Category Archives: NBC

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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the office: the final season

It’s finally coming to a close: the television show that changed the way comedies were filmed. Mockumentaries paved the way, doing away with laugh tracks.

We’ve all known it’s been a long time coming– and, honestly, I think the last season should have been when Steve Carell left. Ratings, the plot, and the comedy has slowly been going downhill. But I’m positive that the last season will be great.

So far this season we’ve been getting hints that we’ll find out who the cameramen are and why they film Dunder Mifflin. Other things that have happened this season: Jim and Pam are in the middle of a tiff, as Jim accepted a job in New Jersey without telling her.

They’ve also succumbed to Cousin Oliver Syndrome: with two new characters who, admittedly do bring life to the show, are called “New Jim” and “New Dwight,” as they look like and act like Jim and Dwight.

I’m positive that this last season will be one to remember. And, if all of our wildest dreams can come true, Steve Carell will come back for a cameo.

Emily enjoys lots of things: laughing and watching television being one of the top two. She loves smart comedies involving witty repartee, loud actions and gestures, over-the-top theatrics, and a solid plot. 

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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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30 rock recapping: the beginning of the end

Liz holding baby

Holding this bundle of blankets makes me feel like I really made something of myself…

And the final season begins, with Liz Lemon holding a baby and claiming that she finally has it all. Nope, that was just a scene for TGS. She doesn’t have it all, but she’s “trying”. Jack is embracing his power and developing countless new series, which Liz, in an act of support says are good ideas, until she realizes Jack’s tanking the network. She confronts him and he admits to it. He tells her his brilliant plan, tank the network so Hank wants to sell. Jack has an interested buyer who will let him run things the right way, lined up. Liz doesn’t see how it could possibly work.

Jenna and dead doves

If you thought godzilla was a nightmare….

Jenna and Paul are getting married, in case you forget, Jenna is here with a box of dead doves to remind you. She selects a VERY reluctant Liz as her MOH. And the more details and requirements and obligations Jenna throws at Liz the more reluctant she grows. But there’s no way out….or is there. Liz takes a cue from Jack, and decides to tank it. Her plan works, except that Jenna goes all Hulk on her ass and Liz almost gets a beat down. Lucky for Liz, within that pile of rubble she sees a light and begins to rebuild, suggesting that Jenna be her own MOH. Jenna accepts the proposition.

Tracy and Hazel

Why is this white woman sitting in my lap?

Kenneth is having some trouble with Hazel. Seeking advice he turns to Tracy, who tells him to treat Hazel as his queen and know she is always right. Hazel takes advantage of Tracy and Kenneth’s relationship and invites Tracy over for dinner with the intentions of seducing him for a movie role, any movie role really. Tracy doesn’t take the bait, but when he tells Kenneth what happened Kenneth has a hard time not taking into account what Tracy said before. Sweet, simple-minded Kenneth comes to the conclusion that both Hazel and Tracy are right.

Best/Funniest Moments

  • Jenna’s Matrix-esque/He-Man/Teen Wolf/sparklespire-ish leap to attack Liz
  • God Cop…all of it.
  • Homonym…all of it

Quotes

Kenneth: “You’ve never been wrong about anything before.”
Tracy: “It’s a blessing and a purse.”

Kenneth: “Why is he learning anything? He’s supposed to be God.”

Liz: “Before this I ran an all women’s theater company…everyone was vice president.”

Jack: (talking to Liz) “So, how was your hiatus? Start with what puzzles you did.”

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parks and recreation recapping: how a bill becomes a law

Previously on Parks and Recreation: Soda Tax 

Oh, Parks and Recreation. You are beginning to worry me. I have decided that many,  many small factors need to happen to make a perfect Parks and Rec episode. And before you begin saying, “Well, perfect is impossible,” we have all seen it happen before. Just last season there were three “perfect” episodes I can name right off the bat: “Soulmates,” “Treat Yo Self,” and “The Treaty.”

Some of the things that help comprise this perfect episode are as follows: an overall arching plot arc (last season it was Leslie running for office), a smaller episodal arc (for “Treat Yo Self” it was celebrating Treat Yo Self and cheering up Ben), and giving the minor characters a larger role (in “Soulmates” it was Chris and Ron’s cook-off).

This episode lacked my overall season plot — but that’s one of this season’s problems. There’s no real overarching plot for this season. We shall see what it becomes — and I am hoping that they come up with one soon! The best part of this episode was definitely my minor character interaction, thanks in part to Andy and Ron, and Ben and April.

The Plot 

Leslie wants to pass a “Fun in the Sun” bill that will keep their public pools open longer, benefiting the Pawnee Porpoises swim team. Chris starts a 3-1-1 phone line where the Parks and Rec department forwards calls to the correct place. Ron and Andy go fix a pot hole. Ben and April go on a roadtrip to Pawnee.

Plot Holes, Discrepancies, and Things I Just Don’t Like 

  • As funny as the Ron and Andy section was, I don’t like the idea of stoic, unbending Ron getting a pretty princess make-over for a woman. Especially for a woman he’s known for all of two hours, Diane (played by Lucy Lawless, yes, XENA). It doesn’t seem to fit his character.
  • Other things didn’t seem right: Tom jumping into the pool. I’m not saying it wasn’t a nice twist — and maybe it shows how much he wants to support Leslie — but it also seems very out of character, considering how much Tom loves his clothes.
  • Who would get a perm an hour before a huge meeting? Bad idea. Bad, bad, horrible idea.
  • Leslie’s role was largely being more awkward than usual, and saying horribly cheesy jokes. “A city councilor with porpoise” being the worst one of them all.

Quotes: 

April: Hey, are you busy? And writing Star Trek fan fiction does not count.

Ben: Ha ha ha. I… finished it last week. What’s going on?

April: I miss Andy. And you probably miss your lover, Chris.

Ben: Leslie.

***

Ben: I’m excited to bond a little with April. She’s like the little sister I never had. Because the little sister I do have
is normal and not terrifying.

April: [mouths “I will kill you” in the background while pretending to slit her throat]

***

Councilman Milton: You too, my strange, foreign friend.

Tom: No, thank you.

Leslie: Tom, eat some.

Tom: I’m not eating racist salad.

Leslie: The more we eat, the faster we talk.

Tom: You can really taste the ignorance.

Councilman Milton: It’s pronounced “anchovies.”

***

Leslie: Councilman, you have grandchildren…

Councilman Milton: And seven great-grandkids. Tim, Mary, Jack, uh, Tim, Marie, Tim, and Mary.

Tom: Don’t forget about Tim.

Councilman Milton: Right, Tim. How many is that?

***

Ben: [reading his Star Trek fan fiction aloud to April]  “Data had never felt this way before. Of course, data had never felt anything before. But Captain Picard couldn’t help but note the smile that crept over his mechanical but lifelike face.

April:  I’m gonna murder you.

Ben: I understand. Just one second. “As they walked down the hall
into the bridge…”

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