Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grey's is Growing Up

Lately Grey's Anatomy has been substantially more enjoyable than it's been in years. Not since we lost Burke and Addison over the course of one hiatus has Seattle Grace been populated with actual adult characters.

With the additions of complicated adult characters like Owen and Teddy and the personal growth and maturity that's come to the original characters over the last few months (Meredith and Derek finally committing, Callie and Mark finding reasonable partners, Bailey prioritizing her life), combined with the absence of Izzie (aka drama) and the wonderful grounding presence that is Arizona (my absolute favourite character at this point), the staff of Seattle Grace is beginning to seem less like high-schoolers and more like interesting adults.

Now if that influence could only extend over to the disaster that is Oceanside Wellness...

Dear Diary

The Vampire Diaries is my number one guilty pleasure tv show, a better scripted, equally-well-ab'ed Twilight for the slightly older set. But the thing that actually elevates it above other crappy guilt fests? Ian Somerhalder. As Damon, the bad boy older brother vampire, he's having so much damn fun that you want to have fun right along with him.

Plus, the show doesn't take itself and its mythology over serious.

It still has a serious charisma hole at its center in the form of Elena, and although they both look good shirtless and do good "smoldering eyes from across the room," Elena and Stefan's compatibility never seems more than looks based. And I still wish that a single female character ever seemed fully formed (I'm pumped about witch-girl, and Elena's sister has potential, and ditzy blonde Caroline is actually shaping up to be my favorite, but there's still not a relateable, root-for-able lady amongst the lads).

But the guys in the show are where the action is at, which I guess is how I can tell this is a crappy CW show and not a brilliant genre-defying masterpiece by Joss Whedon. Although Somerhalder is the stand out among the bunch, Paul Wesley as Stefan does more with his cheek-bones and ridiculous abs than Twilight ever allows Robert Pattinson to do. The episode where his female vampire best friend shows up and Stefan finally lets loose and gets goofy with his bad self, Wesley is practically aglow. And it's this air of mischief behind the "brooding good guy" that kept Angel alight for three years on buffy and five on angel (it's also what's missing in Edward Cullen, although that's a subject for a much longer and ridiculous post). Even recurring characters like Logan (newscaster-turned-vampire-slayer-turned-vampire) are so much ridiculous complicated bad guy fun that it keeps the show afloat.

On top of that, the plots are actually pretty decent. The slow roll-out of the vampire mythos, the building of the town conspiracy, even the goofy-witchcraft-ghost-epic-love story works well with the show's semi-ironic aesthetic. Just look at the goofy trailers that the CW puts out to promote the show (randomly shirtless boys, mirror talk a la "It's cool not growing old. I like being the eternal stud." ~wink~, admissions that the show is basically 90% longing looks) to see a pretty honest view of how the show sees itself. It may be Dawson's Creek and Twilight's awkward love child but at least it's self aware enough to know it.

All of this is basically a plug for CW's Vampire Diaries marathon starting on December 5th, where you can catch up on all the ridiculous shirtlessness in one wonderful week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Less than GLEE-full

I can't think of two shows more different in style than The Office and Glee, yet this week's Glee gave me exactly that, "Oh s---, I simultaneously wish this wasn't happening and can't stop laughing," feeling that is the Office's stock and trade.

Most of it, especially the Rachel and Mr. Schuester stuff, amused me.

But I have a pet peeve. I really like the character of Mercedes, or at least the potential there, but this week the show asked her to play "sassy, black voice of reason" and it was just obnoxious. First, it was obnoxious because "sassy,black voice of reason" is a ridiculously overused cliche, and this show should not be falling into it this early. But, more importantly, overall, the show's relationship with fatherhood (with the notable exception of Kurt's dad) is ridiculously lacking. I've found the whole "Finn thinks he's the daddy but it's really Puck" thing intriguing, but the idea, as expressed by Mercedes, that Puck "owes it" to Quinn to keep his trap shut about his spermination of her is just... well, backwards, misogynistic bullshit. It takes two people to make a poor sexual decision, and judging by the ridiculous amounts of sparks that still fly when Puck and Quinn are in the same room, I'd say that was a very much so mutual moment of condom-less lust. And Puck has a right to tell Quinn this. He didn't "ruin" her, because this isn't the 1950s, and the whole point of feminism was that women have their own sexual rights and impulses.

Plus, Puck totally loves her. It's not just like he used her for sex and now wants nothing to do with her. He was willing to sell pot cookies for her (that's noble, right?). And he's just so dreamy, he should be given the opportunity to do the right thing.

On top of that, Finn's a damn nice guy. He protected Kurt way before they shared a mutual love for high notes! He sings to sonograms! He gets a job to support his pregnant girlfriend (Admittedly by pretending to be handicapped...)! Mercedes reaction should have been pissed as hell that Quinn was letting Finn give up his whole life for a baby that isn't his, and that Quinn was continually lying to him about the fatherhood of said baby. When the Glee club decided to sing to the two "parents-to-be" I should have felt moved (and I suppose a part of me did), but instead I mostly felt pissed off as hell that the song wasn't "it's not your baby" (which I don't know if that's a real song, but it should be, for just this reason).

It's interesting because I mostly agree with Kelly's theory that the show is sometimes to quick to paint Quinn as a villain, and I greatly prefer the episode's like this week when Quinn is given layers and sympathetic monologues, but it pisses me off that the show is just writing off what a hugely messed up thing she is doing to Finn. Every time I see her berating Finn or letting him make huge life changing decision based around a baby she is planning on giving up for adoption that ISN'T HIS ANYWAY I want to vomit and/or punch my television. I like when characters are complicated, and that means exploring the good with the bad.

Overall, I liked this week's episode a lot more than this monologue would imply. I especially liked the introduction of Finn's mom and the shirt that Puck was wearing in his scene with Mercedes (it helped to make me feel better about how annoying the storyline was, 'kay?). Still I'm looking forward to all the baby-related secrets coming out, because they frustrate me so badly.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kelly Calls for a Breakup

I wish it weren't the case but I think it's about time for Erica Strange to break some hearts.

Though her and Ethan's relationship began as very sweet (if entirely unoriginal), lately I can barely stand to watch them together. Every episode shows them bickering and the show's wonderful leading lady looses a little bit of her shimmer when she steps into a scene with her love interest. Last season the very thing that convinced me that Ethan and Erica should be together even though they would be a cliche was that she lit up when in the same room as him, he had made her a little better and vice versa. Nowadays, she doesn't seem to understand him (what was her problem this week with the sex life stuff, does she not know Ethan at all?) and he seems to be bogging her down. The show has been ignoring everything that made their relationship interesting (his 10 year marriage to a manipulative woman and all its ramifications, the differences in their relationship experiences, their many years of friendship making for an awkward beginning when it turns to something more, etc...) and is instead creating drama where there should be none.

The relationship is taking two lovely characters and tearing them apart by forcing them together. Maybe Being Erica should take a page out of the How I Met Your Mother rulebook: maybe too awesomes don't make a right? Or the Dawson's Creek book, which states that soulmates and trueloves can be two different things. Or maybe, they can make like FRIENDS' Joey and Rachel and backtrack, pretending they never ruined their awesome friendship by entering into a dysfunctional relationship. Any of these options is fine by me, but either way, they can't be together forever, it's simply not working out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

Although at this point it's semi-old news, it must be shared anyways:

Joss Whedon's intriguing, yet little watched, series Dollhouse has officially been canceled. After poor ratings it's sophomore year and a move to Friday nights, it comes as no real surprise. The biggest hint of the series' failure occurred a few weeks ago when Fox announced they would be removing Dollhouse from the November sweeps schedule.

Luckily, Fox is going to air the full 13 episodes and the remaining ones will begin on December 4th. Joss is still shooting a few more and promises that the series will continue to improve. No word yet on whether or not he'll fully be able to find some closure for our wonderful dolls.

Sad face.

Mother of all Confusions

I never really knew quite where I stood with the Barney and Robin relationship on How I Met Your Mother but I finally found out this past week.

Barney is legend---what for it....I hope you're not lactose intolerant cause the next word is---dairy. But seriously, he's one of the main reasons for the awesomeness of this series. And while his womanizing ways are entertaining, it was interesting to see him settle down with Robin. The best part of this pairing was that Robin really is the female version of Barney, just less slutty. Robin continues to be the character whose comedy grows on me more and more each episode so I assumed these two would be perfect.

The weird thing was they kind of were. I can't help but compare HIMYM to Friends so I'm going to. Monica and Chandler ended up being one of the best couples on television who nobody saw coming and I had some high hopes that Robin and Barney would be too after last season, but I still wasn't sold on the idea. And then "The Rough Patch" happened.

Once again, there were so many parts of this episode I loved. Alan Thicke's guest appearance was random and hilarious (especially the ending bit about him and Robin's variety show). I also always love when Lily is badass and scheming so seeing her come up with the ultimate break-up plan was wonderful. Then again, the break-up scheming really rubbed me the wrong way. I understand that Ted, Marshall, and Lily know their friends fairly well and therefore could see that the relationship was harming them both, but it seemed cruel. It's one thing to break Ted up with his annoying girlfriends, but breaking up two of your closest friends seem so wrong.

HIMYM was also reminiscent of Friends tonight with the fat suit. Barney pulled it off just as well as Monica. What could normally be used as a last ditch comic device actually worked in this episode. I loved watching Barney scarf down food and look generally unappealing. Robin's aging had a similar effect.

This blog entry seems kind of random, but that's sort of how I feel about this episode: mixed up. I find it hard to believe that Barney and Robin would break up because of some mutual desire to be free from one another. After spending an entire season with Barney realizing he liked Robin, it was all too fast-paced to have them break up in one episode. It should have been more drawn out and dramatic. I know this is a comedy but I feel as though the break-up trivialized their relationship as simply a friendship with sex. Granted, there's a good chance the pair will reunite in the future (are they the new Ross and Rachel?), but as for now I'm disappointed....and for a show that always makes me happy, this is one ending I cannot be satisfied with.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Top Model is Back on Top

When it first began to air, I was obsessed with America's Next Top Model. As with most reality series, I lost interest after a while. I'm proud to say that I'm back on the wagon and I frankly could not be happy.

I wish I'd spent more time blogging about how awesome this season was. It started off as another gimmicky year: the girls are all short models and Tyra wants to prove that even tiny girls can be supermodels (although "tiny" is apparently 5'8). But gimmick aside, what really has made this season so unforgettable is two girls: Nicole and Laura.

Nicole is probably the most socially awkward contestant ever. She doesn't get along well with the other girls, and you get the feeling that she's not a very social person period. But once you throw her in front of a camera Nicole comes alive and destroys the competition (she's never been in the bottom two and continues to destroy every competitor). Nicole has the looks but her personality is lacking, even though it continues to grow each week.

Laura on the other hand has both. She is hot as hell and is a southern belle. Laura is also clearly not the typical hottie but she has the most bubbly personality, I dare you not to love her. Laura has been a gem to watch week after week. It may her the southern accent, her friendly and cheery personality, her adorable preference to wear her grandmothers homemade clothing, or her resemblance to Amber Benson, but something about this girl makes me so darn happy.

Tonight the models were in for a shock when Jay announced that the final 4 would be cut down to 2 after one photo shoot (a first for the series). The final 4 consisted of Nicole, Laura, Jennifer, and Erin. Jennifer continues to have decent pictures and the judges seem to like her but she also is kind of mean to the other girls. I realize the confessionals are a place for the models to speak open and honestly, but Jennifer always pushed the envelope. Erin is probably the worst of the bunch. She was on top in the beginning but was bottom two for three consecutive episodes. The judges continue to let her slide past over much better competition (like the adorable Sundae who prematurely left last episode). On top of her unfair staying power, Erin is the most whinny/annoying contestant this season.

So tonight all four modeled in Hawaii and the final 2 were selected. Nicole was the first chosen which was the biggest non-shocker in the world. I predicted this girl would win week 2 so I'm glad she made it to the finals. The second photo of the night had me on edge. If Laura won, the most perfect pair ever would make it to the finals and this would be the first season where two beautiful, deserving, and NICE models made it. The problem was that the judges LOVE Erin and with her well-reviewed photo I was worried she was a given for the finals.

Thankfully, I was wrong. The final two were announced and Nicole would be facing off against Laura for the title of America's Next Top Tiny Model. YAY! It seldom occurs when my two favor ties from the beginning of a reality series make it to the finals (by seldom I mean never). I couldn't be more excited for these two deserving girls.

Sidenote: Reality tv is good again. I realize it was always pretty damn good, but lately I find myself looking forward to ANTM, Survivor, and The Amazing Race more so than any other scripted series. Why are sitcoms and dramas so boring this year???? I still have mad love for How I Met Your Mother and Grey's, but other than that I find scripted series lacking.


There were so many things about this week's Gossip Girl that I absolutely loved. In fact there were (insert number here):

1/ The Threesome: So the infamous threesome has been making headlines for a while now. It was a big question as to who would participate. From the beginning I had a good feeling about who it would be and as the episode progressed it became obvious that Vanessa would finally get some Dan action...just this time with Olivia in the mix. I sort of liked how adorable it was that Vanessa and Dan wanted to give Olivia the ultimate college experience before she was forced to shoot her upcoming film, and while threesomes were clearly not my college experience, I guess it's understandable that Olivia would want to get experiment with her two closet college buddies.

2/ Hilary Duff- Really? Did I actually just admit to liking her on this show? So it took me several weeks, but I think I finally enjoy Olivia. Her and Dan are not at all annoying together (unlike most of Dan's conquests) and her relationship with Vanessa is fairly believable minus the whole threesome thing. I was fairly certain this would be her final episode until the shocking ending when we see the text about her cancelled movie....OMG so good! But, seriously, who isn't looking forward to the Olivia v. Vanessa show down and the inevitable revelation that Vanessa has totally love Dan forever...lolz....GG is all over this one. I really cannot wait to next week's episode.

3/ BLAIR- So her whole storyline is a tad pathetic this year. I dislike that she keeps getting involved with the Constance heirarchy. She seems so above that, but I have faith that she's still in the process of passing the torch and we will soon see her blossom at NYU. But she was amazing in this episode because not only did she attempt to scheme and bring Jenny down, but she recognized her defeat and still managed to give Jenny props in true Blair form. On top of that Blair consistently has the best one liners in the series and continues to bring more humor than any other character. Also, her and Chuck are so damn cute.

4/ Eric- It's no secret to my friends who watch this show with me that I have a huge crush on Eric (what?!?! it's totally legal...I think). It was nice to finally see him get in on the main storyline and he totally tried to pull a Blair. The best part was once he failed Blair had to team up with him to bring Jenny down. Jenny is such a huge biotch (and not in the good Blair way) that cannot wait to see Eric continue to plot against her. Can Eric really be the new Blair? And can he finally get a boyfriend that doesn't break up with him for stupid reasons? I realize that the original Constance crew is still the main focus of the series, but I wouldn't mind a little more new-Constance screen time so long as it focuses on Eric humiliating Jenny.

5/ Tripp- So this whole Tripp and Serena thing is creepy when you consider Serena's age. And Serena once again proves to be the least interesting character when she makes up with Blair but then ignores her to spend time with Tripp, but these two really have some chemistry. I'm going to thank Tripp for that....he's cute and clearly conflicted...he shouldn't like Serena, but then again his wife is kinda evil since she planned that whole "hero" thing last week. I just finally find Serena kind of interesting because Tripp does too....hmm.

6/ Nice Chuck- When Chuck puts aside his badass nature and schemes for the greater good, I melt like butter. Reconnecting Blair and Serena was selfless and adorable on his part. And it's nice to see that no matter how good Chuck can be, he still is a bit of a douche (telling them kissing to make up won't count as cheating).

7/ GAGA!!!- Okay, so the music genius won't actually be on GG till next week, but I can still be excited right?

Things I disliked about this week's GG:

1/ JENNY: Really? I don't by for a second that she is the new queen. Blair may have been a bitch but she was fun....Jenny is horable, unwatchable, and far too skinny.

2/ Predictability: for the past 3 weeks I've guessed everything that has happened on this show. I miss the shock and awe of realizing who was behind certain plots. Granted, I still love it!

TV's Worst Workers

Catching up on this season of Private Practice, an idea for a new list came to mind. You know what there are a lot of on TV? Characters who are very bad at their jobs (whether the writers meant for that to be the case or not). Sadly, on this list, only one of these characters is comically bad at their job, the others are just written that way because the writing on their show sucks- oh the state of television!

Violet Turner (Private Practice): worst therapist ever! Endlessly self-involved, Violet has always excelled at making her patients' troubles all about her, thus failing to truly help them more times than not.

Marvin "Mouth" MacFadden (One Tree Hill): worst sportscaster ever! I don't think Mouth has ever accurately reported on a story in his entire run on the show. Instead of doing his assignments he goes live with biased and obtuse monologues about his friends and his life.

Dee Reynolds (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia): worst bartender ever! It's not exactly a hard job but clueless lowlife Dee's skills don't extend much beyond opening a beer.

Izzie Stevens (Grey's Anatomy): worst doctor ever! She's killed all sorts of people at this point, spent an entire episode trying to save a deer and generally gets so emotionally involved with her patients that it surprises me every time she DOESN'T offer to donate her own kidney to a stranger. No wonder she got fired.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


It was so good to see Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Her bit with Seth Meyers on Weekend Update was hilarious. The dynamic between these two is always great to watch. Good to see you, AMY!

Really?!?!?! THAT WAS AWESOME!

Some other highlights:
-Taylor Swift was funnier than I thought she would be.
-T.R.A.A.A.P.D. love it.
-The Twilight spoof was great, too. Gotta love it.

Yay! for a truly funny SNL.

you know what's always funny?

Brian Williams jokes! They are always funny, as evidenced by this week's 30 Rock, last season of SNL and many many Daily Show episodes.

Other 30 Rock highlights this week include:
- the Horberger system
- a Susan Boyle shout-out
- Tracy and Jenna working together
- a flashback to Liz's auditioning days
- facetious product placement
- everything about Dot Com!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Obsessions of the Week

Manny: the only truly great thing about super overrated ABC sitcom Modern Family is the creepily mature, naively proud and generally delightful stepson/uncle/brother Manny (Rico Rodriguez).

One Tree Hill: Julian's adventures into brohood, Nathan's willing decent from superman status, Brooke/Haley bonding time, some fun Skills moments and a good campfire nanny Carrie story= one very funny episode of a show that really should be considered a comedy.

Community: last week's episode was hysterical and it's been solidly hilarious for weeks now. Jeff is a fantastically engaging character to follow as he skulks through the college halls (and Joel McHale plays him impeccably), Britta is a surprisingly refreshing female lead, Annie and Abed are delightful and used with the perfect amount of restraint needed with such quirky characters, Troy is an absurdist foil to the high energy craziness and Shirly has quickly become one of my favourite characters to watch. The only weak point in the show at this point is Chevy Chase, who's over-hyped existence on the show was destined to be over-the-top. Here's hoping that viewers and critics alike get their heads on straight soon and abandon ABC's mediocre Wednesday comedy line up and get behind NBC's Community and CBS' Accidentally on Purpose before they get the freshman axe.

Wanda Sykes:
with a talk show kicking off, a prime character on Old Christine, a great interview on The Daily Show and a stellar standup comedy special that aired this week, Sykes is, and deserves to be, on top of the world right now.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dear Mark and Derek,

Stick to Dancing.

Your performance with "Ballas Hough Band" on Dancing with the Stars tonight was simply strange. You may be two of my favourite pro dancers on the show but your pseudo-boyband skills don't measure up to your ballroom prowess and performance charm.


In other DwtS news:
-Rod Stewart is creepy, no one wants to see that! But it's great how they have pro couples dance along with the musical guests so it seems a little less like a waste of time.
- Why don't fans vote for Aaron Carter? He had the highscore of the week and was in the bottom 3. Is it because he's slimy? It's certainly not because he can't dance, because he's one of the best on that floor.
- Donny Osmond is still adorable. He seems genuinely surprised every week he doesn't get eliminated. That said, what was with that green outfit?
- Are Kelly and Aaron really close? They were being really cute at the end of the show.
- Michael went home after his best night of the season and Mark left after losing the dance-off to Aaron, having landed in the bottom because his partner (SYTYCD's Lacey Schwimmer) was sick.The eliminated couples danced a strange yet sweet little circle dance as the credits rolled, it was oddly endearing.