Showing posts from September, 2009

Glee: The Rhodes Not Taken

We open with the glee club kids sing “Don’t Stop Believing”, and already the episode is off to a fine, fine start. I love Journey. Embarrassing but true. After Quinn rushes out mid-song to vomit, Finn frets to Will that all the dancing will endanger Quinn’s pregnancy. Rachel is still gone, having defected last episode in a flurry of snitty entitlement for the starring role in Sandy Ryerson’s production of Cabaret. The kids figure Rachel’s absence dooms them to mediocrity. As Puck puts it, “That Rachel kid makes me want to set myself on fire, but she can sing.”

(The glee club, by the way, is called New Directions. Not sure how I’ve missed that thus far, but I’m using it from here on out.)

Terri and Will eat grasshopper pie at a garish family restaurant. Their server, who is sporting plenty of flair, turns out to be a former student of Will’s. He’s currently attending another high school, even though he’s 24, because the school keeps failing him so he can continue to sing in New Dir…

Heroes Volume Five, Chapter Three: Ink

Okay, look: Seeing how Mohinder’s going to be MIA for another, oh, eight episodes or so, I’m not going to waste our time whining about his absence. Here’s the thing, though: I know the producers and writers have made a big fuss about how this season is all about smaller, more personal stories involving fewer characters at a time, and Mohinder just drew the short (really short -- downright microscopic) straw for these introductory episodes. Seriously, though, the back half of this season better be Mohinder-heavy, with virtually no Claire, to make things right with me. It seems like we’re getting double-doses of Claire, at the expense of Mohinder, and that’s just plain wrong.

Speaking of Claire… She’s busy avoiding Gretchen, who is chock full of questions about how Claire jumped out of a window and didn’t, like, die. When Gretchen does finally corner her, she asks Claire, “What are you, a vampire, an alien?”, which comes uncomfortably close to West’s uber-irritating “Are you a robot…

The Triumphant Return of The Smallville Files

Fans of Smallville -- and, maybe especially, those who just like to mock it a bit --need to head on over to Dan Liebke's Astonishing Tales right now. After a break of over a year, presumably to regain his faith in humanity after the wretched awfulness of that season where Lex and Lana settled down into domestic bliss, Dan has taken up the torch of The Smallville Files, his blisteringly funny and bizzare episode recaps, and has tacked the ninth-season premiere ("Are You There, Zod? It's Me, Brian Austin Green").

The Smallville Files is the gold standard of television recapping. Be prepared to stay a while; the temptation to sit and read through eight years' worth of accumulated recaps might be too great.

FlashForward, Episode One: No More Good Days

Okay, wow, that was great. Really, really top-notch. In fact, the only part of it I’m a little noncommittal about is the title: Given the option of calling it either Flash Forward or Flashforward, they went with… FlashForward. Yeah. It just looks wrong, doesn’t it?

FlashForward opens on a scene of devastation in downtown Los Angeles: Joseph Fiennes, who plays FBI agent Mark Benford, crawls out of an overturned car calling out for someone named Demetri. Cars are overturned, people are lying unconscious… It’s madness.

There’s a flashback (FlashBack?) to four hours earlier: Mark and his trauma surgeon wife Olivia head off to their respective workplaces, leaving their young daughter Charlie in the care of babysitter Nicole. Olivia tries to get in touch with surgical intern Bryce, who is ignoring her call while wandering aimlessly around the Venice Pier, looking moody and soulful. He pulls out a gun and places it under his chin.

Mark sits in the back of an AA meeting, at which his sponsor…

Glee: Preggers

The episode opens with Kurt wearing a black sequined jumpsuit and bopping around, awesomely, to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” When his father catches him, Kurt claims to be on the football team and manages to convince him that sequined unitards are pretty standard apparel. Kurt may be my favorite character.

Terri’s sister Kendra gives her some Lamaze lessons. Terri confesses that her pregnancy is a fraud. She wants to confess the truth to Will, but Kendra talks her out of it, claiming, “Dishonesty is food to a marriage -- it’ll die without it.” I’m still not feeling Glee 100%, honestly, but I’m a fan of all the bon mots.

In other news, Sue Sylvester has begun hosting a local news segment, “Sue’s Corner” (in her debut appearance, she rhapsodizes about the benefits of caning). The station manager grows concerned that her cheerleaders won’t make it to Nationals, seeing as three have defected to the glee club, and implies that Sue’s future with the station is contingent upon the su…

Heroes Volume Five, Chapters One & Two: Orientation/Jump Push Fall

Double episode, folks, so this is a long one. The fourth season (and fifth volume) kicks off with carnival owner Samuel, surrounded by his band of misfits, burying his brother Joseph and monologuing in a distinctly Mohinderesque way about people with special abilities over a montage of scenes from previous seasons. None of the scenes include Mohinder. Just thought I’d point that out.

It’s six weeks after the events of the season finale, and Claire is off to college. She moves into her dormitory room and meets her snotty new roommate Annie, who is taken aback that Claire got into a (presumably prestigious) university with a GED. Annie is a grade-A twerp, but still, that’s a fairly astute observation. Claire informs her that she got really good test scores. Later, Claire gets overwhelmed by her linear algebra placement test and walks out. Ah… Claire? Remember that C-minus in biology you yammered on about in the first season? Still planning to stick to your “I got really good test sc…

Psych: Bollywood Homicide

So it was a special Bollywood-themed episode of Psych tonight, with the theme song remixed in Hindi and a guest appearance by beautiful Heroes star Sendhil Ramamurthy. I’ve been Sendhil-deprived as of late, so this was a balm on my troubled soul.

Recapping Psych is something of an exercise in futility, since the episode plots are frippery and frothy and inconsequential, and since the great charm of the series lies in the rapid-fire jokes and the self-amusing sight gags, but here goes: Sendhil plays Raj, the impossibly beautiful fiancé of Mina, an actress in a local Bollywood-esque musical theater production. After Mina narrowly escapes injury when a runaway truck backs into her, Raj turns to the Santa Barbara Police Department for help. Raj believes he’s cursed: his last four girlfriends have all met with near-fatal accidents. Somehow this confession results in Shawn hugging Raj and telling him he loves him. Shawn, hon, I’d’ve done the exact same thing.

(Granted, I have a well-establ…

Glee: Acafellas

Another fine episode of Glee kicks off with Terri serving hamburger casserole (she cautions everyone to watch out for bones) to Will’s visiting parents while Will cheerfully spills the beans about her (sham) pregnancy. Instead of coming clean, Terri commits herself to getting pregnant for real.

At Sue Sylvester’s behest, Quinn and the other mean cheerleaders begin sowing seeds of dissent within the glee club by encouraging Rachel to criticize Will’s awful routine choreography. Rachel urges the glee club to hire famed choreographer Dakota Stanley to come up with a slick new routine for Nationals. Will grows disheartened by this (he even refuses to be mollified by the special star-shaped sugar cookies Rachel baked for him) and starts skipping rehearsals. Finn loses his enthusiasm for the glee club as well and squabbles tediously with Rachel about their unresolved sexual tension. Huh. I like Finn. I like Rachel. They're a couple of cute, likeable kids. And yet their nascent romance …

Glee: Showmance

I missed the sneak preview of Glee in the spring, so this is all new to me. Here’s the setup: High school glee club coach Will Shuester and his squad must place at regionals, or funding for the program will be cut. He needs twelve kids in the squad to compete, and he’s only got six. The grim news is delivered by Will’s chief nemesis, Sue Sylvester, the brusque coach of the school’s cheerleading squad. (The cheerleading squad is named, awesomely, Cheerios, which is one of many details that won my heart, just a little bit). Plot = established.

Here are the players: There’s Will’s brittle pregnant wife Terri, played by Jessalyn Gilsig, who played Claire’s doomed birth mother Meredith on Heroes. There’s Emma, the school’s germophobic guidance counselor, played by Jayma Mays, who played Hiro’s doomed love interest Charlie on Heroes. There’s obnoxious one-note cheerleader Quinn, who is played by Dianna Agron, who played obnoxious one-note cheerleader Debbie on Heroes (no, not the obnoxiou…

Fun with keywords: “Hooray! It’s no longer August!” edition

First things first: Why the photos of the grimy innards of my cheap wristwatch, you ask? Because I’ve started writing articles full-time, and the first one I sold was a piece on changing watch batteries. And I liked my photos.

In other news: After a yearlong hiatus (something about the recent seasons of Smallville being: a) Luthor-free, and b) soul-killingly awful), Dan Liebke has once again started up the Smallville Files, his bizarre and hilarious episode recaps, over at Astonishing Tales. This is reason for much celebrating.

Speaking of things that are soul-killingly awful, fresh episodes of Heroes start airing on NBC on September 21st (new time slot! Check your local listings!). I’ll continue the recaps unless/until the show manages to break my spirit for good. I’m also looking to add another couple of shows to the recapping roster: Flash Forward, maybe? Does anything look good and/or endearingly terrible?

A look at the keywords used to find this site in August: