Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Last Man Standing: A Father's Love

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Wow. When is the last time you heard of Ding Dong Ditch? I think it's been more than ten years for me... and fifteen or more since I've known someone who has done it! Things like that just aren't as fun these days, what with all of the security cameras and whatnot. It's kinda of like how Caller ID ruined prank calls in the mid-to-late 90s. Still, I liked the idea that the Ditcher in this episode wasn't doing it as a joke - it was more of a signal for Eve to meet him outside. How they devised this plan, I'm not sure... but it was cute. Cute like the two of them under a blanket just listening to an mp3 player. And my mom would have reacted much more severely than Mike did! Speaking of mothers, why didn't we get Vanessa's take on Eve's situation? Because she's the easygoing parent? And what was with that useless scene in the beginning about Vanessa telling the family that they watch too much TV? Was that whole thing just a vehicle to tell us that Kristin has started college? Back on Mike, it was intriguing to see him both worry about trusting his youngest again while also making jokes about her being his favorite. Similarly, I was touched when Ed admitted his feelings for Kyle... I never would have dreamed that he would treat a son like he treats that poor employee!

Last Man Standing "Ding Dong Ditch" (S01E19): The Baxter family has a ding-dong-ditcher, so Mike installs a motion-activated camera to capture who it is, but the face isn't visible. Eve doesn't share that she knows it's her friend, Ben, who uses it as a sign for her to meet him in the backyard. They're not making out or anything... in fact, we see him come over just to say, "I can't wait to see you at school tomorrow." [awww. first love. also, LOVED "wow, look who remembered a book."]

After Ed gives him some ideas, Mike booby traps the front walkway, then stays up until all hours to catch the prankster. The airhorn and scooter slow Ben down enough to be caught. Eve denies knowing him, even after the kid gets grilled. [Vanessa totally looked like she laughed a little after Mike said, "this is why I don't go fishing with you."] Ben's dad comes by the next day to yell at Mike for bullying Ben. [a bit surprising.] Then, he demands that the Baxters pay the $300 x-ray bill, as Ben sprained his wrist over there. [even more surprising. When I was a kid, if you fell, it was your own fault. People need to stop weaseling their way out of paying for things these days.] Mike eventually concedes, though we don't see it. He does, however, make his most recent marketing video about accountability, using fish hooks and talking about how you need to take responsibility for your own actions.

(ABC/CARIN BAER)
Eve and Ben listen to music in the Baxter backyard when Mike comes home early. Mike asks Eve why she lied, and she basically says that she didn't want Mike to hate Ben and she wanted to continue being the "favorite daughter." [situations like these are tough to come up with a good lie for, so I guess she did the right thing.] Mike tells Eve to pay for the hospital bill, but she brings him down to paying half each, since it was Mike's airhorn that started it all.

At work, Ed has Kyle climb a ladder to clean a stuffed bear. The ladder is unsteady, so Ed spots it... until he gets distracted by Mike. [of course.] Kyle falls, leaving Ed is paranoid that he'll sue, so he offers Kyle everything he can - sitting in a nice chair, a cigar, and some free nights at an airport hotel. [ummm... thanks?] Ed asks him to sign a waiver, and Kyle says that he'd never sue Ed... he thinks of him like a father. Ed takes the opportunity to decide to teach Kyle to golf, as he cares about the boy. [strange. did I miss some major precedent-setting moments?]

Oh, and Kristin is taking her first college course, organic chemistry. [in what world would that be you FIRST class? Though perhaps she had AP classes in high school and did REALLY well one them??] She struggles with being on-time (Mandy is her chauffeur for some reason), doesn't know an answer, is slower than the others and further behind in her studies, and is the only one not taking notes on a laptop. After she receives the lowest grade of her life (60%) on a quiz, she confides in Mandy that she wants to quit. [pause to laugh at, "he gave you a GO."] Mandy tries to make her feel better, but there are bigger problems going on... Mandy left the car with the college "valet." [you've GOT to be kidding me!]

Fun Fact: Eve plays the oboe.

Switched at Birth: Ty is OK, Travis is Not

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Man... do I feel stupid! I totally should have realized that Ty would be back after the Emmett found out about him and Bay! This will undoubtedly cause more drama... which the show is going to have to squeeze in, since it's full of so many other plots right now! Like that spiteful Simone... hopefully Toby is starting to dislike her disregard for everyone else now... And, can we talk for a quick minute about how much this episode made my heart ache toward the end? The whole Travis situation makes me cry inside. How tragically lonely that kid must be - and how awful he must feel to communicate in a language that his parents and his brother don't know! I honestly don't know what could be done... we know that Travis has only been at Carlton for a few months, but since Travis is fluent in sign, he must have grown up with it being taught somewhere... no parent/teacher meeting or school function ever uncovered the fact that he and his parents can't communicate? I never thought about this being a problem... I guess I just assumed that anyone with a deaf child would love him enough to learn to sign! I'm very much looking forward to learning more about this aspect of deaf culture!

Switched at Birth "Write a Lonely Soldier" (S01E19): There was a helicopter crash in Afghanistan and Ty's company was affected, so Bay, Regina, and Daphne are all very worried. Emmett (who could never serve the US because he's deaf) goes to comfort Bay, and she tells him that she's been emailing with Ty, which frustrates Emmett. Daphne later explains to Emmett that he shouldn't be upset because Bay was just trying to help Ty adjust, plus Bay is crazy for Emmett. [it also seems like Daphne has given up fighting for him... thoughts?] Later, Bay suggests some artwork for Emmett's next motorcycle, but he's stuck on the emailing thing. He even asks to read the emails if they "were nothing." [what a mistake!] She protests about privacy, then brings them up for him. It starts to settle as she demonstrates how harmless they are... but then there's a photo of Ty's tank with a piece of Bay's street art, which ticks off Emmett. [...yep! I'd be pissed, too.] It also makes it worse that Bay doesn't remember whether she even told Ty that she was dating Emmett. [interesting how the word "important" kept coming up...] John pulls some strings to find out that Ty is actually okay, and Ty later calls Bay. [whoa. saw it coming, but not like this.] Ty calls asks her for another hammer girl to put on the top of his Humvee, then Bay breaks it to him that she started seeing Emmett (oh, who, by the way, has stopped taking speech therapy...), rendering the poor soldier speechless. [so she did know that she hadn't told Ty about Emmett... liar.]

Kathryn tells the Kennish lawyer that she gave money to the nurse (the influx in her account was flagged), so now the nurse can no longer testify if the hospital finds out... plus, the lawyer could face trouble with the Bar Association, though he's willing to risk it. [this may be his only case and all... but that seems like a lot to risk!] Kathryn wants to try talking to the other nurses who were working that day, but can't figure out how Angelo got one to agree to testify, so she wants to talk to Angelo's lawyer. John tells her to bring their lawyer with her, so they both go, and find out that Angelo was told by a third (unknown) party to go to that specific nurse. [this is a bit cryptic... why would someone contact ANGELO about it? He wasn't even around when it all went down...] This means that they need to find Angelo, plain and simple. [this whole little story of the lawyer finding Kathryn attractive is going nowhere... let's drop it while we're ahead, guys.]

Simone asks Toby which of his sisters has been badmouthing her more, and he says that neither has said anything, which surprises her. [so another one of her bad qualities is that she thinks that everyone cares enough to bother talking about her?] She got him a solo gig, but it's at the same time as a GuitarFace gig. Toby tells Wilke that he can't make it, but Wilke calls him names and reminds him that this could be an opening for more work, so Toby decides to go with it. Toby then tells Simone that he can't do the gig she planned, and she's not too bothered by it. [hmmm...] The Wilke gig gets cancelled when some parents find out about the party being thrown, and Toby finds out that Simone was the one who ratted on the event. Toby's upset so he goes to Kathryn for advice (without giving details), and she basically tells him to give the person the benefit of the doubt. [even though you and I both know that Simone is just bad news!]

At Carlton, the towel boy, Travis, confronts Daphne, claiming that she couldn't cut it at Buckner and that's why she's back to play basketball at Carlton. [just how widespread is this belief? we weren't under the impression that anyone was treating Daphne differently when she was in class and whatnot.] She tells the principal about it, who ends up firing Travis. Daphne feels bad, so she asks John to give him a job at the carwash. [these girls and having their daddy pull strings...] John asks her if Travis like her or if he's like Emmett... meaning, how deaf is he and how can he communicate? [it came off rough... and shook me as much as it did Daphne.] He takes it back, though, and says that if she vouches for him, he can have the job.
ABCFamily.com
Travis begins work by irritating Daphne by pointing out that Wilke doesn't know any signs and he's dating a deaf girl. [I hadn't realized that Wilke has made no efforts whatsoever... good point!] Wilke invites Daphne to see the show, and wants to go to her basketball games, too. [awww... cute couple ideas!] Travis gets fired over being rude to a customer, but he threatens to sue John for discrimination so Daphne tries to talk to him. After Travis just quits, she goes to his house to find out more. She quickly learns that his mother doesn't sign, nor does the rest of his family. [is it standard to not use speech when you're meeting someone when you're deaf? I was expecting Daphne to speak while signing, since it tends to help people understand her.] Travis goes back to John's carwash and asks for a second chance. John, being a good man, gives him one. Oh, and Daphne decides to try and get Wilke to sign, but shortly after giving him a namesign, he's really only interested in signs like "make-out." [dang it, Wilke. TRY.]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Smash: Unrealistic Actions

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Two things about this series... First, is it just me or does this show take a LOT of commercial breaks? Why are the scenes so short? Second, do we really need to spend so much time hitting home the fact that Karen is a n00b and Ivy is a b!tch? I don't see Ivy's situation improving much, though perhaps Karen's will get better, as per the scenes-from-the-next. Now, about this episode... I think that it was pretty unrealistic. Sure, someone selling artwork on-the-sly could happen. Someone could make up reasons to get her way. But a newbie making three friends right away who hang out with her the entire day? I don't buy it. Two people in different places leave what they're doing on a FRIDAY NIGHT to come and perform on-demand at a party? Nope. This is, of course, in addition to the fact that I don't believe Ellis would be invited to the party or that Dev would be so swamped with work. It may be Broadway, but it needs to be a scoche realistic.

Smash "The Cost of Art" (S01E04): Rehearsals begin, and Ivy is shocked that Karen is part of the cast. [I honestly have no idea how strange this situation would be, but it doesn't shock me.] When Ivy confronts Tom about Karen, he says that Julia wanted to cast her. [ummm...] Shortly afterward, Ivy asks Tom to move Karen from being next to her in a certain number, so they move her to the back row... only for Ivy to act up again and have Karen and Bobby removed from the song completely. [Ivy just makes me want to permanently roll my eyes!] Ivy continues to complain that everyone is too loud when she sings, and Karen is removed from another piece. [...are you serious?? Also,I love how much life Karen's hair has!] Between all of this and learning that Ivy and Derek are together, Karen is pissed. [well, yeah!] Luckily, although some of the ensemble has shut her out, there are a few people who are nice to her. They go shopping together, invite her to take dance classes with them, and "have an intervention" about her clothing and attitude toward theatre. [that's a heck of a first-day-together!] They demonstrate being "one" and then have her practice. Karen's storyline closes at a bar with her new theatre friends, singing and dancing on the stage as Dev watches. [Dev is getting stranger... I foresee a storyline coming where they break up or something and she can't afford to live without him...] 

Eileen only has access to $8,000, as the rest of her assets are frozen. [anyone have an idea of how they figure out how much to not-freeze in a situation like this?] She skips rehearsal, so Julia fills her in. Eileen's distracted, however, and asks Julia (who apparently studied art history in college) how much a Degas sketch might go for... she has an original in her office. [!!!] Eileen talks to an art buyer, and while the sketch could fetch $400,000 at auction, it's not in her name - Jerry bought it as a wedding gift for her. [oh goodness... what a FABULOUS gift!] Eileen is bummed about the issue with the bill of sale, so Julia invites her to the party for Lyle.

Oh yes, Lyle. He's a young musical theatre star for whom Derek is throwing a party. Tom is skipping out because he has a date (and because Derek didn't want to invite him...). Ivy and Ellis are there, though. [Ellis? really? why would Derek have invited him?] Eileen talks to Lyle and gets him to buy the painting for $175,000 plus a few "points" of stock in the show. But, Lyle wants to see if it's any good, so Eileen
(Photo by: Patrick Harbron/NBC)
demands Julia get Tom and Michael to the party to perform. [and they both come ASAP... odd, if you ask me.] The performance is explained to the crowd as "a birthday gift for Lyle," and even Julia and Ellis sing and dance with the group. [I can understand Julia... but why Ellis?? Also, I'm not a fan of this song. I think it's my least favorite so far, actually.] Ivy goes with Lyle to a tour the apartment after the performance. [I'm not gonna jump to conclusions and call her a $lut... but it might happen sooner or later...] She then confronts Derek about his hands-on flirting with others, only to relent and move to an upstairs bedroom with him. [I've always thought it would be gross to make out (or more) at someone else's house... is it really just me?]

Two and a Half Men: Walden's Friend's Idea

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This may be the quickest that a character has ever uttered the name of the episode! And, as per the usual, it's not related to the bulk of the plotlines. No Zoey, Lindsay, Evelyn, or Jake, though we do see a little of Berta. the episode is primarily Walden and Alan, with a guest star as Walden's friend and a shot or two of Bridget. Overall, the episode continues to demonstrate just how low Two and a Half Men has sunk. I'm glad there are only a few episodes remaining... and I kinda hope that Ashton Kutcher isn't able to come to terms with CBS... let's just put this show out of its misery.

Two and a Half Men "The War Against Gingivitis" (S09E18): Bridget skypes Walden to tell him that his friend, Billy, called with a business proposition. But, something went wrong in the past and Walden wants nothing to do with Billy. [Alan dropping tons of glasses and dishes was funny.] Alan asks Walden who Billy is, and Walden says that Billy didn't want to sell the company and went crazy... there are internet videos of him calling Walden a pretty boy, a sell-out, and a giant d0uche. So, when Billy comes to the house, Alan acts as a barrier... right up until the words "billion dollar" are mentioned. Then, he lets him in with open arms to find out more. Well, "web-based aggregate upstream power grid manipulation" means nothing to Alan, but a $50 bribe definitely gets him to bring Walden downstairs. [I laughed when Alan realized that he should have held out for more moolah.] When Billy finally apologizes to Walden, they figure out how to divide the work for the new idea, which is nicknamed "the electric suitcase." Alan wants in, so he volunteers to bake cookies and run errands. [hahahahaha. leave it to Alan.] What does this do, however?
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CB
It leads Alan to realize that the closest thing he has to a friend is Berta. So, while Walden and Billy compete to see who can go the longest without urinating (hence the picture with the guys chugging Red Bulls), Alan shows up at Berta's, wanting to do something. [once again, Walden is the most immature guy EVER.] Berta asks Alan to run an errand... bringing an envelope of money to a guy. But, Berta owes more than she sends with Alan, so his car is shot was he speeds away. [omg!!!] The episode ends with Billy admitting to Walden that he's been sleeping with Bridget, but they power through and finish the "electric suitcase," which is able to take out all of the power in North America.

Fun facts
: Alan's passwords are Jake, Jake1, Jake2, Alan, Alan1, BigScaryLady. His "favorite state" isn't something like Hawaii or California, it's "engorged." [whoa.] And, lastly, Alan keeps THREE types of dental floss in his POCKET. [double whoa!]

2 Broke Girls: Caroline's Birthday

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Sucks not to have a smartphone... having to go into a Kinko's to use GoogleMaps to find your way home is ridiculous, though resourceful. Of course, how you find Kinko's without a map is a separate problem. Don't get me wrong, I've gotten lost plenty of times before owning a smartphone (one time I was one exit away from being in a different state), but one of the main reasons I got one was to be able to get around in places foreign to me. Moving on... the scene in the diner where everyone was ratting on eachother reminds me of the Monica-Ross-Chandler scene in Friends, only that was funnier. Still, this episode was pretty hilarious, once you get past the multitude of sex jokes. The best part, however, was FUDGIE THE WHALE! When I was in grad school we had one for an acquaintance's birthday and only about three out of the twelve of us were familiar with the cake beforehand. I'm dying for one now, they are so yummy! Anyone have one recently?

2 Broke Girls "And the One-Night Stands" (S01E18): Han tells Max, Earl, and Oleg that Caroline's birthday is coming up, and Max is baffled as to why she doesn't know this. [true... you'd think it would have come up in the five or six months that they've been living together now.] Han demands Max throw a party, but Max has no money and no great birthday memories, so she isn't thrilled about that responsibility. [Max's birthday, by the way, is in a two-week period in June. Her license must have something official-ish though, right? and LMAO at "exchanging ATM pin numbers."] The webmaster is at the diner, finishing up a few things before the cupcake business website goes live. [oh geez... "browse your yahoo" ...?] Sophie comes in to get a cupcake on her way to 24 Hour Fitness, but seeing Caroline make out with the webmaster gets her hott and she ends up having Oleg spend the night. [ahhh!] The next morning, Caroline and Oleg pass one another and agree to form a "don't tell anyone" pact. [uh huh. bets on how long this will take to be all over the diner?]

After Max realizes that Caroline was with the webmaster the night before, all of the diner employees start ratting on one another. [it's a good scene, though I think that it could have been written AND directed a little better.] The birthday party isn't too exciting, and Caroline asks Max to get rid of the webmaster [haha, BigHan!] because she doesn't want a relationship. [anyone else a little surprised that Caroline had a one-night stand?] Similarly, Sophie tells Max to get rid of Oleg. Soon enough, the party is over and Caroline admits to Max that all she really wants is to see her father.

Ever-resourceful Max finds a bus that goes to the prison, which the riders call "the bang bus," because of all the conjugal visits. [oh goodness! and "who you here to see?" "Who's available?" made me laugh.] But, they're not the visitors list...
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS
[and whyyyy did they not call ahead?] Caroline tries sweet-talking, false names, and bribery, but it's Max's offer to let the warden feel her up while being searched that gets them in. [how much you wanna bet that the girls didn't have fifty bucks on them?] While they're waiting for Caroline's father to be brought out, a prisoner recognizes Max. Turns out, he was a one-night stand who became obsessed with her, even getting her tattooed on his torso! [WHOA.] Unfortunately, the guy gets violent and the prison has to put a stop to visiting hours, and Caroline barely gets a glimpse of her dad. On the ride home, the whole bus is angry at the girls... so they stop by a Carvel and buy some Fudgie the Whale cake for everyone. [have you ever been on a bus where the driver agreed to a willy-nilly stop? Because I've only had it happen ONCE. And WHY did Caroline have such a bad impression of Carvel??]

Cupcakery Savings Total: $625.00
[we went down $200 for the website and $40 for Fudgie.]

HIMYM: Luck be to Some

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Some people have all the luck. In this episode, Marshall and Lily have the luck, while Ted and Barney do not. I mean, how many homes do you need to be "given" before you realize how blessed you are? And if Lily and Marshall have not yet sold their place in DoWiSeTrePla, why do they even need another Manhattan home? Of course, something similar could be said about Ted, who owns a house that we see about once a season. I'm at a loss to explain where Robin will end up, though part of me wonders if she's not just going to go straight back to Barney... Speaking of Barney, leave it to him to spend thousands of dollars to realize that his love interest in a stripper will never be reciprocated. Poor guy... though I don't want him to end up with Robin, either. And, back on Robin, who can believe how messed up Ted's head was after she moved out?? Wheel-throwing was the most believable hobby he tried to create for himself, but even that didn't work out. I think we can all agree that it is difficult to escape memories, so living in a place that breathes them can't be good... but moving? Maybe this will turn out to be a lucky decision after all...

How I Met Your Mother "Karma" (S07E18): Because Robin moved out, Ted is filled with a sense of boredom. So, aside from hanging out with Barney, he tries to use her old room to start a new hobby. [sounds all well and good in theory...] Well, smoking meat doesn't work out so well, and Ted's craftmanship doesn't lead to sturdy furniture, either. He seems to take up wheel-throwing purely because his junky china cabinet fell apart, ruining all of his dishes. But, Ted realizes in the end that he can't escape the memories of Robin in that room, so he decides to move out, giving the place to Marshall and Lily. [if Ted saw each of his pieces of furniture crumble, why would he think it was safe to leave his friends a crib that he built? Also, I guess he doesn't paint or stain his pieces? The unfinished look got old.]

While Ted jumps from hobby to hobby, Robin spends the week with Marshall and Lily on Long Island, only to learn that they have become boring... a bowling league, tabletop shuffleboard, and macrame classes aren't exactly thirtysomething activities in Manhattan! [loved the writing of Robin's journal though... the whole "strange, foreign island" thing was great.] When Robin wants to leave (to go stay with Patrice, of all people), Lily and Marshall stall her in every way they can before admitting that they hate Long Island. [Snug-it instead of Snuggie? really? also, having a the booth in the kitchen is odd, yes?] Marshall and Lily don't want to move back to the city "because the suburbs are better for the baby," but Ted's offer seems too good to refuse.

Photo: Richard Cartwright/FOX
Also during this same week, Barney realizes that Quinn, his crush, is the stripper, "Karma." While Barney is immediately worried that it could never work, Ted encourages him, since he did find her in the sea that is New York. Karma tells him that she doesn't date customers, and in order for Barney to learn anything else, he begins paying her for lap dances and the like, since she's technically on-the-clock. [what, she can't call him outside of work or something?] A few nights and quite a bit of money later, Ted tries to break it to Barney that Quinn is "playing him." He goes down to figure that out for himself, and the truth is confirmed when he witnesses Karma using the same lines on another guy. The next day, he runs into her at a coffeeshop, and she buys his drink. [as disappointed as he was, I was surprised that he stayed instead of just going to another coffee place!] 

Archer - Bloody Ferlin... with electric bum fights

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Archer "Bloody Ferlin" (S03E09):

From the Diary of Archer Sterling...

Ok, so I'm teaching Lana what sarcasm means while trying to stop burglars who have gotten into the armory so we're a bit out 'gundammed.' (Gundam Wing was an AWESOME game, right?! kiddies: educate yourself) It turns out to be Ray climbing a ladder... that lying bastard was NEVER paralyzed at ALL! Lying for 6 MONTHS! Anyway, he was in the armory stocking up because his drug-growing brother, Randy, is getting targeted by a crooked sheriff in his hometown. Blah blah blah, it sounds like White Lightning so I'm in. Lana wants to come too, but there's no way she can play Ray's wife in WEST VIRGINIA... cause, ya know... she's huge.

Of course, Mother is going crazy from the 'non-break-in,' just assuming it's Krieger's ultimate bum shock fights (yes, you should try that at home...), but somehow Lana manages to stall. I've gone to West Virgina with Ray, with Cheryl playing his wife. (Ray's last name is Gillette! like GILL-it, wtf?) The bat-nutz sheriff cuts us off,
CR: FX
creepily grills us, and tells us not to stay long. While I'm here in 'the sh!ttier parts of Chernobyl,' as Cheryl called it, the other ISIS bums are in the women's bathroom talking about our war on the war on drugs. The bums! Anyway, so we get to Ray's childhood home of a double-wide trailer only to be greeted by a shotgun and a MINE FIELD... but the girl's smokin' hot... and made pot pie.

Ray's brother tells us about... something, but Janelle's pie was gooooooooooooood, moist and hot. (oh yeah, Ray's cover job to his family is an interior decorator... wow...) Lana is still covering with Mother, but TELLING everyone else... worthless. Anyway, Ray's brother is a massive homophobe and shows us his government farm-subsidized grow house full of pot. After my 4th thoughts about this mission, I snuck off for fifth thoughts with Janelle, but Randy caught us. But great news! They follow Genesis 31:8 and have an open marriage, and I can have sex with Janelle if I distract Ray so Randy can have sex with Cheryl. (oh yeah, Krieger helps us cover with Mother since Lana convinced Pam to enter his ultimate bum shock fights.) Ray doesn't buy Randy's plan because he's trying to sleep (with what he thinks is his current wife), and goes to stop him. He screws up everything... and Cheryl can't shave chickens worth crap.

Ok, so Thank God I was there. Ray almost blurted out he was a secret agent. After Ray and Randy mended... I don't think they have fences in West Virginia... they made up, and then the dirty sheriff showed up. So Ray passionately locks and loads to defend his 'racist homophobic wife-swapping drug dealing/farming brother,' while I downed a sweet mason jar of moonshine (d@mn good stuff by the way...). Apparently, it's possible to drink too much, so I just watched. The sheriff said something about giving Randy loads of chances to stop drug dealing, etc., then Ray knocked him out and we surrendered.

That good-for-nothing Pam spills the entire story to Mother before we're even back! Anyway, Randy and wife go to jail for life, we talk our way out of things, and Ray gets the fairy sheriff's number... but I'm still drunk!

News Roundup: Late February 2012

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Renewals, Cancellations, & Scheduling:

Comedy Central's Key & Peele was renewed for a second season of ten episodes, to air next fall. [Press Release]

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse was renewed for 35 more episodes. TBS also renewed Conan, through April 2014.

Gold Rush has been renewed for a third season.

The CW has renewed America's Next Top Model for a nineteenth cycle. Impressive, considering we're at the very beginning of the 18th cycle.

CMT renewed Bayou Billionaires (Shreveport family who struck it rich with natural gas) and My Big Redneck Vacation (the extended Clampet family in the Hamptons) for second seasons.

FX renewed Archer for a fourth season

Spike's Blue Mountain State has been canceled after three seasons.

MTV's Good Vibes has been canceled.

Sons of Guns will be back on Wednesday, February 29th.

CNBC will present WikiLeaks: Secrets & Lies on Thursday, March 1st at 10pm ET/PT. [CNBC Press Release]

Q'Viva! The Chosen!
, a docuseries showcasing Latin music and dance (the one that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are behind) will start on Saturday, March 3rd on FOX.

On Sunday, March 4th, Army Wives will premiere its sixth season.

Ugly Americans returns on Wednesday, March 14th.

Sweet Genius, another Food Network show, begins on March 15th, and will run thirteen episodes that look at some pastry chefs going for $10,000.

Community will be back on Thursday, March 15th.

NBC's Bent premieres March 21st.

Oxygen's Brooklyn 11223 (a docuseries about some twentysomethings who are torn apart by betrayal) premieres Monday, March 26th.

Oprah's Lifeclass: The Tour premieres Monday, March 26th (8pm ET/PT), and will feature episodes in St. Louis, New York, and a third, yet-to-be-announced location.

OWN's Welcome to Sweetie Pie's (a family restaurant show set in St. Louis) and Beverly's Full House (Beverly Johnson's family life) will premiere on Saturday, March 31st.

Betty White's Off Their Rockers will begin April 4th.

Stephen Colbert's mother isn't doing well, so The Colbert Report has been suspended for a while.



Cast & Plot Updates:
Kal Penn will be the eponymous Prairie Dogs, which is a comedy to run on ABC. The show will "follow an uncool cubicale worker - aka 'prairie dog' - named Neil who is the victim of identity theft."

Kelly Bishop will play the mother-in-law of Sutton Foster's character on ABC Family's Bunheads

Remember when Ryan Phillippe signed on to CBS's upcoming cop show, Golden Boy? Well, he's dropped out.

Aimee Teegarden will star in CW's The Selection, which you may have noticed is an awful lot like Hunger Games.

Lily Tomlin will play Reba's mom on the new ABC comedy.

Brittany Snow, Bill Pullman, and Josh Gad will all be on 1600 Penn, NBC's White House comedy.

Ashley Tisdale has been cast in a lead role in Louis C.K.'s CBS sitcom.

Martin Lawrence will be starring in CBS's new family cop comedy.

In a surprise casting move, Lucy Liu has been cast as Watson in CBS's Elementary.

AnnaSophia Robb will play Young Carrie Bradshaw in the CW's Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries.

Shows in Development & Other Fun Stuff
:
We're a little behind in reporting this one, but Amazon Prime's instant video selection now offers "thousands of TV episodes from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT, and Logo."

Google is planning to enter the home entertainment market - soon you'll be able to use a Google-branded device to stream music throughout your home. Look for it later this year.

NBC is cooking up a Hannibal Lecter series.

Jenny McCarthy has a new talk show coming to VH1 later this year.

CBS has 3, an unscripted series about "three women's search for love," coming out this summer.

The Travel Channel has greenlit Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America (eleven episodes of a guy goes around eating sandwiches) and Toy Hunters (a toy collector searches for rare toys worth lots of money. 

Netflix has yet another show that they'll be streaming exclusively - Orange is the New Black, which is based on "the memoir of a communications executive who served time for drug-related charges in a minimum-security women's prison.

The X-Factor's auditions for the second season begins Thursday, March 1st. So You Think You Can Dance is having auditions on Friday, March 2nd.

In case you wanted to watch Awake, NBC's new drama, before it begins Thursday, March 1st), you can!

TLC's My Collection Obsession has been extended into an eight-part series, My Crazy Obsession. It will premiere on Wednesday, March 7th. Extreme Cheapskates has also been picked up as a series, and is expected to air this summer. Casting available!

Comcast has launched a new streaming video service, Xfinity Streampix, which features full backlogs of series such as 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, The Office, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and Wizards of Waverly Place.

Google is currently testing its TV service in Kansas City, as well as preparing to roll out some "Android-powered, Oakley Thump-inspired" glasses, which would be able to tell you where you met someone if the facial recognition software works well.

Regis Philbin is shopping around a pilot that he's keeping quiet about. CBS and TV Land are among the networks for whom he's pitched so far.

Monday, February 27, 2012

***FOX Shows Preempted Tonight! (2/27/12)

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

For those who were hoping to watch House and Alcatraz tonight, February 27th, I'm sorry to break it to you. The East Coast is already well aware, but for those of us who live out West, there was a crash during the NASCAR event that caused a huge fire. As of right now, they're STILL cleaning up the mess and the race will apparently resume at some point. So, FOX had to pull their Monday night dramas. 
FOX
So, when will they air?
The House episode will air Monday, March 19th, so we've got a while.
On the other hand, Alcatraz will double-up next week, so that isn't too bad. 

Luckily, CBS has a full night of comedies, so head on over there if you'd rather laugh than watch something on your Netflix queue!

***

Update: As of March 4th, it looks like
House will indeed air the missed episode on March 19th. Alcatraz, on the other hand, will air the planned double-header on March 5th, then air the missed episode on March 12th, so keep that in mind when you're watching this week!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dance Academy: Having a Strange Roommate

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I feel like this show wants to be an hour long. I also think the show wants to have some substance behind it. Neither are happening. I'm also not in love with Tara as a protagonist, Kat as a sidekick, Ethan as a love interest, or Abigail as an enemy. I like Samuel's character, so hopefully that'll help... otherwise, I'm not sure how I'm going to do with this show over an entire season. Maybe I'm too old for it. Maybe I'm not connected enough with the world of dance. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the show is Australian. Regardless, I'm hoping it gets better... anyone wants to try and point out the positive things about the show?

Dance Academy "Week Zero" (S01E02): The episode begins at Tara's home, in a small town of 300 people who all know one another. Tara sets free a joey, then her father drives her to the dance academy. [do parents not help their kids with their bags when they move to boarding school/college in Australia?] She was hoping to room with Kat, but Abigail put in a request to snag Tara, while Kat is left with a guy, Samual. [and nobody seems to be in a hurry to fix this error... is this sort of thing not a big deal in that part of the world?] Abigail tells Tara that Kat is "anthrax" to her reputation, a sentiment which is later mirrored by one of Tara's instructors. Still, Tara joins Kat in going off-campus to meet with some older girls. They're dared to jump from a tower of sorts into the water, which they do with only slight hesitation. [what's the point? are they in some "club" now or something?] It's nice to know, though, that Tara has Kat and Samuel, if nobody else!
Photo: Steve Brack/
Dance Academy Productions
The students will train in ballet, jazz, contemporary, character, and hip-hop six days a week, and grades (placements) will be posted weekly. [I personally don't what what constitutes "contemporary" as a class, but I guess I'll figure it out.] Immediately, Tara is taken off pointe, which humiliates her, as she had been in toe shoes for several years already. [I had one friend who took ballet after elementary school, and she didn't start on-pointe until she was about fourteen... maybe that's late?] She'll also be put in a remedial class. [that's gotta suck.] Similarly, Samuel is told to be put on-pointe, as he has weak ankles. [...how would that help?] Tara asks Abigail how she might impress the instructor, but Abigail tells her to do the on-pointe class, only for the instructor to kick her out again. [this Abigail is not impressing me!] Abigail then reminds her that not everyone "makes it." To make matters worse, Tara overhears Abigail bad-mouthing her, so she confronts her. Abigail says even worse things, so Tara slaps her face with a pointe shoe. [whoa. she's got spunk!] Then, Tara apologizes to her teacher and hands over her pointe shoes. [getting rid of the evidence... nice!]

Tara runs into Ethan (who is actually Kat's brother), who has no memory of meeting her during audition week. [strange... is the kid pay that little attention to people?] When the first round of grades are posted, Tara is dead-last on all of them except Hip-Hop, where Abigail (who normally is at the top of the list) is below her. [so... little Miss Perfect has a big weakness...] Tara then confronts Abigail about the sabotage during audition week, but Abigail just leaves the room.[b!tch.]

Suburgatory: Divorce & Best Friends

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

So this divorce thing... yes, it's really happening with Dallas, but is it really going to become a trend like Tessa suggests? Also, let's take a quick moment to look at the other fads she names for Chatswin in the short time that she's been there... owning spotted owls, wearing British royal hats, having mannies, and wearing side fishtail braids. Now, we had stupid trends in my middle school, like wearing corduroy Billabong jackets, carrying stuffed animal-shaped purses, and sporting Airwalks, but those weren't really a suburb-wide thing, per se. I can't think of a trend like that other than having automatic sprinklers installed in your yard or putting up a fence... have I just been out of an area like that for too long or is that a thing? Also, at first I thought that, surely, divorce wouldn't work as a fad... though having babies tends to be, so perhaps leaving one's spouse could function as one, too. I still think it's a bit ridiculous. 

Suburgatory "Fire with Fire" (S01E15): Noah's wife is injured by the shower head and yells at him for not fixing it. [well, yeah! she totally took a huge hit!] Rather than doing something useful, he sticks a "broken" post-it on it... that falls immediately. The next time Jill takes a shower, she breaks her nose. [omg. the day my husband doesn't fix something and I break a bone from it, there's trouble!] Since she'll need to have it re-broken to set it properly, Noah offers her some more procedures, and she decides to have done what Dallas just underwent - up a half cup-size and some botox/collagen. [why would he suggest that she get some more procedures? seems rude.] Then, Jill decides to go stay with Dallas, which breaks Noah's heart. A ten-year-old tells Noah that he should get back at his wife by flirting with one of her friends, so he and George go to the same club as Dallas and Jill. [the idea that Noah listens to a kid bothers me. also, three buttons is weird. and why is George now semi-interested in Dallas?] When that does nothing, however, Noah tries to get Jill back by using a bullhorn and riding a white horse. Even though he claims to have fixed the showerhead, she hesitates... until Dallas tells her to go. Too bad that they end up falling off the horse and Noah is taken away on a gurney. [meh.]

Dalia waves to Lisa in public, and they exchange a few words. Then, Dalia invites Lisa to sit at her lunch table, wanting to get back at Tessa. [only Dalia...] Dalia arriving at Lisa's house shocks Sheila, who is then thrilled. Dalia plays her strengths, giving Lisa a makeover. Tessa decides to act in a similar way, using Kimantha to get back at Dalia. [sinking a little low for Tessa, no?] But, as soon as Tessa has Kimantha act as Malik's dance partner, Lisa gets uber-jealous and comes back. [Lisa is just so weird.] Tessa confronts Dalia about the behavior, and asks if they can put it behind them. [guys, nobody does this in high school. They just get things back to normal and move on. or have things matured in the past ten years?] Dalia admits that she thinks that her mom will end up with George. [nah.] The end scene has Lisa being b!tchy to Tessa and Malik. [what was with that??]
(ABC/MITCH HADDAD)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Middle: No Nagging... for a Short Time

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

You know how some kids habitually forget things? Like the whole "you'd forget your head if it wasn't attached" thing? I've never understood it. How can you not remember your coat or your bookbag? You use it every day!  /soapbox  Anyway, I thought that this episode was decent... every move was pretty much in-character and the actions followed what this series has deemed standard. I could have used a little more substance, but that's not the end of the world. It has only slight re-watching power, but I did find myself laughing quite a few times. I knew that we'd need to have an event that would set things back to status quo, but I also could have taken another episode with the kids running their own lives. You?

The Middle "The Sit Down" (S03E17): The family is running late in the morning, which is fairly normal for them. They're suffering from their normal hold-ups, like Axl refusing to get up or clean his room, and Brick and Sue forgetting to bring things home (specifically, a coffee pot and a coat, respectively). The next day, the
(ABC/RICHARD FOREMAN)
kids ask to have a meeting with the parents, claiming that Frankie and Mike are out of control... she nags constantly and he makes unreasonable punishments. [both true.] Frankie and Mike decide to let up, since the kids essentially want more responsibility. It starts off well, with Sue remembering her coat and Axl doing his homework, but nobody is around to break up an argument when Axl gets angry at Sue for bringing WeirdAshley to the house for wrestlerette practice. In fact, Mike and Frankie are doing things for themselves, like going bowling. [haha at the crack at the Duggars - let the kids police each other.] Sue loses her coat and Axl freaks out - wondering if this will blow their "sweet deal." [haha] Plus, Axl also has to read Of Mice and Men, so he has Brick read it and summarize while they drive around town to find the coat. [the idea was funny... but it didn't really come off that way in the end.] After a couple of false alarms, Sue thinks that her coat is at WeirdAshley's. While Sue is searching, Axl accidentally agrees to go to prom with her AGAIN. [this actually makes me angry... he better find a way to get out of this!] Brick realizes that he knows where the coat is - it's been at home the entire time. [the whole family really needs to remember to specifically ask Brick things in order to get accurate information!] The kids think that they're in the clear, but when a moth flies into Brick's ear, Axl calls Frankie for advice on which emergency room is best. [wow... what a way to freak someone out!] When they all meet up at the hospital, everyone gets upset, though a moth flying into brick's ear is a freak thing - nobody's fault. [...and that's that.]

19 Kids & Counting: Mackynzie's Haircut, Vanderhoffs Visit

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

The "Josh & Anna" episode struck me as a jumbled mess. Mackynzie's first haircut, sure. A few minutes with first-time parents talking about toilet-training, works. Anna trying to take five children to the park alone... okay. I'm hesitant there since there seems to be no reason at all why she'd have to go it alone. The worst parts were the Josh scenes, really. He gives an obligatory update on his car lots (which we all know is crap... the kid is never at work), then plays some screeching violin for his daughter. Josh specified that he only had about 18 months of lessons (not sure why... I know it's been stated that the kids start young, and all four of the oldest girls have had 10+ years of lessons on the harp), but he was still a bit awful... and it seems that nobody ever taught him how to tune his instrument, either. The second episode ignored Michelle's pregnancy for the most part, but it did have Michelle heading off for yet another speaking engagement... she's really busy with these lately! So, that leads me to ask, why is TLC bothering to film ALL of them?? Unless they're just looking for filler - but more on the Vanderhoffs and their family might have been nice. I don't know... it just seemed to be a bit thrown-together, if you ask me.

19 Kids and Counting "Josh & Anna Check-In" (S06E02): Josh talks about business being slower... we see him try to sell some cars. They're moving out of the taco lot and back to the second lot, but luckily all of their decals are still on the windows.

Anna's friend is taking cosmetology courses so they have Mackynzie's first hair cut there. It takes a lot of work to distract her, and Anna ends up having to hold her in the end. [um, I can't be the only one who thought that her haircut wasn't fitting for a toddler, right?]
Anna quizzes Mack on her shapes and animals and letters... she's already starting to homeschool. [and this might not be bad for them - Mackynzie seems pretty smart so far!] Josh and Anna are planning to get their children music lessons, so we see Josh play some violin for Mackynzie, who plays along with a cardboard cutout. [OH MY GOODNESS... Josh is SO BAD!] They're also working on toilet-training, and we get an earful about the family's diaper habits. [really? do people care that they sometimes use disposables because it's hard to keep up with two kids' cloth diapers? sucks that Anna feels bad about it, tho.] Anna takes her kids, plus Johannah, Jennifer, and Jordyn, to the park, borrowing a 15-passenger van to do so. [NOBODY was available to help Anna install all of those carseats?? I appreciated that Anna buckled each child in her seat herself instead of letting them do it themselves like the Gosselins! Also, "Josh's three little sisters" should have been "three of Josh's little sisters" ...Josie exists, guys.] 

Michelle is 18 weeks pregnant and spends an hour on the elliptical 5-6 days a week. [just in case you care.]

19 Kids and Counting "40 Kids, Oh My!" (S06E03): The Vanderhoffs, a family with 21 children (9 are biological), are staying with the Duggars while they close on a house nearby. The Duggar boys sleep on the bus and the guests stay in their room. [that's still a LOT of people in that room! Two to every bed??] We see the infamous "home church" building out by the airport, which JimBob bought as a repo home a few years back. Everyone worships and several of the children play music. They have a fellowship meal. [Jana seems to be running the whole shebang... she plays the keyboard for the service and works on the meal!]

Michelle has a speaking engagement in the Little Rock area, so she's going to spend the night with her high school best friend, Cindy. They were cheerleaders together. [cute pictures!] Also going on the trip are Jana, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, and Josie. [but we don't hear much of why those three boys are there.] Michelle and Cindy talk and text, but it's rare that they actually get to see one another. Cindy asks staged questions about her fondest memories from high school - like hanging out, spending the night, skating, trips.The speaking engagement is uneventful, but it seems a little awkward that Cindy doesn't attend.

For his birthday, Justin wanted to go to the pawn shop, as James convinced him to get a trumpet. [I'm surprised we didn't see a Duggar lecture on selfishness!] JimBob uses the opportunity to teach the boys about negotiation, and although Justin isn't really into the jeep power wheel he ends up getting, but they paid $200 for it. [this really didn't seem like a toy the family needed!] They have a double-party (requiring 30 pizzas) for Justin and Hudson Jr., which is the same day as Michelle's talk, explaining her absence. [that comment about 30 pizzas covering the night's sales needs was ridiculous! unless it was a small place on a weeknight??]

Friday, February 24, 2012

Last Man Standing: Doing Business with Family

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Both my husband and I thought that this episode, based on its title, was going to look at Mike's daughters acting as sons. Nope. Instead, we learn quite a bit of background on Mike (and a little about Vanessa, too). It's not the most entertaining episode, as we've all seen some siblings bother one another before... but it helps us to know a bit more about the family as a whole (even Grandma and Grandpa are featured, plus Vanessa gets a chance to talk about her sibling situation), so I'll take it. I mean, we only have a handful of episodes left in this premiere season, so it's about time that they start setting up longer arcs and whatnot. Agree?

Last Man Standing
"Baxter & Sons" (S01E18):
Mike's younger brother Jimmy comes to town to bid on building the new store, unbeknownst to Mike. Ed knew all about it, but Mike doesn't want Jimmy to do it... until their father shows up, too. We find out that Baxter & Sons is the name of their father's company, which has a background in doing similar projects, though it hasn't been all that successful as of late. [hmmmm...] The boys constantly poke fun of one another, but it's also clear that things aren't 100% good between them. Ed decides to let Mike choose who will build the new store, and he decides to give the opportunity to family, against his better judgment. [if I recall correctly, there were two episodes of Home Improvement where Tim working with his brothers backfires and he says the same thing...] But, when Mike and Jimmy talk to a loan officer (Richard, who went to school with Kristin), it is revealed that the company won't qualify for the loan without a co-signer. [is a college sophomore really approving loans??] Mike offers to co-sign, but Jimmy doesn't want Mike to treat him any differently than as if someone else had gotten the job. [I was surprised at both Mike and Jimmy's reactions here!] Ed solves the problem by acting like he'll just give the job to his "second choice," but everyone seems to know that those guys are crooks. Jimmy asks Mike to co-sign after all, though they immediately argue about whose car they'll take to the bank. [this part made me laugh... how mundane.] In the end, Jimmy helps Mike with his online video, but they end up in a physical brawl. [oh, brothers!]
(ABC/CARIN BAER)
[In a useless side story...] Grandpa plays chess, writes angry letters to publications, and helps Jimmy run the business, which makes Mandy thinks that he's lonely. Since his wife died five years ago, she wants to set him up. You know, since she thinks that she's a good matchmaker on account of a couple she set up at school is expecting. [so many things wrong here!] The girls look online and Mandy shows her grandfather some choices. He surprises her when he says that he has a girlfriend (Stella). [so did just the girls not know this or is the cat out of the bag all of a sudden?] Oh, and the grandfather was apparently looking at real estate ads in the area. [...possible foreshadowing of his becoming a recurring character?]
Oh, and Vanessa has two sisters, April and Terri.

Teen Mom 2: Checking In with Jenelle & Kailyn

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

The check-ups with Dr. Drew are always interesting - we get so much of the season summed up that it's a nice piece of closure. Dr. Drew is pretty good at bringing up all of the interesting things going on while still making the transitions pretty smooth. While I always wish that the four moms (and their respective families) would have more on-air time to ask one another questions, it never seems to work out that way. Here, Dr. Drew talked to Jenelle about school, drugs, jail, Kieffer, and her relationship with Barbara. He did not really ask her much about her relationship with Jace, which disappointed me. With Kailyn, he checked on her living situation before diving in to her complications with Jordan and Jo... so he pretty much ignored where she is in school and how her work life is. I thought that these would be prime questions since those facts were major players in two of her storylines this season - both her getting her own apartment and her filing for child support. Maybe I'm the only one interested in those things? Or maybe I'm just not interested enough in her cheating on Jordan with Jo...

Teen Mom 2 "Check Up with Dr. Drew - Part 1" (Special): The four girls have become closer over the last year, and although we only look at Kailyn and Jenelle, we'll see the other two next week, and I imagine that we'll also get some time with the four of them together.

Jenelle: [who came up with that hairstyle?] She talks about turning her life around and focusing on school - she's halfway done with her AA now and hopes to get a degree in film editing. [is there a market for that in North Carolina?] She's on-and-off with Kieffer, whom Barbara reminds us is "a druggie, a manipulator and no-good." Speaking of drugs, she relapsed, even though she's now on medication for bipolar disorder. [JENELLE! STOP!] Since she failed a drug test, she's facing jail time but acts rather casually about it all. [...why? because she's had friend be locked up before? or because she just knew it was inevitable at some point?] Dr. Drew asks her what will happen the next time she fails a drug test, and she says she doesn't know - at some point she really will have to stop smoking pot. Barbara thinks that maybe jail will make Jenelle think. [but she also thought that getting professional help would do something...] Barbara does say, however, that she and Jenelle are getting along better, especially since "Jenelle's stepfather" has moved out. [Barbara was in such high spirits for having been cheated on...] Dr. Drew asks Barbara to come up with five lovable things about Jenelle, and Barbara says that she's generous, independent, and organized. [much better than last time when Barbara said that Jenelle was not lovable.] Jenelle says that Barbara is funny, hard-working, and a good mom. [I don't know how to take that last one, though Barbara certainly appreciated the compliment!]

http://remotecontrol.mtv.com
Kailyn: Kailyn and Jo have apparently been together a couple of times, but only once when Kailyn was dating Jordan. Kailyn doesn't know what she wants with Jo or anyone else, and Jordan isn't surprised. e says that he could learn to trust her again, but Kailyn has to know what she wants. Jo gives Kailyn the impression that he doesn't want to work on things. So, Kailyn decides to look at the situation as if she and Jordan are on a break. [Ross and Rachel much?] Jordan thinks that he should step aside, and Kailyn ends up leaving the stage for a bit. [why do they keep that in rather than editing it out??] When they regroup, they kinda end things with "let's just see what happens." [yeah... okay.] She apologizes to both guys, but the episode ends with a mini-lecture about wearing condoms... Kailyn and Jordan both had STIs, and Kailyn suspects that it came from Jo, though he had not yet been tested or treated. [...and I'm guessing that this has happened before, because Kailyn certainly sounded like she knew it was an STI right away...]

Switched at Birth: Betrayal

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This was really an episode about going behind someone's back. Emmett shared something personal with Bay and Bay doesn't hold onto the secret for very long before she goes blurting it to Melody. Granted, Bay was concerned about Emmett, but she definitely could have acted in another manner. With Regina, I'm not sure who is more at-fault... her not even asking if Patrick needing a bio or Patrick just writing one to include whatever he wanted - which, of course included the juiciest details he could manage. But, nothing compares to Kathryn's unbelievable behavior! I'm not sure what she was doing "catching up" with the nurse in the first place, but after HER LAWYER tells her NOT to give the woman anything, taking the time to explain what it could mean for the case, SHE DOES IT ANYWAY. But, that's not all. In order for the money not to be traceable, Kathryn needs cash. While we're first under the impression that she unloaded a few odds and ends, we later learn that she up and SOLD HER VEHICLE without telling anyone at all. She then purchases a less fancy, smaller car (albeit more gas-efficient) and drives it home. I'm not sure how she was planning to tell John all of this (because, you know, she'd have to explain why she was driving a different car!), but the way she went about it certainly didn't help anything! I just can't get over it! What was she thinking??!?

Switched at Birth "The Art of Painting" (S01E18): Emmett has been practicing using his hearing aid and doing his speech therapy exercises in a mirror, but it's frustrating. [I bet!] Olivia suggests that he take a shot of bourbon to relax, which concerns Bay. [she's just a bit too innocent sometimes, tho...] Before you know it, he's taking more than one shot when he works on his speech therapy. [oh good, he, Regina, and Daphne can all have drinking problems...] He's really not focused on much else, either... He skips school to stay up all night and make some of Bay's artwork into stickers, considers quitting the yearbook staff at Carlton, and is even considering dropping out entirely to get his GED. [wow... this kid is going downhill FAST!] To understand more about being deaf, Bay goes home to try talking while listening to really loud music. Then, not sure what to do with her new info from Emmett, she asks her mom about when it's okay to "butt in." Kathryn shares that she only butts in when someone will get hurt if she doesn't... so Bay goes to Melody's and tells her that Emmett is considering quitting school. [I can't believe she did that... not only because she and melody don't have a great track record, but why not go to someone like Daphne, who would be able to get through to Emmett much better? Plus, she already knows that he isn't taking school seriously, so it wouldn't be hard to bring it up! geez... she told his mom... I can't get over that!] 

Patrick's art gallery opens with a few of Regina's pieces included. Melody and Bay attend, and Emmett later arrives with his father (Cameron) and Olivia. [I really don't like Regina's outfit.] Bay puts a sticker on a pole at the gallery, so some of her work ends up being "shown" anyway. [I think she's getting a little pushy, tho... more people are going to connect the dots and realize how much graffiti she has done...] Regina overhears some folks talking about her link to the "switched at birth" case and gets upset... turns out, Patrick put it in her program bio without telling her. [what an idiot!] When Melody and Bay go to greet Emmett, Melody smells alcohol on his breath and asks him about it. He said that it was "around," and Melody
(ABC FAMILY / RON TOM)
immediately confronts Cameron. [well, YEAH!] They're soon going at it (along with Olivia), so Bay runs to get Regina, who desperately tries to avoid a scene by moving the conversation outside. Alas, it doesn't work, and Bay does her best to keep up with what's being signed. Melody mentions Emmett's possible dropping out, and Emmett immediately looks at Bay, then takes off. She goes after him, only to hear him say "just don't." [well, yeah... can't say that we were expecting him to react positively to her sharing his secret with his mom!] After the opening, Bay asks Regina about a specific mask on display that wasn't for sale... it used bay leaves in wings. Regina explains that she made it right after she found out where Bay was, and that Bay was her name. [awww! cute moment!] The next day, Patrick brings Regina a $500 check - one of her items sold, and he took the "standard for gallery" commission of 50%. [wow! that seems like a lot! anyone want to weigh in?] Although she questions why he blurted out her business in the program, she does agree to go out for barbecue with him again. [this woman will just forgive anyone for anything!]

Daphne and Simone struggle to play together, especially after Daphne is named "female athlete of the month." [how? she only just started playing!] Wilke is her counterpart for the award, and tells her that they'll receive steak dinners, Royals tickets, and a ton of XS Rush drinks. [wow... Student of the Month in elementary school earned us a bumper sticker, a keychain, a mini balloon-on-a-stick, and a free ice cream at lunch!] Wilke also tells her, however, that they need to give a campus tour to some boosters and sponsors, so they go over the main talking points. [conveniently, the tour is at the same time as the gallery opening, explaining Daphne's absence there.] The tour goes well until Daphne mentions that Carlton's basketball team could use some financial help. [in a small sidestory, Daphne went to Melody's to help with a garage sale and Melody said that Carlton's cutting non-performing programs because of budget issues.] Wilke manages to smooth things over, but her coach later asks Daphne why she was promoting another school - she needs to embrace Buckner. The end result of this? Daphne goes to Melody and John and tells them that she's returning to Carlton's team. [while I have mixed feelings about her returning, I was upset that they welcomed her back with such open arms... she needs to learn that you can't just quit and come back and expect nothing to have changed!]

Lastly, Kathryn's storyline. Well, she again meets with the nurse who may be guilty for the switch, learning that the "word is out" that the woman is "a troublemaker." She's been trying to find a new job, but she's getting blacklisted all over the place. She's even considering dropping out of the lawsuit in order for someone to accept her as an employee again. [eeek! what a tough situation!] Kathryn asks her lawyer what to do, but the Kennishes can't give her money because it would look like they're paying her to testify. [yep.] Kathryn decides to go behind John's back and sell her giant SUV to get a midsize, non-luxury sedan. [and I'm just as shocked as John is that she'd do this without a word to the rest of the family!] She gives the difference to the nurse (in cash so it's untraceable), who is reluctant to take it but eventually does. Of course, John is shocked at that part of the story, too. [ME TOO.]

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Smash: A New Cast Member

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

There are some folks out there who can't wait for this show to be cancelled. I'm not one of them. I've been reading one critics thoughts on this series... and it's just a list of moments that cause a viewer to roll his/her eyes. I even read an article urging folks NOT to watch this third episode of the series, though the rest of the season is good-to-go. I disagree - I thought that this episode was just fine. Fine, for the show. I am not in love with it the way I was hoping to be. I don't have a favorite character. I'm interested in the main plotline more than the side stories, so that's got to be a good sign. And, I need to remember that we're only three episodes in... I have an average enjoyment for the show at this point. Perhaps if it hadn't been built up forever, I wouldn't be so disappointed... it's difficult to say. Those who have seen more of Smash think the fourth episode is good, so maybe things will start to turn around... I hope.

Smash "Enter Mr. Dimaggio" (S01E03): Derek and Ivy share some intimate moments this episode, but I'm not sure if either of them are really "into" their relationship. At one point, Derek asks Ivy if she knows any more about about the musical than he does. [why would she? because she gets along with Tom better?] She uses another private moment to tell him that she wants to work on the role some more with him. She asks why they never go to his place and he gives some excuse about not having gas over there. Well, it all gets her to wondering whether sleeping with him got her the part. [we're all wondering, really. though i'm sure that year with Wicked helped a little.] Things start to look better for them when he comes to see her current show, but then he goes and messes around with her in her dressing room. [she's an ensemble member with her own dressing room? Or was everyone else gone already?]  

Karen meets with Derek, who offers her an ensemble part. Dev shows up unexpectedly and doesn't really hit it off with Derek. [now THIS really was an eye-roll moment!] She's worried about money and is hesitant to take Dev's offer to cover them. Karen's coworker tells her that she'll miss a lot of shifts to do this workshop, and she won't have weekends to herself anymore. Karen doesn't say much in response, as she's off to Iowa for her best friend's baby shower. [lovely house!] We see Karen's parents again, and she tries to tell them that she's happy and that this really is a big deal. [are her parents going to be recurring characters??] Still, her dad gives her some money. The baby shower is at a karaoke bar, and we learn that her friend will be a single mom. [a karaoke bar??] The group pushes Karen up to sing "Redneck Woman," and her dad listens to her sing, unseen.

Ellis has some drinks with friends and they suggest that he should get paid for coming up with idea of a Marilyn Monroe musical. So, he steals Julia's notebook to find "something interesting." He returns it to Julia the next day, saying that he found it under some of Tom's mail. [so... he found nothing. I hate this kid.] He also gets mouthy at her. [what's the point in having this additional conflict on the show? is there not enough already?]

The show starts casting some of the male characters, and a big hopeful is Michael Swift, who is about to become available. They go to check out his current piece and offer him the role of Joe DiMaggio. He worries about putting his young son in full-time daycare to only earn $200/week, but he ends up accepting. [it does sound like a raw deal when you look at it that way...] Julia runs into him at Eileen's office, and there's definite tension between them. Julia admits to Tom that she and Michael has an affair five years ago... nobody else knows, except Ellis, who was eavesdropping. [HATE.THAT.KID.] Also, Tom eats with one of Ivy's friends (who is interested in Tom), and he learns that Ivy and Derek are "dating." He tells Julia that it's unethical, questioning the motives involved. 
Ivy and Michael rehearse their duet.
Photo by: Patrick Harbron/NBC
Eileen sells a bunch of jewelry and buys a pair of Marilyn Monroe-inspired knock-off earrings for $50. When Eileen and Derek have dinner, Jerry shows up to try wooing Derek away. Eileen starts talking with some investors, but without Jerry involved, they're not as interested. [that sucks... people only trust you if your husband's involved?] She claims that she only needs to raise $200,000 for the workshop. [hmmm.] Jerry tries to have dinner with her, but she's still resistant. [can we get over throwing drinks at him??] He's trying to help her produce Marilyn, but she tells him that she can do it herself. [but... can she? really?]

NEW SHOW: Dance Academy

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

So this show is only new to the US. It came out in Australia back in 2010, and they're going to start their second series (season) next month. I found a few Australian sources that covered the show, but I'm going to give it a go anyway, for three reasons. First, I know we have some teenage readers (over a dozen entries for a VicTORious CD taught me that!), second, I love dancers and thought that the first episode was decent, and third, I figure that there will be quite a few people who won't find those Australian websites easily and hopefully this will give them better access to the show.

On the surface, Dance Academy looks like most teenage dance movies... a girl from a small town wants to be a prima ballerina and she's faced with a mean girl along the way. I imagine we'll be in for some eating disorders, backstabbing, last-minute injuries, rule-breaking, and maybe even some concerns about sexual orientation. The first episode introduced us to Tara, who lives in a rural area of Australia. She's a bit technically behind in her skills, but she has great instincts and is accepted to the National Academy, where she'll live, eat, and sleep ballet.

Dance Academy "Learning to Fly, Part 1" (S01E01): Three weeks ago, Tara auditioned for the National Academy, and now she practices in a field, waiting to hear back from them. The bulk of the episode is told through flashback, and we see that she struggled throughout the week-long audition phase. She accidentally changes in the men's room, which leads to some teasing and embarrassment. [poor girl. how mortifying!] She gets along well with her roommate, Abigail, who even lends her a leotard. We're given the impression that Tara's family doesn't have a ton of money (or her mother is a seamstress), as her own leotard is homemade. Tara quickly learns that she's behind, but her great physical potential, flexibility, and intuition help her out.
Photo: Steve Brack/Dance Academy Productions
Tara meets more people at a party, but she's teased some more and ends up leaving after a drink is spilled on her. [oooh, so underground parties and drinking might also come into play on this show.] Abigail helps out Tara on a few moves, but after a teacher tells Abigail to take a note from how Tara does things, her attitude changes. On their final night there, Tara leaves the building after curfew to listen to a voicemail from her father, then to dance at a gazebo. [tsk tsk!] It's implied that Abigail rats her out, so she's brought in for questioning... being guilty will disqualify her. Luckily, Katrina (Kat) bursts in to say that Tara bunked with her because Abigail was snoring. The faculty believes this story. [I would've checked with Kat's roommate to corroborate, personally.]

The episode ends with Tara reading her acceptance letter.

Alcatraz: Serial Poisoner

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This was the scariest criminal yet, in my opinion. I understood his reasoning behind killing some of those people back in the 1950s, but why kill a whole table of guys when one was rude? Why kill a swimming pool full of folks if one was snappy? And what did any of those people on the train ever do to bully someone else? Furthermore, if McKee was always obsessed with Jules Verne and had plotted to kill people on the underwater train all along, why did he bother with the first two sets of killings first? He needed time to perfect his gas? That's why I thought that the timing in this episode was a bit off. Otherwise, it was a pretty good episode... I hope people stop giving up on this show... the numbers aren't amazing right now and I'd like to see the show keep going...

Alcatraz "Johnny McKee" (S01E07): At a club in Chinatown, a guy demands free drinks because his friend got engaged. The bartender poisons the drinks, and there's a video of the guys keeling over on youtube. Soto's playing Starcraft 2 when it happens and the video pops up. [wonder what he's running to make that filter out?] The facial recognition software tells him it's Johnny McKee, so he calls Madsen and meets him at the club. Johnny McKee was in Alcatraz for killing 70 people - 42 in one sitting at his high school reunion! Cyanide is his poison of choice, but he does use other things. He plead not-guilty to the murders, claiming justifiable homicide against bullies from years ago. Madsen interviews the bar manager and looks at McKee's application for an address. [I thought the translation of this cell block to a street was funny.] The cell next to his was Sylvane's, so Hauser brings Sylvane to Madsen. [no way he'd let her know where Sylvane is being held!] Of course, Sylvane asks Madsen how he got here (to 2012). Madsen learns that McKee used to keep a jar in his cell... he'd kill bugs by putting them in there with some poisonous berries or seeds. Madsen also tries to learn a bit about Tommy, but all she finds out what that the doctors did things to him and that he talked of a "hole below the hole" at Alcatraz. The trio determine that McKee was using nightshade at Alcatraz, so they try to figure out where McKee could have procured some now.

Meanwhile, McKee is interviewing at a resort. He's hired almost immediately as a pool boy, and he mixes poison into the water, killing another six or seven people. Then we see him in a lab of sorts, wearing a gas max and mixing things. [this guy is just gonna keep going!]

Soto found out that the tox screen on the bar deaths came back clean, then he finds a lead on the nightshade. [are we gonna have Soto have an ongoing love interest in the morgue worker?] It's a good thing that Hauser comes along, as the shop owner only speaks Chinese. [and for those of you who don't believe that situation happens, it does. I've walked into several restaurants, let alone stores, where Chinese is the only language spoken.] They obtain the address (the
CR: Liane Hentscher/FOX
nightshade had to be delivered) and find that it's an abandoned high school. Hauser and Madsen go through the place and find the chem lab smells like freshly cut grass. Turns out, McKee was mixing a chemical that was used in World War I. [so it's clear that there's some lingering chemicals because of the smell... but I guess it's not enough to make our trio ill?] Soto, Madsen, and Hauser realize that McKee was obsessed with Jules Verne and the idea that "the future is now," so they put two and two together regarding an old article they found of his... so they also head to the BART.

Meanwhile, McKee is on the BART and knocks out the driver. Once they're under the Bay, he releases the gas. Madsen and Hauser head for a maintenance cart and some emergency tubes once they realize that a train is stopped. [they got there a bit too quickly in my San Franciscan opinion, though.] They break some glass and help get some people out as McKee makes a break for it. He tries to poison Madsen but they fight and he gets electrocuted on the track. [I don't think he's dead tho, Madsen said he had a pulse.]

Back at the holding area, Sylvane requests to talk to Hauser... and hands him back a photo of a woman. He asks what'll happen to the prisoners, and says that he's changed... he doesn't dream. The idea is put in place that Lucy did something to stop the inmates from dreaming, and it may have been successful. [speaking of Lucy, when are they gonna get her out of that coma??]

[Oh, and for McKee's backstory...] In 1960, we see McKee examining an insect in a glass jar. One prisoner asks him to poison another, so he trades a dirty magazine for a "sitcker" or shiv. He mixes his berries in the jar and spreads the goo on the tip, waiting for the right moment. But, instead of killing the guy he was told to, he kills the guy who ordered him to do it, since he doesn't like bullies. [wow... I'm amazed... how did he stab the guy and nobody noticed? Also, it takes some guts to kill someone in Alcatraz!] We also see him talk to Lucy, and we learn that he once was in love with a girl named Ginny. They went on a date, then up on the roof, and after she had him remove his clothing, the lights came on and the football team laughed at him and threw firecrackers. [awww... hate those kids!] A cherry bomb took his testicles, and he burned Ginny's face as punishment. [wow, creepster!]

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two and a Half Men: Love and Vomit

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

In a sentence: Walden and Zoey each say "I love you," and Lindsay vomits everywhere from being drunk. I'm not going to dignify this episode by giving it anymore thought than I need to. It was horrific.

Two and a Half Men "Not in My Mouth" (S09E17): Zoey and Walden are on his plane and hit a patch of turbulence. Walden tells Zoey that he loves her - twice... she doesn't reciprocate. So, Walden asks Alan and Zoey what they think of the situation at his earliest convenience. They don't have much to say, though Alan later tells him that some women struggle to say "I love you," so just be patient. [this vomiting situation is disgusting.] When Walden goes to say goodbye to Zoey before she leaves for a few weeks of business in London, he confronts her about the love thing, but she says that they need to wait until she gets back. [reasonable. though it would be more reasonable if you weren't talking to a man who could just meet you there and stay for the duration of your trip...] He leaves, picking up a pretty girl in the elevator. Alan confronts him about his behavior, but he's interrupted when Zoey calls from the tarmac. She's afraid that something bad will happen if she says "I love you," because she's only said it twice before, once to Russell Brand and the other to her ex-husband. [daaaaang.] Unfortunately, Zoey is able to hear (and possibly see, since they're always using the video-phone feature) the girl, so she gets upset and hangs up. [rightfully so!]

Walden wants to fly to London to apologize, bringing along Alan as a witness that nothing happened with the girl. Lindsay comes along too, since she and Alan had a date scheduled. [impromptu free trip? heck yeah!] Lindsay gets drunk again (oh, yeah, she vomited all over Alan's bathroom earlier from her binging escapades the night before) and vomits ON ALAN, ON WALDEN, and ALL OVER THE PLANE! [this is the most disgusting thing ever. ever. ever. ever.] In London, Zoey admits that she loves Walden, but she's worried that he'll just go on a rampage every time they have a fight. [half-sensible.]

Since they left in such a hurry, the girl is still at the house, so Jake hits on her. He manages to wind up having sex with her FIVE TIMES in half an hour. Oh, and earlier in the episode Jake was hitting up Alan for $75 to buy a video game... he must have been pretty desperate because he was even willing to clean the nasty vomit bathroom for the moolah!
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

2 Broke Girls: Caroline, Max, and Being Jewish

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Talk about some golden moments of laughter! And when's the last time you heard so many Jewish phrases? I wasn't thrilled that the side story was so boring and uncomplicated, but the episode was overall pretty good. I don't know what was more amusing - that Caroline tried to act Jewish even though she wasn't great, or that the family loved Max as if she were part of their Jewish family even though there was no reason to do so. Max certainly benefited from the attention and compassion, so that was probably a needed moment for her. Between that and last week's flowers, she must really be learning about love! Caroline, on the other hand, is still struggling with no longer having the world at her disposal... no more seemingly-free doctors and medicine, continually being disappointed when old acquaintances won't return her calls, and people not being amused at her attempts to be cute. Ridicule it all you want, but I think that 2 Broke Girls has some good writing - we're really starting to see more of the characters now, so let's hope that they grow as a result.

2 Broke Girls "And the Kosher Cupcakes" (S01E17): Caroline is a germaphobe now, since it's flu season. [why the heck is Caroline wearing that flippin' necklace AGAIN??!?] Max tells Caroline that poor people can't just get antibiotics, so she needs to man-up. After Han sneezes on Caroline, he tells her that he'll pay for her to see a doctor at a nearby pharmacy, as long as she doesn't have cancer. [haha.] Max goes with her and they soon realize that the drugstore is in an Jewish Orthodox neighborhood. Because Caroline used to have a Jewish neighbor who was a doctor, she feels comfortable using Yiddish words, even if she doesn't always use them correctly. [too bad that even he won't call her back anymore!] The pharmacist takes a liking to Max (calling her a spitting image of herself) and the girls end up with a job to make 80 cupcakes for a bar mitzvah the next day, with a potential earning of $275. [that's a little more than $3 per cupcake, you guys...] Unfortunately, Caroline isn't able to see the doctor before the place closes. [figures.] Max starts whipping up her usual batch, but Caroline reminds her that she needs to use kosher ingredients. [ewww on Max's plaid shirt and big brown belt. strange mic problems with Caroline for a half-second there.]

Photo: Adam Rose/Warner Bros.
At the bar mitzvah party, the girls wear conservative outfits and have kugel while they wait to be paid. The bar mitzvah boy is polite in front of his mother but has a huge mouth on him otherwise. [I was SHOCKED.] For instance, he asks Max how much it'll cost for her to show him her breasts. [for real.] The family soon notices that Max is running a fever, so they put her to bed, put a cold compress on her head, and bring her soup. The doctor prescribes some antibiotics, and Max feels so loved that she admits a few of the cupcakes were from the original batch... therefore, not kosher. [I can't believe she said this! So uncharacteristic of her normal lying, cheating ways!] Meanwhile, the boys continue to bother Caroline, who is more than ready to tell on them.  girls are paid nothing, and Caroline keeps her mouth shut. The episode ends with Caroline deciding to man-up.[yeah, okay, whatever.]

[The only other thing going on in this episode...] Sophie comes to the diner to see a man she met online, and Max and Earl joke about how feminine the guy is. [the orange traffic cones joke was a bit crazy. "I'm looking right at him and I don't see straight, either." ha!] Sophie soon had her new boyfriend back to her place. She tells the girls that she knows he's gay, but that's what she likes. [.....ok]

Cupcakery Savings Total: $865.00  [you'd think that it would go down... they did spend money to buy the ingredients they used...]