TV

An Apology Letter to Ryan Murphy On Behalf Of ‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’

Dear Ryan Murphy,

I’m just going to come right out and say it. I’m sorry. I, along with many of my fellow American Horror Story viewers, was losing faith in you. I was ready to throw in the towel on the show that had given us Bloodyface, “Surprise, bitch,” and Evan Peters outside of Phil of the Future reruns. After 5 weeks of slight tedium (with the exception of Mott family history and some disgusting deaths) I was just about to give up, like I did with Glee after every single couple on the show broke up to Coldplay. But there was a promise of a twist ahead, and it was the best show airing at 10 PM on Wednesdays, so I wasn’t going to give up yet. Thank God I didn’t, and I’m sorry for doubting you.

Last night’s Chapter 6 was a game changer. Not only in this season alone, which promises to have three stories packed into 10 episodes, but in the American Horror Story series in general. They’ve had pretty reliable formats so far- a red herring villain, a Halloween special, an unanswered question (or four). And maybe future seasons will jump right back into that comfortable spot, especially with the possible resurgence of Coven and Freak Show characters. But this twist, with the actor re-enactors and talking head survivors returning to the Murder House for My Roanoke Nightmare’s reality season two of sorts, proves that we can still be surprised. The people on Reddit are no match for Mr. Ryan Murphy and co. So I’m sorry.

Chapter 6 (directed by Angela Bassett!) was a blast. I laughed, I screamed, I laughed some more, I was terrified. The very reason the first 5 episodes were so blasé for me (obviously, Shelby and Matt survived, so who cares?) were what made this episode genuinely scary: halfway through our first night in the house, we get a disclaimer that Everyone Died Except One. Let the guessing begin! Every time a character left a room or wandered off alone I was sure they were going to get brutally murdered. I was on the edge of my seat when it was finally Rory, Evan Peters’ simultaneously most hilarious and average character yet, who was stabbed by our psycho nurses. But of course it was! They needed that R to finish off their MURDER wall! A genius reminder to pay attention to everything that happens in this show. I’m sorry I didn’t see it coming.

Mr. Murphy, please accept my apology. I hate to say American Horror Story: Roanoke is good again, because it turns out it was good all along. I can’t wait to see more familiar faces, murder and who will live (I want to say Lee, because she’s already the suspected murderer). I’m sorry for doubting you here, and for doubting your use of Blurred Lines in that ‘The End of Twerk’ episode of Glee. Upon a second watch, it was actually pretty funny. But apologies aside, one thing that happened this week that I won’t forgive you for: killing Chad Radwell.

Sincerely, Me

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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Meets ‘New Girl,’ And It’s Better than Late-Night NPR

Is this going to be the year of the crossover? The Flash’s stint on Supergirl was widely regarded as a better DC vehicle than Superman vs. Batman, Alf showed up on Mr. Robot, and last night FOX brought back the long-dead sitcom crossover with New Girl meets Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Could there have been more actual crossover in this two episodes? Absolutely. But as a person who’s favorite part of LOST was watching characters cross paths in flashbacks, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Give us more!

Though it featured minimal character interaction (other than a meta, on-the-nose moment of Jake trying to commandeer Jess’ SUV and her shouting “It’s a crossover!”) the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode was, a little unsurprisingly, the stronger half-hour. We’re barely a fifth through the season and it’s already clear Brooklyn Nine-Nine has become a stronger comedy. They made the smart decision to continue picking up where they left off- here, Jake was returning to the force for the first time since getting shot in Florida, adding a cane and taking away the frosted tips (Amy: “I feel like I’m kissing Vanilla Ice.” Jake: “There’s a time you would have jumped at that chance!”). A lot has changed at the force, which the writers of “The Night Shift” handled with grace; the squad is dealing with getting used to the night shift, Jake is dealing with Boyle spending time with his adopted son Nikolaj, and Rosa is still waiting for her fiancee Agent Pimento to return from witness protection. Usually, an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine this cramped might feel thin, but even with the addition of Jess the story moves along smoothly and even has time to fit in a Twilight joke that’s still funny (Boyle thinks the movies are “an insult to the books”). Fortunately, we also got to learn a lot about Terry and Holt; Terry gets “night sassy,” Holt’s idea of a rager is hanging pieces of computer paper that just say “PARTY,” and the night shift stinks for the captain largely because “late-night NPR is garbage.” This show continues to be one of the best, and they were completely on board to up their game for the New Girl fans.

While it wasn’t as strong an episode New Girl was on board too, and I have to give them credit for crafting an episode revolving around meeting a few NYPD officers on their opposite coast. Plus, we even managed to get some fun world building! Remember way back in the Pilot, when Jess came home from a trip early to surprise her then-boyfriend Spencer, and ended up catching him cheating? Turns out, Jess came home early from a horrible trip in New York, where she fell into an open grate and witnessed a subway suicide. Just New Girl things! Despite her earlier bad Empire State experiences, Jess gets the most Brooklyn in her LA this time, running into Gina, Holt and Jake (whose dialogue and comedic beats reminded me how different these shows really are). The highlight of the three was optimistic Jess and serious Holt’s meeting, since the two are a match made in a Heaven who probably deserve a crossover episode dedicated to just the two of them. Nick and Winston running into Charles and Nikolaj was fun too, if only for the believability that Charles is super into busking, and that crowds of people would stop around two guys shouting “showtime” just to see what happens. Schmidt’s mom returned to play the quintessential Long Island mother, calling Great Neck “the real New York” and insisting that Schmidt kiss his brother, Reggie (he’s a standard poodle). The most New York moment goes to Jess’ frighteningly real experience at a packed NY Deli, but the episode ends with a huge boost from a last minute appearance by Coach. He runs into the gang on the street and scolds them for not calling him once they got to New York, and proves the point that a little Coach makes any episode better.

Overall, it was a fun hour, and a worthy experiment. I can only imagine where ABC’s family sitcoms could take this revived trope- Speechless’ Maya going toe to toe with The Real O’Neals‘s Eileen, or the black-ish gang meeting The Middle. Maybe I’m biased because I really love both New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but if you can suspend disbelief about the fact that Jess and Jake had completely different conversations when they met in each episode I think we can all acknowledge this was a pleasant way to spend a Tuesday night. Now to get a story on how Damon Wayans Jr.’s 99th precinct cop Stevie catches a perp in LA undercover as Coach. That’s a crossover I’m here for.

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Fall TV Week: TGI-Thursday

We have SuperGood Thursdays and TGIT? Okay, technically last night wasn’t Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT,” because Scandal won’t be back until 2017, but it was TGIT to me because NBC aired two fantastic comedies back to back, reviving just a little bit of the We Peacock Comedy block from the golden days. Regardless of what we’re calling it, it was a better night for TV than Wednesday.

Superstore, Thursdays at 8 on NBC
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I don’t personally know anyone who watches Superstore, which is a huge disappointment, because it is really great. It has a fantastic and real ensemble, hilarious one-liners, America Ferrara, and is a workplace comedy which is easily my favorite kind. I like that we can watch a group of people on strike an expression of discontentedness that will actually impact their lives, while they also drag down anti-rights bigots. Cast member Colton Dunn isn’t actually in a wheelchair, but this show feels important and representative, and it’s funny as hell.

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays at 8 on ABC
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I watched 11 seasons of Grey’s in two months. But I didn’t spend those two months watching Alex Karev’s character development to have him go to JAIL. But to jail he went, and admittedly he deserved it because he fully busted DeLuca’s pretty face. And with a courtroom scene set for next episode, I’m still waiting for Shonda to crossover her shows (Karev’s lawyer could have been Annalise! Derek could have met with President Fitz instead of Obama!). Despite the light of my life Karev being put behind bars, this episode was also a strong opener, and I’m hoping the rest of the season focuses as much on Meredith and Alex’s friendship, which stands to be one of the best parts of this show since day one, and how it will turn into a romantic relationship, which stands to be the Grey’s dream I will not give up on. I’ll also be content with this season if it gives me more cute Kepner-Avery family moments. #JaprilTheMovie lives on.

The Good Place, Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC
Can they air three episodes of this show every week? Even if it’s just for Janet’s fun facts, including how Christopher Columbus is in The Bad Place and “Fun Fact: Janet is me”? Kristen Bell is having the best time being a bad person in a good place, and I love how serialized this is becoming. Cliffhangers on a sitcom? Count me in. Now to help fellow bad person Jianyu, who I’m thrilled has finally spoken, because as we all know being a mute monk can only be funny for so long.

Pitch, Thursdays at 9 on FOX
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Pitch opens with messages from the two most powerful women in America- Hillary Rodham Clinton and… Ellen DeGeneres? Anyway, the question the show seems to want to answer is whether or not Ginny Baker will get added to that list. It might be too early to tell (how many times can Mark-Paul Gosselaar say “ass slapper” before everyone simultaneously unplugs their TV?) but with a MLB partnership this show feels realer than most. The flashbacks were a little much and I cringed at some dialogue- he said I’m an ass slapper!!- but because I’m a sucker, I also did things like get chills when Ginny sees her jersey for the first time. Plus, all those baseball-playing extras are attractive, and I can’t look at Ali Larter without thinking of Andy Bernard and Michael Scott, neither of which are bad things.

How To Get Away With Murder, Thursdays at 10 on ABC
Summer sucks when you’re terrified of being arrested as the accomplice to several murders, doesn’t it? It’s been a while since we last saw our murderous gang, and I had forgotten a good amount of details, but I have a feeling that this season will amp up the drama after the slightly confusing lull that was season 2. We were already hit with a good few mysteries: Who is Meggy, and why wasn’t I cast as Alfie Enoch’s girlfriend? Who is hanging up those “KILLER” posters of Annalise? When will Wes and Laurel hook up again? Who was that hit-man that my sister described as “an old Lin Manuel Miranda”? And oh yeah, #WhoWillDie? My odds are on Connor (he’s just too good for this world) though I kind of hope it’s Asher (sorry bro), but the stakes are high this year and I love it. Plus, our kids are real practicing lawyers now! Go get ’em, killers!

Still waiting for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Saturday Night Live to return (without Taran, tragically), but that’s my week. It’s been real!

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Fall TV Week: Wednesday Horror Story

I don’t know if anyone has realized this, but there’s like, a lot of shows on TV right now. There’s not as much as Tuesday, but the 10 PM Wednesday block is stacked. Though, I now know I should have used my time turner to watch Designated Survivor live instead of My Roanoke Nightmare. American Horror Story: I Couldn’t Live-Tweet A Good Show.

Speechless, Wednesdays at 8:30 on ABC
It’s fun to see how many new “kooky white family” Pilots air each season. Imagine the pitch:

We need groundbreaking television! Guys… I think I have it. Please, tell us! So there’s this family right? Great. What Else. And they’re like, a super kooky white family. Brilliant. Keep Going. But here’s the twist. They’re getting a divorce/are superheroes/it’s the 80’s/they’re serial killers, etc. etc. etc.

You get it. Speechless sort of fits into the “kooky white family” trope, so it really wasn’t high on my list, but with all the early praise I had to tune in. And I’m glad I did, because unlike most kooky white family shows, it actually is groundbreaking. The DiMeo’s are tough but sweet, and I was genuinely stunned when I found out that Micah Fowler actually has cerebral palsy rather than just playing it. No offense Artie Abrams, but that’s a big deal. Speechless begs the age-old question: if you’re a family sitcom that’s not on Wednesdays on ABC, do you even try?

black-ish, Wednesdays at 9:30 on ABC
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The Johnson’s are the best, even despite the fact that this premiere was one long commercial for Disney World, planned for no reason other than the fact that the show airs on ABC (sidenote: nothing will beat the meta Full House Disney World special, where DJ imagines Steve as Aladdin, which is funny because he was the character’s voice actor). Regardless of the plot setup this episode had me laughing out loud, from Bow walking around with Mickey hands and feet eating a turkey leg to Charlie describing how he’s lived in the office for two months because his house is haunted. The family lesson about having fun together is cheesy as hell, but I still got a little choked up watching them enjoy the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle. C’mon, I’m not a robot.

American Horror Story: Roanoke, Wednesdays at 10 on FX
Womp. That’s how I feel about this season. I get that it’s a horror anthology show in it’s sixth season and you have to maintain some surprise and introduce new elements to keep the audience entertained. But repeating familiar plots has never hurt this show before (we’re all fine with having two Evan Peters ghosts roaming haunted buildings in LA), so changing the format this late in the game feels a little unnecessary. I’m assuming, and hoping, that there’s going to be a huge twist at the end that reveals My Roanoke Nightmare is Billie Dean Howard’s new TV show, or the talking heads are coverups for some horrifying conspiracy, or we find out it’s just a fever dream Matt Bomer is recounting to his therapist, Darren Criss. But for now, I don’t care about any of the characters because they all seemingly live to tell the tale. I’m not watching reruns of Discovery Channel’s A Haunting for a reason. Just give Lily Rabe more to do, and show me Evan Peters already. Also, I kind of miss the theme song.

Designated Survivor, Wednesdays at 10 on ABC
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I am EXCITED about this show. All caps excited. I was a little young to get into 24 when it was on, but there’s something in the air and I think it’s this show uniting America as one nation under President Kirkman. I typically don’t care about fictional politics unless they’re Selina Meyer’s on Veep, but I’ve been fully obsessed with the presidential hierarchy for years so I feel like they just made this show for me. There was so much going on but my early guess is that the army general wants to kill Kiefer Sutherland because his son has been illegally selling drugs to teenage terrorists and somehow Maggie Q is involved because she seemed pretty chill for someone who just witnessed her friends/family/husband (?) die. This show is going to get so juicy and I cannot wait.

Mr. Robot, Season Finale also at 10 on USA
Ugh, I love Mr. Robot. But not this episode. Rami Malek is fantastic, and he deserved that Emmy. But not for long, winding conversations with Tyrell Wellick, who I was thrilled was barely in the season because his storylines put me to sleep. Last season’s reveal of who Mr. Robot really was was shocking, and Elliott & Mr. Robot’s dynamic this season has been interesting, but it’s not the same. There were so many  questions that needed answering, so many things at risk, so many and now I’m just fully confused. Is Stage Two getting Elliott to fall in love with Tyrell? I didn’t even catch the end-credits scene because I was glad the episode was over, and while I’m intrigued for what the Trenton/Mobley/Leon story means, I also still have no idea what any of it means. And I’m going to forget everything by next year.

Thank God It’s Thursday.

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Fall TV Week: Peak Tuesdays

Tuesday is arguably the worst day of the week. My deep-seated hate probably goes back to Tuesdays being band practice day in grade school, but you can’t deny that it’s basically Monday without the general excuse of it being a Monday. But once it hits primetime, Tuesdays are the best. All the classics have aired on Tuesdays. American Idol! House! Glee! Law & Order SVU! The Real O’Neals! Everyone agrees these are the most iconic shows!

Tuesdays are just better than Mondays.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Tuesdays at 8 on FOX
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Damn, this show has really committed. I was fully expecting to see just a little bit of the tail-end of Greg and Larry’s Jake and Holt’s new witness protection life in Florida before packing up and shipping back to Brooklyn to meet up with the rest of the gang. I was at least expecting to drop in and check on Boyle’s new adopted baby or how Amy has been doing without Jake for 6 months. But surprisingly, we got a full episode dedicated to Jake and Holt dealing with their new lives alone, without a single check in to the precinct. And it was good! Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher have one of the funniest dynamics on the show, so a whole episode starring them was not a thing to complain about. I’m excited to catch up with the rest of the squad next episode, but this week Jake had frosted tips, Jorma from The Lonely Island had a guest spot, and Jake got to call Holt “Mr. Fart” so all in all, it was a win.

New Girl, Tuesdays at 8:30 on FOX
Aw man, guys, New Girl is the best. Jess is still acting like a freakin’ nut around Nick even though she’s a grown ass woman and Winston is still doing things like buying a boat instead of hurting someone’s feelings, but I’m willing to overlook it all because it’s just so good. And truthfully, Nick has returned, without Regan thank God, looking like a human being who hasn’t eaten garbage off the ground recently, so I’d be reacting the same to him as our heartbroken Jess. It’s only the first episode, so am I getting ahead of myself if I say I’m optimistic that this season will be the one that brings Nick and Jess together and does it right this time? He dedicated his book to her! Even though we don’t know if the book is Z Is For Zombie, that was the sweetest. I’m a little sad that Cece and Schmidt are moving out of the Loft, but thankfully Winston will still be around, swallowing the gator teeth Nick brought back from New Orleans. Now I just need Apple to create an emoji that’s smiling and clutching its heart, because that’s the only emotion I have watching this show and I need to tweet about it.

Scream Queens, Tuesdays at 9 on FOX
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This premiere had almost all the elements of last season, and yet it is already somehow lightyears better. And that’s without an appearance by the best character of the 2015-2016 season, Chad Radwell. I mean yeah, it starts out with another ridiculous flashback (a doctor needs to party that badly that he would just dump a patient in a swamp on Halloween?), the ‘Green Maniac’ is yet again following the Color + Generic Villain naming scheme, and there’s another pregnant woman from the past that probably has ties to the present. But if you ever need a refresher on how to watch a Ryan Murphy production, just remember that Blaine Anderson once had a fever dream where he sang Queen with a group of puppets and was kind of okay with it. His shows are wild, and I’m obsessed with them. This episode was gross (RIP Cecily Strong!) and hilarious, which in the end is all I really want. Plus I can’t hate on anything that revives Taylor Lautner, who was apparently just recently released from the holding cell he’s been in since Twilight, because seriously where the hell has he been other than that weird appearance at the AMA’s that I’m convinced was a hologram. I’m going to need more of Lea Michele’s Hester and the aforementioned Chad, but for now I’m just going to sit back and thank God and Ryan Murphy for getting rid of Grace and her Dad. Amen.

This Is Us, Tuesdays at 10 on NBC
I really didn’t want to like this show. It was weird how the trailer got so many views, right? And it has the same title as the One Direction documentary, and all I thought it was about was having the same birthday as other people, which is obvious. But by the end I was,as the kids say, shook! I didn’t weep like everybody else on my timeline but this show really tugged at the heart strings and managed to pull off a pretty significant twist while creating a genuine connection to the characters, which is a lot to expect from one Pilot episode. Sterling K Brown doesn’t need me to remind everyone he’s a good actor, but he is good, and I can finally watch a show for Milo Ventimiglia instead of being a Gilmore Girls fan and only watching that episode where Luke pushes him into the lake. Mandy Moore deserves good things, and Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz were the cutest family goals. This Is Me making the worst joke ever but admitting I made a mistake, fully enjoyed the show, and will watch again.

I’ll be making good use of my Hulu account when The Flash and The Mindy Project come back on October 4th. Tuesdays are lit y’all.

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Fall TV Week: Monday Night Lights

It’s happening. I’m finally truly happy. My crops have grown, I just got a raise, and Fall TV is back. Just when I thought I’d be stuck spending my nights watching The Man From UNCLE and every other movie on the Starz App forever, fall TV swoops in to save me. I’m #blessed!

I’ll spend my week trying to watch as much as possible while still maintaining some semblance of a life. Here’s what I watched and what I thought, because there just aren’t enough people sharing absolutely unnecessary feelings this week (looking @ u, Donald Trump Jr).

Dancing With The Stars, Mondays at 8 on ABC
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Technically this show started last week, and technically I’m only watching for my boo Ryan Lochte, but it counts. In the past I’ve really only ever watched DWTS when my Grandma was over or to see this absolutely amazing video of Corbin Bleu dancing to One Direction that basically sums up all of my interests. But I, along with the rest of America, am intrigued to see what kind of tantics (his words, not mine) Ryan Lochte gets into this year. And from almost getting attacked to bouncing around dressed as Kermit, he’s already delivered! Let’s be honest though- there’s only one way this show will end, and it’s with Laurie Hernandez gettin’ that gold mirror ball (?).

The Good Place, Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC
Ooh boy, are we lucky to have three episodes of this show airing this week (two special airings last night, one at it’s regular time Thursday). This is the kind of show that has a concept that makes you wonder for a second how long it can last. But only a second, because then you remember it’s created by Michael Schur and starring the wonderful Kristen Bell and you’re like ohh, we’re fine! I already love this show, which probably had some of the best little gags and genuine moments since Michael Schur’s other masterpiece Parks & Recreation. I’m really invested in where this show goes next, especially whether or not it’s revealed that Bell’s terrible Eleanor is not really from Arizona, but is actually from Eagleton.

That’s about it since Jane The VirginSupergirl and Conviction don’t start until October, and I’m not watching Kevin Can Wait. So I guess I’ll just rewatch that Corbin Bleu clip a few more times and count the hours until the Brooklyn Nine-Nine squad is back on my television again.

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I’m Glad I Started Watching New Girl Again

Sometime around September 2011, I became obsessed with FOX’s freshman show New Girl. And somewhere around April 2014, I gave up on it. I don’t think I’m alone in this. My mom, sister and our friends stopped watching then, too. This was season 3, around the time that token will they/won’t they pairing Nick & Jess broke up and then went on a couple’s cruise together. Coach had, seemingly weirdly, just returned. Cece and Schmidt weren’t together. Either I was just too busy with schoolwork to put in the effort, or it was just enough overload to give up all together. Season 4 came and went. I saw online that it ended with Cece and Schmidt getting engaged, but the only episode I actually watched was the last 15 minutes of “Spiderhunt” that I sort of left on as background noise before the finale of Parks & Recreation. I remember thinking they’re all just standing around making sauce. Now I know why I stopped watching this, as if I needed to justify why I forgot about the show that gave us panic moonwalking.

And then season 5 was pushed to a January premiere. I have next to no idea how the network executives arrange their schedules, but as a viewer this always feels like a bad sign. Glee‘s final season got a short January release, and so did Parks & Rec (even New Girl creator Liz Meriwether assumed they were going to get canceled). Even though this seemed like a bad omen, the premiere coincided with season 4 going up on Netflix, so out of pure boredom I figured I’d give it another shot.  If New Girl was going to get canceled and the season 5 finale would it be its goodbye, I’d try to catch up and see it get sent off. Turns out it wasn’t canceled, and I did catch up, and thank God.

Now that I’m all caught up and have seen Schmidt’s Long Island speech, I can say with certainty that New Girl isn’t a perfect show, but it feels really close.  My love of sitcoms might cloud my judgement a little bit, but New Girl takes the cliche and the weird and completely commits. It has everything you could ever want on a comedy (weird living arrangements! Two straight dudes who are in love with each other! A guy who’s best friend is a cat!) and yet somehow keeps coming up with ways to punch you in the gut and make you want to move in with a bunch of strangers. Last night’s double header “Wedding Eve”/”Landing Gear” was no exception. “Landing Gear” took the Doucebag Jar that was so perfectly and hilariously introduced way back in episode 1 and smashed it (literally- it was a Jewish wedding, after all) as Cece & Schmidt got married. “Wedding Eve” brought back both Tran, the mute old man who Nick has an inexplicable friendship with, and True American, the greatest game nobody knows how to play. Even Coach- Coach!- came back to celebrate and remind everyone that he really is the best. There was a naked Winston, more Zombie novels and an almost-rekindling of the Nick/Jess romance. There was Peter Gallagher, romantic gestures and classic mixups. It was everything you’d want from a finale in a season of television that gave it all.

And by the way, “Spiderhunt” was one of the best episodes of season 4. New Girl, I love you. Thanks for taking me back.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Goes Out on Top

Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s season finale “Greg And Larry” was fantastic. Actually, scratch that- B99’s season 3 final 4 was fantastic (and kind of a mouth-full). The story’s conclusion may not have been the strongest episode of the bunch, but who cares? I laughed out loud many more times than once and was genuinely stunned at the ending. Why isn’t everyone watching this show!!

I absolutely loved the decision to make the finale a more serialized arc than we’re used to. A lot of sitcom audiences are definitely drawn in by the fact that they can turn on ABC during any prime-time hour and follow whatever antics a zany family is getting into without having ever seen a previous episode. But there’s something satisfying about being rewarded for never missing an episode, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine pulled it off in a really fun way. I’m not just saying that because I’m obsessed with the fact that they hid Melissa Fumero’s pregnancy by having Santiago go undercover as a pregnant prisoner, but because the mission of taking down crime boss Figgis and bringing back Detective Pimento was the perfect blend of stakes and humor. Where else would a high-speed chase set in a hospital be punctuated by Terry’s knowledge of Grey’s Anatomy? (Jake: “The one episode I watched, there was a bomb in a guy’s butt”) (sidenote: that’s the most stressful Grey’s episode) (additional sidenote: the fact that there are still pop-culture references to Grey’s Anatomy 12 seasons in really speaks to how Shonda runs everything).

Overall, let’s not forget this show comes from the creators of Parks and Recreation- the cop moments are fun, but it peaks when showing the Precinct’s genuine friendship, like Holt’s declaration that “You don’t work with Jake Peralta three years and not know what the Funky Cold Medina is.” Some might have seen it coming that Peralta and Holt would end up in witness protection in Florida (it’s planted pretty early in the episode), but I was too wrapped up in enjoying the squad’s teamwork that I ended up pleasantly surprised when the episode’s twist was revealed. It’s anyone’s guess as to how much time is spent in Florida next season, and looking at Bill Hader’s Captain’s untimely death I’d guess not much time, but I’m excited to see what happens next. Fingers crossed the whole gang are Greg/Holt and Larry/Peralta’s neighbors- after all, Charles is about to become a dad, and he doesn’t want to hang out with some stupid baby who’s never met Jake.

What Else?

  • Amy’s guess at romantic comedy careers (dress making, architecture, cupcake bakery, magazine editor) was genius
  • Jake to Holt: You called me son! No take backs!
  • Rosa’s landlord describes her as the “always smiling” Emily
  • Genuinely laughed out loud at Holt’s last request to Bob before he kills him: “When I die, please send Kevin my regards.” “What do I say?” “Regards.”
  • I’m really excited for who is going to be cast as Figgis. Also for this show to return in general
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Movies

Everybody Gets Some in Everybody Wants Some!!

My 17 year old sister gasped when Everybody Wants Some!! ended. Not because it ends on a cliffhanger (spoiler alert: the movie is the opposite of high stakes), but simply because it was over, like when you’re a kid playing at a party and your mom randomly yells down the stairs that it’s time to go home. Not much really happens, but this movie is so fun, you don’t want it to end.

I was born in 1993, my sister in 1999, and this movie was set in 1980- but it couldn’t be more relatable. Maybe it’s because I’m less than a year out of college, still riding on the high of all the memories Time Hop has to offer, but I knew these kids. You’re rolling your eyes at them one minute and wanting to join in the games the next. And it is all games, considering the movie takes place in the few days before classes and responsibilities start. College stories aren’t known for being groundbreaking, but this one just catches the feeling of being in a new place, trying to figure out where you fit in. There’s something to be said about a movie that kind of makes you wonder where you belong in the world and then disguises that feeling under a montage of athletes disco dancing. Freshman pitcher Jake calls the events of the plot “fuckwithery” and sure, that’s not a word, but you’re nodding along with them. It’s something you want to experience.

Going to an 11 PM, opening night showing of a movie that isn’t Harry Potter is an experience of it’s own- in our showing, there was just me, my little sister, a dad and his high school-aged son, and three bro’s sitting in the back. It couldn’t be more clear that everyone had different reasons for seeing the movie. My sister’s were cast members Blake Jenner (known for being catfished on Glee and delivering the line “Yeah yeah, it’s a Stevie Wonder week”), Tyler Hoechlin (known for never smiling on Teen Wolf) and Glen Powell (known for saving every scene on Scream Queens). I’m sure the dad was just there to relive the glory days. Maybe the boys were baseball fans or film students. Demographic differences aside, it’s to be noted that everyone in the theater cracked up at completely different parts of the movie (weirdly, the dad didn’t react to Tyler Hoechlin wearing a crop top like my sister did). But there was the fact that everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves by the end. There’s something for everyone in this movie, and it might not be what you expect, but you’re gonna want some.

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TV

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

With that I mean, obviously, the Fall television schedule. The leaves are changing, the temperature, and you’re sitting in a dark room watching every possible new pilot and deciding which you’ll actually stick with through the rest of the year. It’s the one time where there’s shows on TV with ridiculous concepts (see Selfie) and everything’s riding on a single Pilot episode. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

With that in mind, and the fact that so many of my old shows are gone (RIP, HIMYMParks and Recreation till the midseason, and I’m still not over The Office), I made it my mission to watch as many Pilots as I could. Here goes nothing!


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A to Z, NBC, Thursdays at 9:30pm; airs October 2

I’ve discussed how I feel about rom-coms before, so maybe the fact that A to Z was incredibly cheesy and romantic was what won me over. But I really liked this one. The characters are interesting; it’s the cliched “guy believes in fate, girl rejects it” tale at first, but our Andrew and Zelda, played by Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti, manage to evolve even a little bit over the course of the first 20 minutes. The premise, while it could get old after a while (can they have more than 26 episodes?), is at least a different spin on the typical dating comedies that have been overloading networks for the past few years. Coming back from her death as The Mother on HIMYM, I am really pulling for a good show for Milioti, and with the ultimate question of “what happens after they date for 8 months?” I’ll stick with this one for now. A to Z is, in a word, cute.


 

blackish-101Black-ish, ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30pm

I am an incredibly privileged person. As a straight, white, middle-class, girl I have seen people like me on TV for my entire life. It was never a question for me of, “why aren’t people like our family on TV?” because since the 90s network TV has been incredibly whitewashed. So I was really excited to see Anthony Anderson’s Black-ish on the ABC line up this year. And after watching, I really enjoyed it. It’s sad that a show like this has to be praised for being “different” in the year 2014, but it deserves the praise because it is different. Some people have found offense in the many stereotypical jokes, while others felt that it was a good representation of what it is like to live in a predominantly white society (a coworker of Anderson’s Andre asks him in a whisper “How would a black person say ‘good morning’?” prompting Andre to respond “Just like that.”) I thought Black-ish balanced social commentary well with comedy, and I look forward to seeing more of the Johnson family next week.


 

gotham Gotham, FOX, Mondays at 8pm

If there’s two things I love, it’s Batman and The OC. So when news first broke about FOX’s new show Gotham earlier this year, I was thrilled to see Ben McKenzie back on my TV and a new twist on the story we’re pretty much all familiar with at this point. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous considering the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (as most were) because how could they really tell this story in a way that might be more interesting? But so far, so good. The first episode of Gotham was a lot of setups and introductions, considering they have a lot of future villains and heroes to feature, but it was also incredibly entertaining (Jada Pinkett Smith is going to be the next big evil TV mastermind). In the end, it might be just another NYC cop show with a young Bruce Wayne running around and maybe McKenzie is just playing off his role as a cop in Southland and his role punching people in The OC but this is a show that lived up to it’s hype so far.


how-to-get-away-with-murder-posterHow to Get Away with Murder, ABC, Thursdays at 10pm

I’ve never watched a Shonda Rhimes show. I know. You hate me already. Scandal has been on my watchlist for probably two years now and my friends have been begging me to start Grey’s Anatomy for at least six, so I was determined to get started with How to Get Away with Murder, especially considering Aflie Enoch (aka Dean Thomas) was starring. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This show was awesome: a little cheesy, at-times unbelievable, and so full of plot twists it felt like it had been on for weeks. Viola Davis was fantastic as the tough-as-nails law professor who’s also having an affair and also may have killed her husband. The pilot read like a feature film, and I already have a list of guesses for what might happen in future episodes. If you watch just one show this season, it should probably be this one.

 


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Red Band Society, FOX, Wednesdays at 9pm

Red Band Society has already gotten a lot of heat from people who actually work in hospitals; the kids are given way too much freedom, their bedrooms and clothing are too casual, they’re all simply too strong and healthy for the majority of their screen time. And yeah, people who don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager with cancer may look at this show and think, “Hey! Those sick kids said the hospital is ‘like boarding school.’ Must not be that bad.” However, I also think that it’s important to get a look, even an exaggerated and airbrushed look, at kids who are experiencing real issues. My 15 year old sister tunes into this show, and just maybe it’ll spark an interest in helping kids like these extremely fictional characters. At the very least, it’s a primetime network show that screams “sick teenagers are people too!” It’s campy and not infinitely accurate, but I recommend it all the same.


I’ve barely scratched the surface of which new shows are actually worth watching, and I’m still waiting till October to start Marry Me (NBC), Mulaney (FOX), and The Flash (CW). But if you’ve watched any of the above shows, or recommend any I’ve missed, comment below!

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