HIMYM S4E2: "I will eat your hand!"

“The Best Burger In New York”

Marshall waxes poetic about the best burger in NY, which he had at a small restaurant he discovered when he first moved to the city and could never find again. Regis Philbin guest stars as a celebrity whose photo is on the wall of the restaurant. He doesn’t remember where the restaurant is either, but he attacks Barney when the poor boy approaches him to ask about it. In the end, they discover that Robin knows the burger joint, and they all experience the best burger in New York. Meanwhile, Barney tries to convince Marshall to take a job with his company’s new acquisition, Goliath National Bank. Even though Lily points out that Marshall just left a corporate job and is not about to take another. But of course, he does.

This episode was pretty pointless as far as the overall story arc goes, but it did lead to Marshall getting a job, finally. And because watching this episode on the CBS website was pure torture, I had a hard time keeping track of the best bits. Needless to say, Regis Philbin calling Marshall “Lurch” and Barney talking about how he loved the burger so much he wanted to take it home and put on some Terence Trent d’Arby for it were just two of many great moments.


Supernatural S4E2: "Bobby, you're awesome."

“Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester”

Being a girl with a religious studies major, I really like this season so far. We open with a scene of Olivia, a hunter, being attacked and murdered by ghosts. Meanwhile, Dean still refuses to believe in angels and/or god. Sam does believe, and even Bobby says nothing but an angel could have ripped Dean from hell. Dean is frustrated: “I don’t like being singled out at birthday parties, much less by God.” Sam replies, “Well, God wants you to strap on your party hat.” Man, do I love this show.

The boys read up on angels. Dean wants pie. On his way to get pie, Sam sees Ruby. She is terrified of Castiel, and warns Sam to watch himself. Sam replies that he’s not afraid of angels. He also forgets the pie, much to Dean’s consternation.

When Bobby tries to contact Olivia, they discover her bloodied corpse and learn that all of the hunters nearby are also dead. They figure out that a ghost killed Olivia, and moment later Agent Henricksen’s ghost attacks Sam, bitter and full of blame. Dean saves his little bro just in time.

As the episode continues, Bobby is attacked by two little girls who were apparently eaten by a monster while he stood on the other side of the door. Dean is attacked by Meg, who is the most interesting of the ghosts because she reminds us that the boys didn’t recognize that she was a human possessed by a demon. I had a flashback to Bobby’s disbelieving, “You boys can’t tell?” When the Winchesters did finally get around to exorcising Meg’s demon, the reason the poor girl died was because the brothers had thrown her out of a window earlier that week. So unlike the other ghosts, Meg’s death kind of was their fault.

Anyway, all of the ghosts are people that our favorite hunters couldn’t save, and they’re trying their damnedest to prey on that guilt. Oh, and Meg has a brand on her hand. Unable to fight off the ghosts, Bobby takes the boys downstairs to his panic room, which is made of solid iron walls coated in salt. It’s pretty awesome.

The gang has a debate about the existence of god. Dean can’t get behind the idea – there is no rhyme or reason to the world, good people suffer, how can god sit back and watch, the usual. After some brief research, Bobby finds that the brand on Meg’s hand is the mark of the witness. The ghosts were forced to rise. The mark figures into a little ancient prophecy known as Revelation, and is a sign of the apocalypse.

How can this not be the final season?

Back upstairs, Henricksen appears to Dean and reveals that, at the end of Jus In Bello, they didn’t all die in a flash of bright light – Lilith tortured them for a good 45 minutes first. This time it’s Sam’s turn to do the saving. The boys fend off ghosts while Bobby does a spell to release them. In the end, Castiel comes to see Dean, who complains that his guardian is a little late to the game. Castiel reminds him that angels are not protectors – he is a warrior, a soldier. (Just like Dean, ahem). The rising of the witnesses is one of 66 seals, broken by Lilith. Once the last seal is broken, Lucifer walks free. Dean sasses Castiel, but is sobered. So this is why “god” has sent his “angel army” to earth? Yikes!

“Show some respect,” Castiel commands. “I dragged you out of hell, and I can throw you back in.”


ANTM Cycle 11: Wicked Edition

Annaleigh is freaking out about being in the bottom two last week, and Hannah tells her to stop throwing herself a pity party. It’s almost as though Hannah is trying to make herself unpopular. In their lesson, Miss Jay teaches the girls to runway walk at a bowling alley. None of them are any good. Back at the house, Clark and Lauren Brie have a whispered conversation about how it’s time for Isis to go. Meanwhile, Isis chats about how women are intimidated by her. McKey says it’s because Isis “does girl better than most girls.”

The girls walk in a fashion show for Jeremy Scott. The catch is, they have to do it blindfolded. But it’s not as bad as it seems, because it turns out they can see through the blindfolds, although their vision is hazy. The winner will get to choose two friends and do an “advertorial” for 15-year-old Russian designer Kira Plastinina in Seventeen magazine. The loser will go no further in the competition. To my extreme disappointment, nobody falls off the runway. Annaleigh finally brings confidence to the table, and does wonderfully. Samantha flips her dress up at the end of the runway even though the designer told her several times not to do so. Joslyn wins, and chooses Sheena and Isis to be in the shoot with her. Hannah loses, and is eliminated.

The shoot takes place in the pool at the ANTM house. Nigel Barker is the photographer. The girls are shot with the lower half of their faces underwater, so this shoot is all about their eyes. Clark, Marjorie, Annaleigh, Sheena, Lauren Brie, and Samantha do well. McKey, Joslyn, Isis, and Elina do not. Elina is particularly bad – she is lackluster, cannot come up with any poses, and complains about being “stuck.” Isis is incredibly uncomfortable because she’s in a bikini again and is afraid that her tape will come unstuck in the water.

Isis did poorly, was too concerned about other things to pay attention.
Elina was the weakest of the bunch, they expected more.
Marjorie looks wicked and nightmarish (in a good way), pushed it to another level.
Annaleigh is stunning, has the whole package, her photo is to die for.
McKey’s eyes are intense but her hand is awkward and “looks like a club.”
Lauren Brie looks devilish and fantastic.
Sheena usually looks serene but here she is intense, she is fun to shoot.
Clark was the only one who smiled with her eyes, she shocked the judges.
Samantha has creative poses, was one of the best but one of the worst on the runway.
Joslyn looks terrified, she can’t swim and she should have told Nigel that right off the bat.

After guest judge Jeremy Scott trounces Samantha for her runway performance, Tyra uses her to make a good point about modeling: it’s about the designer, not the model. Models represent designers, not themselves. Samantha is in tears.

The judges are surprised by Elina’s poor performance. They think Isis is trying too hard to be “one of the girls” and is afraid to stand out. The other girls all receive praise, although Paulina disagrees with everyone else about Marjorie’s photo.

The first photo is Clark.
The bottom two are Isis and Samantha.
Isis has lost her spark and is afraid to stand out.
Samantha takes gorgeous photos but the designer she worked for was insulted and disgusted.
Isis is eliminated.


Fringe S1E3: "Am I required to keep him alive?"

“The Ghost Network”

I don’t know if I was just in a bad mood after the painful hour I spent watching 90210, or if it was the fact that my mother called ½ way through and I missed some stuff, but the central story didn’t do much for me tonight. Basically, some guy named Roy is drawing tragedies that he sees in his head, and then they happen. Walter figures out that he is tapping into the “ghost network,” which is of course one of his old projects, and Roy was a test subject. Walter explains something about how spectral waves transmit information, and Roy’s brain is picking it up. Blah blah blah, they stop a bad guy.

And now, some thoughts on the characters and their relationships:

Although it’s corny, I can’t wait for the moment that Peter finally calls Walter “dad.”

Walter, who we learn is self-medicating with homemade psychotics, tells Peter that “lack of commitment” is his problem. I feel like he said a similar thing in the last episode, so I assume it is significant. Walter continues to be the best character on this show. John Noble is a fantastic actor, and I love Walter’s dichotomy– he is a genius who can perform brain surgery, but he struggles to answer a cell phone.

When Peter and Walter are in a restaurant, Peter notices a guy following them and confronts him. The guy, who is taking pictures of Peter, tells him that he was supposed to inform them when he got back into town. When Walter asks what happened, Peter says something innocuous about how the guy was harassing the waitress. Walter gives him a knowing look. WTF is Peter’s secret? It better be good.

Peter says his mother is “a story for another time.” My guess is something’s up there.

Olivia goes to Nina at Massive Dynamic for help identifying a chemical compound, and casually comments how strange it is that everything leads her back to MD. Nina’s counter? “I could say the same about you.”

Broyles takes the evidence they find to Nina, who then uses it in her quest to extract information from John Scott’s body. Both Broyles and Nina exist in quite the little gray area. What is their true relationship?

This show really needs to step it up with the character of Olivia. She has all the personality of a blank piece of paper.

It’s called suspension of disbelief, people: Popular Mechanics debunks Fringe’s science.

90210 S1E5: "Not everyone is a ho-bot like you."

“Wide Awake and Dreaming”

And 90210 continues in its quest to be the most boring show on television. The implied sex from the commercials is part of the SCHOOL PLAY!

Annie is Adriana’s understudy for the school’s version of Spring Awakening, and Ade is missing rehearsals because she’s under a lot of pressure and is a drug addict. Harry catches Annie and Ty making out backstage, so Debbie has a poorly scripted sex talk with her daughter. The next day, Naomi joins the Annie & Silver at lunch for a chat. When did this happen? The girls tell Annie that Ty “has done everyone” and she’s next. Ethan and Naomi are blissfully happy. Silver tells Annie she’s not ready for sex.

Much like Cindy Walsh in the original 90210, Debbie’s character is kind of pointless. Harry is upset because he doesn’t want Annie to make the same mistakes that he made. I have to say I was wondering about this – they really glossed over the whole “I just found out I have a kid with another woman” storyline. Weird.

Before the play, Adriana’s mom reveals that she has invited a bunch of agents to see her daughter. Buckling under the pressure, Ade gets high and Brenda won’t let her perform. Annie takes her place. I’ve never seen Spring Awakening, but based on the fact that two teen characters have implied sex onstage and one song goes on about “the bitch of living” I do not believe it would be performed in a high school.

Annie asks Dixon for the condom he’s been carrying in his wallet for four years. You have to wonder about its efficacy. She then runs into Ethan, who has brought her flowers. She drops the condom, and Ethan tells her she cannot sleep with Ty. “Wouldn’t you rather save yourself for someone who cares about you?” he asks. “I tried that, it didn’t work out,” Annie sniffles with a meaningful look. Bitch please! These kids have known each other for, like, a month – if that.

At the hotel, Adriana shows up at Ty’s door. She tells him that Annie left the play with Ethan, and she saw the two of them making out. Ty is sad. Lemme guess what happens next. Downstairs, Silver finally attacks Dixon, and they make out on a pool lounge chair. Dixon is bummed that he gave away his condom, but Silver says it doesn’t matter because they’re going to take it slow.

Annie shows up to find Adriana in a towel and the shower running. Ade says that if Annie wants to wait, Ty is “just rinsing off.” Annie runs away. Adriana goes into the bathroom, and Ty isn’t even there. That’s pretty cruel. Annie goes home, puts on a happy face for her parents, and then collapses in tears in her bedroom.

There is no fucking way Spring Awakening would be a school musical.


HIMYM S4E1: "At what age did you get your first period?"

“Do I Know You?”

I have to say, there wasn’t much to like about this premiere. Ted asks Stella to marry him, and she accepts. Then, when he can’t offer any suggestions about a shower present, he realizes he doesn’t know anything about her (hobbies, favorite color, etc). I know their relationship was underdeveloped due to outside forces, but this seems like a pretty major warning sign that it isn’t going to last.

Ted learns that Stella has never seen Star Wars, and since it’s his favorite movie he decides that if she doesn’t like it, he can’t marry her. Stella tells him she loves it, but later she secretly admits to Marshall (who has truly terrible hair) that she hated it. Marshall asks if she can pretend to love a movie she hates for the rest of her life (“through sickness and health, til death do you part”), and she says, “I do.” So freakin’ cheesy.

Meanwhile, in more cheesiness, Barney admits to Lily that he’s in love with Robin, who looks super hot this season. But Barney’s conflicted – he wants to be with Robin, but he doesn’t want to be her boyfriend. At Lily’s prodding, Barney calls Robin to ask her out. He is so awkward that he ends up asking her when she first got her period after Lily whispers for him to ask something personal. Lily sets up a surprise date for the two of them. Robin wears a fabulous dress, and Barney is sweet and decorous. This freaks Robin out, and at the end of the night she plays “wingwoman” and hooks Barney up with their waitress. Barney tells Lily that if he has to choose between Robin and bimbos, he chooses bimbos. But once Lily storms out of his apartment in frustration, Barney flips on the TV and looks longingly at Robin reporting the news. The end.

Ted and Stella’s relationship is boring. Barney in love is funny, but a tad too pathetic. I am disappointed to say that I was completely underwhelmed by this premiere. It was basically a pointless ½ hour.


Supernatural S4E1: "It's good to see you again, boy."

“Lazarus Rising”

First off, a very brief recap of the story of Lazarus (translation “God (has) helped”) from Wikipedia. In the Gospel of John, Lazarus was a man who lived in the town of Bethany. His sisters sent word to Jesus that he was ill, but when Jesus finally arrived Lazarus had been in a tomb for four days. Martha reproached him, and when Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise, she thought he was referring to resurrection on Judgment Day. To this Jesus replied, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” In the presence of a crowd of Jewish mourners, Jesus had the stone rolled away from the tomb and bade Lazarus to come out. This he did, still wrapped in his grave-cloths.

Fourth season of SN feels different right off the bat. Dean wakes up in a coffin and manages to dig himself out, only to find the landscape around him decimated (in a perfect circle, natch). He breaks into a convenience store for some essentials, including water, food, and the latest issue of Busty Asian Beauties. He discovers a red hand print burned into his shoulder. Suddenly, all of the electronic devices in the store switch on and a sustained high-pitched shriek sounds, paining Dean and shattering all glass in the vicinity. He escapes and finds Bobby, who puts him through a number of tests to ensure that he’s really Dean. Bobby hasn’t spoken to Sam in months.

Through the magic of charm & GPS tracking, they find Sam in a hotel room with a brunette girl. Sam is skeptical about Dean’s reappearance, but is easily convinced. Dean is sure that Sam “worked some bad mojo” to get him out of hell, but Sam swears he had nothing to do with it. He gets Dean up to speed: he hasn’t been using his psychic abilities, Ruby is gone, and Lilith tried to kill him but he was immune to her powers. No big deal.

Bobby takes them to see a psychic friend. I was kind of hoping it would be Missouri, but instead it is a hot rock ‘n’ roller who hits on both Dean and Sam. Unfortunately, when she has a séance to see Dean’s rescuer, her eyes liquefy and she is blinded for life. Ouch.

Sam and Dean track down a group of demons in a diner. They don’t know who saved Dean, but they’re spooked. Later, Sam sneaks out to kill the diner demons. Dean is attacked by the high-pitched shriek again. He is convulsing on the floor, blood streaming from his ears, when Bobby rescues him. Then, Sam and Dean start lying to each other.

Dean calls Sam, asking where he is, and he claims to be getting a hamburger. Lie # 1. Sam asks what Dean’s doing, and Dean says something innocuous. Lie # 2. Really, Dean and Bobby are going to summon the being that pulled Dean from hell. At the diner, the demons all have their eyes burned out, and Sam kills the one left alive using only his psychic powers. Lie # 3. The brunette from the hotel appears, saying that his powers have improved. It’s Ruby, in a new body. Lie # 4.

Back to Dean & Bobby, who are summoning the mysterious being. A young man appears, wearing a suit and tie. He knocks Bobby out with a wave of his hand, and none of Dean’s weapons work on him. Uh-oh. Then, he drops the bomb: he is Castiel, an angel of the Lord. He had thought that Dean was special, able to hear his true voice (the shrieking), but he was wrong. He squints, reading Dean’s mind, and realizes that Dean doesn’t think he was worth saving. But he’s wrong: God has a plan for Dean, and he has work to do.

Hmmm. I have high hopes for this twist, although bringing God into the show in this capacity kind of implies that this is the final season. I mean, when God himself gets involved, you gotta figure it’s the final “epic battle.” But this does portend interesting character development for Dean, who we’ve seen time and time again doubt the existence of God or angels. Regardless, I was pleased to see the brotherly strife flare right back up again. All this lying can’t be good, and what’s with Sam’s powers?


ANTM Cycle 11: Makeover Edition

Not much to say here…it’s the makeover episode. The twist is that they don’t get to hear about what’s going to happen in advance, and all the mirrors in the room are covered so they can’t watch their transformations. Afterward, they all look really good and nobody complains, except Elina, who doesn’t feel like herself anymore. She gets over it quickly, though.

The girls do the Wal-Mart challenge from last year, but in addition to putting on makeup in under 30 seconds they also have to film an unscripted 30-second short about a foundation matching system Cover Girl is introducing in stores. Surprisingly, a lot of them do very well. The ones who don’t – most of whom are this season’s “golden girls” – are truly awful. Hannah wins.

The girls do a swimsuit shoot on the beach. The designer, Susan Homes, is there. And we get another twist – Jay does not direct the shoot. The girls are on their own. Again, most of them do well. Annaleigh, Hannah, Brittany, and Isis do not. Isis is noticeably uncomfortable in her swimsuit, and Jay reminds her that the photographer and designer don’t know about her situation. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help calm her down.

More girls are praised than critiqued:
Sheena has so much fire in person, but her shots are beautiful and serene.
Lauren Brie’s shot is amazing.
McKey’s makeover has totally changed her look; her pose is original and unique.
Marjorie looks like a page from a magazine.
Samantha’s makeover has made her look like a real model.
Elina is stunning; her makeover took her out of her comfort zone and it worked.
Joslyn has a great pose full of movement.

The judges are concerned about Annaleigh, Clark, Brittany, Hannah, and Isis. They talk about how Clark and Lauren Brie are opposites – Clark is gorgeous in person but takes poor shots, while Lauren Brie is plain in person but takes amazing shots. Lauren Brie reminds them of CarriDee.

The first photo is Elina. Ironically, you can’t even see the swimsuit in her shot.
The bottom two are Annaleigh and Brittany.
Brittany is pretty, but she’s “just pretty.” There is no connection in her photos.
Annaleigh is tanking. They expect more from her.
Brittany is eliminated.


Fringe S1E2: "All of this connects to the magical man-baby how?"

“The Same Old Story”

People seem to be giving up on this show quickly – at least, people I know. I found this episode entertaining, but did notice a drop in quality from the pilot. “The Same Old Story” was all over the place, lacking a specific focus and under-developing several main characters. The best part of the show, so far, is the fractured relationship between Walter and Peter. When Peter sang his dad to sleep at the end … oh my.

We open on a guy and a hooker lounging in bed. The guy is creepy and steals off to the bathroom with a set of surgical tools. Suddenly, the hooker starts screaming bloody murder as her stomach ripples grotesquely. Creepy Guy drives her to the hospital and abandons her. The doctors ask how long she’s been pregnant, she insists she isn’t, there is a huge ripping noise, and she dies. The doctors cut out the baby and look horrified. By the time our intrepid team shows up, the baby has aged into an old man and died.

Frankly, this episode did not go the way I anticipated, which is good as far as the surprise factor but I liked my way better. After John Scott’s betrayal, Olivia is conflicted. She doubts her intuition, and she doubts the outcome of every case she and John worked on together. She becomes obsessed with the idea that Creepy Guy is a serial killer that she and John hunted. Since the killer’s MO didn’t match the first scene, I figured Olivia was just wrestling with her own personal demons to the detriment of her work. Alas, it turns out that she is correct.

After less research than I would have liked, the team learns that an old colleague of Walter’s named Penrose had engineered a “son” by tinkering with human growth hormone. Government experiments in the seventies attempted to grow an army of young men that would rapidly age to 21 years and then stop. However, the “stopping” proved to be a problem. Creepy Guy has to use other people’s pituitary glands to keep himself young. In the end, they vanquish him simply by interrupting his attempts to extract a victim’s gland, and he ages and dies in front of Olivia. The whole thing was a little blah. Much more interesting were the small, suggestive moments throughout.

Peter is an interesting character. There have been several hints about his weird past, but seeing as he is basically supposed to be a regular guy (albeit a genius) I find it interesting (if somewhat unbelievable) that he can collect evidence at a crime scene, shoot a gun at another human being with no hesitation, and rig a makeshift defibrillator in less than a minute. In this episode Walter casually says to Olivia, “If you’ve read my file, then you know the truth about Peter’s medical history.” She looks blank, and Walter quickly backtracks. There is much buzz in the blogosphere that Peter was “engineered” much like Creepy Guy. Walter’s comment, combined with the throwaway line earlier in the episode when he says, “95% of babies are born with blue eyes. Yours were green,” lends some credence to that, though I have my doubts.

Walter was underused in this episode, which meant it was less humorous than the pilot, but there were some interesting bits I’m not ready to speculate on yet: Walter had no memory of them re-opening his Harvard lab, yet he remembered where he hid his car 17 years earlier. Penrose saying that Walter “knows things no one in power should know,” and Walter’s subsequent comment that “the pitfall of a scientist is differentiating between god’s domain and our own.” And JJ Abrams sure does love shows that revolve around father issues, so I’m curious to see how the Walter/Peter relationship will develop.

Also learned in this episode: Bionic Arm Woman (Nina) is connected with Broyles in what looks like some sort of board-member capacity. She offers Olivia a job at Massive Dynamic, which O. refuses. Broyles then tells Olivia that though Nina knows about the pattern, certain knowledge is classified beyond her level.

Finally, we come to the end. While Peter is singing Walter to sleep, there is a shutter-flash image of three bodies lying on what look like hospital beds. Unable to rewind and pause live TV, I don’t have much to go on here. More engineered human beings? A Walter flashback, or real-time? I’ll just have to wait and see. If you have any speculation, please leave my poor TiVo-less self a comment!

90210 S1E4: "I've made a ginormous mistake."

“The Bubble”

Fourth episode, and nary an ill-advised sexual encounter to be had. I think this may be the most boring teen “drama” I’ve ever seen. It’s certainly more wholesome than the original series.

Grandma Lucille becomes director of the school musical (what?), eventually being replaced by Brenda Walsh.

Naomi doesn’t understand why her mom puts up with her cheating son-of-a-bitch dad. With all her family issues, she’s like Marissa Cooper without a drinking problem. “Drama” occurs when Naomi snakes her dad’s BlackBerry and sees that he’s been talking to his girlfriend, Gail. Um, yeah, so? We already know they’re dating. Anyway, she confronts Gail only to learn that Gail loves dad, and dad has moved Gail to Beverly Hills and set her up in the family’s beach house.

Ethan asks Annie on a date. So does Ty. She accepts Ethan’s proposal and rejects Ty, so he’s like, “Whatever, I’m the richest hottest guy in school, NBD.” Ethan then stands Annie up. He has a decent reason, though – his brother Stephen has severe OCD (or is autistic? who knows, they don’t tell us) and loses his shit when the housekeeper moves their furniture around. Naomi stops by to complain about her dad and ends up calming Stephen down, reminding Ethan of all the good times they used to have. In the end, she makes a play to get him back and he agrees.

After being stood up by Ethan, Annie tries to win Ty back by baking him snickerdoodles. He’s standoffish until she kisses him, and then he’s all “Wow, you’re so fucking cute I can’t resist.” Seriously?

Meanwhile, it is ON between Silver and Dixon. There is lots of flirtation and they even chat about wanting to go out on a date…though they never actually make one. Also, the freeze between Naomi and Silver begins to thaw after Dixon claims that boys don’t hold grudges against each other and Silver sees the error of her ways. Obviously Dixon has never seen Dawson’s Creek.

Dixon gets a job at the Peach Pit and his big drama this episode is that his job interferes with his schoolwork. I know – makes for compelling viewing, right?

Finally, in what is possibly the most tedious “reveal” in TV history, we learn that Dylan is the father of Kelly’s child, and Brenda accuses Kelly of still being in love with him.

I don’t have much to say. This show is utterly lackluster, and all the characters remind me of others who have come before, but done a better job. That being said, the scenes from next week’s episode look mildly promising as far as drama goes, showing implied coitus that ends with Annie sobbing in a corner. Finally.


ANTM Cycle 11: Fear of Heights Edition

The focus this week is that half the girls in the house think Hannah is racist. When they’re all swimming in the pool, Hannah pushes Isis, kind of hard, for “getting in her personal space.” When Sheena and Brittany confront her about it later, Hannah says some nonsensical stuff about how she’s the “whitest white girl” and she just doesn’t like “urban things” like rap music. S&B talk to some of the other girls about this, and finally everyone sits down to have an intervention. They ask Hannah if she’s racist. She cries and says it’s “not very nice” of them to ask. A couple girls stand up for Hannah, saying it was just a misunderstanding. Hannah tells McKey that what the girls are doing to her “is like gang violence.” Meanwhile, Isis asks for Annaleigh’s help while taking her hormone injection, and afterward Annaleigh says she’s honored that Isis trusts her. It’s really sweet. At this point, it seems as though Hannah is the only one who still has a problem with Isis.

The girls learn about posing from Benny Ninja, and practice posing in fabric tubes. They’re not very good.

The girls pose with accessories by Tarina Tarantino, a jewelry and handbag designer. Most of them are terrible. Nikeysha, who still can’t keep her mouth shut, actually tells Tarina she might pee herself because she has to use the bathroom so badly. Elina wins the challenge.

The girls pose on a rope ladder that leads up to a hot air balloon. The initial idea is for the ladder to be dangling from the balloon, but it is too windy. Instead, they anchor the ladder to the ground and digitally manipulate the photo. Lauren Brie, Elina, and Marjorie are fantastic. Joslyn is great. Everyone else struggles.

The amazing: Lauren Brie, Marjorie, Elina
The good: Hannah, Clark, Isis, Joslyn
The bad: Annaleigh, Samantha, Nikeysha, McKey, Sheena, Brittany

And something odd happens after panel. During her evaluation, Paulina asks Sheena if her boobs are real, and she says “of course.” Then, after every girl has been critiqued, Sheena comes forward again, visibly upset. Her manner is confrontational, and it seems like she’s going to say something stupid and get herself kicked off the show. Instead, she admits she had breast implants at a young age, and says she feels that it was a stupid choice. The judges commend her honesty.

The judges are absolutely blown away by Lauren Brie, Elina, and Marjorie. They even go so far as to agree (!) that Lauren Brie has taken possibly the best photo in the history of ANTM. They liken Elina to Angelina Jolie, and marvel at Marjorie’s ability to be a chameleon.

The first photo is Lauren Brie.
The bottom two are Isis and Nikeysha.
Nikeysha is eliminated … and even then, she tries to talk over Tyra.

Man, where did Lauren Brie come from? She looks totally plain when she’s not on a shoot. Her personality didn’t make an impression during the premiere. I don’t remember anything about her last shoot. And yet her photo this week was truly stunning. The shoulder that looks like it’s popped out of socket, the elegantly arched foot, her level of comfort on a swaying rope ladder … incredible. And of course, Marjorie and Elina were terrific as expected. Like the judges, I was pleased to witness Marjorie’s ability to change her photo personality along with her look. She just needs to pull it together during panel. She constantly looks like she’s cowering, about to burst into profuse apologies. Despite that, at this stage of the game it seems that these three are setting the bar way too high for the other girls to reach.

90210 S1E3: "It would be weird if you banged a teacher."

"Lucky Strike"

Boots here, with a clarification: I referred to the 90210 mom as “Celia” in the last post because even though I swore her name was Debbie the CW website said it was Celia. It’s not. It’s Debbie. But anyway, since I was watching Fringe on Tuesday Hans was kind enough to blog 90210 for me. But then, the CW re-aired the episode last night, so got to watch it. I actually thought it was better than the first … but still not good. And now, we go to Hans…

We don't need to get into a lot of details here. Tons of people watched the debut of 90210 last week. As some of you are aware, the ratings dropped drastically (30%) on the 2nd night because it wasn't that good. It's catty, full of gossip, pandering to teenage stereotypes, and full of tiny skinny girls who are 20 trying to look 15 (which they actually do a good job at). My response to that is, "eat a hamburger."

I don't want to summarize in great detail because I think that if you care about my reaction you've probably already seen the episode. Here's the quick and dirty. Parents want a family night on a Friday but the kids have stuff they'd rather do with their new Beverly Hills friends. The parents insist on going bowling, so to thwart their plan the kids invite all their Beverly Hills friends to show up at the bowling alley "randomly.” All these events occur in perfect order so the kids get their way and their parents let them do what they wanted to do in the first place. The only notables are that Silver and Dixon totally have crushes on each other, Ethan and Annie totally have crushes on each other that are doomed to work out this season but will play out later, and Naomi's dad is hooking up with some lady who lives out of town. Naomi's mom is completely OK with this because she has an open relationship with Naomi's dad because he's rich and gives her lots of shiny things. Naomi is messed up about it because she's 15 or something like that. Whatever, daddy bought her a car to make up for not taking her to Vegas so he could sleep with his GF from another state.

I don't have much to say as far as observations go. Kelly Taylor's kid is totally Steve Sanders' kid. He's blond and has curly hair. Tonight she said it was a, "friend from high school who showed up four years after high school and they hooked up." So it’s Brandon, Dylan, or Steve. I suppose it could be Dylan because obviously the guy is a total douche for leaving her high and dry with a kid, but I still think it's Steve because of the way the kid looks. [Boots says: I think it’s Dylan; Brandon is too responsible to leave Kelly alone with a kid and the kid's blondness means it's too obvious if it's Steve]. I’m sure we'll find out who the baby daddy is in the next two weeks or so.

Silver and Kelly's mom, Jackie, is a drunk. We know this from the original. Apparently she hasn't changed, except now she likes the drink more than the coke. I still don't know where she gets the money to live in Beverly Hills but that's a conversation for another night. They estimated Monica's apartment in Friends would have cost close to a million a month to rent in New York, so who cares about reality on TV right? Anyway, Dixon finds Silver sleeping in a car because Jackie is a maniac drunk. Debbie and Harry are the good parents so they help Silver out, but Harry tells Kelly what's going on. Kelly tries to talk to Jackie, but because she's just a drunk old beyotch she ends up throwing Silver out of the house. So Kelly takes Silver home with her. I can live with that kind of drama.

My reaction to all of this is pretty much what you'd expect. I want some more Brenda. At the very least I want to confirm she looks as old and haggard as she did in the first episode because she did! I want more Nat. Why no Peach Pit scenes? This show isn't totally stupid but it's kind of stupid. I guess I shouldn't expect more but it seems like a rip-off of something. They throw new, hip music in like the OC, but it seems more like junior high drama than typical TV high school drama. I want an unplanned pregnancy, an abortion, zits, fuck anything other than what I'm getting. Dixon said it best when he said that the family he's living with is the Cosbys. I suppose the Walshes were the Cosbys too, but seriously. It's not 1994 anymore. I need drama, I need hi-jinx, I need scandal, and I need teenagers acting irresponsibly. They'd better get this straight soon or I'm deleting this from my DVR and will resume patiently twiddling my thumbs for the return of Battlestar Galactica and Lost. Back to you, Boots…

What is the deal with these kids?!?! No drinking, no smoking, no casual sex ... and it's cool to go bowling and be in school musicals. I started to feel really sorry for Naomi in this episode. When she saw her dad making out with that woman in the parking lot, Adriana's all, “That’s not your mom.” Come on, writers, a little subtlety! What, just in case Naomi doesn’t know what her mom looks like, Adriana is there to helpfully remind her? If the writers can get their shit together, Naomi could be a really interesting character. I also enjoyed the Dixon-Silver flirtation. And, despite my own wishes, I am sucked in by the Ethan-Annie relationship. I mean, Ty ditches her and doesn’t even apologize, and the next morning Ethan texts just to say hi. Cute! And, when Ethan asks Annie to "get some air" at the bowling alley it was so awkward and adorable! I liked the fact the Jackie is still a drunk, despite all Kelly's attempts to help her in the original series. And finally, to soothe Hans’ ragged nerves, from the promo photos on the CW site it looks like Dixon will begin working at the Peach Pit in the next couple of episodes. I give it two more weeks … if it’s not better (or canceled) by then I will bid 90210 adieu. As EW says, “You know when Jennie Garth is still at the center of 90210, you’ve got to worry.”


Fringe S1E1: “Be careful what you wish for.”

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! If you didn’t see the premiere, it will air again on Sunday. According to EW it averaged 9 million viewers, which is not great, but not terrible.

First off, let’s get the obvious Alias comparisons out of the way:
1. Smart, accomplished, feisty, rule-breaking federal agent: check
2. Dying/dead lover: check
3. Sexy partner with a shady past: check
4. Mad genius who could easily be either good or evil: check

Despite all of this, Fringe brings something new to the table. One, it is very, very funny. A nice mix of eerie ambiance and tongue-in-cheek humor. Quite good. Two, it marks the return of Joshua Jackson to my weekly routine, so I will follow it to the ends of the earth. I especially like the “location marks,” which is hard to describe but if you watched it, you know. Like most J.J. Abrams’ shows, it appears to be a fun & mysterious ride, and it is important to hop aboard from the beginning. However, it is also one of those shows that I feel like a raving lunatic recapping.


Olivia Dunham, sassy FBI agent.

John Scott, another FBI agent and Olivia’s lover.

Walter Bishop, mad scientist.

Peter Bishop, high school dropout with a genius IQ and father issues.

Phillip Broyles, inscrutable FBI agent and Olivia’s boss.

And William Bell, mysterious billionaire owner of Massive Dynamic.

We open on a plane, where a guy shoots himself with an insulin pen and then everyone on board melts. It’s graphic, and pretty sickening. In the next scene, we see the very same dude hanging out in the background as federal agents swarm the plane. Hmmmm. Olivia has a negative first encounter with Broyles, the agent in change of their team. Broyles sends Olivia and John to check out a lead at a storage facility, and John is exposed to flesh-eating bacteria, which puts him in a coma and turns him into the human equivalent of the Visible Man doll. The special effects are great.

Desperate to save John, Olivia uncovers a connection to Walter Bishop, a mad scientist genius who specialized in “fringe science” for the government but was locked in an insane asylum for experimenting on human test subjects. She tracks down his son Peter, who she blackmails into helping her spring Walter from the asylum. She learns that in the seventies, Walter shared a lab with William Bell, now-billionaire owner of science & tech company Massive Dynamic. This smacks of the Dharma Initiative, and in fact there is a “commercial” for Massive Dynamics later in the program. Not my thing, but whatever.

Walter tells Olivia the fact that they can see through John’s skin is “not good.” For those in the know, Walter reminds me immensely of the character David Cronenberg played in the third season of Alias. We learn that Olivia was bluffing about having info to blackmail Peter with. BUT the bluff worked, so he clearly has some sort of shady past. The two also hit it off hardcore, so I’m thinking John’s got to die in order for the show to work the sexual tension.

Walter “connects” Olivia’s brain to John’s so that he can “tell” her what he saw at the storage facility. He has had luck questioning corpses this way in the past. “He wants to give you a drug overdose, put a metal rod in your head, and put you naked in a rusty tank of water,” Peter says in disbelief. Walter’s reply? “Well no, I don’t want to. I’d rather not. It’s just that I can.” And the delivery is impeccable.

It seems pretty clear at this point that the mystery guy is going to be related to this William Bell character. Turns out he’s twins, and one, named Steig, used to work for Bell. Olivia goes to Massive Dynamics and has a creepy interaction with a woman who pulls the skin off her forearm to expose a bionic arm. In this moment, the show crosses the line between “crazy but I’ll roll with it” to “utterly ridiculous.” The woman says mysterious things about “the pattern.”

Olivia talks to Broyles, who has decided she is worth something after all. He dangles a series of recent unexplained occurrences in front of her, refers to them as “the pattern,” and offers Olivia a spot on his top-secret team, saying she can “bring anyone she wants.” SD-6, anyone? She refuses. Meanwhile, Walter has figured out a way to save John, who comes out of his coma. Olivia questions Steig, who claims his work on the plane was done for the FBI. She finds an evidence tape Steig has hidden and discovers his FBI contact is none other than John! I’m actually surprised; I was expecting it to be Broyles.

John kills Steig and there is a big chase scene that culminates in his death. All that work saving him from flesh-eating bacteria, for naught. Though I knew John had to die, this is a tad anti-climactic. Before he bites it, he says to Olivia, “Ask yourself why Broyles sent you to the storage facility. Why you?”

In the end, Olivia decides to join Broyles’ team and asks Peter and his dad to stay in Boston – Walter’s experiments with Bell were just the beginning. So, I guess next week Peter will suddenly be a field agent or something. The final scene shows Bionic Arm Woman ordering a Massive Dynamics employee to “question” John’s corpse. Duh duh DUM!


ANTM Cycle 11: Wooo! Edition

Yes, this [unnecessarily] two-hour premiere was chock-full of skinny girls throwing their arms in the air and screaming “Woooo!” Set in Los Angeles this season, the premiere of ANTM had an unsettling “it’s 1950 but we’re pretending it’s 2010” retro-futuristic theme. I hope it does not continue because yikes, was it poorly executed.

Choice quotes of the night included:
“I come from a disadvantaged area but that doesn’t make what you could become”
“I’m Asian but my personality doesn’t match”
“My opinions aren’t close-minded, they’re traditional”

Shauran: can’t name a single fashion designer
Lauren Brie: blonde Barbie who describes herself as “exotic looking”
Analeigh: was a competitive figure skater
Clark: openly admits she will manipulate others to get ahead
Kacey: comes off as racist
Marjorie: French, looks indie, super insecure
Joslyn: has auditioned for ANTM 30 (!!!) times, super squeaky voice
Isis: transgendered beauty who was “born the wrong body”
Sheena: super confident, talks about herself a lot
Lindsey: too big to be a regular model, too small for plus-size
Brittany: is totally nondescript in every way
Hannah: grew up in Alaska with no electricity or running water
Elina: stunning vegan animal liberation activist lesbian
Nikeysha: says “heeey” too much, flashes the judges
McKey: tomboy who helps train her boyfriend, the cage fighter
Susan: Harvard English grad who can’t name a literary heroine
Samantha: California blonde who can’t name a single working model

They do a basic shoot, and Kacey, Lindsey, and Susan are chopped. The girls move into the loft and bombard Isis with questions. She is good-natured about it. Some of them are totally cool; others are completely freaked out. One girl says, “Walk around like that in a small town and you’d get shot.” Another says, ““My opinions aren’t close-minded, they’re traditional.” Sure they are.

The girls go to the Magic Castle and get one-on-one time with each of the judges. I kept hoping Neil Patrick Harris would make a cameo. I grow to like Sheena more than I expected. Isis does fantastically in her meeting with Nigel, though he comments that there is something “strange” about her. Supposedly the other judges don’t know about her situation until the judging room. Sure they don’t.

The theme is “Voting Is Sexy.” Each girl portrays a political issue. The good: Marjorie (immigration), Brittany (military), Elina (foreign policy), and Isis (privacy). Shauran and a couple other bitches are involved in Isis’ shoot and they say nasty things to try to throw her off. She rocks it anyway.

Marjorie, Elina, Samantha, Analeigh, Brittany, Sheena, McKey, and Isis are praised.

The first photo is Marjorie. The bottom two are Shauran and Nikeysha. Shauran is eliminated and she completely loses it, falling to the ground and sobbing her heart out. Good riddance!


90210 S1E1-2: "It's like Pretty Woman, only I'm not a whore."

Boots’ verdict: This is pretty bad huh?
Hans’ verdict: Bad in a really delicious way.

We open with a family in a car. White dad, white mom, white daughter, black son. Bam! Right off the bat – a nod to Steve Sanders, adopted kid. The Wilson family moves from Kansas to Beverly Hills to care for alcoholic, washed-up ex-celebrity Grandma Tabitha (Arrested Development’s Jessica Walther, whose character is basically the same as boozy Lucille Bluth). Dad Harry is going to be the new principal at West Beverly. Mom Celia doesn’t appear to have a job. The Brandon & Brenda of our modern-day reinterpretation are Dixon & Annie.

There are a LOT of secondary characters. They are:

Ethan: golden boy, dating popular rich girl Naomi but cheating on her. On lacrosse team with Dixon. And he surfs. Could be a lot cuter.

Naomi: Rich and spoiled, but has an implied depth. Initially nice to Annie, but then turns on her. Dating Ethan, but hooks up with a lacrosse teammate once she learns that Ethan has cheated on her.

Silver: the “indie chick.” Runs a super catty blog. Used to be BFF with Naomi until Silver’s dad cheated on her mom, she confided in Naomi, and Naomi told everyone. The two now hate one another. After a brief period of friction, Silver befriends new girl Annie. Silver is also Kelly Taylor’s sister. At first I thought her name was an obvious nod to David Silver, but didn’t Kelly’s mom and David’s dad end up together? And if so, wouldn’t this girl’s name be Silver Silver? It boggles the mind.

Navid: reporter for the school newspaper and Dixon’s new BFF. Dad is a famous porn producer.

Adriana: drama-club girl, Naomi’s friend, drug addict. Says she supports her family with money made from bit parts in films.

Ty: extremely wealthy, extraordinarily pretty. Like a cross between Chace Crawford and Tom Welling. Lead in the school musical. Likes Annie, and flies her to San Francisco on his private jet for their first date.

Mr. Matthews (Ryan): Hottie McHotsalot English teacher. Funny, goofball personality. Has a thing for Kelly Taylor.

Kelly Taylor: school guidance counselor. Has a 4-year-old son. We don’t know who the dad is, unless we do from the original 90210 and it’s just me who doesn’t know. Kelly is Silver’s sister.

Also, not pictured on the CW site, we have…

George: in looks, a total Steve Sanders. Curly blonde hair, biceps, polo shirts. However, this guy is a class-A jock asshole and a lacrosse player whom Dixon beats out for a spot on the team.

Tracy: Naomi’s mom and Harry’s ex from high school. Within the first hour she drops the bomb that she got pregnant with Harry’s kid and secretly gave it up for adoption. Thankfully he tells Celia immediately, but the premiere ends without them making a clear decision about what to do.

You know you’re getting old when Rob Estes is the hottest male on a teen show.

The actual plotlines were not very interesting so
I’ll spare you. It is clear that the main thrust of the show (or at least this season) is the “will they-won’t they” relationship between Annie and Ethan. A quick recap: the two met a few years back while she was visiting Grandma, and he kissed her. She is excited to see him again, but almost immediately discovers him getting a BJ from a girl who is not his girlfriend. She is then inadvertently responsible for Naomi finding out. After an attempted reconciliation, Ethan realizes he doesn’t want Naomi anymore, and goes to talk to Annie. She tells him about her date with Ty, he tells her about breaking up with Naomi.

Then, they reminisce about the first time they met, and how they won an octopus in a bottle-tossing game. She asks what happened to it, he says “it probably dissolved or something.” Now, come on. What is this octopus made of, gelatin? At that moment it is clear that Ethan has been cherishing the octopus for the past two years. And sure enough, in the sweetly heartbreaking finale, Ethan comes bouncing up the Wilson’s driveway, octopus in hand, only to find Annie and Ty kissing on the front steps.

An ending sure to win over my grizzled heart? Yes. But overall this premiere didn’t do much for me. Shockingly, I felt that the music was seriously lacking. Perhaps I was spoiled by the OC. Hans, who enjoyed the premiere, called it “a delicious guilty pleasure,” but I’m not sure the pleasure was worth the guilt. What did you guys think?

I am discomfited to see that the incestuous overtones between bro & sis have crossed over – B&B used to have nightly chats in their underwear, A&D do it lying next to each other in bed.

The Peach Pit, still owned by Nat, is now a coffee shop/diner with a clean, elegant new logo. All the high school kids hang out there.

In journalism class, a girl introduces herself as “Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez.” Then there’s a really stupid joke about her looking 30.

Brenda returns to town “for a play.” She and Kelly are delighted to see each other. While catching up, Brenda says that Brandon is “in Belize,” but they don’t mention anyone else.



This summer I have been totally lackadaisical about this blog, and I feel bad about it. Not that bad, but still. However, now that the fall season is starting up, expect to see a lot more going on here at SDYW. Here are the shows on our radar this season:

ANTM Cycle 11
Do Not Disturb
Friday Night Lights
Gossip Girl
How I Met Your Mother
Kath & Kim
Life On Mars
The Ex List
The Office

Since I still have no TiVo, this will be interesting...