That Day family is one kooky bunch, huh? We've already met Jess's overprotective papa Bob (Rob Reiner) and her outgoing mother Joan (Jamie Lee Curtis, who popped up again in another phone scene), and in last night's new episode "Sister" we finally met Jess's wild-child sister that we've definitely never heard of before, Abby ( Linda Cardellini). We know that Abby and Jess are different because Abby (who Jess describes as "a girl who looks like me but with chaos in her eyes") gets arrested and causes trouble wherever she goes and wears dark eye makeup and tattered clothes (the surefire sign of a real troublemaker) and Jess sings about everything and has always been seen as the babied baby in the family. But despite their differences (and Jess's attempts to keep Abby away from everyone, including Nick) these two had some really great moments together and, like any good TV hellion, Abby makes herself right at home. I actually enjoyed this story line, maybe because I like Linda Cardellini or maybe because I thought she and Zooey Deschanel made believable sisters, or maybe it's just because anything compared to the nauseating soup-slurping double date between Winston, Bertie (WHY?!), Coach, and Cece seems downright brilliant. Here now are the do's and don'ts of letting your punk sister invade your life from last night's episode of New Girl:
One sitcom trope that has always driven me especially crazy is when two characters stay friends with each other (and their friend group as a whole) after they've split up. Maybe it's tense for an episode or two, and there's a good chance they'll reconcile (like plenty of exes that can't stay away from each other do), but for the most part it's an unrealistic portrayal of what it's like when two people in a group of friends split from each other. Lines in the sand are drawn, there are tears and there is jealously, among other unpleasantries. But, most notably, they would absolutely not hang out every single day (unless they worked together), no matter how close they were. While How I Met Your Mother has touched on the weirdness of Robin hanging out with her exes and the fact that Ted is still pining, New Girl (which is guilty of the exes-staying-friendly trope themselves with Schmidt and Cece) explored that issue last night in "Exes." The initial argument was that people only stay friends with their exes for the possibility of sex, but by the end of the episode, they figured out that that is impossible because there's too many unresolved issues. While I didn't love "Exes," I can appreciate what they were trying to do with this episode. Here are the do's and don'ts of reconnecting with your ex, according to New Girl:
I wanted to believe that the post-Super Bowl, Prince-guest starring episode of New Girl would be good. After all, the show has been on a little bit of a hot streak after a very dismal start to Season 3 and because Prince is Prince so everything he touches is magic. Unfortunately, not even the magic touch of Prince (which was, by far, the highlight of the episode) could save this from feeling like a forced and overwhelmingly unfunny episode. (That said, Jake Johnson's high-pitched scream after Prince allowed him to freak out, was a thing of comedy beauty.)
How do you turn a versatile, gifted comic actress into a one-note sight gag? Apparently by having her host SNL for her third time. It's not that the Mike & Molly star didn't give it her all this weekend on SNL, but for whatever reason, the writers insisted on making the beautiful, hilarious actress dumpy and/or vulgar in just about every single sketch. After the third or fourth time, it wasn't funny. Just in case that wasn't enough to bum you out, there was also Imagine Dragons. Kidding, it's because the episode also marked Seth Meyers' final appearance on SNL before he takes over Late Night, and the long-running player/writer got an amazing, guest-filled, lump-in-the-throat farewell. Here now are the best and worst of Melissa McCarthy (and Seth Meyers!) SNL:
In case you hadn't noticed, I really did not have any fond feelings for last week's episode of Girls. I thought it was nasty and ugly and showed not only the immaturity of these characters, but the show itself. (You'd like to think that by Season 3 there'd be some emotional growth for the female characters on a show called Girls.) On the other hand, "Dead Inside" allowed me, as a former champion of this series, to disconnect from even remotely liking any of these characters for good. It concretely proved that these are terrible, selfish sociopaths and I'm no longer laughing at their once-relatable twentysomethings-in-New-York-City antics, but marveling slack-jawed at what Millennial monsters they are. That's not to say I still wasn't disgusted with some of their behavior in last night's episode, "Only Child," I'm just no longer surprised by it. This is the M.O. of the show now. Well, the girls, anyway. That said, in addition to no longer being likable or relatable, Hannah and Co. are now utterly unbelievable.
That sound you heard around 11:40 PM ET on Saturday night was the sound of every 20 and/or 30-something woman in America screaming with jealousy that Jonah Hill got to reenact the famous bough scene from Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio. That's right, his Wolf of Wall Street co-star showed up during his opening monologue and dreamed to say the words we all wished we could as Leo cradled us from behind, "Am I flying, Jack?!" Sigh, who knew you could giggle, sigh, and seethe with envy all at once? Unfortunately for Jonah -- and viewers -- his third stint as SNL host peaked with the Leo appearance (really, it could only go down from there anyway), as most of the other sketches depending on the actor yelling at the top of his lungs. Though, it did have the strongest "Weekend Update" of the season yet and a few other highlights, so here are the best and worst moments from Hill's episode featuring musical guests Bastille, who were also there:
Boy, did I really hate this week's episode of Girls, "Dead Inside." I mean truly despised sitting through this skin-crawling episode. And it's not just because the series has concretely proven, once and for all, that the main female characters (Hannah in particular) are actually just self-absorbed sociopaths with few remaining qualities left. But it's that the men seem to be the only characters left with any shred of decency or interesting characteristics or compassion. I'm not saying that Lena Dunham has to make her girls on Girls inauthentically sweet or overly emotional version of themselves, but I do think she has to make them marginally human human beings. They are not. They are mean, nasty people. And again, I don't need heroes and I don't need flawless characters (that's boring and doesn't ring true to life) but the line is blurred about whether we are supposed to be rooting against these people or gleefully basking in their outright horribleness. I quickly lost my patience with Entourage because it glorified a pack of emotionally vacant jerks who got everything they wanted, even if they didn't deserve it, and it became a marathon of pointless, joyless excess. Girls may not be a show about excess, but it does make you wonder if any of these women will actually grow up or they'll get to continue their path of selfishness and we have to just go along for the ride. Are the guys of Girls going to continue to be the only personable characters? Or can the girls get in on that action at some point, too?
"Farmers Market" started out with a lot of things I don't like about this show -- like saccharine cute Ben and Leslie and annoyingly positive Chris and Leslie insisting that she's right about everything. But somewhere around the 15 chard or vegetable-related pun, it turned all of the things I don't like into positives and delivered a realer Ben and Leslie and a comforting Chris and Leslie coming up with a creative solution to a problem. As much as I griped about all the delays and the show being on hiatus earlier this year, I'm kind of glad as it means that the Chris/Ann departure that is scheduled for next week didn't air on the same night as Troy leaving Community. Not that I'm going to get weepy about either of them going at this point, but I don't need two shows with send-offs in the same night. Oh, and I realized that one big problem I constantly have with Parks is all the jokes at the expense of the townspeople. I get that they are unhealthy and supposedly obese, but the Farmers Market was filled with a ton of people of average and totally healthy weight. Same with all the town meetings. Do they just not have overweight people in Los Angeles to choose from? Can they not go do some network synergy crossover and steal people from The Biggest Loser ranch for a day? Anyway, on to the Farmers Market, where we learned that cauliflower is not just a dead tree.
Perhaps because he's working on a shortened season order for the first time, Dan Harmon apparently opted against spacing out his movie parodies. Two weeks removed from his David Fincher homage, he returned to the spoof well last night with "Geothermal Escapism" a.k.a. "Community: Lave World," which sent up a whole bunch of post-apocalyptic disaster movies with a specific emphasis on the legendary Kevin Costner boondoggle Waterworld.
Well, I think I may have just switched my allegiance from Team Joel to Team Julia. I know, I didn't see it coming either. While I still respect and understand Joel's decision (especially for sticking to his guns and knowing himself well enough to know that he's confident in his choices), the guy really could have given counseling a try for a little while, no? Again, I know. For weeks I have been saying the show needs this shakeup, which I still stand by, but jeez… poor Julia. I mean, was there anything sadder than her plea, "Don't give up on me"? Hell -- and this is the most shocking thing of all -- poor Sydney and Victor. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, but Joel and Julia's collapse was the biggest thing to happen in "You've Got Mold." Some other story lines did take place, too, so here are all the best and worst Braverman pairings from last night's new episode:
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