Monthly Archives: December 2013

‘The Biggest Loser’: Using Your Fear as Fuel

After seeing Ruben fall below the red line, the red team needed to push themselves even harder in order to remain in the competition. Within the first five minutes, the contestants met up with Alison Sweeney at a diner for their next upcoming challenge. She told the groups that they needed to answer questions regarding obesity in the workplace. The losing team, which ended up being the white team, would have to work at the diner for an entire week in addition to finding time to work out as well.

While the red team and blue team were working hard at the gym, the white team was working hard at the diner. Jillian asked where everyone on the white team was and Bobby mentioned the challenge at dinner and how the white team lost. She was beyond furious and she never felt “so cursed in her entire life.” Jillian felt like this was a joke and that she was being punked. While Jillian needed to take a breather, Dolvett was there to fight for his team. His goal is to give his team members a winning attitude. The best advice he gave last night was to “use your fear as fuel.” Rachel, who has constantly been the biggest loser on the red team, pointed out that demons will always be with you, but you need to use that fear as a fuel for change.

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The End of ‘Californication’

Very rarely does a television show have the decency to wrap up the series in a timely fashion. Most choose to alienate their audience with shoddy, lifeless episodes and tired or ridiculous plots in hopes of prolonging the life of their ‘baby.’ It’s times like that where we should take a page out of Stephen King’s book  and “kill your darlings.”

That being said, Californication’s seventh season, airing in April 2014, will be it’s last. While I wish I could say it remains an untarnished series, I just can’t – but at least they were able to pull the plug themselves. What started as a heartfelt series about a tortured writer trying to get his wife and daughter back together as a family has turned into a circus of attempted shock value, almost insulting stereotypes, and a disintegrating interest from the audience for any of the core cast’s issues. It’s upsetting to see one of this decade’s most recognizable anti-heroes fall even further than the bar floor he was passed out on.

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‘Suprise, Bitch’: It’s War on “American Horror Story: Coven”

TSTWas “The Sacred Taking” American Horror Story’s weakest episode of the season? Probably, but given how strong Coven has been this season, the weak link still held its own. It felt a little jumbled, but it certainly helped set up the series’ five remaining episodes and next week’s last new episode until 2014. Let’s take a look at what went down.

The episode opened with what I initially thought was a flashback. Queenie is wandering around a shoddy area late at night and completely alone – until she’s approached by a man who threatens her with rape and murder. Our girl is scared, but not for long. She picks up a board with several nails pushed clean through and jabs it into her hand, incapacitating and confusing the man long enough for her to overpower him. She’s stopped, though, as Zoe and Madison show up. This was also the moment I realized that this was a present-day incident and not one that took place in Detroit. They want her to come back to Miss Robichaux’s, but Queenie is on a mission. Her encounter with the homeless man was no accident. Marie Laveau sent her out in pursuit of an evil heart, and this man just happens to have raped a number of young girls. The heart is an ingredient in a potion Marie is supposedly brewing to make Queenie a stronger voudon, something Queenie suggests Fiona would never do for the other witches. She’s right, as Fiona is wont to do pretty much the opposite. Queenie cuts the man’s heart out and holds it up, still beating, as she lets the girls know this town ain’t big enough for the both of them. It’s war.

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Enlightened: Season One – An Introspective

A show all about second chances that might not deserve one – the irony…

Enlightened was a two season HBO series written by Mike White,who we all may only remember from School of Rock, although his catalog covers some ground throughout the 2000s. Starring Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe, a former corporate meltdown turned progressive peacekeeper through an emotional rehab, who is just trying desperately to get back into the good graces of her old company, while trying to simultaneously clean up their act is a show of just that: desperation.

Season one focuses on Jellicoe’s desperation to ‘stick to the script’ of her self-help books as she returns to work at Open Air, Abbadon, the company where she had had her infamous breakdown just a month before. Many of the same faces now inhabit the upper levels, which makes Jellicoe’s rise back that much more difficult as no one but Jellicoe is open to second chances.

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Glee’s “Previously Unaired Christmas”

If you thought last week’s episode was at an all time low, Glee puts it all out there for their Christmas episode. Glee not only has sexy elves costumes, but the show has sexist and racist remarks as well. The show certainly  wants to make a statement for the fall finale. However, those probably weren’t the things the writers wanted everyone talking about.

In this episode, Sue Syvlester holds a contest that has McKinley High students decorating a Christmas tree. The one rule is that it needs to be eco-friendly. The first place price is a plastic crystal angel “that a twelve year old Filipino made.” Tina and Sam are on the glee club’s decorating committee. Tina takes this contest very seriously because, as always, she wants it about her. Prom queen wasn’t enough.

While Tina continues to stress about the tree, Artie mentions that the nativity scene got defaced and vandalized.  The nativity scene gets  defaced with swastikas and the baby Jesus is even found in Figgins’ chimney. Figgins informs the glee club that he wants them to perform a live nativity scene. Coach Beiste wants Jake to play Joseph because “he is a tan Jew.”  All of the girls want to be the Virgin Mary, except Kitty. While all of the girls audition, Kitty sits this one out. Not only is she angry about the girls’ performance, but she doesn’t think “a Chinese person should play the Virgin Mary.” Marley corrects her with “I’m pretty sure she’s Korean.” Even though Kitty puts on a hard shell, she showcases her vulnerability in this episode. She tells Marley that she feels Marley doesn’t deserve to play the Virgin Mary because of her promiscuous ways.

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‘Misfits’: A (Slightly More Than) Mid-Season Lead Up

All great things must come to an end and in two episodes, so will Britains’ Channel 4’s Misfits. For the past four (and slightly more than) a half seasons, Misfits has centered around a group of young English community service workers in a town where a freak storm gave many of the citizens ‘special’ powers. In typical superpower fashion, accidents sparked powers sparked ideas sparked battles of good vs evil – the subtlety of which is what sets this show apart from powerhouse superheroes like The Avengers, or even their adolescent attempt at a series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There is no city-wide destruction or mass casualties, just barebones hero work- maybe a little destruction- and a few casualties. That may sound boring because we’d all rather watch some costumed mastermind shoot laser beams through the clock face of Big Ben, while some super-strengthed glob knocks over the London Eye, Misfits operates in a small town seemingly devoid of any contact to outside England. It’s because of this reclusiveness that Misfits writers focus more on creatively dark, yet humorous storytelling turning Misfits into some sort of situational dramedy melting pot with ever soapy ‘will-they-won’t-they’ relationships, nearly unbelievable sci-fi and horror storylines, and a homegrown sense of action and mystery.

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‘The Biggest Loser’ Sends Two Contestants Home

At the weigh-in, affter Holley Mangold’s heartbreaking elimination, Alison Sweeney told the teams during that one more person will be going home. That person will get to go home and workout with their trainer. A wheel determined who would go home. Jay hoped the wheel lands on him because he’s been feeling homesick lately. When it does land on him, he’s excited, but Jillian was pissed off because she’s leaving her other teammates behind.

Once they left the ranch, Jillian saw Jay’s home state of Missouri and connected with him on a whole different level. She wanted to see what makes him tick and what makes him so special. Not only is losing weight hard physically, but also mentally. He already lost 78 pounds, but had to make some sacrifices. Jillian fears that going home won’t be good for him, especially since  Jay’s weight was the determining factor on whether the white team stays for another week.  In 100 degree heat, Jillian had Jay running around in the barn doing intense workout regiments. It’s a great tool to use because it provided an alternative to the gym.

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‘The Walking Dead’: “Too Far Gone” Recap

The Walking Dead is finally going back to the comics for its midseason finale. For the last two weeks, we’ve seen what The Governor has been doing since we last saw him, which has basically been to find a new group to lead. The episode starts out with The Governor lying about how Rick’s group is made up of horrible people. He quickly convinces the group to kill them in order to take over the prison. They don’t question him and blindly follow him to absolute destruction, which really shows that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

During the last two weeks, it seemed like The Governor had changed. He was caring for two women, Lilly and Tara along with Lilly’s daughter Meghan. The Governor was very paternal toward Meghan, not only because he’s “dating” Lilly but because Meghan is kind of like a replacement for his late daughter Penny. Meghan certainly saw The Governor as a father figure, even going as far as drawing an eye-patch on to a king piece from her chess set. It was her little way of showing how important piece of her life. It wasn’t until after her death that fans were certain that the Governor that we all know was back when he showed no remorse as he prevented her reanimation.

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‘Glee’: “The Puppet Master”

Glee was one of the few shows that aired a new episode on Thanksgiving. If you thought the tryptophan was getting to you or you had too many glasses of wine at dinner, fear not. It was probably  “The Puppet Master,” which is Glee‘s trippiest episode to date. “The Puppet Master” had fantasy sequences and puppets that looked liked the characters.

The episode mainly revolved around Blaine, who is considered to be the puppet master of the New Directions. He doesn’t realize how controlling he is, but the other glee club members can see it. The glee club feels they don’t get a say in any of the decision making process because it’s all about Blaine’s ideas. This is not a democracy in the rest of the clubs eyes. Tina goes as far as to compare the glee club to North Korea. However, Blane feels that no one is appreciating his leadership skills. After sitting in the back corner of the choir room, Blaine starts falling asleep and begins dreaming of the casts’ puppet counterparts. As if this was a Sesame Street episode, Blaine sings “You’re My Best Friend” with the puppets.  Seriously, why can’t Glee just grow up? If anything, Glee should have used the puppets for Avenue Q songs. Avenue Q is meant to be a puppet show for adults.

It’s sad to say, but Blaine’s becoming the new Rachel Berry. Rachel was a very prominent character throughout the show, but has been kind of hidden in the background lately. Rachel and Blaine are the kind of characters you love to hate  because everything revolves around them. It makes them sound even more selfish than they are. Quite frankly, the show shouldn’t be called Glee anymore cause Blaine has been taking over. It should be called now “The Blaine Anderson Show,” just like it used to feel like “The Rachel Berry Show.”

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Weinervillle Chanukah Special

We know there’s only a few nights of Chanukah left, but it’s never too late to post the rare television special dedicated solely to Chanukah.  Enjoy Nickelodeon’s Weinerville’s bizarre Chanukah special that prominently features Marc’s puppet Boney and a creepy Antiochus.

Happy Chanukah!

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