Tag Archives: Wednesday

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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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor “Rustle Feathers” S27 E12

I’ve missed you guys.  But they haven’t invented a word for how busy I’ve been so I haven’t been watching TV let alone writing about it.    But I finally got to catch up and wow did I pick a week to get caught up….especially on Survivor!!!!

Luckily for me with not being able to watch too much TV lately, is that I completely missed the alleged spoilery preview CBS had out there this week.   And people were PISSED.   I don’t blame them.   I don’t know what CBS was thinking by previewing that rocks would be drawn this week (and the minor spoiler of showing Caleb on the jury confirming that he lost to Tina and Laura on RI.)   What is the point of that?   If they wanted to talk about how something major happens or something we haven’t seen in a long time happens, that’s fine.  But from what I hear they say that this only happened once before and they show Jeff Probst asking for people to open their hands.   Easy conclusion…rocks are drawn so someone flipped.   Can you say epic FAIL CBS?   Having watched last night’s episode I can say right now that I would have been LIVID if I knew what was coming.   The tension and back and forth with Ciera was incredible.  You Hayden really pushing her to understand her place in the 4 person alliance and Gervase and Tyson trying to convince her that she’s fine and not to listen to “liars.”   She kept turning her head back to listen to them and every time she faced front she looked more and more distraught.   I really had no idea what she was going to do.   And if I had seen that preview, it would have been ruined because I would have known rocks were coming.  I feel awful for the people who couldn’t experience that situation raw last night because let me tell you….it was fabulous!!!

So while I enjoyed that moment so much last night, it also pissed me off at the same time.   You know why?   Because Ciera did this a week too late.  Remember when Hayden was pitching her to blindside Tyson (again) on the hammock and she said she wouldn’t do it because it’s not the majority and she wants to be with majority?   Well dumb ass, if you did it last week, you would have been in the majority with a much stronger chance to win!   If you aligned with Hayden, Caleb, and Katie, you could have taken out Tyson, Monica, or Gervase and run the table.  And the way Laura and Tina are working together on RI, one of them is coming back in the game.  Which means if you align with Katie (since Hayden and Caleb were tight), either her mom or yours hops on your alliance and BOOM, final 3.   I applaud that Ciera is working hard to keep herself in this game and get far but that’s the problem…she playing to get further in the game but not to win the game.   And it’s probably lack of experience that’s hurting her right now because she can’t see the forest through the trees.   And when she finally did, it was too late (at least I think it is.)    Next week should be really interesting because they took a big gamble and it partially paid off because Hayden got Ciera to switch.   But then Katie pulled a white rock (she can’t even do that right) and they still have 2 people vs. the 3 man alliance.  Their only hope (not knowing when the RI person is coming back in) is to get Monica to flip.

Let’s dive into this more.   Where does Monica fit in all this?  She’s probably one of the nicest Survivor players ever, I mean the woman doesn’t have a mean bone in her incredibly fit body.   But it appears as though she has annoyed some people around camp…but maybe not the jury members.   She has been a challenge fiend lately winning a bunch of individual immunity challenges (and almost winning last night’s and had she thrown her bags a bit faster she might have won again.)  I think if Monica gets to the end, she has a real chance to win this thing.  The question is, who does she have the best chance to beat?   If she stays with Tyson and Gervase, I think she beats Gervase.   Unfortunately for my Philly guy, he’s been a little too cocky and really has no self-awareness, at all, to understand where he truly falls in the game.  So I don’t think he has a chance to win this game.  Can she beat Tyson?  I don’t know.  She might.  Monica hasn’t lied or really pissed anyone off.  She’s been very loyal and like I said, has been incredibly strong in challenges.   I know people really like to reward the strategy part of the game over everything else, but people think that always has to be big moves to be rewarded.  Sometimes it’s not always the big move, but the smart move.  Monica hasn’t made a big move but she’s made a dumb one either.  Socially she’s strong, physically she’s strong.  And there is something to be said for letting someone else, be the bad guy.  I personally don’t think that’s a bad way to go…I just wish more people owned up to it and celebrated it at the final tribal.    Will Tyson and his arrogance have rubbed enough people the wrong way that Monica would beat him?   It’s possible.   If we look at Hayden and Ciera, I think she definitely beats Ciera.  Hayden, I don’t know.  He’s a very likable guy as well.  He’s been trying to make some moves and make things happen (last night was a HUGE move) he just hasn’t had the people on his side to make it happen.  But he got Ciera to flip.  If he can get Monica, that’s two massive moves that would be really hard to overlook.  He hasn’t been as good in the challenges as I would have thought he’d be and that could be a bit of a knock on him.  But if he gets to the end, he would be tough to beat.  The one thing he has that could hurt him unfairly is that he won Big Brother.  So the jury could look at him and say he’s won before, he doesn’t need to win again.  I would hope that wouldn’t happen but you never know.  Also by Monica flipping to Hayden and Ciera, she would lose Tyson and Gervase votes.  I think Caleb would vote for Hayden.  So the question is, can she get the votes from Tina, Laura, Katie, Aras, and Vytas to win the game?  The big wild card for Monica is who re-enters from RI.  If it’s Tina, she beats Tina.  If it’s Laura, I don’t think she beats Laura.  I think anyone would have a tough time beating Laura.  She would have been voted out….twice…and still get to the final 3 by being a challenge beast.  That would be majorly impressive.   So maybe in the end, Monica is better staying with Gervase and Tyson and taking her chances.

What did you all think of last night’s episode?   And who do you think is the front-runner to win it all?  I think it’s still Tyson’s game to lose at this point but watch out for Laura if she gets back in this game.   And Monica could be someone who surprises a lot of people.  She can still win this thing if she plays it right and Tyson is, well, Tyson.  I can’t wait for the last three episodes!!!

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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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RECAP & REVIEW: The Glee Family Pays Tribute to Finn/Cory in “The Quarterback”

It’s no secret, I’ve been hard on Glee the last few years.   Actually that’s too kind…I’ve been brutal.  It to be fair, the bashing has been accurate and deserved.  And when it comes to serious topics and moments in the show, other than how the show handled Kurt being gay and in the closet and his coming out, Glee has failed miserably over and over again.    So I was worried about how they were going to handle this tribute episode and my fear was, would they be able to pay the respect deserved to the character and the actor without destroying the emotion with bad writing and bad decisions.   In my opinion, this was the second best episode Glee has ever done (the number one still being that perfect pilot.)

I stopped watching Glee last year.  I could not watch such a bad show anymore.  Even though there were times that songs/performances were great and there were some storylines I was really interested in (like Kurt and Rachel going off to NYC together), the show overall was just so bad and out there, that I couldn’t enjoy it anymore and the bad far outweighed the good so I had to cut the cord on Glee.   But over the summer when I heard of Cory Monteith’s passing and heard they were going to write this into Glee, I knew I’d be back for that episode.   And I have to say that Murphy and Falchuk put together a beautiful and tasteful episode that honored the life of Finn Hudson/Cory Monteith and had me crying for 60 straight minutes and left me with puffy eyes for 2 days.

I’m glad they didn’t discuss how Finn died in the episode.  There was a lot of speculation as to how they were going to kill off Finn and I think the way they handled it was perfect…Kurt’s inner monologue telling us that it doesn’t matter how he died.   I would agree.   And I like that they didn’t do the reveal of his death and the reactions and the funeral.   They picked it up 3 weeks after his funeral and we got to see the real emotions everyone was feeling and how they all grieve differently over Finn’s death.  We got to see how people have to face losing someone they loved and cared about after everyone goes back to their normal lives.  It’s exactly what the cast is dealing with and it lets us the viewer and fan into a very private moment for all the cast and crew.  Everyone has been wondering how they are all doing…especially Lea Michelle…now we know.

Everyone has their, dare I say, favorite moments from the episodes.   But the two scenes the hit home the most for me were the scene with Kurt, Burt, and Carole and of course, Rachel’s scene in the choir room.   Romy Rosemont has always been one of my favorite character actresses.  She’s always so good in everything she’s in.  Aside from Rachel, she was the one character I was most anxious to see.  I know that sounds disturbing in a way and I don’t mean it to seem like I couldn’t wait to see how much pain she was in.  I mean it in the sense that she’s Finn’s mom and I want to be able to  have a good cry with her because her heart is breaking over the loss of her son.   And as usual, Rosemont nails the scene so touchingly and perfectly that I can already hear her Emmy speech next year.   When she talked about still being a mom but not having a son anymore, oh boy did the ugly cry come forward.  And let’s talk about how amazing Mike O’Malley is.  He’s always been amazing as Burt Hummel and this scene reminds me why.  Burt talked about how he didn’t hug him enough.   How he treated him more like a buddy with fist bumps and slaps on the back.   But how he wished he hugged him more and told him he was proud of him.   I felt like I was watching a private family moment that I had the honor of being able to witness so I could truly see the level of grief these people are going through.   It was a perfectly acted and written scene.

Then, 45 minutes into the episode, we see Rachel.  In the beginning Kurt is leaving NYC to head back home for Finn’s tribute and he tries to wake Rachel but she isn’t responding.  And we don’t see her.   The camera focuses on Kurt the whole time.   So we don’t get a Rachel sighting until almost the end of the episode.  She comments on how much she loves to memorial outside the lockers and she asks not to be treated with kid gloves.   Then, she stands front and center in the choir room, as she has so many times with ease, and begins to sing “To Make You Feel My Love” except this is the hardest song Rachel’s ever had to sing.   I don’t know how Lea Michelle got through that number.  I really don’t.  I don’t think I could have done it.  To see that pain in her eyes and to see how her number and grief permeated through the entire New Directions group, it was brutal to watch.  I just wanted to run through my TV and give them all one big group hug to let them know that it was going to be ok.   What’s even more amazing is that most of the episode was done in all one take.  I would have to imagine the crew wanted it that way because who would be able to do some of those scenes multiple times. It was so raw and real and I think it made the episode even stronger.

Actually, there was one more scene that really got me and that was the final scene.  I don’t know how Matthew Morrison kept it together the whole time during the episode.  He was very stoic and composed making sure everyone else was ok…which is quintessential Schue.   But you know it was coming.  His moment.  His breakdown.  I think people forget how strong a connection Schue and Finn had.  It’s why I wish Morrison had a song in this episode of his own.   But when everyone was wondering who took the jacket, I thought it was either Rachel or Schue.   When he pulled out that jacket and starting to cry uncontrollably and when Emma came in to comfort him, then came my final ugly cry of the night.  I actually was still crying even the episode was over because that scene hit me so hard.

The scenes with the other characters were also nice…Puck and Beiste had some nice moments, Mercedes “I’ll Stand By You” was probably her best number ever (although I still love her rendition of “And I Am Telling You”), and Santana and Sue’s moment…more for Sue than Santana.  Let me touch on Santana for a moment.  I see people going crazy over her scenes in the show.  I’ll probably get my page unfollowed and people bashing me for this but that’s ok…Santana’s scenes didn’t do a lot for me.  Probably because I didn’t get her connection with Finn as much as I did with other people.  I know they slept together and I know he was nice to her when other people weren’t and tried to bring out the best in her, but Santana’s a bitch.  Always has been, always will be.  I’ve never connected with or liked her character at all so maybe that’s why her scenes didn’t resonate with me.  Having said that, Naya Rivera was sensational.  She did a beautiful job with her rendition of “If I Die Young” and all of her scene.  She was amazing.  But her character didn’t do it for me.   Why would Kurt insist on having Santana have Finn’s jacket?  Really?   Out of everyone she should have it?   Why?   But I did enjoy her scene with Sue where she goes to apologize for lashing out at her and Sue confesses how she’s devastated that Finn passed away thinking Sue hated him.  She talked about what a great kid he was and that there is no lesson to be learned and no silver lining and what a waste of potential.  It’s moments like this scene where Jane Lynch is at her best….when she needs to bring the serious, she belts it out of the park.

I think my only issue (if you can call it that) with the episode…there were no flashbacks (other than Puck throwing Kurt in a dumpster.)  I would have thought that when people were singing, it would have been a nice time to throw some images of their memories of Finn.  Almost as if we have a camera in their heads seeing what they are remembering and then we would have gotten some nice flashbacks of Cory/Finn.   Although, I wouldn’t have wanted that for Rachel’s scene.  The way they handled Rachel’s song was perfect.  Maybe when she and Schue were looking at the picture some could have come up but no during her song.   It’s small and it certainly didn’t take away from the episode by not having them there but I know I would have liked to have seen some.

These episodes can’t be easy…for the cast, crew, writers, show runners.   And I have to say Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk for all the grief I’ve given you over the last few years and as much as I’ve bashed your show, I tip my hat and say thank you.   Thank you for such a lovely episode that not only gave the characters a way to say good-bye to Finn, but you gave us an episode that we as fans got to grieve with them and say good-bye to Cory.   You did a masterful job under a very difficult circumstance and you did it with grace and dignity.

To the cast and crew and to Monteith’s family, my sincerest condolences on what must be one of the most difficult times you will ever go through.  Thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

R.I.P Finn Hudson.   R.I.P Cory Monteith.

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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in FOX, Recaps and Reviews


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SEASON PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW Survivor Blood vs. Water: “Blood Is Thicker Than Anything” S27 E1

Here we are….season 27 of Survivor!   Wow.  So when I read the scenario for Blood vs. Water there were things I liked and things I didn’t.  First, I love the idea of playing against your loved one and seeing what kind of dynamics unfold as a result of that.   Especially when you’re on one team and your loved one is on another….what if the alliance you form doesn’t line up with your loved one?  Then what?  Then, I love that they’re voting someone out on the spot AND the vote isn’t hidden.   I know people don’t like that because it isn’t fair and there is no rhyme or reason to the vote at this point and if I were the person who was voted out, I wouldn’t like it either.  But since I’m not, I LOVE IT!!!!   I like the idea of being given the opportunity to swap places with a loved one if they are in danger.  I think that could put a huge twist into the alliances and direction of the game that could be very interesting to watch.   What I hate…Redemption Island is back.   Ugh.  I HATE Redemption Island.  I’m sorry but I’m a purist.  When someone is voted out, they should be out of the game…period.   No second chances, no additional opportunity to get back in the game.   So I’m disappointed to hear that this is back.

As for the cast itself, there are some people I’m very happy to see…Tina, Aras, Gervase, Laura, and Tyson.   There are some people I am so over seeing….Rupert and Candice.   There are people I couldn’t remember…Kat and Monica.   And there is one person I was disgusted to see…Colton.   Seeing as how One World was arguably the worst season in Survivor history, I’m shocked to see three people return from that season.   Especially Colton.  It’s one thing to have controversial players in terms of their game play and decisions they make for making a very compelling season and great TV.  It’s another to bring someone like Colton back who actually detracts from my viewing pleasure and is the reason the only season I never finished watching was One World.   He’s a horrible human being and he’s a bad Survivor player.  Why do I want to watch that again?  I’m praying to God he gets voted out soon and doesn’t ruin the season…again.

The first twist right off the bat was the fact that this season is actually 39 1/2 days since the loved ones are dropped off to spend the night together before the game begins.   The next morning everyone meets on the beach and the tribes are divided into loved ones and returning players.  Awesome.   Even more awesome, they each have to vote someone out right away and it’s not a hidden vote.  The first two voted out are Candice (returning players) and Laura (Rupert’s wife – Loved Ones.)   Once Probst offered the opportunity to switch positions, Rupert didn’t hesitate and took Laura’s spot and Laura joined the Returning Players tribe.   BIG mistake Rupert.  Like Tina said you just put your tribe in a weaker position and as a result, you’re on everyone’s shit list.  I think Rupert regretted it the minute he did it.   John, while very upset his wife was voted out, made the smart move and staying right where he was at.

Since the premiere is 90 minutes, we have a chance to get to know the Survivors a little better.  First on the Loved Ones tribe, we learn Laura’s daughter Ciera was a teen mom and has a second little one with her new husband and how supportive her mom was with her but how difficult it was.   We learn Aras’ brother Vytas was a teen heroin addict and went to jail for stealing from people to maintain his habit.   And we learn that Brad Culpepper has trouble counting on two hands.  The first two stories were much more compelling.    We also learn from Brad that he doesn’t think a gay man equals a real man.   When he talks about his 5 man alliance, he clarifies by saying they’re actually 4 guys and a gay guy.   Seriously?   I’m already looking forward to when he’s voted out.   And don’t think that’s too far away because I don’t think they “guy” alliance is as tight as he thinks it is.   If I have to go out and pick a Loved One this early that I really like, it’s Vytas.  I love his story and I think you can tell right off the bat that he’s pretty smart and already playing a strong game.  Many of the other Loved Ones seem to still be figuring out what the hell is going on while Vytas is already in “game on” mode.   But I think he’s soft-spoken enough that he will be stealth and fly under the radar but making good decisions and reading and watching everyone.   So he is definitely one to watch.

As for the Returning Players, we’re already treated to a Colton meltdown and telling everyone how he’s misunderstood and he’s a good person.   In one of his confessionals, he talks about how he plans to show everyone a different side to Colton.  A Colton 2.0 if you will.   Well that was very short-lived because in the immunity challenge Kat is yelling at him to paddle (as is everyone else) and he turns to her and threatens to hit her with the paddle if she doesn’t shut up.   And he’s back.   Colton 2.0 lasted all of one day and from the previews for next week, he looks to be back with a vengeance.  Great (she says with sarcasm.)

At the immunity challenge the Loved Ones are off to a HUGE lead.  Mainly because Gervase is so out of shape Aras has to push and drag him through the water to get him through the challenge.  Once they actually get Gervase in the boat, the can’t seem to figure out how paddle the boat straight back to the beach.  And when Kat is the one trying to fix the situation, you know you’re in trouble.   The thing I love most about puzzle challenges is that whenever someone steps up and says “I’m really good at puzzles” and CBS shows it, you know that person is going to get crushed in the puzzle challenge.  In this season Laura and Tina say how good they are at puzzles and that they wouldn’t be surprised to see their daughters doing the puzzle part and how they are going to crush them.   I love to see these two moms wanting to destroy their own daughters…LOL.  And they were right because Katie and Ciera stepped up and said their moms are good at puzzles and so are they so they want to beat their moms.  And while Katie and Ciera may be good at puzzles, they aren’t as good as their moms because even with that huge lead, Tina and Laura (and someone else) come roaring back and destroy them and win immunity.  Talk about a beat down!   But the funniest part had to be seeing Gervase jump up and down and get in the Loved Ones face about the victory.  Dude, you were worse than useless in the challenge, you almost lost the challenge for your team!  And you’re going to be the one to smack talk?   Come on man.  From one Philly person to another, act like you’ve been there, especially when you suck.

Before heading to tribal council, the Loved Ones are talking about who to vote out and they narrow it down to Marissa and Katie.   Katie because they don’t think she’s strong and Marissa because her uncle acted like a jackass so it would send a message and they don’t think she brings much to the table.    After some back and forth, Marissa gets voted out, stares down her tribe and heads to Redemption Island.  Now I have heard and read some reports that people think the vote against Marissa was racist.  I don’t like such heavy topics on a TV blog but since it was brought up I’m going to respond with my opinion.  In no way do I think that vote was racist.   If Tyson was the one being obnoxious and jumping around, maybe Rachel would be gone.   I don’t think it had anything to do with the color of her skin and I think it’s really unfair to the contestants to make that huge assumption.    I also heard a very popular podcast (that I love) where one of the pundits discussed how he thinks there is a problem with America because black women keep getting voted off Survivor early.  Is he serious with that comment?   How is it America’s fault?   And I think to say that the reason some people are voted out are because the contestants are racist is way out of line.  Over the course of 27 seasons have there been racist people on the show, I’m sure that there have been.  But to make that kind of blanket statement about the Survivor contestants I think is very irresponsible and unfair to them.    If you want to take issue with the idea that they are penalizing her for her uncle’s action, I would have no problem with that because I think that’s a bogus reason to vote her out.   But I wish we would not jump to very serious conclusions about the reasons why someone was voted out unless there is concrete evidence that was the case and the people in question would have the chance to respond.   And just to be VERY clear, if it turns out that someone on Survivor is voted out because of the color of their skin, I would be appalled by that.  But enough about that.  I’m upset Marissa is gone because I thought she could be a real player this season and very strong competitor so I’m hoping she does well at Redemption Island and finds a way to get back in the game.   Although, it wouldn’t surprise me if Gervase took her place at RI because I have a feeling the reason she was voted out will be brought up.

So now I have to go out on a limb and pick my winner for the season.   This is so hard.  There are so many people with a chance to win.  Since rookies seem to struggle against returning players, I’m not going with one of them.  I have it down to two people….Laura and Aras.   They are both strong, smart, and determined to win.   But I think Laura has the personality that could potentially rub people the wrong way at some point and Aras seems to be someone everyone just likes and responds positively to that I’m going to go with Aras as the winner of Survivor Blood vs. Water.   But if a rookie were to win, I would put my money on his brother Vytas.  But I think Aras becomes the second repeat winner.

So what did you think of the premiere and all the twist and turns this season?   And who do you think will win this season?


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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor….The Season So Far

Wow.  Survivor really decided to bring the crazy this season didn’t they?   Between Phillip, Shamar, and Brandon there is plenty of insanity to go around.   But is it really making for an enjoyable season?   When does the exploitation of someone’s mental state cross the line from good old fashion entertainment to down right cruelty and absurdity?  Can the producers, casting department, and psychologists really detect someone who is truly mentally unstable or just being aloof for TV purposes?   Is it fair of us to expect them to forecast expectations of behavior?   I know, I know, it’s a TV show.   Furthermore, it’s a REALITY TV show.   But since this is the hot topic this week after Wednesday night’s disaster that was Survivor Caramoan, I’m curious to hear what people think.

I wasn’t excited when Phillip and Brandon were cast this season.  I thought it was stunt casting to be quite honest with you.  Phillip I thought was just a bad player.  The only reason to bring him back is because he is nuts and to watch his insanity rankle the other players in the game.  The whole Stealth R Us thing, while mildly entertaining for the viewers, I can imagine it wearing really thin out there.  So I was dead set against Phillip this season.  However, I have to say, as annoying as he can be, I give him props for many things.  The first being that he’s been great in the challenges.  Of course everyone expected Malcolm and Brenda to do well because they’re great athletes.   But I don’t think people expected much from Phillip and he’s held his own and actually has been a pretty integral part of them willing several challenges…including this week’s coconut tossing competition.  The second would be him really trying to take charge of the game.  Many people, myself included, really gave Phillip grief for riding the Boston Rob train the last time he was on.   He was Boston Rob’s stooge willing to do whatever his master told him to do.  And Rob rode Phillip to $1 million.  This time, it seems, Phillip is taking charge of the game and not riding anyone’s coat tails.  Now he may be rubbing people the wrong way in the process and I’m not saying he’s doing a masterful job at running the show.   But he’s at least not waiting for his fate to befall him.  He is going out and taking charge and charting his own course to what he thinks will be the million dollar prize.  Will he succeed?   Who knows at this point.  His biggest problem is that he doesn’t know how to take charge of the game subtly.  He needs to let everyone know he’s in charge and that may be his downfall.   Is it because of how poorly he was painted in his last showing?  Perhaps.  But Phillip Shepard needs to let everyone know that he’s in control and that you’re either with him or against him.   The final reason I’m giving Phillip props is for how he handled the Brandon situation.  Unfortunately, because of what I just outlined in point #2, Phillip really rubbed, inadvertently, in Brandon’s face how he will dictate Brandon’s fate in the game.  Not the smartest move on Phil’s part.  But does that mean he deserved what Brandon did to him (and everyone else on the tribe for that matter?)   No.   I’ll get more into the Brandon thing in a minute but I really applaud Phillip for walking away from him at camp when he was really getting to a boiling point and I respect the way he held his composure when Brandon was coming after him before the immunity challenge that was never going to take place.   The only thing he did wrong, was talk about Brandon’s family.  In my opinion, leave everyone’s personal life out of it.  Just stick to what’s happening on the island because you don’t know these people, you don’t know their home life, so you can’t judge or throw that in their face.  Just leave it alone.  Other than that, Phillip kept his calm in handling Brandon.  Honestly the whole tribe did, which floored me, but again, more on that later.  Was I happy with the Phillip casting this season?   No.  Is working my nerves as much as before?   Not yet.  Do I respect his game play more this time than last?   Yes I do.

So let’s get into Brandon.  I seriously think that kid’s unstable.  I’m not saying that to be funny or rude.  I seriously think there is something wrong with him.  He was crazy the first time he played and he was just as crazy this time.   The first time around, he got rid of Mikalya because she filled him with impure thoughts of lust.   Well I can’t see a better reason to get rid of someone!  Plus his mood was all over the place…completely bi-polar.  One day he was up, the next he was down, then he was kind, then he was rude.   He didn’t know who or what he wanted to be.   He wanted to be filled with God but then he would curse and threaten people.  It was bizarre.  So why would we expect anything less this time around?   Because, according to Jeff Probst and other producers, they thought he had changed.   Let’s talk about this.  Probst and the producers/casting department have been getting a lot of heat for bringing back Brandon.   The thought out there is that even though they knew he was unstable, they put him out there anyway because they thought he would bring in ratings.   If this is true (and I’m not saying it is) it would be dumb on so many levels.  Number one because this kid doesn’t bring ratings, he actually stops them.  I know people who didn’t watch this season because he was on there.  They couldn’t deal with another Hantz love fest, especially with “the crazy kid” as one of my friend’s put it.  Number two, you can’t risk putting a mentally unstable young man in an environment that will test his sanity everyday.  Number three, you can’t do that to the other contestants (making them live with a crazy person) it’s unfair to them.   I could go on and on.   So I honestly believe that while they may have been nervous about Brandon, they saw enough in him to warrant giving him a second chance on the show.   Where I will give up on Survivor, is if they decide to bring him back a third time.   I can forgive a mistake now.   But after two disastrously mercurial seasons with Brandon, bringing him back again would be down right abhorrent. He has proven to be a truly hot mess.  The fact that he has kids and another one on the way is down right scary.   And I know I just yelled at Phillip for judging someone’s personal life without knowing them so I am being the ultimate hypocrite, but I can’t help it.  I’ve seen and heard interviews with this kid outside of Survivor and to say it was bizarre is an understatement.  He’s usually incoherent and flighty, to be kind.  It’s frightening to hear his complete lack of self-awareness.  He really has no clue.  I heard Probst say that they immediately had a psychologist on set to talk to Brandon after the whole debacle and that it is standard for the show to appoint a psychologist or psychiatrist to help Survivors after the show or help them find a doctor in their area for support.   That’s actually nice to hear.  And I hope Brandon takes them up on it, but I doubt he will.  In an interview with Dalton Ross (who is the best Survivor recapper ever) on his podcast, Brandon talked about how great life is and he’s great and he’s not crazy and that he’s so proud of the way he played the game.  What?????   You’re proud that you took food and dumped it all over the island so that no one in your tribe would have food.  That makes you proud?  Whatever bro (as he likes to call everyone.)   Speaking of the food dump, is that not the most insane thing you have seen on this show?   I’ve obviously never been on Survivor but even I know that food is like gold out there.  All you have is rice and now they give you beans.  But that’s it.  You’re weak and tired and the only sustenance you have is rice and beans.   And that asshole, to prove some sort of point (I’m still not sure what) dumps it all over the ground.  What I found interesting is that Malcolm or Erik didn’t pile drive him to the ground during the rice part.  I know when he grabbed the bean container Erik made a half ass attempt to retrieve it from Brandon but he backed down pretty fast.   I have to wonder if it’s because they were seriously afraid of what he might do.   At this point they’ve all been living together for what 11-13 days?   Maybe everyone was really terrified of him because he was so unstable.  I’m not trying to make this more dramatic than it was, but it does make sense.  I mean come on….when they got back from tribal council, he was talking about how he thought about burning the shelter down!!!  If I was Corrine, my first question would have been “with us in it?”   Yeah he was talking about peeing in the rice and beans, but HE TALKED ABOUT BURNING THE SHELTER TO THE GROUND!   What is the matter with him?  That is why I sincerely hope the rumors about Brandon failing his psych test for the show are wrong.  Because that would be beyond egregious.

So because of all this mayhem, the Favorites decide to do what I absolutely hate in Survivor…throw the challenge to go to tribal council so they can get rid of Brandon.  I hate when teams do this.  It’s the dumbest thing in the world.   You’re annoyed by someone, you’re up by big numbers, and you think it’s no big deal to throw one little challenge.   WRONG.  It’s absolutely the worst idea ever.  However, this situation was the exception to that.  In this situation, I have no problem with the Favorites doing what they did.  This was beyond someone annoying them.  I really think this was them wanting this ticking time bomb, who could possibly be a danger to himself or someone else (mainly Phillip) off the island because it was safer for all of them.  I really believe that.  Look at the way they all dealt with Brandon.  When he became accusatory towards any of them, they backed down.  Even Corrine, who’s as combative and strong and nasty as they come, wouldn’t touch him with a 50 foot pole.  And I have to say, HUGE props to Jeff Probst for his handling of the situation.  Even though the man rubbing was a little weird, I don’t think Jeff could have handled it any better.   It was obvious this could have escalated into something physical (especially when Phillip when after Brandon’s family.)   Probst did the smart thing by bringing Brandon over to him and away from his tribe.   He was able to calmly talk to Brandon and everyone else so he could get a clear idea of what was happening and how this was all going down.  As a result, he had a tribal council right there where everyone voted him out.  I have to wonder what would happen if something did get physical on the island.  Is there security there?   Do the producers expect the contestants to handle it?   Would someone get kicked off the island or put in time out?   What would happen?  I wonder if they have a protocol in place.  I’m sure that they do.   And if they didn’t, I’m sure that they do now!!

Ultimately, I’m glad Brandon is gone.  I think it was a monstrous mistake to bring him back and all of us fans at home thought the same thing.  I don’t think I read one pre-Caramoan review that said what a brilliant idea it was to bring back Brandon.   But, we’re also looking at it from just the scope of his first run on TV.   These producers are really vetting these contestants to make sure they can do this again.  At least I hope they are.   So they get to see more of Brandon in a different light than what we get to see.  Therefore, they made the decision to go for it and it blew up in their face.   I really hope this is the last time we see any Hantz on Survivor.  And I really hope they think long and hard about who they bring back and who they cast.  I know they want personalities because that brings better ratings.   And there’s nothing wrong with drama on Survivor…it’s part of what makes the show so great.   I get all that.   But I think they really need to draw the line at unstable.   Because if they don’t, the very thing they are trying to get, is the very thing they will push away and be gone to the point they won’t be able to get it back and the show will be dead.

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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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SERIES REVIEW: Best Friends Forever

I am so mad.  It’s times like these I can’t see straight with anger and my husband needs to remind me that it’s only a TV show.  But I am furious because it looks like this show isn’t going to make it to next season and this show is AWESOME!!   BFF tells the story of Jessica and Lennon, two BFFs from college who mean the world to one another.

Jessica’s husband is an ass, to put it mildly.  He cheated on her and then served her divorce papers (while Jess was Skyping with Lennon.)   She is devastated so Lennon tells her to come home and stay with her.  Jess flies right back to NYC.  Complicating matters, while Jess is moving back into her old apartment with Lenn, Lenn and her boyfriend Joe have just recently moved in together.  Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

I really feel bad for Lennon.  She’s caught in the middle of wanting to be there for her best friend yet still being respectful to this life she is building with Joe.  The scene that best captures this is when they are watching Steel Magnolias (I love that movie!)  Joe is trying to be supportive by watching this movie he could care less about and immediately becomes my husband in the scene.  My husband is famous for walking in on me watching a show or a movie and start asking 50 thousand questions about what I’m watching distracting me from the show.  It drives me crazy.  And it starts to drive Jess crazy when Joe does this.  She asks him to stop interrupting their favorite movie, when Joe corrects her and says that Braveheart is actually her favorite movie.   They both look at her.  “Well I have a favorite movie with you and I have a favorite movie with you!”  Well handled Lennon!

The thing I love most about the show, and what I love most about all good comedies, is that this show has heart.  This isn’t just making up stupid crazy situations to put people to try to make an audience laugh.  This is a show about when bad things happen, you need the support of your friends to get you through it.  It’s about learning to compromise and how to adapt to new situations for the people you love.  Jess and Lennon are a little strange.  I love that!  They are odd and quirky but so relatable and funny.  I completely believe they are BFFs.  They would do anything for each other.  From Lennon asking Rav to put on this elaborate scheme to make Jess feel better about herself, to Jess asking around about Joe to make sure he’s right for Lenn.  From Lennon chasing Jessica’s ex-husband away and screaming at him to leave her alone, to Jess questioning Lennon to see where she stands on marriage since she thinks Joe is about to propose.

BFF is well written, the cast chemistry is fantastic, and it will make you laugh and tear up.  The scene where Jess is taking a bath and Lenn wants to get her out because Joe needs to do a twosie, is hysterical.  Eventually the girls start fighting and Joe is torn as to whether or not he should go in and help.  He decides to go in and just as he does, Jess pulls Lenn into the tub with her while they are still fighting and Joe laments “this isn’t as hot as I thought it would be.”

I can’t stress enough why you should watch this show.  If freaking Rules of Engagement can last 3 or 4 seasons (and that show is dreadful) then this show should last 5-6.  You need to watch this show!!!!  I can’t believe a show like Whitney will be back next season but this show won’t.  Again, bad timing and lack of promotion will doom a show before it starts.  If NBC “LOVES” this show as much as it says it does, then why did it treat the cast and crew like crap and premiere it when it did?   See my TV Rant post for more on the scheduling debacle in network TV these days.  But I am so pissed off that this show doesn’t have a chance but other crap shows do.   So enjoy this show while you can because it’s terrific!

DVRs: 4


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The Season So Far….Survivor One World Review

I had 4 episodes on tape and because I hated the cast so much, I was in no rush to watch.  But after Kansas beat UNC last night (Go Jayhawks!!!)  I decided to pop in a few episodes and see if it’s gotten any better.  Well, the good news is….unfortunately, there is none.  Not only is the cast still as annoying as before, but it’s actually gotten worse.  WORSE!  I didn’t think that was possible, but it has.

In the beginning, it was very rare to see vile human beings on Survivor (other than Richard Hatch.)  There may have been characters you didn’t like, but no one so disgusting that it took away from the enjoyment of the show.  Bare in mind, there is a difference between loving to hate someone and all out hating someone because they are a horrible human being.  To me, someone like Parvati was someone people loved to hate.  Maybe some people liked her, but for the most part, she was not well liked.   And it had nothing to do with her being a horrible human being.  It was just she was devious and manipulative but all within the spirit of the game.  She is arguably one of the best players Survivor has ever seen.  You also had polarizing people like Coach, Jeri, Courtney, Randy, Sandra, Boston Rob.  Some nasty people in the group, some devious people, and some strange people.  But none of which who were vile, awful people.  Now I was not a fan of Courtney or Sandra…I really hated their characters because I thought they were pretty rude.  But from things I’ve read, they are very different in the real world than on the show.  So I can chalk it up to that.   Plus, their actions always seemed to be within the framework and spirit of the game.  But then everything changed with one show….Survivor Samoa.

Samoa introduced us to the most polarizing player ever to grace our Survivor nation….Russell Hantz.  Russell took playing dirty to a whole new level.  Russell’s arrogance was also like nothing we have ever seen before.  Sure there were people who had confidence in themselves and their game but nothing like Russell.  He was ripping the intelligence of the women around him, he would get in someone’s face, threaten them and then follow through with the threat (by voting them out.)  He was ruthless.   But even though Russell was mostly a hated player, there were still plenty of people out there that loved him and there were plenty of people who loved to hate him.   My husband and I didn’t like Russell but we loved having him on Survivor because he made for riveting TV.   We couldn’t wait to see what he would do next.  I still think he was robbed on Samoa because he deserved to win.   But after that, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, I can’t feel bad for you.

But after Samoa, we have now seen at least three people (at least 3 for me) that I don’t see any redeemable qualities in the type of person they are….Na’Onka, Colton, and Alicia.  And the scariest part, is that two of these people are EDUCATORS!!!!!!  I don’t mind if Survivor wants to bring controversial people on the screen who will shake things up a bit.   But there is a difference between finding a strong personality that will probably clash with other people and finding complete psychopaths who ruin the show.  In fairness to the casting department, they probably don’t know to the extent someone will behave on the island until they get out there.  But wow have they made some bad choices.   People like Na’Onka, Colton, and Alicia aren’t fun to watch.  They aren’t interesting or intriguing.  They are just horrendous.  Na’Onka didn’t totally ruin Nicaragua for me (although she came close) but I hated watching any scene she was in and was so relieved when she was finally voted out.  Talk about a horrible person.  But at least it was just one person.  And once they were gone, it was much better.  This season doesn’t have that luxury.

I have tried to start this paragraph several different ways because there are just no words to describe a repulsive person like Colton.  I’ve never in my life seen anyone behave or act like he did on Survivor.   And the scary thing is, I believe that’s exactly how he behaves in the real world.  He is a bigoted, racist, elitist, asshole.  And that’s being kind.   I understand in your confessionals or even to your closest confidants that you may poke fun or celebrate someone’s ultimate demise on the show.  But to be so blatantly rude and condescending to a fellow teammate by telling them “they couldn’t make an alliance with a hermit crab” or “you can be medivaced out or jump in the fire, it’s up to you.”   Who the hell do you think you are?   And what’s worse….EVERYONE IS ALLOWING HIM TO ACT THIS WAY!!!!   Why is this prick dictating what is going on?   Why did Mike, Jay, Bill, Troyzan, Leif allow this to go on?  Tarzan and Jonah have no spines so it’s not surprising that they have done nothing.   But what about the other guys?   How did Leif and Cristina allow Colton, and eventually Alicia, to talk to them the way that they did?  Grow a set and put him in his place!!!  I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I wish Matt was still on the show because he seems like the kind of guy who would have nipped this in the bud and gotten rid of Colton a long time ago.  Between Colton’s behavior and the fact that NO ONE will call him on it or punish him for it (like vote him off) is what is ruining this season for me.  I can’t stand people who don’t play the game.  It’s one thing to be smart about not pissing off people and making your move at the right time.  But it’s an entirely other thing to be so afraid of getting voted off that you allow this Mussolini to take control of everything….including spearheading the decision to give up immunity and go to tribal council instead of the girls tribe!!!!   I couldn’t believe what I was watching!!!!!  And all because, he didn’t like Bill.  Not because he was a threat, not because he was dangerous, but because he didn’t like his voice and career choice.  WHAT!!!!!!!  And SEVEN OTHER PEOPLE agreed to this.   Man I thought the girls’ tribe was stupid.  The men took it to a whole new level.

So on top of the whole, Colton is an asshole fiasco, you have his partner in crime, Alicia, who is just as much of an abomination as he is.  She is foul-mouthed, nasty, rude, arrogant, and is not above threatening to beat you up and slap you around if God forbid you need about an inch of room to sleep in the shelter.  And this is someone who teaches special needs children.  Like I said during Na’Onka’s season, if I had my kid in her class, I would yank them out so fast.  I wouldn’t want that woman anywhere near my kids.

I’m so frustrated because I really love this show.  But I am starting to get tired of not only the nasty people, but the stupid people.  It’s another problem Survivor is facing because you have people getting cast on this show who don’t play the game.  Either they’re too dumb to play or too lazy to play.  Between the dreck from Redemption Island to this One World cast, the casting has been horrible.  Out of the 18-22 people (depending on the season you get) who are cast, removing the returning players from the mix, you are only getting about 5-6 people who truly seem to want to play the game.   And unfortunately, they are usually deemed the “threatening people” are therefore voted out of the game early by the idiots.  Or, in the case of RI and South Pacific, just do whatever the returning player wants them to do and don’t bother developing their own game plan.   Where are the Rob Cestraninos?   The Ceries?  The Parvatis?  The Boston Robs?  While we all bitch about seeing the same people come back time and time again, at least these people play the game to win.  I’d rather watch that than people like Natalie and Ashley from Redemption Island or take your pick from this season.

But you know what they say….karma’s a bitch.  Colton was thankfully carted off the island this past week with an appendicitis.  I shouldn’t say thankfully because that sounds cruel.  Hopefully, medically, he’s ok.  I’m thankful because he won’t be on my TV screen anymore.  But I hope his health is just fine.   Unfortunately, Alicia is still there but hopefully won’t be for much longer.  I’m still rooting for Kim, Sabrina, Chelsea (although not as much with her) Troyzan and Jay.  I was hoping this season would turn around but I’m afraid it’s too far gone.  If we can get Alicia, Tarzan, and Kat off the show soon, it may have a chance because the rest of the people, I believe, want to play the game.  Except for Christina but because of how she was treated, I’m really hoping Alicia and Tarzan go before she does.

What do you think of Survivor One World?  And what are your thoughts on some of the recent casting decisions over the last few seasons?   Does it bug you as much as me or am I reading too much into it?   Comment away!!!


Posted by on March 26, 2012 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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