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Monthly Archives: May 2013

NEW PODCAST: Episode 39 Covers Game of Thrones and Season Finale Discussions

A new episode of For the Love of TV Podcast is now available here or download from iTunes.   This podcast talks about the following topics:

  1. Game of Thrones
  2. How I Met Your Mother – Season Finale
  3. Castle – Season Finale
  4. Grey’s Anatomy – Season Finale
  5. Scandal – Season Finale

Next podcast will cover renewals and cancellations and the new shows headed to our TVs this fall.

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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Podcast, Season Finales

 

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SERIES FINALE REVIEW: The Office “Finale” S9 E23

“Christmas Party” was the first episode of the The Office I’d ever seen.   Followed by “The Injury.”   Both were Season 2 episodes.  I only started watching The Office because my husband saw “The Injury” on a plane and thought it was both bizarre and funny at the same time but that I had to watch.    I watched these two episodes thinking this is the dumbest and strangest show I’ve ever seen.  But we both thought, to be fair, let’s watch it from the beginning to understand what the hell is going on.   So we bought Season 1 and spent an entire Saturday watching this show and laughing our asses off.   By then, we were hooked.

Over the course of 9 seasons, The Office has had some amazing episodes and some not so great episodes (as many series do.)  It created one of the greatest, most realistic love stories ever in TV…Jim and Pam.  It gave one of the top 50 characters in TV history…Michael Scott.  It made us care about this wacky group of people in a way I never thought I would.  I remember watching the finale thinking that I was so happy to get confessionals from every character on the show.  Even fringe characters like Meredith and Creed, I loved hearing how their stories wrapped up.    Not many shows can pull that off where you honestly care about each and every person.   Even annoying Kevin!  I was so happy to see that after he was fired he ended up buying a bar and having a really happy ending!  But over 9 years and 187 episodes, these people became part of our family, our TV family.   Even as characters came and went, other than Michael, our core stayed through to the end and it was nice to see everything wrapped up so beautifully.

Series finales are hard to do.  Especially when the show has been on as long as The Office has.   There are huge expectations.   You want story lines wrapped up.  You want people who deserve happy endings to receive them and people who deserve to be punished to get their comeuppance.  You want questions answered.   You want people who should be together, finally together.   You want something momentous, rewarding, and sensational but yet still stay true to the nature of the show and the characters.  And most of all, you want closure for you but also to know that the characters you leave behind are still doing well and moving on in their lives, even though you are no longer there to witness it.    For me, that’s a quintessential finale.   And it’s so hard to do, especially when you have very little time to do it.   The Office finale was probably the BEST series finale I’ve seen in a long time.    It had everything you want to see and nothing felt rushed or forced.   For a comedy, it had its goofy, silly moments, but in true The Office form, it had its heart-warming moments as well. It was, dare I say, perfect.  I laughed, I cried, I cried harder, I laughed again.   At the end of that show, I was so content with what I had just seen because it was exactly what I wanted.   And because I got a little taste of everyone, I didn’t feel cheated.    But the hands down, best moment of the show, was seeing Michael Scott return as Dwight’s best man.  Even now I’m tearing up writing this because it was a phenomenal moment.  And not just because I really didn’t think Steve Carell was coming back.   It was because John Kransinski, Rainn Wilson, and Steve Carell knocked that simple scene out of the park.  It was so touching to see these men, who have given each other such grief over the years, come together as friends and be there for one another…it was amazing.    There was so much talk about whether or not Carell would or should return for the finale.  The last I read, he wasn’t because he felt he already had his send off and didn’t want to distract from the rest of the cast. Class act as always Steve Carell!   But I stopped reading about the finale because if he did show up, I didn’t want to know about it.   And I’m so glad I made that executive decision because it made his reveal that much sweeter.  I literally gasped out loud when he was standing there and burst into tears….especially seeing Dwight’s reaction and getting one last “that’s what she said!”   And it was perfectly handled because it wouldn’t have been right to have the finale without Michael Scott but he was also understated enough so that he didn’t overshadow the cast, but we got just enough Michael to be completely satisfied.    Again, perfection.

There were so many relationships that developed on this show.  Some were more front and center like Jim and Pam, Dwight and Angela, Darryl and Jim’s friendship.  But it was some of the unspoken friendships that developed that was so nice to see highlighted.   For example, Stanley and Phyllis.  Here were two people who worked together for 15-20 years.  They sat across from one another for 15-20 years.   Even though we didn’t see it every week, these two were great friends.  To see the genuine embrace between them when they hadn’t seen each other in over a year, was so nice.   To watch Phyllis sit with the new rep in Stanley’s chair and feed him baked goods so she could fatten him like, like she did with Stanley was great.   But what got me was parlaying the hysterical idea that Stanley now lives in a shack on the Everglades in Florida carving birds out of wood, into this touching moment where Phyllis bursts into tears because he made a wood carving that looked exactly like her.   It was simple moments like that which really highlighted the connections between these characters that developed over the years.  Was it something we watched week after week….yes and no.  Yes and no because it was so subtle, we didn’t realize we were watching it until the finale.   The same could be said for Oscar and Angela.  They both drove each other crazy over the years and talk about two completely different personalities.   Highlighting the fact that Oscar was having an affair with Angela’s husband!   But strangely enough, that experience brought them even closer together.   In the penultimate episode, Oscar could see how broken Angela was and in a beautiful moment of kindness, extends his home for her and Philip to live in until she can get her feet under her again.   And when she reached out and put her hand on top of his, I lost it.   It was just that simple gesture that spoke so loudly about her feelings for what Oscar was offering to her.   I loved it.  And I loved seeing that continue even after Dwight and Angela were married with Oscar being Philip’s godfather!

But I think the friendship that was most beautiful to see come full circle, was the friendship between Jim, Dwight, and Pam….mostly Jim and Dwight.   Jim explained it perfectly.  He never hated Dwight.   He never wanted anything bad to happen to him.  He razzed him the way you would razz your brother.  And when it came down to it, he loved Dwight for who he was.   Dwight, we always knew, secretly had a man crush on Jim and even though he hated when Jim got the better of him, which was most of the time, he loved him for it too because he felt like he was in with him.  Over the course of the series, we saw their true feelings towards one another pop out because when something serious was going down, they leaned on each other and protected each other.  I think it’s also why Dwight considers Pam his best friend.  Because even though Jim would play countless tricks on Dwight and Pam would be complicit, she never wanted to hurt Dwight.   And when Dwight was going off the deep end really annoying his counterparts to the point no one liked him, Pam always stuck by him.   There were many times Pam believed in him when no one else did and he knew that.  Just as Michael always wanted to be their best friend, so did Dwight.   And in many ways, he was.

I can’t wrap up this review yet until I’ve spent some time on just Jim and Pam.   We watched their relationship grow over 9 years from best friends, to unrequited feelings, to an awkward but beautiful first kiss, to the beginning of a relationship, to an engagement, marriage, and children.   They were America’s ideal couple.   Then we hit season 9 and Jim and Pam hit a rough patch.   He was working for a start-up company in Philly and commuting back and forth from Scranton.  She felt all alone and abandoned at Dunder Mifflin and raising their 2 kids.  I really wasn’t sure where the show was going with this…especially with Brian the camera man lurking around and having obvious feelings for Pam.   I hoped they weren’t going down the affair route.  It wouldn’t have felt right.   And I hated watching Jim and Pam fight and be angry with one another.  I hated it.   Most especially, I hated seeing this couple who could have entire conversations by just looking at one another and knowing exactly what the other was thinking, being reduced to therapy speak.    “I appreciate” this or “to speak my truth” that.   What?   Are you kidding me?    This is what Jim and Pam is going to be reduced to?  But then a light went off.   We are getting to watch Jim and Pam remind, not only each other, but the audience, why they fell in love in the first place.  We get to see them fall in love all over again.   And because they have been the most real relationship on the show from day one, it would only make sense that this new job opportunity for Jim would put a strain on them.   It wouldn’t have made sense if it didn’t.   So we got to see that angst and then we got to see the payoff.   We got to see Jim and Pam flashbacks in the smartest way possible, in a video tribute to her so Jim could show how she is not only enough for him, but his everything.   It was a perfect way to be able to give the fans those flashbacks to our favorite moments yet still keep it within the context of the show.  In the end, Pam decided there is no way Jim is giving this up for her and sells their house without telling him (because, well, he bought the house without telling her) and they decide to move to Austin so Jim can work full-time for Athleap.   She finishes her mural, which is the story of the people of Dunder Mifflin, and Jim and Pam will live happily ever after….as they should.

In the end, all is right with the world.   Michael Scott is still married to Holly and they have lots of kids (which he needs two phones for all the pictures), Jim and Pam are together, happy, and moving to Austin to work with Darryl, Dwight is now regional manager of the Scranton branch (as well as the assistant to the assistant to the regional manager) and is married to the love of his life Angela and we officially learn that Phillip is really his son, Oscar is running for State Senator, Stanley is retired and divorced and living in Florida, Phyllis is still at Dunder Mifflin and still married to Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration, Erin found her birth parents and is still together with Plop, Andy is working for Cornell University, Meredith got her PhD (which she was going to school for the whole time), Toby is living in NYC with 6 roommates, Kelly left her pediatrician boyfriend to run away with Ryan (who by the way left said baby with the pediatrician,) as a result Nellie, takes the baby back to Poland with her and she now has the child she was always searching for, Kevin owns a bar, and Creed is going to jail!

Finally, I loved the way they wrapped up the documentary element.  I always wondered how they would do it.   I like the fact that they were smart enough to know that since the viewing of the documentary was in the penultimate episode, it wouldn’t make sense for the camera crew to be there for the finale.  It’s actually the first thing I said to my husband.  But they got around it by doing a time jump and saying they were there for a follow-up and retrospective with the Dunder Mifflin crew on being a part of the documentary, which they’re filming for the DVD.   And because the series was filmed this way, it was great for the cast to be able to say what they really feel about their show and do it in the context of speaking about the documentary.    I think the best line of the finale was when Andy/Ed Helms said “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days while it was going on instead of after they were over.”  You could see the way he was getting choked up that it was probably more an Ed Helms comment, than Andy Bernard.

I will miss The Office.  I know the last few seasons weren’t great and the show really went down hill after Michael left, but I don’t care.   I will miss The Office and all the people involved in the show.  I also want to commend the cast for heading out to the real Scranton, PA and spending time with the people of Scranton and thanking them for their good-natured sense of humor and their support of the show.   I thought it was awesome that they would all do that and take the time to not only say goodbye to us a viewers, but their second community of Scranton.     From top to bottom, the end of the series was handled magnificently and I can’t wait to watch The Office on Netflix, on syndication, on my DVDs, for many years to come.

What did you guys think of The Office series finale?

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in NBC, Season Finales, Series Finale

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEWS of Scandal, Grey’s, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, and Elementary Coming Soon

Heading out for the weekend so I will recap these shows Sunday and Monday.   Lots to talk about!   Here’s a quick preview:

Castle: Rick proposed to Kate!!!!   Rick proposed to Kate!!!!  But what does this mean for them going forward and is this really a good thing?  I’ll discuss.

Grey’s: Callie and Arizona had quite the blow up.   Who’s side am I on?   Come back to find out.   Plus, Richard better not be dead!!

Scandal: Enough already.  Ok enough!   Either keep Olivia and Fitz together or break them up but ENOUGH with Olivia running around saying “we can’t do this.”  I’m so done with that.   Did you know David was wearing the white hat all along?   Did I?  And what about Quinn becoming baby Huck and Huck’s reaction to it.

How I Met Your Mother: FINALLY!!!   We got to meet her.   Now we just need Ted to meet her.   But when Carter Bays says this will be the longest wedding in the history of TV, does her really mean that next season will cover the span of only 56 hours?  I don’t know how I feel about that…or maybe I do!

Elementary: haven’t watched it yet but I will by Sunday, so don’t spoil me!

Have a good weekend peeps!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in ABC, CBS, Season Finales

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: Arrow “Sacrifice” S1 E22

Well, I thought a Merlyn was going to die, but I thought it would be Malcolm and not Tommy.   It wasn’t until Tommy rushed into the building to save Laurel that I knew Tommy would be a goner.  While I’m a little disappointed because I was hoping they would go down the road of Oliver killing Malcolm and Tommy taking over his father’s cause and therefore putting the once BFF’s as mortal enemies, it also makes sense that they did it this way.   Tommy became a pretty disposable character later in the season.    There were times it seemed he was on-screen just because the writers felt like they had to.  Not to pull out the whole crossroads speech but the character of Tommy did come to a crossroad (especially once he found out about Oliver being the Hood.)   He could align with Oliver and fight the “bad guys” of Starling City or align with his father and fight the revenge fight with his dad and become one of the “bad guys.”   Neither one of these were going to happen. Oliver already has his band of trusted side kicks in Diggle and Felicity so he really doesn’t need someone else at this point.  And Tommy always struggled with his feelings about his father only recently being on good terms with him.  It really wouldn’t have made sense if all of a sudden Tommy was taking up his father’s cause..especially after we saw his reaction to his father’s plan.   So even though you could argue Tommy’s death was a “shock” due to Colin Donnell being a series regular, when you look at the progression (or lack there of) of his character over the course of the season, it wasn’t a shock at all.

Overall, I loved this first season of Arrow.  I like how the superhero element was absolutely present but not in a way that was unbelievable.   Oliver being able to do what he does was well explained over the season.   Are there still questions, sure.   But at least, for my edification, I’m convinced Oliver is the “superhero” we have come to know and love!   And the writers did a very good job with this.  I know some of my friends who watch the show always got bored when the island story line was on-screen but not me.   I wanted to see the transformation of Oliver from spoiled playboy to focused vigilante.  In my opinion, I thought the timing and transition was perfectly handled.  Oliver didn’t transition overnight, but certain things would happen on the island that would force him to jump into a different side of himself I think was there all along but wasn’t awakened until it had to…fight or flight as they say.   And while I still want to know how he gets off and why he is there for 5 years if it appears the main person keeping him there is now dead, I at least am comfortable with the explanation of how Oliver gets to this point, so far.

In addition to Tommy dying, a lot of big things happened.   We learn that Roy Harper wants to meet the Hood so badly not because he wants to thank him for saving his life, but because he wants him to train him to do what he does.   To be Robin to Oliver’s Batman.   But what about Thea?   I don’t think the scene of Roy getting attacked and Thea saving him by throwing that bottle and Roy commenting on her aim was for nothing.  I think it was a mention of things to come with Thea but I’m not sure what.  But I love these two together.

I’m still trying to figure out if I feel bad for Moira or not.  All signs indicate she didn’t have a choice in this because she felt her family was threatened but this is coming from her so we have to take her word on it.  I don’t remember seeing Malcolm actually threaten her family.   If I missed that, please let me know but I don’t remember that.   So I don’t know if I can 100% believe Moira.   Do I believe she loves her family and would do anything to protect them?   Yes I do.   But has she crossed a line she might never recover from?   Absolutely. Has she shown herself to be duplicitous and cagey?   Most definitely.  So I really don’t know how to feel towards her.  But Walter sure made his feeling known.  In the end we see Walter has left her, again, and she was taken in handcuffs to jail.  Not looking good for the matriarch of the Queen family.

Let’s talk about the Lance family.   At first, I hated Quentin.   He was an ass.   But as the season evolved, my views on him softened.   This is a man with a ton of loss in his life and really all he has left is Laurel.  So I can understand him being irrational when it comes to her because he just wants to protect her.  I think his character started to go a bit off course when they had him set Laurel up as a trap to get the Hood.   But he was course corrected and now he’s just a cop, who loves his daughter very much, trying to do the right thing.  I can deal with that.  Watching his opinion of the Hood change over the arc of the season has been interesting to watch.  Here was a cop who was so black and white about the Hood…civilians don’t take matters of law into their own hands.   So in his mind, the Hood was just as bad as the criminals he was trying to catch.   But then, that opinion slowly started to go away as the Hood started giving him tips on criminal activity and would let the police handle it (to some degree.)   Quentin was able to notice that while he doesn’t agree with how the Hood handles his business, he does see he has the people of Starling City’s best interest at heart.   He is trying to do right…even thought it’s a way Quentin doesn’t really approve of.   And I think because the Hood has taken a special interest in protecting Laurel, that has helped soften Quentin a little bit.   So I’m curious to see where his character goes next season in relation to the Hood.

As for Laurel herself, I love Katie Cassidy, but I need more.  Laurel has been a slightly boring character this season.   There are times you see a toughness in her and other layers start to shine through but these moments are fleeting.  Too many times we’re seeing Laurel being the woman two men are fighting over and she has no idea what to do.  And that’s it.  I want to see more from her.  I want to see her fight and be strong, and kick ass in her own right without someone having to do it for her.  With Tommy’s death and her finally choosing to try again with Oliver, at least that is over.   But when we come back next season, I want to see Laurel dust herself off and pick herself back up without someone having to do it for her.  And let’s give her a story where she doesn’t have to be saved or rescued or watched over.   It’s fine to have that every once in a while, but not all the time and for me, it was too many times too often for my liking.

What did you think of Arrow’s freshman season and the finale?   I loved both and I’m already excited for next season!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in CW, Season Finales

 

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NEW PODCAST: Episode 38 Covers The Americans, The Following, Scandal, Grimm, and More!!!

A new episode of For the Love of TV Podcast is now up here or you can download from iTunes.   Episode 38 covers the following shows:

  1. The Americans Season Finale
  2. The Following Season Finale
  3. Scandal
  4. Grimm
  5. Grey’s Anatomy
  6. Smash
  7. Person of Interest
  8. Arrow

Let me know your thoughts and if you like, make sure you rate on iTunes!!!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Podcast

 

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Renew/Cancel Tracker UPDATED

The renew/cancel tracker is now updated with all the renewals and cancellations through May 1 2013.  Remember on my tracker, only if it’s officially announced as canceled or renewed, will the show be on the list.    We all know Smash isn’t coming back but no official cancellation has come out so I will wait for that (plus I’m holding out some hope!)

Renewals I’m Happy/Thrilled About:

  • Parenthood 
  • Grimm
  • The Good Wife
  • Elementary
  • Blue Bloods
  • The Following
  • Arrow
  • Person of Interest

The one I’m most excited for is Parenthood.   This is a show that’s been on the bubble I think every season it’s been on the air and this is the first season the ratings were strong enough that it was pretty secure for a renewal.  What I was even MORE thrilled about is that is was renewed not just for 15 episodes (like it had been) but the FULL 22 episode season!!!!   I couldn’t be happier for the cast and crew because that is seriously one of the best written and acted shows on TV.  I feel the same way about The Good Wife and I’m so excited it’s coming back.  I’m hearing rumors it may be moved to Friday nights….FANTASTIC because Sundays were killing me!!!!   And not because I can’t stay up to watch it but because all the sports on CBS (NFL football), March Madness, The Masters, etc would always delay the start and screw up my DVR.   Plus, poor The Mentalist, I haven’t watched it all season because it’s time slot was basically The Good Wife for most of the season.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m the biggest sports fan you’ll meet.   But that scheduling didn’t do either show any justice.   Plus Blue Bloods and The Good Wife on Fridays makes me VERY happy!!!

Renewals I’m Scratching My Head About:

  • Glee
  • Two and a Half Men
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • CSI

So not only was the abomination that is Glee renewed for next season, it was renewed for TWO seasons!   I really don’t get it.    That show is atrocious!!!!!  And the ratings are getting worse every season.   The only thing I can think of is that it was a deal Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck made with FOX to get it renewed and that Season 6 will be its last season.   One can hope!

Cancellations I’m Most Upset About:

  • Ben & Kate
  • Last Resort
  • Smash (assuming it’s officially canceled)

Upfronts will be here before you know it.   Every thing will be official at that point.   Really the big network we’re waiting on is ABC because FOX, The CW, NBC, and CBS have renewed and canceled most of their shows with the exception of a handful still out there.   So ABC will be the big one.

 

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NEW PODCAST: Episode 37 Covers The Good Wife, Survivor, Game of Thrones and More!

A new For the Love of TV Podcast is now up here so make sure you check it out or download from iTunes.    Here is the lineup:

  1. The Good Wife
  2. Criminal Minds
  3. Survivor
  4. Game of Thrones
  5. Scandal

Post your comments below on these shows and let me know what you think!

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Podcast

 

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