Tag Archives: Television Review

American Horror Story: Freak Show “Edward Mordrake”(Parts One and Two) Review/Major Spoilers: Douche Clown Rises

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW, Duh

Another year, another “American Horror Story” Halloween special. I have to say that each year these episodes deviate more and more from the Halloween theme, but “Edward Mordrake” two-parter really got me interested/a little worried in seeing where this season is going. Last night’s episode was much more fun and faster paced than the others before it, but I do have some minor fears about this season.

So the biggest twist of last night’s episode had to be Twisty’s death, which I admit was sort of inevitable because keeping him and those kids in the bus around longer might have pushed the boundaries of disbelief(then again, this is “American Horror Story”, so….), but it was still a shock to me. John Carrol Lynch really killed it this week, and I did sort of find myself feeling for Twisty a bit(though it’s a little crazy to think the sweet clown in the flashbacks just needs someone to reject his toys for him to go on a killing spree, but hey…”American Horror Story”). Also place another bingo chip on the severe mommy issues free space on your “American Horror Story” bingo card(Twisty just wanted to make momma happy, you guys. Jeez, I’d really like to meet Ryan Murphy’s mom).

Then the other twist is Dandy a.k.a Douche Clown is now the new Twisty, ew. He also killed Dora, aka god. Like fuck you Dandy, Ryan Murphy better bring back Dora or I’m done with this show. Luckily she gave birth to Gabourey Sidibe who will be back in a few episodes, hopefully to slap the shit out of Dandy and call Maggie a bitch. Honestly the Dandy twist has me worried, because he’s the worst, and I’m so sick of these douchey serial killer boys on my television. Someone just needs slap that little shit in the head(I think I just got possessed by the ghost of Dora)

Elsa lost her legs when she got raped by “watchers” in a dirty German snuff film(because, of course she did). There’s also fem-dom dog play, BDSM, and all sorts of other sex acts torn out of the kinkiest editions of “Savage Love” column. Also how hot did Jessica Lange look in that leather Elvira, vampire mistress of the night, outfit? I’d be her dog any day…did I just type that for the whole internet to see?

Also Maggie and Jimmy are going to fuck soon, I can feel it. I’m kind of bored by Emma Robert’s character this year, I just want her to smoke cigs, and call people bitches again like last year(her best line so far is “I’ve got to go pee”, forealz). Still the physical presence of Emma Roberts is still enough to keep me watching. Also Evan Peter’s character is good again, and we must forget that he killed an officer for doing his job because duh, the freaks are the good ones, it’s the real world that’s bad.

Del and Desiree are going through a sexual rough patch, in what might be the most unsubtle bit of foreshadowing this show has ever done(Spoilers you guys: Del is gay!). Which is you know a bit problematic because it implies that the only people that could love or have sex with a woman with a penis are closeted gay men(btdubs: I know real intersex people do not have penises, but the show seems to be telling us that Desiree does, so therein lies the problem). However this is a Ryan Murphy show, therefore any expectations of the show delving into the nuances of human sexuality in a more complex way beyond straight=vagina lover and gay=dick lover, with a catty reference to bisexuals being confused, should be left at the door.

I’m really digging Kathy Bates character this year, and her scene with the doctor was fantastic. She’s definitely got a much meatier role than sassy racist serial killer head from last season(omg, when she was just a talking racist head, oh god, “American Horror Story” I love you so much). Also Jessica Lange covered Lana Del Rey, it was historically inaccurate but also amazing. Got to admit I’m digging these musical numbers more than I thought I would be. Denis O’Hare’s character has a lot more flare this year than in the other seasons. Very Russel-ish, he’s a much engaging foe than Spalding or Larry. Anyways “Edward Mordrake” started a bit slow, but by the second hour it seemed the show was finally ready to show us the good stuff.

Other Things

+  We’ll always remember that time Dora dressed up like Woody the Woodpecker, and didn’t give a fuck what anybody thought about it.   We’ll miss you Dora:(

+Pepper is still awesome/underutilized.

+ Lilly Rabe will be back in episode ten reprising her role as Sister Mary Eunice from season two. I would show concern because it’s GOING AGAINST THE RULES OF THE SHOW, but who the fuck cares? It’s Lilly fucking Rabe, who the fuck are you?!?

+Edward Mordrake kind of sucked.

+ Happy early Halloween!

GRADE: B(Part One)/A-(Part Two)

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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-

The Mindy Project “Be Cool”/”Girl Crush” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: How Do I Know I Don’t Wanna Be Jewish?

I usually watch “The Mindy Project” via On Demand because “Supernatural” is on at the same time, however thanks to the f*cktards at the CW and their horrific scheduling(not just that but my CW station has had “Supernatural” be interrupted by sports literally like every other episode), I’ve been able to watch “The Mindy Project” live two weeks in a row.  I was pleasantly surprised that we got two episodes this week, as well as a fun little guest appearance by “Breaking Bad” alumna Anna Gunn. 

BE COOL

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how great Adam Pally’s been these last two weeks.  When his character Peter was introduced I was really excited, but that excitement had started to go downhill as his character became more serious and less frat-y.  However I’ve really enjoyed how they’ve used his character in these last two episodes.  I really love his friendship with Mindy, any other Pindy shippers out there? 

This episode was a bit light on laughs, it mostly was used to add some tension to the Mindy/Danny relationship. One funny moment was when Betsy just comes out of nowhere(having been absent for almost the whole entire season) and admits her love for Danny, and no one cares. Other than that there weren’t a lot of laugh out loud moments in this episode. But God damn was that last scene just the most heartbreaking scene ever? Mindy Kaling absolutely killed it, I was like why does this show have to go punch me in the feels? Just wow, she dominated in this episode. You Danny Castellano are jerk.
B-
+That Final Scene
+Betsy still exists
+Adam Pally
+Mindy Kaling
-Not that funny really
-Kind of annoyed at the way they f*cked with the audience on the Manny breakup.
GIRL CRUSH
Skylar White lives! This episode was actually shot a long time ago, and they had to throw some bonus scenes to have it fit better with the story at hand. I have to say I was surprised with how well it fit, I’d say it actually works better for it, because without the whole Mindy/Danny tension this episode really wouldn’t have made much sense.

Anna Gunn’s guest spot was a lot of fun, it’s crazy how many great guest stars this show gets. She plays an OBGYN, and Mindy’s girl crush who works with the stars. This episode has a lot more laughs than the previous episode, one scene with Tamra in particular was great.
TAMRA: You don’t even let us take off for Hanukkah.
JEREMY: You aren’t even Jewish!
TAMRA: So, how do I know I don’t want to be if I don’t try it out.
I loved the gag about getting your cycles matched with your favorite celebrities. There were a lot of funny moments in this episode. One minor flaw is it felt like it ended a bit abruptly and there should have been a scene where Mindy and Danny address the breakup. Overall though, this was a solid episode, it wasn’t the best but it was fun.
GRADE: B+
+TAMRA, QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE
+ANNA GUNN
+CELEBRITY CYCLE SISTERS

OVERALL: B

Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” Revisited: Why I Love It, and Why You Should Too

MAJOR SPOILERS

I love “Dollhouse”.  To be completely honest with you it’s right up there with “Buffy” for me, and “Buffy” is my favorite Joss Whedon show.  “Angel” was excellent at times but it was a bit inconsistent, “Firefly” while good took some time get to the point where I really enjoyed it and when it did it was almost over, and well it’s really too soon to tell with “Agents of Shield” how that’ll turn out(having recently watched the first season of “Angel” it wasn’t really all that either, there were some brilliant episodes like the one where Doyle died and the season’s end, but there were far too many MOTW episodes).  I discovered “Dollhouse” over the summer through Netflix, and I was instantly sucked in by the show. 

I’m not totally sure what it was about the show that really drew me in, maybe it was the beautiful set(I can’t fully explain in words how much I loved the set for the “Dollhouse”, I can’t be the only one right?), the pretty people(Eliza Dushku, oh how I yearn for you to return to television, also I’m totally going to watch “The 100” if only to see Dichen Lachmen’s guest appearance), the superb acting, or the underlying sense of mystery the show had.  Something did though, and I’m happy it did because I quickly fell in love with the show.  Now to further elaborate, read below…

  • ENVER GJOKAJ

The fact he hasn’t found a regular television gig is god damn travesty.  While I loved all of the cast, Enver f*cking owned the show, seriously how is he not on a new show?  He gave his all in every episode, he really committed to each and every part he played.  From playing a super creepy serial killer and then playing college party girl(oh my god that was hilarious) all in the same episode, he took the concept and ran with it.  However the one part that really stood out was when he played Topher, besides it being hilarious it was scary how much he sounded like Fran Kranz.  Seriously someone get this guy a new show!

  • “WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW” A.K.A THE BEST THEME SONG EVER

“What You Don’t Know” is my favorite theme song ever.  So eerie but strangely sexy, the show’s intro was good although maybe a bit too fan service-y(of course they show Eliza Dushku in the dominatrix suit).

  • EPITAPH ONE”

“Epitaph One” really could almost standalone by itself, the episode is incredible.  Probably one of my favorite episodes of the show, the episode was horrifying.  I never though that anyone can make Amy Acker creepy, this episode proved me wrong.  The episode reminds me of “Restless” from Buffy, because of how unconventional it was for a season finale(even though it never really aired as such).  I’m a huge Felicia Day fan so I really loved seeing her play such a different role compared to what she usually does. 

  • VISUALS

The visuals on this series were superb.  As I already mentioned the Dollhouse itself was absolutely beautifully designed.  Also that episode where Echo is taken to the attic, where she goes on all of those dream quests or whatever was beautiful.

  • THE CAST, OH GOD THE CAST

I’ve already mentioned the super talented Enver Gjokaj, but I also have to mention that the rest of the cast was really great too.  I’d say this was kind of like the Joss Whedon all stars we had Eliza Dushku, Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Summe Glau, Mark Shepard, and even Alan Tudyk.  I mean damn, that’s a cast.  Fran Kranz also did a fantastic job, and as previously mentioned I love Dichen Lachmen.  While Paul was probably my least favorite character, Tamoh Penikett is fantastic, and Miracle Laurie was excellent as well.  It was also great to see Patton Oswalt in a role he wouldn’t usually be seen in(he always plays the funny messy best friend).

  • “THE MAN ON THE STREET” AND BEYOND

I think that by the time Patton Oswalt made his guest appearance was when the show really showed what it could do.  The Patton Oswalt episode was alongside with “Epitaph One” one of my favorite episodes of the show.  One that episode hit everything really started to jell together quite nicely and I got hooked.  I actually did enjoy the first few episodes as well, but this episode was the one where everything just started to shine.

     OVERALL

So yeah, the “Following” has been renewed for a third season and “Dollhouse” wasn’t, that’s sad.  I really would have liked to see where the show would have gone had it continued, maybe they could have done a whole season in the “Epitaph” time with flashbacks to how it got like that, and learn more about Caroline.  If you don’t like “Dollhouse” that’s perfectly fine, but I feel like the show gets a really undeserved bad rap sometimes.  I wouldn’t call myself a Joss Whedon fanboy, I’m a fan of a lot of his work but he is fallible, so when I say I love “Dollhouse” it’s not because I instantly love anything Joss does, it’s because I genuinely though it was a great show.

    GRADE:  A- 94%