"It's a fart. Some people think they’re funny." That's what Margo Martindale's character Carol, a screeching cliché of a helicopter mother, declares in the pilot of CBS' new comedy The Millers. That sums up the apparent operating principle behind this show: fart jokes. So many fart jokes.
I'm an Adam Lambert fan. I'm not even going to try and pretend I'm not. I love his voice, his style and think he just seems like a cool person. That said, I'm also hugely into musical theater and like my pop stars to be overly flamboyant. I was raised in a household with a lot of Queen and David Bowie. But even though Adam made it further than I could have hoped, I just think that it won't be enough to pull him through to take the title of American Idol (which really means nothing anyway, but that's a whole 'nother story). If it had been the predicted Lambert/Gokey showdown, I think Adam might have had a chance, but now that wild card Kris Allen is in the mix, I think that Kris has an excellent chance of going home with the title.
The list of "celebrities" who will be "competing" on the upcoming Celebrity Apprentice has been released and it makes us wary about the new season (more so than normal even). It's an "interesting" mix of C and D listers, and we use the term interesting very, very loosely. I mean, we had heard Tony Danza might be on this season, but alas, not even Tony Danza wanted to get fired by the Donald. So I'm buckling up for two hours a week of this insanity... again, but I'm pretty sure it's gonna suck hard. See our reasons why below.
Every year I say that I'm not going to watch this show anymore. But then I do. This time around I got suckered into watching because of the adorable Lance Bass (I never noticed he was the worst dancer in the boy band, I just thought he was cute!), who was teamed new pro Lacey Schwimmer, whom I loved on So You Think You Can Dance. I was fully prepared to stop watching once the N'Sync boy got ousted, which, judging by his early performances, should have been right about the time Cloris got the boot. However, he's stepped up his game and now he's in the finals. While I'm slightly miffed that I've wasted countless hours on this show, I think he stands a shot at actually winning this season. Go figure.
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.
It was only a matter of time. The groundwork has been laid for almost the entirety of Season 3 about how there are too many cracks in Hannah and Adam's foundation for them to sustain a healthy long-term relationship. These two may be crazy for each other (crazy being the operative word here) but their relationship started as such an uneven mess that it's impossible to build it from the ground up. As much as Adam would like to argue that Hannah still associates him with his "older" version, it's a little hard to do that when scorned ex-girlfriends show up at coffee shops or he acts distant and moody on a moment's notice. But Hannah's just as much at fault, too. She is self-absorbed, but also puts Adam on an impossible pedestal even when he doesn't necessarily deserve to be up there. Last week, Adam told her "I'm very committed to you "at this time" and her mother tried to plead with her "You're so special you deserve everything…he's nice, but stay open to possibilities" and it all seemed to fall on deaf ears. These two are operating on very different frequencies (see: how they both dealt with the subject of death this season) and as much as we want them to be perfect together, these are two imperfect people.
I must admit something right off the bat: I've never been the biggest fan of Jimmy Fallon as a late night talk show host. I know, I know, that's like saying puppies are overrated and ice cream is a sub-par dessert. I'm of the minority and I realize that. Let me clarify that I actually thought Fallon's Late Night was a fun, hip (The Roots rule all!!) and modern (the guy knows his viral-friendly audience) show, but Fallon's interviewing style of fawning and giggling over every single guest always hit the wrong nerve with me. Again, I realize that Fallon doesn't have the gravitas as Letterman, nor the politics of Stewart and Colbert, but I like my hosts more edgy and daring than agreeable and starstruck, and the squeaky-clean Fallon most certainly ain't that.
Vacation is good for everyone. It's good for me, it's good for you and it's definitely good for TV shows stuck in a rut that it desperately needs to get out of. A change of scenery doesn't just physically take you out of your elements, but it mentally does, too. Destination/getaway episodes are nothing new, but rarely are they used to re-set the course of a series. Typically it's just an excuse to have the characters get into whacky shenanigans in Hawaii or meet Mickey Mouse. But Girls went a different route with "Beach House" and didn't use their getaway as a break from the norm, but rather as a device to have a lot of underlying issues come to a head. Vacation episodes are usually a fun distraction, but this one felt like the first truly authentic, funny, interesting, and -- believe it or not -- emotional episode of this rocky, thus-far-unlikable third season. Girls has had success with getting the characters out of the city before. Case in point: "The Return" and "Video Games." Last night's "Beach House" makes them three for three. (Maybe they need to leave New York more often?)
The first two seasons of Girls were divisive ones among viewers, to say the least, and that's because it's an either-or show. You either chuckle or cringe at the self-absorbed antics of Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her pack of equally misguided twenty-something friends Adam, Marnie, Shoshanna, and Jessa (Adam Driver, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, and Jemima Kirke, respectively.) You either love and defend Girls (even when it makes you squirm), or you hate it and attempt to will it out of existence (especially when it makes you squirm.)
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