Category Archives: Television

In Defense of Danny Castellano

Let me start by saying that I love Mindy Kaling. I watched the Office, I’ve read her books and I’m one of the millions (I assume it’s in the millions now) that feel we’d be the best of friends. While I don’t share her fashion sense, I’d like to learn and I’d make up for it in sarcastic wit. I also love the Mindy Project. From the first episode I just felt like finally, this was the kind of comedy I’d been waiting for.

Yes, there has been a high turnover in the casting department, particularly in the early seasons. From Dr. Shulman, best friend Gwen, best friend Alex, Shauna, Betsy, Beverly (the first time) but all of those things can be overlooked because that’s the natural progression of television. Actors come and go onto other projects and often before it found a home at Hulu the Mindy Project was constantly on the bubble at NBC.

But I can’t help but feel frustrated with the direction of season 5. It’s not because I blindly believe Mindy and Danny belong together forever. While I admit I’d hoped things would steer that way, I found the episodes surrounding their break up so well written and true to life that I couldn’t even be mad they were breaking up. People often want different things, have different expectations and may have had a child together before those things are realized. But what gets me is what they’ve done to Danny’s character.

Now, I understand that Chris Messina has a film career and schedules are what they are. Combined with the fact that Mindy is makes many episodes, it is a big time commitment. So maybe Danny can’t be included in every episode. But we’ve invested in Danny. His mother, her crazy friend Dot, his brother – all these characters that have been built around Danny and who he is are a part of the show, and this season we lost all of that. Even if he was in less episodes or off somewhere, did they have to make him such an asshole? Yes, he needs to be heavy handed with the criticism so we see clearly why things with Mindy don’t work, but he just cheated on his fiancée with Mindy. Meanwhile in the early days of the show he was wrecked after his ex-wife had been unfaithful to him. It just seemed so unnecessarily gross and out of character.

What happened to the guy who learned the Aaliyah choreography as her Christmas gift or knows how to make a killer gingerbread house? I don’t want to hate him and I feel like the show is giving us no choice in the matter. Danny is better than how they’ve depicted him this season. Never mind the whole issue of Jody, why do the men that love Mindy seem to hate her first! Where’s the guy that is just excited to be with her? Not that I’m still carrying a torch for Casey. But seriously, I loved that guy. They even managed to make me not like him this season. Where are all the likeable men? Is Peter all we have left? And Morgan, I guess. I’m just a little reticent about season 6. I know Chris Messina isn’t a series regular next season, but let’s bring Danny to a less hate- able place.

 

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New Girl: Wrapping up Season Two, Will Nick & Jess Ever Move Forward?

Oh New Girl, I can’t believe we’re already approaching the end of season two! It’s nice to have a show to look forward to watching every week. Sometimes shows switch it up too much or lag in their second season. (Glee, I’m looking at you!)

But New Girl has kept it interesting season to say the least – obviously one of the highlights, as I’m sure was everyone’s – was the Nick/Jess late night kiss – how could you not love that? The best thing about it was you never saw it coming, or thought the show writers/creators wouldn’t go there – but they did (and it was hot)!

However, as the after-effect episodes have aired over the last few weeks, I’m starting to feel some ambivalence about the Nick/Jess situation – now let me tell you why.

After the initial kiss, there was the awkwardness and both of them were trying to deal with how they felt, the writer’s didn’t try to rush anything along, which was much appreciated.  Jess obviously felt strongly about the kiss, enough that she told Sam the truth, resulting in their break up. Things between Nick and Jess laid low for a while, bubbling up again at the perfect time – dealing with the new issue of jealously.

When Jess met the new manager or Nick’s bar (who he slept with), her obvious jealousy allowed Nick to see there might between them than he first thought.  He promptly broke things off with his manager and hurried home to Jess – it all seemed to be coming together, until they broke the fish tank.

Then there was the funeral for Nick’s father – an episode that was especially odd. The roommates, especially Jess, were doing their best to show their support to their friend. But the Elvis which found Zooey Deschanel dressed as Elvis – was for some reason especially off-putting, it was just too over the top. But I did really like the fact that Nick is consistently depth and responsibility, while still able to hold on to his true Nick Miller curmudgeonly ways. He’s really growing as a character and I can’t get enough of Jake Johnson’s portrayal of him.

With last week’s episode, “First Date” I had some hope – Nick and Jess were going to actually move (at least in some small way) forward! They were going to have a date! Well …kind of. This episode was just a mess for me. I loved when Nick was talking to his park bench confidante Tran, and was deciding his feelings/what he would say to Jess. It was so sweet! I know Nick Miller is known for the flubs and mixing his words, but I had really hoped we’d see him express some earnest feelings to her as a result of that conversation.

Then he got all dolled up with Schmidt and Winston’s help (and Winston’s car) – only to then deny it even WAS a date to Jess, why not just say YES! There was also the return of Dermot Mulroney as ‘fancy man’ Russell, which prompted Nick to refer to him as ‘the only man we both loved’ which was hilarious – clearly the man crush lives on. But aside from that, I didn’t really understand the point of Russell being there. Towards the end it looked like Russell’s purpose was to have the two roommates confront what they were to each other by having them write it down – but we were foiled again, never having found out what either one of them had written and back at the apartment the sexual tension remains! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the tension, the buildup, wondering where things with them will go and how it will change life in the apartment – but I find all of these false starts getting on my nerves. Some progress is better than none, isn’t it?

On the flip side, while Nick and Jess are pre-occupied with one another, I’m loving the Schmidt/Winston storylines! From Schmidt’s fear of dead bodies to their mishap with ‘outside Dave’ last week, I found myself wanting to watch their storyline more than the date. Also, Winston’s flashback to his worst date ever with the homeless man singing ‘Father Figure’ caught me so off guard, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud.

It’s nice for Schmidt to have found a new level camaraderie with Winston, who’s trying to be there for Schmidt while he deals with the tough reality of Cece’s engagement (does anyone believe that wedding will actually happen by the way?) What do you think Schmidt has planned to stop the wedding?  You know that guy won’t go down without a fight! All in all a strong and highly entertaining season two thus far. With only a few episodes left, what would you like to see happen?

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My Fall Mid-Season Report Card

Now that we’re well into the Fall television season, I’ve been thinking about my shows both old and new – what I’m loving about them and what I hate. Mid way through the season it seems as good a time as any to comment on how they are doing – from this opinionated person’s perspective anyway.

Old (aka Returning)

Once Upon A Time – This show has its ups and downs. I was glad they didn’t drag out the curse and no one knowing anything/thinking Henry’s crazy for too long, because it became frustrating to watch at times. I wasn’t sure what direction they were going in giving people their memories back but only inside the town limits and I’m pretty annoyed by Emma for the most part this season. But, I’m loving Rumplestilskin and his story as always, last night’s episode with Captain Hook and the alliance between him and Regina’s evil mother Cora really intrigued me. This is one new character casting I can get behind. I haven’t been that thrilled with some of the others like, Mulan and I hear they want to do a spin on the Little Mermaid (really?) – but you have to take the good with the bad with this show.

Glee – I’m very close to quitting this show, though I feel it’s been that way for a long time.  keep holding on to the naïve hope that eventually this show will return to the honest, vulnerable place it held for the underdogs in season one. But honestly, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. With Rachel in New York my interest has been slightly renewed but I could care less about what’s happening in McKinley. I also keep hoping that Ryan Murphy etc are going to finally give Brittany have a brain and some legitimate thoughts/opinions but that doesn’t seem to be happening either. At first, I thought her comments were witty and fun like everyone else. But you have to admit in season four, it’s getting old. Time to try a new tact and stop making her do ridiculous things like create her own language and writing with crayons, it just comes off as ridiculous. I’m not sure why I watch anymore, maybe to see all of the random guest stars traipse around and pretend to sing? Ohh and for brief glimpses of Jesse St. James.

New Girl – We haven’t seen that many episodes so far but I just love this show. I love Jess and I love all the guys, they all bring something unique to the cast (especially Schmidt). The only real criticism would be how the writer’s handle Winston’s character. It feels like he’s left in the background a lot of the time, and his story is by far the least detailed or invested. I’m not even sure what’s happening with his relationship with Shelby, that last season they were both into and now it seems like she could care less about him. Also, his sudden job change at the radio station, when it felt like he was just starting to get his footing as an assistant. Although I admit it will be pretty interesting to watch a guy who is scared of the dark work night shift. I guess what I’m saying is, his story could benefit from a little more consistency. Also, Schmidt can do no wrong. Whatever he’s saying, whatever he’s doing no matter how ridiculous or stupid, I love it. Max Greenfield (formerly of Ugly Betty) commits to Schmidt and it works.

How I Met Your Mother – This show just makes me mad. I remember season one, how much I loved it – how I couldn’t wait to watch the story unfold of how things came to be with Ted and Lily and Marshall’s initial relationship struggles, real-ish people with real-ish problems. Now, eight years (give or take) later – we still don’t have any ‘mother’ answers (and I’m beginning to wonder if we ever will). And the show just keeps getting seasons added on so all we get to watch is filler (and maybe one touching episode or so  a season). These characters have become parodies of what they once were and I consider that a disservice to the show and the actors. They’ve let it go far too long and I don’t even take joy in watching anymore, I watch because I just want to know how the story ends (if ever). But I’ll tell you one thing, if it gets renews for a season 9 – I will not watch. I’m sure I’ll be one of the only ones, but I can take it anymore!

The New Guys

Go On – I don’t love this show as much as I was at the onset. I still enjoy it but it’s a little more ridiculous than it is funny, the characters of the therapy group need a basis a little more in reality rather than the whimsy. It needs to build on the touching,  heartfelt moments of the pilot: running after the Google car, Fausta winning the fake crown and keeping it at home, etc. – I know they are trying to get back to this place but sometimes I think the focus is too much on Ryan and not enough on the other characters. Plus, they are making Ryan too out there and larger than life, frankly at times I find it hard to believe his wife ever put up with him before she passed. I’m not ready to give up, but it certainly needs more heart.

Partners – I’ve been a fan of Michael Urie since the days of Ugly Betty (seriously that show had awesome casting) and a solid previous affection for the rest of the cast. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this best friend sit com, but I really do. Urie’s actions as Louis are a little over the top, but still based in reality and from a place of love. The jokes are straight up funny, I’ve laughed out loud – and can be dirty without being too crass. The show is light and fun, but you still care about the characters.

Elementary – This is probably my favourite new show of the season. Johnny Lee Miller commits to his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the same manner I would attribute to Hugh Laurie in House (although much more endearing). What I mean is, I don’t think of Johnny Lee Miller as acting like Holmes, I think of him AS Holmes. The cases have been complex, intricate and interesting so far – last week’s especially with the Balloon Man case. Did anyone else think we’ll see young Adam again one day? Even Lucy Liu’s level headed Watson as the polar opposite of Miller’s Holmes serves the show well. I look forward to delving more into the complicated personal lives of Holmes especially, but Watson as well. I’ll also be intrigued to see who is cast as Sherlock’s father, should we see him someday. This is a terrific show.

What are you loving or hating this season? Any new favourites? Shows you’ve come back to that you wish you hadn’t?

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Go On: A New Matthew Perry Series I Can Get Behind

I’ve always been a fan of Matthew Perry. From his early days as a messed up guy on Beverly Hills 90210 to the obvious favourite  – Chandler Bing (aka Miss Chanandler Bong) on Friends, I was even one of the few who actually really loved Aaron Sorkin’s short-lived Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and was sad when it was canceled.

I’ve been hoping for a long time that Perry could find a new long-term role, a new show all his own. I watched the first episode of Mr. Sunshine he tried to make last year, but didn’t like it and it didn’t last long before being canceled.  But after what I hear was a very well done stint on the Good Wife, he’s back with a new pilot called Go On, which aired as a special NBC preview last night after the Olympics. A little late, airing at 11pm last night I finally got a chance to watch it tonight. I hadn’t seen any promos and read very little about the show, except that it was supposed to be about dealing with grief, so I really had no idea whether I would like it or not – but I actually really did.

Matthew Perry stars as Ryan King, a sports radio broadcaster dealing with the recent loss of his wife in a tragic accident. After being told to attend mandatory counseling by his employers (a well cast John Cho), Ryan joins a transitions support group and more or less rolls his eyes at everyone. As the reluctant joiner, he is quick to judge and make a joke, believing he doesn’t really belong there. Of course, we all know that’s not true.

What I liked about this show was its ability to be funny, but sad at the same time. The members of the support group are particularly intriguing, like Julie White (Grace Under Fire) has anger issues; the group’s leader has no real credentials, and another really weird guy whose deal I haven’t yet figured out quite yet. But what really sold it for me was the developing relationship between Perry’s character, Ryan and timid group member Owen (Tyler James Williams from Everybody Hates Chris). I was particularly struck by his story and his quiet way, and I laughed when they ran after the Google car together dressed up in stolen LARP (Live Action Role Play) gear.

This show seems to find a balance between humour and an earnest way, which are two things I loved most about Chandler and Matt Albie, it’s where Perry really thrives. I think the fact that the support group leader has no expertise and that Perry’s wife died from texting while driving, were strange choices, but there’s unlimited potential where this series could go and I will be watching to see what happens.

Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced loss myself that this show seemed to resonate, maybe I just like people being brought together in a comical way – but Go On was a pleasant surprise and I really hope that viewers get behind it this fall so it can go on (pun intended).

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Rookie Blue Returns to the World of Complicated Relationships

Thursday night marked the return of the members of Fifteen Division and Andy’s return from a three-month suspension on Rookie Blue. Missy Peregrym from Stick It, Gregory Smith from Everwood – what’s not to love? I have such a soft spot for the family-like atmosphere this Toronto police series creates. With characters like: Oliver Shaw – the father type, Chris Diaz – cute but naïve with a boy scout complex, rule breaking, rough around the edges but surprisingly sweet – Sam Swarek, I could go on and on.

The series’ third season started with the introduction of a new rookie – former soldier turned cop, Nick Collins. We found out quickly he has a former relationship with tough talking Gale Peck. So far we know Collins’ spent four years at war and is  quiet but obviously brave, after he jumped forty feet in the water to pursue the suspected child abductor.

William Shatner guest starred, playing the abducted girl’s grandfather who had been looking for her since he lost her at a fair seven years earlier. There was also a small cameo by Joey Jeremiah himself (Pat Mastroianni) as an unsuspecting neighbour who attempted to help the girl by taking her to the local hospital.

The season premiere episode felt like returning to the world of old friends, with new cases, new haircuts the same can-do attitude. So far we know Andy’s suspension has been lifted and Tracy is looking to make detective and is still dating current detective, Jerry Barber. What we don’t know is the story of Nick and Gale’s past, their relationship or why they didn’t get married in Las Vegas.

We also have yet to see Detective Luke Callaghan who broke Andy’s heart by cheating on her last season. He’s been working elsewhere, but I can’t help but wonder how long that will last as I haven’t seen any Internet buzz to suggest that he will be leaving the series (except for his stint on the recently cancelled series Alcatraz). I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing Detective Callaghan again soon to complicate Andy’s life further.

Speaking of Andy, she and Sam have been estranged for three months and despite his hurt feelings about it and despite their individual suspensions, it looks like their romance is very much back on – much to the relief of viewers everywhere, I’m sure. I’m a little confused why it seems they should be able to be together in the workplace now that they’ve both been found guilty of jeopardizing an investigation due to their relationship, but I’m not exactly up on the rules of suspension and romance on the police force. How long will they last this time around? I guess we’ll have to watch and find out.

What did you think of the series premiere of Rookie Blue? Should Sam and Andy stay together? Will Gale and Nick reunite? Will Diaz find someone new?

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New Girl: An Odd Choice of Finale

I have to say, I didn’t love the season finale of New Girl. I was expecting to – I love this show and the characters. I couldn’t wait to see how they ended things off for their first season. But after watching and thinking about it last night, I was disappointed.
 
For starters, what’s going on with Schmidt and Cece? I get Schmidt feeling insecure and being jealous about Cece’s job especially after what he saw on set, by why undo so quickly what they spent the duration of this season building together? And why be jealous over the text message he saw? That text was lame, not sexy or even funny so why doesn’t he trust her? Also, Schmidt trying to ‘White Fang’ her was kind of funny in theory, but when he actually tried it with Cece it felt awkward and uncomfortable. I liked that Cece recognized right away what he was trying to pull and asked outright why he was pushing her away, but I didn’t like how she walked away and they left it unresolved – did they really break up? Why tear down a good thing fans have been rooting for all season?
 
I also didn’t understand Winston’s sudden, inexplicable fear of the dark. If they were really going to work this storyline in the finale, they should have alluded to it before. It felt random and like an excuse to give Winston something to do in the background, they should have given him something more substantial, especially when we’ve seen firsthand how funny he can be.
 
Then there’s Nick and Jess. I understood Jess trying to keep the roommates together and snubbing their potential Nick replacement. “Neil” (Thomas Lennon) seemed like a strange but interesting guy, they should have given him more to do. I also understood Nick’s hesitation to take his belongings to the new apartment – clearly he was ambivalent that he’d made the right decision about Caroline. But things in the desert got confusing.
 
When Nick and Jess encounter the coyote, her ‘meep meep’ noises were funny, but when she decided to ‘take on’ the coyote and started howling at it – that just seemed ridiculous and crazy to me – who would ever do that? I appreciated how she told Nick to move into Caroline if he thought it was the right thing to do.  But when she said she’d be ok because she’d met him – I didn’t get that. I felt like they were trying to push the romantic undertones between these two further. While I’m all for that, because I’d love to see Nick and Jess together one day – it just struck me as an odd comment, especially when she didn’t explain it any further.

Of course there were some things I liked about this episode as well, particularly the continuity: when Remy the weird landlord popped up to say he’d miss Nick’s smell, when Schmidt gave Nick the Godfather ‘Fredo kiss,’  when Schmidt talked about all of the things he’d get fixed around the apartment when Nick was gone, all really well done.

I also really liked them all dancing (rather terribly) in their rooms at the end. It was a happy moment to have Nick back, and a testament to how much they like and need each other. I’m really not sure where things will go with Schmidt and Cece next season and if Caroline, who was also underused in this episode, is really gone for good. But I know this; my Tuesday nights won’t be the same until New Girl returns.

Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 and the Return of James Van Der Beek to Our Hearts

Two episodes into the Bitch in Apartment 23 and I’m still not sure what to make of it.

The show centers around Chloe the aforementioned ‘bitch’ and seemingly proud to be. So far we know she’s previously swindled many a roommate out of their rent money before they find her too difficult to live with and leave and has an affinity for foreign pills. But we don’t really know yet what drives her to behave this way. Then there’s June, the doe-eyed, naïve new roommate who’s recently found her fiancée to be a cheater and lost the high paying real estate job she moved to New York for when the company went bust. Licking her wounds, working at a local coffee house and living with Chloe has certainly thrown off June’s hyper vigilant ‘life plan.’

The girls get off to a rocky start: the real cost of the rent, the selling of Chloe’s furniture, and Chloe’s sass and off colour remarks. But never the less, Chloe seems to have taken a shining to June and genuinely tries to help her out. She reveals the cheating ways of June’s fiancée and sets her up on a date with her own Dad. Helpful, right? While June has made it clear she doesn’t want Chloe’s help or trust her, but you can tell she’s starting to wane a little. Perhaps this will be the start of a best friendship? Could be. I’m interested to see where this show will go; will June strike up a friendship with James Vanderbeek as well? Speaking of the Beek…

I think we can all agree that James Van Der Beek is an extremely valuable asset to this show. Frankly, without him I probably wouldn’t have started watching it. But as a former Creek fanatic (and there are many of us out there), I tuned in to see him parody himself in ridiculous and hilarious ways.

I was loving this week’s mention of James VDB’s hatred of James Franco and hope that this recurs in future episodes although I doubt we’d get Franco on himself, but you never know, right? So far we’ve had an energy drink commercial, a teaching job at NYU and a poetry reading to occupy the former Dawson’s time – what crazy antics will he get into next? And how many more times will we see him recite lines from the Dawson’s Creek script? Many more I hope, simply hilarious. I applaud his ability to laugh at himself and have fun with it.

With only two  episodes having aired I do feel this show and the girls themselves are a bit all over the place, but to be fair we haven’t had a lot of opportunity to dive into June and Chloe and what makes them tick.  So it will be very interesting to see the characters and the story develop further.

However, in its short airing Apartment 23 has certainly already made great strides at being outrageous:  Chloe having sex on June’s birthday cake, June fooling around with Chloe’s father, Chloe’s supposed ‘mean’ mother is a sweet woman in a wheel chair. A lot of the time I find myself thinking ‘I can’t believe they just did that!’ – But how long can we go for shock value before we need more? Dive into real character development?

And what about the girl who lives down the hall that is obsessed with Chloe? We already know she was naïve roommate number 4 way back when, but why the obsession? I’d like to know more about her. Then there’s creepy window leering Eli, the health inspector with the blow up doll girlfriend, what’s his story? Will he ever come out from behind that window pane? This show still has work to do in character depth and story longevity, but I am certainly intrigued.

What do you think so far? Are you as happy as I am to have Dawson back in our weekly lives?

Once Upon A Time: Finding Love in A Strange Place

What an intriguing episode of Once Upon A Time this week! In “Skin Deep” we meet Belle, whose kingdom is in trouble due to ogres. She and her father (a King) have reached out to the only person who can help them – Rumpelstiltskin. In his creepy and cavalier way he tells the King he can help them if the King is willing to give up his daughter to be Rumpel’s caretaker/slave for life. Oh Disney. Belle boldly accepts Rumpel’s offer much to the dismay of her father and fiancée, Gaston.

In Storybrooke, Mr. Gold confronts a florist (Belle’s father) who his late on his payment and promptly repossesses his work van while Regina looks on suspiciously. Mary Margaret and David sit in separate booths at the coffee shop, struggling to be together but be apart at the same time. Emma joins Mary who reveals that Henry is doing well but misses Emma who is struggling with her separation from Henry. Emma is called away on official business and after a stand off with guns at the ready, Mr. Gold tells Emma he has been robbed by the florist – but doesn’t need her help. Never one to back down, Emma says she will find him and return Mr. Gold’s items.

Later that day Emma returns what she think is everything to Mr. Gold but hasn’t yet found the florist on the run. Mr. Gold is scornful, Emma hasn’t found the one item he was actually looking for – but won’t say what it is. Emma continues her search for the florist not knowing it’s too late; Mr. Gold has him bound and gagged in the back of his van.

At the coffee shop Ruby, Ashley and a reluctant Mary Margaret decide to have a girl’s night for Valentines Day while David buys two Valentine’s Day cards, one for his wife and one for his mistress. Mr. Gold muses over David’s two purchases while he himself buys himself a rope and duct tape, never a good sign, commenting that he is a ‘difficult man to love.’

In Fairytale at the home of Rumpelstiltskin, Belle’s room is a dungeon but she seems to take it in stride as she cleans about the castle in a rather pleasant mood given the sacrifices and hardships she’s faced. She chats pleasantly to Rumpel as he spins his gold and doesn’t seem put off by his demeanor or his appearance. He reveals he used to have a wife and son but lost both, although we <em>still</em> don’t know what became of Rumpel’s son since we last saw him. I can’t wait to find out! Belle reassures Rumpel he is not a monster and does not need to cover all the mirrors in his home. Shortly after, Gaston shows up at Rumpel’s door but before he can get many words in Rumpel promptly turns him into a rose, which he gives to a smiling and unsuspecting Belle.

During another Belle/Rumpel heart to heart Rumpel questions her decision to work for him forever and her engagement to Gaston. She admits the marriage to Gaston was arranged and she didn’t love him but that she also wanted to be brave and be the hero for her friends and family, which so many women in her kingdom seldom get to be (go Belle!) After a particularly close moment Rumpel tells her to go to town and collect more straw, admitting that he doesn’t expect her to return into his custody.

On the road to town who should Belle happen to meet but the Evil Queen! The Queen decides to walk with her and after a short conversation tricks Belle into admitting she has feelings for her ‘master’ but that something ‘evil has taken root in him.’ The Queen gleefully provides Belle with the solution  “true loves kiss would break any curse” the Queen says wisely – and if this is true, why wasn’t the Storybrooke curse lifted when Mary Margaret and David kissed? Aren’t they supposed to be a representation of true love as well?

Belle returns to Rumpel with this in mind and eventually they kiss, we see his face start to get ‘cured’ and he looks as Mr. Gold does now. When she comments that its “working ” Rumpel becomes enraged and wants to know who told her about lifting the curse. A shocked and confused Belle stumbles, admitting she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He strides across the room, uncovers a mirror and starts yelling at it furiously – apparently the Queen is accessible through all mirrors? Or just this one? We’re not sure. Then he rounds on Belle accusing of being aligned with the Queen or wanting to defeat ‘the monster’ herself. He locks her up in the dungeon again.

Mr. Gold takes the captured florist to the cabin where we once saw the rainy romantic David and Mary Margaret exchange. He starts beating on the florist with his cane wanting to know where his missing item is and who told him to take it. The florist seems dumbfounded about these questions and as Mr. Gold grows more angry he starts saying “she’s gone, you were her father,” which made me wonder if Mr. Gold remembers Fairy Tale life as I’ve previously suspected. Emma comes in eventually and breaks up the scene, arresting Mr. Gold.

At ‘girls night’ Ashley’s workaholic boyfriend and father of her child shows up and proposes on his break from work. She happily accepts despite her complaints that they never have time for one another – I’m not sure how marrying him will change that, but never the less. Mary Margaret looks on in angst, feeling that her current version of love isn’t what she bargained for. She leaves and runs into David who gives her the Valentines card meant for Kathryn that said I ‘woof ‘ you, yuck. She tells him to go home to his wife and he says he’ll find a way for them to be together. Is it just me? Why can’t he just leave his wife? Why is that so hard? Eventually he gives Mary the right card before heading off. Anyone else dying to know what it says? I hope we get to see it!

In Fairy Tale, Mr. Gold lets Belle go free. She calls him a coward no matter how thick his skin. He says he loves his power more than her and she says he will regret it and all he’ll have left is the chipped teacup she accidentally chipped earlier.

In his jail cell at the Sheriff’s office, Emma offers half of her sandwich as her ‘favour’ owed to Mr. Gold. He responds snidely he hasn’t forgotten and will ask for much more when the time comes. Regina comes in with Henry and asks for 30 minutes alone with Mr. Gold in exchange, Emma can have 30 minutes alone with Henry. Emma considers but then flees with her son, which I could NOT believe – she’s the Sheriff for goodness sake! Completely unacceptable behavior if you ask me, but I can let it go because what happened next was awesome!

Regina tells Mr. Gold she has what he wants, she convinced the florist to steal it from him, for her if he’ll answer only one question – what is his name. Mr. Gold plays it coy at first, pretending not to know what she’s asking before he says the word I was hoping to hear – Rumpelstiltskin! I knew he knew! Upon hearing this, Regina returns the same chipped teacup that Belle chipped in Fairy Tale, calling Regina ‘your majesty’ and assures her that she will not be more powerful than him, but she seems less than convinced. Of course that’s what has come between them! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before! The battle for power, I can’t wait to see it in action! But does Regina hold the upper hand?

In Fairy Tale the Queen pays Rumpelstiltskin a visit and reveals that once released Belle went home only to be shunned by her father for her involvement with Rumpel. After being tortured she eventually, allegedly – jumped to her death, somehow I didn’t believe it.

We close in Storybrooke where Regina brings a rose to what looks like a mental hospital. In the depths of it Regina visits a nurse who reveals the patient has had no visitors now, or ever. Inside, of course is poor Belle. Twist! Alive! Is she crazy? Is she hurt? We don’t know.

What will happen when/if Mr. Gold finds out? Where is the stranger? Why haven’t we seen more of him? Who else is ready to see the battle for ultimate power?

Big Bang Theory: Cooper vs. Kripke: Office Edition

A battle of the wills between Kripke and Sheldon was the forefront of this week’s episode, “The Rothman Disintegration.” Due to Professor Rothman’s descent into madness (and nakedness) the boys muse over his forcible retirement and speculate who will get the new office. No sooner does Sheldon calls dibs do they enter to find the lovable dirt bag, Barry Kripke measuring the new office for his own use. We also see one of many instances where Professor Rothman hangs around naked (always shown from the waist up) this time sporting a snazzy hat.

Meanwhile, Penny gets a visit from a very excited Amy who has a large-sized gift for her. Amy explains the gift is a thank you for helping her come out of her shell, becoming a ‘hipster’ etc. Much to Penny’s horror the gift is a large painting of herself and Amy. This thing is huge! Even more unfortunate, Amy brought the tools to hang it immediately!

Back at the university, Kripke and Sheldon harass President Siebert in the men’s room in what can only be called a battle of no boundaries. After a few awkward exchanges in which Sheldon tells us more than we ever wanted to know about a rectal exam, Siebert tells the guys to settle the argument between them because he doesn’t care – nor would I. Again, I’m delighted that Joshua Malina has been brought in as President Siebert, I hope we see more of him to come!

At Penny’s place, Bernadette and Penny discuss the big, ugly painting. Bernadette calls it ‘enormous, unsettling’ and makes several comments about how Penny is portrayed to look rather manly. They try to come up with an excuse that will subdue Amy, but come up short.

At the guy’s apartment Raj is annoyed. He ordered a hand crafted Harry Potter wand off E-Bay which turned out to be just a stick someone sent him in the mail. I’d love to be the owner of a hand crafted Harry Potter wand, so I felt Raj’s nerd pain particularly on that one.  Kripke comes to the apartment and he and Sheldon discuss how to settle the office argument. Many options are considered including: rock, scissors, paper, lizard, Spock. To watch Sheldon explain the game is nothing short of genius. Not only that, but Kripke goaded him into explaining it twice, not only was this so amusing – it just proves even further how talented Jim Parsons is.

Eventually Sheldon and Kripke decide to compete in sports because they equally suck athletically.  The guys accompany them to what looks like a school gym and proceed to watch Sheldon and Kripke attempt one on one basketball. This whole scene was hilarious, particularly when they both slowly hit the wall or ‘ran out of room.’ After a while they attempt to score baskets by use of trampoline and even that doesn’t work. Leonard offers mocking comments from the sidelines before deciding whoever can bounce a basketball the highest gets the office. They proceed and Sheldon wins. I really though Kripke would put up a further fight for the remainder of the episode, but this is the last we see of him.

At Penny’s the three girls are watching <em>Grease</em> because Amy was never allowed to see it, her mother didn’t want her to join a ‘gang.’ They talk more about the painting and as Amy leaves, Penny moves it out of sight only to have Amy return a moment later, asking to borrow <em>Grease</em> on DVD, as one does. She notices the painting has been moved and is instantly heartbroken. She takes the painting back from Penny and heads home in despair.

Later, the guys head over to see Sheldon in his new office. Sheldon is at his wits end, looking particularly stressed out. There is an issue with the thermostat (the control for it is in someone else’s office) a mocking bird singing out of tune and wind chimes out side his window while the Geology department makes noise above him. The guys suggest he give the office up to Kripke if he doesn’t like it, but Sheldon refuses.

Penny goes to Amy’s apartment to apologize. I almost thought they were going to come to a resolution that meant the painting went away, but alas, in desperation Penny lies that Bernadette was jealous that the painting was just of the two of them. Amy basically and unexpectedly says a big ‘screw it’ to Bernadette’s feelings and affirms that she and Penny are ‘the cooler ones’ before heading back to Penny’s to re-hang the hideous painting.  Once they’ve re-hung it, Amy confesses originally they were nude in the painting and makes some awkward comments about sponges and soapy water. Why does Amy always have to take it so far? What’s the point of her comments getting creepy like that, all the time?

We close with Leonard hearing Sheldon’s cries for help, entering Sheldon’s new office only to find Sheldon’s head stuck in a previously discussed, hole in the wall. Leonard is amused and assures Sheldon he is going for help, but proceeds to start taking pictures, and I assume tweeting about it. Well played, Leonard.

All and all a strong episode, the bulk of which relied heavily on Sheldon and he did not disappoint. However, we saw no interactions between any of the show’s couples nor did we even see the girls and guys in the same room together during this episode, what’s up with that? We only heard a few short lines from Howard as well, I missed him! What did you guys think of “The Rothman Integration”?

Big Bang Theory: Sheldon Cooper Takes A Vacation

Sheldon on vacation, what could go wrong? Quite a bit, actually and we watched it all unfold on last night’s Big Bang Theory, “The Vacation Solution.”

We find the guys at their usual lunch table, chatting away about physics mad libs when they are approached by  President Siebert played by the underused and very talented,  Joshua Malina (if you’re not already following him on Twitter, you should be – it’s nothing short of hilarious). Despite Sheldon’s insistence he doesn’t need or want a vacation, Siebert tells him he has no choice. Flash forward to Monday morning, Leonard is driving to work rocking out to the Black Eyed Peas, which was odd but also so funny it had me laughing out loud. Of course his private rock-out was interrupted when Sheldon revealed himself hidden in the backseat, hoping to sneak into work. Leonard turned the car around, having none of it.

Later that night at the apartment  the girls are at Penny’s helping Bernadette put together her wedding invitations (written in Klingon on the back) where Bernadette reveals her father is insistent she and Howard have a pre-nuptual agreement – since she makes much more money than him and she isn’t sure how to approach the subject.

Meanwhile, across the hall the guys are giving Sheldon vacation suggestions but Sheldon shoots down every idea. He even rejects Hawaii when he explains it was where “the disappointing ending of Lost was filmed.” Zing. During this exchange Raj inadvertently admits he massaged Howard’s neck the night before while Howard played X-Box – what the what? And Sheldon patronizes Howard, explaining who famous scientist was (even though Howard already knew). It’s been a while since we’ve experienced Sheldon introducing Walowitz as “not a doctor” and abusing his profession, it was a bit of a throwback and good consistency.

Eventually, gossip spreads throughout the group as it usually does. Penny tells Leonard about the pre-nuptial agreement where they share a cute exchange about how Penny thinks of a future with Leonard until she “has a glass of wine and it passes.” I also really liked Leonard’s clever retort that if Penny were famous he wouldn’t want a pre-nup because if she cheats “Leonard gots to get paid.” Their relationship seems more playful this time around, less whining from Leonard which is nice. I also thought this was a cute side note in the episode; could their relationship be more serious this time around? It’ll be interesting to see.

For his vacation plans, Sheldon finally decides to spend time in the lab with Amy. This was a particularly strong episode for Amy to me, because she pushed back when Sheldon tried to challenge her and proved she knew more than he assumed he knew about biology. Giving Sheldon menial tasks like beaker washing and counting, all of which he apparently didn’t do right – only proved further how arrogant Sheldon is and how unwilling he is to admit he doesn’t know everything about everything (or in this case, biology). Frustrated by Sheldon, Amy finally offers him up the chance to cut into the brain, where he begins “trembling with confidence” only to somehow accidentally cut his thumb and pass out.

Back at the university lunch table sans Sheldon, Leonard tells Raj and Howard about Bernadette wanting the pre-nup, figuring it’s best to give Howard fair warning. When discussing what to do Raj offered the advice he apparently always yells at the TV while watching the Bachelor; “follow your heart.” Raj is the best, you never know what he’s going to say and I’m always intrigued to find out. Now if only they’d let him talk to go girls without alcohol…but I digress.

Howard takes the news calmly, saying he has his own assets to protect: rare comics, a burial plot next to his mother near Mr. Roper from Three’s Company, etc.

At the Cheesecake Factory, Sheldon finds Howard at the bar drinking a martini while Sheldon orders a Pina Colada without rum, they sure know how to party. Penny approaches them and chastises them both for their alleged problems. She tells Howard that women everywhere had a meeting about it and he will never find someone as sweet and lovely as Bernadette and tells Sheldon that Amy wants an apology for his behaviour.

To draw things to a close, Sheldon goes back to Amy’s lab and despite Sheldon’s attempts to avoid apologizing Amy pushes him to mutter what seemed to be a genuine “sorry.” I think this could actually be the only time Sheldon has ever apologized for anything – am I wrong?

Finally on the Howard and Bernadette front, we find them reconciling during a car ride. Howard offers to speak to Bernadette’s dad about the pre-nup, which is when Bernadette reveals a lot of scary things about the former cop with what sounds like anger issues.

Will we meet Bernadette’s Dad? Who should play him? Will Howard sign the pre-nup? Will they get married? Until next time!