sarah Brightman. Ha, we'd never want to listen to anything with that description...but we liked it. It made us feel good. Also, if you haven't already, check out her cover of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Album grade: A-

Chris Rene, I’m Right Here
The album only has eight songs. This was better than we expected. He doesn't embarrass himself. We don't think he'll ever make it big. He comes across as too dim when he speaks and he's not super hot. He's got some talent though, and he gives this all he's got.
Album grade: B

Muse, The Second Law
Muse is a weird assault on our ears that we don't get at all. Sorry. We've tried. We'll leave them to Stephanie Meyer.
Album grade: we can't even grade this

Revolution- No Quarter

By Ronald Woan (flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: In flashbacks, Monroe and Miles walk from South Carolina to Chicago after the blackout. Miles sees people killing and plundering, so he kills two men to save an innocent one. In the present, Nora goes to deliver the gun to her rebel faction and its leader, the ex-priest Nicholas, but the faction has already been attacked by the militia. Several are dead and wounded. The militia attack the base and the sniper rifle is put to good use.

Still, the faction ends up surrounded and the militia band's leader, Jeremy, tells everyone that Miles is the militia's founder and old leader. Nora already knew. Miles trades himself for the lives of the faction members. The militia band hauls him away, but he is rescued by Charlie and Nora. Maggie and Aaron, meanwhile, make it to Grace's house, which is totally trashed. Aaron is excited by the remains of a computer. The power briefly goes on and then shuts off again.

What we thought: Satan/Island Jesus himself! One of us isn't a Mark Pellegrino fan and thought his portrayal of Jacob on LOST was boring. He's a much better devil, so it's cool he's bad here. We liked the flashback showed that Miles used to be a lot more like Charlie, filled with compassion and good intentions. Its purpose was to explain why Miles would start a militia. A society needs cops. It makes sense.

At least one subplot leads to another on this show, rather than having characters get sidetracked for random reasons. The rebel faction battle was connected to Nora's gun battle. Nora's gun battle was caused by the initial need for Nora to rescue Danny. This helps things feel serialized and not like the procedural it is so far.
We know the show is still trying to grab viewers before it launches into its main story. Therefore, every hour has to be a mini, standalone action movie until it can move on sometime in the fifth or sixth episode.

We found out a HUGE secret about Miles though. Very nice, show. That gave us the forward-moving plot development we needed form this episode. One good thing about this show is that it doesn't have too many characters. It goes between three locations and three sets of characters. It's easy to get into the story when the camera stays on a plot for an extended period of time.

Why isn't Nathan Fillion playing the uncle? Wouldn't that be perfect? Okay, we need to get off the Firefly comparisons. We'll go back to Star Wars. The Han Solo thing works better when the actor is likable. Thinking of Charlie as Luke Skywalker helps us like her more. Because she is a girl, it would be easy for her to fall into a trap of coming across as annoying when she shows softness and butch when she shows strength. 

We feel bad for Danny. Something bad finally happened to him. Gus Fring needs to learn to restrain him better. Might we suggest hands behind the back? This is the second time Princess Leia has caused trouble as a prisoner. It's helping us like him, because he's not completely helpless or meek. 

Nora shows off her talents blowing things up, and they are significant. Maybe Miles does need her. Her story about the pregnancy didn't get to us or work logically. She joined a so-called lost cause because she wanted a miscarriage to mean something? She said it so dispassionately and bluntly to be self-aware enough to know that's a dumb reason to join a rebellion. 

We loved when the power came on. It gave us a little hope. Also, good thing the music was Marvin Gaye. You could do a lot worse. Think if you picked up headphones, desperate to hear recorded music after so many years, and it turned out to be Nickelback or something. 
Episode grade: B

Dexter- Are You...?

Keith McDuffee [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened:  Dexter momentarily convinces Deb that he snapped and killed Travis in a weird way due to trauma from Rita's death and the need for self-defense. Deb helps Dexter make the death look like a suicide, but LaGuerta finds the blood slide Dexter accidentally left behind. Officer Anderson and a stripper are murdered by a foreigner, and Dexter tracks the murderer down and kills him. Unfortunately for Miami, the foreigner has a boss who is still alive. Meanwhile, Deb figures out that Dexter is lying, breaks into his apartment, and finds all his serial killer paraphernalia. She asks him, "Are you a serial killer?" He says, "Yes."

What we thought: After a sucky last season, we are hesitant about this one, but it's good to see our favorite serial killer back, especially now that Deb FINALLY knows his secret. Can this quench the ill-advised love fest? Have the writers heard feedback from fans almost universally screaming, "NO NO NOOOO"? There's no sign of Deb's attraction so far, but it could crop up again.

The episode should have opened with the aftermath of the church sighting. A fakeout flashforward is hardly ever a strong decision. Everyone was waiting for Deb's reaction. Even though it wasn't a long wait, it made us feel like the show was toying with us and about to have another time-wasting season.

Deb's too smart to buy your story, Dexter. It was a little boring watching her solve the mystery for most of the episode, but we're glad she didn't believe it was a one-time thing. It's good for the show to have her know her brother is a sociopath and killer. The show has dragged that out long enough.

Another piece of good news is the presence of Ray Stevenson as the Big Bad. We liked him in Rome and think he's an exceptional actor who doesn't get as much work because he isn't hot. But we are loving the grey hair on him. It's taking him up a few notches on the hotness scale. If his part is written competently, he should be able to pull off whatever they give to him.

We also liked seeing Viktor from Joss Whedon's Dollhouse as the murderer of the week, if only briefly. We thought he was cute in Dollhouse. Not so much here, but it's nice to see him working. Overall, this episode set up some good things, especially with Deb's new pickle. We're pretty sure the season is going to ruin it though.

Episode grade: B+

Monday, October 1, 2012

Downton Abbey- Series Three, Episode Three

By National_Television_Awards_2012-2.jpg: RedAmarilla derivative work: Mario Link [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened-  Edith tries to marry Strallan, but he flees at the altar because he thinks he's too old and one-armed for her. Edith is devastated. Thomas makes everyone think that O'Brien was going to quit her job, so after she rectifies the problem, she vows revenge on Thomas. Matthew receives a letter from Swire's will saying that Swire was aware of how Matthew and Lavinia broke it off, and he was okay with it and still wanted Matthew to be one of his heirs. Matthew decides to take the money and use it to save Downton. Mrs. Hughes does not have cancer. Yay!

What we thought-  This was the most enjoyable episode of the season so far. And to think, it was mostly about Edith. That's a first. Edith's wedding attire was nothing compared to Mary's. Violet's outfit at the wedding was insanely chic though. We knew Anthony Strallan was going to chicken out of the wedding when he was sitting in the church, shaking, but jeez, terrible timing, bro. Poor, poor Edith. Edith is going to be so angry with her father. That was painful to watch. So awkward. The definition of awkward. Well, we guess we never want Mary wishing US good luck.

Mary has the body of a 10-year-old boy. It really works in those dresses though. At the start of the episode, Mary is still being awful about Matthew's financial decision. Rejecting the money is honorable, but continuing to torture himself over what happened is not. We love Mary for reading the letter from Mr. Swire. Reggie Swire is a great guy. Okay, NOW Matthew can take the money. We liked that he confirmed the letter's authenticity. That was smart. We're glad the financial troubles are over. Daisy has been underused, so we're also glad that new redhead is paying attention to her.

Carson's eyebrows are still out of control. Tom is still in town, being hot. Thank the Lord. We miss him and Sybil so much when they are gone. Cora is a real lady. We love her. We liked what she said to Mrs. Hughes after finding out about the possible illness. It would be so awful to wonder if you were sick and have to wait for that news. It would be impossible not to worry, even if you were the Buddha or something. We liked Alfred's reaction to the runaway groom. Amen. Violet was on fire in this episode. "Vulgarity is no substitute for wit" is one of her best quotes.

The show is making us think Bates is guilty. We like the war between O'Brien and Thomas. It gives him a reason to keep existing. You don't hear the word "trollop" much anymore. Good word, "trollop." We're so addicted to this show, and we don't have a single bad thing to say about it this week. Next week looks crazy. Tom abandoned Sybil? How could he?!! We need all the details, immediately.

Episode grade: A-

666 Park Avenue- Pilot

By Vanessa_Williams.jpg: motfemme derivative work: Tabercil (Vanessa_Williams.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: Jane and Henry, an unmarried couple, move into The Drake on 999 Park Avenue (not a typo) as the building's new managers. The owners offer them fancy clothes, friendship, invites to swanky parties, and a great apartment, as well as payment for the job. We meet some of the residents and bad things happen to them. Sadly, the male owner seems to be the literal Devil trying to lure them into his bosom forever so that he can make them a crappy deal that will end up ruining their lives. What do you expect? He's the Devil. The Drake is totally haunted too. Jane is starting to notice it's weird and that it has a dark history.

What we thought: We love that the episode started with a strings section. Classical music and horror go together well. We're watching this show for the cast, namely Terry and Vanessa, who were so good in their last shows. Also, people were saying that this show reminded them of The Devil's Advocate, and we liked that movie. Turns out, this is a LOT like The Devil's Advocate. Maybe too much. We've already seen that. Of course, we wanted more, so we're still pumped for the rest of this show.

It's good that horror is making a comeback on TV, but since this is a network station, it's never going to be able to do what American Horror Story does. Maybe that's a good thing. Then it won't be as much about the "shock of the week" and more about storytelling. We need a crossover where Glee's Kurt and Rachel end up here. Tee hee.

The main couple reminds us of Keanu and Charlize. The girl even has the blonde hair and sweetness. Henry is a lawyer and Jane is interested in architecture. Snore. We're sure their conversations are fascinating. We don't like the actress playing Jane. She's the weak spot in the cast. The opening sequence was creepy, but the guy getting sucked through the hotel door was anti-climactic and not that frightening. The bloody hand was way better. Never let the devil bring your wife back. Has this guy not seen or read Pet Sematary?

The playwrite is adorable. We think his wife is more attractive than that blonde he's been peaking at. That blonde needs some curtains. That red dress is fabulous. We want it immediately. No woman could look bad in that. It's worth $4,000. If someone offered to buy us that, we would just start jumping up and down and screaming. (Satan, take note.) That elevator incident is quite the lawsuit.

That was a pretty good pilot, but we aren't sold yet. While we were entertained, we're worried about the show's tone. Does it want to be light horror? Vanessa isn't terrifying so much as fun. Terry can be creepy, but only given the right material. Does the show want to be really depressing, disturbing, scary, or meaningful like The Devil's Advocate? We don't know what kind of horror show we are watching yet, but we're interested in seeing where it goes. We'll come back to The Drake next week.

Episode grade: B

Revenge- Destiny

By Kristin Dos Santos from Los Angeles, California, United States (cropped from Emily VanCamp) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: In a flashforward, we see that The Amanda will sink and a guy will die. Three months earlier, Amanda is training with Takeda and trying to unlock memories of her mother using near-death experiences, as you do. She remembers something and runs back to the Hamptons after being away for a year. Victoria is presumed dead. Charlotte lived and her father is keeping her locked up in rehab, arranging for her drug tests to come back positive after she is released. Papa Grayson is also trying to get both his children to put their trusts in his company, but they don't look close to caving.

Jack is still with Fake Amanda, but he knows he doesn't love her, so he's turning into an alcoholic who only wants to sleep on his boat. Declan's pretty fed up with the whole thing. To make matters worse, they failed their health inspection for the bar. Amanda tells Jack that he needs to get a paternity test, so Jack asks Fake Amanda for one. Daniel is also an alcoholic, and he's dating Ashley. Nolan took up martial arts and boxing, and he sold his house full of bad memories. He's bunking with Amanda for now and helping her with her current schemes, which involve getting close to the Graysons to find out about her mother.

Amanda figures out that her mother stayed in a mental hospital that closed down just days after her father's arrest. She goes to the abandoned hospital with Nolan and figures out that Victoria had her locked away. Charlotte tells Amanda that Victoria is alive and where to find her. Amanda meets Victoria and helps her free Charlotte. Amanda also plants a camera in Victoria's new little house. Victoria doesn't trust Amanda, so she asks White Hair to kill Amanda.

What we thought: One of the best things about this show is Victoria, so we knew she wasn't dead. They sure took a while to confirm it though, didn't they? We hate Ashley dating Daniel, because we like him and hate her. Not that we blame them. They're both good looking people. Gross, Charlotte is still alive. She's less annoying and more useful so far, but we don't trust that she'll stay that way. We like the guy who "saved" Amanda from drowning. Will we see him again?

Nolan wants to be a fighter now? He needs to drink a few protein shakes, but we have to say, he looks better. Can't Nolan help Jack and Declan fix up the bar? Daniel alerted us to the fact that he's supposed to wait until 5 p.m. to drink. Wait, what? We thought it was noon. Oops. The fashion in this episode made is quake with envy, as usual. When a girl tells you she's pregnant, and you're not married or engaged, always get a paternity test. Always. Find a way. Steal her hair. Chicks leave their hairbrushes just lying around all the time.

Is it crazy that we don't care much about Amanda's quest to find her mother? This isn't really an emotional show, especially since it killed the old dog, but we guess it's a soap and the mother quest might provide some good twists. A lot happened in this episode, and the time jumps weren't annoying, for once. We like that Amanda went away for so long.

Episode grade: B+

Homeland- The Smile

I, RobinWong [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What Happened- Carrie got mental help and is teaching English, puttering around in a garden, and living with her family when Saul and David Estes drag her back into her old world. An old contact knows of an impending attack on the U.S., but she doesn't trust anyone but Carrie and will only give her the information. She heads out to Beirut, but once she's there, she's spotted by a baddie. Saul tells her to abort the mission and get arrested/rely on her cover, but Carrie defies him and eludes the enemy instead, escaping. Then she smiles (see the title of the episode).

Meanwhile, Brody is a Congressman being tapped to run for VP, and Dana is going through a sullen teenage phase. While defending Muslims at her school, she lets slip that her father is a Muslim. Brody confesses to Jessica that it's true, and Jessica goes a little crazy and throws his Koran on the ground. Mean! A reporter meets Brody in his office and turns out to be an agent of Nazir's. Nazir wants Brody to break into Estes's safe and get information about possible targets for terrorism. Brody does it.

What we thought- The best new show from last fall is back! It deserved those Emmys, and if you haven't seen it, do that as soon as you can. It's cool that Carrie is teaching English to Arabic speakers. It shows she isn't prejudiced and knows that not all Arab speakers are her enemy, despite her past. Her whole life in the first 20 minutes of the episode proved that she can be healthy and stable, if only she could stay out of the spy/intelligence business. No can do though. The show must go on.

Dana is the best. She can have the worst attitude she wants to have. Dana saves lives. Brody's relationship with Dana is one of the show's emotional points that really work. We love how he wasn't mad at her and accepted her apology right away. We love that Brody is trying to simply influence politics rather than carry out political tasks. He's trying to do both. He's trying to fight for Issa and kids like him, and he's also trying to keep Americans alive. Of course, the actual terrorists want him doing way more. What did he expect? Of course terrorists would rather blow things up than change American politics from within using one congressman.

It was easy for the show to pull Carrie back in the game. Jack Bauer was pulled in for similar reasons. The haunting background music in this show really works. We love that Carrie went rogue. She is awesome. Crazy as she is, she's good at this. She needs to be blonde though. This wasn't the best episode of Homeland, and we wish we could have seen Carrie and Saul share a scene that didn't involve a cell phone, but it's Homeland. It's a good show, we see it setting up some interesting things, and what was compelling about it originally is still in play and not getting tired.

Episode grade: B+

Once Upon a Time- Broken

By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
What happened: In Storybrooke, the Charming family is reunited and they have all the feels. The citizens want to kill Regina, but the Charmings protect her and put her in jail. Enter Rumpy, who mashes a medallion into Regina's hand, marking her for a wraith to come suck out her soul. Regina has a plan to send the wraith back where it came from, and the Charmings help her with it, for Henry's sake. This works, but the wraith drags Emma with it. Mary jumps in after her daughter. David tries, but he's too slow and crashes to the floor. He's left with Regina, charged with taking care of Henry and finding the rest of his family. In the fairytale world, Mulan and Prince Phillip have been fighting and travelling together in an effort to wake up Sleeping Beauty/Aurora.

They do so, but then a wraith attacks them wearing a medallion that falls off. Phillip picks it up, and it marks his hand. He knows the wraith is coming for him, so he sneaks away to fight it. Mulan and Aurora follow and arrive in time to see Phillip get his soul sucked out. Phillip looks comatose or whatever, and the women place him in Aurora's old sleeping place. Mulan explains that a curse was placed on the land while Aurora was asleep. She slept through the Evil Queen's curse. We realize then that this is a flash sideways. The women find Emma and Snow unconscious and realize that it was their fault the wraith was sent to their area.

What we thought: Man, we missed this show. "Broken" is hardly ever a word used happily, but here it is. The curse is broken! In the opening, we were like, “Is this the right show?” What was that all about? We didn't get to see a follow-up from that scene with newcomer Michael Raymond James (True Blood, Terriers, The Walking Dead), but we expect we will. Is he Bae? Prince Phillip is cute. We were thinking, "Where have we seen him before?" And then WHOA, it’s Wren from Pretty Little Liars. That took us a second. Maybe it was the facial hair. Too bad we knew it was Mulan the whole time due to promo shots.

Gross, Jennifer Morrison and her awful red jacket are back.The reunions were mostly sweet. Emma had to try to ruin it by being all damaged, but she couldn't. It was too nice. Mary Margaret's face when she saw Emma almost made us cry. Just that face. Good job, Ms. Goodwin. It was so funny when Mary waved off her one-night stand with Dr. Whale by saying, "We were cursed." Wait, why is killing the Evil Queen wrong? Because Henry says so? Henry, why are you still alive? We were hating on Belle and Rumpy last season because we thought their introduction episode could have been great and not just merely good. But we were digging them in this episode. Gold is not sexy. And yet he is sexy. Why is this? We like the darker shade of brown on Belle.

The show has now added Ringwraiths/Dementors, only it has given them zombie arms for originality. We don't know that Jamie Chung is the best actress, which is disappointing, because Mulan should be bad ass, not stiff. Plus, she has to carry a third of a love triangle, and she'll likely be an important part of Snow and Emma's lives now. Might there be too many characters on this show? Should the show focus on rounding out the characters it has instead of retelling every fairy tale in the world? But we like the retellings...we like new characters. We think our memories can handle it.

It was cool that Mary Margaret was the one to defeat the wraith the first time it attacked in the prison. We also loved when Charming joked that he was old fashioned. We like the love triangle with Mulan, Phillip, and Aurora. It's hard to decide which one we want to win him. On the one hand, Aurora is more traditionally feminine, which people hate, but she seems nice, loving, and smart. On the other, Mulan is Mulan (as long as they don't stray from the Disney version of the character). So yeah, Team Mulan.

We can't say we were on the edge of our seats wondering what would happen to Regina. She deserves what she gets and we know nothing will happen to her yet. We were more worried about Wren/Phillip. Sure enough, he got soul sucked. What shocked us was Emma getting sucked into the fairy tale world. We loved Mary Margaret/Snow jumping in after her. Poor, slow Charming David tried. that was a good faceplant. So that's the next big goal? Getting them back? We like it. We loved that it wasn't a flashback. These same writers have fooled us with the same trick (in LOST). Curses! Flash sideways! If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The premiere was confident, entertaining, funny, and touching. No sophomore slump so far.

Episode grade: A

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Movies/Books: Looper, Pitch Perfect, White Girl Problems

By Original photo by CAryn Loveless [CC-BY-3.0 ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Holy tits, this movie was good. The plot wasn’t predictable and went places we wouldn’t have thought from the trailer. The beginning made us think the movie was going into cliché-ville, but then it went elsewhere. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is becoming an actor we trust because he makes good decisions when picking movies. He’s also good at his job. His Bruce Willis impression was right on. We liked that the movie shunned true love as the ultimate salvation for everyone. People in love can do some horrible things if they put their feelings above their honor and compassion.

This movie valued selflessness above romantic connection. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual go-to way to give a character or movie meaning (i.e. romance). Anyway, this movie was well-plotted, intense, thrilling, original, exciting, well-written, action-packed, well-acted, smart, and well-paced. It’s not for the squeamish. There’s some nudity, prostitution, language, disfigurement (in an awesomely dark, disturbing scene), and tense situations. There’s also a really adorable kid, so that’s nice. We’d see it again. If you like science fiction and action, go for it.
Movie grade: A+

Pitch Perfect
If you enjoyed the trailer, you’ll like this movie. If you haven’t seen the trailer, go see this movie if you like comedies that reflect a modern, college sense of humor and if you like a cappella. Anna Kendrick and Skylar Astin are cute together in this movie, and they do a good job. They have nice singing voices. Rebel Wilson plays a funny, weird fat girl (Fat Amy) who is like a younger version of Melissa McCarthy’s character in Bridesmaids, only less redneck and more confident slut. As much as we roll our eyes at the media’s portrayal of larger white women, we laughed at Rebel. She does what she does well. The whole cast was solid. There are about two good musical numbers, but the others aren’t bad and usually draw laughs. The choreography could have been better. The movie’s biggest strength was its love story. The main male love interest is pretty perfect, in personality, talent, and looks. The whole movie is pretty fun and has more than a few good laughs.
Movie grade: B+


White Girl Problems by Babe Walker
This book is completely shallow with no likeable characters and not a whole lot of plot. But it’s one of the most hilarious books around. White Girl Problems is about a 25-year-old, spoiled, rich, L.A. girl with narcissistic personality disorder and a shopping addiction/obsession with being chic. If you’ve ever wanted to make fun of Paris Hilton, aspiring actresses, girls who only consume celery and alcohol, and girls who go crazy when they fall in love, you’ll like laughing at Babe. Her insults and delusions are cackle-worthy. Some of Babe’s lines are insanely clever. You’ll want to read some of her “problems” out loud to your friends. This isn’t a clean book. Babe curses like a sailor and sleeps around like a frat guy. Read three chapters (chapters are short) at the bookstore or library and then decide if this is your sense of humor. We enjoyed it and kind of wish we had written it.
Book grade: B+

Aaaaand with that, we're caught up on this blog.

Elementary- Pilot

Rachel Lovinger at en.wikipedia [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Surprisingly, we didn’t hate this. It’s a serviceable case-of-the-week crime procedural with a brilliant, socially…different… detective. They named him Sherlock Holmes and they named his companion Watson. We like the twist where Watson is female and played by Lucy Liu. We love her. We also liked that there wasn’t a spark of romantic attraction between them, even though both main characters are attractive. They have a good platonic chemistry, and we look forward to seeing them date other people. Not each other. That’s cliché.

The case this week was good, with lots of twists and believable clues, even though Xanax comes in three colors, and one of them is pink. There are still things we don’t know about both Watson and Holmes’s pasts, so that could keep viewers coming back. We are sure the show isn’t as good as the BBC Sherlock, which we haven’t yet seen (we know, shame on us). We will fix that soon/when we are in the mood. This isn’t going to be a show we follow. We’ll watch it when it happens to be on though. If you like crime procedurals and troubled geniuses though, we won’t try to convince you not to watch this show.

We're really going to miss Lucy on Southland.

Episode grade: B

Last Resort- Pilot

Justin Hoch [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The USS Colorado is a nuclear submarine with a crew of 150 men and women, even though it seems like there are fewer people onboard. It’s led by Captain Marcus Chaplin, the older black man, and his second-in-command, Sam Kendal (Felicity’s Scott Speedman). The Chief of the Boat is Joseph Prosser, and he’s a dick. Also, there is Karofsky from Glee. He never gets to play a nice character, does he?

The main strong woman is Lieutenant Grace Shepard (NICE NAME. Man, TV can be so on-the-nose with names). Her father is an Admiral. The other crew members include another pretty girl who is the same shade as Michelle Rodriguez. We see what they are doing there. Of course, the female crew members look like models. JUST LIKE EVERY MILITARY WOMAN. 

The show opens with the sub rescuing a Navy SEAL team in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Sam is about to get a desk job where he can be with his wife when the sub gets orders to fire a nuke at Pakistan. The order is sketchy though, so Sam and Marcus question it. Marcus calls the Pentagon and is relieved of command. Sam is in charge now, but he goes with Marcus’s prior decision to delay launch until they know the whole story. These people have consciences. Grace backs the decision; Joseph does not.

The United States sends a missile to the USS Colorado, almost directly hitting it. That’s right, the sub’s own country tried to kill everyone aboard. The sub makes to an island occupied by some NATO people. The U.S. bombs Pakistan. Things are pretty up in the air at the end of the episode, but our good guys and bad guys are easily identifiable, so at least that part’s not confusing.

This pilot was completely solid. While its political and social themes are way too familiar and not that intelligent, its story should be exciting. It needs to put more of a focus on character development in subsequent hours, but there will be time for that. This show will appeal to fans of 24. It’s not as smart as Homeland, but what is? Scott Speedman is still hot.

Overall, we like this show so far and will continue watching. It’s ambitious, it has oodles of potential, and the show could go in a lot of directions from here and last a long time.
Episode grade: B+

Scandal, Parks and Rec, The Office

By Courtney (Kerry Washington - TIFF 09') [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Scandal- White Hats Off
We’re bummed that Stephen is gone, but that red head we hate is still there. The president is still a hot old dude though. Those are rare. The president’s wife is still horrible, and we loved when he yelled at her. Everything he said was true, even if it was totally harsh. In this episode, we find out Quinn’s background. It could have been more interesting. She’s a suspected bomber/murderess, but she probably didn’t do it. Probably. Olivia Pope and her henchman gave Quinn a new identity, papers, and a chance to start over, but nobody knows that.

We didn’t like the show spending time in the courtroom because the prosecutor wouldn’t have been allowed to give that particular opening statement. TV shows never follow boring old evidence rules, unless you’re talking about The Good Wife. Normally, the regular rules take all the drama out of a courtroom scene. We liked the sex scandal subplot. Really, getting the media to spin your mistake takes all the bite out of sex. That’s completely realistic. The media tells us what we should think of events and stories. It’s effective.  We loved the term “America’s Baby.” Hilarious. We just want to note that no one this open-hearted, conscientious, and humble would ever be elected president.
Episode grade: B+

Parks and Recreation- Soda Tax
Is it just us, or is this season not as good as the last three so far? We liked the topical storyline with the soda. We liked the line where the “child size” soda was the size of a liquefied two-year-old child. We’re glad Leslie went with her conscience. She won’t last long in politics doing that, but hey, it’s TV. We love her relationship with Ron. Ben trying to befriend his interns was painful, but we love the reminder that he’s a huge nerd. It’s one of the things we like about him.

We want Ben back in Pawnee immediately. We were sad that April drew the picture of him. It’s better when April targets people who deserve it. Ben doesn’t. The arc where Chris is depressed about his meaningless life is appealing. He deserves it after he dumped Ann for no reason a few years ago. The idea of him going to therapy is good and sure to provide laughs. Who is the therapist going to be? Will we get to see the sessions?
Episode grade: B

The Office- New Guys and Roy’s Wedding
The original showrunner is back and vowed to earn viewers’ trust again, so we thought we’d check into the season’s first episode. Not bad. It wasn’t anything like the seasons we loved (1-5), but it wasn’t as terrible as the last two seasons either. We liked hearing the documentary crew tell us that they were interested in Pam and Jim. We don’t hate the plot where they are getting as bored with themselves as a couple as we are with watching them be a couple. Oscar sleeping with Angela’s husband is pretty genius. James Spader is gone. The fact that his character turned out to be so unfunny boggles our minds, because his first appearance in his interview was funny. We will miss Kelly, but her exit scene was worthy. Dwight’s high wire stunt had us laughing, but it’s sad that he’s not the father of Angela’s baby. We weren’t sure about making Andy a little meaner, but this episode was yards better than most of last year’s. A promising start.

Then, in the second episode, things got back to boring and unfunny. Jim is still hiding his business venture from Pam, which is never good in a marriage, and Roy grew as a person. It was fun to bring him back, but who cares about him? Especially since he wasn’t funny. The plot where Erin was tricked by Clark was gross and stupid. Clark is an idiot, and we hate him. We’re glad Pete ended up taking her out. At this point, we aren’t shipping her with Andy anymore. We didn’t ship her with him that much anyway. Nellie trying to get Dwight to follow Taliban law could have been funny, had the show mined another section of Taliban law. As it was, the plot went nowhere and, even worse, got no laughs. Did we pick this show back up too soon?
Episode grades: B and D-