Girls Season Two Premiere: Cleansing Rituals, Unsexy Sex and Donald Glover!!

The last time I wrote about Girls I wondered and hoped that the series would prove to be more self-aware than its characters. It did. After watching season 1 (twice) I can say, cautiously, that I am a fan of these ladies. I say cautiously because I constantly go back and forth between my love and hate of the characters. Currently, I love most of them but I will get into that later. Creator, writer, director, producer and actor Lena Dunham presents her four leads in all their flawed glory. She doesn’t demand that we empathise with them and she doesn’t demand that we condemn them either. She asks that we look at them as real humans and that includes ugly moments like Marnie dumping Charlie mid-sex, Jessa seducing her ex out of spite because he was happy with someone else and Hannah’s realization that her fear of aids might actually be a secret desire to contract the disease. Continue reading

Email Roundtable #12 – Remounts

With the return of Arrested Development right around the corner and the somewhat improbable talk of Twin Peaks starting up where it left off many, many years ago we thought we would attempt to discuss shows we would like to see return to the small screen. 

Kerri: Are you gals excited about the return of Arrested Development? Will you watch the new episodes?

Jane: Yes! I will be tuning in to Arrested Development for sure. I’ll admit that the prospect of Twin Peaks returning has me more excited. That could be due to the fact that I recently re-watched Twin Peaks.

Kerri: Actually, as I was thinking about this topic, I was also much more excited about the possibility of some kind of return to the Twin Peaks story. I feel like, despite Arrested Development ending “early”, it got more of a chance to do what it wanted to do. Twin Peaks ended in a way that I don’t feel many people were very satisfied with.

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Email Roundtable #10 – A Few of Our Favorite Things of 2012 – Part 2

In the interest of it being a particularly busy time of the year and because it is also the time of year for lists we thought we would forego our regularly scheduled Email Roundtable. Instead, we have each asked each other about a few of our favourite things from 2012. We attempt to discuss those things here. **Warning: this article probably contains spoilers**

Jane asks Kerri: What was your favorite challenge on a Reality Show this year? 

I really had to think about this one as I really don’t watch all that many reality shows these days. However, I do think that the way that the current season of Top Chef began was pretty brilliant. Continue reading

Sticking up for Stick in the Muds

In sitcoms populated by large casts of diverse characters everyone is on screen at any given time to perform a specific function. The job the characters perform is to A.) Move the plot along in (hopefully) an organic, character driven way and B.) To be funny. Usually, there is a character in these sitcoms (sometimes more than one) that serves as the moral epicenter for the rest of the characters. Without these “Stick in the Muds” (or S.I.T.M’s as they will be known through the rest of this post) these worlds would function without boundaries or, at the very least, without the reminder that boundaries exist. How would Homer know that stealing cable was wrong without Lisa protesting outside the house? How would Jenna and Tracy ever get anything done without the guiding hand of Liz Lemon? Would the town of Pawnee function without Leslie Knope? S.I.T.M.’s are usually women who act as the moral center of the show; they are sometimes motherly figures, while the world around them functions solely on the id.

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Quintessential Quintuplets of Television

Written and Conceived by Raphael Saray

Hey Yo, I’m the only dude writing for this whoopteedoo. I was asked to contribute and thought about waxing poetic about bosoms and football, but that would probably be better served for footballandbosoms.blogspot.com. So, I’ll start with a solid top 5 examination of my favorite TV moments. In no particular order as that would be like picking my flat screen Sanyo’d children.

Jim tells Pam he loves her – The Office

I’ve lost touch with The Office. I don’t know who the new boss is or if Cece is being played by Abigail Breslin or Skyler Lavigne-Kroeger. The first five or six seasons were very enjoyable. What should’ve been the series finale was Jim declaring his undying love for Pam, but I can see how keeping such a plot device in one’s back pocket would be difficult. It was unexpected and I was floored. Full fledged shaking, knowing that this was what TV can be. As Jim goes through his “I want more than that” spiel and Pam nervously mutters – “don’t…please don’t do this” My mouth was agape. It was well written and very well acted to the point where I had a solid adrenaline rush. The kiss afterward in the actual office was a bit much for me but those two in the parking lot is still for me some of the best TV…ever. I kept up with The Office well passed the point I enjoyed it because I felt I owed it something for giving me that. I can’t watch that scene when it comes on again in syndication. It only works if you don’t see it coming.

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Roundtable #6 – It’s Not You, It’s Your TV Show

In this edition of the roundtable we attempt to discuss actors we love in TV shows we hate or have trouble with, or, at the very least, don’t particularly enjoy all of the time.

This week we did our email roundtable in person! Katie and Kerri

The view of Jane from Katie’s laptop

Kerri: Normally we discuss shows/things that we really love in our Roundtables so I thought that it might be fun to do that while also talking about shows that we don’t particularly like.

I will start by talking about Connie Britton who I absolutely loved on Friday Night Lights. And I still love her but my goodness, I cannot get behind Nashville. And it has actually made me start questioning her acting…and I know that is horribly wrong.

Katie: That show looks like a major stinker. Besides, I would always be looking out for Coach Taylor to sneak up and snuggle her from behind.

Kerri: I wish. It is a bit of a stinker although I have found myself humming the songs days later…

Katie: What’s so bad about the show/her performance?

Kerri: Nashville is incredibly soapy, which isn’t necessarily the problem, but I wish it was a bit more tongue-in-cheek or campy or something. Maybe it takes itself too seriously or thinks it is a better show than it really is. I haven’t quite pinpointed it yet and I keep watching it so there is clearly something there. Connie Britton is fine but I kind of feel like she’s given too much to do in the show. She is required to be this major country star which maybe I don’t completely buy. She does exasperated and exhausted so very well that I wish she was doing more of that in the show and less just bitchy country superstar.

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Zombies and ABBA and Dragon-Turtles, Oh My!

When Community is at its best it is almost a magical experience and Epidemiology from Episode 6 Season 2 is utterly enchanting. The episode is able to blend humor with horror at the same time advancing character development all in the span of 22 minutes. Epidemiology is one of my favorite Halloween specials and here’s why:

Costumes: In most other series’ Halloween episodes, writers throw characters into crazy Halloween costumes for an easy laugh. The Fresh Prince’s Carlton dressing as Macaulay Culkin and Kevin from The Office dressing as Michael Moore come to mind. While hilarious, it makes me wonder why the characters chose those specific costumes. Community never has me questioning its characters costume choices. Of course Jeff chose to be “accidentally handsome” as David Beckham. If the situation arose where he didn’t want to be dressed up anymore, he would simply toss away his soccer ball and strut around in his $6,000 suit. Britta tries to be fierce and unsexy as a T-Rex, but instead is darling and helpless, looking more like a “Dragon Turtle”. Is she really that disappointed that she must rely on Jeff to feed her because her mighty claws are too short to reach her mouth? Annie (as usual) treads a fine line between naughty and innocent as Little Red Riding Hood. Shirley’s Glenda the Good Witch costume is again “unwittingly ambiguous” just as her good intentions often are. Troy and Abed start off as Ripley and The Alien but Troy changes into “a sexy Dracula” which brings their friendship into question and is the set up for a solid Troy character arc, but more on that later. My favorite costume of the episode goes to Chang dressed as Peggy Fleming who gleefully corrects assumptions that he is Kristi Yamaguchi or Michelle Kwan by proclaiming “you have just been proven racist by the racist prover.” Continue reading

Email Roundtable #4 – Candy Corn Edition

Kerri: There are a couple of Halloween episodes of television shows that made a pretty big impression on me when I was a kid.

Katie: A Halloween themed episode is almost certain to tickle my delight bone.

Jane: Up there on my list is the Community Halloween special where everybody is turned into Zombies. Although zombies aren’t my thing, I will watch a zombie apocalypse scored by ABBA songs any day!

Kerri: That Community episode is stellar, Jane, one of the more creative Halloween episodes I have seen in recent years

One of mine is the pretty much universally hated Halloween episode of My So-Called Life where Claire Danes meets a hot boy ghost! It was basically the exact opposite of the rest of the series, which, generally, is incredibly realistic. But I enjoyed it as a kid because I loved ghost stories and I also loved that the little sister, Danielle, dresses up as her older sister, Angela, for Halloween. That is something I remember doing myself, not for Halloween mind you…

Although, I think that what I like most about that episode is what I like about most Halloween episodes: Characters that you know well are allowed to act like completely different people. In fact, that’s what I like about Halloween the day too!

And obviously the “Treehouse of Horror” Simpsons episodes are also a childhood favourite. There is an awful lot you can do in an animated series that you can’t really do in a live action show. Basically, the rest of the series is forgotten for these episodes and the Simpson family and other folks in Springfield just play the parts of classic horror characters. My favourite: “The Shinning”.

Katie: The best Halloween episode, in my opinion, is from Season 2 of The Office (US). Michael was supposed to fire an employee by the end of the month but he left it until Halloween day. Then over the course of the episode he fires 3 or 4 unsuccessfully and 1 successfully.

Throughout the episode, Michael is such a dick but it’s only because he cares about everyone so much. He doesn’t want to fire anyone. The moment at the end of the episode when Michael is alone in his house, handing out candy to trick-or-treats is devastating. Continue reading