Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Guess what? We're getting a new writer! J. Adams will be joining TheTalkingBox's staff starting tomorrow. You might remember that, a while back, we looked at a few television technologies and did some writing about not just what you watch on TV, but what you watch TV on. Well, how about other things that you DO with your TV? The list is quite impressive at this point, but our new writer will be focusing on video games, as a vast majority of those are played through consoles connected to televisions. We'll be starting with a look back on some video game history, but you can look forward to game reviews, recommendations, retrospectives, and more.
So, in celebration of this new branch to our site, today we take a look at some of the most memorable instances of video gamers on television - did you realize just how many shows depict characters playing video games at one time or another? Sometimes they're single episodes (like the Scrubs gang playing Unreal Tournament III or Kovac's impulse buy on ER), but other times they are regular activities for the characters, so let's dive right in and take a look. If we missed somebody you think should have made the cut, let us know in the comments!
10. Frasier "The Apparent Trap" (S07E09): Now, Frasier's son, Frederick, plays both console games and handheld games when visiting from Boston, but this episode sticks out in my mind because Niles repeatedly dies in the intro level. It's not rocket science, but the sitcom has built both Frasier and Niles into being so deficient in anything "normal" kids did (remember the later episode where Daphne has to teach them to ride bicycles?) that the character just dies as soon as Niles takes the controller.
9. Friends "The One Where Joey Dates Rachel" (S08E12): Yeah, okay, the "main" story may have been about Joey and Rachel exploring their feelings for one another, but the memorable plotline is that Phoebe's wedding gift to Monica and Chandler finally arrives. She decided to present them with a retired arcade game, Ms. Pac-Man. While Phoebe and Monica are fiercely competitive initially, it's unemployed Chandler who becomes obsessed, ultimately filling the Best Scores board with dirty words. The clinching moment of the episode, however, is a tie between Chandler realizing that his hand is now cramped into a joystick position and Ross's son Ben walking in to hear Phoebe's diarrhea-of-the-mouth when she loses.
8. Seinfeld "The Frogger" (S09E18): This episode is remarkably close to the end of the iconic show, but it offers some great gaming moments. Not only is George obsessive about making sure his "top score" is preserved, but he also takes on the challenge of maneuvering the arcade game in traffic as if he were the frog in the classic game. Add in an overhead view and some cheesy sound effects and we've got ourselves an adult taking a game all too seriously.
by pacman1990 at GIFSoup
7. How I Met Your Mother "The Third Wheel" (S03E03): Barney and Marshall are so engrossed in a game of Wii Tennis that they're actually not going to go down to MacLaren's. But wait, it gets better. As the trash talk begins to mount, Marshall removes his pants for "freedom and mobility" and Barney switches into British mode, using words like "crumpet" and "bangers and mash" to distract Marshall. Lily comes home and is there when Ted calls to announce he's got a "tricycle" building, and everyone needs to clear the apartment. While it would have been funnier if the men had refused to give up their game for the tricycle, they honor the Bro Code and hide to give Ted and the ladies the apartment.
6. Step by Step "Video-Mania" (S03E06): This is really an episode about perfectionism, which may explain why I'm particularly drawn to it. See, Mark, the brainy boy in the family, receives an "A" on an assignment. Normally, that would be great, but for children accustomed to seeing "A+" at the top of their papers, it causes some alarm. Stepfather Frank thinks that playing a video game will help Mark with his stress. Unfortunately, Mark can't enjoy the game for what it is; he makes it a constant competition with himself - to get to the next level, to have the highest score - and is soon up all night mashing the buttons. Frank and Carol wind up taking him to a support group for video game addicts, and BAM! he's cured.
5. Futurama "Anthology of Interest II" (S04E03): The Professor's "What If" Machine allows Fry to see what life would be like if it were a video game. Well, in the sub-story "Raiders of the Lost Arcade," Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Mario, and Space Invaders are all showcased in one way or another. This episode is particularly interesting because Fry must personally battle the Space Invaders as if the world depended on it - and I think that a lot of us can relate to the endscene, where Fry admits that he could never get the final one... his brother always did it for him.
|photo credit: Futurama and Matt Groening|
3. Clarissa Explains it All: I may be wrong, but just about every episode I can remember had Clarissa DESIGNING her own video games. Yes, sometimes all she'd do is put her brother's head on something and kill it, but she was always creating thematic screens. But is was 1991-1994, and Clarissa was a girl, so Nickelodeon was really being a little edgy with writing her into being able to do such advanced stuff when she was 14 and the Super Nintendo was just coming out. Talk about girl power!
2. South Park "Make Love, Not Warcraft" (S10E08): Yes, the kids do play video games on a multitude of platforms throughout the series. BUT, I don't know how you could argue that their most memorable gamer episode is when Kyle, Kenny, Stan, and Cartman become obsessed with World of Warcraft and killing a specific player, who has become drunk with power. The references to guys doing nothing but playing games for 21 hours a day for months on end are ridiculous - the kids are all overweight and acne-ridden, they survive off of energy drinks and hot pockets, and they use words like "pwned" in real life. In the end, they're able to defeat the "Griefer" and are happy that they can "finally play the game." Hardcore, my friends.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
I understand that the show is titled Melissa AND Joey, but the idea that their storylines intertwine all the time is getting old, and it's a bit early for that. Yes, they're probably going to end up together at some point, but why do we need to drive all of this tension between them now? And, for the love of teenagers everywhere, can we do something with Ryder that doesn't involve Holly? They've been joined at the hip on camera for quite a while now, completely destroying any hope of Ryder getting some independent screentime or even a worthwhile storyline. Lennox, on the other hand, has been appearing with old friends, new friends, boyfriends, boyfriends of friends, and the whole family... yes, she's a cute character with a different attitude toward 2012 high school than we're seeing on other series, but perhaps she could be dialed down a notch? I don't know, maybe I'm just wanting to see this series be something it's not... thoughts?
Melissa & Joey "Mixed Doubles" (S02E07): Joe meets one of Mel's colleagues, Ariel, and takes an instant liking to her. [do you ever think that the adults on this show are a bit sex-crazed?] Mel warns him that a CEO might not be for him, but he goes on a date with her anyway and has a good time. As a thank-you, Joe sets up Mel with an old pal of his, Clark, whose wife left him 89 weeks ago. [when a guy can tell you exactly how long he's been alone, don't date him. just a thought. though, it's probably better than sitting at home, teaching yourself to knit!] Clark and Mel have a good time reminiscing about old songs, but just after Mel gives Joe a positive mid-date report, Clark begins missing his wife. [haha at "The Twist."] After Joe hears about it, he suggests that they double to take off some pressure. [eh. I never doubled when I was part of a new relationship, so I can't exactly weigh-in, but seeing friends double with my husband and I doesn't make me think this is true. Sometimes I think the pressure increases.] But, his choice of a dance club doesn't sit well with Ariel or Clark, who only dance to one song each with their dates. When Clark decides that he has to try to get his wife back, he leaves... just after Ariel tells Joe that it's over between them. It's only 8:17pm, so the two of them decide to do some dancing. [well, you have to keep up appearances... who comes home before 9:30pm?] Before you know it, however, Joe is back with Valerie, a barista who carries around her father's ashes. [seriously.]
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
"Made from 100% Recycled Pixels," you know! I liked this episode because it was some western animation able to do a spoof on some social issues without having to get as raunchy as South Park does. While I'm a bit sick of politics at the moment (yeah, I know, it's not even July yet and it's an election year), I still got a good laugh, especially out of "Earth Certificate" !! I'd say that this season of Futurama is off to a good start, so let's hope that the episodes continue to be this entertaining. If you disagree (and I have a feeling that some of you might), let us know why.
|photo credit: Futurama TM and © 2010 Twentieth |
Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
The bottomline: It really doesn't matter who you vote for. [ha!]
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
So, the theme song is a little catchier this episode, though I still think it was a bad move for the series. At least it's a real song, though... we all know how hard it has been to get one of those for a show these days! The episode itself, however, was a bit annoying to me. In the same way that some 2 Broke Girls episodes are - lots of sex jokes, pen!s jokes, and size jokes. Still, I found it to be a fairly amusing episode, though I disagreed with the scene toward the end where Holly goes up to Susan and nudges her about Stuart's fine points. Am I alone? What did you think of this episode? Or are you just realizing that this sitcom is back to new episodes, LoL?
The Exes "What Women Want" (S02E02): At the bar, Haskell explains that Phil gets the "power seat" because he's the "pack leader." [um, ok.] Stuart has his eye on a blonde who has been coming in, but he chickens out of making a move. Phil and Holly give him conflicting advice, and he decides to go for it... even though he only walks away with a "friend me on Facebook." [ouch!]
The next morning, the fact that Holly mooches food and eats out all the time becomes apparent, and after spilling some OJ on herself, she silently gets an eyeful of naked Stuart when going for a towel. He's apparently quite well-endowed, as Holly'd distracted at work and winds up spilling the secret to Eden. Of course, our pint-size paralegal (or assistant, whatever) makes excuses about Stuart needing to sign some more divorce papers. [ha!] Well, then it's only a matter of time before Haskell and Phil hear the story from Holly as well, with different reactions. Haskell freaks out and Phil doesn't believe it, so the three go to the gym sauna to check it out for themselves. [I was kinda interested in what their plan was going to be to get Stuart to disrobe... I wouldn't have anticipated him being the "remove the towel" type.]
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Dang. The first 15 minutes of this broadcast were super-full of background on the clients! We also got more of Rosie's own life in this episode, which was nice. Unfortunately, we didn't see both of Donna's concerns fulfilled - while Rosie finally convinced her to trust a potential baby nurse, they left the botox issue alone after one suggestion... I would have liked to see a second attempt. This episode also offered some diversity to the normal clients - not only were we in California instead of New York, we also saw a male-male couple with children via surrogate, which I thought was more than appropriate, as I can't imagine all of Rosie's clients decide to birth their own children. Overall, I'd like to see more middle-ground clients - Donna was incredibly demanding while Victor and Chris were pretty easy to satisfy, so hopefully we'll see less of those types as the season rolls forward.
Pregnant in Heels "Welcome to Hollywood" (S02E07): Two new clients are in California, and Rosie is opening a new store in Santa Monica, so we see Rosie and her husband arrive at the new location. She's so shocked that they've gotten to this point. [I can totally believe that - who would have thought that there is a market for maternity concierge?] They celebrate the opening of the new store with some celebrities and the NY team.
|Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo |
Onto the nanny/theft issue. Jason isn't sure that cameras all over the house are necessary, but Donna wants 100-150 cameras. It seems that she's satisfied with the 64 or so that Rosie's security expert, Ray, installs, though, as long as she also gets alarms on doors so that if closets are opened, she'll get a text and call 911. [holy moly, this woman is RIDICULOUS!] The system records and streams, and you can check it from anywhere, even on a mobile device. [this must have cost a very pretty penny...] Rosie sets up some baby nurse interviews but also brings money, gift cards, financial info, CDs, and open chocolates that they place/hide in the nursery, so Donna can see if the nannies can be trusted amongst those things. [not a bad way to go.] Interviews begin. [way to lie about CPR, candidate #1! I totally didn't believe the idea that they'd have the candidates move around stuff and put away baby clothes as part of the interview...] #3 reads the titles of the DVDs and eats chocolates, so they get rid of her. #4 look through some paperwork more than once, and doesn't find that to be inappropriate behavior. [wtf?] Donna is so upset that she doesn't even want to have any more interviews and asks Rosie to leave. [oh boy...] Rosie gives her time to cool down and then decides to try and figure out what it is that makes Donna so distrusting. We don't actually find out, but Donna does decide to trust Rosie and hire #2. ["I know that's what you want" was a weird thing for Rosie to say. and why are they calling from a really windy area?] Rosie meets baby Brooklyn via webcam, and (#2) Meg is working out well for the family.
Mummy IQ: [which, in this case, is more of a Nanny IQ] Do you know baby CPR? What are the healthy normal colors that poop can be? What temperature on a newborn are cause for alarm? How often does a newborn baby eat? How early can you sleep-train a baby?
Client #2: Chris (real estate) and Victor (stay-at-home-dad) have been together for eight years and married for four - having tied the knot in St. Barts, South Africa, and New York. They are having their second daughter and are at odds over how to decorate - two-year-old Coco has a signature shade of pink, but they don't want to agonize for months again to find a color for new baby-to-be, Kiki. [let's pause for a moment to giggle at the names of the children being Coco and Kiki... also, I feel like purple or yellow are the obvious choices...] Jackie and Tyler are the color/design experts that Rosie brings in, and they have Victor and Chris cover up, then play with paint to see what "comes out." [...really?] They look at a bright orange, a cool electric green, a bright coral, an indigo purple, a red/blue thing... then they move on. Victor and Chris each pick a color and they mix it, back to an orange from yellow and red. They like a yellow-orange, called "Kiki yellow" that is close to "blazing yellow." [oooook] Rosie has a decorator handle the nursery in that hue, and Victor and Chris love it. [custom monogram??]
Their second dilemma is what to get their surrogate as a gift. Keira had a miscarriage, carried Coco, and is now carrying Kiki, so the guys feel a great gratitude towards her. Victor and Rosie go to Rodeo Drive, but Victor picks out terrible presents, like pens, phones, and watches, before finding a wonderful necklace. Later, Rosie meets Kiki via webcam.
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
...was it just me, or was this episode fairly useless? For everyone, it was a 2-3 day adventure where not all that much happened. Maci's in Florida and hardly sees Ryan and Bentley, Farrah meets a guy but after two dates she's done, Catelynn and Tyler let Butch live with them but he's not doing the greatest job at following their rules, and Amber gets to see Gary and Leah. Nope, can't say I was too impressed with the actions that took place in the girls' lives, but they can't all be full of excitement - that wouldn't be "reality" enough. ;)
Teen Mom "Strike Out" (S04E04): It's the end of May/beginning of June for Farrah, as her birthday is May 31st. It's probably June or later for Catelynn, if this episode is in chronological order.
Maci: In Florida, Ryan's friend suggests that Maci is still in love with him. Maci is obsessed with seeing Bentley, but Ryan doesn't want her to text him the whole time, so he invites her down to see them. [ALL of her posse need to come? no.] Bentley is whiny when Ryan and Dalis leave, telling Maci to "go away," so Maci only stays for a couple minutes. [if she hadn't brought 8 friends with her, it might have gone better, LoL.] They are planning to take the family photo the next day, and Maci is worried that Dalis will try to be in it. Maci didn't like how nice Dalis was to her. [ha!] But, Dalis is respectful, and Maci even invites Ryan and Dalis out to the clubs with her and her friends. [wow... how weird would THAT have been??] Dalis was game, but Ryan thought it would be awkward, so they don't join. [think they'll be back from vacation by next episode?]
Farrah: Farrah tells her sister that she likes one of her neighbors. [who dog-sits for someone they barely know?] Alethea watches Sophia while Farrah and Adam (who is 28) go out to the driving range. Then, for Farrah's 20th birthday, she takes Sophia to the Miami Zoo before going out to dinner with Adam to Taverna Opa while Nancy watches Sophia. [what was with the free ride she scored for them around the park? or maybe it wasn't free, but Farrah was still super-awkward about it. and why are different people watching Sophia all the time?] Adam asks Farrah what she wants to do on her day off, and she says that she wants to work... which isn't compatible with him, as he wants to chill at the beach. That's the end of their relationship, and we see Farrah call her sister to update her. [eh. he was a neighbor. he was convenient. let's move on.]
Catelynn: Butch is out of jail and planning to stay with Catelynn and Tyler. Tyler goes over the rules of the house again, and it looks like Butch might stay for about six months. Except, soon, Butch stays out all night, doesn't check-in with the kids, and doesn't answer his phone. [but he also doesn't have a key?] Tyler explains to him that he only gets one more chance, as they don't want the responsibility of parenting a parent. [totally understandable.]
|Photo by MTV|
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Was it just me or was this a week where it really would have been better to have two episodes? I thought that this episode was pretty boring... we have Marissa doing a side project for the Lisas while Buddy wants to prove that he can sculpt faces just like Ralph and some of the others. Oh, and a fifteen-second shot of Mary carrying stuff back to the bakery. Yep, that's this episode in a nutshell. :-/
The Cake Boss "Presidents, Peanut Butter & Poppin-in" (S05E08): A guy whose grandfather was involved in the creation of Mount Rushmore comes in, and Buddy is thrilled to work on this cake. Ralph is worried about how exact everything needs to be, as the faces are much larger than the normal ones he does. Buddy wants to sculpt Lincoln, which will be a challenge for him, as he usually does cartoon-type pieces. He accidentally rips off the nose, but finishes in about seven hours. After the faces are in place, they work on the mountain, using many layers to make it look lifelike. [those little rocks of modeling chocolate looked so real!]
The episode ends with Mary walking back into the bakery, "to help." [...yeah... I like this show for the cake, not the drama...]
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Well, everyone who was guessing that Ricky and Amy didn't really get married was correct! While it's interesting that they think they can keep this lie going, it's going to unravel awfully fast once they fill out the health insurance paperwork! I say they go down to the courthouse and get a marriage license, pronto. Of course, I doubt that's what's going to happen, and you can almost bet on the fact that rumors will fly and everyone will know before the important people - which, in this case, I'm going to consider Margaret, George, and Leo, though Shaker, Nora, and Anne certainly deserve to know as well. I don't know that we'll see much of Anne with the "group" for a while... it appears that they're heading down the Mimzi's illness storyline and will probably kill her off soon. Honestly, they almost need to - I think we're at a higher character count than Degrassi at this point!
The Secret Life of the American Teenager "I Do and I Don't" (S05E03): It's the first day of school and everyone is congratulating Amy on getting married. Grace even gives her a Bible. [hmmmm...] Dylan's mother made a four-tier wedding cake for Amy, so she spends the day hauling that around on an AV cart. [what a bad idea!] As Amy opens her locker (booby-trapped with confetti and whatnot), a flashmob begins (thanks to Ethan), to "Marry You," with Madison and Lauren singing and tons of dancers holding the Ricky masks. [Ricky on a stick?] Also, Madison's hair is blond and straight now, by the way. I thought the flashmob was neat, but WAY too long. and what's with the exclusivity of that "Marry You" song??] We also learn later that the church nursery had an impromptu wedding shower for Amy.
Now, it's time for an update on how people are responding to Ricky... Leo shows up to present Ricky with a gift from Nora - Amy and John are now covered by his insurance. [so... Nora's gift was filing?] He also gifts him a ton of cash. [cue Ethan robbing Ricky...] Leo then offers Ricky a place in his company, be it butchering, in the office, as an international associate, whatever works. This would, of course, be after Ricky finishes his business degree. [nice! who offers someone a job FOUR YEARS EARLY, though?] Ricky is worried about competing with Ben, but Leo tells him that Ben has other plans. Later, at the college bookstore, Adrian points out that Ben hates Ricky and would never let him have a big part in Leo's company. [boo on that killjoy!] After work, Ricky goes to see Margaret, who gives Ricky her parents' wedding bands. [I love how much love that woman has to give. remarkable!]
After discussing their days, Ricky and Amy decide to watch their wedding video... or, should I say, "Amy & Dicky's Wedding" video. The video is poor quality with no editing, and we find out that it was so bad that they left without actually tying the knot. [they didn't have any witnesses anyway...]
Back to the school day... Kaitlin is asking the seniors to mentor freshmen, and Amy is matched with Kathy, a pregnant new girl. [OF COURSE they have to match the teen mothers together. ::eye roll::] Her boyfriend was a fan of the pull-out method, but it didn't work. [why did they allow Amy's character to suspect that Kathy was raped, though? will rape be coming up soon on the show?] Kathy plans to give her baby up for adoption, and already has a family picked out. [good for her.] The only other senior we see attempt to be matched was Ben, who claims that he's always in trouble and nobody should look up to him. [there's a lot to say here...] And, on that topic, Ben causes a few problems right then and there. He runs into student-teacher Omar and accuses him of being a pervert, and won't let it go until Omar says he'll have to report this. Ben quickly apologizes, but it's too late, Omar tells Kaitlin, who says that an investigation will be opened. [remember when we used to like Ben? and, by "we," I mean everyone? LoL.] Ben then bumps into Amy, around whom he's been awkward, upset that she didn't tell him when she got married. He decides to confesses that he's always loved her. [WHOA. this is going to start SO MUCH trouble!] Well, one of Dylan's friends overhears both conversations, and soon all of Dylan's friends know and suggest she break up with Ben because he's "cracking up." [is this teen lingo now?] Oh, and one more bit about the school day - Madison and Lauren feel fat and poor because they don't have uniforms. [I don't even know what to say here. Though, Lauren quoting The Help was a bit odd.]
Over at the college, the new football coach sees Jack praying and decides to make him the team's "Tebow," demanding the HS coach (the one who played Sgt. Michaels on 7th Heaven... I don't think he has a name?) get Jack back in church to make it legitimate. He calls Grace, and we don't actually hear the conversation, so look for that to come up next episode.
Over at George's, Nora has made beanies and weenies for Ashley and Toby. [bleh. people still eat that?] Ashley finds it revolting, then lets it slip that she's moving to Italy, telling Toby that he's coming. [she is SO demanding. her and Amy both have horrible attitudes toward other people sometimes.] Toby says that he doesn't have the money to go and he can't leave in as short notice as Sunday anyway. He also says that she should stop running but she can't see staying in a place that she hates... so he's going to consider moving with her anyway. It also seems that George may not be aware of Ashley's plans. [prepare for a big speech from him next episode!]
Down at Mimzi's, Anne apologizes for eloping, to which Mimzi says that Anne was present at her wedding. [this could be interesting...] Mimzi doesn't always associate Anne as being her daughter, so she mentions that she's sorry that she made her daughter feel bad for eloping years ago. Mimzi also doesn't "get" that Anne is gay. [did we change the child playing Robbie?]
Monday, June 25, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Tom was injured last week, Jimmy was injured this week... anyone wonder if that's going to be a recurring theme this season? If so, I'm willing to bet that it's Matt next episode. I like the idea that they're heading south toward Charleston, but it's quite the journey, so I imagine that they'll only just reach it as the season wraps up, so be prepared to watch the 2nd Mass travel for quite a few episodes. This could be interesting, especially when attacks cause immobilization of the wounded and the medvan has to fall behind the convoy. I also foresee the scouts to become overtired, as they'll constantly be on the lookout and moving, whether it's to see what's ahead, come back and report, or travel with the group... they really need to get some transmission communication working. Perhaps Weaver could have discussed that more with Avery, as they've allegedly been getting in touch with Europeans!
Falling Skies "Compass" (S02E03): Tom thinks that they need to get moving again, and Dr. Glass agrees. She may be the only one attempting to keep track of the calendar anymore, which is curious right up until you find out that she is still attempting to remember the deceased, like the birthday of her son, Sammy. [awww.] Tom talks to Weaver about moving, and the plan is to go north to the Catskills for the winter. On his way back, Tom hears something and stumbles upon Pope, who has assembled a group to get rid of Tom, calling him "an alien stooge." [how much more can they make us hate Pope?] They take him to the woods, but Ben and Jimmy find them and rescue Tom. See, Ben and Jimmy have been going beyond the boundaries of their patrol in order to "hunt Skitters." [yeah, this is a GREAT idea... ::eye roll::] This is of interest particularly because the 2nd Mass believes that there are none within 100 miles or so. Anyway, Weaver's solution is to leave behind Pope and his Berserkers when everyone else leaves. Except, many people still wonder if Tom is a walking time bomb, so he volunteers to be assigned to the Berserkers' squad, so he can keep an eye on Pope. [not 100% sure of Tom's logic there, but whatever.]
Jimmy is impaled by a branch while on patrol, so Ben admits to hunting Skitters at night. The Berserkers go on patrol and do find some Skitters nearby, and Pope and Tom differ in opinion over what to do. Pope wants to shoot them but Tom claims that they should observe what they're doing. The group listens to Tom. [what? why? why would they listen to Tom? He's the new guy AND not "in command."]
|Photo: James Dittiger|
A plane shows up, flown by Avery Churchill, who claims that Charleston, South Carolina, now has a militia and a Continental Congress that governs about 3,000 people. [this is pretty big news.] She wants everyone to head down there (to the land of hot water!), but Weaver wants proof, because he doesn't want their position being given out. [reasonable.] Even though they don't have enough snow chains to go to the Catskills, Weaver still considers going north, until he realizes that they owe it to Jimmy (and the ~123 others who have passed since Weaver took control) to try and reach "civilization." The episode closes as the convoy takes off, though Ben is alone at Jimmy's grave when a Skitter comes up and activates the remaining nodes in his neck, which he keeps secret when Hal finds him to say that it's time to go. [oh boy...]
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Yep! We're actually going to give an HBO show a try! I've been fairly excited about The Newsroom for a while now, as I enjoy behind-the-scenes stuff. And, my husband is a very big fan of Aaron Sorkin, so I'm rather familiar with Sports Night and Studio 60 and some of his film work as well. Plus, I have been baffled by all of the negative publicity that this show has been receiving, so I just had to see for myself! And, well, I disagree. I liked the pilot. A lot. I wasn't in love with it... but who needs to be glued to a show after a single episode, anyway? There's room for improvement (but, hey, Olivia Munn hasn't shown up yet), but I think that this show might thoroughly fascinate me... as long as I remember that they take the AP wires as seriously as I take Twitter, LoL. Anyway, here's a recap and my remarks about the pilot episode. What did YOU think? I'm particularly interested in hearing from you if you enjoyed the show... because, as it seems, many did not.
The Newsroom "We Just Decided To" (S01E01): There's nothing like jumping right into a debate. [I was eerily reminded of Boss, where a guy keeps seeing everything that's going on around him but his mind is silently elsewhere. especially with the lighting and muted sound except for Will's breathing.] The big holdup is that Will doesn't give his political allegiance, ever. He's the Jay Leno of news anchors, just keeping everyone happy. [and I can respect that.] Well, another question comes up - what makes America the greatest country in the world? One person jumps at the chance to announce "diversity" as an answer, while "freedom" is the other go-to. Will tries to say "the New York Jets," only to be told that he needs to give a real answer. Well, Will sees someone in the back of the room (later revealed to be Mackenzie) holding a sign that says, "it's not." After some contemplating, Will runs with that answer, talking about how we used to be an awesome country.... but we now need to realize that we have a problem. We are among ~200 sovereign nations that have freedom, so that doesn't set us apart. We have too many incarcerated citizens and spend too much on defense, and apparently we also have a high percentage of people who believe in angels. After walking out, Will claims to have had a vertigo episode and doesn't know what he said.
Three weeks later, Will returns from a vacation (with Erin Andrews in St. Lucia) to find the majority of the staff in his newsroom gone. He's told to immediately see Charlie (the resident drunk), where he learns that Elliot, Will's protege, will be taking over the 10pm slot, and he's taking Don (Will's executive producer) and most of the staff. We soon learn that Don asked to leave, and that many of Will's employees are not his biggest fans - the longest he's ever worked with someone is 13 weeks. [do we think that a syndication joke is coming?] The bottom line is that Will is smart and talented, but not very nice. Charlie has already hired a new EP for Will: Mackenzie, an overworked correspondent who needs a break from the extreme global coverage she's been doing. Will immediately vetoes the idea, but he doesn't actually have contractual approval, so he heads off to his agent to demand something be done.
We meet Margaret (Maggie), an intern-turned-assistant who has been dating Don, for four months now, and wants him to meet her parents. [sound like a certain couple on Sports Night, anyone?] He's not keen on the idea and asks her to make an excuse for him, just as Mackenzie shows up. Mackenzie takes an instant liking to Maggie and promotes her to associate producer. Mackenzie also uses the knowledge of Maggie & Don's relationship to have her own assistant, Jim, flirt with Maggie to get Don jealous. [what's her prerogative here?]
As Mackenzie and Will talk, we learn that they have quite the history, even though he hasn't been keeping up with her emails for three years. He's managed to turn her three-year contract into 156 one-week contracts, now, so he can fire her at the end of the week if he so chooses. Not the most interesting clause until you find out that he gave up $3M in order to be able to have this power. [whoa.] She talks of how she wants Will's show to be good AND popular, but he says that's a combination that can't be done. [Cervantes, Don Quixote, and Man of La Mancha references all pop up. and then some Antonio & Shylock, for good measure. yes, I'm serious.] While they're working out the details of their new partnership, an explosion happens off the coast of Louisiana, but Jim is the only one who seems to care - everyone else dismisses the fact that it's only "yellow" on the AP wire. Well, it's not just any explosion - the date is April 20, 2010, the beginning of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Jim still thinks the story is worth investigating, so he goes around Don to find out that the well might not be able to be capped, and finally barges into Mackenzie and Will's meeting when he gets additional sources to admit that there's a big problem. Don tells Jim that it'll be an enormous problem if he's wrong about the gravity of the situation, but they begin to go ahead with making it into the evening's topic - everyone runs around, making calls to try and get comments from all over. Neil, who runs Will's blog, knows a thing or two about how the oil barracks work, apparently.
|PHOTO CREDIT: John P. Johnson/HBO|
As things start to wind down, Don is willing to meet Maggie's parents, but only for a few minutes. We learn that Charlie loved the speech that Will gave about America's faults at the Northwestern debate. It seems that the other networks ran stories about the iPhone being left at a bar and the flights resuming in Europe after the volcano. And, we learn that Mackenzie and Will were serious at one point - he met her parents and did fabulously. [she looks very young to me - I would've guessed around 30, though I guess she's closer to 40, judging by some of these comments?] Lastly, the audience becomes aware that it WAS Mackenzie in the audience at Northwestern, though Will still thinks that he imagined her there. [oooh, careful! we don't want too much romance...]
Sunday, June 24, 2012
by Jonathan Bredemeyer
Burn Notice (S06E02)
In short: Fiona's not safe anywhere, and Michael & friends play DEA for a day...
Fi's writing jail letters to Michael and getting the VIP treatment in her maximum security new home. Her depressing letter puts Michael into one of his (now common) rage moments. Sam suggests he tap his old contacts since he's now legit again. So, Michael hits up Tom Card, his former training officer. Card is cold at first, but Michael yells him into giving him a job, a job that apparently can get them both fired if it goes wrong.
Heading out to a '5 star' restaurant in Washington D.C. [which looks a bit like the Old Ebbitt Grill], Card finally gets down to business and shows Michael his next job: a Mexican cartel trying to move into Miami. Michael now has to find 2 tons [yes tons] of cocaine coming into Miami.
Back home, Michael's mother shows up with his brother Nate. They buy Michael's excuse about having a job and simply leave. Card and Michael meet up with Jesse and Sam [who drags in a corpse, yum]. The new plan is to send in Michael and Jesse as rogue DEA agents who shot their boss, and, for some reason, Card really, really doesn't want Michael to lose his eavesdropping pen...
With Sam and Card in the surveillance van, Jesse and Michael head to the pool filled with guys in suits next to girls in bikinis. Turns out, Michael knows one of the lawyers near the drug lord, so he has to let Jesse proceed alone. Returning to the van, Card freaks out, but Michael talks him back in... rough-like.
Jesse heads over to drug lord Montero's table, goes with his cover story, and exchanges a few words with the lawyer. After being turned away with a knife to the throat, he drops the 2-tons-of-cocaine secret. This gets a little more attention, and Jesse gets Montero to come back to the 'safe house.' Once there, the plan plays out exactly as... planned, and Montero seems to agree to move the site of the 2-ton drop.
In a cool twist, Montero doesn't take Jesse to the boss, but straight to a DEA agent on his payroll. Jesse changes it up when arguing with the DEA agent and claims a team is about to bust in and save him. Of course, the trio outside imitates this, saves Jesse, but Montero kills the agent [which apparently Card was going to do anyway for selling out all his agents]. Finally getting to the boss, Jesse gets another test and now has to go witness the raid at the 'already known' drop location, so Michael and friends dash off to be a fake DEA team.... again.
At the drop, Jesse spots the 'DEA team' easily enough, and sells it to Montero, who then says they have to keep them busy while the shipment comes in at the new location. Jesse shoots the van Michael is sitting in first, to let him get out, before he lets Montero shoot the back which then explodes. [man, this guy can't let the cops = pigs references just die...] While en-route to the next location, Montero gets a call saying that the DEA already has the 2-ton shipment. Jesse's life flashes before his eyes as he desperately convinces Montero to roll on his boss and become a witness. [This is way farfetched. Jesse is all alone with a desperate, sold-out Mexican who's already killed one agent today. He would have shot him, no questions asked.]
Card is happy with the outcome and says Michael will most likely get to visit Fi. Nate returns to the loft after Michael's second [at least] read of the letter. He reveals that Ruth left him and took the baby. [Apparently, their mom brought Nate over for Nate... not Michael.]
|(Photo by Glenn Watson/USA Network)|
Best Line of the Episode:
Cartel big-shot: "One of you is telling the truth, and the other is eating a bullet."
New Spy Lessons:
- If you find yourself in prison, you have to have patience. Stay out of trouble as long as you can, but trouble will find you.
- Convincing someone they're looking at an army that's not there is an art, and all about well-placed props and people.
Predictions: Fi needs more tricks to survive in prison, and Anson snakes back into the picture...
Saturday, June 23, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
I was really thrilled with some of the jokes in these two episodes! I was laughing here and there and having a grand ol' time, even if there were inherent problems with the agendas of these storylines, the first two of the seventh season of Futurama. I found "The Bots and the Bees" to be pretty hilarious on the whole, even if it was plagued with pokes at deadbeat parents and had to show Bender be compassionate in order to achieve the status quo by the end. On the other hand, "A Farewell to Arms" had its moments but was a but too "spoofy" for me, especially when the Mayan calendar and 2012 being the end of the world are themes that are popping up every place you look. But, that's just me. Let's hear what you thought and what you hope to see from this season!
Futurama "The Bots and the Bees" (S07E01): Isn't it funny how what you think is an emergency turns into nothing when someone else declares an emergency? Well, Fry, Leela, and Bender were about to be eaten by a giant space creature when the Professor sends the signal that everyone needs to return to Planet Express post-haste. [I thought it was funny, albeit ridiculous.] The need for immediate attention? The Professor has put in a soda machine. [that drink looks like radioactive acid. love that Wanda Sykes is the voice, tho!] Fry is immediately addicted, though Bender isn't a fan until he brings back a couple of girls and the soda machine doesn't exactly help things along. ["at least I don't put out for quarters!"] The next day, the soda machine births a mini-Bender. [hahaha! cute, tho!]
|photo credit: Futurama TM and © 2012 Twentieth Century |
Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Even though he's been reunited with Bender, Ben is still bummed that he can't bend things, so the Professor suggests that he could remove the memory card to give Ben a bending card. They go for it, but Ben has no memory anymore. [awwww.] A glowing Fry leads everyone through the universe to take Ben to Bending State, Santa Cruz, to wrap up everything with a "Merry college registration day, everyone!" [...wow. just wow.]
Futurama "A Farewell to Arms" (S07E02): Fry and Leela are out for a walk when she steps into a puddle and an octopus attacks her. [you know, all in a day in New New York!] The Professor is launching a weather balloon to gather more data, accidentally bringing Fry's only pair of pants with it. [so many possible things to say here...] Fry shoots down the balloon to save his bottoms, but a badger steals the pants and brings them down a hole. Fry lubes up and follows, only to find petroglyphs. [nobody else needed grease to get through the hole??] Leela breaks her leg but Fry gets his pants back... though now has no other clothing, having removed his to build a rope to climb down to rescue Leela. [one of those moments where you're just shaking your head...] They find a pyramid and bring back a big Mayan/Martian calendar, which Amy reads to say that the world will end in 3012, which fits a bit with the catastrophic sun cycle that the weather balloon detected. [what's with the dig on Tron: Legacy?] Amy finds out that there's a special rocketship underground that they might be able to use to save themselves. ["I used to drive around town in a mausoleum." ... what the...??] The Professor wants to save others, too, but Zapp shows up and stops them, bringing them before Nixon and the heads, who decide that a "selection machine" will choose who will go. [not that it's impartial.. Amy gets in because she was in the same sorority as the machine, and Fry gets in because the machine likes his pants.] Leela isn't accepted because they don't need multiple pilots, and Zapp is already on-board.
They load the ship and take off, thirty thousand people in tow! Bender stays behind because there's going to be chaos. [haha. bender going overboard with the looting was stupid, though.] In an act of love, Fry takes Leela's picture and changes it so that she gets on, only realizing later that he's not present. [but he got "accepted again" and a second ticket... so why weren't they both aboard?] After landing on Mars, they build a city, complete with a monument for the scared people they left behind. [freaky. though not as disturbing as Amy's parents trying to charge people admission to the planet.] SingingWind, a Native Martian, shows up to let them know that it's Mars that's getting destroyed, not Earth! He takes off as Amy defends her misreading of the calendar. [...oops!] Mars begins to be blasted out of its orbit, but everyone jumps at the right time and makes it... except Leela, who can't jump. [you're KIDDING me... this is so ridiculous! but I laughed at "pina skulladas" !] Fry tries to save Leela but rips out her arm, losing his almost immediately afterward. In the end, the janitor saves Leela and the Professor clones some arms for them, while their own severed arms float off into space, holding hands.
Friday, June 22, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
So, I'm rather upset with this show at the moment. I wasn't a giant fan of any of the past few episodes, as I had issues with each couple. Moreover, I sat and watched all three in a row, and, apparently, ended up timing-out on Blogger... so when I didn't finish editing this post until later, I wound up losing almost half of it. Yeah. Sucks. But, as I already mentioned I didn't like the couples being featured, I'm not about to watch that garbage for a second time. So, my apologies, but there are bits missing, particularly with the second and third episodes covered below. Life goes on... even though you click "save" apparently doesn't mean it saves... there's a hidden "time-out" feature... just be aware. ::grumble, grumble, grumble::
Pregnant in Heels "The Trouble with Twins" (S02E04): LT learns about c-section underwear. Rosie asks her son if he thinks that she talks funny, and he nods. [odd.]
Client #1: Corrie & Philip are in their late thirties and are expecting fraternal girls any day. She's Jewish (complete with a mother ready to move-in to help), he's German, and they're not prepared at all. She hasn't read much about twins at all. [that would terrify me... maybe that's why she hasn't prepared?] Rosie is worried that the parents aren't panicked. They have a few dressers in the nursery, but no cribs or anything. [no.cribs. and they're due any.day. eep!] The plan is that Philip will buy everything while Corrie is recovering in the hospital. [what kind of plan is that??] Rosie takes them and Corrie's mom, Lucie, to Twiniversity, and a bunch of real twins are brought in. Lucie takes over quite often, which frustrates Rosie and doesn't give Corrie a chance to work on her skills. [325 as the bath temperature?? ayayay. one load per baby per day? really?] Rosie then brings in a nursery expert/interior designer. Lucie thinks that Philip is boring, as he likes eggshell as a wall color and doesn't want any shapes on the walls. Rosie brings Corrie some toddler twins to spend the day with, and she and Lucie must change, dress, and feed the children, plus do some laundry. Rosie talks to Lucie about Corrie and Philip needing her, even though there's some worries about her being overbearing. The new nursery works out great for the family. Later, babies Charlotte and Noa are benefiting from Lucie's help, and Corrie is finding everything manageable. There's no leaving for Lucie in sight, though. [ha!]
Client #2: Nia (36 weeks pregnant) and Chris live in Brooklyn. Nia, a veteran model, wants a toxin-free environment, as she describes herself as "green," "Bohemian chic," and "crunchy granola." [oh boy. you guys already know that I'm sick of her...] Chris has been talking to her about vaccines, but Nia doesn't believe in them- she wants to do natural stuff and believes in natural immunities keeping a child safe. [simultaneous eye roll, guys!] Rosie introduces a "green team" to test their environment and talk about green, holistic parenting. Nia gets brought down fast as she's told about all of the junk in her home, like her makeup, cleaning products, and microwave usage. Rosie and Nia visit some young kids of her other clients, and Rosie talks about germs and shows them on the kids' hands. She then asks Nia if she'd be okay with her newborn daughter being around someone with polio, and she says yes - Nia believes that her child could fight off that stuff. [what makes her kid so special?] Nia talks about vaccines being antiquated and protocol at this point, so Rosie sets them up with one of Manhattan's top pediatricians, and Nia is ready to fight. Nia explains that breastmilk establishes immunities, but the doctor explains that antibodies aren't made on your own. The doctor explains that there ARE outbreaks of pertussis and polio again, and that worldwide travel spreads these things now more than ever. [Nia's belted outfit was SO ugly!] Chris tries to be the voice of reason, and the pediatrician tells a true story of procrastinating on a certain vaccine, which left her son with a 50/50 chance of living at one point. In the end, baby Isa has all non-toxic toys and will be vaccinated. [I wonder if they would have included Nia's story if she had chosen not to vaccinate...]
No Mummy IQ.
Pregnant in Heels "Rosie's Relationship Retreat" (S02E05): Rosie isn't the greatest cook, but she thinks she can make anything. [why this scene is even included, I'm not sure.]
Client #1: Susan & Marcel are in their early thirties and she's feeling frumpy, so she's been avoiding sex. She doesn't feel attractive or sexy and he is missing the affection. She has 11 weeks to go and isn't even game to try some different sexual positions.
Client #2: Jennifer and Curtis want an over-the-top baby shower in Bergen County, NJ... the most expensive zip code in the US. [wow, higher than 90210? ;) but, problematically, we see very little of the shower itself and NONE of the planning - both of which I thought would have been interesting.] She loves fashion. They met in May, married in December, and are snippy with one another. She knows that she's loud and demanding, and admits that she did move out for a little while. They have two months to go and she's had an easy pregnancy. She wants a c-section but didn't know you can't have sex for six weeks afterward, and neither is sure they can last that long.
Well, Rosie brings both couples to the Dominican Republic and has them do couples' prenatal yoga to get things started. Marcel can't keep his hands off Susan, which only makes her shut down even more. So, Rosie sends the boys to play golf while she goes with the ladies to do some shopping (at the Oscar de la Renta boutique) and get prenatal massages. Marcel and Susan then have a dance lesson to teach them more about movement and touching, while Jennifer has to have a meal with a sash over her mouth, so she is forced to listen to Curtis for a change. Everyone learns some stuff and has a great time.
No Mummy IQ.
Pregnant in Heels "Dressing the Diva" (S02E06):
Client #1: Patrice is an uber-busy expectant mother who can't find anything she likes in any stores - she has a bad impression associated with anything labeled "maternity." She doesn't do prints or embellishments, and although she only has about six weeks remaining in her pregnancy, she wants Rosie to design several outfits for her - casual, dressy, and red-carpet-worthy. Rosie does her best, and a few of her designs actually pass the test, particularly a specially-designed pair of leather pants, Patrice's trademark look.
Client #2: Busy husband Alex calls Rosie for help with his wife, Elizabeth. She's pregnant with #3 and is a stay-at-home mother. Well, Elizabeth has gotten to the point where she wears boring sweatpants all the time, doesn't shower regularly, and sometimes goes a week without leaving the house. Rosie comes in, sees that Elizabeth has great clothing that she never wears, and convinces her to take the time to do things for herself. Rosie's assistant helps Alex find a babysitter, which will allow Elizabeth to take in some adult conversation and activity from time to time, plus give the couple a chance to take dance lessons, among other things.
Mummy IQ: stuff about baby's stool and two others I can't remember anymore.
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Today, we're going to highlight a little something FABULOUS that popped across my Facebook newsfeed this week.
I don't know how the current trend of using GIFs came back into play... I mean, back in 1998, I was just as excited about them as the next person. But, by the time 2002 rolled around, they were pretty much dead. Now, for whatever reason, they're popping up all over again - I even follow someone on Twitter who tweets out GIFs to brighten your day on a semi-regular basis. Well, someone from Australia is all about creating GIFs, and will be using them to go through the episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210!
Anyway, go take a look, have a good time laughing and reminiscing, and hopefully we'll see new installments over there on Wednesdays!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Let's start with the new opener... I hate it. The song isn't bad, per se, but the sequence on the screen was not fit to go along with this show. I was pleased to see that Eden didn't have a very large role in this episode, but I presume that will change. It was nice to have fairly equal amounts of screentime for the guys, but that will undoubtedly change. I'm curious as to why they'd lead off the second season by having Stuart, Haskell, and Phil realize that Holly isn't all that great for them... seems to me like that would be better a couple of episodes in... but maybe they've got some better things in store for us that I can't even dream of quite yet. This episode had its merits, don't get me wrong, but it didn't scream "hilarious" the way the first season could.
The Exes "Analyze Them" (S02E01): Stuart goes to Holly to complain about Phil's loudness in the bedroom and Haskell's constant inventions, and she suggests that the three of them attend couples' therapy. [we could have called it something else, but let's just move on...] Phil isn't keen on the idea, and Haskell thinks that families should blame one another for destroying their lives. [haha, love where this is going!] Holly more or less threatens them into giving it a try, and Phil immediately hits on the therapist. [while I realize that they have to keep that character going, I kinda hope that it dulls down just a bit.]
Haskell's get-rich-quick scheme: selling an electrocuting doorknob as a child safety device.
by Amy K. Bredemeyer
At least the house is back to normal! And, speaking of which, the whole Mel constantly lying to Joe and always getting caught has gotten old. Really old. I'm going to need this show to come up with something else to base its hijinks on, or to just get more creative in general. Props for being very 2012, though - Joe using a tablet was pretty unexpected, at least for me. Anyway, the basic summary for the most recent four episodes of Melissa & Joey is that Holly cheated on Ryder but he doesn't really care, Mel is still looking for love, Lennox almost lost her virginity, and Joe is now in charge of the household finances. Everything else that happened is kinda moot already.
Melissa & Joey "Good to Go" (S02E03): On a Sunday morning, Mel takes a call from Aidan's mother, wondering where he is... looks like he slept in Lennox's bed with her. [oh boy...] Mel talks to Lennox, who claims that they just fell asleep watching a movie. [as DJ claimed to Danny about her and Steve...] Joe isn't happy with the situation, which only worsens when Lennox tells Mel that she's decided to have sex with Aidan. [the whole openness thing is so weird to me!] Joe keeps exercising to stop from freaking out. [I guess we could have predicted that?] Joe has Aidan's parents over to the house to try and stop the kids from getting into something that they might not be ready for, but his parents are very into communication and are accepting of Lennox and Aidan having sex. [eep!] When the kids arrive, his parents embrace them, which makes it hard for them to later psych themselves up into "doing it." The kids decide that they don't want to do it because it's so "accepted," so Aidan goes out the window to avoid a conversation, and Lennox tells Mel (hours later) that the acceptance killed the mood. [SO.AWKWARD.] Mel and Joe celebrate at first, but then realize that not knowing when Lennox will have sex is a bigger thing to worry about. [haha!] His parents come over again and want the kids to give it another try, but Joe says that he'll beat them up if they stay along this path. [LoL!]
Holly suggests that Ryder should begin shaving, even though he has a total of three hairs. She even offers to teach him how, though he was hoping that Joe would handle that. [sensible that he'd look to Joe here.] She covers his face in pink foam, and as he hyperventilates, she begins. He's quite cut when Mel and Joey see him. [a pretty "blah" story, in all honesty.]
Melissa & Joey "All Up In My Business" (S02E04): Joe takes over the bill-paying responsibilities because Mel forgot to pay the gas bill. [not exciting, except for the fact that he has to cancel all THREE of Mel's gym memberships.] Joe worries that Mel is having an affair with a married man, especially when he finds out that she's been going to a downtown hotel on a consistent basis. He goes to the hotel to see what's going on, and it seems that she just takes time for herself there weekly, enjoying the jacuzzi, the soft robes, the fancy chocolate, etc. [I can appreciate time to yourself as well as the next person, but is this really the most economical way to do so?] Joe buys her a soft robe, a great set of sheets, some special chocolate, and a rom-com DVD, so she can have the "hotel experience" in her room in the future. [awwww!]
Lennox's friend, Scarlet, is dating a boy who acts really strange around Lennox, so she invites them both over to hang out. [Lennox is becoming less and less believable as a teenager, IMO.] He mentions that she has a cute neck (he sits behind her in a class), and that heightens the tension. [what boy says that??!?] With Mel sneaking off all the time, she has to ask Joe for advice, and he tells her to talk to Scarlet about it, even if she'll take it poorly. Scarlet doesn't believe it, and even manages to insult Lennox for suggesting that Haskell could even be into someone as non-hott as Lennox. [b!tch!] Well, Scarlet and Haskell break up because he accidentally started dating Scarlet when he wanted to date Lennox. [hahaha!] She tells him to wait two months before they can get together. [LoL... things have changed! When I was 14, you could break up with one girl and start dating her friend the same night, with no issues.]
Ryder doesn't know what to get Holly for her birthday, so he goes with a tanktop that Lennox calls "cute." [Mel's suggestion of an edible fruit bouquet was odd.] Well, Holly comes over wearing the same shirt, so Ryder scrambles for an excuse not to fork over his gift, but she's happy that he got her that shirt, as it proves that he knows "exactly what she likes." [good enough for me!]
Melissa & Joey "The Knockout" (S02E05): The family is at the movies and a guy sitting behind them keeps taking phone calls. [omg annoying.] Joe wants to deck him, but Mel asks him to get an usher instead. While he's gone, Lennox tells the guy that he's causing a problem, and when he touches Ryder, she punches him. [whoa!] Someone records it and it goes viral, but Mel wants it to stay under wraps. [totally believable, being a politician and all!] At the office, however, Harper spins it so Mel fights for the "little people," so she confesses to it all and they start putting it into a positive light.
Ryder gets picked on at school because his aunt defended him, so he asks Joe to teach him how to fight. [do we all know where this is headed?] Joe gives him some boxing tips, and, the next thing you know, Ryder gets a fat lip in a fight. The other boy's mother comes over and Mel decides that fighting is wrong and they can't keep promoting it. [and, we're back to status quo. BORING!]
Melissa & Joey "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" (S02E06): [blech. abbreviated theme song.] Mel is "dressing defensively" because she's going to break up with a guy on a date. [her thinking aloud about what to order for a quick getaway was too much, though.] Mel nearly lets it slip several times that she's going to be leaving him, but things change after he reveals that he just lost his job unexpectedly. [flashback to Friends' "The One with Rachel's Date," where Phoebe and Monica can't both break up with a guy and fire him at the same time.] Mel asks Joe to find the guy a job so she can dump him quicker... preferably before she has to put out. [...and, we're getting adult.] A week later, he has new glasses, two job offers, and renewed confidence. Mel tries to break up with him, but after he gets Mel a meal that isn't even on the menu, she changes her mind. The next time they see one another, he's not even wearing glasses and is flirting with everyone. [yeah, yeah, I get it. But, this isn't high school... makeovers don't actually change your lives, guys.]
Holly comes over to talk to Lennox to ask what she should do - she kissed another boy at a party. [really? someone else is interested in CrazyHolly?] Lennox tells her to be truthful with Ryder, or she'll tell her brother instead. ["I know how much you like to accidentally make out with people." ha!] A week later, Lennox realizes that Holly hasn't told Ryder the truth yet, and she asks Joe to do it. [chickening out is so annoying. BUT, "you're so good at everything." "only everything I've ever tried" even worse.] He doesn't want to but does it anyway... turns out, Ryder already knew, but he's been milking Holly's niceness. [love it!] Holly finally confesses when they watch a zombie movie, and Ryder blows it by revealing he already knew. [stupid boy. he could've done better!]