Tag Archives: Review

American Horror Story: Hotel “Checking In” REVIEW/MAJOR SPOILERS: Hotel California

MAJOR SPOILERS

It’s been a while, but I’m back and planning to actually be more consistent with my posts and fix up the blog(when I first made this blog I had just started high school, so a lot of my early posts kind of sucked which is why I have privated so many posts).    Anyways, I was actually really pleased with this episode.  I wasn’t a huge fan of “Freak Show”, and “Coven” really fizzled out by the end, so I’ve kind of learned to lower my expectations for this show.   However I think there’s actually a good chance this season might be on the same level as “Murder House” and “Asylum”.

The intro with the hot Swedish girls was a little weird, and kind of lasted a bit longer than necessary but it serves as a pretty good introduction to the kind of things we can expect from this season.  Elizabeth’s “children” remind me a lot of the creepy ginger kids from season one, and the maid was Pepper’s sister and Kyle’s mother in “Freak Show”/”Coven”(Spoilers I guess, I’m pretty sure she’s a ghost and her character is going to be in the flashbacks with Evan Peter’s character this year).  I was a little surprised at how depraved Kathy Bates character ending up being after having playing the moral center of last season(the way she had the girls locked up seemed to be a callback to Delphine’s torture methods in season three methinks).   I’m also really digging Sarah Paulson’s character this year, and I’m happy I don’t have to worry about her dying seeing as she’s already a ghost(Ryan kept good on his promise of finally killing off her character, I was actually pretty surprised when it turned out she was a ghost but it definitely makes sense given her 90’s style clothing and continued residence at the hotel).    She hasn’t really had that many scenes with Kathy Bates before so it’ll be interesting to see how they play off each other as the season goes on.

Now to address the elephant in the room, which is Lady Gaga taking over in the wake of Jessica Lange’s departure.    I’ve been a little skeptical about her casting, she’s so big and so well known it’s kind of hard to look at her and not think LADY GAGA and not Countess Elizabeth, but I was pleasantly surprised by her in this episode.   I can’t say I’m a huge fan(she’s obviously a talented artist, I’ve just never really listened to much of her music, nothing against her), but I thought this role seemed made for her(probably because it was).   Her and Matt Bomer’s first scene is a very memorable, very rock and roll scene in which the two get hopped up on cocaine and head to a outdoor LA screening of Nosforatu(Spongebob Flashbacks) where they seduce another young couple into a foursome before slashing their throats and drinking their blood(Can you say goals, lmao).    They have really good chemistry, and Lady Gaga looks incredibly sexy, even when she’s covered in blood.

We also get introduced to Wes Bentley and Chloe Sevigney’s characters.   John Lowe seems kind of like a boring Will Graham(aye, if I don’t get to doing a Hannibal write up let it be known I loved season three), and I hope there’s more to Chloe Sevigney’s character(hopefully she gets some sexy scenes too!).   I have to say what with the creepy Addiction Demon rape scene with Max Greenfield, the dead body in the mattress, and the Commandment Killer’s first tableau this episode was a lot more shocking and scary than anything in the last two seasons.  We also meet Will Drake, his son and the return of Marcy the relator from season one(she also reveals the Harmon’s dog, Hallie got put down, though she refers to the dog as he so maybe she’s talking about a different dog or Ryan Murphy just has a hard time keeping track of continuity.   Probably the latter, but I’ll hold out hope that Hallie lives on).  I have a feeling the son is going to be very annoying as is the case with most kids in horror movies but who knows.

The trailer showing what’s coming up was pretty brief but it looks like we get to see a really fun, crazy Sarah Palson this season which I’m psyched about.    Finn Whittorock is also going to be back, and unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of Angela Basset in the trailer(she’s my favorite on this show tbh, her character this season looks epic, I’ve heard she first shows up in episode three).  I’m pretty optimistic about this season, it’s got the theme and visual style of season one, the scares of season two, and the glamour of season three.    Let’s hope they don’t fuck this up!   Lily Rabe in a few weeks, also shoutout to Denis O’Hare who I didn’t really mention but gave a really good performance in this episode!  I’m feeling like I’ll review this whole season, I know I mentioned last time I posted here I was really depressed but I’m feeling a little bit better and more motivated now, so yay!  Also planning on writing about “Scream Queens” soon!

GRADE: A

American Horror Story: Freak Show “Pink Cupcakes” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: Dreamers

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW

“Freak Show’s” really sped up these last two episodes.   We finally got to see Douche Clown in all his killing glory, we learned Dell’s secret(which wasn’t that big of secret if you read these reviews, cuz I called that shit last week), we find out that Desiree is just like all the other girls except for you know the boob thing, also Gabourey Sidibe shows up as the daughter of sassy maid and it’s awesome.   Also Matt Bomer showed up, and apparently this is a big deal, but I’ve somehow neglected to see “Magic Mike”, and “Glee”(save for a few of the Brittana episodes in Season Two), and “White Collar” so I didn’t really get it.

It was nice that the show kind of saved itself from some unfortunate implications by revealing that Desiree doesn’t have a penis.  I mean the implications are still unfortunate but less so.  I loved how she’s just like “yeah I was about to fuck your son/my stepson then my vag started bleeding.  Eh”, she’s definitely one  my favorite characters this season and it’s nice to see that people might be getting more informed about intersex people with this and “Faking It”.  Ethel is a real trooper too, Kathy Bates has kind of been killing it this season.

I’m still pretty underwhelmed with Elsa, the character just seems so familiar if you’ve seen the show before.  It’s every character Jessica Lange has played since Season One rolled up into German David Bowie singing fem dom freak show owning package.  It’s the same fame hungry, controlling, and conniving super bitch that Lange has played since “Murder House”.  Not to say that she doesn’t do it well, but it would be nice to see Jessica Lange get to flex her skills.

Douche Clown is still a clown, still a douche, and still not the best actor but his story has become more tolerable since he became more involved with the overall storyline.   I have a feeling that Matt Bomer’s character is still alive and has some freak powers, god how funny/horrible would it be if he just became a talking head like Delphine last season.   Oh my god, let’s not give the writers any ideas.  Dell’s going to have to have one fucked up backstory if the writers think anyone is going to like him, I mean how big of a cunt is he?   Like even with his boyfriend who he’s supposed to love he acts like a cunt, and that last scene with Doctor Spaceman (idk what his real name is so lets just call him Doctor Spaceman after “30 Rock”).

I’m not particularly invested in Evan Peter’s and Emma Robert’s characters or their romance this year, though if it means we get an Emma Robert’s sex scene then sure, let’s go there.  I think I’m one of the few people who really loved the fakeout kill of the twins, like how fuck up was that?   I felt like I was watching Lana getting kidnapped again, and the image of the rotting dead head of Dot was the scariest thing this season hands down.   I even jumped a little.    Plus there’s no way I’d have wanted them to kill of Bette and Dot this early, I love Sarah Paulson too much.

Overall, this episode was really good.   Somehow in spite of my general hatred of most of the characters, I’m really starting to dig this season.   Definitely needs more Pepper and Gabourey Sidibe.

GRADE:  A- 90%

American Horror Story: Freak Show 4×01-4×02 “Monsters Among Us”/”Massacres and Matinees” Review(Major Spoilers)

Don’t call us freaks!

“American Horror Story” is back!   I’ve remained cautiously optimistic for “Freak Show” in spite of the horrific final episodes of “Coven”(I was actually digging Coven for a while, but alas it’s final five episodes were a hot mess).   The new season is filled with a blend of new and old blood(including the show’s first returning character Pepper from “Asylum”, played by Naomi Grossman), and while still shot in New Orleans, the setting is more rural this time around.  Ryan Murphy and the cast weren’t lying when they said Season Four would be a spiritual successor to Season Two, the tone of it’s very reminiscent of Season Two.   But is it good?

I think it’s a little early to say that, and be 100% sure.   The first few episodes of “Coven” were fucking fantastic, and that slowly digressed into a steaming pile of shit by the finale(aka the worst hour of television I have ever viewed).  The first two episodes are very basic introductory episodes, and it seems this season is going to be going at a much slower pace.   I think this season has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see where this is going.

“Monsters Among Us” was a very strong opener.  Obviously there was a lot of buzz about that “Life on Mars” cover, and I think it deserves it all, Lange killed it(Bowie’s still better though).  I found the opening scene with the mailman entering Bette and Dot’s house to be fantastic.

The biggest problem I have with this season so far is Dandy aka Douche Clown Jr.   Much like the other characters to receive the title of douche here on this blog(Zach from “Dexter”, and the twins from “The Following”) he is a budding young sociopath and certified douche bag in 49 states including Alaska.   I truly can’t put into words how sick I am of the budding young sociopath douchebag that has slowly been making it’s way into every show.   He is the worst(but omg, Frances Conroy is adorbs as always!).

While I can’t say I’m personally scared by Twisty, I can say the visual design is fantastic and I can totally see why people are so freaked out by him(his mouth, tho’).  Having said that his story feels very disconnected from the freaks,  and kind of a random add on which I guess is sort of a classic “AHS” feature.

The second episode was surprisingly boring for an episode of “American Horror Story”.   Though the introduction of Desiree and the strong man looks to be a very interesting storyline.   Also the Sarah Paulson “Criminal” cover was fantastic, I have a feeling the music is going to be a lot of historically inaccurate fun.  I’m really digging Kathy Bates character this season.

The whole Elsa wants the twins dead twist was a bit too “Coven” for my tastes.   It’d be nice to see a Jessica Lange character that wasn’t selfish and out to get everybody.  So far we’ve had one great episode of “Freak Show” and one meh one.  I have a feeling that now all the characters are introduced the pace should speed up.  Also tonight’s episode introduces Emma Robert’s character and we all know how much I love me some Emma Roberts(any chance Ryan can throw us a bone and  throw in a little woman ass this season?).

GRADE:  A-(“MoA”/B-(“MaM”)

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

The Mindy Project Season Two Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: ” 30 Rock” Meets “The Office”

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…

Well, tis time for our favorite Indian BBW with an ass that just won’t quit, to take a three month vacation with her new/old lover Danny C, OBGYN and occasional personal trainer.  Season Two wasn’t perfect I’ll admit, there were a few trips along the way, but Season Two was incredibly satisfying, funny, and all around just a good time.  Let’s get into what the sophomore season of “TMP” got right, and what it got wrong?  

The Good

  • ADAM PALLY AND PETER/MINDY

Adam Pally’s character, Peter, was a welcome addition to the cast.  He’s sort of like a more fleshed out version of Jeremy, it took the writers a little time to figure out exactly what they wanted to do with Peter, but once they did he’s been a great source of comedy.  The Mindy/Peter dynamic is in many ways comparable to the relationship between Liz Lemon and Jack in “30 Rock”.  It’s this purely platonic relationship between these two morally questionable co-workers, with one of them being a bit more blind to their own faults, and the two’s moments of confiding with each other have really been the heart of the show these last few episodes.  While the shipper in me wants to see the two get together, the realist in me knows that maybe it’s better this way. 

  • DANNY IS ACTUALLY KIND OF A JERK

Let’s be real, Danny’s always kind of been a jerk, I mean most of the characters on the show are actually sort of terrible people(Mindy made a girl cry because she asked her if she plans to vote), but I have to say I loved the way the writers full on embraced moral ambiguity when it came to Danny and his motivations in these last few episodes.  While Danny and Mindy ultimately ended up back in each other’s arms by the seasons end, I liked how the show quite frequently tackled the fact that, yeah, Danny is a selfish prick.  That doesn’t make Danny any less lovable, but it’s nice to see the fact that he’s kind of horrible be addressed as much as it has.

  • JOKE A MINUTE

A lot like “30 Rock”, “The Mindy Project” just keeps throwing jokes at you and never really stops, and again like “30 Rock” it nails them all.  Even the finale which dealt mostly with the dramatic elements of the season with the Mindy/Danny relationship, still managed to get in some super fun quips such as Mindy’s e-mail(mindyssecondaccount@gmail.com) and these other gems…

“If you’re a serial killer, then I’m not interested, if you’re a serial killer who kills other serial killers, then I’m very interested”

“No, do not come up!  I’m pleasuring myself to Julianna Margulies!  “The Good Wife” is on!”

  • THE GUEST STARS

The show just kept one upping itself with the amount of guest stars the show landed, from Timothy Olyphant to Tim Daly with Max Greenfield, Anna Gunn, and Vanessa Bayer thrown in for good measure.  One memorable guest actor who I wish we could have seen more of aside from his two episode guest stint was Ben Feldman, who was excellent in the role of Mindy’s polar opposite hipster boyfriend.  Also James Franco guest starred for two episodes, so uh…yeah.  

  • DANNY/MINDY

The Danny and Mindy relationship was beautifully done.  I wasn’t exactly begging for the two to get together, but once they did I was as giddy as a school girl.  Then they broke up, and the feels really hit me, and then I was super pissed as Danny, and then they got back together and decided to have nine daughters together and I couldn’t help but smile.  Also kudos to Mindy Kaling who has done a kick ass job with the emotional stuff this season. 

  • TAMRA

Just a quick shout out to Tamra, who even with the limited amount of screen time she gets, has been a consistently excellent source of comedy. 

CONS

  • SUPPORTING CAST

The supporting cast with the exception of Tamra, Morgan, and Peter don’t really get a whole lot to do.  Even Jeremy has kind of been reduced to a fifth wheel, occasionally tacked on to share a story with Peter.  Beverly occasionally gets a funny line, and Betsy is lucky if she get’s a line at all.  I hope to see the supporting cast get expanded upon next season.

  •  A FEW WEAK EPISODES

With twenty two episodes, they can’t all be winners, and while I can’t really say there were any bad episodes, there were a few that were just kind of “eh okay”, especially in the second half of the season.  From what I’ve heard Season Three will be fifteen episodes, so with the reduced episode count I expect next year there’ll be maybe a bit more consistency.  Still that said there were like eighteen great episodes and like five okay ones, so I feel like it all sort of evens out. 

OVERALL

“The Mindy Project” wrapped up the season perfectly despite a few bumps in the road in the second half of the season, the finale “Danny and Mindy” brought the house down.  The second season expanded upon the first season and outdid it in almost every way(even though I did really like the first season as well).  “The Mindy Project’s” quirky cast and joke a minute style with some romance and drama thrown in make it a great way to spend half an hour. 

GRADE:  92% A-

Veronica Mars Movie Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: A Long Time Ago….

MAJOR SPOILERS…

Everybody’s favorite marshmallow is back.  Seven years since the cult CW series was abruptly cancelled, Veronica Mars has made her return now on the silver screen.  The movie is a real love letter to the fans, Thomas was really devoted to giving fans the movie they wanted.  Hiding Easter Eggs all over the place, reuniting lost LoVe-rs, and bringing back many of the shows minor characters(Susan Knight, Carrie Bishop, and Luke appeared in one and two episodes respectively).  That all sounds great, but often things like these get too mushy and the nostalgia is the only real draw to the story(*ahem* “Arrested Development”), so while I was definitely exited and optimistic for the film, there was a bit of caution going into it.  However by the time the credits rolled and the Dandy Warhols started playing, I realized that the caution was for nothing, the movie was excellent, excellent for the fans, and excellent for the non-fans. 

The movie had a huge cast, but they really utilized them well.  Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring both do a really good job getting right back in the swing of things. Enrico Colantoni continued to be a badass, and Chris Lowell(WATCH “ENLISTED”!) made it really hurt to see Veronica treat him the way she did(Team Piz? I don’t know, maybe).  Two of the real unspoken heroes of the movie are Krysten Ritter and Gabby Hoffman.  Krysten Ritter specifically did a excellent job, I may be a bit biased because I absolutely love her, but Ritter’s performance is great.  She’s really a versatile actress, Hoffman’s role is a small one but she sells it well. 

The movie’s central premise dealing with the murder of Carrie Bishop was great. It was a nice way to parallel the first season’s mystery of who killed Lilly Kane, if I had one problem with it, it was that the mystery wasn’t terribly mysterious due there really only being three suspects(Ruby’s crossed off pretty early on, and as if there was any way Dick was going to end up being the killer). I’ve heard some people criticize the final showdown between Cobb and Veronica, but I thought it was really well done.

One of the parts of the movie I really enjoyed was the lack of focus on the love triangle. It’s certainly part of the story, but it’s not overplayed at all. I also felt some indifference between who she’d end up with, I can’t say I was a huge fan of the LoVe ship in the original series, but to see Logan so matured here made it much easier to accept the ship here. The addiction parallel was also an interesting way to approach Veronica’s relationship with Neptune.

Much like the television series the movie’s soundtrack is great. One of the first things I did after seeing the movie was look up to see what songs were in it. “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” playing during the final confrontation between Veronica and Cobb really stood out, as did “Go Captain and Pinlighter” during the Veronica/Piz breakup scene.

Overall, I absolutely loved the movie. The movie exceeded my expectations, and the cast did an excellent job. The movie definitely leaves it open for there to be a sequel. The cast gave it their all, and so did Rob Thomas. This movie was an absolute delight.
GRADE: A+ 97%

The Following “Unmasked” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: All the Bloody Misogyny, Stupidity, and Aggravation You Could Want

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…

I don’t know if it’s the “Following” that’s changed, or if it’s me.  This season may be fundamentally the same but I just don’t think I can stomach the show for much longer.  I mean this episode was slightly more entertaining than some of the season’s other episodes I’ve seen in terms of hate watching credibility, but I think the effect the show’s stupidity once had on me is fading, and now it’s just pure eye rolling insanity.  Let’s break this shit down quick, before I pull a Poe and drift into insanity. 

So I’ve missed some episodes but Joe, Emma, and some other dude(did Mandy die?  Who else will explain basic plot points to us now?) have sought the help of some cult leader guy.  No offense to the actor himself, because god knows he may very well be a talented actor if in another show, but his acting absolutely horrific(he’s the cult leader guy that looks like Rhys Ifans).  It was terrible.  It did however lead to one of my favorite scene of the episode when Joe diagnoses him as having a group of psychological issues that at no point in the episode he actually exhibits habits of(DID among other things).  It just felt like the writers heard someone listing off psychological illnesses and were like “let’s put that into the script, it’ll make us sound smarter!”, kind of like when as a kid you would learn a new word and would just throw it out there all the time just to impress people(as you incorrectly pronounced it, and used it cases where it wasn’t necessary).  So yeah I thought that bit of dialogue was cute. Classic Poe. 

The writers are definitely building up a ‘ship between Max and Mike.  She walks in on him, post shower, and it’s really awkwardly written.  I really like Max though, she’s probably the only character on this show I actually genuinely like(meaning she’ll be dead by the end of the season am I right?). So Ryan, Mike, and Max think that Mendez(or whatever) is the traitor and decide to follow her, Mike also learns she’s a lesbian which is far more important(“Oh really?”). Oh “Following” writers you silly gooses.

For those of you who love seeing women get their throats slashed open, and get the shit torn out of them this is the episode for you. So much brutal misogyny is on display here, I wonder if in the writer’s room they have a contest to see who can gut the most women(on screen of course) throughout the season(Congrats you win the “Cheesecake Factory” gift card for most mutilated women in one episode!). Because really I see no other excuse for the violence against women(specifically) in this show.

Leslie Bibb, the psycho lesbian wife of Mendez(“The Following’s” TV Tropes page has to be the longest one in the history of television), dies this weeks by blowing her brains out and also slashes Mendez’s stomach and leaves her to bleed out. I really like Leslie Bibb so it’s a relief that she can now go onto the place people go after “The Following”. I’m really surprised Valerie Cruz isn’t a regular on this show given her character’s been in most of the episodes so far and still hasn’t died.

Ryan’s dating the girl who wrote the “Havenport Tragedy”(sort of), then BAM Claire is alive(just when Natalie Zea thought she got out). I’ll admit I liked the Claire reveal, I like that they waited a bit down the rode to reveal it as well(often shows will reveal this sort of thing in the same episode and all consequence feels lost). So how long till Claire and Ryan reunite and Ryan gives Mike a stern talking to about lying to him? Most likely, next episode.

Overall, there was some good(Claire reveal, Max, and….?) which is more than most “Following” episodes can say, but the gratuitous violence is really getting to me. I’m not sure I’ll watch the third season. Since this is the “Following” I’ll grade it on my hate-watch curve.
GRADE: B- 80%
+ Claire reveal while not shocking was well done
+ Max
+ Joe’s psychological evaluations
+ General silliness
—————————-
– Poor Natalie Zea
– Misogyny
– Dead Fake Rhys Ifans Clone’s acting
– General “Following” stupidity

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