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Friday, November 23, 2012

Glee- Dynamic Duets

By Eva Rinaldi (Cory Monteith) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
The tone of this episode started off like a comedy and a farce. Then it changed to dramatic, regular Glee. The tonal shift was jarring and didn't do the episode any favors, but we enjoyed it anyway. Ryder finding out he was dyslexic was great. One of us has a dyslexic Dad who was undiagnosed until adulthood, and everyone thought he was stupid too. But even more than that, we loved Sam's Bane from Dark Knight Rises impression. That made us laugh out loud. Sam is so crazy. His voice is still good. We can't believe this show ever dropped him. We're really starting to hate Tina.

We missed Lea Michele and her voice this week. Where is Quinn? WHERE IS QUINN? We love her so much, and we enjoy her voice more than most of the voices in this show's history. Most of the superhero identities and costumes were just dumb. We think these kids are a little old to be doing this, and if they had, they would have been embarrassed and made fun of the entire episode. Still, unique idea. We're glad the episode made Finn comfortable in his new role instructing the Glee club, because you know we couldn't take much more of pathetic Finn. If there was anything this show didn't need to drag out, it was this.

Puck's advice to his brother was outrageously stupid, but it worked, because so is Marley. You've gotta make them work for it, girl. All of the Warbler stuff was hilarious. We don't appreciate when Blaine sings as much anymore, because he doesn't have much oomph behind his voice, and they overautotune it, but having him sing a lot fit with the focus of the episode. Some Nights is a really cool song, and the Glee cover didn't top the original, but it was better than it had any right to be. Dark Side was only good because of the background a Capella work. We loved Holding Out for a Hero and Heroes. Superman was okay.
Episode grade: B

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Last Night and Tuesday Night

Most of our Wednesday night shows were off the air due to the holiday today, so we packed two nights into one post.

Parenthood- One More Weekend With You
This was one of the most intense episodes of this show we've ever seen. Can't this show give our tear ducts a rest? Some people thought it was too over-the-top, but we loved it and think the show has earned it. First, Amber and Ryan's outing ended a lot better than we would have guessed. We're glad Ryan's buddies didn't call the police. We're glad he didn't freak out and treat Amber badly. Is it only a matter of time? Will he do it in his sleep like on Grey's? Or will he just get surly toward her (which is bad enough)? We're worried.

We're not as fed up with Max as we are with his Dad right now. It's time for Max to get a new social skills trainer. Not Minka Kelly, but someone else. Asperger's doesn't mean you have no feelings like compassion (in fact, many feelings and sensitivities are actually enhanced), it just means you have trouble expressing it and need someone to show you how. You at least need an example. It's not that you don't want to be considerate, it's that a) you don't always know when you need to be, and b) you don't know what to do in that situation. It's like a skill you need to learn, like math. But you can learn. If you get treatment that makes you feel bad about yourself or suggests you're cold/immoral, it can be awful, but if it's from someone who doesn't judge, it can be good.

Someone needs to say, "Now, when your mom is sick, you need to say, 'Let me know if you need anything. I hope you feel better. I love you.' And then do what she and your dad say, because she's in pain." You can't expect Max to figure it out and then watch your whole house fall apart when he's a "brat." As weird as it is that you have to teach things that come naturally to most, it's a fact. It's the way their brains are wired. They are naturally good at some things and have to learn others. We've never given credit to the young actor playing Max, but he's always been so excellent that we've actually suspected him of being on the autism spectrum, even though we could find no evidence in real life that he is.

We liked Sydney in this episode. Her meltdown was well-earned. She's not being a brat for no reason, like usual. We loved Kristina smoking the pot. These are the people who need pot. It was soooo depressing to see her on the bathroom floor like that, but it was realistic. Mark and Drew....ugh. Mark should never have made that promise. It's time for Ray Romano to come in and not make promises like that in an attempt to be liked and sweep Sarah off her feet. At least he was in this episode. We need a decision on this triangle already. It's not like it's The Vampire Diaries.
Episode grade: A

Happy Endings- More Like Stanksgiving
Is this not one of the funniest Thanksgiving episodes you've ever seen of any show, ever? Sure, the Native American Dave stuff needs to die, but even some moments in that plot drew laughs (like when he dropped all the clams at the police station; it's the throwaway jokes on this show that get us). Dave, you know both of us would have come with you to that writers' fest. Stephen King was there! Stephen effing King! (Speaking of famous authors, one of us had a crazy run-in with Ann Coulter the other day, and if you know who that is and want to know about it, just ask, haha.) The best thing about this episode was The Real World: Sacramento.

We found out that Jane tried to sleep with someone else, and Brad was just an accident. Sure, they stole that from Friends (Monica was really trying to have a one-night-stand with Joey on the night of Ross's wedding), but it was still funny. Everyone's hair! Max trying to come out on TV! HA. I'm Greg. Brad's weiner greeting. There were tons of good lines. There was even some forward-moving drama with Dave having clear doubts about moving in with Alex, and Penny still crushing on him. We're so impressed with this show lately. Everyone expected it to be cancelled, and we definitely didn't think it was going to turn out to be this good.
Episode grade: A

New Girl- Parents
We can't believe Happy Endings did a better Thanksgiving episode than this show. Jess trying to Parent Trap her folks was great (even though it was weird when she was watching them make out with that look on her face), but we're kind of annoyed that it worked. That doesn't work. Do the writers actually have divorced parents? Because then they would be familiar with the soul-breaking tension that goes on when parents who don't like each other are forced to share a room. It's awful for everyone. And it's immature. We don't think it's funny when comedies bring in main characters' parents most of the time. We always cringed when they did it on Friends, although Ross's dad was at least tolerable for laughs. The parents were well-cast on New Girl, but we still thought having family from the past dragged down the show. Winston is so underused on this show that he's now relegated to getting kissed for a homophobic joke. Hehe. We liked the One True Schmidt stuff, overall though.
Episode grade: B

The Mindy Project- Thanksgiving
We can't tell if this show is legitimately funny now, or if it's just so much better than it used to be. The openings on this show have been stellar for a while, and this week was no exception. Mindy trying to define the relationship while her kitchen was on fire was nothing short of genius. We were also impressed with everything this episode did with Danny. It was so sad and so funny. We felt so bad for Betsy when her parents handed her than strawberry milkshake instead of a beer. We have family like that. It's so uncomfortable when people refuse to let you grow up. We couldn't even laugh at that. We also felt bad for Mindy when Dennis showed up to the party with a skinny, sane version of Mindy, and her best friend set them up. We're glad to see the best friend get more screentime though.
Episode grade: B+

American Horror Story- The Origins of Monstrosity
Okay, does anyone else feel like this season is almost over? So much has happened. But, psych, this was only episode six of 13. What?!! We can't even fathom this. What are they going to do in seven more episodes? Are the aliens going to come down and live among us? Will Lana be Thredson's mommy for a long time? Is she going to end up going crazy and becoming the next bloody face? Will they have a bloody face baby that Thredson refers to as Brother-Son? Gross. We felt kind of bad for him. Kind of. Harry Potter didn't turn out crazy, Thredson. God, what's your excuse? Haha.

Teresa (Adam Levine's wife) is in deep water, but we don't even feel worried for her. The trouble with having a show this dark (and ending last season like it did) is that we have no hope for the characters, good to triumph over evil, or things not to just be majorly f*cked up. If there's no hope, you can't have intensity. Just resignation. That's how we feel. This show has worn us out. We're tired. What can AHS show us that it hasn't before? Do we really want to know the answer to that question? Should we even be watching a show with these disgusting images? Well, we're doing it anyway, but at least we questioned, right?

 Jenny is The Bad Seed, and yeah, that makes sense. The only thing this series is missing is an evil, murdering child, so now we've got one. Shelley is finally put out of her misery, although we wonder how many Hail Marys that Howard will have to say for that one. Arden is trying to make people into little more than cockroaches so that they can survive nuclear warfare. ISN'T THAT WORSE THAN DEATH? He wants to save the human race, but that, bro, is not the human race. We wonder what Arden has on Howard.
Episode grade: B

Thanksgiving Movie Post

Lots of people forego whatever Big Game is on after Americans eat today and catch a movie instead. Usually about two or three much-anticipated new movies are released this weekend just for that reason. Or you might take your family to see something later on in the weekend. If so, heed this guide and don't see a dud. You can decide whether you can take grandma and the kids to a Rated R/PG-13 (but you should totally do your own research there. The ratings system sucks, and if you don't believe us, watch This Film is Not Yet Rated). We're just here to tell you if there's a chance it will be good. And save you from seeing Red Dawn, Taken 2, or Cloud Atlas. If you've already set your minds on Twilight, there's nothing we can do for you.

  • Life of Pi
  • Rise of the Guardians (kids)
  • Wreck-It Ralph (kids)
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Lincoln
  • Anna Karenina
  • Rust and Bone
  • Skyfall
  • Flight
  • Seven Psychopaths
  • The Sessions
  • Argo

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Revolution- Kashmir


Of all the stupid adventure-of-the-week stuff this show has put us through, this episode was one of the worst. TWO Charlie death "scares" when we knew she was never going to die. Heck, it might be good if she did. If her brother were turned into the main character and a better actress were added as a female love interest. We hardly ever want a female lead replaced with a male one, but this girl deserves to be replaced. You know what's even worse than death scares? A whole episode of hallucinations. It could have been good if it had been more touching or made us care about the characters more.

So, as for what happened, the main gang passed through some subway tunnels and met some rebels. Charlie stepped on a land mine which caved an entrance in, cutting off their oxygen supply. Everyone starts to hallucinate, and one of the rebel guys turns out to be militia. He shoots a new character we kind of liked and another of his bullets grazes Charlie's head right after she shoots him with an arrow and kills him. Hey! Not useless.

At Monroe's camp, Rachel is building an amplifier for the necklace. Psych. It's actually a bomb because Rachel is the freaking best. Dr. Jaffe, the only other person who can build an amplifier, rats her out, so Monroe is about to kill Rachel and Danny. Rachel stabs Dr. Jaffe with a screwdriver and Monroe needs her again. That last scene was the best thing about the episode. Can this show be about Rachel, please? If the gang doesn't get to the camp by the midseason finale, we swear we are done with this show.
Episode grade: C-

Boss and Veep- Lessons in how good lead actors can save shows

Boss- season one
We know many of you have been waiting for us to finish the first season of this show. We finally did. While we didn't love it, we were impressed with Kelsey's performance, and it is absolutely the best original show we've ever seen on Starz. We didn't think that channel was capable of making anything of this caliber, especially after Camelot (ugh, we've hardly ever hated a show as much as that one). It's a smart show about corruption and a powerful man losing control. So why didn't we love it? We just ended up not caring about the characters. We were impressed with the script and acting, but the show never pulled us in to the point where we had to know what happened next. Also, we didn't care about some of the subplots. It's a cold, cynical show, and whether you like that is a personal taste thing. 

We always mention Breaking Bad when we talk about joy in gritty shows. Breaking Bad handles very dark material, but you always feel good after watching it. There's a dark, maniacal humor running underneath it. Boss is the opposite of that. Dark material, flatly dark tone. We recognize that this show is quality, but it's not something we would recommend to anyone we actually know. If you like it, we certainly won't make fun of you (because it's a good show), but we're going to know that it's 90% personal taste. It gets boring in places, and it's often work to watch it. We thought the pilot was one of the slowest pilots we'd ever seen. We don't like the way the show handles sex at all, ever. Everything to do with sex on this show is dumb. If you love this show though, we get it. 
Season grade: B
Update: Boss was cancelled by Starz this week. Regrettable, but we understand how it might have been too gloomy for most people

Veep- season one
Was this supposed to be funny? We can't believe it was so recognized at the Emmys. Like Boss, this show has a dark outlook on politics, but rather than taking notes from Boss and using that outlook to be intriguing and smart, this comedy just ends up feeling mean, petty, and elitist. We love Julia and think she's gorgeous and talented, but she's better than this show. She completely saves it in every way. Everything that's good about it comes from the performances, not the writing. The show is not mean in a risk-taking way like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia either. Its material is very safe. The jokes are unoriginal and sometimes pointlessly raunchy. The plots are dull. You don't root for anyone. Wow, we hated this show. 
Season grade: D+

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ern reads every Stephen King book. Post 2: 'Salem's Lot

This was my first time reading 'Salem's Lot, and I haven't seen the movie (although Leeard has and gave it a "meh"). I heard that Stephen King has stated that this is his favorite book of his. I don't know why. It's one of the most ordinary books by him that I have ever read. It has a generic love story that never actually pulls at the heartstrings, a writer hero who seems like a regular Joe, and classic vampires. I didn't like that, at the beginning, the end result of the novel is just given away. The rest is just details. It was neat to see Father Callahan of The Dark Tower series. I can see why King wanted to write a sequel to 'Salem's Lot, but was then satisfied with just following up on Callahan in his magnum opus. If I had read SL before DT, I would have been curious to know the priest's fate. He was by far my favorite character.

I didn't like when King would get all poetic with his descriptions of the time of day, weather, or landscape. It sounded like he was trying too hard, and some of it sounded like nonsense. The dark sense of humor he normally displays when he's talking about characters was at a minimum. One of my favorite things about King is how he takes us in depth into the backgrounds of even minor characters, and how their life stories are almost as interesting as the present action. He did this a little here, but not enough. This novel was better than Twilight at least. The vampires sure didn't glitter, which I appreciate. It was an adult book. It's one of the better vampire stories I've read, actually. It didn't scare me at all, but it might have if I had read it when I was younger.
Book Grade (compared to other King books): C+

Dexter, The Walking Dead, Homeland, and The Good Wife

Since there was no Once Upon a Time or Revenge this week, we decided to do all the Sunday shows today, instead of leaving Homeland and The Good Wife for tomorrow.

Dexter- Argentina 
UGHHHHH. Show, you could have just dropped the Deb/Dexter love, but you had to address it. At this point, there is no way that Dexter is just going to ignore it forever. There will come an episode, just you wait, where he returns her love, and then we will burst into red-hot flames, there will be no blog, and you guys will throw your TVs out the window in a depression. This was the best possible time for Deb to confess her love, if that was going to happen. It wasn't a groan-inducing, sweet, or faux-romantic scene. It was an angry breakdown. Other than that cropping up again, this was a great episode. We loved seeing Astor and Cody again. LaGuerta closes in on the BBB (Dexter), and even sees that the name of Dexter's boat is "Slice of Life." What is she going to do now?!! Isaak confirmed that he was gay with Viktor- something everyone had already guessed, and the Koshka hates him now. That was a good scene.
Episode grade: B

Homeland- I'll Fly Away
We hate cliffhanger endings. Is Brody going to be re-turned into a terrorist? Because that would be good. We like when he's a terrorist. It's interesting. The Brody/Carrie stuff is getting a little stupid. We don't like when they have sex anymore. It was good in the first season, but now we're over it as a love story and as a spy tactic. It's just getting nasty and making us like Jessica more and more. The Dana drama has been dealt with. The daughter was paid off, Dana got to admit her act to that daughter, and Jessica knows everything. Jessica was really cool in this episode, mom-wise. She knows that Brody lied to her about working with Carrie. It's almost the end of the season. We love this show, but stop with Carrie being pathetically in love with Brody, please. It makes us hate her.
Episode grade: B-

The Walking Dead- Hounded
What? The phone was a phone to heaven. What? That's so unsatisfying. That suck so much! Also, this isn't Supernatural, it's The Walking Dead. Is phone calls from dead people even a part of the mythology? Was this in the comic books? Was Rick just having auditory hallucinations? This week is making us hate all of our Sunday shows a little. We hate when dumb stuff just pops up and mars a show with writers that usually have taste. Andrea and the Governor did what they've been about to do for weeks: Boned. Nasty. The worst things happen to Andrea. He's only awful if you know he's awful though. Otherwise, he's pretty cute and charming. We're glad Michonne is with the main crew. She can tell them what happened to Glen and Maggie. At least she brought the formula too.
Episode grade: B-

The Good Wife- Here Comes the Judge
We felt so bad for that judge. The guy playing him was really good. At first, we thought he was a liar, but he turned out to just be a sad, old drinker. Too bad the firm still isn't out of bankruptcy though. The judge dropping the "Actus Reas" hint got him the result he wanted, even if he was dragged through the mud. It's not time for Nathan Lane's trustee to leave anyway. He hasn't yet tried to exact vengeance for last week. We love Amanda Peet on this show and really root for her. We hope she stays or at least pops up once in a while. We need a new state attorney we know, like when Cary opposed the firm. It makes things more interesting when you know both parties. Poor Cary. Maybe Kalinda will comfort him? We like them together. Someone needs to take down Nick. Hopefully it's Alicia. We love Grace's new guy. It's about time she got a good story arc.
Episode grade: B+

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This is reeeeeal late, but here it is: Glee, Parks, Grey's, Scandal, TVD

Parks and Recreation- Leslie vs. April
We were disappointed in Leslie this week for opposing April, but it led to funny things, and it's understandable that Leslie is still attached to that empty lot. The opening Joe Biden scene was awkward to us instead of funny, but Joe did a good job and it was a cute cameo. We're liking all the famous politicians popping up this season. It's always tasteful to make a fun, brief appearance on a critically acclaimed show. Andy got a security job? That is so much better than having that guy be an actual cop. Hoo boy. There were some fun lines about accounting, and we feel bad for the firm that keeps trying to hire Ben. It's best to have him out of there though for the sake of the show. Orin stole the episode with his Human Farm. We love him so much. He's used just enough though. Too much Orin would be bad.
Episode grade: B

Glee- Glease
We both hate and love that episode title. It was inevitable that Glee would do an entire Grease-themed episode with all the numbers exact copies of the scenes from the movie, so if you didn't like it, just rejoice that it's over and we can all move on. We thought it was okay. We didn't want to buy any of the songs since we've had the movie soundtrack since we were kids. We're glad Santana replaced Unique as Rizzo, but that's just going to prompt more Unique storylines as she tries to climb her way back into accepted exposure. We were so happy to see Rachel and Kurt after missing them last week. The show keeps repeating itself. We saw Rachel trying to throw up in season one, and now Marley tries it this season. Marley is adorable, but she was a little pathetic and dumb this week. She just needed to get a scale to see if she was actually gaining weight. You can't gain two inches in less than a week. It was obviously the clothes/a prank. Kate Hudson's character is evil, but we liked that development.
Episode grade: B-

Grey's Anatomy- Second Opinion
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Not only are Arizona's attitude and mobility improving, but Cristina is back for good! It wasn't a visit. She gets to do whatever she wants in the OR, and she's a pretty good teacher too. Cristina finding out that Owen fought hard to get her back had to make him want to die. This guy has really suffered for that one night stand. We're pretty sure Cristina will make him suffer a little longer too. At least for the rest of the season. We're getting sick of the drama with April and Jackson. April, just accept that you're in a sexual relationship or actually get out of it. We like the idea of Kate and Alex together. The big twist at the end was that the crash victims would be suing Seattle Grace and the "people who put them on that plane" --Owen. How does that work? Was the hospital negligent in plane selection or something. We're going to need to hear some details on that case, because it doesn't sound like the hospital is the best party to go after at all.
Episode grade: B+

Scandal- Spies Like Us
The case of the week was so interesting that we're not even going to complain at length about Hot President still being at the summit. We finally got some background on Huck, former spy. His colleagues were perfectly cast and assembled. THAT'S how spies would look. They wouldn't look like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. They would blend in. We felt bad for David Rosen, but we'll never feel bad for Abby. Olivia ended the episode closer to her ex than ever before. The president is going to get all broody over that, and we can't wait to see it. There's no sophomore slump for this show. 
Episode grade: A-

The Vampire Diaries- We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes
It's time for the show to move on from "Elena feels guilty" as the central conflict. We can't stay in that place for one more episode. We liked the hallucinations so that she actually had a reason to act all crazy and sad, but after this episode, a new problem needs to become more immediate. We're mad that Katherine wasn't real. The bulk of this episode was boring and filler. Klaus skulked around, killed a wolf, threatened Caroline (how dare he?!!), and tried to keep Elena safe. The best part was the end where Jeremy was awakened to his new purpose. That could lead to something a lot better than us watching Compassionate Elena cry over not being perfect. Boo frickety hoo. Let's get on with it. We want Man vs. Man, not Man vs. Himself.
Episode grade: B-