Screen Junkies » Recaps http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:34:42 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The Leftovers Recap, Season Finale: “The Prodigal Son Returns” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-season-finale-the-prodigal-son-returns/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-season-finale-the-prodigal-son-returns/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 22:15:31 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264803 The questions that still remain are many, but minor in relation to the brilliant, hopeful manner in which season one resolved.

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By Jared Jones

“Look what I found.”

I must give credit to these closing words from last night’s season finale of The Leftovers, in that they were a lot more clever than I originally perceived them to be. As was the case with Lost, Damon Lindelof managed to wrap everything in the world of The Leftovers up without really wrapping much up in last night’s finale. Only this time, the ancillary questions didn’t serve to the show’s detriment. While the mystery of Dean the Dog Killer, the national Geographic magazine, and Kevin Garvey’s mental state remain open (among other things), Uproxx’s Dustin Rowles put it best when he said that “they didn’t matter anymore.”

Amidst the chaos and backbreaking depression that The Leftovers has created over the course of 9 episodes, last night’s finale was surprisingly, beautifully hopeful. Order had been restored to Mapleton (or at least, to the Garvey family) through destruction. The Guilty Remnant, of all people, gave the townspeople the catharsis they needed in an act that was equal parts disgusting, demented, and oddly selfless. By placing the fake corpses of the Departed in the homes of those who lost them, the GR actually provided everyone with the motivation they needed to truly deal with their grief and confusion caused by the events of October 14th. So it appears, at least.

As it hinted at in the penultimate episode, “The Prodigal Son Returns” alluded to the idea that those left behind were somehow responsible for the disappearance of their loved ones, which had in turn led to the overbearing grief that fueled their lives in the years following the Departure. That’s the revelation Kevin came to at least, thanks in no small part to Reverend Jameson. Kevin, who previously pondered why having a loving family was simply not enough for the man he was in his pre-Departure life, was suddenly struck with the realization that his family *was* his greater purpose. Although the events of October 14th provided him with a temporary release from the life he felt trapped in, it also condemned him to a life that could never be fulfilled without the very people who occupied it before.

Kevin Garvey wanted his family back. He wanted everything to return to the way it was. That was surely what he wished for after finding a dying Holy Wayne in that bathroom stall. To Wayne’s credit, it appears as if the Holy one was able to make that miracle happen. Tommy returned to Mapleton with one of Wayne’s children, who was then scooped up by Nora Durst. Kevin rescued his daughter Jill from certain death and appeared to finally earn her love back in doing so. Laura spoke, for Chrissakes! The sense of “family” Kevin was seeking had seemingly been restored (albeit a different incarnation of that family) through an all-cleansing fire.

The questions that still remain are many, but minor in relation to the brilliant, heartfelt manner in which season one resolved. The questions now, however, are all the more pressing. Will Laurie return to her family, or will she and Tommy begin a new chapter of their lives together? Was the Memorial Day stunt the culmination of the Guilty Remnant’s plan, and did they foresee the violent reaction the townspeople would have to it? What the hell happened to Aimee and the twins? I’m suddenly hopeful that season 2 will answer some of these.

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The Leftovers Recap, Episode 9: “The Garveys At Their Best” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-9-the-garveys-at-their-best/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-9-the-garveys-at-their-best/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:42:46 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264462 Laurie speaks, Kevin cheats, and a deer wreaks (havoc) in the first season's penultimate episode.

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By Jared Jones

“I need to cancel.”

It has taken 9 long episodes for us to finally hear Laurie Garvey speak, and my God was it glorious. That her first line of dialogue involved the potential abortion of a child she had yet to tell her husband about was a fitting touch for The Leftovers, a show so wrought with secrets and grief that you’d have to be a glutton for punishment to make it this far into season 1. Luckily, I am one such glutton.

Told entirely through flashback, “The Garveys At Their Best” attempted to shed some light on what the lives of Kevin, Laurie, Norah Durst, and countless other citizens of Mapleton were like before the events of October 14th. And to be honest, most of them were quickly headed for disaster. Kevin, for instance, felt trapped in his mundane existence (not unlike the deer running amok throughout last night’s episode) and in constant search of his “greater purpose”, which equated to a lot of cigarette smoking and cheating on his wife. Nora, on the other hand, was trapped in the underappreciated (and intellectually lacking) life of a stay at home mom, growing increasingly frustrated with an unappreciative husband and plain annoying children. And of course, there was Laurie, who was stuck in a dead-end marriage with an unplanned child on the way.

These people wanted out, and in a way, the Departure was that out — an event that freed them from the suffocating normalness of their previous lives. Kevin was given an out from his marriage, Laurie an out from her unplanned child, and Nora an out from the (albeit temporary) frustrations of her family. “The Garveys At Their Best”, ironic as the title may be, showcased more about who these people were than any episode before it, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, with the first season finale a mere two weeks away.

Perhaps the most interesting development in “The Garveys at Their Best” was not the reveal that Laurie was carrying a child that was lost in the Departure, nor that Kevin was cheating on his wife with a woman who vanished during it, but that the event itself might have been brought about, or at least coincided, with the wishes of those left behind. It adds a whole different level of grief to an already grief-ridden show, but also some perspective on why those left behind might be so insistent on forgetting those who were lost — because they feel responsible for their departure. In a sense, last night’s episode made you understand, if not sympathize, with the Guilty Remnant, who are facing their grief head-on rather than suppressing it like many of the townsfolk of Mapleton.

Oh right, I almost forgot about Jill, who was a brace-faced teen working on a entropy project (get it?) for a science fair and basically living the average teenager lifestyle before the Departure. We didn’t really learn much about Jill, other than that she had a much closer relationship with Tommy prior to October 14th and might have known that her parents were headed for splitsville. She and Tommy also happened to witness first hand the disappearance of a classmate during a particularly intriguing sequence involving a human “circuit.”

Last night’s episode also revealed several smaller revelations. Firstly, that Laurie used to be a successful psychiatrist and that the Garvey’s were, like, stupid rich because of her success. We also learned that Paddi used to be a patient of Laurie’s, potentially foresaw the Departure, and that the “Neil” whose name she scribbled on a bag before defecating it and leaving it on his doorstep was in fact her abusive ex-husband who had recently kicked her out of her house. Oh, and Gladys was a dog-breeder before she went off the reservation, which begs the question: Were animals taken in the Departure as well? You have to admit, no one would have seen that twist coming.

After a short break for Labor Day, The Leftovers will return for what is set to be a gripping season finale. If I were to guess, it will be anything but uplifting.

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The Leftovers Recap, Episode 8: “Cairo” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-8-cairo/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-8-cairo/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:10:51 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264252 Sheriff Kevin Garvey is going full-on Fight Club, or at least that's what last night's episode of "The Leftovers" would like you to believe.

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By Jared Jones

HEAR the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,
The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:

O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

And with those parting words (departing words?), the Guilty Remnant’s head honcho Patti took her own life in the climax of last night’s episode of The Leftovers via glass shard to the throat. It was a gruesome, mindf*ck of an ending to a complete mindf*ck of an episode.

That poem, by the way, is WB Yeats’  ”Michael Robartes Bids his Beloved be at Peace.” I’m guessing the horses represent the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse or some other cataclysmic event, but trying to theorize at the deeper meaning of anything in this show before the season culminates is a wild goose chase of which I refuse to participate in.

Perhaps its so hard to get a grasp on what exactly was happening in “Cairo” due to the show’s continual use of Sheriff Kevin Garvey as an unreliable narrator. As the audience, we are given no further insight into Kevin’s blackouts/dreams, the peripheral characters possibly contained within them (Dean the dog-killer), or the significance of things like his misplaced white shirts than Kevin himself. Are the drug cocktails Kevin was previously on causing these blackouts? Alcohol maybe? Or is Kevin being played a fool by almost everyone around him? For now, all we know is that he appears to be losing his mind, and we’re right there with him.

If what we learned last night is to be believed, Kevin has actually made several trips out to Cairo, NY (a five+ hour drive from Mapleton), to ritualistically hang his police shirts from trees, all while blacked out. This all culminated in last night’s trip, where he allegedly picked up Dean the dog-killer, brutalized and kidnapped Patti, then dragged her up to a cabin in Cairo that he used to “sneak off and smoke cigarettes in” as a kid. That’s one high-functioning alcoholic, my friends.

But it’s hard to fault Kevin for being an unreliable narrator, as almost everything we learned in “Cairo” was told to him secondhand by Dean, a man with no driver’s license, birth certificate, or even a Dave & Buster’s Power Play card. According to Patti, Dean is “a ghost.”  Based off what we know about Kevin’s father and the voices he hears, it is incredibly likely that Dean is simply a figment of Kevin’s imagination, although the fact that Dean has interacted with several other characters on the show (albeit for incredibly brief moments) seems to play against this theory. Perhaps Dean might just be the face Kevin has assigned to his split personality, maybe?

Of course, it’s possible that everything about Cairo might be in Kevin’s head. Cairo was, after all, the only thing he heard over the walkie talkie during his previous dream sequence involving Dean (you know, the one with the dog in the mailbox). Likewise, his conversation with Patti moments before she killed herself was shockingly similar to the one he had with his demented father at the diner in “Solace for Tired Feet”. Like his father, Patti kept alluding to the fact that Kevin plays a larger role in the Departure (or its aftermath) than even he can understand. That his dreams seem to be equal parts delusion and premonition adds credence to this idea, but who the f*ck knows for sure.

Last night’s episode also revealed that, yes, Patti did have Gladys killed as part of the GR’s ongoing quest to force people to “remember” the events of October 14th, and that Laurie is likely the next one in line to die for such a cause.  A U-haul full of body-sized packages, however, seems to indicate that the Guilty Remnant is either a) planning to commit mass suicide or b) planning a rally that involves all the possessions they have stolen from the townspeople.

The photos, the clothes, the body-sized packages — methinks that the GR has ordered a truckload of those fake corpses produced by Marcus to sneak the fake corpses back into the homes of those who lost someone in The Departure. We know that it will happen on Memorial Day, as loud-mouthed Meg — who we learned lost her mother the day before the Departure (hooray character development!) — couldn’t help but spill the beans. She also hinted that Nora would be on the receiving end of the worst of whatever they have planned. Poor, sardonic, sexy Nora.

Oh yes, there was also a half-baked plot involving Kevin’s daughter Jill this week, wherein she took Nora to task for carrying a gun, then after finding that she no longer carried it, broke into her house to find that she was still in possession of it. Oh yes, and she also got into a heated argument with Aimee revolving around whether or not Aimee had sex with her father, which resulted in Aimee moving out. Personally, I think the bite mark on Kevin’s hand relates back to some kinky sex he had with Aimee during one of his blackouts, but again, who. the. f*ck. knows.

Perhaps because Jill is written like every brooding sitcom teen ever, I continuously find myself identifying more with the twins who hang out with her than Jill herself. “So the gun means that, like, people can never get over what happened?” one of the twins tries to explain while searching Nora’s home, which as close to a meaning in Jill’s B-plot as I could come to this week.

That the episode ended with Jill coming face-to-face with her mother in the GR headquarters is an interesting turn for an otherwise uninteresting character, and the fallout from this plot (should Jill decide to join the GR) will no doubt be the push that sends her father over the edge. Kevin is going to be facing a lot more than a potential murder charge in Mapleton, and being that the only thing that kept him from converting to his father’s dark side was his commitment to Jill, we are probably in store for a complete character implosion upon his return.

One can only hope.

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The Leftovers Recap, Episode 7: “Solace for Tired Feet” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-7-solace-for-tired-feet/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-7-solace-for-tired-feet/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 19:54:08 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264034 Prophetic hallucinations, a crazy old man on a rampage, and the May 1972 edition of National Geographic were at the center of last night's The Leftovers. I still have no f*cking idea what this show is about.

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By Jared Jones

I’m start to get that feeling again, you guys.

You Lost fans know the one — it’s equal parts excitement, nerves, and plain confusion, and it usually occurs when Damon Lindelof starts hinting at the kinds of existential and pseudo-religious questions he cannot possibly answer in a satisfying manner.

It’s not that I have a problem with Lindelof’s storytelling style (which I can only describe as masochistic ambiguity), as I actually found last night’s episode of The Leftovers, “Solace for Tired Feet”, to be one of the better of the season. It’s just that someone eventually needs to be held accountable when all the pieces of the puzzle don’t add up, and it sure as hell ain’t going to be me this time. To quote George W., “Fool me once, shame on you. You fool me-I can’t get fooled again.”

I know I might be jumping to conclusions in my criticism of The Leftovers, but that’s at least partially because last night’s episode of The Leftovers seemed to be hinting at the greater purpose it has been quietly building throughout its first six episodes: A reason behind The Departure, aka something Lindelof specifically said the show would never reveal.

A quick recap: Kevin’s crazy Dad escapes from the mental institution, returns to a library he previously burned down and trashes it, and attempts to lure Kevin to the dark (crazy) side with prophetic talks of “accepting it.” Kevin, on the other hand, has been seeing Nora regularly while battling his own hallucinations via a series of dream sequences that are growing increasingly tiresome. Kevin’s stepson, Tommy, on the other other hand, is still on the run with a very pregnant Christine and beginning to lose faith in Holy Wayne, who he has not heard from in months.

That we are some 7 episodes into The Leftovers and still know nothing about Tommy, how he got involved with Wayne, or why he believes Wayne is the prophet he claims to be, remains one of the show’s biggest oversights. Then again, so is Meg’s storyline, Paddies lack of a storyline, and the backstory of damn near every character in this show. The Leftovers insists on wearing so many hats at once that it never seems to keep track of the ones it is already wearing — in addition to the litany of mysteries surrounding the Departure, the GR, Kevin, and Tommy, “Solace for Tired Feet” also gave us:

-A dog in a mailbox and a bite mark on Kevin’s hand that looked very human

-The dead dogs in Dean’s truck turning into GR members mid-dream sequence

-The May 1972 edition of National Geographic

-Kevin and Tommy incurring similar injuries (on their left hands) and experiences (smashing a phone, the mailboxes, etc.)

While all these are compelling little vignettes in their own right, given what we know about Lindelof, it’s hard not to look at Kevin Sr.’s pleas to his son, or the National Geographic magazine, or Holy Wayne and his army of pregnant Asian women as red herrings being pretentiously painted over as plot developments. At a certain point, throwing as many Biblical references and ambiguous symbolism at the audience as you can without resolution is not clever, it’s incompetent storytelling. Think of all the countless hours many of us spent trying to piece together all the symbols in True Detective, only to find out that, fuck you, none of those things were supposed to mean anything. I loved True Detective, but that doesn’t excuse it (or shows like it) from introducing a gun in the first act only to tell me that I never actually saw the gun in the third.

Then again, The Leftovers, like True Detective before it, seems to focus more on how the members of Mapleton (and specifically, the Garveys) react to the inexplicable than anything else. Which is interesting in theory, but doesn’t exactly make for compelling television if its wrapped in a mystery more compelling than the characters within it. Still, I will watch The Leftovers till season’s end to see what, if any, storylines it chooses to resolve and how it chooses to resolve them. Based on the general reaction to the show thus far, I’m guessing that’s why we’re all sticking with it.

Are Holy Wayne’s children a bridge between the Departed and those left behind? Between the living and the dead? Are Kevin’s hallucinations directly related to the higher sense of purpose his father (and Reverend Jameson) seems to think is destined for? Is Holy Wayne a sham? Does Jill’s friend Aimee know more about the cause of Kevin’s hallucinations than she is letting on? Does Carrie Coon look absolutely incredible naked? I can only answer that last question with a resounding SCHWING, but I’ll stick with The Leftovers for now to see how it answers the rest of them.

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The Leftovers Recap, Episode 6: “Guest” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-6-guest/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-6-guest/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:26:02 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263735 Gunshot fetishes, Slayer's "Angel of Death," and a brilliant performance from Carrie Coon highlighted an incredibly strong episode of The Leftovers this week.

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By Jared Jones

“Oh, fuck your daughter!”

So began last night’s episode of The Leftovers, “Guest”, as cute-as-a-button grieving wife/mother Nora Durst attempted to woo Sheriff Garvey away to Miami for what I could only assume would be a weekend spent crying into pillows. Thankfully, Nora’s request was more figurative than literal, but it left an awkward (and memorable) impression on Kevin nonetheless.

Actually, that’s not how the episode began. It began with Nora purchasing groceries for her departed family members, spying on the preschool teacher who was sleeping with her husband prior to his departure, and asking an escort to shoot her in the chest while she donned a kevlar vest, Slayer’s “Angel of Death” cranking in the background. It was an odd sequence that will undoubtedly spawn no less than five Facebook Challenge-related deaths.

Possible incest jokes and gunshot fetishes aside, “Guest” easily made for one of the strongest episodes, if not the strongest episode of the season thus far, with Carrie Coon absolutely destroying my soul with her portrayal of Nora. From the moments spent staring out the window of her car at the slutty preschool teacher to her confrontation with Holy Wayne at the episode’s close, Coon’s performance was at times heartbreaking, uplifting, and oddly enough, sexy. If she didn’t earn herself an Emmy nomination for her scene with Wayne alone, my God.

Having lost her entire family in The Departure, Nora has understandably been trapped in a vicious cycle of grief and guilt for the past three years. The blame for her self-loathing cannot entirely be placed on The Departure itself, however, as Nora has spent the years since making sure said grief was always held close. She continues to purchase food for her family, has taken a job with Department of Sudden Departure, asking other families inane questions about those they lost (Did so and so drink more than two alcoholic beverages daily? What about sugary cereal?), and believes that the only way to connect to her family’s pain is to take a bullet to the chest every now and again.

But it is during Nora’s trip to New York for a Departure-related conference that we begin to see her transformation from victim of hope to someone capable of quote unquote “moving on.” She wants her family back, obviously, but her decision to keep living as if they will walk through the door at any moment has only fueled her depression over their disappearance. Of course, that she shows up to New York only to find her conference identity as a “Legacy” (or someone who lost a family member in The Departure) stolen isn’t helping things.

“You’re doing so much better now,” sarcastically states Margery, a woman Durst had a previous run in with in the past at one of the Departure conferences. And truly, Nora has allowed her grief over The Departure (and hope for her family’s return) to define her as a person, rather than joining the likes of the replica-corpse selling Marcus, who believe that her job is nothing more than a scam.

A night of hard partying and a confrontation with the fake Nora Durst later, the real Nora Durst is still struggling to find the meaning in her grief. In her mind, there is no life, no chance at happiness, after The Departure. The grief is neverending, and those “Legacies” left behind are nothing more than the perpetual reminders of the event itself. How Nora has avoided joining the Guilty Remnant up to this point is anyone’s guess.

Yet it is in that moment with Margery that Nora may have realized her need to change. That, or when she was verbally abusing “What’s Next” (with a period, not a question mark) author Patrick as a “phony” full of “bullshit.” She could either choose to continue wallowing in remorse or push through it and embrace what life she still had, and thankfully, she chose the latter. Nora comes away from the conference a reinvigorated, happier person, or rather, someone capable of registering happiness…all thanks to a wild night of booze, pills, and one of Holy Wayne’s patented hugs.

Out with the grieving, in with the optimism. That’s what The Leftovers is ultimately about, anyway; more than the characters involved or even their stories, The Leftovers is about grief, and how we choose to move on from it (or don’t, as is the case for many of the show’s characters). The Departure may have ripped Nora’s previous life from her, but she is still there. She’s still alive, and needs to start living accordingly. So when Sheriff Garvey shows up at her door to ask her on a date, she quickly accepts.

Am I sensing a love connection here, chief? Yes, yes I am. (Let’s just hope Kevin is into women who like being shot.)

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The Six Best Kills From ‘Sharknado 2: The Second One’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-six-best-kills-from-sharknado-2-the-second-one/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-six-best-kills-from-sharknado-2-the-second-one/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:05:02 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263600 Many brave souls were lost in the worst shark-infested weather catastrophe to hit the Big Apple since The Great White(Shark)out of '84, so it is in memoriam that we pay tribute...

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By Jared Jones

Leave it to the Syfy channel to prove that the idea of a shark-filled tornado can somehow be improved upon with a second viewing.

That’s basically what Sharknado 2: The Second One was, after all — a rehash of the first Sharknado but with a buttload of celebrity cameos — from its name to its plot to its explosive finale. That is in no way is meant as an insult, mind you, as Sharknado 2 was able to accomplish what few cult hits can: create a sequel that captures the nostalgia of the original (recent as it may be) while never once winking at the camera or beating us over the head with those “Remember This?” moments that have all but served as the latter halves of Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s careers.

A brilliant, unexpected triumph Sharknado 2 ultimately was, featuring more brutiful deaths (gorgeously rendered in Microsoft Paint) than you could really wrap your head around in one sitting. My God, there were so many sharksecutions in this movie. Shark beheadings. Shark crushings. Death by flaming shark. The list goes on.

From Kelly Osbourne to Daymond John, many brave souls were lost in the worst shark-infested weather catastrophe to hit the Big Apple since The Great White(Shark)out of ’84, so it is in memoriam that we pay tribute to the following…

Airplane Toilet Lady

Of all the ways I thought that Airplane Toilet Lady (who I’m told is famous on Twitter or something) was going to go out, this was the only way I thought that Airplane Toilet Lady was going to go out.

Tara Reid’s(Hand)

Tara Reid‘s returning performance as April Wexler, Fin’s (Ian Ziering) on-again, off-again wife was as raspy-voiced and on four hours of sleep as ever, but watching her pick off sharks with a Air Marshal’s pistol while hanging out the door of an airplane was nothing short of visual poetry. Listening to her attempts at conveying fear and pain, on the other hand, can only be described as “like hearing a vacuum cleaner choke to death on a dust-covered tator tot.”

A scream queen the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis Reid may not be, but a gunslinger the likes of Doc Holliday? Indubitably.

Kelly Osbourne

I’m just saying, Ozzy would have caught that shark, crushed it up into a line, and snorted it.

Tiffany Shepis

Why would you choose to stand so close to the water during a sharknado? That’s like, the *worst* place to stand, dum-dum. I’m not saying Shepis deserved to have a shark nom on her face like a goddamned chew toy, but I don’t touch fire and expect not to get burned either.

I’m just starting to realize how many of the victims in Sharknado 2 are women. Let us all take to Twitter and challenge Syfy’s blatant misogyny with #YesAllSharknados hashtags.

Daymond John

Death by Lady Liberty is arguably the most noble death an American could ever experience, and it was all the more fitting that Daymond John — a guy with a true rags-to-riches story that epitomizes the American dream — met his demise in like fashion.

Or was his death by Liberty head-crushing perhaps a comment on the capitalist greed and corporate-backed impoverishment of the modern day proletariat through unjust taxation that has made the American dream all but unobtainable to those but a select few?  F*cking Sharknado, why can’t you just let me shut off my mind for 90 minutes?! WHY MUST YOU ALWAYS ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS?!!!

Flaming Shark Bystanders

I take that back, Death by Flaming Shark is definitely the most American way to go out. (*salutes, single tear rolls down eye*)

BONUS: The Sharks!!

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO DEFEND THIS COUNTRY, PRESIDENT OBAMA?!! BECAUSE MATT LAUER JUST HARPOONED A F*CKING SHARK WITH AN UMBRELLA.

Any notable deaths we missed? Give us a shout in the comments section. 

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The Leftovers Recap, Episode 4: “B.J. and the A.C.” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-episode-4-recap-b-j-and-the-a-c/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-episode-4-recap-b-j-and-the-a-c/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:34:43 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263196 Heavy-handed metaphors were ripe for the picking in last night's Christmas-themed episode of The Leftovers that was anything but Christmasy.

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By Jared Jones

Heavy-handed metaphors were ripe for the picking in last night’s Christmas-themed episode of The Leftovers, “B.J. and the A.C.” From the opening sequence, which depicted the manufacturing process of a doll that would eventually serve as the baby Jesus in Mapleton’s nativity scene, to the obvious treatment of Tommy’s role as the Joseph to Christine’s Mary Magdalene, the episode was rote with Biblical references that were anything but subtle.

This observation is not necessarily meant as a criticism, as last week’s excellent episode, “Two Boats and a Helicopter”, played very closely to the book of Job. It’s just that last night’s episode of The Leftovers didn’t allow you to search for allegory or hidden context as much as it beat you over the head with it like an eighth grader’s Animal Farm book report.

But first, a little backtracking. This week’s storyline focused once again on Mapleton’s manically depressed town sheriff, Kevin, his family, and the members of the Guilty Remnant (not that “family” is a concept that the GR believes in anymore). You see, some three years removed from the event that saw 2% of the world’s population disappear, Kevin’s daughter, Jill, is still venting as only teens written by adults for television shows can. She’s distant, angsty, and should probably focus her energy into writing a blues album called “I’m a Poor Little Sad Sack.” And because Jill’s such a poor little sad sack, she goes out of her way to make her father’s working life all the shittier by stealing the Baby Jesus (the “B.J” from the episode’s title, presumably) from the nativity scene, which he immediately calls her out for doing.

Jill’s not all mischief and black eyeliner, though, as we learn when she refuses to set the baby Jesus aflame (largely at her friend Aimee’s behest) and more significantly, when she gives her mother, Laurie (who joined the Guilty Remnant shortly after the event), a lighter engraved “Don’t Forget Me” as a Christmas gift. It is a truly heartbreaking scene that is heightened all the more by the fact that Laurie had shown up to serve Kevin divorce papers just moments earlier.

Laurie’s decision to throw the lighter down a gutter afterward was foreseeable, as was her decision to fish it out of said gutter at the episode’s end. For a character who hasn’t spoken a word thus far in the show, Amy Brenneman has perhaps developed the most fully realized character of them all. While we still don’t know her exact reasons for joining the Guilty Remnant, we are beginning to see her conviction melt away with each passing episode. Leaving her family behind was not a clean break, as one would expect, and the dissonance the decision has created within her has made for some brilliant (and more importantly, subtle) moments in the show thus far.

Outside of Mapleton, Kevin’s son Tommy (or half-son, as we later learn that Tommy was a child from Laurie’s previous marriage)  is forging ahead with his quest to protect Christine, the woman carrying the child of guru Holy Wayne (the Antichrist/A.C. perhaps?). Having killed a SWAT team member in episode two and fought off a crazed naked man early in this week’s episode, his faith in Holy Wayne is beginning to falter. He hasn’t heard from the supposed prophet in weeks, and has next to no idea what part Christine and her baby play in the grand scheme of things. “I want to go home,” as he states aloud to himself, before an all-too convenient phone call from Wayne puts his doubts to rest.

Again, the metaphors are a bit hamfisted in Tommy’s plot. There is a brilliant moment in which he and Christine come across an overturned truck of mass-produced corpses, mirroring the doll production from earlier in the episode, but everything else from his story all but screams “Message!” as it is occurring. Tommy is a fiercely dedicated follower of a prophet who has been deemed the protector of a pregnant woman he is not intimately involved with, who by episode’s end, is both barefoot and marked with a stigmata of sorts that will make him invisible to the people trying to find him and Christine. Who, oh who, could he be serving as a metaphor for?

Though not without its high moments, the problem with “B.J. and the A.C” overall was its distinct lack of actual stakes. In a world where cults are amassing faster than loved ones are disappearing, the emphasis on a missing doll seems a bit underwhelming, blatant metaphor aside. It wasn’t an entirely pointless plot, as it led to a fantastic exchange between Kevin and Nora Durst, the sister of pastor Matt Jamison and the only member of Mapleton to her lose her entire family in the event, but one that offered very little in terms of resolution and necessity this early in the show.

The lack of resolution, or even a basic understanding of motive, can also be applied to the members of the Guilty Remnant. The final moments of “B.J. and the A.C.” sees Patti and a few of her followers arrested by Kevin as part of a ploy to allow other members of the GR to sneak into the homes of the townsfolk and steal all their family photos, but for what purpose? Obviously, the short-term goal is to “help” these people move on and continue spreading the GR’s message that “life is pointless, so just give up.” But beyond that, it is still hard to tell what the Guilty Remnant’s endgame is, or what they want the townspeople to do.

My guess: Die….

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“The Leftovers” Recap, Episode 3: “Two Boats and a Helicopter” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-3-two-boats-and-a-helicopter/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-leftovers-recap-episode-3-two-boats-and-a-helicopter/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:33:34 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262963 By Jared Jones HBO’s The Leftovers is a pretty damn good show, and you should probably be watching it if you aren’t already. We’ll be doing weekly recaps of the...

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By Jared Jones

HBO’s The Leftovers is a pretty damn good show, and you should probably be watching it if you aren’t already. We’ll be doing weekly recaps of the series moving forward, but since I just started working here, we’ll have to start with last night’s third episode. What you’ve missed: 2% of the world’s population suddenly vanished. Three years later, people still be actin’ crazy. Cults be amassing. Packs of wild dogs are being gunned down in the streets. Intrigued enough yet? 

The central storyline of The Leftovers is very Stephen King-ian in its scope: Take a isolated community, insert an inexplicable and devastating “otherworldly” event, and use it as a metaphor to discuss how we as a people deal with things like mass hysteria, grief, and loss. This should sound familiar to anyone familiar with creator Damon Lindelof‘s work on Lost, but the fundamental difference that separates a story like Lost from that of The Leftovers is its endgame. Whereas Lost’s central mystery ultimately boiled down to why the survivors of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 found themselves on that island, The Leftovers does not appear to be building towards that “big reveal” moment which ties up all its loose ends with a pretty little bow. Lindelof has already stated that no such moment will occur, and honestly, it’s probably the best decision he could have made, because it allows The Leftovers to forgo the intense plot building in favor of contained, character-driven episodes like last night’s “Two Boats and a Helicopter.”

Centering around Christopher Eccleston’s town pastor, Matt Jamison, “Two Boats and a Helicopter” understandably focused on the religious fallback of the catastrophic event. As you might expect in a world where 2% of the population inexplicably vanishes in an instant, church attendance has waned off a bit in Mapleton, NY. Doubt in the Lord Almighty’s grand plan is at an all time high, especially given that seemingly everyone in town knows a person of questionable character who was given a fair pass into the afterlife (or so they seem to think) instead of themselves. Of course, it doesn’t help that, when he’s not leading what few followers remain in prayer, Jamison is shaming these exact questionable individuals taken in “The Departure” by handing out flyers exposing their secrets for all to see. This comes to a head in the opening moments of the episode, when an angry father comforts Jamison with one such flyer before punching his lights out during his daily service.

It’s an interesting dichotomy that The Departure has created amongst the people of Mapleton — they seem to almost universally agree that their loved ones were in fact taken in a Biblical rapture, yet have lost faith in the good book as a result. Their faith has both been validated by The Departure and destroyed due to the perception that they are clearly the ones left behind to suffer. But even those who have lost faith, or joined the ranks of the Guilty Remnant  – Mapleton’s fastest-growing cult-but-not-a-cult of heavy-smoking Nihilists — seem to operate under the hope that those who left them are in a better place. Even the faithless cannot handle the idea of a world in which 140 million people vanish for no reason. Surely, there must be some greater scheme at hand.

This duality of faith is doing reverend Jamison no favors, however. In addition to the sporadic beatings he suffers on account of his flyers, Matt is both struggling to save his church from foreclosure and tend to his wife, who was left in a vegetative state as a result of the car crash depicted in the opening moments of The Leftovers‘ pilot. With a buyer already lined up for his church, Matt is given the Herculean task of coming up with $135,000 in one day, and as luck (fate) would have it, his quest to do so hits on many of the same notes (doubt, faith, and loss) as his opening sermon.

Over the course of the episode, we learn that Matt’s life has revolved around tragedy: He was diagnosed with cancer at a young age (and beat it), he lost his parents in a fire when he was a child, and his sister, Nora Durst, is the woman who lost her entire family in the Departure. Matt’s story is not unlike the story of Job (who he just so happens to have a painting of hanging from the wall nearest his wife’s bed), which fuels his need to convince everyone that the Departure was not in fact a rapture, but a test for what’s to come.

“Someone has to expose these people for who they truly were and what they truly did,” he says. “Because if we no longer separate the innocent from the guilty, everything that happened to us -– all of our suffering -– is meaningless.”

And Matt is tested on more than a few occasions throughout the episode. He visits his sister to beg for the money, only to reveal that her husband was cheating on her under the false guise of proving his point. He hits it big at a casino, only to be temporarily robbed of his winnings, then savagely beat the man who did it moments later. His compulsion to do the right thing (or at least, prove his point about the Departure) leads him into a further crisis of faith at every turn, but it is Matt’s steadfast belief, or need to believe, that ultimately renders the somewhat foreseeable conclusion to episode 3 all the more heartbreaking. Here is a man who has been given the short end of the stick at nearly every turn in life, and just when things are looking up, he is blindsided by yet another catastrophe. What has he done to receive such vicious treatment from the man upstairs?

In that sense, episode three felt more like a mini-movie than it did an episode of television. Matt’s arch is fully realized in “Two Boats and a Helicopter,” from the reasoning behind his faith to the end result of it in the grand scheme of his own life, and the biggest question left by the episode’s end is where Matt’s once unbreakable faith now lies. After attempting to convert him, the Guilty Remnant have now taken the only thing that was keeping Matt’s faith alive: his church. Why would God allow that to happen? What has become of his wife in the three days since he last saw her? Will Matt continue to out wrongdoers taken in the Departure, no matter how many beatings he must suffer as a result?

The test has only begun.

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‘The Talking Dead’ Is Even More Pointless Than My Existence http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-talking-dead-is-even-more-pointless-than-my-existence/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/the-talking-dead-is-even-more-pointless-than-my-existence/#comments Mon, 17 Oct 2011 05:56:29 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=232629 When you stare into the abyss, The Talking Dead stares back at you.

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Despite its flaws, The Walking Dead usually makes for entertaining television. The same cannot be said for The Talking Dead, a lazy, shameless marketing ploy posing as a half-hour talk show. And given some of the advertorial articles you can find on this very website, I don’t use words like “lazy” and shameless” lightly.

The show follows in the asinine tradition of Bravo‘s reality “post shows,” which usually involve a contemptible ‘Housewife’ attempting to explain why she came across as such an awful person. But given the fact that The Walking Dead is a scripted drama rather than a reality show, what can possibly be gained from recapping it? Apparently, the answer is nothing.

The inaugural episode featured comedian Patton Oswalt, Dawn of the Dead (remake) screenwriter James Gunn, and creator of The Walking Dead comic, Robert Kirkman. In all fairness, they did the most with what they were given. Unfortunately, what they were “given” were recycled clips and asinine questions, and “the most” they could do was make smart ass remarks. What type of response can be expected from questions like “why do you think the zombies were traveling in packs?” Because that’s what the script said they should do, ass hat.

That’s not to place all the blame on host Chris Hardwick. Considering the guests of the show had nothing to do with the episode, what was he supposed to ask? “So, you like zombies, eh? Neat!”

I did find it fitting that Subway bought ad time on the show, which featured a behind-the-scenes look at a zombie being disemboweled. Nothing says “eat fresh” like a walker’s rotten lower intestine. But ironic advertising aside, there wasn’t much to enjoy. If I want to spend 30 minutes watching clips from a show I just sat through, I’ll just use my DVR.

Editor’s note: Thank you to the commenters who pointed out my error on James Gunn. And I thank them a second time for not being dicks about it.

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A Funeral For A Fake Baby: ‘It’s Always Sunny’ Recap (S7E3) http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/a-funeral-for-a-fake-baby-its-always-sunny-recap-s7e3/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/a-funeral-for-a-fake-baby-its-always-sunny-recap-s7e3/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2011 18:25:03 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=231597 At least it was a fake baby.

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After a week at the shore and the charming little cluster that was Frank’s beauty pageant, it seems that Sunny has decided to step off the gas a little in its fourth episode with a pace that felt more relaxed than the previous three episodes this season. You know, the relaxing casual nature of a baby funeral? While the prior were mostly outstanding (with the premier being a rung or two below), I cherish the opportunity to take a deep breath, watch the gang be idiots in their own bar, and not have to write-up a 30-minute sitcom episode that has more going on than the Iliad.

Two stories share equal time in “Sweet Dee Gets Audited”: Dee needs to prove she has a baby to the IRS, and the balance of the crew pursues a more orderly manner of conducting the bar business. Even when they reach their fever pitch, both stories come no closer than tangential to one another, offering some hilarious throwaway gags in the absence of any real plot in this episode besides the whole “Dee better produce a baby for the IRS” affair.

The cold open begins with Charlie revealing that he is putting rocks in the urinals because the ice machine is broken. (An aside: I understand Paddy’s is a crappy bar, but come on, there has to be an ice machine.) Then the ceiling leaks on to Dennis’ face, causing everyone to wonder what Frank is doing with the money earmarked for repairs.

Without spending too much time rehashing what is essentially a great excuse for the boys to do some batshit crazy things for no particular reason, here’s a breakdown of what these dueling plotlines boil down to:

The gang lobbies for a democracy among the bar owners, which Frank shoots down because they get too emotional and angry about everything. Unsurprisingly, Mac and Charlie spend the rest of the episode getting really emotional about stupid things like the dead dog in the alley and whether or not there should be a crucifix in the bar (Mac says yes, Charlie says no), how large the crucifix should be (Charlie says small, Mac says enormous), and how much blood should be on the crucifix (Charlie says not much, Mac says tons). Sure the whole arc is a gag to get them to argue, but I’m pretty fine with that after the past few plot-driven episodes.

Frank, to no one’s surprise, admits he’s embezzling from the bar, using accounts with fake vendors like Wolf Cola to hide money.

Mac and Charlie try to keep emotion out of their argument of what to do with the dead alley dog and end up sounding like kids with head wounds giving book reports.

Dee spends most of the episode sweating (literally) her confrontation with the IRS, stuck with having to produce sweet baby Barnabus in order to support her deductions. Realizing that she has to produce a baby by 3 PM, she turns to Mac and Charlie for help, who insist that such a request will be no problem.

It’s unclear why they are still courting Dee’s lime vote, considering Charlie wants big and Mac wants small, but for some reason they continue working in tandem to get Dee her “baby.”

Realizing that she can’t produce a baby for the IRS, Dennis suggests that rather than try to prove the baby is alive, that Dee prove it’s dead.

With a baby funeral.

For a fake baby.

It doesn’t really pop in the context of the show, but it’s hard to imagine anything more dark or twisted than a funeral for a fake baby. It’s also a testament to Sunny that they can incorporate it into the show with not so much as a raised eyebrow. It’s only in retelling the scene that I realize how completely morally bankrupt it is.

Caitlin Olsen’s physical comedy chops once again rate an A+ during her attempted fake eulogy with real chili pepper in her eyes. I don’t believe she’s actually in pain, but she does make me laugh.

The baby is revealed to be the dead alley dog, Dee is up shit creek without a paddle, and the gang unanimously agrees to go back to the old, chaotic way of doing things. This begs the question, “What’s to become of Dee and her IRS problems?”

Next week, my children. Next week.

Questions/Observations:

I started this list thinking that there wouldn’t be much to report, but the casual nature of this episode lent itself to lots of great throwaway gags that certainly warrant mentioning. 

  • How did they not give Dee more shit for her scooter?
  • Mac is still wearing Tommy Bahama shirts. I’m praying this will close the book on them, but I fear there isn’t much overlap between Tommy Bahama shirt wearers and Sunny viewers.
  • Charlie has no idea what to do with his hands while stating his “dead dog” case.
  • Lime thickness is a hot-button issue at Paddy’s, in case you thought they didn’t pay attention to detail there.
  • It’s a real treat to watch Mac and Charlie get delighted at the notion of “compromise” for the first time.
  • Barnabus is two crucifixes and a tape player. Seems about right.
  • Why exactly is Mac so passionate about the crucifix? Does it have anything to do with his fierce defense of Charles Grodin? I feel like it might.
  • Dee’s eyes bleeding with all the discussion of the crucifix seemed to be a little harder than Sunny normally works for a joke. I think I liked it, but it was a departure.

Quotes:

  • “You guys all better eat a dick, cause Sweet Dee beat the system” (said right before the system takes a giant deuce right on Dee’s head)
  • “Letters? What is it, 1986? I don’t do letters, lady. I’m all digital.”
  • “Reason will prevail!”
  • “No, just a short-term baby”
  • “Pickles will prevail!”
  • I laughed out loud (a rare occurrence) when Mac was asked how big he wanted the crucifix and he responded, “Big…I want it to dominate every conversation.”
  • “People don’t trust you, Frank. You’re a piece of shit. And you’re ugly.” It’s funny cause it’s true.
  • “I just want the money. And the illusion of power. And puss.”
  • “Wolf Cola. It’s the right cola…for closure.”

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Morticians And Beauty Contests: The ‘Always Sunny’ GIF Recap (S7E3) http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/morticians-and-beauty-contests-the-always-sunny-gif-recap-s7e3/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/morticians-and-beauty-contests-the-always-sunny-gif-recap-s7e3/#comments Fri, 30 Sep 2011 19:04:51 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=230604 Frank will allow his dead body to be filled with 'cream' after he dies.

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After a week of fun and sun down at the Jersey Shore, this week’s Sunny episode, “Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties,” kicks off back in the familiar dregs of Paddy’s Pub, with a cold open that encapsulates pretty much everything that Sunny has come to stand for.

  • Frank falls over, bloodies up his nose (graphic violence, gore)
  • The gang laughs at his tumble (delight in the misfortune of others)
  • Frank explains how he met a man at a titty bar who convinced him to invest in a beauty pageant, which he did, only to find that the pageant is embroiled in scandal due to sexual harassment allegations (failed or troubled harebrained get-rich-quick scheme, indicative of consistently bad decision-making)
  • The “contestants” enter the bar, at which time we find out that it’s a pageant for little girls, and that the man who sexually harassed them is clearly a pedophile (the depraved reveal)

And we’re off.

This episode has all the trappings to really revisit what the gang is made of. Less than two minutes in to the episode and I’m giddy with excitement over the opportunities this storyline presents. Sunny lies pretty far away from “satirical” on the spectrum, but the show absolutely thrives when it is tenuously tied to a social issue. Perhaps it’s the over-the-top actions of the gang that reveal the absurdity of both the characters and the principals at hand, but, for whatever reason, it’s episodes like “The Gang Gets Racist,” “Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City,” “Dennis and Dee Go On Welfare,” and “The Gang Exploits the Gas Crises” all have proven to be among the show’s elite half-hours.

Off the bat, we see the factions start to form. Frank wants to salvage his investment without forfeiting his already-dicey reputation. Dee begins to reminisce about her modeling days, to the predictable mockery of the rest of the gang. Charlie cracks an egg of knowledge on us about how child pageants are woven int the American fabric (God, I love Charlie). Dennis is creeped out by the whole affair. And Mac…well, Mac’s really fat, and that’s plenty for now.

Remarkably, Charlie’s speech wins over the whole group, who decide that parading little made up girls in an exercise in “freedom” as much as it is anything else. So, as quickly as it began, it’s over. The gang, in the name of patriotism, will host a children’s beauty pageant.

“USA! USA! USA!”

The gang seems unsettlingly unified at this point, which is perhaps the most ominous aspect of this whole plan. Let’s see where the hell this united front takes us.

With Frank and Dee speaking to the contestants and their parents, Charlie, Mac, and Dennis are working on a musical number, with Charlie leading the show. Before the trio of composers can agree on a note, they decide that their involvement in the pageant and presence on-stage is a foregone conclusion. Like there was any doubt.

After a visit from child services, the gang realizes they have nothing to fear or hide, and the show must go on, so we immediately cut to Charlie in “musical director” mode, which is easily one of the 13 best modes Charlie can be in.

Dear God, I could fill up the whole recap with quotes from this scene, but it simply wouldn’t do them justice. Suffice it to say, when Charlie sides with Samantha, much as he did with some of the teens in “Underage Drinking: A National Problem,” we get gold.

Ok. One quick exchange:

“Samantha’s mean!”
“Samantha gets to be mean! Because Samantha is a star!”

At this point, it’s pretty clear that the big payout is going to be the pageant itself, so until that time, it looks like we’ll be killing some time with some set-up scenes that serve to tell us where we are headed, but are pretty funny nonetheless. We’ve got:

Dee getting schooled by Samantha during lunch;

Fat Mac wheezing his way through lunch;

The dandy boy who, contrary to the fellas’ first impressions, isn’t being forced into the competition at all,

And, after getting served by Samantha, Dee takes ugly duckling Justine under her wing to dethrone Samantha.

The scenarios are set-up, so let’s go to the back half of the episode to watch the gang knock them down. They arrive at the school theater for the pageant to find Frank done up in corpse makeup (compliments of a creepy mortician) to hide his battered grill. With Artemis sternly and stoically asking the audience to “give me a beat” during “America, The Beautiful,” the pageant is underway. And how!

With Mac, Dennis, and Dee busting moves onstage, and what we can only assume is a white-shoed Charlie a-tappin’ his foot, it becomes pretty clear what this pageant is really about. The gang wants to put on another musical. After a variety show-style intro from Charlie, Frank painfully oversells the innocence of the whole affair, introducing the contestants “that he isn’t attracted to at all” while wearing the previously mentioned corpse makeup. Of course, all the good-behavior from the gang begins to get squandered the moment Frank unintentionally broadcasts a private conversation he has about banging corpses.

The audience’s attention is quickly shifts from Franks desire to be “filled with cream” after he dies when the cops bust in to arrest Walter, who is, as we assumed, a pedophile.

The gang hastily decides that although pageants are an American tradition, they aren’t a proud one, names Samantha the winner, then storm out the door, having learned no lessons and built no bonds.

Kudos to Sunny on this one for reminding us that the Dee, Mac, Dennis, and Charlie don’t have to be total assholes in order to be funny.

Questions/Observations:

  • Caitlin Olsen’s improv and acting chops really come out in select few moments and the 180 she turns when asked if she is “in charge” by the child services representative is one such moment.
  • At what point did you realize that Frank was going to spend the rest of the episode with a mangled and bloody face? I got it at 6:48 when they told him to lay down and put some ice on it.
  • The entire episode, I felt like Walter, the child services guy was a looming pedophile. Turns out I was right. Kiss the ring!
  • I’m pretty bummed I’m already used to Fat Mac.
  • Franks dry-mouthed buddy backstage almost had me raising my hand with the gang, wondering what the shit that was about.
  • Artemis!
  • Fat Mac is pretty awesome in a tight turtleneck.
  • The gang seems to have an uncanny knowledge of Vaudeville and pageantry. I would hire them if they weren’t such bastards.
  • Since I can’t single out one thing, I enjoyed every single f*ckin’ part of the boy’s performance. It was like Usher meets Gaga meets gay little boy with fake abs sketched on him.
  • I love the cut to Frank, face down ready to be cuffed when the cops enter.

Quotes:

  • “You just loaded up that train with coal, and now it’s ready to tear down the tracks. That was inspiring as hell.”
  • “I’m not gonna diddle your kids…I met that guy in a titty bar.”
  • “I don’t see professionals. I see amateurs. I see trash. Little pieces of trash.”
  • “You’re the meanest girl in the world!”
  • “She’s a stupid shitmouth bitch.”
  • “I’m gonna go get high before the show.”
  • “A big humongous pain in my vuhhhhh-gina, MOMS ARE UGLY!”
  • “Mr. Gorbechav, tear down this wall!”
  • “If I was dead you could bang me all you want.”

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‘X Factor’ Is Somehow More Disgusting Than ‘Animal Hoarding’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/x-factor-is-somehow-more-disgusting-than-animal-hoarding/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/x-factor-is-somehow-more-disgusting-than-animal-hoarding/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2011 18:20:29 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=229579 Cat feces is preferable to 'X Factor'...

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Despite the obvious differences, Animal Planet’s Confessions: Animal Hoarding and Fox’s X Factor are actually very similar. They are both retreads of existing shows, they both (supposedly) chronicle the lives of delusional people, and most importantly, they both exploit the hell out of their subjects. That said, I thought a show about people living ankle-deep in cat shit would be more exploitative than a simple singing competition. How very wrong I was. Confessions: Animal Hoarding seems like a Ken Burns documentary when compared to Simon Cowell’s latest shit show.

Let’s start out with Confessions: Animal Hoarding. This show is basically Intervention, except instead of “helping” people who are addicted to drugs, it “helps” people who are addicted to kitty cats. Last night we followed Mike, a chef whose small home had been overrun with cats to the point where his wife had left and he was forced to live in a camper. Keep in mind, this was not some elaborate scheme to get rid of the wife. Watching a man shoveling cat excrement off his kitchen floor is bad enough, but knowing he’s a member of the food service industry made it even more disturbing.

Then we have X Factor. From what I can tell, there are only two differences between this show and American Idol. First off, the black guy is skinnier and doesn’t say “dog.” Second, rather than having the auditions in a private room with the judges, they take place in a stadium filled with thousands of people. That might not seem like a big deal until you watch an elderly couple making fools of themselves in front of a live audience. For example, Dan and Venita, who are a combined age of 153. The people in charge of picking the contestants saw fit to wave this couple through to the judges table so that they could do this on national television…

Classy.

But X Factor doesn’t stop with the elderly. Why should it when there is so much fresh meat available in the form young children. For example, there was 13-year-old Rachel Crow who the press is already gushing about. Sure, I guess she’s “adorable.” But I’ll bet the adorableness wears off in about five years once Hollywood has spit her out and she’s turning tricks for crank in the Ralph’s parking lot on Sunset. But hey, maybe she can keep the fame-train going with a stint on Intervention. Circle of life, ya know?

Two years 'til rehab!

To be clear, both shows are awful, and both shows take advantage of their subjects. But at the end of the day, at least Confessions: Animal Hoarding supposedly helps the people involved, and they manage to do it without the pseudo-inspirational top-40 soundtrack. Mike the cat-hoarding chef ended up with a therapist and a clean house. All Dan and Venita got was humiliated.

Yes, X Factor’s contestants chose to be on TV. No one is holding a gun to their heads, although I imagine quite a few of them have probably held guns to their own heads. And in all fairness, the winner of X Factor will get a $5 million recording contract, not to mention their own Pepsi ad. As Paula Abdul pointed out, “To have a commercial is above and beyond any wild dream that any artist could have.”

Even so, I’d rather watch a guy swim in cat poop than sit through X Factor ever again.

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An 11-Year-Old Boy Recaps Last Night’s ‘Two and a Half Men’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/an-11-year-old-boy-recaps-last-nights-two-and-a-half-men/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/an-11-year-old-boy-recaps-last-nights-two-and-a-half-men/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 17:26:00 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=229227 Last night Charlie died and Walden moved in and then slept with two girls and Alan was all like "Whaaaat?"

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Last night  my favorite show started again. It’s called Two and a Half Men, and I like it because it’s really funny and sometimes they have sex with hot ladies. Also, the maid is really mean to Charlie and it’s funny because she’s fat.

But last night Charlie didn’t come back to the show because he’s dead. His girlfriend said he got hit by a train and exploded like a balloon full of meat. But they didn’t show him get hit by the train, which is stupid cause it would have been hilarious to see him explode all over like meat. All they showed was his funeral, and then they spilled his ashes everywhere, and that was pretty funny too, but not as funny as an explosion of meat.

Later on after the funeral, a new guy came to live with Alan and Jake named Walden. Walden is the guy from those camera commercials. My dad says Walden used to be on a show that was kind of funny, but now he’s an idiot for marrying an old lady. My dad got really mad when he sad it, and kept saying bad words and how stupid Walden is for marrying the old lady cause now she’s really old, and Walden’s stuck with her when he could be with any other girl he wanted because he’s rich. Then dad said “turn this shit off” and threw a beer bottle against the wall, so I went to watch the rest of the show in the basement.

I didn’t like Walden, because I miss Charlie, but then Walden had sex with two pretty ladies at the same time. It was really cool and funny, and Alan was all like “Whaaaaat?” and Jake was like “Awesome!” I don’t think Walden is that bad, but Charlie was better. Also, Walden is really rich for some reason , and he’s sleeping in Charlie’s room now.

I can’t wait for next week’s episode, because the preview showed this girl with really big boobs, and Walden was looking at her, and then he got embarrassed from looking at the boobs and fell down and I laughed really hard. Two and a Half Men is my favorite show.

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Boilin’ Denim And Bangin’ Whores: ‘Always Sunny’ Gif Recap (S7E1) http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/boilin-denim-and-bangin-whores-always-sunny-gif-recap-s7e1/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/boilin-denim-and-bangin-whores-always-sunny-gif-recap-s7e1/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2011 16:00:53 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=228744 In which the best-laid plans fall to a "touch of consumption."

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Welcome back to Paddy’s Pub for a new season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

In case we had forgotten about the types of people we’re dealing with at Paddy’s, the cold open reminds us in short order. We begin with Dee and Charlie on the phone, ordering a pit bull intended to bite people so that patrons may leave Paddy’s with a “great story.” Naturally, this marketing tool is met with skepticism by Dennis, who quickly abandons any effort to dissuade them, eventually just stating, “I DON’T understand.”

Well, he won’t need to, because that storyline is quickly dropped as Frank walks in, sucking face with a whore. Andddddddd, we’re off with our A-story. Frank declares, after pounding two shots of Jameson, “I’m gonna make that whore my wife.”

Sunny certainly has a way with making despicable characters uniquely despicable, and Frank’s whore Roxy is no exception. While she may appear to be your run-of-the-mill drunk whore, she has a language all alone, often referring to people in her presence with colorful phallic imagery, such as “cocks” or “dicks.” Frank wants her to stop banging other dudes (including, apparently, Tiger Woods), and the only way that’s going to happen is if he takes the plunge.

The gang eventually decides that they need to go all Pretty Woman on Roxy and clean her up a bit. But not quite yet, because Mac comes strutting in plus his 50 pounds of “bulk” (fat), eating a chimichanga, and his new carriage doesn’t not escape the group’s notice.

Dennis ascertains that with Frank’s devotion to a whore and a Mac’s gluttony, the gang has lost their way. He decides to help Mac restore his form and health of earlier days, while Dee is tasked with turning Roxy into less of a disgusting whore. While Frank and Charlie are doing whatever it is Frank and Charlie do (boiling found denim from under a bridge), they decide to try and find Frank a woman who will love him for who he is. Tall order.

Dee quickly gets the impression that, despite the rough façade, Roxy may be living a glamorous life, as she is able to stand up to snotty boutique salespeople by flashing a wad of cash in their face. No sooner does Dee start fawning than Roxy has to go meet a client, Mr. Tiger Woods. But not before she has to dig some crack rocks out of her ass.

While Dee tries to determine what the hell is going on with this semi-glamorous whore, we get to revisit a never-fail gag Sunny gag: Charlie incognito. He’s back in character as the Texas oilman, which we haven’t seen since season 4’s transcendental “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis,” while Frank is a limo driver hoping to benefit from a bait-and-switch with a kind lady who has no idea what she’s in for.

As Charlie’s plan is to bow out gracefully to Frank with “a touch of consumption,” he oversells the ailment a bit by projectile vomiting mercilessly on the unsuspecting women for what felt like a good 70 or 80 minutes. She doesn’t stick around to be consoled, and we’re left with a sight gag that is over-the-top (and hilarious) even by Sunny standards.

One downside to the approach the premiere has taken is that very little humor is drawn for the minds and personalities of the characters. While sight gags abound, the characters seem to take break from being themselves. Sure, Mac is still oblivious, Dennis vain, and Charlie enthusiastic and misguided, but the characters seem to be more conduits for physical humor than the folks we’ve spent the last seven or so years with. However, after last year’s flat “Mac Fights Gay Marriage,” perhaps they felt inclined to lead with a more surefire approach. It works for an episode, but let’s hope they get back to the paradigm that takes the show from good to great.

In the final act, bows are placed on the three duo’s storylines as Dee learns that Roxy’s life is every bit as awful as one would assume, but doesn’t pass up an offer to make $500 from a foot fetishist, beginning her transformation to sassy hooker-woman. Dennis embraces Mac’s devil-may-care attitude, gorging on chimichangas until he decides that what he really wants is some crack, which he can get from Roxy. Frank goes through with his proposal, only to watch Roxy die in response to his question. The gang lays her in the hall, makes an anonymous 911 call, and we realize that Frank was right; people don’t really change.

Dead hookers, projectile vomiting, and a grossly fat Mac. Yup, it’s a new season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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What The Hell Am I Watching? ‘Drop Dead Diva’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/what-the-hell-am-i-watching-drop-dead-diva/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/what-the-hell-am-i-watching-drop-dead-diva/#comments Tue, 06 Sep 2011 19:12:39 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=227173 We thought we'd give this show a chance. Bad idea.

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Once a week, we watch a show that we normally wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole just to make sure we’re not missing anything. Nine out of ten times, we’re not. This week, we watched Drop Dead Diva. God help us.

Thank God for the educational intros like the one Drop Dead Diva features. From the quick rundown, I’m able to deduce that this Lifetime show is a story about a model who gets killed, only to get a second chance at living on Earth as Jane, a fat attorney with fabulous girlfriends and a guardian angel, Fred, who appears to be gay. But I don’t want to presume anything, even though, seriously, he looks pretty gay. (I find out later that he’s probably not gay.)

Let’s blow through a recap of the show so that we know what we’re up against here. 

The episode starts off with Jane walking into the kitchen to find her roommate chopping a banana, upon which the trajectory of the episode is quickly divulged.

Jane went on a date with a judge to the beach and had a wonderful time, even learning to “pull the judge’s tiller” which is a sailing term, but also sounds like jerking a dude off. Thanks, Sex and the City, for making sexual puns in women’s programming de rigueur. And thanks, women, for allowing it to happen.

We also learn at this time that CiCi (C.C.? CeeeeeeCeeeeee?), Jane’s roommate, kissed a guy that gave her a ride home from the Entertainment Weekly party (FABULOUS!) even though she’s involved with someone. So we’ve gotten the storyline primed and pumped at the 1:40 mark. Good to get those out of the way. The Wire, this ain’t.

While the opening credits continue to roll, we find that Jane must broker a meeting between a partner at her law firm and his jilted, violent ex. She also drops a reference to expensing Katie Perry tickets, which is something that I can totally related to because, OMG Katy Perry.

Some hot girl named Kim steps into a church for reasons unimportant only to find that the new minister is a total Bladwin. Do people still call hot guys Baldwins? I’m pretty sure they do. Oh. The hot minister is a single dad who lost his wife. Because that’s not cliché.

Cut to Jane brokering the peace between the partner and his ex. But before we get there, it should be noted that the partner is an old white dude, and the ex is Brandi. Yup. Brandi. He politely denies the request to represent her and pushes her out on the office, but Jane comes to sympathize with the ex (Brandi!)

All of this is revealed within the first four minutes or so of the show. 

Click ‘Next Page’ to continue…

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Gif Recap: ‘Wilfred’ – Doubt S1E11 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-doubt-s1e11/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-doubt-s1e11/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2011 23:47:41 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=226096 Dwight Yoakam has never looked better.

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Last night’s episode of Wilfred was bizarre, even by talking dog standards. In case the title of this piece wasn’t enough, it involved doubt. Specifically, it revolves around Ryan’s doubt about his relationship with Wilfred. After all, it would be hard not to second guess yourself when your best friend is now a six-foot talking dog.

(For More Gif Recaps, Click Here)

As we begin, Ryan has stopped smoking pot, found a date via an online dating service, and is now trying to tidy up the house. This causes Wilfred some anxiety, since all the hair he left on the basement floor is now missing. Things only gets worse when the vacuum is brought out.

Later, during a trip to the park for a Yoga class, Wilfred stops for a moment to enjoy the bouquet of smells available to him.

Meanwhile, while talking to his sister, Ryan notices a strange man who seems to be watching his every move. Later, the man in question, Bruce (Dwight Yoakam), makes contact with Ryan again, claiming that he is also able to hear Wilfred’s speech. Apparently, he and Wilfred used to have a similar friendship, until Wilfred eventually ruined his life by poking holes in his condoms.

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Gif Recap: ‘Cornered’ – Shotgun S4E6 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-%e2%80%98cornered%e2%80%99-%e2%80%93-shotgun-s4e6/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-%e2%80%98cornered%e2%80%99-%e2%80%93-shotgun-s4e6/#comments Mon, 22 Aug 2011 19:36:44 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=225316 Another good title would have been "Meth Head with a Shotgun!"

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A few weeks back, Breaking Bad opened with a shot of Mike waiting patiently in the back of a refrigerated truck. Before long, the sound of drug cartel henchmen shooting the driver filled the air, as an unphased Mike positioned himself for the attack. No sooner than the henchmen had opened the door, Mike had shot them both to death. Apparently, the cartel has learned it’s lesson, because this week they were taking no chances.

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The show began with a similar shot in the back of a refrigerated truck. In fact, for a moment I thought I was watching a rerun. But soon enough, I realized that Mike was nowhere to be found, and two hired goons has taken his place. That’s lucky for Mike.

As expected, the cartel attacks the truck, killing the driver. But unlike their previous attempt, they weren’t taking any chances. Rather than opening the doors and risking a bullet to the face, the henchmen decided to reroute the truck’s exhaust into the trailer, lock the doors, and wait for anyone inside to expire.

And despite the fact that they had no trouble wasting the driver, the cartel thugs weren’t about to let the driver’s lunch go to waste.

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Gif Recap: ‘Wilfred’ – Compassion S1E9 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfredcompassion-s1e9/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfredcompassion-s1e9/#comments Fri, 19 Aug 2011 18:11:19 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=225089 Mary Steenburgen...doggie style...

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Ryan: “I’m not crazy!”

Wilfred: “Said the man to the dog.”

That pretty much sums up last night’s episode of Wilfred, which deals with the root of Ryan’s “mental problems.” True, there were two episodes last night, but I’m gif recapping “Compassion.” Why? Because that’s the one I watched.

The episode begins as it usually does, with Jenna having to leave Wilfred with Ryan for some contrived reason or another. Even Ryan remarks that she sure does travel a lot. This week, she’s going to Vegas to try and patch things up with her boyfriend. Wilfred is unhappy at the prospect of being alone, especially since he’s been forced to wear a cone because he won’t stop biting at his “hot spot.”

Meanwhile, Ryan has received a call from a mental institution in Ojai, CA, where his mother, Catherine, is a resident. Apparently, she was checked into the facility for observation, but decided to stay for 20 years, a fact that still haunts Ryan. Wilfred is also unimpressed with the prospect of meeting Ryan’s mom because he has a problem with menopausal women. He’d much rather run around and threaten to kill ducks.

Once inside, Ryan discovers that his mom, played by Mary Steenburgen, wishes to transition back into the society, and needs a place to stay. At first, Ryan and Wilfred are both reluctant, but once Catherine is able to sooth Wilfred’s hot spot, the dog convinces his master to bring her home.

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Gif Recap: ‘Breaking Bad’ – Shotgun S4E5 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-shotgun-s4e5/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-shotgun-s4e5/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2011 23:15:54 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=224579 A drive in the desert? This will end well (no, really).

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When we last saw Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman, he and Mike were headed out to the desert for reason unknown. If you’re involved with drug dealers, and you’re being driven out to the desert against your will, chances are you’re not being taken on an all-expenses-paid trip to Vegas. So understandably, Walt was concerned for the life of his young protégé, even if Jesse himself was not.

Click here for more Gif Recaps.

Walt

With Jesse in trouble, Walt sprung into action, racing down to Los Pollos Hermanos to confront Gus. Unfortunately, Gus was nowhere to be found, and Walt was helpless to save his friend.

Back at the lab, Jesse’s absence was undeniable. Walt might be a whiz at cooking meth, but he’s a novice at operating heavy machinery.

As time wore on, frustration finally boiled over, and Walt refused to work, claiming the job was a two man operation. But rather than relent and produce Jesse, Gus simply sent one of his cronies to help Walt.

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Gif Recap: ‘Breaking Bad’ – Open House S4E3 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-open-house-s4e3/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-open-house-s4e3/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2011 18:45:32 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=222841 Jesse's party pad is getting a little out of control. By "out of control," I mean it's a meth-head flop house.

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Last night’s episode of Breaking Bad, “Open House,” was a little on the slow side. Granted, when the first episode of the season is as brutal as “Box Cutter,” almost anything is going to seem tame by comparison. But when the bulk of an episode involves a paralyzed man lying in bed and a plot to undermine a car wash, chances are it’s not going to be the most riveting television.

(Click Here For More Gif Recaps)

That’s not to say that last night’s episode was bad or devoid of story. And I’m not suggesting that the show should insert violence for violence’s sake. I’m just saying that is was relatively calm for a show about drug dealers.

Jesse Pinkman

Things are not going well for Jesse Pinkman. At work, he assures Walt that everything is going fine, and even suggests that the two hit up the Go Kart track to let off some steam. When Walt declines, Jesse goes alone, but doesn’t seem to enjoy himself all that much, unless, of course, you feel that driving around a track while screaming in rage is enjoyable.

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Gif Recap: ‘True Blood’ – I Wish I Was The Moon S4E6 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-i-wish-i-was-the-moon-s4e6/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-i-wish-i-was-the-moon-s4e6/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2011 17:53:53 +0000 Jenna Busch http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=222808 Sookie and Eric finally do the deed.

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Oh, yes.  It’s finally happened!  Sookie and Eric!  Well, that is until King Bill walks in on them.  Damn it Bill!  Royal or not, you have crappy timing!  We wanted to see some Sookie/Eric sex!  And really, Sookie shouldn’t have stopped Eric from staking Bill with that poker.  Instead, Eric kneels before his liege.  Oh, that isn’t going to end well.  Did you all see the True Blood trailer from Comic Con?  Yikes!

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Gif Recap: ‘Wilfred’ – Conscience S1E6 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-%e2%80%93-conscience-s1e4/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-%e2%80%93-conscience-s1e4/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 19:12:24 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=222620 Wilfred is starting to come into its own.

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Due to Comic-Con, I wasn’t able to catch last week’s episode of Wilfred. But this week’s episode caused me to do something that no previous episode had managed to do. It made me laugh. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed the show, and previous episodes have been humorous, but I always found myself acknowledging the show’s humor in my mind without actually responding to it. However, last night was different, and I was laughing out loud without having to think about it. In my opinion, the show is really starting to find its rhythm.

Click Here For More Gif Recaps

As has been the case from day one, Ryan is still infatuated with Jenna. When the episode begins, he is admiring her from afar while she sunbathes in her yard. His creepy leering is interrupted by the entrance of Drew, Jenna’s meathead boyfriend from Wisconsin. As Wilfred is quick to point out, Drew carries Jenna off “like a Viking on a rape quest.”

While Ryan may not like the fact that Jenna is dating Drew, it’s Wilfred who seems the most upset. As such, he constantly hounds (get it) Ryan about getting Drew out of the picture, going as far as to Skype Ryan while Drew and Jenna are having sex with the hope that it will make him jealous.

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Gif Recap: ‘Breaking Bad’ – Thirty-Eight Snub S4E2 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-thirty-eight-snub-s4e2/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-thirty-eight-snub-s4e2/#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2011 20:50:03 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=221931 I hope you like delusion and self-loathing...

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Last week’s episode of Breaking Bad (Box Cutter), ended on a rather calm note, all things considered. After watching Gus rip Victor’s throat out in a fit of calm rage, Walt, Jesse and Mike worked together to dispose of the body, and then stopped by Denny’s (sans Mike) for a nice breakfast. Everyone seemed oddly at peace with the way things had played out.

But as you’ll see in the following Gif Recap, that peace was quickly shattered, and we learned just how troubled Walt, Mike, and Jesse really are. For example, Walt has become completely paranoid, and chastises his wife for leaving mundane phone messages involving completely legal business plans. Not to mention the fact that he is now packing an unregistered handgun, and has taken to practicing his draw. Clearly Gus has gotten inside his head.

Jesse, on the other hand, is retreating from the real world. He’s using his ill-gotten gains to make useless purchases, filling his home with over-the-top stereo equipment and robot vacuums. I’m not exactly an expert in the field of psychology, but I think it’s going to take more than just a Roomba to help Jesse forget that he murdered a man in cold blood.

And then there’s Mike. He’s dealing with things the same way he seems to have been dealing with them for years: sitting at a shithole bar and drinking alone.

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Gif Recap: ‘True Blood’ – I Hate You, I Love You S4E5 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-i-hate-you-i-love-you-s4e5/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-i-hate-you-i-love-you-s4e5/#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2011 19:19:06 +0000 Jenna Busch http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=221886 Wild sex dreams and the kiss you've been waiting for.

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True Blood fans!

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Gif Recap: ‘Breaking Bad’ – Box Cutter S4E1 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-%e2%80%93-box-cutter-s4e1/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-breaking-bad-%e2%80%93-box-cutter-s4e1/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2011 19:05:37 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=220635 'Breaking Bad' is back with a vengeance.

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This is a Gif recap, but in case I need to spell it out, spoilers ahead.

The season premiere of Breaking Bad begins with our old friend and meth-lab assistant Gale Boetticher wielding a box cutter. Given the season 3 finale, which saw Jesse shooting(?) Gale in cold blood, we can immediately assume we are witnessing a flash back to a happier time…a time when Gale still had the back of his skull intact.

During the course of the flashback, Gale gleefully sets up his new lab. He looks like a kid in a candy store, and boasts about how the equipment would be at home with any of the larger pharmaceutical companies. But when the topic turns to Walter White‘s meth, the boasting comes to a halt, and Gale humbly admits to Gus that his own product is nowhere near the purity of their competitor’s. The admission seems almost pathetic, considering we know that Gale has just inadvertently signed his own death warrant.

Flash forward to the present day. Jesse has just shot Gale in the face, and concerned neighbors are milling about outside the apartment, waiting for police to arrive. Victor arrives instead, and confirms that his employer’s scientist has been killed.

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Gif Recap: ‘True Blood’ – I’m Alive And On Fire S4E4 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-im-alive-and-on-fire-s4e4/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-im-alive-and-on-fire-s4e4/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2011 16:35:31 +0000 Jenna Busch http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=220606 Amnesia Eric continues to amuse us.

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Oh my god, I love Amnesia Eric!  There is really no other way to start off this recap.  We begin where we left off last week, as Sookie tells him, “You drank the whole fairy,” as if she’s some sort of Slushee.  Well, a Slushee spiked with some serious booze because fairy blood makes vampires drunk.

Yes, Amnesia Eric is drunk as a skunk.  He zips around at vampire speed, pinches Sookie’s butt and runs off into the sun after attempting to bite her.

Very interesting to note that even wasted, Eric says he’ll never hurt her.  After attempting to find Eric and failing, Sookie calls in her knight in shining…um…silver fur?   It’s Alcide to the rescue.

(Check out more of our Gif Recaps HERE)

So, let me pause a moment here.  Is anyone else feeling like this season’s official poster is wildly accurate?  Sookie is all about flirting with all her admirers…equally.  Not sure how I’m feeling about that.  Nothing wrong with it, but it’s making her seem a bit wishy washy.  I mean, I get how mind-numbingly hot these three men are, but she just seems to be floating through it.  Please let me know your feelings in the comments.

After Pam dresses down King Bill after being grilled about where Eric is, we head over to Hotshot for one of the most disturbing story lines ever.

Poor Jason is still tied to the bed and he’s being raped by woman after woman.  The one he shoves off says that her brother/husband…brother, husband!…just bites her on the back of the neck and holds her down until it’s over when he screws her.  She cries and says Jason is the best she’s ever had and yells, ”next.”  Then they send in a little girl.  Jason convinces her to let him go and she does.  But…I have to say this here.  I was more than a little disturbed by my own (and my viewing companions’) reaction to this scene.  It’s awful.  It’s gross.  I’m also fully aware that if it was a woman in that same situation, I’d be even more horrified.  I really hope the writers let Jason experience the aftermath of mass rape the way they would with a female character.  Please weigh in below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Over at Castle Bill, Nan is trying to find out what happened to Eric.  We see exactly how hardcore Nan is here as she dismisses Salem as a bunch of puritans who needed to get laid.  The real info here though is about a massacre that happened 400 years ago in Spain “by a single witch with a reason to hate vampires.”  She says that necromancers aren’t they same as they used to be.  I’m wondering if she was involved.  In fact, I’m wondering why she’s so single minded.  I’m dying to find out her history.

In Marnie’s store, she’s deep in a dream…of the Spanish Massacre.  A powerful witch is being burned at the stake while clergy joke about how to torture her.  Marnie witnesses the entire thing and learns a chant from the witch…who is the woman possessing her.  Uh oh.  Powerful witch with a “reason to hate vampire” possessing a powerful witch in the present.  I’m sure we’re going to get more info on this one.  Did anyone else notice the hooded figure?  Vampire?  And can anyone figure out what the chant translates too?

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Gif Recap: ‘Wilfred’ – Acceptance S1E4 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-acceptance-s1e4/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-acceptance-s1e4/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2011 18:47:58 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=220411 Ed Helms guest stars in the role he was born to play: a creepy doggie daycare owner who rubs peanut butter on his crotch.

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In case you couldn’t tell from the title, last night’s episode of Wilfred was all about acceptance. In context, this meant a number of things. It meant Ryan accepting some of Wilfred‘s peculiar behaviors. It meant accepting the fact that regardless of whether Wilfred is real or not, he’s real to Ryan. Most importantly, it meant Ryan coming to terms with the fact that his sister is a pain in the ass, but that she only wants what’s best for him. That said, emotional breakthroughs among family members make for really boring Gif Recaps, so we’ll just stick to the grown man in a dog costume wiping his ass on the rug.

Where to begin. Oh, right! With a grown man in a dog costume wiping his ass on the rug.

In an attempt to get Wilfred to stop wiping has ass on everything, Ryan buys a squirt gun to use as punishment. Although Wilfred hates being squirted, he continues his bad behavior, citing the fact that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Meanwhile, Ryan’s sister has sprained her ankle, forcing him to take care of her. This means Wilfred will have to start going to doggie daycare. Ed Helms guest stars in the role he was born to play: a creepy doggie daycare owner who rubs peanut butter on his crotch for dogs to lick off.

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Gif Recap: ‘True Blood’ – If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’? S4E3 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-if-you-love-me-why-am-i-dyin-s4e3/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-if-you-love-me-why-am-i-dyin-s4e3/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 17:41:06 +0000 Jenna Busch http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=219578 We had no idea that Eric could smile.

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It’s week three of True Blood and we’re into the meat of the story.  When we last left Sookie and Eric (it makes me so happy to type those names so close to each other), Eric had lost his memory and Sookie had no idea what was happening. This week, we’re dropped right back in where we left off.  I have to take a moment here and mention how well Alexander Skarsgard pulls off the character change.  I can’t wait to see where this goes.  (And book readers, you know I’m dying to see the shower scene too!)

(Check out more of our Gif Recaps HERE)

Sookie, sitting in her car, has no idea why the shirtless Eric is playing games with her. When he tries to attack her, she flees the car, punches him in the face (woohoo!) and says, ‘I am not your f*cking dinner!”  And this is why we love Sookie.

Eric, after explaining that he has no idea who he is, starts speaking in the same language that Marnie cursed him in.  (Anyone know if that is the language from his homeland?  I suspect it is.)  He remembers flashes of Marnie, her alter ego and the witches stripping his memory. Sookie agrees to help him with his little issue (and really, how could you resist that lost puppy thing he has going on?) but sets the ground rules.  No touching, no biting.  Yeah, cause that is going to stick.

Back at the Goddess Emporium, everyone fusses over Marnie and her vampire bite, which, she says, ”hurt.”  Duh.  (I believe ”duh” was her subtext.)  Tara (still loving her this season since she’s not running around like a chicken with its head cut off and howling) and Lafayette argue about who’s sh*t is more freaked out.  When someone suggests they call the police, Lafayette states the real reason everyone is on edge in the townThere is really nothing anyone can do to stop the vampires. Not a damn thing.  They can take out cops, they can kill you in a second.  Really, what Marnie did is the only thing that might be effective.  Now, while the witches try to make this into a religious war, Marnie says something that I bet a lot of people will miss.  ”He came in here, uninvited.”  Well, that’s not entirely true, crazy Marnie.  His Grace King Bill’s little sex toy/mole did.  Hmm…

Over in Hotshot (is this anyone else’s least favorite storyline?) poor chewed up Jason is still chained to the bed while creepy daddy/uncle/brother or something talks about the first were-panthers, Ghost Mama and Ghost Daddy.  (Remember last week, we got some info on the mythology of Luna’s people about shape shifters?  There may be a quiz in your future.)  It seems that the sky people (assuming that means the people of the big three religions) turned people away from nature.  Ghost Mama and Ghost Daddy spoke to the panther and said they didn’t want any part in that.  The giant kitty ate them, let them soak up his magic (is that the same as stomach acid?) and barfed them out.  Voila!  Were-panthers.  Back in Jason’s room, Crystal swears that she’s not going to let him die once he turns and points out how ”purty” he is to her sister/cousin/creepy child.

Cut to a terrible YouTube video made by a bunch of kids, trying to convince America that vampires are a real threat.  Ya think?  They have a website full of them at vamps-kill.com, which of course is a real viral site.  Check it out if you need some bad acting.

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Gif Recap: ‘Wilfred’ – Fear http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-fear/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-wilfred-fear/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2011 16:21:13 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=218489 Wilfred pushes Ryan to stand up for himself. And two guys porn-out.

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“Fear has its use but cowardice has none.” So said Mahatma Gandhi, or at least that’s what this week’s episode of Wilfred claims. And since I’m too lazy to look it up, I might as well just take their word for it and start this week’s gif recap.

(Check out more of our Gif Recaps HERE)

Speaking of fear, that’s also the title of this week’s episode. Specifically, it refers to Ryan’s fear of his motorcycle-riding neighbor, Spencer (Ethan Suplee). In the first episode, Ryan and Wilfred broke into Spencer’s home, stole his weed, and crapped in his boots. Now Ryan fears Spencer is on to him. He also suspects Spencer of vandalizing the home of an Indian couple down the street.

Disgusted by all of Ryan’s fear, Wilfred encourages him to stand up for himself against the bully. He also encourages him to show his dominance by means of anal rape. This doesn’t go over too well with Ryan, who just wants to leave well enough alone. Unfortunately that option is off the table, since Wilfred admits to having left Ryan’s wallet at the scene of the crime.

Rather than being forced to face his fears, Ryan lies his way out of the confrontation by claiming he was also a victim of the robbers, and they must have dropped his wallet at Spencer’s. The plan seems to work, but backfires when Spencer takes a liking to Ryan, and insists that the two spend time bonding over beer and Internet porn. After all, there’s nothing cooler than two guys getting “rock hard” together.

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Gif Recap: ‘True Blood’ – You Smell Like Dinner S4E2 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-you-smell-like-dinner-s4e2/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/gif-recap-true-blood-you-smell-like-dinner-s4e2/#comments Mon, 04 Jul 2011 17:13:33 +0000 Jenna Busch http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=218807 Were-panthers hopped up on V, and so much more.

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Well Fangbangers, week two of True Blood is upon us.  Sookie is back in town, everyone is up to date on what’s happened in the past twelve months and we’re ready to hit the ground running.  This week, we’ve got were-panthers on V, baby vamps questioning their lifestyle choices, Pam stealing the show,  and what book readers know is the beginning of a very juicy Eric plot line.

(Check out more of our gif recaps here)

We start off with Jason, tied up on a bed.  If you recall last week’s episode, our hunky cop was trying to take care of the people of Hotshot while Crystal was away and got knocked into a cooler with some rotting lettuce heads.  When he wakes, his head wound is being licked by one of the kids.  Puppies can be so cute!  They try to free him, but in walks Crystal’s disgusting excuse for a boyfriend, threatening his life.  If only she were here…

”Your blood tastes like freedom, Sookie.  Like sunshine in a pretty blond bottle.”  This may be the line of the night.  Eric, who showed up in Sookie’s room last week while she was naked and told her how wonderful it is when reality matches your imagination explains that he owns her house and she can’t kick him out.  Sookie’s blood, if you remember, allows vampires to go into the sunlight without ending up looking like one of those overcooked potato chips that find their way to the bottom of every bag.  Eric wants to claim Sookie as his so no one can hurt her.  She’s not too thrilled having just been through that with King Bill.  Eric explains that there are two Sookies.  One thinks she’s just human and the other is beginning to realize that she’s better than that.  She counters with that, when she does, does Eric think her legs are going to magically open for him?  Saucy.   He leaves, promising to fix her broken door.

King Bill gets some information about Marnie raising a dead bird from his little mole/witch, who has clearly been giving him more than just info.  He decides to use her as a human Slurpie.  One wonders if witches taste different like fairies do.

Meanwhile at Fangtasia, Pam, Hoyt and Jessica are facing a group of Light of Day protesters.  Hoyt goes to defend his fanged lady.  Pam tries to stop them from bothering the people using their ”constitutional rights to be f*cking idiots” when Hoyt smacks one of them in the kisser for calling Jessica a fanged whore.  Pam has to restrain Jessica while Hoyt gets the bejezzus kicked out of him, saying,  ”Technology has taken all the fun out of being a vampire.”  The AVL wouldn’t be happy to hear that someone got a vampire attack on video, you know.

In the woods, naked Sam and naked Luna (that happene faster this week, didn’t it?) flirt after running around as horses.  Sam tries to move in for a kiss after asking to hear more about her, but it seems Luna has a secret.  She gallops off without saying what it is.

Sookie used to be able to head over to Bill’s house without a problem.  When she tries that nowadays, she’s stopped by armed guards.  And no, it’s not because he’s busy having sex with a witch in his bedroom, which he is.  It’s because he’s now the King of Louisana.  His house reflects the change.  It’s all extra fancy now, with bear skin rugs and a fireplace.  When she walks into the bedroom, Katerina is still putting her clothes back on.  Bill introduces her as ”part of his security” and then kicks her out.  Classy.

Over at Jesus and Layfayette’s house, the talk is all about that not-dead bird.  Jesus doesn’t believe it’s black magic because he doesn’t think it exists.  Um, Jesus, you live in Bon Temps.  I really don’t think it’s safe to think anything doesn’t exist.  You just saw a dead bird fly around a room.  Really, he’s just blaming the bad witches for using magic for bad purposes and says that Lafayette is all light.  I love this couple and I can’t say that enough.  But if Jesus really loves Lafayette, he’ll make him cut off that rat-tail.

Back at the king’s mansion, Sookie asks for Bill’s help keeping Eric away.  She starts to ask him about how he became king, but before he can answer, she reconsiders, saying that every time she found out something about him when they were together, she ended up wishing she didn’t know it.  We flash back to London in the eighties.  Bill is in a punk club discussing the hated Prime Minister Thatcher with a bartender.  Aw, eighties Bill almost makes me miss that decade.  Almost.

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