“It’s not love, my dear. It’s fantasy.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 10
“Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?”
Posted by Sage

Rebecca and Josh are that couple you hate. They’re the ones who make out during museum tours, text meaningless endearments all day, and won’t stop asking you if they’ve already told you about “that cute thing” the other did last week. They’re certainly the couple that HEATHER hates. But Rebecca has been clawing her way up this mountain for over a season and a half, so I’m inclined to let her enjoy the view from the top for a little while.

Their first two attempts to be together long forgotten by no one but themselves, Josh and Rebecca are insufferably optimistic about their future. Outwardly. Like on their Facebook, Waze, and Open Table feeds. But this precarious couple can’t escape the academic interpretation of the psych student/Vox reader they share an apartment with. And one way to throw the metaphorical cold water on some PDA-loving roommates is to force them to think about where they really stand. “You know, studies have shown that couples who post a lot on social media are often insecure about their attachment,” Heather explains to unconvincing dismissive scoffs. Josh and Rebecca are putting their happy couple face out into the world so that they’ll have no choice but to live up to it. Anyway: “Love fixes everything!”

Source: bunchofbloom
 

The lovebirds sing about their deliberate choice to ignore the differences that’ll probably screw them later in the genre that sounds most like happiness crying on the inside: disco. It’s the first real Josh/Rebecca duet we’ve gotten all season, and though it’s a song about love, it is definitively NOT a love song. (“Do you remember back when we had problems?” “Oh yeah! That was annoying.”) ’70s Heather can’t get through to their matching jumpsuit AU selves either, but she does get to look fabulous in some high-waisted bell bottoms. LET VELLA LOVELL DANCE MORE.

“Fine. I guess I’ll just Soul Train out of here.” Source: bunchofbloom

There’s no singing when Rebecca has a contrite coffee with Valencia, just an overdue talk between two friends who once swore not to fall back in the orbit of the same guy. Valencia doesn’t revert to her season 1 bitchiness; she doesn’t cast Rebecca off. But she doesn’t let her off the hook either, grading the current state of their relationship to “eh.” And because girl groups are forever (zigazow!), Valencia even tries to give Rebecca some advice about wanting too much too soon out of this relationship. “Don’t you see that Josh is like, all over the place and lost?” she asks. But Rebecca is willing herself to NOT see how ill-equipped her boyfriend is to be in a serious relationship. She’s blinded by having a date to take back to Scarsdale with her for her cousin’s bar mitzvah. Normally, she’d be dreading a weekend back in her mother’s house, but “love protects you!” Valencia laughs, bitterly.

Source: crazyexedits

Once of Josh’s more mature qualities is that he (unlike Rebecca) seeks out advice from people he trusts and actively tries to take it. Father Brah can’t reassure Josh that none of Rebecca’s older relatives will call him an “Oriental,” but he can make Josh admit the truth to himself. Josh is feeling the pressure of Scarsdale and reuniting with the woman who once asked him point-blank about the state of Rebecca’s hymen because his life is pretty empty except for this relationship. Father Brah doesn’t explain Josh’s problem to him; maybe because it’s more priest-like to let him figure it out for himself. Or maybe because he’s too busy scanning the trees for his weed stash.

Source: bunchofbloom

Of course, Josh and Rebecca fail to talk to each other about their trepidation, so they show up to Rebecca’s family home in New York equally paralyzed by the prospect of the weekend. And when you’re under Naomi Bunch’s roof, you’re better off if you present a united front. Boyfriend or no, the mortification starts right away for Rebecca. Naomi answers the door in her Spanx and bra, criticisms at the ready and halfway through the process of slathering La Mer over her entire body. (“I know it’s for my face, but for once I’m splurging on myself!”) It’s true, you DO have to let it sink in. And can I just say? Mazel tov, Tovah. Keepin’ it right, keepin’ it tight.

The bra twirling kills me. Source: bunchofbloom

Look, if you don’t regress back to your teen years the second you step into the house you grew up in, you are made of steel. Rebecca’s voice is two full octaves higher in Scarsdale. Her palm is permanently stuck to her face. But Josh doesn’t have the same complicated emotional history with Naomi as his girlfriend does. He finds Rebecca’s mom harmless and quirky, like a traveling show that he doesn’t really need to engage with. Rebecca is less than thrilled that Naomi and Josh are getting along so well. It’s a personal affront to her that they’re collaborating on challah French toast and learning about the problematic connotations of certain words. (“I knew it was racist, I just didn’t know why!”) Rebecca’s definition of the weekend “going well” was for her to have someone to commiserate about her family with, not someone who will challenge her unforgiving view of them. Naomi Bunch is a difficult woman, but she passed many of her traits down to her daughter, including her passion for, YOU GUESSED IT:

Source: bunchofbloom
 

Look at Josh’s face. Get on board or be left behind, buddy.

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“Always a headache with triplets.” – This Is Us Recap – The Right Thing to Do

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This Is Us Season 1, Episode 11
“The Right Thing to Do”
Posted by Shannon

I have a theory about handling a crisis: it’s just as important to understand how you’ll react in the aftermath as it is when you’re in the midst of one. As the Pearsons watch the dust settle from their holiday season, every member of the family is navigating their own crisis or its aftermath. And every one of our primary players has to decide what doing the right thing means to them in this moment. This week, This Is Us lets us observe these characters as they react to their own individual crises, essentially taking each of their emotional temperatures and setting the stage for the second half of their first season.

Jack/Rebecca


source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com
 

It’s the early days of Rebecca’s pregnancy, and she’s nesting. Hard. The two are on the hunt for a new apartment, and Jack and Rebecca are both thrilled to find a sun-filled, two-bedroom, sixth floor walk up that feels a lot like home. At $200/month (insert modern New York apartment-dweller sounds of dismay here), it’s a stretch, but Jack puts down first, last, and security without a second thought. The timing is perfect; the couple is just about to find out the sex of their baby, and let Rebecca loose on full-scale apartment decorating, when Dr. Schneider comes out with the unexpected news. Not one baby, but three. Dr. Schneider knows that it’s a curveball, but his bedside manner leaves something to be desired, and the couple is shocked. (Was opening with the twins line supposed to ease them into it? Cause I feel like it didn’t.)

Back at their new apartment, Jack and Rebecca try to adjust to the news. I can’t imagine how intense this would be for both of them, but my heart broke especially for Rebecca. The last time we saw her talking about motherhood, it was at the Steelers bar, frustrated and confused and filled with anxiety at the prospect of changing life as she and Jack knew it. The couple had clearly come to a new place in their relationship and decided this together, but three kids? Right out of the gate? There must have been a voice in her head whispering that this wasn’t what she signed up for. To make matters worse, Rebecca has a lunch date with her mother set for the afternoon, and won’t have time to really process on her own before facing her mom.


source: bigthree.tumblr.com
 

We’ve known that Jack and Rebecca both have complicated relationships with their parents. But this week, the curtain is drawn back to show us just how bad things had been for them both. Jack’s father had been verbally and physically abusive to his mother (and likely to him as well), and as a teenager, he had often witnessed his father’s outbursts. At the beginning of this episode, we see a young Jack coming to his mother’s defense during one of those moments. His mother, sitting at the kitchen table while her teenage son comforted her, had asked for a promise: “Promise me you’ll never be like him.” I was completely floored by the mirror to Rebecca and Randall here. Randall’s mother had asked for a promise after a crisis, too: “Promise me you’ll always be good.” And while the circumstances of those oaths could not have been more different, both the Pearson men held fast to them, and we’ve seen both promises shape their lives as adults. For Jack, it’s meant doing anything and everything he can to support Rebecca and the kids: it’s meant overtime work, it’s meant shelving the dreams of his own construction company, it’s meant laying on the floor with Randall on his back doing push up after push up after push up. All of it has been in honor to the promise he made to his mother, and all of it has set himself at a distance from his father in every way possible.


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Rebecca, growing up at the hands of a quieter form of emotional abuse, rife with passive aggressive, controlling, and demeaning barbs from her mother, knows that her familial relationship with wasn’t healthy either. This kind of struggle isn’t as cut and dry, and while she makes a cruel aside to Jack about how she knows his father was worse, he doesn’t take that to heart. Rebecca’s anxiety (and later on, her confusion at how to speak to her only daughter) is a clear line from the nightmare lunch she sits through the day she found out she was having triplets. Her mother orders for her at the restaurant (a diet soda, a salad without dressing), constantly degrades Jack, his profession, and his ability to support them, and nearly refuses to put out her cigarette when Rebecca asks. Every sentence is dripping with disdain and condescension, and Rebecca sits, tries to defend herself and her husband, and ultimately hears her mother’s suggestion when she admits that she doesn’t know what to do.


source: bigthree.tumblr.com
 

When Jack and Rebecca are back at home, Rebecca makes her mother’s suggestion to Jack: that the two move in with her parents after the triplets are born, save some money, and take advantage of the space at her old family home. It’s painfully clear what this would mean for Rebecca, and Jack doesn’t believe she’s even voicing this suggestion – but she doesn’t see any other way out. Rebecca feels trapped, and when Jack doesn’t see how dire her emotional state has really become, she promptly sends him out for ice cream. Once she’s alone, the effects of the day finally come crashing down around her. The triplets, the apartment, her mother, her desperation – all of it leaves Rebecca in their tiny kitchen, falling against the wall, sobbing. No part of her wants to let Jack hear her break down, but he does anyway, after forgetting his wallet and heading back into the apartment to get it. The loneliness that Rebecca was feeling here was palpable. Jack does everything right: knowing she wants to be left alone, he doesn’t go to her, and lets her believe he hasn’t heard the depths of her tears.

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But of course he has. And now that Jack understands how trapped and desperate Rebecca is feeling, he has to take action, has to do the right thing. He takes a detour from the grocery store and arrives instead at his father’s front door, with his wedding ring safely hidden in his pocket. Jack is a blank wall during this conversation, and it’s devastating to watch. Jack sits there and listens while his father repeats many of the same lies about him that Rebecca’s mother had thrown at her during lunch. After his father prompts that he must need money for gambling debts, Jack grabs at the suggestion and leans in. There’s not a word about Rebecca, not a word about the expected triplets; Jack has kept his father as far away from his life as humanly possible, to keep them all safe. When the gambling lie isn’t quite enough, he repeats back his father’s insults, knowing that groveling and stroking his father’s ego is the only way forward. It’s brutal, but it works – he walks out with a check, slips his wedding ring back on his finger, and moves on.

He sells the car. Gets a loan. Goes back to his boss, who had already given him a 10% raise at the triplets announcement, and gets a solid deal on the money pit he’d been working on. It’s in shambles, but Jack has six months to pull the house together and nothing can stop him. By the time they welcome the Big Three, that construction disaster has become the Pearson family home we all know and love.


source: bigthree.tumblr.com
 

Kate

The big mid-season cliffhanger left Toby in the hospital, after he collapsed during the Pearson Christmas celebration. This week, the show doesn’t linger on his fate for very long; it’s mere moments before Kate is visiting Toby, alive and relatively well and snapping at everyone he can find. He had suffered an arrhythmia, and has been recovering in the hospital ever since. Hospital stays rarely bring out the best in people, but still, Toby is at his worst. He admits that he’s “cranky,” which seems like a pretty dramatic understatement considering his opening sentence to Kate is “That’s what I get for flying across the country to surprise you” and that he’s openly hostile to every doctor in sight. It’s clear that he’s scared, and that he’s trying to act like none of this is a very big deal. But it very much is, and he’s not out of the woods yet.

His doctor arrives to tell Toby the official cause of his arrhythmia – a small hole in his heart that, while it could be treated using medication alone, should be operated on as quickly as possible. Heart surgery is terrifying, and with the doctor suggesting they operate in the morning, the turnaround is quick. But Toby doesn’t intend to volunteer for a second procedure when he’s already had a stent put in. He stops mocking the doctor long enough to decline, but Kate is having none of it. She sees right through his fear and calls him out on it immediately. She does it “gently and quietly,” though, because Kate has no intention of upsetting him more than she needs to in order to make her point.

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“Once more unto the breach.” – Sherlock Recap – The Lying Detective

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Sherlock, Season 4, Episode 2
“The Lying Detective”
Posted by Sage

We are officially going around in circles. Then we are backtracking and going on random tangents and we don’t even get the satisfaction of tormenting Mycroft while we do it.

“The Lying Detective” brought so many of Sherlock‘s favorite devices limping back into an already overstuffed narrative. Were there fun moments? Sure. Was the emotion real? Sometimes. Did Martin Freeman break me with this acting? Absolutely. Even though the pacing of this episode made it an easier watch than “The Six Thatchers,” it still collapsed in the center under the weight of everything it’s trying to do.

Let’s start with Toby Jones as the odious Culverton Smith, a wealthy philanthropist who moonlights as a serial killer. I’m surprised any scenery was still standing after Jones chowed down on it all, but hey, that’s why you hire him. Culverton is the jolliest murderer you’ll ever meet and so eager to share his deeds with an audience that his board meetings always come with a complimentary mind-eraser. But who needs an explanation of why anyone would agree to be hooked up to such an IV, even if asked by someone they trusted, let alone a creepy little troll like this? There are cereal/serial killer jokes to be made!

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How many more times will Sherlock tell us that no, actually, THIS is the worst and most heinous criminal he’s ever encountered? Whatever their methods and motives, so long as Sherlock writes all its uber-villains to be overly articulate, pompous, joyously maniacal, and just half an IQ-point less sharp than its hero, those variations barely register. Andrew Scott’s Moriarty is unsurpassable. And yeah, the show blew that wad in season 1. But that’s no reason to turn every Conan Doyle bad guy into the same monologue-crazy gentleman psychopath.

So Culverton Smith’s taunting of Sherlock wasn’t as effective as it should have been. It did eat up plenty of time though. None of that time was spent explaining what Culverton’s endgame was or how he’d planned to get Sherlock in one of his hospital beds. (I don’t know how he could have anticipated what happened in the mortuary.) He grandstands with his guests in the children’s ward, behaving a way that made me wonder who would ever let him speak to kids, fortune or no fortune. Nothing about Culverton Smith is lovable. He’s off-putting and scary, even when he’s smiling. He’s so clearly operating on some strange and separate plane yet no one but Sherlock and Watson appear to be repulsed by him or even the slightest bit concerned. I wondered at first if we’re meant to be seeing his behavior through Sherlock’s eyes – that in his drug-stupor he was looking beyond the facade and into the guilt. The show could have also made a more trenchant point about the leeway we give to the rich. But as it was, Culverton’s strange personality just hung there, unexplained and unquestioned.

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I’m going to put my murder weirdo hat on right now and say that it is EXTREMELY unusual for a serial killer to want to stand out like Culverton does. Some are extremely anti-social. Most blend seamlessly into their communities. Ted Bundy was famously charming. It’s not Culverton’s hinting at his atrocities that’s unbelievable, it’s that he’d draw attention to himself in other ways, putting his name on hospital wings and appearing on television. His methods are interesting though, and I do appreciate how the show melded the “The Dying Detective” plot with the very true and very fascinating story of H.H. Holmes, the serial killer doing big, big business in Chicago during the World’s Fair. (Have you read The Devil in the White City? You get on it, and Leonardo DiCaprio, get on that movie you promised me.) He’s committing mercy killings minus the mercy and he’s doing it in a tricked-out MURDER hospital. (“I like to make people into things.”) Still, Culverton Smith falls short of being the terrifying presence Sherlock intends him to be because THERE ARE NO VICTIMS. I mean, there are meant to be many, but why are they locked out of the story? It was a nice character detail to show Lestrade so broken after hearing part 1 of Culverton’s lengthy confession. (He’s a good man.) But without context, the whole case felt so…impersonal.

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Naturally, it’s all about Sherlock, who we know from the episode title is keeping something from us. It’s back to another familiar well with the detective getting himself hooked to achieve a goal: this time, it’s to court the sympathy or at least the presence of John Watson. John, you’ll remember, decided to break all ties with Sherlock after the death of Mary.  His grief has left him temporarily incapable of taking care of Rosie, and he takes offense at his shrink approving that choice out of pity. “Why does everything have to be ‘understandable’?” he asks. “Why can’t some things be unacceptable? And we just say that?” John Watson is so alone, with no company but his dead but still cheerful wife.

It’s common in Sherlock for people to communicate with themselves by communicating with their concept of another person, usually, that’s achieved by Sherlock in his mind palace. But there’s something unkind about putting Mary in this position, following John around, existing to only motivate his participation in the world or to stir up his guilt. She’s dead and she still can’t catch a break. Selfishly, I loved seeing Amanda Abbington again. She’s a master of the reaction and made for a charming personal ghost – as nurturing, mischievous, and on Sherlock’s side as ever. And even though the manipulation was strong and so predictable, Mary’s presence broke up the anger that rightly dominated most of Martin’s performance in this episode. She tries to remind him: “John, you’ve got to remember, it’s important: I am dead.” But John refuses to register this information. His stubborn denial was this episode’s most moving moment, though I expect Team Johnlock will disagree. (I’ll get to it, dain’t you worry.)

Source: livingthegifs

High Sherlock is still a sight to behold and I applaud the unabashed Britishness of having Benedict Cumberbatch roaring the most famous speech from Henry V for no detectable reason other than his training. (Question: if Sherlock doesn’t need room in his brain for the solar system, how come Shakespeare gets a spot? Answer: He’s a romantic, duh.) The visual bravado of the scene comes to its slow-mo/sped-up climax when Mrs. Hudson drops Sherlock’s tea so that she can get a grasp on the gun he’s been waving around. (“Of course I didn’t call the police, I’m not a civilian.”) And prepare to hate me, because I’m about to rain on your Hudders parade.

“That’s good.” Source: livingthegifs

I miss the subtlety of early Sherlock, where Mrs. Hudson would make reference to her checkered pass and then chuckle and pass the biscuits. (That never happened exactly so, but you get the drift.) Now all subtlety is gone. Mrs. Hudson drives an Aston Martin like a coked-out 007 and evidently has the upper body strength necessary to shove a 6′ tall man into the boot before she does it. She doesn’t need to do these things to prove to me that she’s a badass. She always has been; those original episodes show us that she endures what Sherlock puts her through because she cares about him but also because she loves the danger.

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“It’s like, could he be more of a white?” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy? & When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episodes 8 & 9
“Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?” and “When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?”
Posted by Sage

How’s this for a meaningful coincidence? The sort-of hardworking employees of Whitefeather & Associates got their reprieve the very same week that the CW announced that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will be back for season 3. Here in 2017, that feels like a political statement. That heat map that’s going around says that CXG is the Netflix show most popular in the liberal hotbeds of New York, California, and Oregon. Its ratings are minuscule in comparison to CBS’s block of comedies designed to bring out the very worst in your parents’ friends. But the CW doesn’t care that middle America isn’t tuning in to watch a size 8 Jewish woman sleep with a Filipino man and sing about her clinical depression. That’s one vote in favor of quality over quantity. Congratulations, you crazy weirdos. You deserve this.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came back from its brief winter hiatus with a double-dose of episodes that did feel like two halves of a whole. “Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?” and “When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?” resolved the argument that’s been keeping Paula and Rebecca apart for weeks. It had to, because that storyline hit its highest point with their epic ’80s love ballad, “You Go First.” But what I wasn’t expecting quite so soon was another reconciliation between Rebecca and Josh, this time with Josh as the pursuer.

But first: the ladies. What really destroyed me about Scott’s confession is that it happened in a moment of imperfect domestic happiness. The Proctors don’t know how to send their delinquent children out into the world with a normal bagged lunch, but they’re up every morning doing their best. And Paula seems content with this life, as madcap as it is. And then it blows up, right in her face. It hurts too because Scott DOES love his wife, and more than that, we’ve seen this season how much he respects her. He stood by her decision to go to law school. He stood by her decision to terminate her pregnancy. But Scott is evidently feeling the strain more than she is and makes a really thoughtless, awful mistake. Paula kicks him out because she can’t see any other option. And then she brings all that baggage with her to work and has a meltdown over her daily iced mocha. I don’t think I’ve ever identified with Paula more than when she’s shaking empty ice trays at her coworkers and bellowing, “What MAN did this?”

Source: thecopyleftist
 

When Rebecca spies a weakness in another person, she performs some quick mental calculus on how to use it to her best advantage. The standoff doesn’t stand if Paula’s in crisis; Rebecca can only apologize while under the impression that she has the proverbial upper hand. As her best friend cries, Rebecca simultaneously sees her chance to finally make things right AND misjudges the situation completely. Her dramatic display of being the bigger person doesn’t go over well, but it DOES pull a lecture out of Mrs. Hernandez, who evidently talks “all the time.” Never forget that Rebecca Bunch is one hell of an unreliable narrator.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

The shaming doesn’t put her off though. Rebecca shows up to Paula’s house offering her unsolicited nannying services so that Paula can go on her “weird adult field trip” with her law school classmates without her house spiraling into the final act of a Hunger Games book. (“Just a dystopian nightmare. Children fighting for food, trying to kill each other…”) It’s a show of solidarity, and Rebecca legitimately wants to help Paula out. But it’s also a chance for her to try on motherhood for a weekend and prove that she’d be better than all the other moms. (“I could be a good mom if I wanted to be a good mom.” I MISS GREG.) She’s a philanthropist in the way that Cher Horowitz is a philanthropist: being nice to prove a point about how good she is at being nice. (“You know, if I ever saw you do anything that wasn’t 90% selfish, I’d die of shock.”) Paula tries to warn her that she’s volunteering for a suicide mission. (“Parenting turns you into well, me.”) But Rebecca has listened to half an episode of a child-rearing podcast and she won’t hear it. She sends Paula out the door to some New Jack Swing.

Rebecca’s plans for a quiet Netflix Saturday with Tommy are shot when they run into Josh “ohmigod it’s my ex” Chan, getting some supplies for his incoming cold. He wants to be in tip-top shape for a mysterious gig at a sponsored party at Spider’s, even though his lady won’t be able to make it. (“Let’s just say I’m ‘in-volved.'”) Another imperfection? It’s Rebecca’s kryptonite. The story of Josh’s sniffles prompts the most poetic chicken soup delivery of all time. (I love her Jewish rage at the lack of matzoh balls in West Covina.) In doing something nice for Josh, she sees her chance to give something to him that Anna isn’t. Rebecca’s professional ability to hide her own intentions from herself are on full display. But hey, a sick guy got his soup.

He’s so happy, too. Josh wants to be mothered. (Not like Hector wants to be mothered, but still.) He’s not wild about commitment, but I think that’s because he’s always had the power in the relationship. He’s very aware that Anna is cooler, richer, and more cosmopolitan that he is, so despite how freaked out he was playing house with Rebecca, here he’s grasping for some proof that Anna really is into him. So when the note gets ruined by some leakage, he assumes that Anna is his benefactor. Rebecca cannot deal with the idea that Josh be ignorant of who really gifted him that warm, broth-y goodness, so she drags her young charge to the club to take the credit.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

Rebecca is the kind of person who would get a child a fake ID so she can take him to a bar. But this town is the kind of place that would let that kid into the bar even though he’s clearly not an adult named Manuel. It’s a bonkers plan that’s obviously going to end in disaster, but Rebecca can’t stand being an anonymous donor. Unfortunately, when she and Heather are looking all over Spider’s for Tommy, they miss Josh’s big “career move.” This scene is a triumph in the telegraphing of secondhand embarrassment. Erick Lopez and especially David Hull are magnificent here as two friends looking on in horror as their bro takes his male mall modeling debut with stone-faced seriousness. (“I’ve left my body. I’m floating above this room looking down.”) What I would give to have seen Greg’s reaction to this.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

The display bursts Anna and Josh’s sex bubble. In the break-up, he realizes that she wasn’t his generous “soup fairy.” Hector (A PAL) calls the diner to see who the sender really was and everyone but Josh figures it out easily when they hear that the note quoted Shakespeare. He’s just been rejected by someone with more social capital; Anna’s not cruel, but she comes right up to the line of laughing in his face. (“It might have been when the sleeves came off? Oh my god, this is bad.”) So Josh ping-pongs BACK over to the one person who thinks he can do no wrong – that everything he does or says is worthy of worship: Rebecca. Is it healthy? Fuck, no. But his realization leads to another inspired Josh number: the Bieber-like “Duh.” (“It’s like, HELLO?”)

Rebecca arrives back at Paula’s defeated and less one preteen. Paula came home early, and Rebecca is prepared for her to sever all ties between them when she finds out she lost Tommy. But Tommy is home and he ain’t no snitch. Why would he rat out a babysitter who hands out hundos like they’re Monopoly currency? (Wow, Rebecca REALLY has a money problem.) Then Josh shows up and Rebecca has a way out. It’s finally happening. She can stop chasing him. And Paula gives her full permission to go. But Rebecca can’t walk out knowing that she very nearly lost Paula completely. She sends Josh packing for the time being and ‘fesses up to Paula. Paula’s like, bitch, I TOLD you being a mom was hard. (“Honey I lost him for an entire weekend at the mall once.”) No one knows better than Paula how Rebecca can turn off her huge brain and small amount of decency whenever Josh wants her. But she postponed their reconciliation to be with Paula, and that means everything.

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“The danger was the fun part.” – Sherlock Recap – The Six Thatchers

Source: 1985

Sherlock, Season 4, Episode 1
“The Six Thatchers”
Posted by Sage

As dangerous as it is to hand too much of a popular series over to fanservice, so too is it to treat your audience like adversaries. That’s the feeling I got when I watched the Sherlock Season 4 premiere — like the show was all puffed up and encroaching into my space, daring me to turn against it. “Give the people what they want,” John says. “No, never do that,” Sherlock counters. “The people are stupid.” Why do I get the feeling they were talking about us?

Where was the joy? The giddiness? I felt like my heart would burst during the majority of Season 3. I was so happy to be back watching such a clever and sleek show with characters I adore. Not here. Sherlock is always self-aware, but usually in a way that lets fans share its ego. This episode felt interminably long, because it seemed as if we were no longer included in the fun. “The Six Thatchers” was a dour installment that set up what looks to be a dour season. As Mary says in her video message to Sherlock, “The danger was the fun part.” A slow march to the gallows is not.

The case isn’t tremendously important, but the circumstances surrounding Sherlock’s return are. He must have subconsciously worked out the majority of his issues with the ghost of James Moriarty during his drug trip in “The Abominable Bride,” because “The Six Thatchers” finds him interested in the villain’s next move in his “posthumous game,” but not so preoccupied as to withdraw from life. (This is Sherlock Holmes we’re talking about, the measure of successful social interaction is different.) Anyway, Lady Smallwood, Mycroft, and the rest of their Rulers of the World knitting circle make quick work of absolving Sherlock of the murder of Charles Augustus Magnussen. They rescind his death sentence so he can sniff out the metaphorical bomb Moriarty left ticking away somewhere in London, and Sherlock is only too delighted to tell them that there’s currently nothing to be done in that regard. (“I’m the target. Targets wait.”) He returns to Baker Street and his expectant friends.

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Unsurprisingly, my favorite parts of this episode were all domestic. Pregnant Mary heaving about the flat, weighing in on cases. Sherlock’s amused smile when John and Mary simultaneously shut down his offer to give their unborn baby his name. Molly teaching Mrs. Hudson how to focus John’s camera. Sherlock trying to explain his rather reasonable expectation that Rosamund Mary Watson NOT throw a toy back at him that she appears to want. Greg and another Scotland Yard officer making small talk on the landing while they wait for their consultant to be free. Sherlock showing off photos of his godchild to his brother, who offers the kindest compliment he can muster: “Looks very…fully-functioning.”

Source: sherleck

Finally, Giles Greg offers up a case that’s worthy of more than a chat in the living room with Sherlock and John’s balloon stand-in. But determining the cause of the sad end of Charlie Wellsbury isn’t something to be done with a Holmesian flourish. The most dastardly thing the family has done is to have a shrine to Margaret Thatcher.  And though she was no picnic, that certainly doesn’t make them deserving of what happens to their son. This boy cut a trip of a lifetime short to travel thousands of miles to wish his father a happy birthday. He dies alone; his body is burned beyond recognition. But there’s no murderer but Death himself. Death does not always arrive in the body of enemy, but it always gets its man. In the market at Baghdad or outside an English estate.

Sherlock has tossed off condolences before, but he’s never sounded more genuine than when he tells the Wellsburys how sorry he is for their loss. Would it have been any comfort if the great Sherlock Holmes could have identified some nefarious plot and apprehended an assassin on whom they could lay their anger and grief? Maybe. As it is, it’s a hopeless, purposeless death that propels the rest of the episode.

“Well, I like you.” Source: 1985

The episode lags a bit after Sherlock discovers that first missing bust of The Iron Lady. Because the busts don’t matter – only what’s contained within. The dog sequence is cute, but unnecessary. There’s only the symbolism of the market, and the episode was heavy on the symbolism already. Craig is a chubby and bespectacled hacker stereotype in a show that doesn’t need one. (One of the most thrilling things about Sherlock is that – besides the texting – the detective is rather old-school in his methods.) Anyway, while I understand that A.J. is a broken and desperate man, I would think that a world-class secret assassin would know when he was creating a pattern. But he doesn’t, and Sherlock heads him off at the home of one of those crazy Thatcherites. It was brilliant throughout, but I want to especially acknowledge the work of first-time Sherlock director Rachel Talalay here in the fight scene, particularly as A.J. and Sherlock grappled in the pool.

Sherlock gets the upper hand, smashes the bust, and then looks among the shards for the Black Pearl of the Borgias – a link to Moriarty. Instead he sees Mary’s A.G.R.A. flash drive. Sherlock said earlier that he knows when the game is on because it’s his lifeblood and what used to be his only bliss. But Sherlock’s eyes are panicked as he tries frantically to discern who this man is and how he’s linked to his friend. This isn’t a game he wants. It’s all well and good when he’s playing fast and loose with his own life. But there’s nothing to love about a threat to Mary, John, and their baby girl.

Source: rosegoldsherlock
 

Confronted with the drive, Mary tells Sherlock what the acronym means and why she and her three compatriots each carried one. Their last mission went belly-up during a coup in Georgia; Mary believed she was the only one who’d escaped alive. Her past is catching up to her again. And though she’d prayed it wouldn’t, she’s been honing a protocol for that very occasion. Because Mary is a PRO. Since the moment he met her, Sherlock has known that Mary Watson is capable of taking care of herself. He even tries to send John home to be on baby duty in this episode so that he can Mary can follow a lead together. She’s a combination of Sherlock and John: an intelligence agent AND a soldier, smart, always aware, and willing to do what is necessary. She goes on the run – a wife and mother throwing her own peace away so that she can protect her family. And what does Sherlock do? He undermines her agency by tracking her movements and then going to COLLECT her, like an errant child.

Source: sir-mycroft

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“Life’s not a comic book, right?” – Doctor Who Recap – The Return of Doctor Mysterio

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Doctor Who 2016 Christmas Special
“The Return of Doctor Mysterio”
Posted by Kim

I’m a young Whovian. (I’ll be six this December!) I had no idea the show existed during the year of one David Tennant Special every few months. I was too busy bingeing the show during the 9 and a half months between “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe” and “Asylum of the Daleks” to realize that existing fans had been without the show for so long. I really had no idea what it was like to wait SO LONG for new Who until this year break between “The Husbands of River Song” and “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” and let me speak for all of us when I say it SUCKED. (Could no Who be one of the reasons 2016 ended up being a dumpster fire? Discuss.) So I curled up on Christmas evening to watch Doctor Who and was overwhelmed with a desire to just hug my television. PETER CAPALDI I MISSED YOU SO MUCH NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN.

Will “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” go down as the Best Christmas Special in Whovian History? No. (My shipper trash self will always go for “Last Christmas” and “The Christmas Invasion” first.) But it was a fun take on a superhero story, filled with charming performances and snappy dialogue, AND no one died, which is all we can ask for from a Christmas Special, really. It also serves as a lovely coda for Series 9 and last year’s special “The Husbands of River Song” while also setting up the Doctor’s emotional state going into Series 10. (Here’s a hint: he’s desperately lonely, but at the same time, he’s afraid to commit to a new Human companion because he’s still reeling from the loss of Clara and River.)



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One of the themes that Series 9 explored was the concept of the Doctor coming face to face with the repercussions of his actions in regards to the people he’s encountered and left. We saw the disastrous results of an encounter with the Doctor in Ashildr/Lady Me; we get the opposite in the story of Grant, a young comic book nerd who saves the Doctor from plummeting to his death on a Christmas Eve in New York City. (Never mind that whole plot thread about the TARDIS never being able to go back to New York after the events of “The Angels Take Manhattan”. It’s Christmas, no one care about continuity.) The Doctor is setting up a trap on Grant’s roof (Why? Details, schmetails! Look at how cute Peter Capaldi is with this kid! Look at how they are bonding over superheroes!) and enlists his new pal to help him finish it.

The Doctor hands Grant a red gemstone as he attempts to explain to Grant exactly WHAT he is doing (“It’s a time distortion equalizer thingy.” Okay, so maybe he’s trying to fix what happened in “Angels Take Manhattan”?). The gemstone is the final element to get it to work but unfortunately Grant mistook it for medicine to help his Christmas Cold, so he swallowed it. (In his defense, I’m sucking on a Halls right now and it looks just like the gemstone did.) Because this is a superhero origin story, naturally this is no ordinary gemstone. No, it’s an intuitive gemstone. “It knows what you want and it draws energy from the nearest star to make it happen.” What does meek little Grant want most in the whole world? To be a superhero. Grant’s chest glows red and he zooms off the building, the Doctor clutching at his heels. Hey, it’s better than a bite from a radioactive spider. The Doctor makes Grant promise that he won’t use his newly found powers but we all know how THAT will turn out. I mean…if you could fly, wouldn’t YOU? Exactly.


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What goes down for the rest of the episode is lovely homage to Superman (The Christopher Reeve films, naturally. AKA the only ones that exist). Grant lives a double life as a glasses-wearing mild-mannered Nanny and the confident protector of New York City, The Ghost. (Grant also proves his knowledge of comics because he completely covers his face as The Ghost, unlike Superman, who only uses glasses to differentiate himself from his Alt-Ego Clark Kent.) We have a feisty Lois Lane heroine in Lucy Fletcher Lombard, Grant’s employer and unrequited childhood love. There are shady alien bad guys, Harmony Shoal, who are a bunch of brains in blue liquid trying to stage a fake alien takeover so they can take over the bodies of world leaders. (Also, they exist solely to show how much the special effects on Doctor Who have improved since the days of the Slitheen.) There are hijinks, there’s screwball romance, and there’s heroism. Grant (with the Doctor’s help) saves New York City AND gets the girl, who loves him, just as he is. The end.

Source: scriptscribbles.tumblr.com

So why am I even doing an episode recap if I found the plot so basic? Because despite the fluff, I think “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” is an incredibly important episode for the Doctor as a character. The Doctor needed a WIN, y’all. Think about it. The Doctor spent four and a half billion years in his own personal hell, mourning Clara, grieving her, and torturing himself trying to find a way to save her. And he STILL lost her in the end. He lost her physically and he lost every memory of the woman who helped shaped this regeneration into the man he is today. (*Dark Kermit Meme* He totally remembers her though, which makes it worse.) Sure, “The Husbands of River Song” was a wacky good time adventure but how did it END? It ended with The Doctor spending a 24-year-long night with someone he loved, only to send her off to her imminent death in the library. I may never buy into the great love story of the Doctor and River Song (nope, can’t do it) but I will NEVER deny the fact that he loved her, wholeheartedly. So he lost her too. All the Doctor has done lately is LOSE and it’s heartbreaking.

Grief is not an easy process and it’s not something that anyone can put on any sort of time-table. You can be fine one day and the next day it can sweep over you and leave you incapacitated. The Doctor in “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” is a portrait of grief. Sure, he’s there with his sarcastic remarks and his heroic acts of defending the earth, but it’s almost like his heart isn’t fully in it. He’s trying to put one foot in front of the other, telling himself that he’s “fine” (Okay, Scully.) when he’s not. The cracks in the facade show whenever the concept of time comes up or whenever Nardole tries to push him into talking about his feelings. He pushes through and carries on as normally as possible because that’s the only thing he knows how to do.

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“We could get a Peabody for this.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Who’s the Cool Girl Josh Is Dating?

Source: talesofnorth

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 7
“Who’s the Cool Girl Josh Is Dating?”
Posted by Sage

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a pink-frosted cupcake of a show with a streak of dark ganache running through it. And the midseason finale didn’t send all of its characters into the show’s short holiday break in the best place. It did, however, wrap up the first half of its second season with a showstopper of a closing number. CXG will give you deadass sadness, but it’ll entertain the hell out of you while it does. So, in the words of Ron Weasley: “You’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it.”

The first seven episodes of this season ran through plot like it was Alexander Hamilton with his morbid commitment to productivity. Rebecca/Greg and Rebecca/Josh were dealt with quickly. Rebecca lost her house and got a new one. She picked up Heather as a for-real friend and Valencia soon after. But if you came to this episode looking for some closure between Paula and Rebecca, you were definitely disappointed. Their friendship is too big to be patched with a Band-Aid, and the show is going to ride this rift out until there’s no reasons left to keep them apart.

If Paula were just her enabler, Rebecca wouldn’t be missing her so much. Not when she’s finally seduced Valencia into the wide world of stalking. Those two are the sneaky Petes in this episode. And this time, they’ve both got skin in the game. Brittany Snow is back as Anna Hicks (“That’s the romantic lead in an Adam Sandler movie.”), the festival fairy princess Josh met at Electric Mesa. Rebecca and V find out that she’s exist via Josh’s Instagram, which they both claim to be through with checking.

Source: crazyexedits
 

Anna is a full-blown nightmare for both of them. She looks like she floats through life on a cloud of Tocca perfume, effortlessly lovely and pure-looking. She drinks ludicrously fancy coffee topped with Frida Kahlo latte art, but she’s so unaware of her own pretentiousness that her pretentiousness is negated. The celebrity eyebrow stylist also claims to be an ancillary member of Taylor Swift’s squad, so it’s fitting that Anna’s song is very 1989. She sings it over a clever slideshow of her own Instagram photos, which reminded me of a recent interview with Rachel Bloom that touched on how the show saves money by redressing existing sets for its music videos.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

“Research Me, Obsessively” is happening in Rebecca’s head, of course. All that stuff about requesting access through dummy accounts, tracking homes through Google Street View, and wasting hours while doing so comes straight from her twisted mind. Rebecca pulls back – just for a second – but with Valencia sitting next to her and nodding her head emphatically, the outcome is predetermined. Heather comes back to the house later to tell her friends they’ve spent days compulsively seeking out information about their ex’s new girlfriend. But over that time, they’ve convinced themselves that Josh is being held by this person as some sort of sex slave. Good people that they are, they have a DUTY to find out what Josh has gotten himself into. A duty that CERTAINLY has nothing to do with the fact that they both get all dreamy when they talk about him for too long. (“Well, you guys just did like a whole loop-de-loop there.”)

Source: bunchofbloom
 

Anna’s Swiftian influences extend to her relationship with her cat, Gravy. And Josh’s first gift to Anna is a sweet one. He gives her a bedazzled collar for Prince Gravy and is visibly still in awe that a girl like this wants to spend time with him – a electronics store employee who’s never heard of single-source coffee. Anyway, Gravy has a spot of honor at Anna’s salon, from which he can survey the whole bougie block. He sneaks out while Anna is on a mysterious phone call about sourcing product from Mexico and Valencia and Rebecca are casting her in the Scarface remake. (“Can’t pay gentrified commercial rents by plucking forehead hairs.”) Neither wants to accept that Josh is moving on with a perfectly nice woman. No: those little bags of powder she’s handing out must contain cocaine, and Anna’s salon must be a front for her “stone-cold narco” drug-running business. Impressed by her anyway (“Her eyebrows are staggering, of course.”), the girls get in Rebecca’s car to go warn their innocent lunk of an ex about Anna.

Source: bunchofbloom
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“The Devil Went Down to DC; he was lookin’ for a soul to steal” – Supernatural Recap – LOTUS

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 8
“LOTUS”
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee

Amidst questions of “Too soon?”, SPN writers took a ‘haters gonna hate’ attitude and went right for the jugular with Lucifer’s story arch for the mid-season finale. Social commentary? Political intrigue? Sex, love and threats of nuclear warfare? We’ve got it all, as you will see, since Lucifer has found his vessel, the one and only P.O.T.U.S; President of the United States. GET IT! We did LOTUS, P.O.T.U.S, yeah we see what you did there. (And, TBH, no one was really questioning Lucifer as the Commander in Chief, in fact quite a lot of Twitter thought it would be a vast improvement, but we digress.)

The mid-season finale for S12 was overall very good, Hell, some points were down right amazing, But there were a few issues, which didn’t surprise the fandom because this ep was written by Bucklemming, the two-person writing team of Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming who have consistently made the worst writing decisions ever on this show. If you tell an SPN fan that Bucklemming are writing, we expect errors, things we will hate, and general groans of “That trick never works.” If you are new to the fandom but also someone who has binged like a MoFo in order to be up to date, let us give you a few examples of fucking Bucklemming:

  • The vengeful, racist truck? –> Bucklemming
  • Killing Kevin? –> Bucklemming
  • Killing Charlie OFFSCREEN FFS?? –> Bucklemming
  • Cas getting “honey-trapped” and then killed (and then saved but that’s not the point)? –> Bucklemming
  • That “yeah, I get it; he’s a fan” bullshit from S9E21? –> Bucklemming

We could go on, but we won’t. Except we will, for just this little bit more.

JAY: YO! I fucking hate those guys, Chuck damn it. They took both Charlie and Kevin! Not cool bros; not cool at all. You know what? That’s it, I’m bringing back those chain letter emails that make you forward them to 10 of your friends or else you get bad luck and I’m going to make it my mission to fill their Bucklemming inboxes! Hell, I’ll even send them snail mail. Like when your Grandma finds a cute cat picture and prints it out and mails it to you, BUT WITH BAD LUCK, yeah, that’s me bitches. I’m gonna rain some serious Hoodoo down on these jokers! BRB, I gotta go buy some stamps.

DAWN: It’s like they don’t watch their own show. They are the reason SPN needs to hire a fandom/mythos consultant. They don’t know the mythos, or else they do and they just don’t care because they do what they want. I want to meet them, sit them down, and explain how character arcs work, also with maybe a lecture on the hero’s journey, how mythology works, and how to do their damn job. As a professional writer and editor, they are a personal affront to me, and I want to kick them in the shins. Hard.

JAY: I will lend you my combat boots. They are designed for shin kicking.

We said last week that we got the band back together, but this time we really mean it because yas, queen, Rowena and her flawless eyeshadow joined the party this week. Every single scene with Rowena and Crowley was PERFECTION, and yes, we are shocked to say that given the writers. But credit where credit is due, though we are giving most of the credit to Mark Sheppard–who both Dawn and Jaymee agree is absolute perfection, especially when paired with Ruth Connell. Their chemistry is getting better and better, every time we are blessed with their presence on the screen; in their precious, adorable, dysfunctional way, we squeal with delight.

Crowley’s little self-satisfied smirk at the end. We ship it. Familyship is also a ship, shut up. Source: adoringjensen.tumblr.com

But anyway, back to Lucifer. He took a brief body-hopping tour of the rich and the powerful, including a bishop who makes crosses turn upside down when he walks past them, because it’s not like the devil is supposed to be subtle or anything. Oh and also, Bucklemming, you morons, Catholic bishops don’t wear red. CARDINALS wear red. Get it? Cardinals? Red? Research. It’s a thing.

source: canonspngifs.tumblr.com

DAWN: Seriously, I want to punch them.

JAY: They write scripts like bad FanFictions. No research, no background, just whatever I say goes, goes. WELL NO, that’s not how this works. . .you know what, just whatever.

So Lucifer finally lands where he wants to be — in the body of the President of the United States, who is also a widower and a Catholic. Now, we were not privy to the entire internal convo between President Jeff and Luci, so we have no idea how he talked a Catholic President into giving control to the First of the Fallen. Because that’s not important plot point or anything, right? From what we could gather, they’re going to be partners and better humanity or something like that; it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that anyone devout would just be like, “Sure, Satan, have my meat suit,” but whatever. We found we had to do that a few times this episode. Just “whatever,” and enjoy the ride. So, yeah, Lucifer is president and also he was a virgin. No, seriously. This was a way better plot point, Virgin Lucifer, because why not.

source: onthelandofmydreams.tumblr.com

Yeah. We know.

Oh and because this show doesn’t have ENOUGH Daddy issues, he’s also going to be a father. Of a Nephilim. Great. Again, we know. Angel Radio loses its shit. Castiel almost collapses from the pressure of all the Angels everywhere freaking out all at once; because apparently Lucifer’s Nephilim isn’t just a regular nephilim, no, it’s like a super-powered, seriously dangerous Nephilim.

source: bridget-malfoy-stilinski-hale.tumblr.com

So, the plan, according to Dean, is “impeach LOTUS, find Rosemary’s baby.” Excellent summation, Dean. The brothers and Cas head out to intercept Lucifer but they get pulled over by the Secret Service because LOTUS (yes, this is happening) told his men that the boys are cult members, planning to assassinate him. But luckily, the cavalry arrives. No, not Crowley and Rowena. It’s, uh, “Arthur Ketch, British Men of Letters,” who thinks he can boss Castiel around like he is some sort of tool to be kept between the shotguns and the grenade launchers. Again, yeah, we know.

source: bagginshield.tumblr.com

Ketch is smug bastard and only involved because sneaky Sam called him. Kinda. He called and then hung up, but that was enough for the British Men of Letters to send in reinforcement. Honestly, why Sam felt he had to call the B.M.O.L., we truly don’t know. And as we’ve said in the past, hiding things from your brother always works so well, doesn’t it, Sam? #NOT. Anyway, he did it and it’s done and now Ketch is here. Team Free Will is like, “Uh, no.” More so when the smug bastard calls Cas, “Halo.”

You tell ’em, Cas. source: disneyandthefamilybusiness.tumblr.com

DAWN: Shin kicks for everyone.

JAY: I think Mr. Ketch is growing on me. At least he’s getting Cas to stand up for himself again, and Dean was maybe a little turned on over that grenade launcher. I know I was.

DAWN: He’s a smug douchecanoe and I hope he steps on Legos.

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