Survivor – Brawn or baby?

On last week’s episode of Survivor, the new Brawn-Beauty combo tribe blindsided Cliff by voting him out of the game – and thus also blindsiding and alienating his allies, Woo and Lindsey. There are two ways to handle that: 1) Hope you don’t go to Tribal Council again soon so you have time to figure out a new plan. 2) Cry and quit.

More after the break…

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“Girls” Season Three

girls-season-3-finaleThe season three finale of Girls aired last night, concluding what I thought was a very good twelve-episode run for the show. While it had its flaws, I think this was the best season Girls has done so far. Lena Dunham is really coming into her own as a storyteller and showrunner, and in particular the Hannah/Adam arc was really well done.

Each season of this show has portrayed a different stage of Hannah and Adam’s relationship. This season we saw them mostly happy, in love and stable. I liked seeing their relationship face new, outside challenges – family (like Adam’s sister or Hannah’s dying grandmother) and professional. Hannah found a job that she was good at, and it paid well. But she hated it, and it was leading her off the path she wanted to be on. It’s a conundrum many twenty-somethings face, and it was happening to Hannah just as Adam was finding himself creatively.

Hannah and Adam’s story overshadowed what was going on with the other girls this season, to varying degrees. Marnie got the most material, most of it cringe-inducing. This season Marnie floundered in all aspects of life – her friendships, her career, her romances. She hooked up with a friend’s ex, Ray, and pursued an attached guy to the extreme. But I think what makes Marnie so difficult to watch is that, like it or not, we can all relate to some aspects of her situation. I’ve never been Marnie, but I’ve pursued the wrong guy for a self-esteem boost, I’ve worked jobs that I was overqualified for, and I’ve generally felt like my life sucks more than everyone else I know.

HBO-Girls-Season-3-Episode-12-2Most of Shoshanna’s antics took place off screen, but we knew she was experiencing a year of liberation following her breakup with Ray. She had some great moments this season – her immature self-involvement really shone through in the road trip episode earlier in the season, but she’s a funny character even when she’s skewing toward the unlikable. In the stellar beach house episode, she was an absolutely truth-bombing dream. And in the finale, she was pure gold – both comedically and dramatically. “At intermission, you are going to buy me some peanut M&Ms and we are going to have a fucking chat.” Her final plea to Ray to take her back was sad and desperate and probably more familiar than any of us would care to admit.

Jessa’s storyline was the most lacking this season, by far. She left rehab, relapsed, and then sobered up in time to almost assist-suicide for a brand new character in the season finale. It was haphazard and underdeveloped, and too disconnected from everyone else in the show.

girls-600-1395671603That said, I still felt that it was a fantastic season overall. I really like where things left off. Marnie and Hannah both chose the wrong time to break news to someone. Marnie stupidly cleared her conscience regarding her hookup with Ray when Shosh was obviously still reeling from finding out that her year of partying had cost her graduation. She was pretty smug all season about what big failures her friends are, and then her life came quickly crashing down around her. Marnie was behaving selfishly even in her apology – it was not the right time to break that news.

Hannah found out that she was admitted into a prestigious graduate program, and chose to tell Adam that she might move to Iowa for two years right before his Broadway debut. It was classic, selfish Hannah behavior, and hard to tell whether it was well-intentioned or not. On the one hand, I can see Hannah genuinely thinking that Adam would be nothing but excited for her. On the other hand, I could see her subconsciously using this information to make Adam chase her after he spent most of the season pulling away.

The season ended with Hannah and Adam on shaky ground, but as an individual she was still thrilled to once again have direction in her career. The show sometimes jumps ahead in time, but two years is a lot – I doubt Hannah will move to Iowa. Still, I’m looking forward to finding out what she will do. I’m going to miss Girls until next year.

One last thought: when it was revealed that Elijah was wearing a SHORTS suit, I lost it. Best. EVER.

What did you guys think of this season? How about the finale?

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The Amazing Race – “Can’t Make Fish Bite”

This week’s episode of The Amazing Race began with a lot of commotion over flights, as the teams all scrambled to get to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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Everyone got their first clue at a Sri Lanka temple that opened at 5:45am, but Margie and Luke were stuck in an airport waiting for a flight. Everyone else then jumped on a train to Galle, Sri Lanka. Once in Galle, they piled into tiny little taxis – particularly funny for the giant Globetrotters. The traffic was CRAY.

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Checking in on “Parenthood”

Parenthood - Season 5It’s been a while since I’ve written about Parenthood, mostly due to scheduling. But I’ve been watching it all season, and I still love the show as much as I always have.

The episode from two weeks ago, “Limbo”, was one of my favorites. I always love when there’s an excuse to bring all the Bravermans together, and a christening was as good a reason as any to do it. In fact, it was perfect because having christening-related events spiral out of control (a dinner, the actual christening, and a brunch) was a good way to poke fun at how ridiculous the Braverman family can be sometimes. It was summed up well when Sarah, working under a looming deadline, sighed at the craziness of it all when she was invited to the night-before-the-christening dinner.

This was the first big family event since Joel left Julia, and I felt like that delivered a lot of strong material. Although at this point, I think the pendulum has swung too far towards Julia being the victim and Joel being the villain.

I got a laugh out of Amber and Drew showing up high to dinner, particularly because they just played it so well. It added some nice levity to an otherwise heavy episode.

There have been some great storylines this season – Sarah figuring out her professional life, Joel and Julia’s failing marriage, Zeek and Camille debating whether to sell the house. But with only four episodes left in the season now, I’m hoping we get a little bit of movement on some things.

In “The Offer”, I had a few more problems with the episode even though it had a really strong (and incredibly sad) Max storyline. I usually like Amber and Drew storylines so much (although Drew’s love triangle has gotten a little too much screen time this season if you ask me), but this week it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I liked Amber taking in Drew, and I liked when she became annoyed at him taking advantage of her coolness and hospitality. Skipping class and smoking a joint at 11am doesn’t seem like something Amber would put up with from her baby brother. I thought she was too sympathetic when he whined that he was sad about Amy, and the vibe got weirdly romantic when Drew played Amber his crappy song. The scene definitely didn’t have a brother-sister vibe.

Two other storylines – Joel and Julia’s marriage, and Zeek and Camille’s house sale – felt kind of stalled in this episode. They were featured, but there was no movement. So that wasn’t my favorite.

But really, the episode was about Max. I haven’t been completely thrilled by the Adam, Kristina and Max storylines this season. Too often, I think Kristina, particularly, comes off as an entitled bully. She expects Max’s more difficult behavior to be just accepted by others, rather than focusing more on working with Max. I thought that was the worst it had been in “Limbo”, when Max and Sarah had an argument at the photography store. Max was out of line, and faced no consequences. The whole family was mad at Sarah instead.

Parenthood - Season 5But then the writers come up with a storyline like Max’s field trip, and none of that matters. It was so heartbreaking to see Max so aware of his isolation, without being able to really understand why he’s treated so poorly by his peers. (Because they’re assholes, basically. Because teenage boys are assholes.)

Even when I have mixed feelings about aspects of Parenthood, I still love the show overall. I have concerns over the previews for next week – I mean, Jason Ritter? Again??? Just let that relationship die already. What do you guys think? Has Kristina been a little insufferable at times? Did you get a weird vibe from Amber and Drew this week?

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Survivor – Shake It Out

drop your buffs

Brawn, Beauty and Brains no more.

“Drop your buffs!” I always have mixed feelings about those words on Survivor. On the one hand, I think scrambling the tribes interferes with the hard work everyone has been putting in all season. Relationships and strategy can become moot just because you ended up on the wrong end of the buff draw. On the other hand, did we really want to see the Brains tribe get decimated for another week in a row? Nope.

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A Spoiler-Filled Review of The Veronica Mars Movie

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.50.32 PMYou may know, if you read this little blog a lot, that I’m a huge fan of Veronica Mars. It’s a series I’ve watched in its entirety more than once. I watched a few episodes recently with friends (some fans, some newbies) and the series finale right before seeing the movie. And I liked the movie so much, that I spent a good portion of my weekend binge-watching more episodes and plan to watch the movie again when I finish the series.

I want to talk about why I liked the movie in detail, so don’t click through for my review unless you’ve seen it. But I’ll say this: if you have never seen the show Veronica Mars before, keep your expectations for the movie low. This film was funded by, and made for, the superfan.

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The Amazing Race – Bar Fights

I missed blogging about The Amazing Race last week, but I was sorry to see Team YouTube go out. I definitely liked them better than a couple of other teams – like a certain someone who threw a temper tantrum this week.

The teams flew to Kuala Lumpur this week, which was a little eerie given everything that has been going on this week.

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