Jersey Shore Season 4, Episode 1 Recap

Jersey Shore is back!

You guys, the episode opens with Snooki having to waddle up onto a stool because she’s too short to have her passport photo taken, until this moment, I was unsure if I would make it through the full season, but I am IN. Then Snooks gives us a geography lesson (Europe is the big country and then you’ve got Great Britain then Italy) and I set my Tivo Season Pass. MNDR is playing in the background and that is awesome—way to go music supervisor (she’s a great musician and a total sweetheart, check her out!).

Pauly D says he’s ready for an International Panty Raid. Deena!!! I missed you meatball. She classily tells us that she “won’t do sex” until she figures Italian guys out. Vinny says he wants to master Italian, and find a nice, traditional Italian girl. Vinny’s sense of superiority is so baffling. Snooki explains that since she’ll be in Italy and her boyfriend Gionni will be in the US they’ll be “kind of long distance”. I missed her. Ugh The Situation camera-greases that if Snooks loses a few pounds he’d hit it. I did not miss him. J-WOWW! And she’s still with Roger! UGHHHH RONNIE can we leave him at home. I don’t know what bullshit he spews about his drama being over with Sam because I experienced a rage blackout which mercifully lasted through Sammi’s miserable intro.

The girls have dinner at Snooki’s and the boy’s meet at Vinny’s. Vinny’s uncle recounts a somehow even grosser version of “if there’s grass on the field…” telling Vinny “lift their arms, if there’s hair there, you’re good to go”. Ew. Snooki and Deena mostly grunt and squeal, and I clip the audio for my ringtone.
Airport. There’s a strange ‘Amazing Race’ plotline going on for no reason. The guys have a layover in Madrid, and are desperate to beat the girls to Italy. The ladies have their layover in ‘Dumbledorf’ (love you Snooki) and aren’t in as much of a rush. Wavves’ ‘Take On The World’ starts playing and my head spins. Watching Snooki push her towering stack of zebra luggage complete with giant stuffed Croccodilly is pure bliss, Deena falls and we reach nirvana. Vinny wants to kiss the Italian ground and feel the Italian sun on his Italian skin. Shut up, Vinny.

Everyone arrives at the house. MTV puts Ronnie and Sam’s hug in slow motion and puts dramatic orchestral music behind it. We’re rewarded for enduring the hug with shots of Deena and Snooki grunting as they drag their bags up the stairs. Pauly’s blown out (pun intended) his second blow dryer of the trip and it’s like 5pm the first night.
The cast walks through the streets of Italy pointing at attraction after attraction saying “What’s that? What’s that?”. They finally settle on something they can all understand a “Carris-Wheel” and they ride it. Mike tells Deena he thought/hoped Snooki would be single, and predicts that she will be before the end of the season. Stay strong Snooki! Sammi has gained weight, she’s back to her Season 1 body type, lending credence to my eating disorder theory. Snooki asks Sam if she would take Ron back if he asked her on a romantic date. Cut to, Ron making a fart noise at Sammi.
The girls sit on the patio and are attacked by pigeons. Deena tells us that she “doesn’t do birds” and earning my favorite moment of the season so far yells “Who flies that close!?” at the bird SO EARNESTLY.

Mike sits on the patio with Ronnie and reveals that he and Snooki hooked up 2-3 months ago while she was with Gionni! Drama! In an even more desperate bid to get screen time Mike lies that he’s “starting to like Snooki a little bit”. Ronnie makes me hate him a little less by saying “She’s gonna fuck up that situation to get with The Situation” you could see the wheels turning in Ronnie’s head trying to spit that one out.

They hit the club. They complain that the language barrier is making it harder to meet girls, but I really don’t see how that can be true as they were never really wordsmiths in New Jersey. Mike tries to makeout with Snooki, Deena makes out with Pauly. AND OH MY GOD IT IS SO GROSS. Deena I love you, but no, I cannot believe that wasn’t blurred out. The episode finally ends.


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West Wing Wednesday: Mr. Willis of Ohio

West Wing Wednesdays are hosted by Lisa the Nerd and Laura of A Little Mole. For previous West Wing Wednesdays, click on the “West Wing Wednesday” label at the end of this post. For the details on what exactly West Wing Wednesdays are, check out the original post.

Mr. Willis of Ohio

-This episode opens with my favorite scene of the series thus far. The staff are playing poker with Prez Jed–who asks them all TRIVIA QUESTIONS in between hands! He’s my hero. First, he asks what is the only fruit with seeds on the outside (totally stumped me), CJ guesses the kumquat, but alas, it’s the strawberry. Toby’s predictably sick of trivia and asks the Prez what his move is. The Prez tells Toby that it depends on if the staff could come up with all 14 punctuation marks in the English language. The cool kids CJ, Sam, Leo and Josh manage to pull together 7 of them then old-man Toby saves the day by rattling off the last 7 in a gravelly monotone. Show off.
-CJ sheepishly approaches Sam to admit that she doesn’t understand anything about the census, and needs some tutoring from Sam. Sam gets sassy with CJ and thanks her for showing up to the party at all, late as her arrival may be. This scene makes me love CJ even more, its so cute and human (albeit totally unbelievable) that she’s been faking her way through census briefings for the past 4 weeks.
-A Secret Service man approaches Prez Jed to tell him that a mentally unstable 40 year old woman attempted to enter the White House in pursuit of his daughter Zoey. Yikes.
-Time for another meeting. Josh and Mandy are sitting down with a few congressman–Congressman Willis of Ohio being one of them. However, when Josh addresses him as Congressman, Willis corrects him, saying that his name is Joe, he’s an 8th grade social studies teacher, and that his position as a representative is only temporary. His wife was a Congressman Willis and when she died a month ago he stepped in in her place.
-Toby, tells the Congressmen, and Joe as he prefers to be called that they are going to have a tough fight in front of them to get their bill signed unless they drop an amendment that would make changes to the census process. Toby tells them he doesn’t feel guilty about exploiting the fact that they all have non-refundable plane tickets for the weekend. Then Joe Willis wins my heart forever by shutting Toby the hell down. “I’m staying in town for the weekend, so there’s no need to rush on my account”. Love you Willis, seriously.
-CJ tells Sam that she doesn’t like not knowing something, because it makes her feel submissive. This is the only good part of this scene, because then Sam proceeds to explain the census to CJ (but more the audience) in terms so simplified that a third grader would understand. We get it, Sorkin!
-The President asks Josh to take his assistant Charlie out for a drink, and tries to give Josh cash to pay for a few beers, which is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Zoey wants to go along so she can flirt with Charlie, and Mallory (Leo’s daughter) wants to have Sam come along so she can flirt with him. Girls.
-Mandy’s badgering the congressmen telling them that their amendment is constitutional even though they calim it isn’t, so she actually reads a passage of the constitution aloud to them, which seems really condescending, but it’s Mandy so there we are. THEN Toby says “She left out a line, didn’t she Mr. Willis” and quotes the bit of census law that says each person who isn’t free shall be counted as 2/3 of a person, and that their amendment would similarly limit the government’s ability to count the impoverished members of society. The two congressmen who aren’t Mr. Willis brush it off saying that they won’t be changing their votes, but Mr. Willis quietly says that he would. The congressmen try to badger him out of it, but Mr. Willis insists that it’s his choice and he won’t be bullied.
-Out at the bar Zoey volunteers to get the group another round, but takes her panic button out of her pocket lest it ruin the lines of her outfit. Some college guys swoop in on her at the bar, surrounding her and asking her for her name. Charlie rushes over to her defense and they start breaking out the weirdest racial slurs I’ve ever heard. They call Charlie superfly, Ice Tray, G-Funk and Doctor Huffy-Puffy-Dred-man, Doctor Doolittle-man. Seriously. Finally, they call him a faggot and Sam and Josh come over. Josh says “you guys don’t realize it, but you’re having a pretty bad night” so cooly, and then the Secret Service busts in and cuffs the guys.
-The Prez tells Zoey he’s going to up her security, which is fair, but Zoey’s pissed that she can’t have a normal life, also fair.
-The episode closes with Toby watching CSPAN, and we hear that Mr. Willis of Ohio has changed his vote to yea. There’s probably a freeze frame.

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West Wing Weekend(?): Five Votes Down

I want to start by apologizing that it’s not Wednesday! A variety of crap (internet outage, pink eye, travelling, who cares!) are responsible for delaying this post and I’m sorry! Won’t happen again guys!

West Wing Wednesdays are hosted by Lisa the Nerd and Laura of A Little Mole. For previous West Wing Wednesdays, click on the “West Wing Wednesday” label at the end of this post. For the details on what exactly West Wing Wednesdays are, check out the original post.

Five Votes Down

-The episode begins with Leo telling Josh that they “lost five votes”. We don’t know what they’re five votes down on, or why, but we’re thrown into the story without explanation. This keeps things exciting, which is great, because let’s face it, this is a show about administrative white house crap and talking fast in hallways.
-The President has just finished his rable-rousing speech, and Toby is complaining about how proud of his own writing he is, and how the Prez messed it up by improving. This is because Toby is THE WORST and the world’s biggest downer. Seriously, there’s no way cool people like CJ and Josh would actually be friends with this cold fish.
-The group walks out to the car and a couple of college aged girls yell “we love you Josh!” which makes sense because he is standing next to Sam, played by Rob Lowe, so obviously girls would look @ frizzy blonde JOSH as the sex symbol.
-Leo gets home late and his wife gives him an engraved watch that was an anniversary present, Leo forgot the date entirely. I don’t have anything snarky to say about this scene, it is just really sad and hard to watch.
-The next day Toby is being a downer as usual, but this time his sulking is kind of warranted. He’s under scrutiny because he “unknowingly” pulled some strings to make a stock he had $5,000 invested in much more valuable. Toby insists he’s an idiot and doesn’t know how to manipulate stocks and I kind of agree with him about the first part.
-There’s some charming Josh/Donna banter, seriously how cute are they. Every scene between them seems straight out of Ally McBeal and that is IN NO WAY a bad thing.
-Leo is trying to make things up to his wife and orders champange and dinner, but opts not to have a violinist because “after the initial thing wears off, there’s just a guy with a violin in my house.” That’s why Leo is awesome.
-Sam tells Toby off because he’s committed a felony and no one likes him because he looks like Sam the Eagle , but unfortunately, assures him that he will not be fired or imprisoned.
-There’s a lot of stuff about convincing a couple representatives to change their votes in this episode. Josh meets with Katzenmoyer who says that he can’t change his vote because of his relationship with the NRA, he meets with Wick who’s willing to trade his vote for a photo op w. the Prez and with Richardson, who refuses to vote on the bill on principle, because it’s been watered down. Sad thing is, the conversation with Richardson is the only one that didn’t ring true.
-OK, this scene is just heartbreaking. Leo’s wife Jenny packs her backs and tells Leo she can’t take anymore. Leo asks her to stick by him, and tells her this job is the most important thing he’ll ever do. Jenny says that it’s not more important than his marriage, but Leo insists that, for these four years, it is. I can’t believe how much I sympathize with both sides, neither party is cast as the villain, nor the victim it’s just a tragic parting of ways. Leo asks Jenny to call him before he goes to sleep and I may or may not tear up.
-Leo meets with VP Hoynes and even though Hoynes is a soulless jerk, he can tell something’s wrong with Leo. Leo opens up about Jenny and Hoynes invites Leo to a super secret federal employee AA meeting.
-The Prez comes up with a brilliant plan to save Toby from disgrace and people thinking he’s a money grubber. He will voluntarily accept a salary of $1 for the year! Toby is so mad! He says “I just got screwed with my pants on” and I could not love it more. Screw you Toby–with or without pants!
-VP Hoynes meets with Tillinghouse to try to lock down another vote, but in the course of the meeting reveals that he has presidential aspirations. I love the VP plot line! Are there people like this in real life, all the scheming and secrecy! Juicy stuff!
-The bill passes and Hoynes congratulates Josh, then exits cryptically saying “Welcome to the NFL”. Huh? I honestly have no idea what this means. Oh well! Decent episode you guys can’t wait for next week–which will be on time!

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West Wing Wednesdays

My friend Lisa and I have begun watching the first season of The West Wing and will share our thoughts at our blogs. Check out Lisa’s post about episode one and my thoughts on episode 2 below. Be sure to tune in each Wednesday for more!

also, do yourself a favor and check out lisa’s whole blog
Hey Nerds!

I’m Laura and I’m super excited to be talking about the awesome show West Wing. You should know before reading my segments that I am no Sorkin apologist, and I’m probably going to make fun of his over-earnestness and his descent into crack-addictry, so what im trying to say is, stick to Lisa’s posts Mrs. Sorkin!

Anyways, I’m here to talk about episode 2, “Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc” which is just about the most West-Wingy title in the world.


-Josh’s ex-girlfriend Mandy (who is THE WORST) jumps out of her BMW convertible and yells at her client for not running for president anymore. Now she has no campaign to manage and she’s jobless! Wahhh! “I LEFT A JOB AT A FORBES 500 COMPANY, I HAD STOCK OPTIONS” she shrills. Then she threatens to hit her ex-client with a shoe.

-She’s clearly one of Sorkin’s trademark fully developed female characters, think Rashida Jones in “The Social Network” but with less depth. Seriously though, it’s frustrating to have one of the main female characters on this show be such a poorly drawn caricature of the gender, hopefully the later episodes will redeem her. (to be fair, Sorkin has responded to allegations of sexism by saying that he just happens to write about institutions in which sexism exists

-CJ and Toby are doing a concerned “walk ‘n talk”, a staple of the West Wing. Apparently Prez Jed has made an inappropriate joke and it’s a PR disaster, the Rider Cup team won’t even come to The White House for a photo op, which is apparently a huge deal.

-The joke, for the record, involved Prez Jed responding to an inquiry about not spending more time campaigning in Texas with “because I don’t look good in funny hats”. I found it interesting that this episode of WW aired 10 full years before the controversy over President Obama’s comment that he bowls like he’s in the Special Olympics. I’m in no way comparing the two comments, obviously fictional Jed’s hat comment is wholly benign, and Obama’s was probably in poor taste, it’s just an example of what makes WW great. You can absolutely imagine a flock of real CJ and Toby’s descending on Obama’s office the morning after the infamous Tonight Show appearance, and it feels like you’re witnessing something secret and exciting, it’s a backstage pass and I love it. PS is 129 really a bad bowling score?

-Next, Prez Jed drops some serious knowledge on CJ. He tells her “post hoc, ergo procter hoc” (after therefore because of) is gonna be on CJ’s tombstone because she so frequently erroneously attributes bad events (the Rider Team declining a photo op) with the most obvious cause (the Texas joke). Anyway, Jed rocks, he’s the wise grandpa we roll our eyes at, but secretly love and learn from.

-All this un-presidential joking is making everyone around the White House think they need a new media director to put a spin on Prez Jed’s bike accidents, hat jokes etc

-Press Secretary CJ is running a press briefing when one of the reporters drops a bomb on her. Apparently, the Vice President has been quoted saying “this is a time when the president needs our support”—which is a huge diss! Everyone on staff is so pissed and they’re ready to snap into action

-Everyone, that is, except Sam, who just wants to unload his heavy conscience on Josh, telling him that he accidently slept with a call girl. Josh almost does a spit take, then tells Sam that he’s an idiot (which he is) and warns him not to try to save the prostitute.

-CJ tries to approach VP Hoynes about his major diss, but he blows her off and says “CJ, I’ve got my own press secretary” Whoa! A villain within the administration, I love where this is going!

-The president is in a check up with a really friendly young doctor. They have a pretty great exchange about how Doc has a 10 month old child, and they joke around. This scene is going to be significant at the end of the episode, but WW is subtle enough to not highlight and triple underline it’s eventual importance. Prez Jed goes on to tell the Doc that “I know this country has enemies, but I don’t feel violent towards any of them”. Foreshadowing guys! The doc tells Jed that he’s a once in a generation man, and they go their separate ways.
-Sam admits his friend-of-hooker status to Toby, and Toby is pissed too. He asks if anyone saw Sam that night, and Sam is like “ummm only ole’ Billy from the New York Times, can’t see how that would be a problem” and everyone is YIKES. I know Sam is supposed to be naïve, but come on, he is really exhausting in his earnestness and in his stupidity.

-Plumbing the depths of his stupidity, Sam decides to stalk the hooker. To say a proper goodbye or something? Anyway he finds her at a restaurant—with a John—and says that if she won’t leave the table with him he’ll call his BFF, the Attorney General. Way to keep a discrete, low profile Sam! Anyway blah blah Sam tells the hooker he really likes her, and they have a drink together. Are we actually supposed to invest in this relationship and this plotline? Thank God Rob Lowe’s cute or I would snooze through all these segments.

-Leo, Chief of Staff and my fave character calls CJ in to ask if she’s told off the VP for being such a dingleberry. CJ covers for meanie VP and says he was responsive, and that the quote was truncated. Leo’s too perceptive for this BS, and sees right through it, he confronts the Veep directly. VP is defensive and asks how long he has to follow orders from “you and your pal”. Leo is filled with rage and says “Excuse me…but are you referring to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES”. The VP shrinks in his chair under the awesome Leo, but Leo keeps at him saying he can continue to follow orders, or choose to host celebrity golf matches for the rest of his life. LEO ROCKS, you guys.

-The episode’s last scene begins with a timecard telling us it’s 3:35am at the White House. We learn that the friendly doc’s plane has been shot down by Syrians. The prez is upset and says “I am not frightened. I am going to blow them off the face of the earth with God’s own thunder”. Whoa.
Can’t wait to see what happens next Wednesday in Lisa’s post.

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Scream 4

I saw Scream 4 this week, and I am only a little afraid to admit it. Having only seen the first Scream movie, I was drawn to this film partially because there is NOTHING out right now (Hop or Thor–no thank you) but partially because of the pretty stellar young cast they put together. I mean, you’ve got Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Hayden Panettiere, Alison Brie, Shenae Grimes, Kristen Bell, Adam Brody and Anna Paquin.

Unfortunately, fresh faces did not make for a fresh film. The jokes seemed old, and recycled. The whole film is hinged on the self-awareness, and self-awareness of that self-awareness. The word ‘meta’ was actually uttered in the movie a total of 4 times. Which is funny, I mean the opening sequence worked great, it was fun, campy and over the top. But an hour into the film, the formula grows tired fast. I was sighing and looking at my watch by the top of the second act.

I think a big reason the film loses steam so quickly is that the kills are so boring. Each one happens in the same way (with a knife) and it happens quickly. I wasn’t sad, or happy, to see any of the teenagers go, and that was a real problem as about 60% of the movie is kids dying.

The poster reads “New Decade. New Rules.” But this isn’t true at all, the “new rules” are no rules. Virgins can die, gay kids can die, etc. Everyone it seems, except the original, aging cast. Which is a shame because I was really hoping Neve Campbell would be put out of her squinting misery by the end of the thing. Anyway, the lack of rules made things really boring, there was no structure, and no fun playfulness.

Kudos should be given to Alison Brie for being delightfully bitchy, and by far the most fun person to watch in the whole movie, if only they’d let her share the screen with Courtney Cox it could have been explosive. Alas, she was taken from us too soon.

Finally, there was that whole business with the end of the movie. I’m not going to spoil it here, but I will say, it was trying SO hard to be current and just fell all around flat.

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30 Rock

30 Rock

Wow, you guys. 30 Rock was SO GOOD last night, seriously. I thought I was having a fever dream, but it turns out that a sitcom aired on network TV that featured the actual Condoleezza Rice and Margaret Cho playing the best version of Kim Jong-Il I’ve ever seen (I’m lookin at you Trey Parker and Matt Stone).

Speaking of Condi Rice, she is THE WORST actress, and that makes her appearance THE BEST! Not that you should need any convincing to watch this episode but I actually spit at Rice’s delivery of “Follow this, you turkey” to Alec Baldwin.

Not that the plot matters, but the Jack storyline in this episode revolves around his wife Avery Jessup (played by the delightful Elizabeth Banks) being held hostage by North Korea and used to produce propaganda films. This causes Jack to call his ex-girlfriend (Condoleezza Rice playing herself) to help get Avery back. And it is awesome. This portion of the episode had all the best elements of Saturday Night Live (daring political humor, great celebrity guest appearances) without any of the wading through 15 shitty sketches to get there. Win all around!

I haven’t even mentioned Liz Lemon’s storyline yet, and it is GREAT! Liz is redecorating her apartment to take control of her life and make it perfect, but a plastic bag stuck in the tree outside her window stands between her and her new perfect life. Naturally, she goes nuts trying to get the bag out of the tree, and hilarity ensues. The bit culminates in Liz sawing the bag out of the tree and yelling “I’M GONNA HANG YOU IN MY KITCHEN AND FILL YOU WITH OTHER BAGS! YOU WILL EAT YOUR FAMILY”. And it is great.

Also this episode features Elizabeth Banks in a Reagen mask eating jellybeans as a form of foreplay.


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The Office: Goodbye Michael

The Office

So it was Michael Scott’s last episode, and I suppose they did a nice job wrapping up Carell’s 5 year run on the hit NBC sitcom. I can’t deny that I was holding my breath waiting for Pam to show up at the airport and have her moment with Michael. Dwight’s final paintball fight with Michael was nice, and Jim’s “I’ll see you at lunch” was really nice.

The Office goes all Sofia Coppolla on our asses

The thing is, I’m not sure the show’s writing made the departure of Michael Scott any more emotional arresting than a lazy montage would have been. What I’m saying is, they have 7 seasons (and 2 really great seasons) of history with this character to fall back on. They could have had each character hug a cardboard cutout of Scott and I would have gotten teary.

I will say I was totally delighted that they finally addressed the fact that they have been filming this “documentary” for like EVER. “Call me if this thing ever airs” are Scott’s last audible words, which is so great. Then he takes of his mic, and mouths “That’s what she said” which is the first appropriate use of this phrase since 2007.

Let’s talk for a minute about where their taking the show though, it really shouldn’t take more than a minute because where they are taking it is NOWHERE. Phyllis is Erin’s biological mother? Gabe is the Scranton Strangler? Will Ferrell is a compulsive eater? It’s all too much, let’s just be glad we have a nice episode to go out on and pretend the show is over, 7 seasons is too much Office anyway OK? OK.

Goodbye, The Office!

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