Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Seder Anything" - Gossip Girl, episode 2.21

After a promising beginning, a Blair dream sequence in which she's a Dickensian flower girl begging a richer version of herself, the rest of "Seder Anything" felt a little rushed and desultory. We didn't learn very much about anyone, saw some characters repeat themselves, and generally spun our wheel while waiting for what looks like an unmissable episode next week.

It's not looking good for Blair's plans to attend an Ivy League College; there's one last hope, but at what cost? A few episodes ago we met Nate's grandfather, a domineering blueblood played by James Naughton (who isn't breaking a sweat). Grandad has got Nate's future mapped out; there's that internship at the Mayor's office which sealed the fate of Nate's relationship with Vanessa and now it's Nate's college plans that have come under the old man's scrutiny. Nate has applied to Columbia on the sly since he's feeling a little hemmed in by people telling him what to do. Somehow Grandad finds out and approaches Blair with an offer: get Nate to go to Yale and you can be a bridesmaid at a society wedding and have a seat on an uppity committee at the Whitney. (Blair is plotting a non-college career as an busy socialite) What's clearly implied is that if Blair can change Nate's mind about college the doors of New York society will be open. The old Blair would have jumped at this opportunity, but things have changed. Nate's in-your-face toast at the wedding wins her over, but just as it seems all's right Grandad reveals to Nate that Blair almost sold him out for a bridesmaid's dress. If there's one character on GG who is entitled to some trust issues this year it's Nate, and he isn't happy about the revelation.

So much was going on this week that scenes in which key information was given got skipped over. Nate learned that his Grandfather had ratted his Dad out to the Feds in an offscreen scene and we only get an account of Serena's Spanish trip with Gabriel secondhand. It seems that after Poppy left in a huff (or did she?) Serena and Gabriel had something of a fling and may have gotten married. Serena would prefer to forget the whole and enlists Cyrus (a welcome return by Wallace Shawn) to look into an annulment. It all culminates in a rather disastrous seder at the Waldorfs at which is abashedly serving as a waiter to raise tuition money and where Gabriel shows up to reveal the truth about what happened in Spain (not much, or so it seems). It all adds up to another restatement of Serena's central conflict: her desire for independence versus her disdain of being the center of attention. We've been here before.

Oh, and could we please not have anything come of the moment between Chuck and Jenny in which Mr. Bass apologizes for that attempted rape back in the pilot? It's good to see Chuck acknowledge his own bad behavior but this is one relationship we really don't need to develop. This week was kind of a bummer, but next week brings the return of Georgina and the promise of some good old-fashioned GG craziness.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

TV on the Internet, Episode 5: Al Michaels Is NOT an Alien Queen

The fifth episode arrives, and for once, we have a major disagreement on something, namely the Caprica pilot, which Todd quite liked and Libby HATED. So there you go! As always, we appreciate your critiques and comments in the comments, so let us know what you think, and be honest. If you're liking what you're hearing and have the time, please review us at iTunes, so we can start climbing the ranks.

We're available on iTunes, or you can check us out at Podcast Alley, Podcast Pickle or the TV on the Internet libsyn page.

This week, we review the Caprica pilot and try to decide which shows on the bubble should and shouldn't be canceled. In addition, we praise some ABC sitcoms, talk quite a bit about Breaking Bad for once and go over the PaleyFest sessions Todd attended. Look after the jump for complete details.

TV on the Internet, Episode 5: Al Michaels Is NOT an Alien Queen

Here's a direct link to the episode.

Time codes follow. There are MAJOR SPOILERS for a variety of shows, so you may want to skip over a segment if you haven't watched the shows discussed therein.


00:00.00-00:01.43: Introductions and music from Haley Bonar
00:01.44-00:13.38: The week's headlines.
00:13.39-00:24.27: A review of the Caprica pilot, out on DVD Tuesday. Includes mild spoilers for the episode. Warning: Boobies!
00:24.28-00:41.27: Todd and Libby look at which shows on the bubble should be renewed. (Vote for your favorite at E! Online's "Save One Show" poll!)
00:41.28-01:03.39: Discussing the week in television. (Includes spoilers for Better Off Ted, Breaking Bad, The Office, 30 Rock, My Name Is Earl, Parks & Recreation, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Lost, Party Down, In Treatment, Chuck, Fringe, 24, Rescue Me and Scrubs. If you guys want more detailed time breakdowns for this segment in the weeks to come, just ask.)
01:03.40-01:07.11: The weekly rant: Libby on American Idol and Todd on Dollhouse fans.
01:07.12-01:12.12: The classic TV on DVD pick, the wrap-up, more from Haley Bonar and an outtake.

Headline Links:

PaleyFest '09 (The Paley Center for Media)
Susan Boyle's Extraordinary Ordinariness (The Los Angeles Times) (Youtube link)
HBO Plans Film on 2008 Election (Entertainment Weekly)
Exclusive: 24 Moving to New York (EW)
John Madden Retires (Pro Football Talk)

The song this week is "Something Great" by Haley Bonar. Again, the full album is worth a download on iTunes, LaLa.com or Amazon MP3.

Clips are from Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog (episode: "Act 1," script by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen; song: "My Freeze Ray," music by Joss Whedon and Jed Whedon, lyrics by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen) Caprica (episode: "Pilot," script by Remi Aubuchon and Ron Moore), Chuck (episode: "Chuck Versus the First Kill," script by Scott Rosenbaum), Better Off Ted (episode: "Win Some, Dose Some," script by Elijah Aron and Jordan Young), Scrubs (episode: "My Soul on Fire, Pt. 2," script by Bill Callahan), American Idol (performance of "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Marketa Iglova, sung by Kris Allen) and Cupid (episode: "Pilot," script by Rob Thomas).


(We'll post 'em as you make 'em.)

A Podcast Recommendation:

I'm pretty much blatantly ripping this podcast off for much of our format from week to week, I figure it's only fair to toss a link over to the good folks at Filmspotting.