Oct 23 2014

Good news via Twitter

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Silicon Valley was my favorite TV show last year and I couldn’t be happier the gang’s back together!

If you’ve never seen it, it’s a half hour comedy, there were only like 8 episodes and it builds in hilarity until you are peeing yourself watching the last show.

If you loved it like I did, all I need to say is Optimal Tip-to-tip Effeciency!

– Jen

 


Mar 26 2014

Thoughts on the “Girls” Season

I wasn’t too thrilled with the finale. Shosh being desperate, Marni being a bizarre-giggling weirdo, and Jessa agreeing to euthanize someone she barely knows all felt disconnected and uninteresting.

I had gotten used to the rhythms of Adam and Hannah as a couple. I really enjoyed Hannah’s birthday party, Hannah’s job at GQ, the trip to pick up Jessa from rehab. In terms of adjacent characters,  Adam’s sister was fascinating every moment she was on screen (the brother/sister therapy session with Hannah as the therapist was a favorite) and anytime Elijah showed up the scene became hilarious and quotable (Hannah encouraging him not to feel bad about misunderstanding the word “inertia” was a perfect moment.)

I think I realized that it’s Adam and Hannah’s interactions with each other and with the world that keep me coming back. I would be perfectly happy to have next season set at the Iowa Writers Workshop with just Hannah and Adam.

Well, as long as Caroline and Councilman Jam (see Parks and Rec) stop in to visit often.

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– Jen

 


Mar 17 2014

Veronica Mars lives!

As a huge fan of the greatest teen detective ever (Harriet and Encyclopedia were a little young to be in this category and there isn’t time to get into Nancy here…) I couldn’t wait for this Kickstarter-funded movie to open.

I rented it on Amazon over the weekend and I loved it.

It felt like a four episode arc of the show…just nine years later.  After leaving her hometown to go to law school and start a new life, Veronica gets pulled back when her high school boyfriend is accused of murder. Of course the whole gang comes together to help her solve the crime. It had all of the action, humor, love, friendship and self-doubt we’ve come to expect from writer/creator Rob Thomas (he also created and wrote my beloved Party Down).

I don’t think it really stands as a movie; I can’t imagine anyone who didn’t watch the show would be that interested. (If you find yourself in that camp, by all means, watch the show. You can get all three seasons online and I guarantee you’ll love it.) But it was exactly what the fans wanted. It didn’t try to be something different. which I really applaud.

I can’t wait to watch it again. (Also, I’m definitely ready for the Buffy/Angel movie…as long as they’re both in it)

– Jen


Mar 6 2014

I like a little Game of Thrones in my Parks and Rec

This deleted scene from last week’s episode (When Leslie got Ben a replica of the Iron Throne for their anniversary) is proof that Adam Scott has figured out how to perfectly capture:

1) how important the Iron Throne is to fanboys/girls

2) how frustrating it is when your partner doesn’t get it

3) how hard it is to sit on the throne (both metaphorically and physically)

Oh, Leslie…starships and the Force? REALLY?

– Jen


Jan 23 2014

Screen Saver of the Week

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Game of Thrones returns April 6th

(To be clear, the King who sits in the Iron Throne of my dreams is Arya Stark, but Tyrion is her Hand)

– Jen

 


Jan 14 2014

Downton Abbey: Not so fun anymore (SPOILERS)

I didn’t find much to like in last night’s episode. And after coming out of the gate last week with so many strong, emotionally affecting scenes, I was surprised to feel so let down.

Downton was hosting a house party, but in the wake of Matthew’s death, it just wasn’t that much fun.

*I hope they’re going somewhere with this Mosley storyline. Because bringing a guy of a certain age low just to make him the joke week after week isn’t entertaining to me.

*The young people in the kitchen seem to serve no purpose but to bother Mrs. Patmore

*Doesn’t it seem like at some point when Lady Edith says for the tenth time, “I can’t believe you’re doing this for me,” Mr. Gregson would clarify that she wants him to? Don’t become a German in order to divorce your wife in order to marry a Lady who might not be that into you. 

*I am really responding to the writing of the grief storyline and the actresses playing Mrs. Crawley and Mary are killing me with how good they are.

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But ultimately, the episode was leading to a new storyline that (for me) may ruin the show. The decision to have one of the women be violently attacked and raped in the kitchen while the entire household listens to opera upstairs, takes the show completely out of the realm of fun, fantasy, and voyeurism. That she clearly feels unprotected and unable to seek justice makes it worse. This show, with its class issues, money troubles, gender inequality and even death has still proved to be a good time. But now it can’t be a good time  because something real and insidious and evil has moved front and center and nothing can (or should) distract me from this crime. Yes, rape plots abound on tv (there’s an entire Law & Order series devoted to it) but it has completely changed the tenor of this show and I’m not sure I can be entertained by it.

– Jen

 


Jan 7 2014

Downton Abbey: The case of the uppity nanny (SPOILERS)

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There was a lot I really liked about the first episode:

Having the kids in the house is pretty delightful.

Mary and Tom working together showcased why their respective dead spouses loved them. Tom is really smart, has conviction and sees more angles than just what’s on the surface. Mary is really smart, really strong and sees herself clearly. I absolutely loved the scene with the lost letter from Matthew. (It actually made me decide to write some letters to be “found” 6 months after my death…what a gift to hear your husband so happy and content at the thought of coming home to have dinner with you.)

That said, I do not want a romance between them.

I also loved all the do-gooding. It’s like the spirit of Matthew lingers and directs people toward their best selves. The Bates’ and the Dowager working to help Mosely paid off huge with the scene downstairs when Mr. Bates “remembered” the debt. And Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Crawley helping Carson’s friend (and Carson himself most importantly) was so moving, I didn’t even groan out loud when Mr. Carson emerged out of the fog at the train station.

HOWEVER:

Thomas pulling the exact same shenanigans as first season? So we’re to believe that all of the kindness and forgiveness shown him over the years (particularly by Anna and Mr. Bates) didn’t change him at all. I’m so glad he wasn’t fired for being gay last season because he needs to be fired for being a dick.

And the Dowager’s butler? Is he taking classes from Thomas? It was far too reminiscent of the first season when Thomas tripped Mr. Bates and then proceeded to set him up as incompetent for the entire season.

And most importantly, Lord Grantham is the Jeff Winger of Downton. Except at least on Community, Jeff learns the lesson at the end of every episode. Yes he has to learn it every time, but there is some fog on the mirror. Grantham NEVER learns, never changes, and as one recent writer put it, everything bad at Downton is HIS FAULT!

Most importantly:

I learned not to say “at my wit’s end”. Apparently, it is vulgar and self-important. Good to know.

Best Dowager line of the night: “there can be too much truth in any relationship”

And Isis continues to be the best dog ever.

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– Jen

 


Sep 24 2013

I will not feel sorry for Walter White (Breaking Bad spoilers)

I don’t know if I was supposed to soften toward Walter, watching him grump around his little cabin in New Hampshire, but all I could think of was how all of this is his fault and it infuriates me that he’s sticking to his narrative in which somehow he’s the hero. When Saul Goodman calls you on your bullshit…

We know he’s going for the ricin, the question is who it’s for. It seems obvious that he would take out Todd and Uncle Jack. But Walter’s ridiculous ego, sense of entitlement/victimhood probably means it’s for his ex-girlfriend at Gray Matter. God I hate this guy.

I want Jesse to be put out of his misery.

I want Skylar to go to jail.

I want Holly to be raised by Marie.

And when it comes to Mr. White? I stand with Walter Jr. “why don’t you just die!”

To end on a better and happier note:

I think this friendship is one of the loveliest things in Hollywood

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And finally, what if Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is a great movie? I wonder if there was a Netflix spike on requesting it? Have to admit that now I’m curious.

– Jen


Aug 14 2013

TV Stuff

These should be separate posts, but “there is too much, let me sum up”

Orange is the New Black

All of you lucky lucky 1%ers who can stream Netflix…STOP BRAGGING. I can’t watch Orange is the New Black because I can’t even stream a Vine video out here in the country, and that’s only 6 seconds. I would have better luck having @Questlove come to my house and re-enact the recent Vine video he posted with the comment “I would pay for this”…I’ve imagined so many things it could have been. But after “loading” for 40 minutes I got a message from my wireless device that I was rapidly using up my data plan and had to abort, so I’ll never know. ANYWAY, I would love to see the latest and greatest from Netflix. But I can’t.

 

Breaking Bad (don’t worry, no spoilers)

After I saw The Help I became obsessively worried that I would have been racist if I’d been born in Mississippi in the 40’s. I finally decided that I probably would have and there’s nothing I can do about the multiverse racist, southern 1950’s Jen except be grateful for the 80’s Seattleite I actually got to be.

But now I’m worried about turning into Walter White. Was he already a sociopath lacking a drug empire or did it happen slowly one crime at a time? And could it happen to me? What makes one start to lose their conscience…I still have a pretty healthy sense of guilt so I’m assuming stealing blue eyeliner from a drugstore on the Bothell Everett Hwy in ’88 isn’t quite enough. But still…I’m comforted that we’d all rather be Jesse, broken and guilt-ridden and in full possession of his heart and soul and conscience.

Project Runway (spoilers)

I am loving this season. I love the “anonymous runway” so the judges don’t know who designed which look until they’ve written their scores. I love that Tim Gunn sits in on the judging and gives insight on what went on in the workroom. And the contestants are really putting on a great show. Do you think Sandro tried to come back? After being called safe and allowed to leave the runway, he demanded to know what the judges thought of his outfit. Zac Posen basically said, “you have a taste problem.” Later backstage, Sandro proceeded to freak out, yell at the fellow designers, leave the building and ultimately broke the camera of the producers following him down the street while he cussed and yelled. I keep wondering if he thought he was just being colorful and creating good TV (which it was.) I’m pretty sure he was shocked to find out he’d been kicked off the show.

One last thing about Breaking Bad…Jimmy Kimmel pointed out that the most shocking thing we learned on Sunday night is that carwashes mark up the pine tree air fresheners 200%! I haven’t actually purchased a car freshener before (I like the smell of old coffee cups, wet dog and banana peels that I am currently rocking) and now I never will.

– Jen

 

 


Aug 2 2013

My favorite show of the summer

Drunk History on Comedy Central is a show I’m actually keeping track of what night it’s on (Tuesdays at 10pm) because I want to watch it immediately.

Basically someone narrates a chapter from history as we watch other actors act it out. The catch? The narrator is drunk and the actors have to use the narrator’s words…exactly.

It might be the most perfect show for my marriage yet. I enjoy the drunken narration (particularly attempts at pronouncing things like “witness protection program”) and Jason feels like he’s getting a history lesson.

Also, the people involved are some of my favorites: Bill Heder, Jason Ritter, Michael Cera, Kristin Wiig, Jenny Slate, Martin Starr, Adam Scott etc.

Sure the narrator can sometimes fall off the couch in the middle of a story about the woman who took on the Puritans, but it all adds up to great Summer TV.

– Jen