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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Black-ish “Pilot” S1 E1

I’m going to try not to get too deep in this review.   After all, this is a sitcom.   But I watched Black-ish and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  I loved the trailer and laughed out loud when Dre’s son Andre (Andy) came home and wanted to have a bar mitzvah and change his name to his hebrew one (either Shlomo or Shmoole…which I’m probably butchering the spelling.)   I loved the instant chemistry between Anderson and Ross.  In a 2 minute trailer, I totally bought them as husband and wife.   So I was very excited for this premiere.   But then I watched it all and for the most part I liked it but I do have a bit of “Mike and Molly” fear for this show.

Shows like this, where they push racial and cultural boundaries, are always interesting because it can insight passionate responses from viewers…both good and bad.  I’ve already seen lots of comments on this about how “white people won’t understand the humor” and “this show is racist and offensive” etc, etc.   I think everyone needs to take a deep breath.   In the simplest of terms, this show is about an African-American family living a hugely successful life (Dre is a SVP of his company and Rainbow is a surgeon) in the suburbs yet still trying to stay true to their roots…at least Dre is.   Now he has to remind the rest of his family how important that is as well.   The cast is led by Anthony Anderson, Tracey Ellis Ross, and Laurence Fishburne.  But my favorite so far is Marcus Scribner’s Andre Jr.   That kid had the best lines and best material in the pilot.  First with the bar mitzvah.  He also wants to be called Andy (because it shows he’s edgy yet approachable), play field hockey, and hold onto his first boob (vs. holding onto his roots.)  I loved that kid.   And like The Goldbergs last year, I instantly felt like this was a family.  The chemistry between all of them was evident right off the bat.

This could be a groundbreaking show.    The kind of show that families can watch and have a great discussion about afterwards.   There are many people who argue, that shows like that don’t work on network TV any more.   Well, maybe not.   Unless it’s a well written, well thought out show that has the abilities to push the boundaries with humor to bring real conversations to the forefront.  And Black-ish has the potential to be that show.  I already have tons of questions.   I can’t directly relate to the internal struggle of an African-American man who came from a tough background to raising his family in the type of environment that was better than his and how he balances raising his children in a color free world yet staying true to their cultural heritage.  There is no way I can ever completely understand that.   But I’d like to understand it better than I do now.   And I’m curious to watch it and learn more about it.   For example, the one part of the show where I raised my eye brow was when Dre was upset that his daughter didn’t want to hang out with the only other black girl in the school and that she didn’t even refer to her as the “only other black girl in the school.”  His daughter responded by saying “I don’t know.  When I hear Liza Jackson I think of meatballs and turkey burgers.”  Isn’t that a good thing, that she didn’t see the color of her skin?   Why was Dre so upset?  I don’t understand.   I feel like the way his kids were talking about Liza is exactly the way you want them to talk about her…as a little girl, not a little black girl.   I would think so.  Look at how upset Dre was with his promotion.  He was hoping to break down barriers at his company by becoming the first black SVP.   But not the first black SVP of the “Urban Division.”  It took something away from the promotion for Dre and I do understand that.   But if your goal is to break down barriers then why drive the “blackness” so hard at home with your family?   It’s that the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve?   It’s confusing.    So I hope the show explores that a bit more because while I’ll never fully be able to relate because I’m not African-American, I could certainly be more informed and have a better understand than before.    I want to know why someone who wants his family as far away from the way he was brought up as possible, also wants to make sure his roots are still very prevalent in their everyday lives.   What specific parts of your roots are you referring to?   I really want to know.

But my “Mike and Molly” fear is that I don’t want the show to be all about “black” jokes.   With M&M, I didn’t want the show to be all about “fat jokes.”  Initially it was and then it toned down and went to everyday comedy with the fat jokes coming every once in a while.   The pilot of Black-ish was very heavy-handed with the jokes about fried fried chicken being too black for Rainbow (who is mixed race) and “if I’m not black enough can someone tell my hair and my ass.”   That’s all well and good but I hope they tone it down and it’s more background humor than the front and center humor.  I know that’s kind of the premise of the show but I think that humor can still be part of the show maybe not just every joke….like M&M was with the fat jokes.  It gets old after a while.  And I think this cast deserves to be more than one trick ponies because they’re pretty fantastic.

I enjoyed Black-ish and will continue to watch.   Not only because I find the show incredibly interesting but it’s also really, really funny!

DVRs: 3+

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Gotham “Pilot” S1 E1

We are a little superhero crazy right now.   Last year we had Arrow (in its second season) and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (first season.)    This year we have four more coming…The Flash, Constantine, iZombie, and now Gotham.  Is it too much?   I guess we’ll have to see.  Like anything, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.    We really didn’t need 3 different CSIs, 3 different NCISs, 2 Criminal Minds,10 different reality talent competitions, etc.   So will the comic/superhero genre be too much?    We’ll see.  In my opinion as long as they are good shows, it makes so difference to me.   And I would argue Gotham isn’t in the same realm as the other comic book shows.    Gotham is an origin story.  This is not a Batman story, in the present form as we know Batman.   In fact, Bruno Heller (the man behind The Mentalist and others) has already come out and said, we not see the Caped Crusader.   That makes me happy.  There are so many movies about Batman, I don’t need a TV show about him….unless it’s different.   Gotham is different.

As I said before, Gotham is an origin story.   What does that mean?   It means we get to see characters we are familiar with (and some we don’t) before we really knew them.   A prequel if you will.  But this isn’t the story of how Batman becomes Batman.  At least not directly.    This is the story of the man who helped define the future Bruce Wayne and the city that Batman fiercely protects.  In a way, Gotham is very much the central character of the show the way New York City was for Sex and the City.   But Gotham’s central protagonist is rookie Detective Jim Gordon (future Commissioner James Gordon) played by Ben Mackenzie who’s first real crime to solve is the murder of Tom and Martha Wayne, parents of Bruce Wayne (our future Batman.)  The Waynes are the wealthiest family in Gotham (so I’m not sure why they were walking down a dark alley at night but that’s another story.)   So when Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are sent to the crime scene, Bullock wants no part of it.   Gordon goes over to talk to Bruce, who witnesses the crime, and connects with him instantly.  Scenes like this are why I love origin stories so much.   You know how this relationship eventually evolves and what their relationship is in the Batman world as we know it today.  But we’ve never seen how it all started.  We were told, but hearing it and seeing it are so different.   It’s a great look into the history of this friendship.   Gordon opens up to Bruce to let him know he knows what he’s going through because of the death of his father at a young age.   He promises him he’ll find out who did this and bring them to justice.   We are introduced to a plethora of characters throughout the pilot most of whom we already know…..Selina Kyle AKA Catwoman (Camren Bicondovra), Oswald Cobblepot AKA The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Edward Nygma AKA The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), Ivy Pepper AKA Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), Barbara Kean AKA Mrs Barbara Gordon (Erin Richards), and is it possible the stand up comedian at Mooney’s establishment is the man we will come to know as The Joker?   Maybe not.   But Mooney spent a little too much time (as did the camera) paying attention to the stand up.   If he was just background for her scene with Cobblepot, why bother giving him so much screen time?   Just something to think about.  While I love seeing all the people as their original selves vs. their pseudonyms did we really need to meet EVERYONE in the pilot.    Couldn’t we have saved some for later?   Just seemed as if the show runners were trying to pack 10 pounds of poop into a 5 pound bag.

With all the characters we met that we have some familiarity with, two of the most interesting to me was the one who I knew nothing about and who was brand new….Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith.)   Maybe it was the way Smith was playing her but I found her to be sinister, hard ass, a bit terrifying, and incredibly enjoyable.   Mooney is one of the big crime lords in Gotham and is fortunate enough to have some of the cops (like Gordon’s partner) in her pocket for protection.   But when Mooney thinks Gordon and Bullock didn’t fall in line with her way of doing business, she had them scheduled to be killed.   Not to mention, when she finds out the Cobblepot snitched on her, she comes down on him with a violent fury, just short of killing him.     Don’t pee in her Cheerios.  But someone even scarier with stronger, more powerful ties in Gotham saves their lives.    That man is Carmen Falcone, head of the Gotham City mob with a connection to Gordon’s father.   We learn that Falcone and Gordon’s father (the former DA of Gotham) were actually friends.   I wonder how much of that is actually true vs. Falcone’s interpretation of their arrangement.  But this scene (among others) is where we learn why Jim Gordon will have a rough go in Gotham and why the Caped Crusader is eventually needed.  Falcone has everyone in his payroll….cops, lawyers, politicians, you name it.   Falcone runs the city.  In his own twisted way, he loves the city and vows to protect it at all costs.   Protect it from whom?    I would say from naive, doe eyed cops who want to “clean up” the city from crime and corruption.   “You can’t have organized crime without law and order.  I love this city and I see it going to hell.   I won’t let it go without a fight” Falcone informs Gordon.  In Falcone’s mind, the cops are a necessary part of his business model.  However, he expects those cops to fall in line with HIS sense of order and justice.   Falcone being as smart as he is realizes that Gordon is a good man, like his dad.  He’s honorable, a straight shooter, and someone who will do the right thing.   So in order to keep him in line, he orders him (through Bullock) to kill Cobblepot.  It’s an incredible scene watching Gordon walk Cobblepot to the end of the pier while Cobblepot pleads for his life.   And just before Gordon pulls the trigger he tells him “don’t ever come back to Gotham.”  He shoots and dumps him in the water.  Now, Gordon doesn’t actually shoot him ( you can’t kill The Penguin in the pilot) but from Bullock’s vantage point, Gordon did what Falcone wanted.   In the end, Gordon goes to Wayne Manor to see Master Bruce (Alfred of course is with him) to let him know that the man arrested for his parents’ murder wasn’t the right man.   That person is still at large and Gordon intends to find him.   But the key is Bruce keeping quite about what he knows in order for him to do that.  Bruce agrees.   You can already begin to see a transformation in Bruce from the scared, crying child, to the methodical, vigilante he will become.

While a lot happened in this episode, the big thing that stood out to me was how well cast this show is.  Mackenie is perfectly cast as Gordon.   He has the rugged toughness you need to be a top cop in a tough town but he also has the righteous, superior aura that certainly divides the good guys from the bad and highlights the ones in the middle, like Bullock.   But how long can he hold onto these high ground morals while trying to clean up the city from the inside of a department wrought with corruption and fear?   Will it break him?   You have to think no because we know he does become the Commissioner.   But just because he rises through the ranks, doesn’t mean he hasn’t had to change who he is to some degree for the greater good.   So I’m looking forward to seeing that evolution over the course of the series.   Another standout from the show was Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot/The Penguin.  He was brilliant.   He was pathetic and creepy and sad and murderous.  You watched him transform from a weak, desperate to be accepted henchman for Fish Mooney to disgraced outcast with an ax to grind against all who wronged him.   When you have a show based on a hugely popular comic story and as well a massively successful movie collection over the course of many years, people can have preconceived notions of how characters should look, sound, and act.  I try very hard not to have those when I go into a show like this and for the most part it’s easy because everyone is so much younger in Gotham from when we come to know them in Batman.  But for characters like The Penguin, The Riddler, possibly The Joker who are old enough to still have early insights into the characters they will become, that we already know, I think it’s much harder for those actors vs. Selina Kyle who is really just a baby at this point.  Taylor pulls it off superbly.  Logue’s Bullock will be the one to watch for me in the sense that I’m not sure what to make of him.   He can easily come across as the prototypical disgruntled veteran cop who hates everyone and life in general.  I don’t think that’s the case here.   You see signs of him where he may have been very much like Gordon when he started out.  But because of certain situations and possibly life altering decisions he’s had to make, he’s become the shades of grey cop who has been sucked into the corruption way of life more so as a means of preservation rather than conscious choice.   It’s probably why Gordon angers and frustrates him because he sees himself in him.   Someone who once wanted the same things Gordon did but wasn’t strong enough to see it through.  He probably sees Gordon as some who has the stones to fight the good fight and I think that makes him proud yet thoroughly embittered at the same time.   Maybe none of that is true and I’m looking for a deeper meaning that isn’t there (wouldn’t be the first time.)

Having said all that, in the simplest of terms, Gotham is a cop procedural with a cast of characters we are well aware of.   I really don’t think of this as a superhero show the way I do Arrow or probably will when I watch The Flash.  This is a cop show…like Castle.  Except instead of a precinct and villains we don’t know, Gotham has a precinct and villains we mostly do know.  However, we don’t know them in these current forms.  We know what they become.  The fun part will be watching how they get there!

DVRs: 4

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Madam Secretary “Pilot” S1 E1

CBS’s opening night of the new TV season kicked off with a bang with the series premiere of Madam Secretary (MS) and the return of The Good Wife (TGW.)    I’m just going to throw this out as a suggestion CBS.   Instead of saying Madam Secretary starts at 8pm and TGW starts at 9pm and then the DVR sets it up for 8:30 and 9:30 and then CBS puts up the ticker at the bottom saying they are starting at 9:04 and 10:04 respectively, how about we do this instead.  When the NFL games on CBS are over, run a quick post game show on CBS.   Run it until 8pm.   Maybe it’s 45 minutes, maybe it’s 15 minutes.   Just run it and then start 60 minutes at 8pm, MS at 9pm, and TGW at 10pm.   It’s pretty simple.  That way, you aren’t messing with people’s shows or DVRs.   I’m just suggesting…and I think it’s a good one.   But even though I had to wait over an hour for the premiere of MS, it was well worth the wait.

Madam Secretary showcases the return of Tea Leoni to TV as Dr. Elizabeth (Bess) McCord, a former CIA analyst and current professor at the University of Virginia.  When the current Secretary of State’s plane goes down and is killed, McCord’s former boss at the CIA (and current President of the United States, played by Keith Carradine) visits her at her home and offers her the position.   POTUS trusts McCord because he hired her and trained her so he knows how she thinks and she won’t be anchored down by the politics of Washington.   She has no political aspirations so she’ll just come in and do the job while bringing a different viewpoint to attack situations.   Hence we get our first ridiculously cheesy line of the series….”You don’t just think outside the box.   You don’t even know there is a box.”   Oh boy.  Alright I can forgive that one.   But let’s keep the eye rolling clichés to a minimum ok?

Two months later, the McCord family, including husband and fellow university professor Henry (Tim Daly) and her two children (there is a 3rd in college who we’ll see in episode 2) move to D.C. and McCord works to insert her “non political” self into a very political world.    Many current White House personnel aren’t so happy to see her including White House Chief of Staff Russell Jackson (the ubiquitous Zeljko Ivanek) and McCord’s Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver (the brilliant Bebe Neuwirth.)   Not sure why there is tension between Tolliver and McCord out of the gate but I guess we’ll learn more about that later.   It appears though, the real tension over the course of the series will be between Jackson and McCord.  He’s obviously the Chief of Staff because he’s good at his job and there is a trust factor with the POTUS.  Or, maybe there is something more sinister there, a little Frank Underwood/Doug Stamper-ish.    But more on that later.   In addition to Tolliver, McCord has her personal aide Blake (Erich Bergen) and communications team Matt (Geoffrey Arned), Daisy (Patina Miller), and Jay (Sebastian Arcelus.)

Her first major crisis is the rescue mission of two teenaged boys who accidentally crossed over from Turkey into Syria and are about to be executed by the Syrian government.  Already you see McCord wanting to handle the situation one way with Jackson wanting to handle another.   I’m not sure if it’s because he believes his way is the right way to handle or because he wants to send a message to the SoS that he’s the final decision maker in these matters, not her.   Based on a conversation that happens later in the episode in the oval office, I wouldn’t put it pass Jackson to have some collateral damage as a result of making his point to McCord and sleeping just fine about it.  Until we learn more about him, it’s too soon to prognosticate.   They go with Jackson’s idea and it fails.   So McCord enlists a gentlemen she has connections with to go in through back channels to get the kids out.  It works and the kids are brought home safe and sound.   Before she pulls this trigger, she goes around Jackson right to the President to lay out her plan (only giving him as much information as he needs to give the go ahead) and he tells her that she better be right or she’ll be fired.   At the end of the episode, she receives a visit from Jackson obviously aware she went around him to secure the rescue of the kids and he isn’t happy.   He “forgives” her but he warns her that he only forgives once and that he isn’t the type of enemy she wants to make.   “I make a better ally than opponent” he warns her.  “Same here” she suggests right back.

As McCord is getting up and running, one of her former CIA colleagues comes to her house to discuss what happened to the former Secretary of State, Vincent Marsh.   George finds out Marsh was laundering drug money in off shore accounts and was by all accounts a pretty shady, bad guy.   However, what scares George is that the plane crash was an orchestrated attack on Marsh, not an accident and that the directive came from inside the White House.   McCord isn’t sure what to make of this little revelation and George leaves.    It’s almost a forgotten about conversation until after the King of Swaziland dinner, McCord goes back to her office to find Henry there.  He informs her that George was killed in a one car wreck where his car ran into a tree.   Immediately, Elizabeth knows this isn’t an accident and I think she’ll start taking what George said more to heart.   What does all this mean?   Someone inside the White House isn’t playing nicely with others.

The reason why this show works for me right away, is that this isn’t a “case/disaster of the week” show.  Sure there are going to be situations McCord and her team will be dealing with, otherwise what’s the point.   But it works because this show highlights a strong, intelligent woman who is managing an intense department in a highly political environment while she, herself, is the furthest person from rank and file.   You also get to see the self-conscious side of McCord where she questions if she’s doing right by the people in her life, both professionally and personally.   So many times in shows like this, the strong, sharp woman is a bitch on wheels with no care for anyone or anything.  But not McCord (or her Sunday night partner Alicia Florrick.)   McCord is very respectful of her husband’s career and her children’s well-being.   She realizes the sacrifices they are making for her to take on this responsibility.  I respect that.   It would be very easy to highlight McCord’s “fierceness” by blowing off her family’s concerns and basically rank her situation ahead of theirs.  But she never does that.  The writers and Leoni do an excellent job of showing how tough McCord can be without making her unreasonable or cold.   You also see this in her work life where she needs to stand up to people in a much higher rank than her and she’s trying very hard to be respectful of those circumstances yet convey her beliefs in a firm and unyielding manner.  I like that while there is no doubt of McCord’s intelligence and self-confidence, she also is apprehensive and vigilant at times when she isn’t quite sure when to hold back and when to push.    It shows a vulnerability that many women like McCord face.    Just because you’re the best at your job or you excel at each responsibility you undertake, doesn’t mean there aren’t times when you don’t question yourself and your decisions.   Especially when making life and death decisions!   The interesting part for me is how long McCord will be able to hold onto her morals and her vision on how the position should run in an environment where so many things are out of her control and there could possibly be people specifically plotting against her demise.   Speaking of which….

Conspiracy time!!!   Let’s start with a baby conspiracy item first.  I don’t think Henry is the loving husband we are being led to believe.   Do I believe he loves his wife and family?  Yes.   Do I think he maybe doing something (or someone ) else on the side?  Yes.   I think the scene where Elizabeth goes to see him in the library talking to a bunch of students is very telling.   Henry is holding court and one of the female students is taking special exception to Mr. McCord…in the creepy context of a jealous girlfriend when his wife shows up.   Why show what should be a pretty innocuous scene?   Because I think this is going to lay the ground work of McCord being so wrapped up in her work that she isn’t seeing what right in front of her and that is her husband’s affair.   And maybe it’s not one affair but many.    Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I don’t think you show the jealous student for no reason.   The second, more larger conspiracy…I think POTUS will end up being the Frank Underwood of the show.    I wouldn’t be surprised if he was behind the murder of Marsh and puts McCord in the role because he thinks he can control her and because of her lack of political ambitions.  The only reason why I can’t call this a stone cold lead pipe lock is because POTUS knows how smart McCord is.   He also knows that because of her lack of political ambition, there is nothing to hold over her should she start figuring things out.   So why would he put someone as sharp as she is, who could potentially figure out what’s going on, in this role?   It could backfire hugely for him.    So I haven’t quite figured that out yet.   Right now, we’re being led to believe Jackson is the man we have to watch out for.   And you know what, I felt that way about Cyrus Beene and it turns out that yes, in fact, he is a monster.    But I’m not sure Jackson will be the boil on the butt of the White House.  I think it’s too obvious.  He could be the red herring with POTUS being the “Keyser Soze.”

What did you think?   Are you all in on Madam Secretary?  I am.   This cast is stellar, the story has promise and has tons of room to go in many directions, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to The Good Wife on Sundays.   Because the story can go in many directions, I hope it doesn’t spiral out of control.  But since this is from Barbara Hall, who is the same person who brought us the amazing Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia, I am willing to be patient and see where this goes.  Will you continue watching with me?

DVRS: 5

 
 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP AND REVIEW: The Mysteries of Laura “Pilot” S1 E1

It’s hard to believe the new season has kicked off.   And I’m not going to lie, I don’t like when networks do these “special previews” and premiere shows outside of premiere week.    One, I’m not ready for it yet.   Two, I usually forget the show is premiering because my mind has not kicked into that gear yet.   And three, it loses some of the pomp and circumstance (at least in my household) of premiere week.   It’s like the start of the NFL season.   To me, the season starts the first Sunday of the season.   10-12 games are on the docket for the day (usually my Eagles are one of those teams.)   I make my traditional chili, I get the beer chilled, my house is decorated in Eagles green, I have my Eagles jersey on, the phone is shut off, and I watch football for 10-11 straight hours.   It’s awesome.   The season doesn’t start on Thursday.   I hate Thursday games.   It’s one thing during holidays when nothing else is on but not every Thursday.   So I can’t get excited about that Thursday game because that’s not the start of the season for me.   Sunday is.   The TV Fall Season is the same way.   This isn’t premiere week.   Next week is.    I have nothing to do at night next week.  I will have all my DVRs set up, I will have my schedule of what I’m watching live and what I’ll watch on the DVR later.   It’s amazing!!    So I don’t know if it hurts or helps shows like The Mysteries of Laura (TMOL) to premiere early.  In one regard, there is very little competition so you have a better chance of getting a solid audience.    But that can also hurt you if your pilot isn’t the greatest but you build into your momentum and get better as more episodes come around.   If the pilot is bad or iffy, you may have already lost people after one episode.    It’s also a good thing because it’s been 4-5 months (if you’re Sleepy Hollow 7 months) since we’ve seen our favorite shows so people are itching for something new to watch.   And don’t give me the summer season has new shows now because there’s a reason those shows air in the summer (network shows I mean.)  It’s because TV viewing goes down significantly in the summer time and therefore not as much pressure for ratings for advertisers.    Bottom line, if you’re going to break the premiere week mold, you better have something people will jump on or else you’ve shot yourself in the foot.   TMOL might have just shot themselves in the foot.   If they get 10 million people to watch again next week, I will quit my real job.

TMOL stars Debra Messing as Det. Laura Diamond.  She is one of the top detectives in her precinct struggling to juggle her job, her marriage, and her kids.   Certainly not a new premise but one you hope due to casting, will have a new twist or new life breathing into it.   And as much as I love Messing, this character is as cliché as they come.   Her desk is a mess, her car is a mess, she’s late, she’s disheveled, and she’s unconventional.    The problem is, none of this resonates with me.  I don’t buy her as a detective let alone the best detective.   Seriously, what detective goes to a home to investigate death threats and sits down with the guests and has cake and wine?   Even her captain when he is offered wine says “oh I really shouldn’t.”  YOU THINK?   You are on duty aren’t you?    Isn’t there a rule about drinking and being on the job?   And this all happens after she shoots a perp in the ear while he’s holding a man hostage in the middle of a busy park.   And she picks the ear that closest to the hostage instead of the outside ear.    That’s great police work.    Then there are her parenting skills.    For an interview for a Pre-K school (because her kids were kicked out of the other one) she feeds her kids enough cough syrup so they are calm and almost asleep.   She must have overdone it though considering her one son pukes it up.   Then when her children are urinating on each other in public, instead of punishing them or freaking out OVER THE FACT HER KIDS ARE PEEING ON EACH OTHER FOR FUN, she asks politely asks them to stop.  No wonder her kids are monsters.    It also doesn’t help that her husband (soon to be ex) Jake (Josh Lucas) is just a big kid himself…but not in a good way.    He’s not Jack Tripper in Three’s Company where he’s funny and goofy and slightly frustrating because he’s just a big kid but he’s so lovable you can’t be mad at him.   Plus when he needs to buck up, he does.  Jake isn’t close to that.   He seems to shirk his parenting duties and when he is around his kids, he’s bringing them pizza and wrestling with them on the couch and then leaves.   When his kids are peeing on each other in the park, he thinks it’s funny and it doesn’t seem to phase him at all.    You’re probably reading this thinking what’s wrong with a dad bringing his kids pizza and wrestling around with them?  Nothing at all….as long as he steps up and is their father when it counts, not just their buddy.    I don’t get the impression Jake has time for the serious stuff…only the fun stuff.   So from a home life perspective, there isn’t one likable person in the Diamond household.

There was a case that I really didn’t care about.   This phone mogul was receiving death threats and everyone (except Laura) thought it was the wife.   Turns out it was Laura’s Captain (Elias from Person of Interest) who was the person who killed him because he was having an affair with his wife.   Ok I’ll admit I didn’t see that twist coming but it fell flat because the rest of the case was so uninteresting.    Because Captain Elias was obviously removed of his duties as captain of the squad.   Guess who just so happens to be put in his place?     That’s right…Laura’s husband Jake.    Which again, isn’t there something against spouses working in the same precinct let alone one reporting to the other?

I really wanted to like this show but I just didn’t.   I like a lot of the cast, independent of this show, but they all deserve better than this.   The writing is bad, the premise is worse, and there isn’t a likable character on the show.   Not to mention this show doesn’t seem to know what they want to be.    Is this a comedy?   Is this a dramatic cop show with some comedic elements?   Is it a family show?   And shows don’t have to be channeled into one vain or another…they can cross multiple angles (which Castle does brilliantly.)  But this show doesn’t seem to have a direction.    On top of that, I just can’t buy that Laura is so good at her job yet so awful a parent.  Mostly because I don’t believe she’s as good a detective as we’re being told she is.    Kate Beckett, Olivia Benson, Brenda Leigh Johnson….those are good cops.   Laura?   I guess shooting a perp with precision in the middle of Battery Park is supposed to indicate she’s the best of the best.   Or really dumb and really lucky.   I’m not sure.   But she didn’t come across as a confident, seasoned vet who commands respect in her squad.      Add in the husband being forgettable and the kids being beyond disastrous, I have no interest in seeing where Laura goes from here and what her mysteries actually are.

DVRs: 1

 

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SERIES FINALE: How I Met Your Mother “Last Forever” S9 E22

So that’s how it ends.   The story of these 5 friends we have been following for 9 years has reached it’s conclusion and in some ways it’s exactly what I thought and in other ways, it’s nothing like I thought would happen.   One thing is for certain, people will be talking (and screaming) about this finale for days to come.   It was that kind of ending.  I imagine most people loved it or hated it.   Judging by the early comments, people LOATHED it.  However I am not one of them.    Was it my favorite finale ever?   Not even close.   Was it as bad as Dexter’s finale?   Not even close.   But enough with the broad strokes.  Let’s dive into this and if you haven’t seen tonight’s finale, stop reading now and come back when you have.

I have mixed feelings on this finale.  There were parts I loved and parts I didn’t and parts I was indifferent about.   But since this was a very polarizing finale, I can see how people would lean one way or the other.   I mean come on.  We just spent THE ENTIRE SEASON on the weekend of Barney and Robin’s wedding only to have them be divorced 20 minutes into the finale.   Hence one of the parts I didn’t like.   If you were just going to break them up, couldn’t we have spent, maybe, oh I don’t know, 6-8 episodes on the wedding weekend and the remaining 14-16 episodes on the aftermath and subsequent years and maybe a little more on Ted and Tracy (Question #1 answered….Mother’s name is Tracy.)  In some ways I feel like I wasted 20+ episodes this season by having this build to a wedding that ultimately didn’t matter.  I would have rather spent more time getting know Tracy a little bit more since technically the show is about her.    It would have also made the scene where we learn that our fears raised in “Vesuvius” came to fruition…Tracy gets sick and passes away…much more powerful because we have been closer to her.    Not to mention, since Ted has been searching for this woman for as long as we’ve known him, it would have been nice to see Ted grieve the loss of his wife instead of it being mentioned as an after thought.    But it just goes to show you how awesome Cristin Miloti is.   I fell in love with her the minute I saw her.  She was perfect for Ted.   We got to see some snippets of that over this season, but not enough for my liking.   But in the brief time we did get her, she made the most of it and made the audience fall completely for her the way Ted did.   And maybe that was exactly the point.   It’s pretty obvious this was the plan from the beginning.   Penny and Luke (Question #2 answered….the names of Ted’s kids) who were played by Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie, had to film those scenes at the end of Season 1 because if the show lasted a long time (which it did), they couldn’t show them aged on the couch 9 years later since this is supposed to be a story told in one sitting.   So if that is what they filmed 9 years ago, this was always the plan.  It explains why Tracy didn’t show up until this season.  It explains why even when she was here, we only got bits and pieces of her.  Because even thought the show was called How I Met Your Mother, it was never about the mother.    This was the story of Ted and Robin.    The mom was the red herring the whole time. You can look at that one of two ways.    You can love the story told in a way that we didn’t see coming (although my husband called it last week) or you can feel completely betrayed by the absolute misrepresentation of the series.  Either way, you’d be correct in your feelings.   But were the writers correct in staying the course?

There is something to be said for laying out a series game plan and sticking with it because that’s your vision and that’s the story you want to tell.   But then I think you need to define how long that story lasts because to me, you can’t have it both ways.    You can’t have a series go on and on and have the story and audience reaction to characters take you down a path you didn’t expect only to rip their hearts out later because it didn’t fit your original plan.   If you have a plan, make a 5-6 year plan.   But if you’re willing to let the story go where characters, actors, and/or fans take you, then you need to be flexible.   Even though you filmed those scenes with Fonseca and Henrie way back when, you didn’t have to use them.  It could have been something for the box set of DVDs “see what the writers originally planned to do!!!”    That’s good marketing people!   I guess that’s why I’m so curious about not just the finale but the whole final season.   If this was the plan you were sticking to, which I don’t mind as much as other people do, then WHY do an entire season on the wedding of a couple destined to fail?   Why try to cram the next 15+ years of stories and bombshells into 60 minutes?   The wedding could have been done in 6-7 episodes and then we could have had another 14-15 episodes to learn more about the mother, their relationship, her impending demise and Ted’s grief over that and how it impacted him.    Because that is something I would have wanted to see.  This is a man who has been searching for love his whole life.   Since we’ve known Ted, he’s a romantic and he loves being in love.   So to lose the “love of his life” (which now is up for debate) and not see anything from the character on how that impacted him, I think strays from the true character of Ted.    We were there when Marshall and Lily broke up and then got back together.   We were there when Marshall and Lily got married.  We were there when they debated about having children and then watched them bring Marvin, Daisy, and #3 into the picture.  We were there when Barney met his birth father.  We were there when Robin found out she couldn’t have children.  We were there when Ted was left at the altar by Stella.  We were there when Marshall’s dad passed away.  So how in the world can we not be there when Ted loses Tracy?   I feel so robbed as a fan.   That’s what upsets me the most.   There were so many moments in the finale where we could have had more and the writers had the time to do it with this final season and chose not to.   Instead we got Billy Zabka (although that doesn’t bother me as much because I love me some Billy Zabka), Daphne, Gary Blauman, Cassie, and other pointless characters when we could have spent more time on our Fab 5 and Tracy since this will be the last time we see them.   That’s what I’m most disappointed in.

As for the ending and the writers choosing to have Ted and Robin be together at last, that didn’t bother me as much as other people.  After all, the show is “How I Met Your Mother” not “How I Spend The Rest of my Life With Your Mother.”   Because for a long time, I really liked Ted and Robin together and was secretly hoping she was mother somehow and someway.   But I also thought she was great with Barney in a lot of ways.   Hats off to Cobie Smulders because that woman had chemistry with everyone!  And I’m ok with the show runners giggling to themselves to have this be the rug the pull out from under us.  As a fan of TV, I like when a show surprises me and throws a fun twist (as long as it makes sense….yes I’m looking at you St Elsewhere.)  I mean, I was one of those people who would scream when they would revisit the Ted/Robin pairing over the course of the series because ultimately we know they don’t end up together.   So what was the point right?    Well, now we know.  Now we know why after determining they aren’t right together, bad timing, hook ups, break ups, dating, not dating, longing looks…..it was all because they were meant to be together.   And while I’m ok with that, I still have to raise my eyebrows at a few things.   First, why have that ceremonial moment on the beach with Robin and Ted where Ted finally let’s Robin go?  Because if you’re still going to have a thing for her after all this time, then you haven’t let her go.  It also made me think, if you’re really over her, then why are you moving to Chicago?   And since the writers knew this was the path, why have that scene?  Second, why did Robin need to be with Barney?   I mean she married one of his best friends.   Couldn’t she have just been the career person now and that’s why she couldn’t be with Ted as well as Ted meeting Tracy?   If the answer is because they needed a wedding to get Ted to meet Tracy and to show with Barney’s character that being married really isn’t for him….fine.  He could have married the stripper girl he was engaged to.  He didn’t have to marry Robin.   I’m not sure why the writers would get many fans invested in Robin and Barney only to have it crash and burn.  Barney and the stripper could have crashed and burned with the same results.   So why get the audience invested in Robin and Barney only to know that the end game is Robin and Ted?   Robin could have been with someone else or alone with her career.  She didn’t have to be with Barney if the end game was Ted.  Finally, when Ted is in MacLaren’s on the phone with Tracy and Marshall is pissed because here’s Ted falling for another girl and going too fast, Lily is sitting there with a huge smile on her face and tells Marshall…this time it’s different.  After Victoria, Stella, and yes, even Robin, Tracy invoked a reaction out of Ted that was unlike any other woman ever has indicating to me, that she was his soul mate and one true love.  Again, why have that line and that moment if ROBIN is really his one true love?    Maybe I’m missing the point.  Maybe the point isn’t that Tracy or Robin are his soul mate but that they both are.  It’s the only thing that makes sense.  Because if it’s just Robin, then the other parts about Ted and Tracy don’t make sense.  And if it’s just Tracy, then the end of the story doesn’t make sense.    So I guess the only thing that does is that BOTH women are Ted’s true loves.    That while Ted has been searching and searching and fearing that he’ll never meet anyone he can share his life with, he was blessed (or cursed) to have two women he could love completely and spend his days with.   It certainly is a more real world scenario.  But is that what the audience wants?   Judging by initial reactions, I don’t think so.

Ultimately I wanted closure for my Fab 5.   And whether you liked it or not, that’s exactly what you got.  Marshall and Lily are back in NYC with baby #3 and Marshall finally got to be a judge after giving it up for Lily in 2014.  I had no doubt Marshmallow and Lily Pad would have a solid, happy ending because they have been solid since the pilot.  Even with all their ups and downs, NO ONE ever doubted that these two would be together forever.  In my mind, they were the heart and soul of the show, especially Lily.  As for Barney, he went back to being single and finally told his friends what I thought he should have said years ago….that basically he’s not the settling down type of guy.    He likes having throngs of women coming in and out of his life with no commitment.  It’s who he is and he’s very happy like that so as his friends they should accept him for who he is and be happy for him.    And they were.   But after the perfect month (LOL) Barney finds out he got Day 31 pregnant.   Actually I’m surprised this never happened before with all the girls he’s slept with over the years.  While in typical Barney fashion, we don’t know the mother’s name and he really wants no part of this, he gets introduced to his new baby….a girl…Ellie.   Turns out Barney is a one woman guy.   It just so happens that the woman in his life, the love of his life, is his baby girl.   And the always amazing Neil Patrick Harris just completely blows this scene away and gives us one of the most beautiful moments on the show when he tells his daughter the following:

You are the love of my life.   Everything I have and everything I am, is yours.  Forever.

I mean come on.  If you are crying after that you have to be a little dead inside.   It was such a beautiful moment.   The other fantastically beautiful moment in the episode was when Ted and Tracy met for the first time on the Farhampton train tracks.   Talk about a meet cute!!!   It was so sweet and a great nod to many of the clues dropped over the years…the mom being in the Econ 305 class Ted accidentally thought was his Architecture 101 class, her being Cindy’s roommate, losing the yellow umbrella on St Patrick’s Day….it was perfect.   Then the reveal of her name, Tracy McConnell, because the initials T.M were on the umbrella and Ted and Tracy “fought” over whose initials they really were.   I loved it.   It was everything I could have imagined for their first meeting and more.    And I did like the ending.    Since they decided to stay the course and put Robin and Ted together in the end, I think they wrapped it up well with Robin being in her apartment with the same breed of dogs, Ted being downstairs, Robin opening up her window to see him (with the dogs peeking out) and Ted shows her the Blue French Horn.  Again, a great nod to the pilot to have everything come full circle.

Look, I know many people are disappointed in how this turned out.   No one wanted to see Tracy die and Robin be back in the fold, except for the die-hard Ted and Robin shippers.  I think a lot of people feel duped.  And that’s why the finale is a hard one to wrap my head around because you can look at it a few ways.  You can look at it and say that if that was the plan all along, ok.  I applaud the writers sticking to their guns and telling the story they wanted to tell.    There are many people out there with an early idea of a show but then let it just roll and see where it goes with no real end game.  Not these guys.  So I respect that.   There  are still lots of things I would have done differently but overall, I can’t be unhappy with how everything resolved itself.  Especially since this is something that happens in the real world….people fall in love with multiple people all the time.  People lose their spouse and reconnect with old flames…it happens.  In the end, Ted got what he always wanted and I think people want to see that for his character.    OR…you can look at it and say, WHAT THE HELL WERE THESE GUYS THINKING?    Once the show went longer than expected, once you see how the actors (Smulders and Radnor & Smulders and Harris) played off of one another and their chemistry, once you see the audience’s reaction to story lines….change it!!!   You don’t have to stay the course if another one, a better one (matter of opinion) presents itself.   Maybe they felt backed into a corner with the “and that’s how I met your Aunt Robin” line.    Maybe because the kids reaction was filmed 9 years ago, they felt they had no other choice but to end the story this way.  But these guys were creative and smart and I think could have figured out a way around it.   Hell, they could have put an aged Fonseca and Henrie on the couch and said “Jesus dad.  That story took so long, we aged 20 years!”    Maybe they didn’t want to.   Ultimately, I hope the 60 minutes of last night (and even this last season) doesn’t put too much of a damper on what was truly a great series with an amazing cast and creative team.   I spent 9 years with this crew…many of whom are my age.   All I wanted to see was them happy and together.   While most of the episode last night showed them fractured, in the end, the gang was back together, as they should be, and in the end, we know they all ended up happy.   Whether or not it was a viewers definition of happy is another story, but the writers showed us a group of friends who loved each other and supported each other and were there for each other, altogether and happy…and that’s how a series like this should wrap up.

So what did you think?  Did you love it?    Hate it?    Confused by it?   Content with it?   I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: True Detective “Form and Void” S1 E8

WOW.   What a season.    This show brought story telling and acting to a whole new level and the finale certainly didn’t disappoint.   I know there were so many wild and crazy theories out there about how this was all going to go down.   Ultimately, I didn’t care.   And I don’t say that in a dismissive sense.  I say it in a respectful sense.   Nic Pizzolatto has told such a glorious story from start to finish that I wasn’t concerned with where it was going because I trusted that it would end as it should….and it did.

With so many people speculating as to who the Yellow King was and how all this tied together, it’s easy to get caught up in the prognosticating.  But in my humble opinion, the point of the narrative is lost if people only focus on the “who done it.”   This show is not Criminal Minds or CSI or even Castle.  It’s not about solving who’s the killer at the end of the arc.  It’s not about trying to put the pieces together to figure it out.    It’s about the story of these two dark, broken men who are solving this crime and how this case has impacted their lives and their journey together as partners and eventually, friends.   Now don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to know who the damn Yellow King was and why/how this all happened.   But I wasn’t as curious about that as I was to see how the resolution impacted Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey.)   I wanted, more than anything, for this story line to come to a resolution for their characters.   To wrap up their characters’ arcs.    See, when you look at this show, they could have been anything….truck drivers, CPAs, tennis pros, salesmen…it didn’t matter.  Whatever their profession, the story revolved around how these two men came to be both as individuals and as partners.   It just so happened that they were detectives solving a crime that personally connected with both of them (for different reasons) and that was the catalyst to help them work through their inner demons and move away from the darkness and towards the light.   And they needed each other to do it.

Marty’s biggest issue was trying to be, in the most benign of descriptions, “the man.”  Both at work and at home, Marty wanted to be everything to everyone.   Master of his domain.    And the harder he tried, the more he went in the opposite direction…whether by his own doing or as the result of someone else’s decisions.   At work, he was the guy everyone liked, but maybe not always respected.   When he partnered with Cohle he wasn’t happy about it but to appease him, he was told he was the lead, the point man for all cases.   Eventually, after several years, that really just became a title with no meaning behind it because everyone knew that Cohle was the one solving the crimes, getting the confections, making the arrests.   Marty was just the paperwork pusher.  Instead of being the lead dog, he was the ultimate  lap dog.  Reduced to nothing more than administrative assistant to Cohle.   At home, his daughters couldn’t stand him and didn’t want to be around him and his wife (because of her own frustrations at being married to a man with such little inner strength) could be quite the ball crusher when she saw Marty asking and speaking in ways that were less than authoritative.   He could be meek and timid and that frustrated her.   Marty’s solution?    Start banging all these younger versions of his wife to make himself feel like a man again.   In the end, albeit way too late, Marty realized that he pushed away the one woman he really loved, destroyed his relationship with his daughters, and is now left with nothing.   Or is he?

Rust is the complete opposite of Marty.   He never cared about being “the man.”    All he cared about was justice.  No one liked Rust.  No one understood Rust (no one cared to.)  And Rust didn’t care.  He was on a mission…to seek justice for Dora Lange and the other young children who were kidnapped, raped, and murdered.   And he could go after these thugs with reckless abandon because he doesn’t care if he loses his life in the battle for truth.   It was that way when he was undercover (and probably why he stayed as long as he did), it was that way when he went undercover again with the Iron Crusaders, and it was that way last night when he went after Eroll Childress.   Why did he value his life so little?   Because that meant he would be closer to his daughter.   If he dies, he’s back where he belongs…with her.   I think that’s why Rust was moving around like a breathing corpse because nothing mattered without his little girl and her mom.  His soul and spirit died the same day his daughter did.  And even though it’s pretty much assumed that’s why Rust is the way he is, you never really understand his level of grief and pain until last night when the walls come down and the vulnerability shines through and we get our first look at the real Rust Cohle.

The best part of watching this season, was watching the partnership/relationship of Marty and Rust evolve into what it became…friendship.   These were two men who really didn’t like each other.   Actually, I would say Marty didn’t like Rust.   Rust’s feelings were buried so deep I don’t think he felt anything.   I think it would be fair to say that these were two men who didn’t understand one another.   But over the course of the season, as each man grew to know the other better (whether they wanted to or not), an understanding developed.   Eventually, that understanding grew to kinship.  Because at the end of the day, all they have is each other.   They came to learn that the only people who really understood them, were each other.   These were two dark, broken men.   Whether they were broken at someone else’s hand or their own, their inner selves were destroyed in such a way, it was no wonder they couldn’t have a normal life.   Marty and Rust both suffered losses.   Rust lost his daughter to God and his wife to grief while Marty lost his daughters and wife due to negligence and self loathing.    Either way, their families were gone.    What was left?   A lot of shattered pieces to be picked up and put back together and inadvertently and painfully, that what Rust and Marty did for each other.  Now they needed to shatter those pieces just a little bit more (with Rust sleeping with Maggie) and those pieces were left there for a long time before someone picked them up.  But this case brought them back together and as mad as Marty was and as guilt ridden as Rust was, they teamed up to finished what they started.   Years later, even when Marty was forgiving Rust, in his own way, Rust wouldn’t have it.  He would let Marty let him off the hook.   Hell we knew Rust hadn’t let himself off the hook because he never fixed his tail light that broke when they fought in the parking lot.  It was his reminder of his weakness and betrayal.  And I think that’s how Marty was able to start to forgive him.   But once they had their man and they went after him to finally get the justice those victims deserved, you really see how these men grew to trust, respect, and care for each other.    When Cohle was being gutted by Childress, Marty came in to stop it and save him.  Then when he turned his attention to Marty (after throwing an ax into his chest) Cohle mustered up all his strength to kill Childress.   Then Marty crawls over to Rust and holds him in his lap until help arrives.  He never leaves his partner’s side.    Even in the hospital after he wakes up and Rust is banged up but ok, Marty is still by his side.   And even though Rust doesn’t show it to Marty, after he kicks him out with his one finger salute asking him to never change, a smile comes over his face.  The kind of smile you get when your friend has made you laugh over something that should be painful.  That comfortable acknowledgement that no matter what, they are there for you.   That satisfying feeling that you have someone in your corner.   It’s confirmed even more so at the end of the show when both men are outside and Marty gives Cohle a present (his Camels) and then rolls him away to enjoy them.   We see Rust, not just break down his wall, but throw grenades and set off bombs to bring it down.  After everything they’ve been through, he lets Marty inside.  He beautifully and tearfully gives Marty what Marty has wanted since the day he met Cohle…and understanding behind the psyche of a disturbed man.  And boy does he paint a clear picture.  You see it in Marty’s face as he watches him explain how he never felt like he should be here because with each dangerous scenario he put himself in, it was one step closer to reuniting with his little girl.  Because at the end of the day, Rust wants happiness and peace.  And in his mind, for the longest time, only death could bring that because he would be with his daughter again.   But as Marty explains to him that while there is much darkness out there, there is also great light, he lets Rust know that he can find the inner peace he so desperately seeks if he focuses more on the light than the dark.   For the first time, since probably his daughter passed away, Rust believes him.    As such, he makes Marty take him away and arm and arm they go off into the darkness to seek their light….with one another.

What did you think of last night’s finale and the season overall?    Will you be back next year because I sure will!   And who would you like to see as the two main leads next year?    Let me hear from you!

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “The Enchanting Mr. Knight” S5 E16

There are very few episodes of Parenthood that I can say annoy the crap out of me.   In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever thought that about Parenthood.   But last night’s episode had me spitting nails.   Decisions that were made, conversations that were had…..UGH.   So much bad in 42 minutes.    Let’s start with what got my blood boiling the most shall we?

Crosby and Camille

Words cannot describe how much I wanted to punch Crosby in the face between last week’s episode and this week’s episode.    At one point, I was listening to his incessant rambling with my mouth agape.     I couldn’t believe the things he was saying.   Who the hell do you think you are Crosby?   Yes you grew up there but it’s not your home, it’s your parent’s home.   I mean of course your childhood home is your home when you’re a kid and you live there.   But guess what?   When you’re married and have a family and have your own home, it’s not your home anymore.   And unless you’ve paid a penny towards the mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc on the home, IT”S NOT YOUR PLACE TO SAY ANYTHING!!!   How DARE he get in the middle of this.   This is the Crosby I thought we sort of grew away from…the selfish, nosy, screwed up, self-centered jerk that thought the world revolved around him and every decision made in the world needs to be made in a way that makes him happy and his life easier.    Well he is back.

First he goes to Zeek to tell him that he knows he doesn’t want to sell the house and asks why he’s letting mom push him into something he doesn’t want.    And after Zeek very directly and beautifully tells him that it’s because after all his mother has done for this family, she deserves to have something she wants.   She wants to travel and if that means selling house to make her happy, Zeek is going to do it because she means more to him that anything else.    Then, since apparently that wasn’t good enough for Crosby, he goes to his mother and whines like a 7-year-old about selling his childhood home.  Notice he never talks about his siblings….it’s HIS home and HIS room.   By the way, since when do grown children say to their parents “when were you going to paint my room without telling me?”  I’m sorry Crosby, did you leave your wife and children and move back with your mom and dad and become 12 again?  As Camille reminded him, it hasn’t been his room in years.    And then the granddaddy asshole comment of all, he tells Camille she is selfish for selling the house.    SELFISH!!   He told his mother she was selfish for wanting to sell HER house.   Is he for real?    He actually made that comment with a straight face?    Well after losing my voice screaming at my TV, Camille responded better than I ever could:

Selfish.   Ok let me put this into some perspective for you.  I spent over 30 years of my life taking care of four kids.  Some of whom are still living in my house and coming home for lunch.  And I spent most of my adult life, compromising myself and what I want for your father.  I’ve always put myself second.  Or third.  Or fourth.  Or fifth or sixth.   I have cooked your dinners.  I have packed your school lunches.  I have driven you to play dates and practice and done your laundry well past when I should have.   And now when I assert one thing that I want, one thing, you and your dad and everyone else can’t take it.   So.  If that’s selfish, excuse me.

ROUND OF APPLAUSE CAMILLE!!!!  I seriously stood up (actually I was already up screaming at Crosby through my TV) and starting clapping and crying.    Good for you Camille.   You put your ungrateful, inconsiderate, rude, SELFISH, son in his place.   The worst part about it, it didn’t sink in with Crosby at all.  I don’t think he really listened to Camille and he got a little too much joy out of listening to his parents fight about this when he’s the cause of their fighting and pain.   And for all the times over the years Jasmine has scolded Crosby and given him a hard time, NOW all she has to say is “I told you not to get involved.”  Really Jasmine?   That’s all you can muster up?   Unbelievable.

I sincerely hope this storyline does not go down the path of Crosby getting what he wants and the house doesn’t sell.   Or if it doesn’t sell, I hope Camille leaves Zeek and her ungrateful son behind and goes on an adventure of a lifetime and do something just for her….because she deserves it

Sarah, Carl, and Hank

I used to like Hank.  He was weird and quirky, but I liked him.  Which surprised me because I HATED Everybody Love Raymond.   I found the show and Ray Romano, very unfunny.   But on Parenthood, I really liked his character and how Romano brought this character to life.    But this season, since they seem to be going down the “Hank Has Asberger’s” story line , it seems as thought Hank’s behavior has reached a new level of annoying.   Sure he was odd before but it was charming and sweet.   Now, he’s just a dick.   And I’m not sure if the Aspie suggested diagnosis is supposed to make us accept his rude/bad behavior or if his behavior is getting worse and we’re going to use an Aspie diagnosis to hopefully make people more understanding of Hank.  I know I’m saying the same thing but I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not sure which came first….the new ugly Hank or the Aspie story line.   And with all due respect, I’m great with one Asberger’s story line because I find it fascinating, I don’t need another.

This was another story that had me screaming at my TV.   Sarah was going to go away with AMAZING Carl to Zimbabwe, a once in a lifetime trip, and decided not to go after a nasty confrontation with Hank.   Her reason for not going….it’s the year of Sarah.   Really?   Year of Sarah huh?    So if it’s the year of Sarah, why did you let a man make your decision for you?    Isn’t the reason you’re now staying the exact reason Hank yelled at you for going in the first place….a man was distracting you and dictating your decisions?    Because when she decided to go to Africa, that was HER decision.  But her decision to stay was based off of being bullied by a man.   How exactly does that conform with her idea that it’s the year of Sarah?    Also it’s the YEAR of Sarah.  Not one week in the year if Sarah.    What is going to Africa with an amazing, smart, philanthropic, sweet stud  have to do with it not being the year of Sarah?  Is Sarah not allowed to go away during that year?   Can she not have fun?  Can she not have an outstanding experience both personally and professionally?   Because those seem to be the types of things you’d want to do in a year for yourself.   Am I wrong?    So instead, she’s going to let Hank bully and berate her into feeling bad about herself to stay because he’s jealous she’s going away with Carl.    Because let’s be honest.  Hank doesn’t care about Sarah being true to herself.    He cares that Sarah is going away with another man other than him.    Because if Sarah was going to Africa with Hank, I’m sure there would not have been a problem.   While Carl has always seemed to have Sarah’s best interests at heart, Hank only cares about himself.  Which is why I hope we haven’t seen the last of Carl because he’s a really good guy and I think he’s great for Sarah and I hope Hank goes back to wherever his daughter is and leaves the show.   Jason Katims, DO NOT put Sarah and Hank back together.    Carl was good for her.   For someone who always struggled to find herself and make her way in the world, Carl not only gave her support but self confidence, strength, and belief.  I don’t think you could have found a better guy for Sarah.   But what do I know.

Julia, Joel, and Ed

Oh Julia.  What are you doing girlfriend?   I know this is a brutal time for you.   But why, WHY would you go to Ed’s house…wait back up.  Why would you make Ed dinner, THEN bring it to his house, then decide that it’s an even better idea to stay and have dinner with him!    Seriously woman?   What are you thinking!   I have no problem with what Julia said to Ed at the sustainability garden (which was basically back off because you’re no good for me.)   And I can understand her back being up when Ed shows up at her home unannounced and uninvited to want to talk.   Ok Ed, what do you want to talk about with the woman you kissed and assisted in putting her marriage on the hot seat?   What made him think that was a good idea?    Just because Joel moved out, doesn’t mean he might not be at the house because of the kids.   Wow, talk about really dumb or really inconsiderate.

But in fairness to Ed, Julia was out of line in her verbal beat down.   Granted, she was probably pretty peeved he just showed up without warning, but that doesn’t mean her comments were accurate.   Her tone, however, was completely understandable.   While Ed kissing Julia (and Julia kissing him back) certainly didn’t make Joel more secure about his marriage, it was far from being solely his fault the marriage is on the rocks.   Ed was right to tell Julia to dig deeper to find the real reason her marriage is in trouble.   Eventually, our little Julia does realize he’s correct.   But you know what?   THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU MAKE HIM CHICKEN MARSALA AND BRING IT TO HIS HOUSE AND EAT IT WITH HIM!!    I mean was Katims just handing out stupid pills this week?   Sheesh.

I want my J&J back together.   They are both at fault and they both need to suck it up and work it out.  I know Julia wants to try but Joel needs to pipe down already, move back in, and work on his damn marriage.

Drew and Natalie

First things first.  Drew.  We need an intervention.  For your hair.  Have you never heard of scissors?   A barber?   A flowbee?   Get that mess under control.   You are an attractive young man but we wouldn’t know it because we can’t see your face behind your out of control Beiber.

Now, it’s time you kick Natalie to the curb.   You almost did last night.   You did put her in her place and tell her what I have been yelling about for weeks….you can’t have it both ways!   A little history.   Natalie and Drew connect at first and they’re hooking up and hanging out so obviously (because Drew’s adorable) Drew wants to give her his pin and go steady.   But Natalie, being a current woman of the 2010s, tells Drew to go pound sand.   They can be friends with benefits but nothing more.  After Drew tells her the benefit part has to come with something more, she says they can only be the friend part.   Ok, no problem.   So then why is Natalie going all Glenn Close/Alex Forrest on Drew?  As he reminded her last night, you’re the one who wanted to be just friends and now that Drew is trying to be just that, she disses him.     What is with people in this episode?

Like with Ed, I have to be fair to Natalie.  I didn’t like the way she treated Amy.   She has no right to be bitchy and dismissive when you’re the one who told Drew you’re just friends.   So because he’s not pining away for you, he’s the jerk?    Whatever.  But where Natalie was right was in telling Drew that when Amy’s stay was getting to Jennifer Jason Leigh levels, it was time to do something.   Drew wasn’t living his college life.  He wasn’t doing anything and experiencing things, both socially and scholastically.   He was missing out because Amy was going through a hard time.   And while it’s noble of Drew to want to be there for her and help her, he’s hurting himself and Amy by letting it go on as long as he had.    Time to cut the apron strings.   Couldn’t agree with Natalie more.   But where Natalie is wrong is making Drew feel bad for being exactly what she told him to be…a friend.  If you like him, speak up woman!   If you don’t, then shut your pie hole.   Either way, make a decision and stick with it because right now, you bug the crap out of me.

Adam and Kristina

I really have nothing to say on this front other than, I love them.   Best couple on the show.   Love the school they are trying to build and I hope it works out for them.   Oh and SUCK IT CANCER!!   You’re not going near my girl again!

That was a lot of anger for a Parenthood post wasn’t it?    Wow.  That’s so not like me.  Except for Crosby.  He usually brings out the worst in me even though he hasn’t lately.   So I guess he was due for a whopper.   And I get so frustrated because I’m an idiot and have a tendency to forget these aren’t real people.   But that’s why I love the show.  Katims, the writers, the actors…amazing.  I feel like I’m watching a real life family so when things happen I tend to react, strongly.   I’m uber attached to this family the way Max is attached to bugs and photography.   But I need everyone to wake up and get back on track.  No more calling your mom selfish or not going on sex trips with hot guys or having dinner with men you shouldn’t.   Let’s pick up the pace Bravermans.   I have big expectations as the season comes to an end!!!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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