Orange is the New Black “You Also Have A Pizza” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: Love Is…

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…

Nein, Motherfucker Nein!

“You Also Have A Pizza” is probably my favorite episode of season two.  It was perfectly put-together, and gave us a good mix of heartbreak, humor, loneliness, and so many other feelings.  The Valentines Day chapter was probably one of my favorite chapters in the book, and while this episode is by no means a direct adaption of it at all, it really captures the feel of it.

It sheds some light on Poussey’s past, and it also furthers the rift between Taystee and Poussey(it’s weird, it took me just now writing their names for probably like the hundredth time to think “Wow, those are some strange names, huh?”).  Samira Wiley is such a spectacular actress, and the flashbacks in this episode felt very real to me, she really made you sort of feel what she was feeling.  The flashbacks don’t exactly top Miss Rosa’s flashbacks(I’m not sure if I’m going to review that episode so I just thought I’d mention how great that episode was, and what an excellent job they did finding an actress to play young Rosa), but they were great.

The whole “Love Is…” commentary offers sometimes humorous sometimes surprisingly heartfelt asides.  Flaca’s explanation was probably my favorite, because…well Flaca is the best character ever(let’s cross our fingers for a spin-off).  There’s also a Piper-Larry reunion in this episode and of course Larry can’t come to visit his fiancée on Valentines Day, who might I add is in prison, to get her to start snooping around the prison for a story potentially getting her in even a more fucked up situation if she get’s caught without being a major asshole.  Thanks Larry, you’re the worst! 

I did love the whole sun-moon parallel, and I do love it when people call Piper out on her shit, even though I do sympathize with her a lot.  Larry then goes and steals a kiss from Polly because he doesn’t want to feed off other people’s light, so he goes and kisses his fiancée’s best friend to show that he’s totally like individual and stuff, yeah that didn’t make much sense.  Then Pete shows up and is awesome and nice for about a minute, can Pete also be in the Flaca spin-off? 

Sister Wife Trailer Trash Non-Reading Nothings!

I’m really loving Pennsatucky’s arc, she’s still ignorant and crazy, but she’s also kind of adorable(and apparently Hillary Clinton)!  That final scene between her and Healy sharing the cookie was so sweet, I’m actually kind of coming around to Healy nowadays.  That’s one of things that’s so impressive about the show, many of these characters have done absolutely horrific things and yet you can still find yourself empathizing with those same characters at certain points.  The show sort of asks you to separate the characters actions and sort of look at the person as a person and not as an individual action they committed. 

Leave room for Jesus!

There are a lot of heartwarming scenes at the end actually from Maritza and Flaca’s kiss, to Lorna and Suzanne just hugging it out(my favorite scene ever!), and the Healy-Pennsatucky scene I mentioned earlier.  To contrast there are also some “awww man!” scenes like that whole Taystee-Poussey scene which was a kick in the feels, and poor Caputo watching Fischer and douche guy together.  The episode ends with Nicky asking Piper what love is, and she responds by saying it’s like coming home after a long trip, a home that Piper may no longer have.  I really love the Piper-Nicky friendship and hope to see more of it next season.

Some other fun moments

  • Sister Ingalls tells Brook Soso to “PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP!”, after Soso tries explaining to Sophia her complex conspiracy theory behind the story of “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off”. 
  • The sex competition between Boo and Nicky is over.
  • Leanne is now leader of Pennsatucky’s old crew.

“You Also Have a Pizza” was excellent, one of the reasons the show feels so real to the audience is because of how effortlessly it mixes comedy with drama and emotion, and this episode is a perfect example of that.  

GRADE: A 96%

 

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Orange is the New Black Season Two Episode Four “A Whole Other Hole” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: Crazy for Loving You

SPOILERS FOLLOW….

You know she’s right Chapman, you really are a terrible person.

I’m currently seven episodes in(going to start eight after this review, I haven’t watched in two days to prolong the experience!), and alongside “You Also Have a Pizza”(which will for sure get reviewed), “A Whole Other Hole” is probably one of my favorite episodes so far.  The episode is focused on Lorna, but really everyone gets their chance to shine from Nicky and Big Boo having a fuck off, some interesting developments with Poussey, and some of my favorite Piper scenes yet.  

PIPER & BROOK:  PRISON PALS

Brook:  You were trying to trade me?  For a blanket?

Taylor fucking Schilling you guys, that is all.  No, but really how amazing has she been this season?  Her storyline with Brook Soso in this episode was just the perfect mesh of hilarious and “God, that’s a fucked up thing to do”.  Brook is such a fun character, she’s like the Britta of Litchfield, she really is the worst(minor spoilers:  when Sister Ingalls tells her to “shut the fuck up” at the Valentines Day party, that scene was amazing).  I’m in love with morally compromised Piper this season, I’ve mentioned it before but I love how there isn’t a single character in the bunch that doesn’t do terrible things from time to time. 

The Nicky VS Big Boo sex-off was really amusing.  Natasha Lyonne has been doing some great comedic work this season, it’s nice to know she’ll still be a part of season three(her NBC pilot didn’t get picked up).  Her and Soso having sex was hilarious, and Big Boo’s face when she sees Nicky and Brook at the movie, jeez this show.

VEE IS THE WORST, END OF STORY

Vee, you horrible monster of a person, how dare you drive a wedge in my OTF(One True Friendship, for those not in the know).  Poussey and Taystee are just hugging and hanging out, when BAM(!) Poussey plants a kiss on Taystee.  Thing is, Taystee isn’t a lesbian, or even “gay for the stay”, which Vee uses to drive a wedge in the girls friendship.  Lorraine Toussaint is great though, and I do really like Vee, even if she is horrible. 

I have to say, I was a bit “No, really?” when P kissed T, I do not like the idea of them being in a romantic relationship at all.  They’re best friends, there has to be some room for friendship in Litchfield too, right?  So while I’m happy Taystee didn’t return the feelings(it also seems maybe a bit unrealistic that every woman who goes into prison comes out having a lesbian relationship), I do think the whole lesbian in love with her best friend storyline is a bit trite at this point(HEY, “Faking It’s” finale is on tonight, if they don’t make Karmy happen, there needs to be a riot!  Watch “Faking It”, it’s actually really good!  #Karmy).  

Oh also, the girls all learn about the magical properties of the vagina thanks to Sophia.  Laverne Cox has been kicking ass this season, she’s been given less to do, but the stuff she has had to do has been fantastic(that scene where she made Red look “fierce” and they both growl into the mirror, oh my god). 

LARRY DOES SOME STUFF

Oh Larry, you horrible boring sweater vest wearing son of a bitch, why must you be so boring this season.  Last year, I was just as conflicted as Piper in whether to root for Larry or Alex in regards to who Piper should end up with(Alex though, I wasn’t that conflicted), but this year…oh Larry(I could really use a “Parks and Rec’s” gif right here).  He’s just….nothing, he’s not interesting, like at all.  I think Jason Biggs is doing a reasonably good job, but why is it that aside from Pornstache(we miss you Stachey, by the way I was watching “Weeds” last night and guess what?  Pablo Schreiber and Michael Harney were both in it, and Nancy just got out of Danbury, which is the prison real Piper went to and where Litchfield is based off of, Season Seven of “Weeds” is definitely one of the weaker seasons, but I think in a weird way parts of it influenced OITNB, so give it a rewatch/watch), all of the male characters are really A) boring B) annoying C) not used enough(Piper’s brother is actually pretty awesome, but he’s barely used) or D) all of the above? 

I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m happy the show is predominantly female, but the male characters could use some work(Caputo is getting there slowly).  Also Polly, you too are worst.

LORNA’S PAST

I really love Yael Stone(if they ever want to introduce Harley Quinn in a “Batman” movie, she better be the one they cast).  We learn that Lorna and Christopher’s love affair really only lasted one coffee date, and that she had actually been stalking him the whole time afterwards.  I really loved this storyline, we saw this character who had as of now just been seen as this silly and overall nice normal girl(who can occasionally say some sort of racist-y things, but you know for the most part she’s good), and took everything we thought we knew about her and threw it out the window.   

Yael Stone killed it, and that scene with her in Christopher’s bathtub with his fiancée’s wedding veil on, chills. 

OVERALL

I loved this episode, it’s one of my favorites so far.  Everyone was really well utilized(well, Larry is…well Larry), it was funny, dark, and just plain awesome.

 

 

 

Orange is the New Black “Thirsty Bird”/”Looks Blue, Tastes Red” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: Here and Back Again

MAJOR SPOILERS….

“Thirsty Bird” and “Looks Blue, Tastes Red” are sort of companion pieces, both giving us a bit more insight into the show’s two female leads and how they came to be(yes, I feel Taystee is kind of our second female lead, even though it is sort of a huge ensemble cast).  “Thirsty Bird” is a bold episode, focusing entirely on Piper(with a bit of the one and only Alex Vause).  On the other hand we have “Looks Blue, Tastes Red”, which while it does an excellent job showcasing the rest of the cast, really answers a lot of questions about the girl we’ve come to know as Taystee. 

Oh, I thought he was a rapist. I’m so relieved

I have some mixed feelings on “Thirsty Bird”, but for the most part I think it was 100% necessary as an episode.  The episode was really brave in that it was sort of a bottle episode, I mean there were a good amount of guest stars(including Lori Petty as Lolly, which was a really standout guest character I wish we could have gotten more of), but outside of Piper and Alex, none of the main cast were there.  Taylor Schilling took the task, and just ran with it, she is really a fantastic actress.  I loved her in Season One, but in Season Two my feelings are even stronger than love, I’m loving bitchy, brave, and broken Piper.  She’s fucking fantastic. 

The directorial skills of Jodie Foster were excellent, the episode had a totally different feel from the show’s usual one which worked really well with the “What the hell is going on?  Where are they taking me?” feel of the episode.  It all felt so real, Piper getting rushed out in the middle of the night, the ride on the bus, the plane ride, it all worked really well.  Even I had no clue, what to make of it, till they got to Chicago and I realized they were adapting the trial from the book(loosely, as in real life it happened at the very end of her stay and was right before she got sent home, but I do enjoy it when they acknowledge the book, even though I very much like the show going in it’s own direction). 

I don’t recall

When Alex showed up, I started screaming.  Laura Prepon isn’t in the episode a whole lot, but just seeing her is sort of a comfort.  I thought Alex’s heel-face-turn was maybe a bit out of nowhere, but I think it perfectly fits with her character.  Same with her deciding to testify against the guy and leaving Piper for the sharks, Piper is admittedly selfish, but so is Alex, she saw a way out and she took it, even if in the long run this probably won’t work out.  I feel like Alex often get’s away with a whole lot, so I was happy to see a reminder that Alex is every bit as selfish as Piper(and as Red says in a later episode “in prison you have to be”).  I was a bit disappointed by the lack of humor in the episode, but it had it’s moments.  The horoscope girl was bit too much though, the cockroach thing was pretty funny and felt very “Weeds”-ish(Like the Dirt Shrew, I also enjoyed that one of the roaches was named Fred Savage). 

 

The comedy that was lacking a bit in “Thirsty Bird”, was all on display in “Looks Blue, Tastes Red”. It also introduces us to Vee, Taystee’s “mother” who is a major character this season. I don’t know about you guys, but I was getting some major “Weeds” flashbacks with the dinner table drug talk with Vee, Taystee, and Taystee’s “brother”, Vee sort of reminds me of an evil Heylia from “Weeds”. Danielle Brooks shines here, she really knows how to break your heart.

The career day fair was hilarious, and I’m really excited that there’s more Black Cindy this year. The whole interview sequence was pure gold. Larry’s back too and hanging with Polly, and god I hope they don’t fuck. I loved the whole “He looks so happy and new” “oh don’t worry, me and [whatever her husband’s name is] will fuck that up too”. The episode ends with Vee arriving in Litchfield, and she’s about to tear shit apart.

Overall, these two episodes were a great way to open up the season. Talking about it now, I think I’m less mixed on “Thirsty Bird” and more positive on it.
GRADE(THIRSTY BIRD): B 86&
GRADE(LOOKS BLUE, TASTES RED): A- 92

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten Issue Three “New Rules Part 3” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: Falling Into Old Habbits

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…

Dawn:  Xander, I love you!

Xander:  No.  You don’t. 

Well that escalated quickly.  Last issue ended with Dawn and Xander seeking the help of the dark vampire prince himself, Lord Dracula!  We’re given more answers about the new rules of magic, we get a nice little Buffy/Willow moment, and all the tension between Dawn and Xander finally culminated in the last few pages, leaving us with one hell of a cliffhanger!  Also, Dracula has Tuesday orgies now. 

 

This issue was a bit light on the quips, and a bit heavier on the plot which was good(there are some good Dracula lines though, we’ll talk about those later).  It was really nice to see things so light and fun and friendship-y between Buffy and Willow, it’s been a long time since we got to see the two so laid back and having fun.  The dialogue is fantastic and so true to the characters, and I hope that those two crazy kids can find love somewhere.  Also Rebekah Isaac’s has Alyson Hannigan’s likeness down great. 

Willow:  That’s what friends are for.  The people who aren’t in your life ’cause they’re related, or got for you.  They just love you.  And for the first time is ages, we’re all together again.

Buffy:  We might actually be okay, huh? Horny and frustrated, but okay.

Dracula is just loads of fun, and his bromance with Xander is great. Christos writes him superbly, and I’m really excited as to where this issue’s ending will lead. On the not so bright side though, Dawn and Xander aren’t doing too great right now. It’s actually very depressing, as someone who wasn’t even that invested in their relationship, you really got to give it to Christos and Rebekah’s incredibly expressive emotions she gives the characters. I loved the little call back(or maybe it wasn’t, and it was just a coincidence) to the finale with Dawn and Xander having a little Buffy-Spike moment at the end of the issue(“I love you”, “No you don’t, but thanks anyways.” line from “Chosen” ruined me, I didn’t even like Spike and Buffy together, but damn that line hit hard in the feels).

Dracula: I am Dracula!
*Lightning strikes*
Dawn: Whoa.
Xander: He doesn’t control the lightning, he just senses it coming. He’s not Thor.
Overall, this issue was great fun. I’m excited to see where the story is going to go next. Also to note is that Nicholas Brendon(AKA the real Xander Harris, from the television show) co-wrote this issue, and it was really good! I always like it when the actual actors write stories for the comics, it’s nice to know they’re still so dedicated to the character. He’ll be writing a lot of issues apparently. I haven’t seen him on anything television wise, I know he’s on that “Criminal Minds” but I don’t really watch that, so it’s cool he’s getting some more work. Also more of Giles playing “Grand Theft Auto” please!
GRADE: A 94%

Mtv’s “Faking It” is Actually Pretty Real and Addictive Review/MAJOR SPOILERS

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…

You’ve got my attention.

When I saw the first few trailers for “Faking It” I thought to myself “God this looks awful, I’ll probably end up watching it.”.  The trailer and the premise that Mtv had released made the show sound like it was going to be very, very stupid.  This was what I expected, but having heard a lot of really good things about it and seeing some funny quotes I decided to give the show a try last night and binge watched it.  Then I found myself at episode six, my mouth agape and as the credits rolled I realized “God this good, I’m addicted!”. 

Now for starters, I wouldn’t go into “Faking It” expecting a laugh riot, it’s a lot like “Freaks and Geeks” in that aspect, there are plenty of funny parts but a lot of the addictiveness comes from the show’s storylines.  A lot of the funniest parts come from the many awkward situations the characters find themselves in, and the numerous exaggerated escapades of the student body of Hester High.  The show has a lot of exaggeration with certain things like hippie parents, or super cool super liberal high school students always trying to fight the man and embrace the different, but the amazing thing about the show is that it doesn’t really do stereotypes.

The characters are actually very fleshed out and realistic, and they’re not always in the right(actually about 80% of the time, they’re very, very wrong).  This show is like the anti-“Glee”, shit at Hester High is very fucking complicated.  Karma’s got her heart in the right place but she’s incredibly self-involved,  Amy is mostly very sweet and sensitive but the show hasn’t been afraid to show her doing some questionable things, Liam’s a cool dude but he’s also a bit of an asshole, Lauren is the show’s alpha-bitch but she’s much more complicated than that, and while Shane is funny and awesome he also “outed” Karma and Amy without any proof and as the last episode pointed out is much more like Lauren than either would like to admit.  These are teenagers, they’re not all fluffy adorable love struck puppy dogs who always make the right choice at the end of the day, teenagers, even the super cool liberal kind at a very open minded school, can do some fucked up shit to each other and the show isn’t afraid to show it. 

The real heart of the show is of course, Karmy(Karma/Amy, duh!), Rita Volk and Katie Stevens have excellent chemistry.  The Karma-Amy friendship/will-they-won’t-they dynamic is like watching a really sweet adorable car-crash about to happen.  Karma is incredibly destructive, but Amy is too smitten and loyal that she can’t help but keep the ruse up, even if it isn’t really so much a ruse for Amy.  One of the moments I really liked was when Amy finally confides in Shane about what’s been going on, she very quickly jumps to the conclusion that she has to be a lesbian because of her feelings for Amy, but Shane is rather hesitant to just throw a label on Amy’s feelings right away.  Had this been written by Ryan Murphy, Shane would have just told her she’s a lesbian and called it a day, but the show recognizes that sometimes things are more complicated than that, and even though if I had to bet Amy is probably a lesbian, I really enjoyed that the show recognizes that sometimes things aren’t so black and white(also props about the whole Pablo storyline in the last episode, with him being a very gay Christian and calling Shane out a bit on making assumptions.  Also that Goop reference killed me). 

I’ve read a lot of complaints about Liam’s character, and trust me I felt full on rage when he interrupted Karmy’s make-out session during the threesome(Liam McCockBlock Booker you son of a bitch!).  However I can’t really bring myself to hate Liam, mostly because I can identify with his character a bit.  He is very self involved, and I feel like he’s very self-congratulating about how open minded he is, and his desire to turn a “lesbian” is aggravating, however he’s also very relatable in ways.  I can totally relate to his overwhelming desire to make clear how liberal and open minded he is as sometimes I find myself doing the same(Liz Lemon style), and also who wouldn’t fall for Karma?  Also I found it quite fascinating how worried he ended up being during the three-way, I feel like he’s much more complex than anyone really gives him credit for. 

The acting is great, you really feel for Rita Volk, and Katie Stevens has very expressive facial emotions.  Having previously seen Michael Willett before on “United States of Tara” playing a very over the top stereotypical love interest of Marshall, Lionel, I’ve been very impressed with how great he’s been here(not that he was bad on “USoT”, but Lionel wasn’t exactly my favorite character, then again I kind of stopped enjoying “United States of Tara” after the first season, when the show just became a lot of screaming, crying, and yelling at Toni Collete for no reason).  Gregg Sulkin does a good job, though his ambiguous accent(British in real life) can be a bit grating and one has to wonder why they didn’t just tell him to go full on British.  Bailey Buntain has done a great job of making Lauren the show’s lovable alpha-bitch, love to hate character. 

As to whether or not Karmy will go anywhere, I don’t know exactly but I sure do hope so, I wasn’t really invested in it till I got to that final scene of “Three to Tango” when Karma ran out of the room, before they could start their threesome, that look on her face when Amy kissed her with all of that passion, I’m an addict.  KARMY, KARMY, KARMY, KARMY FOR THE WIN MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!  I mean when Rita Volk pulled off the trench coat, revealing that very super sexy lingerie, well god damn Karma never had a chance did she?  How could anyone not be in love with Amy(poor Oliver, any chance he could recur in season two as Amy’s friend or something)? 

Overall, give “Faking It” a chance.  I did and now I’m hooked, the show is filled with some funny pop culture references, a super compelling storylines, and an excellent cast.

GRADE:  A 94%