Thursday, September 29, 2011


Let me just start by saying, zomg zomg zomg ALAN TUDYK is on Suburgatory!


Okay, I'm calmer now, I can go on to write about the rest of ABC's new family-based sitcom. Never has a portmanteau so perfectly encapsulated my feelings regarding my upbringing. Even better, this show stars a redheaded teenager who's clearly going to cut a wide swath through suburban hell with her keen observations and unbridled snark. Can you say, "ultimate wish fulfillment?"

Let me sum up: clueless single dad finds a box of condoms in his daughter's bedroom, freaks out and immediately moves them out to the suburbs to protect her. But here, the adults are all superficial sun-worshipers or giddy gossips and the teens are all dead-eyed zombie clones of each other. And it's so quiet. This goes against everything that protagonist Tessa Altman is used to in the hustle and bustle of New York City.

And things like this happen.

Suburgatory reminds me of one of my favorite shows, the gone but not forgotten Aliens in America. All it needs is a hilarious South Asian sidekick. I happen to know of someone who might be available... *ahem ahem* But where Justin of Aliens in America was a lovable sad sack with a certain whiny charm, Suburgatory's Tessa is more proactive and... well, angrier. She's a little bit Angela from My So Called Life, a little bit Kady from Mean Girls (pre-brainwashing). Instead of just being oppressed by the conformist vibe of suburban living, she's devising strategies for survival and pushing back.

The one thing the writers of this show have to avoid is getting too bitter - which they've done well so far, balancing the sour moments with sweet, and breaking from the mold enough to keep things interesting. But they're wading into dangerous waters. Both Aliens in America and My So Called Life were canceled long before their time.

No slacking!

Visit Suburgatory 8:30 on Wednesdays, between The Middle and Modern Family.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Flying the Firendly Skies

Well color me surprised. Pan Am may be a Mad Men rip-off, but it's actually good. Not only that, it's also delightfully different from Mad Men. Shocker.

The show follows the lives of (so far) four Pan Am stewardesses in the 1960s. Unlike Playboy Club, which tried to get me to swallow the idea that being a bunny was a way for women in the 1960s to assert their independence and break free of the cultural restrictions of the day, becoming a Pan Am stewardess legitimately was a way for some women to gain some measure of freedom. Sign up and see the world and all that rot.

The show looks great; it may not be as "realistic" a portrayal of the 1960s as we get with Mad Men (not as much smoking and drinking and bleakness), but it's a colorful, slick, and rich show. The women are all beautiful with perfect hair and makeup, and the men are all hot and pilots.

Our leading ladies. Other good news about the show: it's a real ensemble and doesn't revolve around Christina Ricci. Not that I don't love her, but it's nice they let the unknowns play too.

It could have easily lapsed into The Love Boat on an airplane, but there's some subplots involving the mysterious disappearance of one of the stewardesses and some Cold War international intrigue (seriously) that makes things a bit more compelling. But even without that, what's not to love about fabulous vintage clothes, romantic entanglements, and the thrill of jet-setting across the world in the era when jet-setting was new?

That's something else about the show I really loved: there's very little cynicism. I love Mad Men, but when watching it the sense of "things were not all they were cracked up to be SEE WHAT I MEAN" is palpable. With Pan Am, at least so far, you don't really get that. It's all powder blue uniforms, perfect lip gloss, and dreams of a better life. With a side of spies that is.


So chalk this one up as another Maggie recommendation. I've had pretty good luck with the new shows this fall, more than I can remember in recent years in fact. Next up for tomorrow: Terra Nova. Will it live it up to the hype? Check back and find out!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Angels Without Wings

While composing some of this blog post in my head I had something of an epiphany. Every new show I have reviewed so far this season has had a female lead. In fact, looking at the all the news shows that are airing, the number of lead female characters this year is somewhat astounding. And that? Is AWESOME. Now, the fact that almost all of them are white and straight? Well, hopefully we will get there soon. But still, yay girls!

Unfortunately, that's kind of where the good news in this post ends. Because the "new" Charlie's Angels is just kind of meh. Basically there's nothing here we haven't seen before. I assume most of you know the premise, but just in case some people in our reading audience are functionally leotarded (copyright Dan Savage) here's my take on the basic plot:

A rich enigmatic old dude owns a detective agency. Because he is a giant perv, he only hires hot women with troubled pasts (and legal troubles) because they are presumably more desperate and have skills such as lock-picking, running away from bad guys in heels, and applying lip gloss while hot-wiring a car. They, along with their office manager Bosley, bring justice to the masses--but only those masses who have enough money to pay their exorbitant fees.

You know the drill: hot ladies, kicking ass, bad puns, lots of fake laughs, and jiggling. I guess this latest iteration of the show has tried to make the plots a bit darker--the first episode involves human traficing, child murder and abuse, and gangs; there's some other stuff too but I won't give away the specific plot "twists"...even though they are kind of obvious.

I appreciate the effort to make this show different from the original, but honestly, I think the only way to make Charlie's Angels successful is to embrace the camp. The Drew Barrymore movies did that and were mostly successful, but this new show...I don't know. It pretty much committed the cardinal sin of an action/adventure show. It was boring. Trust me, these angels are not soaring any time soon.

Well, they've got the fake laughing and hair tossing down--now if they could only work on developing personalities.

Oh, and this is the new Bosley. That's pretty much the only creative decision on the show I can get behind. If you know what I mean *eyebrow wiggle*

In Which My Re-Watch of Battlestar: Galactica Doesn’t Go Well

The other night, guest blogger Jays and I whiled away a long wait at a metro station by chatting about about the problems with the new Battlestar: Galactica. I badgered him... I mean, gently encouraged him to write a post about it.


I admit it. I tried. I really, really tried. I got lost on this series the first time through, but back then I was in grad school, I didn't have cable, there was always a bar that I could go to and get drunk at instead, etc. etc. So when the entire library of Battlestar: Galactica got placed on instant watch on Netflix (Qwickster?) I decided to give it another try. Maybe now with more bandwidth in my brain, the show would be able to impress me more than it did the first time around.

Spoiler alert: no.

The show played out almost exactly as I remembered it. The miniseries? Awesome. The first season? Tense, riveting, dramatic. The second season? Moody, exciting, compelling. The third season? Um. Wait, what? The fourth season? Double-you. Tee. Eff.

It's no small thing for a show to write itself into a corner. Sci-fi shows in particular tend to suffer from this problem because the desire to showcase all the beautiful world-building the creators have put so much thought into often manifests in more characters and more plotlines than we really need to see as viewers. Before long, we've got needlessly complicated character interactions and histories and way too many "surprise" twists that were dreamed up in order to give us the next big shock. *insert Lost-coughing here*

I was hoping that a re-watch of BSG would maybe help me to feel less cheated by the show, less let down. The first time around, all that promise that the show started with just seems to collapse under its own weight. I was hoping that this time the story would be different. Sadly, this was not the case. The beginning was still strong as ever, don't get me wrong. The sense of dread and hopelessness pervading the start of the show is still palpable in every scene. The actors conduct little mini master classes in how to effectively show terror and futility and exhaustion all in one whiz-bang fighter pilot scene after another and the "Cylon attack of the week" trope is surprisingly sparingly used.

It's all handled with such a deft touch that you really feel it when, out of nowhere, the show trades in its more subtle metaphors about survival and how humanity deals with tragedy with a big old message stick they repeatedly whup you upside your head with the moment the Cylons begin occupying Iraq…er, I mean New Caprica… in season three. From there, it quickly descends into this weird mess of gooey, schlocky twists where instead of acting the way they were written for two years, characters suddenly take on new identities to fit the ever-meandering plot. Starbuck is a prophet! Number Six is in love with Colonel Tigh! And Lee Adama lectures everyone about how moral and upstanding he is. A lot. By the time the "Final Five" Cylons are revealed, it's hard to even care about their identities anymore because who or what they are is no longer compelling thanks to all the inconsistency in the other characters.

(Sidebar – something that's always bugged me about calling them the "final" five - it seems like a strange misnomer for the show to refer to these as the last ones, rather than the first, since the show clearly establishes that they were, in fact, the original Cylons. Well, okay not the original ones – the original ones were apparently made by humans hundreds of thousands of years ago, only to have both races almost kill each other and then start again with a new batch of humans that made a new batch of Cylons, apparently without knowing that their progenitors had done the same thing, but our Final Five were really there even though they don't remember being there because of some trick of plotting and …do you see what I mean about needlessly complicated?

The one thing that I will give the show, having had the benefit of watching it all together and seeing the entire series as a whole, is that it did on occasion do its job in seeding a plotline or an important point early on that came back in a significant way later. In watching the show over four years, some of the revelations about characters came as a complete about-face, whereas watching it in a more compact format you can see that that reveal was, in fact, rather solidly foreshadowed. The revelation about the true nature of "HeadSix" and "HeadBaltar" is a good example of this. On the whole, unfortunately, you get the impression of a show that came out of the gate with a solid premise and a polished production and creative team that became so convinced of its greatness that it fell on its face, much like a freshman quarterback face-planting on the two yard line just seconds before the end of the Big Game.

It's a lot like this. Only with robots.

By all means, do feel free to watch the entire series online. Fans will still be excited by the all the epic epicness going on for much of it. And despite the loopy writing, the show still had a complement of high-caliber actors who were able to deliver some extremely strong performances. Just be skeptical of the creators' claims that the show would re-invent the sci-fi genre. While it may have given new shows a template to follow in terms of presenting a more realistic version of the sci-fi trope of living on a spaceship, let's hope that whatever models come after this one are able to improve on their predecessors' failings.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Emily Thorne is a woman on a mission. I appreciate someone who goes after what they want, and in this case, what Emily wants is revenge. I'm not entirely sure of the timeline going on here, but maybe 10 years ago Emily's entire life was destroyed when her father was arrested while they were spending the summer at the Hamptons. The people truly responsible for the crime (which I won't give away here...mostly because I'm not entirely sure what's going on) set her Dad up for the fall, and now Emily is back and looking for payback.

I really dig the melodrama of this show. It gives me the opportunity to use phrases like "thirsting for vengeance" and "a dish best served cold."

Emily's main target is the royal family of the Hamptons, the Graysons. But she's looking to destroy everyone who was involved with the framing of her father, and doesn't seem to have any kind of moral quandary when it comes to getting what she wants. I personally find this refreshing--so much of television seems to focus on punishing female characters who act against what society deems acceptable. It's nice to have a female anti-hero to root for. And in a lot of ways, Emily reminds me of Veronica Mars. She's completely unapologetic about her devious (and dangerous) behavior; this is the person the world and the Graysons created. Emily is like karma personified and now she's back to bitchslap those who wronged her.

It's actually kind of a hard balance for a show to maintain; Emily engages in what most people would deem despicable behavior but because of her sympathetic back story I want her to succeed. I'm a little curious as to how the premise of the show is going to be sustainable for several years, but I remember having similar concerns with LOST and look how that worked out. I'm sure the information we get in the pilot is just the tip of the iceberg, and more twists await us. Which is another thing I like about the show--never underestimate the importance of surprising your audience.

The pilot episode did a really nice job of teasing out information and from the very beginning I had a lot of questions that I wanted to see answered. I actively wanted to keep watching, and that's not something every drama can achieve. I was a bit confused by the large cast of characters and how everyone relates to everyone else, but by the end of the show I think I had wrapped my head around most of it. My advice would be to watch the show (at least the first episode) without a lot of distraction. You're going to want to see each character as they are introduced or you'll have trouble understanding what's going on later.

I'll definitely be tuning in again. Think of this as kind of an adult version of Gossip Girl (complete with plotting and couture) and who doesn't like seeing privileged assholes get what's coming to them? Emily Vancamp plays the lead and while I could do with a bit more personality from her, I get that she is supposed to be a woman of many layers. Hopefully we'll see her really cut loose in the episodes to come.

In short, give it a look! It's probably not going to be for everyone, but I was surprised by how compelling I found the pilot. And there's nothing wrong with a show that gives a good slow burn...maybe revenge isn't always best served cold after all.

Her name's Emily Thorn. Get it? She's prickly! AND OUT FOR BLOOD.

For you Glee Fans...a little light chuckle

This comes courtesy of my friend Jess. Sesame Street pokes fun at Glee!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Girl Powah!

Still reeling from my disappointment (and let's face it, rage) with the Plaboy Club, I approached the other new Tuesday shows with trepidation. Would they disappoint as well? Could 2 Broke Girls live up to Monkey Sri's positive review months ago? Could New Girl possibly live up to the hype from the ever-present ads??

Luckily they were both good, hurray!

Let's start with 2 Broke Girls. I'll refer to Sri's review which is pretty much spot-on. In case you missed it--two girls end up working together in a diner; one a down-on-her-luck gal familiar with living on a budget, the other a former little rich girl whose entire trust fund was lost when her Dad pulled a Bernie Madoff.

While I found the laugh track EXTREMELY annoying, the sitcom format works well for the show and it actually had kind of an old sitcomy vibe to me--which was a good thing. Think Alice or the episodes of Roseanne where she was at work at the mall diner. And while Sri noted the odd couple thing has been done to death--it didn't really seem that odd couply. Sure, the one girl is an upper east sider at heart, but at the current time in the show she's dead broke.

The show has a lot of heart and while I may not have laughed out loud at the jokes, most of them were amusing and the entire cast is really likeable. You'd be surprised how much I am willing to forgive in a show where I actually like everyone involved in it. Especially when there are so many shows with people I loathe. Only a couple jokes actually feel completely flat, and if I can get past the laugh track this one could be a definite keeper.

In spite of the health code violations, I would totally eat in their diner.

And for our next girly show...we have New Girl with Zooey Deschanel. Usually I find her quirky adorable schtick annoying, but I have to say everything about this show works. It's the perfect vehicle for Zooey, who comes off charming without being too twee. Although I leave it to you to judge where this falls on your own personal Zooey tolerance scale. The three guys she ends up living with are all also their own distinct brand of funny, including Max Greenfield who you might remember from Veronica Mars.

In fact, I am going to give Max Greenfield a special shout-out for his work in the pilot; he walked a very fine line between douche and genuinely nice guy. And the douchey part is on purpose, it's kind of a plot point how his character has to fight his douche-like tendencies. But the entire cast is stellar, and the best thing I can say about the show is that it's actually funny. I LOLed numerous times during this one and was impressed at how strong it was for a pilot.

So two thumbs up for 2 Broke Girls and New Girl, and in the case of the later, two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Check them out!

They are actually this cute on the show too.


Well, last night I was able to catch the season premier of Glee! Let's be honest right away. I was negative about season two. I was upset about the "reworkings," the lack of character depth and the "theme episodes." Overall I felt they over did it and lost a large viewer base. HOWEVER, I noticed A LOT of improvement last night.

Some of the bad remained, for instance the plot whip-lash was still there. Mercedes and Sam (the relationship that never started) was announced over-with in the first 3 minutes and she "had met someone new over the summer." Quinn..well I hope they develop the punk rock make over more in-depth during the season. For my three degrassi fans, Quinn pulled an Ashley Kerwin by switching from popular to punk overnight. Additionally, we lost Lauren and Sam like they were nothing members all last year. Very...annoying, because Lauren was a character a lot of girls looked up to and I am hoping she is brought back.

Now onto some good! The music was great. I was happy that on top of some ROCKIN go-gos, we also got 3 (yes three) separate musical theatre selections (4 if you include the Wicked Witch number, which I have not researched). It was nice to hear Glee sampling classics like Anything Goes and Annie Get Your Gun in new ways, as well as, nailing Hairspray's You Can't Stop the Beat.

Last night also worked in our first (and I hope of many) scene with a member of the Glee Project. For those of you who didn't follow the show on Oxygen, it was a competition for a spot on Glee. In true Glee Fashion, practically everyone was a winner. Including, Lindsay who BELTED the Anything Goes/Annie Get Your Gun Mashup. One of the problems they had with her on the Glee Project was that she reminded them too much of Rachel Berry, BUT the writers truly made it work. They created a room full of theatre nerds and over the top gay theatre fans to show that Rachel and Kurt aren't all that unique.

I am curious where they will take the Santana plot since she was kicked out of Glee for not being committed. I love the character so I would hate to see her go. Feel free to add your comments!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Playboy Club

I can imagine the conversation among the producers:

Producer #1: Hmm...Mad Men is really huge right now. We should do a show set in the 60s...but we'll have to dumb it down since we're a basic network and completely sanitize it. Except when it comes to boobs. We're allowed to show all the boobs we want.

Producer #2: How about something to do with Playboy? Didn't Mad Men do an episode at a Playboy club? That was big in the 60s...and then we can have lots of boobs!

Producer #1: You are brilliant, Producer #2! By taking advantage of the Playboy brand, we can objectify women and have rampant sexism, and it doesn't even need to have any societal context or serve as a commentary on modern culture like in Mad Men! We can just have boobs!

That sound you just heard was my head hitting the table while I watched the Playboy Club pilot. Let me just say off the bat that there has been a ton of press lately about this show and whether it's truly sexist. The people who make it say that it's just reflecting the attitude of the time and it's meant to shine a light on that kind of behavior blah blah blah. My personal view is this show doesn't have a lot going for it and its sexism results more from laziness, but that is NOT the point of this post. So relax, this review is not going to turn into a equal opportunity diatribe. Instead it's going to be about a show that may look good (if you like boobs) but is at its soul is a lazy uninspired drama.

Actually, here's a good way to think of it: remember that scene at the beginning of Social Network, where the girl tells the Facebook creator guy that he is always going to think that people hate him because he is so smart. When really, they are going to hate him for being an asshole. I am sure the people who made Playboy Club will think that people can't past the boobs...but really, it's just not good.

And now I kind of feel bad. I am sure all the people involved in making Playboy Club are lovely...but the show itself is just lame. The "twists" are cheap dramatic cliches, the mob is heavily featured (snore), and it's just....bad. Even the presence of David Krumholtz can't save it for me. Especially when, in response to someone asking him if he knows how hard it is to see his girlfriend get constantly hit on at work, he says: "Yup, that's why I married her; got her pregnant and ugly."

Classy show. Real classy.

And I guess that's the crux of the problem. Playboy Club tries to be classy...swinging 60s and all that jazz. But when you have a sexual assault in the FIRST THREE MINUTES (not kidding about that btw), an uninspired main plot involving the mob, and characters that I care nothing're not classy. You're lazy.

Avoid this one folks. If you want a 60s fix, just watch Mad Men. Or go read your vintage Playboys...for the articles of course.

Boobs. Boobs. Oh my god! Boobs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Horrible Aftermath: where are they now?

For those of you who have not seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, do not speak to me until you have corrected this egregious error. For those of you who have, come sit by me and I will tell you what the stars of that seminal web series have been up to lately. Yes, I know that they were all famous before Horrible and basically went back to their "real" jobs after. Just... shh.

Felicia Day, aka Penny, in The Guild

Season 5 of Felicia Day's web series, The Guild, has been up and running for several weeks now. In this season, the guildies travel to "Megagame-O-Ramacon," a giant nerd-gasmic convention for all things sci-fi/fantasy. Sounds vaguely familiar... Like a similar national convention whose name escapes me at the moment, celebrities both large and small abound. Guest appearances featured Brent Spiner (squee!), Eliza Dushku (meh), Tom Lenk (adorbs!), and many, many, more. Including...

Captain Hammer! Or is it Captain Tightpants?

And this just highlights for me one of the best things about being a sci-fi/fantasy fan. The actors, in general, don't take themselves too seriously. They're open to doing things like signing autographs - at, I don't know, a convention for comic books - and appearing on a popular but low-budget web series, just to give their fans a thrill.

The name of that convention is on the tip of my tongue...

Next Up: NPH is totally the star of HIMYM. Deal with it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Emmys Schwemmys

Oh, Emmys. Even when you get it right you still manage to make it completely meh.

Let me start off with what was good about last night: the winners. I can't remember an Emmys that got so much right. Sure, Mad Men and Modern Family seemed like no-brainers, but when has that ever stopped Emmy voters?

And for the acting categories--it was all just great. Friday Night Lights FINALLY got some love with a best actor win for Kyle Chandler (I cheered), Margo Martindale won supporting dramatic actress for one of the most amazing female characters I have ever seen on last season's Justified, and Jim Parsons won for lead actor in a comedy for Big Bang Theory. Lots of acting and writing awards for Modern Family (which has the best ensemble around) and Downtown Abbey was in my mind a shoe-in for me for best miniseries.

In short, I don't have any complaints with respect to the winners last night. So I suppose the Emmys deserve a big kudos for that, especially with their reputation of awarding the same people over and over and ignoring new shows.

But. Then we come to ceremony.

It's no secret I'm a huge Jane Lynch. She's almost effortlessly funny--but even the funniest person can't defeat weak award-show jokes. I don't understand how these award shows are able to take funny people and render them completely annoying. The opening song number was, as Jane even told us, painfully long and awkward. Sure it was fun seeing cameos but it was just....not funny.

I suppose the best thing that can be said about the show was that it wasn't bad--it was just bland. The genuinely funny moments came when people in the audience or nominees took matters into their own hands. The lead actress comedy nominees always seem to come up with something (I have a feeling Amy Poehler had something to do with it) and their beauty pageant gag was really adorable and funny. But otherwise--whatever, Emmys.

At least Jane Lynch looked gorgeous. So it wasn't a total wash for her.

Vampire Diaries/Secret Circle: one two punch

Putting these shows on the same night back-to-back is a smart move from the CW. They're both supernatural teen dramas, share some plot features (and actors), and even have the same executive producers and writers. And while both shows have not been critical favorites, I gotta say, I'm hooked on both.

First, the new kid on the block: The Secret Circle. If you're a fan of the Vampire Diaries, you'll probably be a fan of this. While it's lacking the gore and body of the former, it's got a lot in common with its sister series. You've got your supernatural elements (of course), a very good looking group of teens, families keeping secrets that stretch back centuries, a love triangle....etc.

I know Mac wasn't a fan of the books, but having never read them I came into the show without any preconceptions. Most of the critics have eviscerated the series, but since I am seem to be the a big CW apologist I really liked it. It's a good looking show full of good looking people doing some decent acting. I wouldn't say the writing was particularly snappy, but it wasn't bad either. The pilot sets up enough questions that I am looking forward to the next episode, and I like how the adults are clearly also "up to something." Basically, it's not just a bunch of whiny teens running around (looking at you 90210).

In a nutshell I would say that it's Vampire Diaries meets The Craft. If you're a fan of either or both, I would suggest giving it a try. And who knows--Vampire Diaries ended up one of the best shows on tv (not kidding) so The Secret Circle might be able to pull off a similar feat.

And speaking of The Vampire Diaries, its third season premiere was also last night. It didn't seem to have the punch as some of the episodes last season, but I think it was mostly meant to serve as an establishment episodes. It's clearly been several months since the events of last year's finale, and we needed a chance to catch up with the characters and see where everyone was, physically and emotionally.

There were still a few surprises (spoilers ahead): Damon's fake-compelled girlfriend bought it, we got to see Stefan in his full badass mode and learn how he got the nickname Ripper (ew!), and the town elders have clearly figured out Caroline is a vampire. Is it just me or does she seem to get vampnapped like every episode?

Point is, it served the purpose of a good premiere and contained enough set-up and surprises to leave us looking forward to the season to come. And you can't argue with a good cliffhanger. Or a naked Ian Somerhalder.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Television in Thailand

Well, I thought when I moved abroad I would be making a lot of sacrificing. But the one I was dreading the most (and this includes my husbands lack of employment) was the lack of television! I am a TV SLUT! However, I have been pleasantly surprised. My husband claims the cable here is made for me. StarWorld and Fox, the main stations that play syndicated shows, run How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory and GLEE constantly. I have yet to come home and not been able to watch Glee (the things that truly test a marriage :)).

However, more recent television shows were sticky at first. BUT where there is a will there is a way. **Hypothetically speaking** IF we had a proxy server we could access hulu and IF there were existing sites that stream shows about a day later than I could be up to date on most shows :) I love the internets. **Hypothetically speaking**

The one thing is the lack of tivo makes me forget my shows. I am told the tvguide website has a way you can set up reminders, so I am working on that. However, it is really hard to commit to new shows. I am dying to watch The Ringer, but concerned about the time implications on the computer.

So...this American in Thailand will have a posting on the season premiere of Vampire Diaries in the very near future.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

John de Lancie just got 20% cooler

I just stumbled upon the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic sneak peek, featuring a brand new villain: Discord, a super-powerful, capricious chimera. Oooooooh! And apparently he must be defeated using the Elements of Harmony (remember those powerful magic items that they used in the first episode and then never mentioned again?). He materializes and dematerializes in a flash of white and... wait a minute...


That's right, bronies and honies. Discord is voiced by John de Lancie, aka "Q" from Star Trek. The awesomeness of this cannot be overstated. Faust, you've done it again!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Well...that was actually not too bad!

As much as I love anything Buffy, I have to confess that Sarah Michelle Gellar was never my favorite thing about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Maybe I've just never given her enough credit...but I always found the supporting cast, the writing, the plots, and a whole bunch of other stuff more interesting than Ms. Gellar herself.

So going into Ringer I didn't really have high hopes. I was definitely going to tune in (like I said--it was Buffy related), but I was kind of cringing inside at the thought of whether the show was going to work.

Caroline (another Buffy fan) and I decided to kick-it old school and live-chatted the premiere. It felt like old times, i.e. the times before we had anything more interesting to do other sit on our asses and watch tv and just chat. Oh, wait, I still don't have anything more interesting to do. Anyway, I think we both came to same conclusion regarding the show which in a nutshell is: it's promising!

To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. Sure, the writing and exposition was heavy-handed at times, but I found myself shocked to discover that SMG did a great job with the dual roles. There were also lots of other actors to enjoy in the show (Richard Alpert from LOST, that tall cute guy from Life Unexpected), and there were some neat twists to the plot. I think it's going to end up like Gossip Girl for grown-ups and how is that not a good idea?

The use of mirrors was somewhat over the top though. They might want to cut back on that.

In case you missed the premiere of Ringer last night (which came very early in the season), the CW is reairing the show on Friday night. And of course there are all the On Demand and online options. If you're a fan of Buffy, SMG, or twisty character dramas I would recommend that you give it a look.

And Caroline and I are definitely sticking with it--because in the coming weeks we get LOGAN ECHOLLS.

Good looking people, good acting, neat should check it out!

In one ear....and out the other.

This post contains massive spoilers for the True Blood season finale (sorry Whitney). So don't read if you don't want to know what happened!

In a surprise to no one in the universe, the True Blood finale has been controversial. All the elements of a great season finale were there, but some people found that the emotional scenes didn't really ring true (specifically the "Sookie breaks up with Bill and Eric" scene) and there has been some anger about the treatment of certain characters (the deaths of Jesus and Tara).

Let me take an aside here and just say that, in my opinion, Tara is dead. In this interview, Rutina Wesley (Tara) repeatedly states that after the gunshot blast in the finale, half of Tara's head is gone. I'm going to take her word on that and go out on a limb and state that while vampire blood can work miracles, even if one of Sookie's vamp friends gets there soon, vamp blood is not going to regrow half of Tara's skull and brain. I'm not saying Tara is out of the show (the actress is signed on for Season 5), but I am pretty sure she is dead as a doornail.

Ok, so back to some criticisms. I basically find that the points people have raised are valid, but the awesomeness of True Blood overcomes them. In short the pros outweigh the cons and I loved the finale.

Problem #1: some of the emotional scenes didn't have enough oomph. The scene where Sookie choo choo chooses to be with herself just felt...kind of lame. I don't know if it was because of the faces Alexander Skarsgard was pulling (not hot, dude), but the whole thing just made me roll my eyes. Another problem was that Alcide had basically offered himself to Sookie on a platter earlier in the episode and she turned him down. GIRL, ARE YOU DUMB? You do not turn down the Alcide. That whole thing rang false to me because who in their right mind would turn down Alcide?

Problem #2: once again, Tara gets the bad end of the stick. Or in this case, the boom stick. Because she totally got half her head blown off by Debbie and her shotgun! While I appreciated the shock of the moment (I love a good twist, more on that later), it just seemed like another instance of Tara getting shit on. I don't think the writers have really understood what to do with Tara since Season 1 other than just making her the plot punching bag, and this seemed like just another example of that. Back when season 4 began one of the things I hoped the show would fix was the Tara getting dumped on. Alas, it was not to be.

While these two things definitely were problematic, let's be honest. It's True Blood, overthinking it isn't a good thing. It's a hot mess, but it's SUPPOSED to be a hot mess! That's the fun! Since the finale fulfilled my basic criteria for an awesome True Blood episode I am calling it a win. You had ridiculous amounts of gore, surprising character deaths (several in fact), hot sex scenes, plot twists, and great lines (Sookie has a fairy vagina!). It also did a lot of hinting for things to come next season, another criteria of an excellent finale. Done and done.

So farewell for now True Blood! We'll see you next year when hopefully Russell will be ripping out more spine for funsies (my theory is that Pam is the one who freed him) and Sookie will finally smarten up and take every opportunity to hump Alcide.

I mean, COME ON.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Secret Circle

Here's another post from guest blogger Mac (pics by me). Enjoy!


Time to shamelessly launch the pilot to TV Sluts' spin-off, BOOK SLUTS!

(not really)

This Thursday at 9pm on the CW a new show will air called The Secret Circle. It is based on a trilogy of books of the same name written in 1992 by L. J. Smith. As a bit of a paradigm shift, I'm going to go ahead and review these books leading up to the premier.

Two confessions: One, I only read the first two of these books. And two, this is not going to be a positive review. Also, here there be spoilers (for the books, I don't know how true they will keep the show to the original story).

It's one of those late-80's stories we all were obsessed with when we were normal teenagers in the late-80's. A normal teenager who just doesn't feel like she fits in discovers one day that she has this magical power she gets with no training or sacrifice on her part for free. She is the newest member of an amateur coven with far more power than it is safe for any group of hormonal kids to have. There's the clearly-good leader, the clearly-evil wanna-be leader, and our new girl is somehow the fulcrum upon which everything hinges.

I will confess, I totally prefer a strong lead (male or female). But I can totally appreciate a well-written "weak" lead, someone who doesn't necessarily have the ability to face down the bad guys, someone who will be hurt if he or she even tries standing up. But this girl is just stupid. She literally hands over an artifact of tremendous power to the evil girl, simply because otherwise the evil person will tell everyone that she kissed a guy. And I mean, how embarrassing, right? That's totally enough to weigh against the "people are dying" backdrop of the story. I would never be able to show my face in mystical homeroom again.

Also, every guy in the book is attracted to her, from the distant loner who doesn't care about anyone to the upstanding, trustworthy guy who happens to be already dating someone else, and possibly a few other flagrant stereotypes I've forgotten about. And we're not talking teen-age boy crush. No, every single guy is a potential "The One." The entire thing is like if Buffy was diluted with Twilight and Oprah.

In conclusion, it's been twenty years since these books were written. I have every faith that the fine CW writers have it in them to revamp this bland series beyond recognition. If I had a DVR or no plans Thursday night, you can bet I'd be watching.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Doctor Who, I am disappoint

Like most sci-fi fans, I love continuity and attention to detail in my TV shows. If you're going to create a world, you've got to play by your own rules - otherwise, it just becomes a big confusing mess. On the other hand, Doctor Who has always been the exception to this. If someone says at the beginning of an episode, "this never has, never will, and never can come to pass" it pretty much becomes a waiting game to see how/why the Doctor decides to give that rule the finger.

For the most part, the good Doctor has used this well as a driving force for good story lines - there are consequences for breaking rules, or clever work-arounds. HOWEVER. This should not be construed as carte blanc to completely ignore essential plot points.

I'm talking to you, Moffat. Spoilers below for Season Six.

As you may remember, last season Rory died and was replaced by "Rory," a plastic duplicate created by the Nestene consciousness. This season, "Rory" has somehow managed to impregnate his wife. Um... what? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that it's possible to make a fully - ahem - functional plastic duplicate. How, exactly, is he producing sperm? And even if you decide the Nestene consciousness is just very, very detail-oriented... human egg + plastic sperm ≠ baby. I'm not sure what it does equal, but still. When Amy tells the Doctor she's pregnant, his first reaction shouldn't have been, "What? What?" it should have been "Whose? Who's?" See what I did there?

There are other plot holes, but I couldn't let this particular one pass without comment (I'm a prenatal counselor, after all). I've only watched the first four or five episodes of this season, but from all reports it doesn't get any better. I'm reserving judgment until I see the second half of this season, however. So here's a word of advice, Moffat - straighten up and fly right!

As much as you can...

ETA: So... I kind of forgot that the Doctor rebooted the universe and Rory was restored to his normal, human time line. I guess I was thrown off by the fact that he still has memories of being a Centurion. Apologies for the error, but I'm leaving the post up because I stand by the spirit of the thing. And cause I like the jokes.