Author Archives: Hayley

30 rock recapping: stride of pride

Hold your head up high, intrepid and hilarious characters of 30 Rock. This week you battled sexism, defended sex idiots, and fought the misty middle ground between Hollywood jailbait and Helen Mirren-esque hotness. What more can viewers ask for?

Jenna vs. Aging

A tabloid article erroneously reports Jenna’s age to be 56. The staff of TGS freaks out, only to belatedly discover that Jenna herself planted the article. She knows her status as a hip teenager is pushing the bounds of believability, so her solution is to skip middle age and head straight for the “looking good for ­­#” territory of the hot older woman.

Liz vs. Comedy Sexism

Tracy declares that no woman has ever been funny (in the history of the world) and that, in fact, monkeys actually rank higher on the comedic totem pole. Liz seeks to disprove this ridiculous claim with a comedy skit. The entire TGS cast gives the skit an enthusiastic standing ovation. Of course, Tracy admits he only found it funny because a woman pretended to be a doctor and Jenna tried to look young – but Liz takes what she can get.

Jack vs. the Sex Idiot

Meanwhile, Jack balances dates with everyone from the heiress of the Sbarro franchises to a simpering moron who has double jointed hips. His world is rocked, however, when he realizes one of his girlfriends might be giving him the same two-timing treatment. The Sbarro heiress introduces him to her sex idiot, Ryan Lochte (in a performance on par with his Olympic showing – if for much different reasons). Jack learns to accept his status as the “father figure” in relationships along with its sedate benefits.

Quotes

Jenna: You look like that flash card they told me means sadness.

­­———-

Tracy’s tweet: I agree @TheRealStephenHawking women are not funny. Never have been. Never will be. #PlotPoint

———-

Liz: Lizzy Lemon has had a little awakening in her bathing suit area.
Jack: Lemon, I’ve seen your bathing suits — that could be anywhere.

———-

Cerie: Sorry Liz, I’m not even sure if they serve brunch after . . . the 90s.

———-

Jack: I’m Great Escape-ing you. You have every right to do the same.
Zarina: My generation calls it Pokémon-ing. You gotta catch ‘em all.

———-

Jack: How many other Pokémons are there?
Zarena: Jack, the plural of Pokémon is Pokémon.

———-

Jack: There are no bad ideas, Lemon — only great ideas that go horribly wrong.

———-

Jenna: Just be the older person. It’s fun. You get to say racist stuff whenever you want. And people bring you soup!

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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revolution recapping: soul train

Previously on Revolution: Plague Dogs

I’m not sure if there has ever been a dystopian, pseudo-post-apocalyptic television program that was as laugh-out-loud funny as Revolution is. The laughs probably aren’t always (or ever) intentional, but if you’re a fan of Acting Facial Expressions 101 and sudden and inexplicable plot twists, you’ll have a good time.

And if you’re a sappy, science-fiction dreamer who doesn’t know how to let a corny show go, then stay away.

Plot

Well, in this episode Charlie and company finally catch up to her captured brother Danny – only to lose him again. This all goes down in a little town energized by the presence of a big train. There are some confrontations: Charlie and Neville meet face-to-face for the first time, Miles and Neville fight, and not-Nate heroically defies Neville’s orders to help Charlie escape.

Got all that? Don’t worry; even if you skipped this entire episode, nothing much actually progressed. The biggest progression probably falls in the arena of “character development.” Nora realizes the fun of exploding things isn’t worth it if it costs human lives. Pre-blackout Neville realizes it’s okay to hit humans (not just punching bags) when your family’s life is at stake. Charlie realizes frowning, whining, and complaining 24/7 have been getting her nowhere, so she decides to toughen up and (presumably) get more interesting.

And in the end, two actual story developments popped up. Remember not-Nate? His name is Jason, and he’s actually Neville’s son! Also, Monroe gets Rachel to confess that there are 12 secret necklaces that will help turn the power back on. A hunt for an unwieldy number of objects that will probably take the whole season, if not longer? Sounds like J. J. Abrams! (Or Harry Potter – hello, horcruxes.)

Talking Points

Griping

Just call me, Charlie, right? So, yes, I’m having trouble keeping the negativity out of my analysis of this show – I can admit that. You know what I think it is? This show is so close to approaching greatness (and by close I mean . . . in the neighborhood. Or at least in the same state).  In my not-very-humble opinion, I think television needs more programs that push the boundaries of what we think is drama, what we crave as human interaction, and what we consider as a philosophical approach to the moral dilemmas we face every day. Is Revolution doing any of those things? No, not really, but it has the premise and the back story to achieve something close – burdened down, of course, by the character development and the plot progression of a slow-moving train to hell. I don’t know. After five episodes, I guess it’s still a draw.

Can You Handle It?

There’s an amazingly brilliant article from Market Watch writer David. B Wilkerson about problems Revolution and NBC may be forced to face in the coming weeks. Wilkerson writes, “Revolution is the kind of series that demands that its audience pay a lot of attention and think hard about each episode, as the ABC program Lost did so well . . . That sort of program may be too much for viewers who lead stressful daily lives.”

Oh, man. This world we live in. On this quote alone, I have reason to keep watching.

Revolution takes a break next week, but it’ll return Monday, October 29.

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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revolution recapping: plague dogs

Previously on Revolution: No Quarter

There are only two ways to watch Revolution: with other people as you laugh and cackle at the bizarre dialogue, “retro violence”, and sea of scowling faces; or alone, like me, drowning your gripes and surprising outbursts of emotion in a bowl of melting ice cream.

Last night’s episode was weird, okay? I don’t know if I’d go as far to say it was good, but it successfully achieved . . . something.

Plot

Charlie, Miles and Nora reunite with Maggie and Aaron. We find out that Uncle Miles is planning on leaving Charlie (just like everyone else in her life . . .) and that after the blackout Maggie tried really, really hard to get back to orphaned England and her jolly good kids (or maybe it was the other way around).

A crazy person with a hastily sketched out personality – that largely revolves around his aforementioned craziness – sets his (plague?) dogs on our semi-likeable band of heroes, severs an artery in Maggie’s leg, and kidnaps Charlie. Miles and not-Nate (oh yeah, he’s back) save the day by killing the crazy person. They release Charlie before returning to the rest of the group in time to be with Maggie as she dies.

Meanwhile, through a tornado-assisted miracle, Danny escapes the clutches of the Monroe militia. Then, through an idiotically misguided act of kindness, Danny is recaptured.

Talking Points

Snoozing

I was kind of bored for awhile. Rabid dogs, crazy guy, attractive people fighting and scowling — how could this be boring? I don’t know . . .  Maybe because we keep delving into poorly realized character development. Like Charlie and her abandonment issues. Or Nora and her feelings or non-feelings for her former flame Miles.  Maybe I like The Walking Dead so much because zombies appear and bite someone’s throat out whenever the awkward character dynamics threaten to get out of hand.

Plot progression

Where did we go in this episode? Absolutely nowhere (except that we’re down one blond British lady). So Miles isn’t going to leave Charlie. Big whoop, I didn’t even realize that was a possibility till the first five minutes of this episode. Danny has neither risen nor fallen in my estimations – he did exactly what I expected of him (which led him absolutely nowhere as usual). Gah, let’s go somewhere, guys! We have the whole planet to explore, infinite relationships and moral intricacies to create and examine! And instead we’re still tripping around the backwater edges of some eastern state waiting for crazy people and their dogs to capture us.

And yet . . .

Here’s the weird thing: the last twenty minutes kind of worked for me. I know it was burdened with the same clunky plotting and silly exchanges – and maybe the late hour was enough to mellow my overly critical brain to a pile of mush – but things started clicking. I mean, come on: Maggie giving up on finding her children and resorting to suicide? That was pretty sad. Not-Nate heroically joining Miles to rescue Charlie? That was sort of romantic (even though I wish their relationship was built on more than a random water meeting). Rachel leaving her children to turn herself in to her husband’s brother? Hmm that’s kind of intriguing. Touché, Revolution. I guess I’ll be back next week.

She won’t be.

News

Hey 18-49 year olds, what are you watching on Monday nights? According to the completely reliable Nielson ratings, you’re watching Revolution! Up against Hawaii 5-0 and Castle, my little pseudo-post-apocalyptic mutt is actually dominating. Take that, crime.

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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revolution recapping: no quarter

Previously on Revolution: Chained Heat

I increasingly feel like Revolution is focusing on the wrong part of a very intriguing story. It’s analogous, in my brain, to a show featuring the mildly thrilling adventures of Samwise Gamgee’s teenage kids instead of . . . well, you know. I get that flashbacks should be compelling, but when the flashbacks themselves begin to eclipse the entire show, I think we might have a problem.

Plot

Nora introduces Miles and an eternally bland Charlie to the resistance – a ragtag group lead by a morally confusing priest. The militia finds them, but Nora’s sniper rifle from the previous episode gives the resistance a slight advantage. Somehow Jeremy, the leader of this batch of Monroe’s men, gets captured and reveals a “shocking” secret: Miles helped start the Monroe Republic. Miles turns himself in to Jeremy and the militia, but Nora explodes a bridge and Charlie shoots a bag from 10,000 meters away (or something like that) to help him escape.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Aaron arrive at Grace’s house too late. The house is empty, but both of their spidey senses tell them that something “very bad” happened there. Aaron complains about being a billionaire and then losing all his money when the world lost electricity. Suddenly, Ben’s necklace turns on, and Grace’s house has electricity for about ten seconds.

In flashbacks, we follow Miles and Bass (aka soon-to-be-super-evil Sebastian Monroe) in the weeks and months immediately following the blackout. The two military buds are on their way to Chicago to reunite with Miles’ brother Ben. Through their eyes, we see the lawlessness and utter deprivation of humanity that reigns in the wake of the blackout. When they come across two men beating up Jeremy for his money, Miles surprises Bass by coldly killing both of the attackers.

Talking Points

Utilitarianism

So I like my science-fiction heavy with moral dilemmas and conundrums. Revolution has been teasing me with slight nibbles of such wonders – amongst a larger batch of nonsense. However, I was pleasantly surprised when Flashback Miles killed both of Jeremy’s assailants. It demonstrates a dangerous streak of utilitarianism that I heartily appreciate. Maximizing the good doesn’t always mean maximizing life, as the John Stuart Mill that lives in my head would say (I’m allowed to wax poetic about philosophy every now and then, okay?) Now all we need is a stark Kantian advocate. I was rooting for the priest, but he’s kind of weird. I don’t understand his religious or moral stance on forgiveness, especially considering Miles is technically a criminal against neither God nor country.

Yo-yoing

I honestly can’t decide how I feel about this show. It’s clearly ridiculous, but at the same time, it’s gradually pushing the boundaries of conventional action shows and presenting an increasingly complex story. I’m imagining there’s this one guy in the writer’s room who has this phenomenal idea in his head, but everyone around him keeps making little changes and adjustments. Just let him work! I need this show to reach its full potential – at least until The Walking Dead returns in two weeks and I can get my fill of excellent post-apocalypse fair.

Character Development 101

At its worst moments, Revolution at least makes me laugh. The character development is halting, and almost every scene of exposition is hilariously painful. Poor Nora and Charlie might actually be played by competent actresses, but the lines these girls are forced to utter (to presumably reveal more about their complex characters) are just silly. At least, they get a leg up in the wardrobe, hair and makeup, and butt-kicking department.

News

NBC has picked up Revolution for a full season!

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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doctor who recapping: the angels take manhattan

Oh, Ponds. The mid-season finale of Doctor Who gave the girl who waited and her Roman soldier a tearful (and at times terrifying) send-off. Almost before we could blink, Amy and Rory were gone forever, out of the Doctor’s reach – and out of ours.

Plot

  • Rory accidentally stumbles upon the weeping angels (arguably the scariest monsters in Who history – if only because no one cares to remember the Silence) and gets zapped back to NYC in the 1930s.
  • He gets swept up with River Song on her way to a notorious crime boss. River is supposed to help the crime boss solve the mystery of the invading angels while Rory (deemed unimportant as usual) is thrown to the “babies” – infant angels who give the toothy child monsters from Galaxy Quest a run for their money in the creepy department.
  • The Doctor and Amy come to the rescue, TARDIS-style – crashing and bashing their way through the tricky timey-wimey traffic – but Rory has already been touched by an angel (not at all as funny as it sounds).
  • The Doctor, Amy, and River meet up with Rory at Winter Quay, a spooky hotel full of the victims of the angels. Instead of just zapping people back in time to feed off of their time energy, the angels now contain their victims in one place, zapping them back in time again and again and again until their life runs out.
  • In one of the rooms, the Doctor and company discover an old man on his death bed. The man calls out to Amy, and the group realizes – mere seconds before he passes away – that the old man is Rory.
  • Our Rory and Amy, shocked by the apparently “fixed” nature of Rory’s demise, decide to create a paradox that will destroy the Winter Quay and stop the angels’ invasion. The Doctor thinks this means the couple will run try and run away. Rory and Amy decide this means committing suicide by jumping off the hotel.
  • As the Doctor and River stand by helplessly and an angel-ified Statue of Liberty gnashes its teeth, Rory and Amy step off the building, arms entwined, accepting their fate…
  • …before waking up, bright-eyed and without any broken bones, in a cemetery outside of the city. Apparently, the Doctor informs them, committing suicide did create a paradox that set everything back to normal. Hooray!
  • As the gang prepares to pile back into the TARDIS, Rory notices something strange, a tombstone with his name on it. As he beckons Amy over, he suddenly disappears, leaving behind only a hideous angel with its arm outstretched.
  • The Doctor begs Amy to come back to the TARDIS, pleading that if she lets the angel touch her he’ll never get to see her again. Amy has already made up her mind, though, from the moment she realized the angel had taken her husband. With a final “goodbye, raggedy man”, she turns, locks eyes with the Doctor, and disappears.
  • Devastated, the Doctor finds some solace in a letter from Amy. She urges him to never be alone and to remember how much she and Rory will always love him – however out of reach they may be in the fixed pocket of time the angel sent them to. She reminds him of the girl who waited for her “raggedy man”, the girl who would fall in love and fight pirates and save a space whale and give hope to the greatest painter of all time. And finally, painfully, she tells the Time Lord who hates endings that this, at last, is the end.

Talking Points

Feelings

I feel . . . sad. Though as a strong and unashamed advocate of seasons 1-4 of the rebooted series, I have to admit the emotional toll of this departure paled for me in comparison to Rose Tyler trapped in a parallel universe, Donna forgetting everything, and David Tennant dying (oh, you know what I mean). I think everyone has their “golden age” of Who and mine has obviously passed. I still enjoy the show, clearly, but the departure of the Ponds doesn’t hit me quite as hard as I know it will for others. Plus, Amy and Rory are together and that makes the romantic in me happy.

Questions

Why does Rory’s name appear on the tombstone before the angel touches him, but Amy’s name appears only after? How can River deliver a manuscript to Amy but not visit? If seeing old Rory die triggered young Rory to kill himself, how could any Rory ever be killed in the method the angels intended? What in the world is a “fixed event”, writers of Doctor Who? (I’ve had serious problems with this concept since the Pompeii episode — which incidentally featured Karen Gillan). And, perhaps most importantly, what will I have to look forward to watching every weekend now that Who is on hiatus?

What’s Next?

Well, Jenna Louise-Coleman is coming on board as the next companion. However, there are some messy problems with her character that were established in this season’s premiere. She’s a Dalek and dead, to put it bluntly, but we’ll get to see how Moffat and co. start to iron out those wrinkles in the Christmas special. Till then, Whovians, we can unite in our shared sadness over the passing of the Pond era.

Quotes

Grayle: What’s that? What’s happening? Is it an earthquake? What is this?

River: Oh, you bad boy. You could burn New York.

Grayle: What does that mean?

River: It means, Mr. Grayle, just you wait ‘til my husband gets home.

————

River: Turns out the person I killed never existed in the first place. Apparently, there’s no record of him. It’s almost as if someone’s gone around deleting himself from every database in the universe.

The Doctor: You said I got too big.

River: And now no one’s ever heard of you. Didn’t you used to be somebody?

The Doctor: Weren’t you the woman who killed the Doctor?

River: Doctor who?

————

Rory: Could someone please tell me what is going on?

The Doctor: I’m sorry, Rory . . . but you just died.

————

Amy: You think you’ll just come back to life?

Rory: When don’t I?

————

Amy: Well then, I just have to blink, right?

————

The Doctor: You are creating fixed time! I will never be able to see you again!

Amy: I’ll be fine. I’ll be with him.

The Doctor: Amy, please! Just come back into the TARDIS. Come along, Pond. Please . . .

Amy: Raggedy man, goodbye.

————

Amy: Tell her this is the story of Amelia Pond . . . and this is how it ends.

————

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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