the slap’s promo is reason enough to watch the premiere

Without doing too much research on the book or Australian series this adaptation is based on, the promo makes it obvious that The Slap is a very literal title. Also, why isn’t there more fanfare that Zachary Quinto is back on NBC? Or Uma Thurman? Or Thandie Newton is doing American television at all?

The Slap premieres February 12 at 8/7c

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tv moments that “mattered”: 1/4-1/9

*This post, and future posts of this nature, will contain spoilers. If you see the show name and show title and haven’t seen that particular episode, skip it. This is the best spoiler alert we can provide without being redundant.*

tvdmjan4th

The Good Wife – Hail Mary
You knew once Kalinda learned how to hack the metadata and left her computer on the table it was going to end up in the courtroom with Diane and be used as part of Cary’s defense. You knew how that comedy of errors would play out the second it happened, yet the scene was no less suspenseful.

The New GirlShark
While this could have just been a reason to remind us of Let’s Be Copsthe best parts of this episode were all about Winston. Upon receiving an obnoxious bouquet of flowers from Nick and Coach, after they’d embarrassed him: “Thank you, thank you very much, you guys. Oh, also, thank you for the flowers. And just so we’re clear, the first thank you was sarcastic, because you embarrassed me, but the second thank you was sincere as hell, because these flowers are glorious!” Also, Winston inexplicably having food bowls for everyone in the apartment.

Glee – Loser Like Me
The obvious Glee sexual tension between Rachel and Mr. Schue that might not have been obvious or even sexual tension. Perhaps it’s simply the knowledge that Jayma Mays (Emma) is/was too busy filming Getting On, The Millers and other side projects to make a full return as Will’s wife, coupled with the reminder of Rachel’s crush seasons ago. But hey, “Schueberry” would hardly be the strangest thing to happen in the Gleeverse.

Empire – Pilot
There were a lot of interesting moments in this new show’s premiere. However, nothing was as noteworthy as Lucious Lyon‘s luscious locks and love of linens (and fabulous scarves.) Howard’s character looks nothing like the music moguls were used to, which could mean a lot of the other music industry stereotypes will be bypassed in favor of telling new/interesting stories.

Switched at Birth – And It Cannot Be Changed
Bay getting busted for unwittingly acting as an accomplice in some advanced, lunch bag heroin smuggling ring. It was surprising only because the writers keep finding new ways to add outlandish drama to the teen’s already dramatic life. The moment was also great because it led to Emmett calling Daphne out for being selfish. Daphne is the worst and that was deserved.

Cougar Town  – American Dream Plan B
Cougar Town acknowledging Grayson’s daughter, Tampa, exists. She has been essentially ignored for the last few seasons, but her return is a nod to continuity. Without continuity, we are savages. Also, a pregnant Laurie is a frightening, yet really adorable Laurie.

Parenthood – How Did We Get Here?
The entirety of this Parenthood episode had moments that mattered but the biggest was the one that didn’t happen at all: Zeke dying. It was expected that with so much buildup, and the show being in the last days of its final season, the leader of the Braverman clan would expire. Fortunately for the heartstrings of fans everywhere, we’ll be spared a death scene…at least for now. Another notable moment: Hank’s proposal, while full of good intentions, was heartbreaking in all the wrong ways.

American Horror Story – Magical Thinking
Dandy, looking immaculate as hell in his post-murder spree fur fashion, meeting Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) for the first time. It’s interesting that Dandy found the likes of Twisty the Clown to be a kindred soul, yet a guy with an affinity for magic and his dummy is somehow just too freakish. They’re both a little…kooky, along with mysterious and spooky. They’re also enamored with the same woman women, which means that Freak Show’s body count will add a few more numbers before the finale.

 

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reflections and projections: fall 2014/spring 2015

Without including all of the shows that premiered in the spring and summer, it’s still safe to say that 2014 was a really exciting time to be a TV addict. We loved and lost (due to cancelation or just general lack of interest) quite a few good/”good” shows: Gotham, Gracepoint, Utopia, Red Band Society, Marry Me, A to Z, Manhattan Love Story and Selfie. Networks offered everything from comedies with quasi-incestuous undertones (Happyland) to He Said, She Said-style dramas that ensure Pacey Witter and Jimmy McNulty fans continue to get their weekly fix (The Affair.) Suffice it to say, all that variety throughout the year made the usual lull during midseason and summer breaks pretty much nonexistent.

This new year will bring a spin-off of TV royalty (Better Call Saul) a new offering by FX’s slightly cooler younger brother FXX (Man Seeking Woman), and a show for anyone that saw Starz’s Power and yearned for a similar drug-dealer turned mogul premise minus any nudity with higher profile actors (Empire). HBO, which has become increasingly all about the half-hour series, gives the Duplass’ a chance to show off their dry, mumblecore aesthetic (Togetherness) while ABC tries its hand at yet another potentially offensive/possibly mediocre culturally-themed show (Fresh Off the Boat). We’ll have the Colbert Report-sized hole in our hearts filled (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore), watch Dwight Schrute’s transform into crime-solving House (Backstrom), and maybe not only watch but enjoy seeing what Victoria Justice can do without Nickelodeon’s PG-13 shackles (Eye Candy).

All of these new and shiny toys make us no less excited for the return of others. Jane the Virgin and How To Get Away With Murder, two shows that are at opposite ends of the colorful comedy to dark-ish drama spectrum, couldn’t be more alike in how great their first seasons are so far. Both work checking out when they return from midseason break. Broad City, smartly paired with Workaholics, is also back (Call it conceit or just a savvy money-saving technique, but Comedy Central really doesn’t make a big hoopla about advertising its shows.)

Remember that mention of variety a few paragraphs back? We haven’t even discussed all of the other shows that have already passed their sophomore mark. The Good Wife, Scandal, Once Upon a Time, Mindy Project, Cougar Town, Parenthood and It’s Always Sunny are just a few more returning shows on a ridiculously long and hard to keep up with list that we watch with true TV junkie dedication.

Need to know what’s coming back and when? Check out this handy-dandy calendar, lovingly put together by the always-helpful folks at TVLine.

 

 

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this post was inspired by legally blonde…oddly enough.

[Editor’s note: After reading over this post, I feel a hint of the “Dear Diary…” vibe, but I’m going with it anyway. I could have just as easily jumped right back in, but acknowledging the “hiatus” felt necessary. –Nicole]

I still watch television. I still talk about television. I’ve even fallen in love with new shows (The Blacklist) and fallen out of love with others (Glee). I’m still very much into the general idea of TVDM; it’s just not the obsessive habit it was before.

I’m not sure if this is the post that comes before me making a huge effort to start writing here again. I mean…I don’t have the expendable time I had before and all the awesome contributors have (mostly) moved on. That’s reason enough to make my already naturally lazy disposition give up again before even starting. However, I really love talking about television. So maybe this doesn’t have to be anything more than me taking a few minutes once and awhile to post about bits of shows/TV stuff I loved (and even more about the things I hated).

For example, If I’d still been blogging/writing/whatever this is called when the Dexter finale came on, you guys (assuming “you guys” still take the time to read this) would have known just how heartbroken I was to realize that Michael C. Hall can now say he’s been in one of the best series finales of all time and (arguably) one of the worst. Seriously, the Dexter finale was the most ridiculous and disrespectful thing I’ve seen in at least the last 3-5 years of television. I’m not even exaggerating too much when I express that.

I guess I can thank having Columbus Day off, coupled with several hours of clearing off my DVR (and an accidental back-to-back viewing of Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2) to inspire this post, and hopefully, a renewed desire to talk shit about TV. Hopefully.

Oh, and if you haven’t already gotten into The Blacklist or Masters of Sex, you seriously need to watch.

Classic Spader.

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once upon a time recapping: straight on ‘til morning

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Second Star to the Right.

This week on Once Upon a Time, it’s the SEASON FINALE! As the destruction of Storybrooke seems imminent, everyone must learn to work together in order to prevent disaster. In Storybrooke, there are new alliances, a few sacrifices, and the revelation of a new “Big Bad.” In Neverland, we catch up with where Hook and Baelfire left off last week.

Once Upon a Time, Hook and Baelfire

In Neverland, Hook and Smee speculate that Bae might belong to “him,” and wonder what they might receive as a rewarding for returning him. However, when Hook goes to question his captive, the revelation that he’s Milah’s son changes his mind. Smee panics as the Lost Ones arrive looking for Bae, but Hook is unwilling give up the key to his revenge. Luckily Bae remains hidden. During a sailing lesson they bond over being abandoned by their daddies, and Bae reveals his father is the Dark One and the dagger is the key to his demise. Later Bae discovers a drawing of his mother on Hook’s desk, and concludes Hook is the pirate that killed her. Hook quickly tells him the real story, but Bae still blames him for destroying his family and asks to be taken home. Hook offers Bae a place on the ship, but the boy is not convinced, claiming that the pirate only cares for himself. It’s enough to turn Hook back to revenge, and he gives up Bae to the Lost Ones. As they hit shore, the Lost Ones compare Bae to a drawing and realize he’s not the one “he” is looking for, but that “Peter Pan never fails.” The boy on the drawing? Henry.

Once Upon a Time, the Charmings

In Storybrooke, Rumple is clearly still worried about the Prophecy and is about to use magic to send his grandson flying from a swing into some convenient pointy rocks (what is it with the death trap playgrounds in this town?) when he’s interrupted by the arrival of the Charmings. As Emma breaks the bad news about Neal to Henry, her parents inform Rumple. They also ask for his help with the self-destruct device, but with his son gone, Rumple doesn’t mind dying. Meanwhile, Gremara take the device down to the mines and activate it. As the Charmings regroup at home, Regina offers to slow down the device to give them enough time to recover the magic beans and portal everyone safely to the Enchanted Forest. Hook arrives, gets punched in the face, and offers to help, since dying wasn’t part of his revenge plan. At Gold’s shop, the dwarves raid Sneezey’s stein since the Blue Fairy has conveniently created a potion (with a hair from Pinocchio’s head) that will restore a person’s memories if drunk out of an object that’s important to them. Leroy offers some to Rumple, since he owes Belle a favor. As the forest starts to reclaim the town, Rumple and Belle have an emotional reunion. Charming and Hook manage to snag one bean from Gremara; Regina prepares to sacrifice herself to save Storybrooke, begging Emma to “let her die as Regina,” not the Evil Queen. Everyone meets up at Granny’s and prepares to go, but Henry refuses to leave without Regina. Snow suggests sending the trigger through a portal like the wraith (since that worked so well the first time), instead of “building a future on Regina’s blood.” Of course, they go down to the mines to discover that Hook has double-crossed them and taken the bean. Convinced they’re doomed, Emma shares a tearful embrace with her parents, calling them “mom” and “dad” for the first time. (Hello emotional turmoil, I’ve missed you!) She then has a “holy crap I can do magic!” moment and combines her powers with Regina, saving everyone from horrible CGI destruction. During the confusion, Gremara kidnap Henry and take him through a portal to “him.” Hook arrives shortly afterward with the bean. Regina, the Charmings, and Rumple sail off to Neverland to rescue Henry, while Belle stays behind with a spell to cloak the town from further minions of the Big Bad.

Image from Once Upon a Fan

In the Enchanted Forest, Aurora, Philip, and Mulan discover a gravely wounded (but alive) Neal on the beach.

That’s it until the fall. Stay magical, my friends!

Thoughts/Theories
• Coming to the end of the season, I find myself a little disappointed. The latter half of season 2 just did not pack the same punch as the first half, nor did this season have the same sense of purpose that season 1 did. This fracturing of one plotline (break the curse) into multiple plotlines (Cora in Storybrooke, finding Baelfire, the magic beans, the Prophecy, Neverland, Greg and Tamara vs. Magic) has made the show feel convoluted and disjointed. With so much going on, the jump from plotline to plotline takes away from character development – i.e., the evolving nature of Emma and Snow’s bond in the first half of season 2 that we don’t really see upon their return to Storybrooke – and leaves a lot of plot holes.
• The rules of travel between realms are infinitely frustrating to me. Rumple’s implied scuffle with Peter Pan suggests that Rumple traveled to and from Neverland at least once, and it’s never explained how Hook returned to the Enchanted Forest, especially considering you can “never leave” Neverland. And the dynamic of the magic beans seem to vary: when Neal falls through the portal, it’s implied his destination is totally random, yet when Gremara and Hook use the beans, they have no issue choosing Neverland as their destination.
• Henry is subject of the prophecy, and also the objective of the “big bad,” Peter Pan. Considering we now know that both of his parents are magical, how much do you want to bet that Henry’s got some magic of his own? I have a feeling this will be one of the big storylines of season 3.
• New drinking game: very time Hook gets assaulted or double-crosses someone, take a shot.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently watching Call the Midwife and crying into her tea each Sunday. For more tv-centric musings, check out her tumblr.

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