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Tag Archives: Thursday

Catching Up With…Parenthood

It’s dumb to say that Parenthood is having a good season.  It ALWAYS has a good season.  But there are a few story lines that really hit home with me so I’m going to touch on the big ones.

Joel and Julia

This was the couple that historically was kind of on the back burner in regards to the Braverman crew.  There is always Sarah’s drama (and Amber and Drew have had lots of story lines.)  Crosby and Adam are always front and center.  Then there was Julia.  Granted last year they got more juicy material with them adopting Victor after trying to have another baby, Julia losing her job, Joel going back to work.   They were getting more into the Braverman story line flow.  But no matter what was going on with Joel and Julia, like Adam and Kristina, they were solid.   Then this season hit.   What was once the second strongest relationship on the show (behind Adam and Kristina) is now disintegrating before our eyes.

In the last two episodes, Joel has become more suspicious of Julia’s relationship with Ed.  It got ugly last week when Joel punched Ed at a school function because Julia was trying to calmly ask a very drunk Ed to leave her alone and he wouldn’t.  So Joel stepped in and not so calmly took care of it.  It led to a painful exchange where Joel asked Julia if they were having an affair and she said no.  Let’s discuss that for a minute.  Do you guys think what she had with Ed constituted as an affair?  I don’t and here’s why.  While I do believe you can have an affair that doesn’t have any physical component whatsoever, I don’t think that totally happened here.  Julia and Ed really started as just friends.  That’s all.  And becoming a good friend with someone of the opposite sex (or same-sex if you’re gay) does not automatically mean you are having an emotional affair.  Let’s clear that up.  But I do think that it was starting to cross a line and may have crossed (I’m taking before the kiss) that line but I think as soon as Julia started to realize what was going on, she stopped it.  Granted I wouldn’t have done it the way she did, going over to his house I think sends a confusing message, which resulted in a kiss, but I think her intention was to cut it off.  See to me, an affair is something you choose to do over a period of time even knowing what you are doing is wrong.  Whether it’s physical or not, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it doesn’t happen over night.  It’s a long process with two willing participants.  Are there jerks who cheat for no reason?  Sure there are.  But I think there is a difference between cheating and an affair.  Cheating is solely physical.  An affair is emotional, physical, spiritual…it’s a complex issue signifying a greater problem in an established relationship.  I know it may sound like semantics and for some people whether you call it cheating or an affair it’s the same thing and I understand that.  But for me, I think it’s two different things.  In this case the Julia/Ed thing hasn’t been going on that long.  They were just friends at first.  I don’t think it was until the last month that Julia felt something more.  And while she liked being around someone she could talk to and someone who understood exactly what she was going through, once it started to become more and that Joel was making an effort at home, she decided this had to stop.  I also think she was confused and alone and made some very bad judgement calls that I’m sure she’d like to take back.  But I don’t think I’d call it a full-blown affair.  I think it was a friendship that started to turn deeper because of her lack of connection at home as when it did, she ended it.   She should have ended it without a kiss but once that happened, she completely blocked Ed from her life.  And to be fair, she wasn’t completely honest with Joel when she said Ed kissed her and there was nothing back from her.  I don’t think so girlfriend!  You kissed Ed right back for a little while so don’t pretend it was all him.  But hey, at least she told Joel the truth in that the kiss happened.

Joel and Julia have had many gut wrenching scenes this year but her telling Joel about how unhappy she’s been and what happened between her and Ed and how the friendship evolved, was so sad.  But the worst was when she told him about the kiss.  You can tell this was killing her because she knew she was going to break her husband’s heart.  She looked like she was going to vomit all over the table and I was right with her because I knew what was coming.  It was awful.  And then to see Joel and how crushed he was and then how angry he was…it was devastating.  And I don’t blame him.  For the hurt he’s feeling, for the anger he has towards Julia, if I were in his shoes, I’d be the same way.  I can only imagine that nothing can prepare you for hearing your spouse tell you they kissed another person.   So what happens now?  Julia wants to go to counseling and Joel has said he’s done and that their marriage isn’t worth saving.   Ouch.  I really believe at this point he’s just so hurt and angry (and rightfully so) that he doesn’t want any part of Julia or their life together, except for the kids. I have to believe (or maybe it’s my wishful thinking) that they will work this out.  It won’t be this season for sure.  But maybe next season by the end, they are working their way back to one another and they’ll be stronger for it.  Fingers crossed!

I have to say, the way the writers have handled this is brilliant.  It’s not your typical cheating, soap opera story line.   This is how it goes down in the real world.  And in the real world, good couples and good people make bad choices and then have to deal with the consequences.  Some work through it with a lot of hard work and dedication and find a way to rebuild their marriage.  Others, it’s too painful and too hard because the trust is broken and they just can’t get it back.  So they have to move on.  And that happens.  I just hope in the case of J&J, the former happens instead of the latter.  But I’m scared because Katims seems to be the kind of guy that wants to take a hard road in a story line if it makes sense.  He hasn’t yet.  When Crosby and Jasmine had their issues and broke up, they got back together (ugh.)   When Kristina had cancer, she beat it and survived.  When Amber spiraled out of control, an accident happened but not too bad she couldn’t recover.  Nothing catastrophic has happened…yet.   So why do I have a bad feeling and J&J might be the first big casualty of Parenthood?  I hope I’m wrong but I just have a bad feeling.

Max

The story lines that focus on Max’s Aspberger’s Syndrome (AS) are so hard for me because I don’t have a family member or friend with that condition and the last thing I want to do is to come off ignorant or insensitive.   But I do want to discuss the handling of Max from Adam and Kristina’s standpoint.   But it’s hard because I can’t figure out if how Adam and Kristina are handling the situation with Max, is the correct way or not.  I understand that when Max does something awful (like he did with Micah) it’s because he doesn’t understand the emotional impact of his actions.  But his parents do.  Is trying to fix it with tickets to basketball game really the answer?  Isn’t it better (although harder) to explain to Max that when he is so honest, he can then hurt someone’s feelings or offend them greatly because not everyone sees things the way Max does.  And as a result, he could lose friends.  I mean I don’t want the boy to be afraid to try to make a friend again, but can he intelligently understand that point?  I don’t know.   I’ve tried to find some forums and blogs of parents with Aspie kids who may watch Parenthood to see what their take is.   Mostly I find that these parents hate the show and think that what Adam and Kristina are doing with Max is wrong.  That wasn’t always the case, there were some sites where people were very positive on the show and EVERYONE raves about Max Burkholder’s portrayal.  The big issue is Adam and Kristina and quite frankly, that’s always been my question.  Not being a parent I can only assume that parenting a child with AS is much different from parenting a neurotypical (NT) child (a child without a form of autism.)   But, if you’ve read any of my other posts on Max, Adam, and Kristina, I always question just how forgiving parents of Aspie’s should be when it comes to behavior.  Because I don’t know.  I watch the things Max does and says and I wonder how Adam and Kristina allow him to behave that way.   Some I understand he can’t control but does that give Max the right to behave however he chooses?   According to some of these sites I’ve read, it doesn’t.

In the case of last week with Micah, Max told him basketball was stupid and that Micah was an idiot for wanting to play because he’s in a wheelchair so he can’t play.  Adam’s resolution was ok then apologize and invite him to a basketball game and it will all be ok.  What?   Is he kidding?   I understand he wants to protect his son.  I understand he doesn’t want to see Max lose his only friend.  I get that.  But like Kristina told him, they can’t always clean up his problems for him.  At some point he has to realize there are consequences to his behavior and I don’t think Adam and Kristina have always taught him that.   Adam has to realize that Micah, who is a NT, isn’t going to be willing to forgive someone who was so rude and offensive to him and that bribing him with tickets to a Warriors game, isn’t going to cut it.   But instead of teaching Max this lesson, he tries to just make it go away.   How is this good for Max?   How is this going to set him up in the future to be able to cope with more challenging circumstances…like if he has as job and says the wrong thing and gets fired.  Then what?  He won’t have the coping skills to work through it.

It’s also why I think this relationship with Hank has to stop.  I used to think it was good for Max and now I don’t think it is.   When Max was telling Hank about the situation with Micah, Hank agreed with Max.   That is not what Max needs to hear right now, especially not from an adult.  Max needs to understand that you cannot speak to people who way.  But Hank is basically telling him that he’s right and Micah’s wrong.  NOOOOOO!!   Not the message that should be sent!  But we’re starting to see Hank tangle with his own inner demons wondering if he’s a long-lost Aspie himself.   And with all due respect, while I think it would be fascinating to see an undiagnosed adult learn about having AS 40+ years later, I just don’t want to see it.  I don’t.  I don’t mind Hank as a fringe character but not as a character with his own story line.  I just don’t need that right now.  And Max doesn’t need Hank right now.   I think Adam and Kristina need to get Max back with a one on one counselor (like they had with Minka Kelly’s character) and get him back on the right track.    Because if things keep going this way, Max is going to be a very lonely person one day.  If Adam thinks his heart is breaking now, try watching your adult AS son that you didn’t help, that you didn’t give coping skills to, struggle in his adult life because you didn’t handle him in the way that was best for him because it was too hard for you.   That will be a tough pill to swallow.

Other Stories

In other news, Amber initially wants nothing to do with Ryan anymore and coldly (but understandably) shows him the door and asks him to go as fast as he can.  After Ryan and Zeek talk, Zeek goes to Amber and tells her that while she’s hurt, she does love him and should at least say good-bye to him.  Eventually Amber does just that and we have a very tearful good-bye to a character I liked very much.  He isn’t ready to be with Amber right now and this whole wedding thing was happening too fast.  But it sucks it had to end like that.  I guess it could have been worse.   Just please, please, PLEASE…don’t kill him over there.  I don’t think Amber could survive that.

Sarah got a job as a photographer with Surf Shop, or something like that, with a little help from hottie Dr. Carl and from the fact that Hank was so obnoxious in his interview that the contact for Surf Shop didn’t want to work with him.  Problem is, she has no equipment, studio, or experience.  So she goes to Hank for help and he’s a real douchbag about it.  He makes her admits she’s in over her head and makes her pay him 50/50 of the job.  I understand he doesn’t do charity work but you know what, you lost the job because of your attitude.   At least the person who got the job has a connection with you and has asked that you work together so you’ll be getting something instead of nothing for the gig.  Sarah hasn’t always been my favorite character because of her choices and the way she handles things drive me crazy, but she’s been much better this season and I think she’s really trying to make a career for herself.  So what that it’s a bigger job than she’s ready for and who cares how she got it.  She has a chance to prove herself and make a name for herself.   And Hank made her feel bad about it.  Screw you Hank.   If I were Sarah, I would have gone to another photographer and worked with them instead.  Or, spent some money and got the equipment and started studying hard to get as prepared as possible for the job.  Nothing beats experience but she doesn’t need Hank.

That’s pretty much the big stuff.  What are you thinking of Parenthood?  What do you think about this whole J&J story line?    What do you think about the way Adam and Kristina are handling Max?  Are you sad about Amber and Ryan?  Are you hoping Sarah succeeds?   Sound off below!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Let’s Be Mad Together” S5 E5

Parenthood is having another great season.  This is the type of show that can go for 10+ seasons because there is always something new and real going on with each of these families and I’m invested in all of them…even Zeke and Camille’s storyline is great.  So let’s jump in.

Kristina/Adam/Max

Max has really been flourishing working with Hank and learning how to become a photographer.  And as it turns out, he’s really good.   As it also turns out, not surprisingly, he’s not always appropriate when snapping photos of people.  Max is now on the yearbook staff and he’s role is to take pictures for the yearbook.   The problem is, Max doesn’t want to take traditional yearbook photos.  He wants to get real moments with real people.  And I can’t disagree with him.  And you can do that for the yearbook but maybe he could be a little more subtle.  And maybe he can pick better moments.  While the picture of the crying girl was a beautiful picture, it wasn’t appropriate because of the way he did it.   And she asked him not to do it and he kept doing it anyway.  This resulted in the parents calling the school and the head of the yearbook having to bring in Kristina and tell her that Max is being moved to layout.  It results in lots of back and forth over what’s right and wrong, feelings are hurt and it ends with Kristina telling Max he’s being moved to layout and that it sucks.

It’s always hard to comment on stories about Max and his behavior because I’ve never been around a kid with Asperger’s and it’s slightly unfair to make judgments and assessments without that knowledge.  And I certainly don’t want to be ignorant or disrespectful but I will try to comment without sounding like a jackass!   You all know how much I love Kristina and specifically Monica Potter.   But the one time Kristina gets under my skin is when it comes to Max, she thinks he should be able to do whatever he wants because of his condition regardless of how it impacts other people.   I think, she thinks, Max deserves exceptions and I take an exception with that.  Again, this comes down to me not understanding Asperger’s very well and as such, I don’t know what Max can and can’t control.  I don’t know how much leeway he should be afforded.   I know that Asperger’s kids have a hard time with social connections.  But from the little I do understand, they can read clues that can reveal how people around them are feeling.  Max knew this girl was crying and upset but that didn’t stop him from taking her picture even though she asked him not to.  So when he was moved to layout from photographer Kristina wasn’t happy and thought that because Max was so good he should get to be the photographer.  She even called in the principal to back her up regarding how good Max was on student council.   Unfortunately that backfired on her as well because the principal confirmed that Max was very hard to deal with and made the experience not as fun for the other students.  So he backed the yearbook supervisor and Max got demoted.

It has to be tough for the parents.  And I love Kristina for wanting to fight for her kid.   And she should.  But that doesn’t always make it right.  And I think part of it comes back on her.   She always fights so hard for Max to get to do what he wants to do, I’m not sure if he’s learning that whether he likes it or not or whether he thinks it’s fair or not, his actions have consequences.  He has to use what he’s been taught to assess situations to make better decisions.  It’s can’t always be that he gets to do what he wants when he wants.  Kristina was trying to explain this to him when Hank started butting in.  Hey Hank, mind your own business!  Let Kristina handle her son.  I think he gave her horrible advice because he told her how good he was and that’s what he should be doing.  All that did was fire up Kristina to keep pushing for Max and I don’t think this is a fight they should win…and they didn’t.  How about, no one said Max could stop taking pictures.  He just can’t take them for the yearbook any more.  Ok Hank, then you hire Max and you have him take pictures.   Find another way.   But Kristina likes to push the square peg in the round hole when it comes to Max, regardless of how it impacts everyone else.   Remember the vending machine?  Ugh.   But you can tell how hard this is on her.  You can tell that she hates if Max is negatively impacting other children’s experiences.   But I think it also kills her that Max can’t have those experiences the way other kids can.   So what’s the right answer?   I have no idea.  But in this instance, I think the school was right and Max will have to find another way to channel his new-found talent.

Joel/Julia

When did the second strongest couple on the show become the most fragile?  I know, I know it’s been happening for a little while now when they adopted Victor, Julia lost her job, Joel went back to work, Sydney and Victor aren’t always getting along, Victor is struggling in school, Julia is struggling to find her place again, Joel’s trying to re-enter the work force again.   Yep, it’s all building up.  And I think you see each person judging how the other person is handling their former role and it isn’t going over very well.

Joel does comment on the way Julia is handling the kids or he says nothing but has a tone and exasperated look on his face.  Julia meanwhile is trying to tell Joel how to stand up for himself and he’s not being strong enough with Pete and how she would see people like him get taken advantage of.    So neither one is really appearing to be there for the other.  And the thing I hate most about this, is that it’s all leading to either Joel or Julia cheating with Penny from Lost or Roy from The Office.  Or maybe they both cheat.  Although it would be an interesting story.  Not that I’m rooting for one or both of them to be unfaithful, but it would be fascinating to see how it all plays out.

I think they biggest problem is, they aren’t taking care of each other.  They are so worried about Victor and Sydney, about Joel getting this business off the ground, that neither of them is taking the time to talk about how all this is impacting them.  I think Julia is being so driven about helping Joel because she feels like she isn’t contributing anymore.  She had a major career at a law practice, on the partner track, and now she’s packing lunches and settling Windex fights, and it isn’t enough for her.   There are many people where being at a stay at home mom is completely rewarding and fulfilling…it’s one of the hardest jobs out there.   But for Julia, she needs more, and she isn’t wrong for feeling that way.    With Joel, he has the stress of this start-up company and being the only person bringing in a salary right now, I think he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself to make sure this works.  But instead of each of them putting the kids to bed, grabbing a glass of wine, and talking about this, they are keeping it bottled up and everyone once in a while, like last night, sometimes it spills over and out.  Eventually, it will just explode.   Explode meaning affair.   It’s coming people.  It’s just who’s it going to be and when.

Zeke/Camille

You all know I’ve never liked Zeke’s character.   But this season I’ve felt a little better about him (he’s been so great with Victor), except when it comes to Camille.   I think this is such a great storyline.  You have two people who have been together for a really long (I’m guessing at least 40 years) and now they are looking for their “Act 3.”   Actually Camille is looking at that and Zeke is perfectly happy living out his life doing what he’s doing in their home.   But that’s not enough for her.

I think the part that’s most upsetting to me is how disrespectful Zeke is to Camille.  Camille has brought up the idea that it might be a good idea to sell their huge house and downside and maybe take some trips together.  Zeke basically said no and walked away and wouldn’t talk about it.   Then he goes out and buys a car, without speaking with Camille, and the car needs to be completely rebuilt, it’s a year-long project, and it’s a complete slap in Camille’s face.   How can he do that to her?   How could he be so disrespectful of his wife’s feelings and so dismissive of her feelings?   My heart broke for her.   When she opened up to Julia about how she feels like she lost her voice in their marriage and she doesn’t know how to get it back…that was awful to me.

I’ve heard of people who have been married, 25, 30, 40 years getting divorced after all that time and I never understood why.   After seeing these last few weeks, now I get it.   Camille is still young and there is a lot she wants to see and do.  She should go do it.  If Zeke is going to be like this, then if I were her, I would plan a trip, pack a bag, and go without him.   Maybe take Sarah or Julia with you.   But I would go and leave him behind with his damn car.    I just don’t understand how he can hurt her like that.  And I’m sure it’s tough.  That’s his home and there are so many memories there.  I can understand not wanting to leave that.  But it will happen at some point.  Don’t you want it to be on your terms?   Maybe he doesn’t.  Maybe he wants to spend the rest of his life in the home where he and his wife built their family.  I completely understand that.  What I don’t understand is not telling your wife how you feel and not having a conversation with her about it and then slapping her in the face buying that car so it forces her hand.  Especially since it’s such a great project for Victor.  She’ll look like the bad guy and that’s not fair.   But I wonder if she leaves him.  Again, I think that would be another great storyline.

Sarah/Amber/Ryan

Not a whole lot going on here except that Amber is still mad at Sarah for not supporting her.  Ryan is mad with Amber for not cluing him in.  And Sarah is still walking around looking miserable.   Seriously, this woman needs some happy in her life.

I see both sides to this.  I can see Sarah being concerned for Amber.  And instead of being pissed at her, Amber should understand that her mom is only looking out for her.  Amber, historically, has not made the best decisions in her.  In some cases, they’ve almost been catastrophic decisions.  So for her to be so angry at her mother for wanting her to take a step back and really make sure this is what she wants to do, seems ridiculous to me.

On the flip side, one of Sarah’s concerns is Ryan’s lack of family and his zero desire to have any of them there.  How is that any of her business?  She can ask the question, but if Ryan says no and he has his reasons why, then respect that.  It doesn’t make him a bad guy.  It just makes him someone not close to his family.    Although the one thing I will say, I think Ryan should be more open with Amber about his family.  She is going to be his wife so I think she does have a right to know what’s going on.   So he should at least clue her in.   The fact that she didn’t know his father passed away, is a bit strange to me.   Sarah doesn’t need to know that, but Amber does.

Eventually, Ryan goes to see Sarah and gives her a brief history on his background….father is dead, mother remarried a guy 6 months later that beat the tar our of him while still grieving over the death of his father.   So he said good-bye to that abusive situation and started his life anew.  And he tells Sarah “not everyone has a family like yours.”  He’s right.  And I think that’s one thing the Bravermans don’t get is that they think they have this great family and either everyone wants to be a part of it or everyone else has the same type of family life.   No and no.  But I think this is the wake up call Sarah needed.  Although it appears next week she is still pushing Amber to cancel the wedding.

The Lunchonette

They are starting their new label with the douchbag lead singer of the band whose former label dropped them.   They were having creative differences but Crosby worked it all out and now they are good to go.   And that’s really it for that story.  Oh and Jasmine and Crosby are still crazy tired and worn out keeping up with their new baby girl.

What did you think of Parenthood this week?   What did you think about Max?   Was it completely unfair or justified?  What do you think will happen with Joel and Julia?   Camille and Zeke?   Let me know!

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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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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RECAP & REVIEW: Scandal “Nobody Like Babies” S2 E13

Was that the season finale?   Because it sure felt like a season finale.   Scandal has always been a show with a fast pace…both speaking and storytelling.  I love that about the show.  There aren’t filler episodes like many shows have or episodes that don’t mean anything or episodes where your heart can take a break.  You are on the edge of your seat with every episode.  And tonight was no different.  Some MAJOR things happened so let’s start going through all this.

The big question that got answered was that we finally learned who shot Fitz.  And it turned out, it was Verna.  I was going with Hollis, until last week.  After last week happened, I had no idea who it was going to be.  I really didn’t think it was Sally Langston and I was petrified it was going to turn out to be Mellie.  But Verna was a good solution.  I’m not going to lie, I was a bit surprised, but not nearly as surprised as how the episode ended!!!  More on that later.   Olivia has a showdown with Verna in the hospital about what Verna attempted to do and Verna called Olivia out.  Basically Verna told her that if she is going to call Verna a coward, she should look in the mirror.  And she’s right, although Olivia is no killer.  Bad person?   Yes.  Killer?  No.   But Olivia’s attack on her certainly got through to her because she picked up the phone and called David Rosen right away.  When Rosen arrives to talk to Verna, he’s denied entrance because of security.  We learn the security is there because the POTUS is there and needs to speak with Verna.  Unfortunately, Verna passes away before she has a chance to confess her sins to Rosen.

Another big payoff, which disappointed me, was Abby finally learning that Olivia and Harrison lied to her and set David Rosen up as an abuser.  While Abby was upset, I thought she would be even more pissed off.  I know I would.  But what really bothered me was Harrison’s reaction to her.  We’ve seen him be torn up about what he had to do to her and how much it bothered him.  So for him to be so cold and robotic and go into that God awful gladiator speech again, was unnerving.  And it goes to back to what my #1 issue is with this show.  Why can’t we get SOME explanation as to why these people will so blindly follow Olivia Pope into the darkness and off a cliff?  For once, Quindsay gave me a reason to root for her when last week, she started demanding answers to the same question many of us viewers have…why do you all do what Olivia says, no questions asked?  I really thought, FINALLY, we’re going to get somewhere with this.  Nope.  Shut down.  I hate it.  Harrison, Huck, even Abby…I am no longer buying the “she saved my life” speech as to why they do anything she says regardless of the consequences.  For me, I need more than that and if Shonda Rhimes is going to ask me to buy into that, she owes me an explanation.  Because it’s getting absurd.   For Harrison to tell Abby to suck it up, it’s the job, after what Olivia has done for them she needs to understand the rules or get out, was awful.  If that blind loyalty is supposed to earn my respect as a viewer, it hasn’t.  In fact, it knocked him down a few more pegs (and he was already pretty low.)  I can’t understand Harrison’s POV if I don’t have any idea what she did for him.  I can’t buy into this loyalty without a reason anymore.  In the beginning, I could let it go.  But we’ve been through enough episodes where I need at least one back story to shed some light.  Otherwise, how could I feel bad for Abby after betraying David and stealing that flash drive and therefore destroying his career?  Better to save Olivia Pope, one of the bad guys, than to save the man you love, who just so happens to be one of the good guys?  I know Olivia saved her from an abusive husband and if I were in Abby’s shoes, I would be eternally grateful.  But at some point, especially after what Olivia did to her with using that abuse as a way to get what she wanted, Abby has the right to call Olivia out and say “if you saving my life comes with the price tag of using my past to throw in my face when you need something to go your way, then I’m out and you’re scum.”  Saving their lives is one thing.  Using that against them later for your own benefit, is just sleazy.

So speaking of David, he subpoena’s James to testify about Defiance and the voter fraud.  As a result, James and Cyrus have this fantastic moment in their bedroom where Cyrus doesn’t trust James and James doesn’t trust Cyrus and they both make the other strip to prove neither is wearing a wire.  It was beautiful and sad at the same time.  While they do love each other, they have a terrible marriage!!  After what they each put the other through, I don’t know how they’re still together.  Hell Cyrus even hired Charlie to kill James!!!  Now he eventually told him to stop but only with 1 second to spare.  He’s insane!!!  Those two need some serious counseling.

The final big reveal is that Fitz finds out…about everything!  And his reaction was not what you expected (even though I called it right away!)  I’ve never been shy about saying the unpopular opinion that I hate Olivia and Fitz together.  Can I deny the chemistry between Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn?   Hell no.  It’s palpable.  But do I like it?  No.  He’s the POTUS and he’s married.  I think it’s disgusting how they not only have the affair but how they have flaunted it and been so careless with it.  Where they’ve had sex, they couldn’t care less if Mellie or someone else saw.  They have been incredibly disrespectful.  Not that affairs are the most classy or most respectful actions a man and woman enact.  But come on.  Do you have to be so blatant about it?  Sheesh.  So I don’t find Olivia and Fitz romantic or destined to be together.  Nope.  Not even a little.  So I did jump with joy when I saw that he ended up choosing to be with Mellie after all.

In the beginning, Fitz told Olivia not to marry Edison and to wait for him because he was divorcing Mellie and he didn’t care what that did to his political career.  He talks about how Mellie induced labor to try to keep Fitz at her side and he couldn’t be with someone like that.  Olivia couldn’t give him an answer.  When she sees Edison later she gives him back his grandmother’s ring and tells him that she can’t marry him.  When he asks why she tells him that she wants a painful, devastating, passionate love and that he should want that too.  Edison correctly informs Olivia that love shouldn’t be painful or devastating.  It should be fun and joyful and wonderful. The look on her face was priceless because she looked at him like she didn’t know there was any other kind of love.

At Verna’s funeral, she goes up to Fitz and accepts his offer and agrees to wait for him.  Fitz coldly tells her that she should marry Edison and that he made a mistake telling her to wait for him and that she should go away and move on with her life.  And while the President is giving Verna’s eulogy, we flash to her time in the hospital with him where she not only admits that she was the one behind the shooting, but that she and her team of misfits fixed the election so he would win.  He starts to guess the names of the people involved and when he gets to Olivia, he is absolutely crushed.  Then Verna sticks the knife in even further by telling Fitz he should have never been the POTUS but she only did so because of his charm and because that’s what his father wanted.  Ouch.  She had to bring up daddy.  Fitz then calmly tells Verna that her legacy won’t be tarnished and neither will his and he gently lifted her oxygen mask off her face and held down her hands so she couldn’t grab the mask or call for help and then she died.   FITZ KILLED VERNA!!!

After all this, Mellie goes to visit Fitz in the office and he asks her if she loves him.  She responds that of course she does and that she will always stand beside him and always be by his side.  He tells her that of everyone he knows, she’s the only one he can trust because she’s the only one who’s been completely honest with him the whole time.  And he asks if she will continue to be honest and stand by him.  She says that while he’s wavered on her, she’s never wavered on him and will never.  They seal their agreement with a kiss and the First Family is back together.

I’m sure there are many people who will be upset thinking “why did Mellie get off the hook about the election rigging and not Olivia?”  Here’s why.  Mellie has never hidden who she is…ambitious, ruthless, and cunning.  She doesn’t hide it, she doesn’t apologize for it.  It’s like McDonald’s vs. Subway.  McDonald’s doesn’t pretend it’s healthy, therefore you can’t be mad at it when you eat there and your jeans feel tight.  But Subway promotes itself has “healthy eating” yet has a million ways to sneak in the bad stuff that you had no idea was in there so that when your jeans get tight, you blame yourself instead of them.  Mellie is McDonald’s and Olivia is Subway.  Fitz wasn’t pissed at Mellie because he wouldn’t expect anything less from her.  But Olivia?  He held Olivia to higher standard and she crushed that when she aligned herself with the group to fix the election.  In that moment, she was no different from his father who said he couldn’t win on his own.  In Fitz’s mind, she didn’t believe in him.  She betrayed him.  And because of his love for her and because of the elevated opinion he had of her in regards to her integrity and loyalty, it hurt much more and cut more deeply than he ever thought possible.   That’s why Mellie gets the free pass and Olivia is left sitting in a church, alone, and crying.

What an amazing episode.  I’m wondering, now that it appears, aside from the David Rosen angle, that this main story is wrapped up, if we go back to the case-of-the-week scenario which started the series.  I hope so.  While all this has been fantastic, I kind of miss those cases.  So hopefully, we can get a little bit of each.  But with so much story to tell with the main arc, I can understand completely why the side cases were put on hold.

What did you all think of the episode?   Would love to hear your thoughts!!

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Scandal “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” S2 E8

UN.BE.LIVABLE!!!!!!!!!  What a flipping episode of Scandal last night.  This show has quick risen to must see TV each week.  There was so much happening, a lot revealed, and many more questions popping up.  And I’m so mad at myself by not knowing who the shooter was right away.  Looking back through the episode, it was SO obvious but I was so entrenched in taking in each scene as it came at me, I didn’t see the forest through the trees.

Here are some of the big questions from this season and over the course of the series:

  1. Who Shot Fitz?
  2. Why was Fitz shot?
  3. Who’s behind it?
  4. Why did Olivia leave the White House?
  5. Who was responsible for Jesse Tyler’s murder?
  6. How did these 5 people (Cyrus, Olivia, Mellie, Verna, and Hollis) come together to get the President elected and fraud the entire country?
  7. Where does Olivia shop because she always looks AMAZING!

Let’s take this one at a time.  First, Jesse’s murder and the explosion at Cytron.   We have been sort of following this story since the end of season one when we learned Quinn is not really Quinn but Lindsay and Olivia brought her under her wing at Pope & Associates to protect her (and to help release the huge amount of guilt she has over the situation.)  And while we already knew that Quinsay was set up to take the fall for the explosion, we didn’t know who was really to blame and why.  Now we know.  A reporter in Ohio was getting wind of balloting issues in Ohio and was investigating it.  As a result, he came across Jesse who started to give him intel on what was going down.   Hollis, Cyrus, and Olivia all learn about this and Hollis tells them not to worry, he’ll take care of it.  Next thing you know, boom.  Cytron explodes and Jesse and 6 other innocent people are murdered and his girlfriend Quinsay is set up as the perp.  When Olivia hears about it, she goes straight to Hollis and in a very sinister and frightening way, tells her that you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.  Basically, he could care less that he just killed 7 people and set up and innocent girl to take the fall.  It showed Olivia just how truly dangerous Hollis is.  And it was nice to see that back then Olivia did have some conscious because she was absolutely mortified and disgusted at not only what he did but how he reacted to it.   What made it worse, was when she told Cyrus, he basically reacted the same as Hollis calling the 8 victims (if you include Quinsay) patriots.  I guess that’s why Cyrus declares himself a monster.  And he’s not wrong.   So could Hollis be the one behind Fitz’s shooting?

We also learned why Olivia left the White House.  Although to be honest, it was pretty self-explanatory from the beginning.  She couldn’t deal with her relationship with Fitz and what it was doing to other people and left.  I was surprised it happened so soon after he was in office.  Because here’s my thing.  She made a comment how she didn’t like smiling at Mellie while taking off her clothes for Fitz.  Yet, hadn’t she been doing that for a while already?   Why now does she all of a sudden have a problem with it?   I think what the flashback made very clear is that these were more than just an affair….they were very much in love.  And based on last week’s episode where the President is tearfully going through photos of Liv and Edison and Liv breaks down in tears in the President’s closet while holding his Navy sweatshirt, they are still very much in love.  It’s also clear that the First Lady knew about the affair very early on and in typical Mellie fashion, pushed it aside and dealt with it because it was best for them politically for her to do so.

I said last week (either on the blog or my podcast, I can’t remember which) that I was hoping Liv would stay with Edison and Fitz would work it out with Mellie.  But after seeing last night’s episode and the raging chemistry and passion between Liv and Grant, it’s hard to deny they belong together.  Except for the fact that HE’S MARRIED and therefore unavailable but that’s beside the point.  It’s so fascinating to see these relationships and all the complexities surrounding them.  It appears at one point as if Mellie and Olivia were friends/friendly.  It also appeared that the First Lady loved her husband very much.  Even if they were together for a political end game, she had genuine feelings for him.  And I have to imagine, he had feelings for her, before Olivia came along.  And seeing Mellie breakdown after what the doctors told her and seeing her swollen eyes and tears soaked face when Olivia brought her Fitz’s pin, this is a woman completely concerned over the health and well-being of her husband.  I really believe that.  Is it partially because she sees her political future falling right before her eyes?  Perhaps.  Is it because she was obviously so in love with being First Lady and in the White House that if something happens to Grant, she’s out?  Of course.  But in this situation, I really think it’s secondary to the fact that she just witnessed her husband being gunned down in front of her and she has no idea if he will recover.

So who shot Fitz?  Well we know who but the bigger questions are why and who’s behind it!   If you don’t want to be spoiled, then stop reading now because the discussion about the shooter is about to happen in 3……2……..1……………….   It was Huck!  Now like I said in the beginning, I should have seen this coming.  First, we see Huck in a flashback, looking very Tom Hanksish a la Cast Away, which seemed to be a random, somewhat out-of-place sighting.  Then, I noticed in all the scenes at Pope & Associates, only Harrison, Abby, and Quinsay are together.  Huck was nowhere to be found.  Third, the shooter had to be someone we knew, for maximum impact at the reveal, and who else do we know who’s a trained killer?   All signs pointed to Huck. But the big question is why?  Is this something he did on his own?  Did someone hire him?  Why did Huck do this?   And it appears we’ll get our answer in next week’s winter finale.  Or at least we’ll have some clue but maybe not the whole picture.   There’s a part of me that thinks Huck made this decision on his own only because if someone came to him asking him to do it, he would have told Liv.  However, if the person who hired him played it in a way that this shooting would somehow protect Olivia and she couldn’t know about it, then it is possible someone hired him.  Because the thing that holds me back from thinking he did it on his own is why?  What reason would Huck possibly have to shoot the President?  If he was getting itchy about killing, he should have called Dexter Morgan.  Or, go kill someone less conspicuous.  The POTUS seems a bit of a lofty, not so under the radar, target of your angst.   So I’m dying to know the who, what, where, when, and why of all this!!!   And one final note.  I saw this mini debate on Twitter last night after the episode.  Did anyone else think Press Secretary Lane Kim was a specific target and not collateral damage?   Some people said wrong place wrong time and some people thought it was deliberate.  One of the arguments was that Huck is a trained killer and therefore wouldn’t miss.   I don’t buy that.  He may be a trained killer but he’s not a trained sniper.  So it’s very possible he could have missed and hit Lane by mistake.   I’m not sure why the Press Secretary would have been shot purposely unless something comes out later about maybe her getting too close to the Cytron scandal.  I think it was wrong place, wrong time for poor Lane.

Now we have the VP Sally Langston (side note…I love Kate Burton) taking the oath of office since the President’s condition is precarious at best.  Now she may have jumped the gun a little bit by landing on the South lawn of the White House and announcing herself as Commander-in-Chief while the President was still getting worked on, but eventually the reigns were hers.  We also learned how their relationship became a bit contentious.  You see, one of the big reasons Langston ran on the ticket with Grant was because she was promised the right to appoint the new Supreme Court Justice, once there was an opening.  Well the problem with that is that Verna was promised by Cyrus and Olivia that very seat for her assistance in getting the President elected.  Verna threw her weight around and told Cyrus and Olivia to find a way to fix it and get her that nomination.  And Cyrus does by digging up information on Langston’s candidate which therefore removes him from consideration.  She knows this was all Cyrus’ doing and declares that from now on, she’s all about her and not “the team.”   So it’s understandable that she would be very quick to jump on the power train once she heard of the President’s condition.  The question is, will this be a permanent promotion or does Grant make a miraculous recovery?

So what did you think of the episode?  Will Fitz survive?   Will Huck get caught?  Is there someone paying Huck to do this or is he acting on his own?  I would love to hear what you all think!!!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Scandal “Defiance” S2 E7

In a week when we lost the incomparable Larry Hagman, we have an apropos episode from Scandal…”Who Shot Fitz?”  In a shocking ending to episode 7, President and First Lady Fitzgerald were heading to a gala event for the President’s birthday when all of a sudden shots ring out and screams ensue.   I’m surprised that Shonda Rhimes would do an episode like this and not have it be the winter finale…because this episode screamed winter finale!!!   But I’m not complaining that I’ll only have to wait until next week to see what happens next.  This was a pretty major episode.  Between Fitz being shot and James figuring out what David Rosen had suspected, Scandal is starting to reach a whole other level.

For weeks, David has been trying to figure out what really happened with Quinn Perkins.  And what started out as a simple investigation into why Olivia was so desperate to protect Quinn that she sabotaged his case, causing him to get fired, has turned into a major uncovering of voter fraud.  Now it took many steps to get to this point, with Abby’s help, but this is where we are at.  David knows Olivia and Hollis Doyle are involved and he wants to uncover the truth.  Since Olivia destroyed his relationship with Abby and his reputation on top of it, David now needs another partner in crime to help him with research…enter Cyrus’s husband, James.   David gives James his research and asks him to help with the investigation using his reporter connections and investigating prowess.  At first, James wants no part of this because he didn’t see anything in the data all that alarming. That is until he’s sitting at dinner in the residence with the President and First Lady and the President starts telling a story about how one small county in Ohio gave him the presidency.  Fitz was talking about how you can never trust pollsters. He talked about what all the exit polls were saying and how the votes came in completely opposite of what the exit polls said.  He mentioned the county of Defiance, Ohio.  This set off alarms in James’ head.  After dinner, he went back to his office to pulled out David’s research and found the county of Defiance listed as one of the counties that was impacted with faulty voting machines.  So James catches the first place to Ohio.  Long story short, he finds the voting machine in a high school and tests the machine.  He votes 5 times for Fitz’s opponent.  When he prints out the copy of official registered votes on the machine, he is stunned to see the results were 2 votes for the opponent and 3 votes for Fitz….Fitz wins.  He has his proof.   Uh oh.  This is BAD news for James.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up dead.  He’s a pretty expendable character, as much as I like him, so I have a bad feeling this is going to get him killed.

Now we need to figure out, how all the players are involved…Doyle, Cyrus, Mellie, Verna, and Olivia.  We know why they wanted to do it but the question is how did these 5 people decide to come together to defraud the citizens of the United States?   And how were they able to get away with it?

Here’s another question I have, was it really necessary for Olivia to do what she did to Abby and David?  Think about it.  Did she really think David would stop investigating this after Abby broke up with him?   If so, she isn’t as smart as she thinks she is.  So she broke Abby’s heart and ruined David’s reputation for what?   For him to still figure out about the voter fraud?   Each week going by, Olivia is looking worse and worse.  I think it’s fair to say at this point that she isn’t a good person.   She’s been a mistress, a liar, a manipulator, and now a defrauder.  And she constantly justifies her actions to her own warped views about what is right and wrong.  Yep, no longer an Olivia Pope fan here.

So let’s get to the huge cliffhanger….Fitz is shot.  Who shot him and who’s responsible?   I’m going to go out on a limb and say it isn’t Mellie because it’s too obvious.  The way she was looking around outside and limo and the fact that she didn’t want to go to the party and tried to stop Fitz from getting out of the car…it screams Mellie is behind this.  But the big sticking point for me that it isn’t her, is that if she really changed her mind about having him shot, he gave her the perfect out…the baby.  He asked if the baby was ok and she said yes she and the baby are fine.  If she was really behind it and really didn’t want him to go, she could have easily used that as the excuse to get him out of there.   So I don’t think it’s her.   Could it be Doyle, sending a message?  Could it be Senator Davis being a lot more ambitious than we thought?  Could it be Cyrus?  Could it be Verna?  Or is it Mellie?  The promo said the shooter will be reveled next week.  I think that’s a bit soon but maybe it’s the shooter but not who’s behind it.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough!!!!

What do you think of Defiance?  Did you love it?   Were you shocked by that ending?   Let me know!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Scandal “Spies Like Us” S2 E6

I love this show.   But I’m not going to lie, I am falling less and less in love with Olivia Pope each week.  When we first met Olivia, she was “The Fixer.”  A tough, no-nonsense, intelligent woman who could fix any situation. The fun part was that Olivia’s job wasn’t to find the truth (although she does most of the time) it was to find reasons to get her clients out of the tight situations they were in and handle it/spin it to the best of her team’s ability.  We also learned that Olivia’s team would run through fire for her.   Whatever she did for them, they feel as though they owe her everything and will do whatever it takes for her.   That was never more true than this week.   And as a result, I’m now questioning my initial feelings about Ms. Pope.  My initial feelings being she is smart, tough, and very well-connected and has garnered much respect and fear in DC.  I liked seeing a strong woman take control and dominate situations the way she has because she’s always putting the good of her clients first.  And even though that hasn’t changed, the peek behind the curtains we have been getting into Olivia hasn’t shown such a rosy picture.

As we have been seeing these last few weeks, there is something major that went down that involved Olivia, the First Lady, the White House Chief of Staff, a Supreme Court Justice, and a very wealthy oil man.  And at the end of last week’s episode, we learned it might have been voter fraud.   Don’t know that for sure, but that’s what the show is hinting at as of right now.  But I think we’re getting to the point (at least for me) that I want some more clarity on what these secret meetings are about, why they are all so concerned, and at what levels each person was involved.   Because certain decisions are being made to protect this little bridge club and those decisions are disgusting and vile.  So I want to know why such decisions are being made.  And this is Scandal so I have to believe that we can’t believe just what we are seeing on the surface.   There has to be something else going on that will be revealed so we don’t end up hating the lead character.    Right?

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I’m referring to Olivia’s decision to take Harrison up on his offer to help her and break up Abby and David.  And not just break them up.   Use the fact that Abby’s husband used to beat her, against her and David.  I can’t even begin to explain to you how much that disgusted me.  And my question is why?   Why would you do something to protect a circle of people (half of whom you hate) yet destroy someone you are obviously close to and care deeply about?  Is it because “All Roads Lead to Fitz?”   Is it to protect the President of the United States or is it to protect the man she loves or both?   I mean let’s think about this.  Olivia just destroyed the reputation of David Rosen.  She painted him as a wife beater.  AN INNOCENT MAN.  She could have set him up as a cheater or lying about being married, but a criminal.  And a wife beater???   Really?   How do you live with yourself after doing something like that?   And what about what that information does to Abby?  How do you face her everyday as if nothing happened?  It’s unfathomable to me.  And as a result, I find Olivia Pope repugnant.  I no longer feel she’s a strong, smart, successful woman.  I think she’s a coward, a manipulator, and vile.   I guess people would argue that there must be a reason she’s doing this.  Well, I’d like some insight because right now, there is no justification for what she did.  And there are a MILLION other ways she could have handled this.  How about not being a coward and do the dirty work yourself instead of letting Harrison do it (more on him in a bit.)  Or even better, why not have a come to Jesus talk with Abby and tell her why she can’t see Rosen anymore and if she doesn’t back off, then break them up…but not the way she did.   Speaking of Harrison (and for that matter all of these associates at OPA) how about getting some background into why he is so loyal to Olivia.  See, it’s one thing to be grateful to someone for standing by you when no one else would.   It’s one thing to stand by someone who got you out of a terrible situation.  It’s another to blindly go where they tell you and destroy people in the process out of “loyalty.”  In one breath he tells Abby he loves her like a sister.   In the next, he’s setting up her boyfriend as a wife beater so he can destroy her trust in him and break up with him.  Apparently, there are no boundaries that can’t be crossed in the name of loyalty to Olivia.  And maybe that’s what Olivia is banking on.  Did she purposely go after these people to begin with knowing that if she took care of them, she would have Charles Manson like disciples for the rest of her life?   That’s why I need more back story.   I need to know more if I am to also follow Olivia wherever she goes.

On the flip side, I LOVE Cyrus.  His evilness is just so delicious to watch, I can’t stand it.   Now you’re probably saying I’m a complete hypocrite for loving how awful Cyrus is yet bashing Olivia for it.   Here’s the difference.  Cyrus was always a monster (as he himself puts it.)  We were always to think that Cyrus is a whole other level of scary that we don’t want to mess with him.  Olivia, is our protagonist.  Our heroine.  It’s hard to be a heroine when you destroy anyone in your path to get what you want.  Olivia is supposed to be the person we root for.   Cyrus is not.  Therefore when Cyrus puts Mellie in her place in the middle of the White House in one breath and in the second accepts her invitation to the residence for dinner, it’s not awful, it’s awesome.  When Cyrus breaks out the tears in the Oval Office telling his husband not to pursue stories because it will destroy him and then shuts them off completely after James has left the room showing there wasn’t an ounce of meaning behind what he just told him, it’s fantastic!!!!  Because, Cyrus is the Evil Queen.  So having those expectations going into the character are fine because that’s what he is.  And as a viewer, I would disappointed in his character if he was anything but what he is.  He isn’t pretending to the good guy while being awful.  He’s the awful guy being awful.  Olivia thinks she’s a good person (even donning wearing white at all times) but is anything but good.   And maybe she was at one time, but the lines are so blurred at this point with decisions she has made and people she’s aligned herself with, that the word good can no longer be used to describe her.

But this show is awesome!!!  It is must see TV each week.  And even though I’m disappointed in the path Olivia’s character has gone down and I’m frustrated with the lack of back story explaining why she’s making the choices she is making, therefore giving me reason to cut her slack, I still love the show.   What do you think of Scandal this season?

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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