Category Archives: TV

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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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.

AWESOME!

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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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Some Things Never Change

Will Smith’s character on Fresh Prince gets accepted to Princeton because he solves a Rubik’s Cube.

15 years later, Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness solves Rubik’s Cube to get a job in the finance industry.

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The Worst Things About Great Shows: Community

There’s only a very few shows on TV that are truly perfect (Boy Meets World I’m looking at you) but most of the shows we love have that one element that makes us crazy. These are those elements, the one thing we wish was different about the shows we otherwise love.

Community

Why We Love It: Community hosts one of the strongest ensemble casts in recent history. It’s hilarious new style of comedy is ushering the overdone mockumentary awkward comedies out the door.

The Problem Is: Sometimes Community won’t just let itself be funny. We get it, Community, you’re referencing pop culture archetypes. The problem is, sometimes the references are too clever, and not funny enough. I have to rationalize my appreciation for the show, instead of just enjoying it on an emotional level.

The past two episodes have been great examples of the problem with Community. First, the “Pulp Fiction” episode. Did anyone get enjoyment out of the obscure ‘My Dinner With Andre’ parody/send-up/reference? I imagine Dan Harmon thinking everyone will reflect on what a clever homage it was, but bottom line it was not enjoyable. And while we’re on that episode, does throwing Britta in a wig and white button up really count as a Pulp Fiction parody?

Then there was this week’s clip show; admittedly a clever idea, unfortunately the unconnected hodgepodge of unfunny “clips” didn’t make me laugh, and guess what, 30 Rock’s 100th episode that included some clips had me rolling. It’s frustrating to see a show like Community sacrifice laughs that the writers and cast are more than capable of getting just so they can be “high concept”

Verdict: Community can do genre parody very well (see Modern Warfare and the Chicken Finger Episode from Season 1), but these episodes work because they’re build on characters and the way they would really act, and they include JOKES not just references. I hope that in the future Community isn’t afraid to prioritize laughs over content, because some of their absurd bits that have nothing to do with pop culture (see Troy and Abed bits at the end of the episodes).

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