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New Girl: The Do’s and Don’ts of Moving to Mars

by Aly Semigran March 26, 2014 6:00 am
New Girl: The Do’s and Don’ts of Moving to Mars

That was pretty sneaky, New Girl writers. You started off last night's episode "Mars Landing" with another rousing round of True Americans on purpose, didn't you? You taught us new rules to the game (if you invented the cotton gin, you have gin poured in your mouth) and gave us hilarious new shots of the gang having fun (except for poor Winston, who had the plague) just as a way to throw us off our course. The whole episode would have to be as fun and carefree as the latest installment of True Americans, right? Wrong! It was all leading us to what is, quite possibly, the end of Nick and Jess. Granted, their relationship has put Season 3 in a rut and these two were probably doomed from the get-go, but it was still a complete bummer. Especially because I have a hard time believing this is truly the end, when it will more than likely be the beginning of a lot of off-and-on. (This should prove to be especially tough when Jess moves to Portland, and Nick is living in outer space.) Here are the do's and don'ts of moving to Mars, especially when everything is still such a mess back on Earth:

TV on DVD: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

by Ethan Alter March 25, 2014 6:05 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hail to the Veep.

Girls Finally Got Great Again… And It Only Took Until the Season Finale

Who could have guessed we'd be here? Who could have guessed that Season 3, which got off to such an ugly and joyless and borderline unwatchable start (if anything ever trumps "Dead Inside" as the worst episode of Girls ever, I'll be legitimately surprised and horrified), would end on such a touching and effective and funny note? If the fairytale Season 2 finale felt like a lame cop-out (which it was), then last night's Season 3 finale "Two Plane Rides" brought the show back down to earth where it belongs. It was bittersweet series of endings, to say the least, for Hannah and Co. But in your 20s, those are far more common than those elusive happy endings, anyway. Certain things about "Two Plane Rides" felt rushed, which is really too bad considering they could have cut the bullshit from earlier this season to make room for compelling story lines like Jessa's complicated request from Beadie to Shoshanna's understandable meltdown. For the first time in a long time, Girls has not only left me wanting more, but put me back in these girls' corners. Well, except for Marnie. Marnie is the worst.

Parks and Recreation:  This Is Not a Liam Neeson Taken Scenario

"Galentine's Day" (Part 2, technically) is the reason why I watch this show. I had a smile on my face throughout the entire episode and was pleased that they found a way to service every single character in one half hour, without sacrificing the funny. This one might end up in my top ten list of episodes, and not just because of Andy determining that he was "Goofus"… but that sure didn't hurt.

Parenthood: The Best and Worst Braverman Pairings of “The Offer”

Leave it to Sydney to ruin an episode otherwise dominated by the youngest of the Braverman generation. Sure, there was plenty of grown-up drama (this is Parenthood, after all) but "The Offer" was all about the kids, namely Victor and Max. But not Sydney, because Sydney is terrible. As Max devastatingly came to terms with his identity at school as a "freak," Victor dealt with his abandonment issues and worried that he was the cause for Joel and Julia's split. You know who put that idea in his head? Sydney, because Sydney is the worst. The entire episode wasn't perfect as a whole, but those last 15 minutes really packed an emotional wallop. If you never felt connected to Victor and Max before, you did after last night's episode. That is, unless, you're a monster like Sydney. While I'm still choking back tears thinking about the Max and Victor story lines (damn you, Parenthood, damn youuuuuuuu), I still have to declare the best and worst Braverman pairings from "The Offer":

TAGS: Parenthood

Community: Praising Mr. Banks

by Ethan Alter March 21, 2014 9:12 am
Community: Praising Mr. Banks "A satisfying sequel is difficult to pull off," Abed warns at the outset of "Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons," an on-the-nose bit of commentary from Dan Harmon cautioning viewers to not expect this follow-up to Season 2's "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" to scale the same heights as that Top 10 (maybe even Top 5)-level installment of Community. And he's right… "Advanced Advanced," isn't isn't the comic K.O. that Advanced proved to be. But it does turn out to be satisfying in its own right, especially when watched a second and even a third time through and the work of the episode's breakout star -- one Mr. Jonathan Banks -- snaps into focus.

TV on DVD: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

by Ethan Alter March 18, 2014 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Clean up in Aisle Lifetime.

Girls: Hannah Is the Pits, So Is Getting Older

by Aly Semigran March 17, 2014 11:49 am
Girls: Hannah Is the Pits, So Is Getting Older

For a series that's geared towards Millennials, the Greatest Generation has been stealing the show this season. First there was Hannah's grandmother Flo (June Squibb) who we, sadly, only got to know for one episode, and last night we were introduced to Beadie (Louise Lasser), Jessa's new boss who, hopefully, we know for a little bit longer. (Don't screw this up, Jessa). Hannah's self-indulgent, bratty, and downright career-killing meltdown at GQ wouldn't resonate with anyone who wasn't just as self-indulgent, bratty, or looking to make sure they have a terrible reputation in their industry. However, Beadie's honest and heartbreaking one-liner "It just hurts to be a shell" may have been the most profound thing that's ever been uttered on Girls. Beadie may not agree that getting older is a good thing, but at least they have the wisdom that these girls so desperately lack at this time in their lives.

Crisis: What We Have Here Is Yet Another Hostage Situation

When we first watched this pilot last summer, we saw it alongside the similarly themed Hostages and this show was the far superior debut. It had some interesting twists and turns plus the added bonus of putting Gillian Anderson back on our TV sets. But after suffering through Hostages, and seeing how poorly it all played out, the idea of committing to more episodes of another show that is predicated on a kidnapping is a pretty big pill to swallow. (Note: spoilers for last night's twists below.)

Parks & Recreation: Welcome to Pawnee, Home of Peebo the Panda

I waffle a lot about this show. Two hours worth of waffling, even. Sometimes I just want it to be funny and focus on the Parks Department without big topics, and sometimes I want more meaty storylines. And right now, while I wanted something more heavy, they gave us a nice little standalone episode with "New Slogan." It was amusing and had some great moments, but it just felt vaguely forgettable to me as it didn't really move much of the plot along. We learned about Duke Silver, saw Leslie still on the fence about the National Park Service job and Tom found a space for his latest endeavor, but after some of the big emotional upheaval of the season, this just fell flat… maybe because everyone was so spread out for the entire episode. That said, it will probably be one of the episodes that will play really well in reruns.

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