Shows You Should Be Watching: #Suits

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My first order of business upon arriving back in Los Angeles was to rewatch the first 1.5 seasons of Suits (the second half of season 2 premieres January 17th on USA).

For those of you who are playing the What-Is-Burn-Notice game with Suits, let me download on ya (I have no idea why I put it that way, but it felt right): Suits is the story of one Michael Ross, a stoner with a heart of gold and a ridiculous IQ.  As Mike states in the pilot: “I like to read, and once I read something, I understand it, and once I understand it, I never forget.”

Enter Harvey Spector, the best closer in NYC.  He works at a law firm that only hires from Harvard Law, and it’s time for Harvey to pick a protégé.  But Mr. Spector is looking for something more – someone that he can take on as an associate who reminds him of, well … him.  Ego is everything in the land of lawyers.

A chance meeting finds Mike and Harvey together.  At first it’s a bit of  a “just go with this” premise because Harvey is so impressed by Mike’s law knowledge (and wit) that he offers him a job at his firm, Pearson Hardman – despite the fact that Mike not go to Harvard Law, nor did he even finish college.  And thus the tagline “Two Lawyers, One Degree” comes into play.  Mike, with the knowledge of a lawyer, begins illegally posing as one.

Suits is rounded out with one of the best casts on TV.  Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht shine together as Mike and Harvey.  Their banter (and constant movie quoting) is the stuff of bromance legend.  Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson, Managing Partner of Pearson Hardman, is such a powerful presence.  She’s just … so damn regal, I can’t even.  Megan Markle plays Rachel, Mike’s love interest and the moral compass in his life (their chemistry is delicious, it makes me so jealous).  Rick Hoffman plays Louis, the thorn in Harvey’s side, who desperately wants to be respected and admired by Harvey.  Rick is truly hilarious – his line readings often have me cackling (which is a terrifying sound but you’ve been warned).  Sarah Rafferty is Harvey’s secretary, Donna – and she is without a doubt my favorite character.  Every line should be followed by “HEY-O” or “ZING” or any other kind of those expressions.  My favorite Donna line? “I’m sorry I don’t have a photographic memory, but my brain is too busy being awesome.”  If you knew her, you’d understand.

A lot of people I’ve talked to are put off by this premise because it seems so unbelievable.  But I challenge you: watch the damn show.  You’ll find sharp characters, witty writing and easily enjoyable episodes that merge procedural and serialized better than most shows on TV.  Every episode the actors are on their A-game and by the end of the pilot, I had no trouble believing that if anyone could pull off this kind of deception, it’s Mike Ross and Harvey Spector.

Suits, without a doubt, has become one of my favorite shows on TV.  I RIPPED through my rewatch and was left wanting more.  All episodes are OnDemand and I highly suggest starting right now.  RIGHT NOW, STOP READING THIS AND GO WATCH! (I’m a nerd).

#GossipGirl Series Finale Thoughts

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I just finished watching the series finale of Gossip Girl, and all I can think is … “wow.”

SPOILERS AHEAD * SPOILERS AHEAD * SPOILERS AHEAD * SPOILERS AHEAD

Wow to Dan being outed (or outing himself) as the illustrious Gossip Girl.  Wow to the series flash-forward, which ended the show with Dan and Serena’s wedding.  Wow that Georgina was actually invited to said wedding.  Wow to awesomely timed cameos that called back to the show’s earlier seasons.  Wow to the end of a series that encapsulated all that is good and bad in television.

Trying to get past the giant WOW, the series finale was exactly what I expected … and not what I expected at all.  I knew that storylines would be tied up, but I didn’t see the twists coming, nor did I think that Dan Humphrey aka Lonely Boy aka The Boy from Brooklyn trying to enter the Upper East Side World would end up being Gossip Girl.  But in a Lost-esque type twist, the episode flashed back to the end of the pilot, where Dan is reading about himself for the first time on Gossip Girl.  The twist: HE actually wrote it!  And what we were seeing was him post-posting on Gossip Girl.  It’s like the producers planned for Dan to be Gossip Girl the entire time! (For the record, I seriously doubt that, but very smart to incorporate the pilot to make it look that way ).  I don’t know if it’s plausible that Dan could had been Gossip Girl for all of that time (or that his sister actually agreed to let Dan post every awful thing he wrote about her), but I’m willing to accept it.

One thing I couldn’t really buy: how quickly Chuck and Blair were cleared of any involvement with Bart’s death.  I’m no law-enforcement expert, but I’m pretty sure when a man falls off a roof and they can put you at the scene of the crime, you’re probably going to be questioned for more than 10 minutes.

One thing I will NEVER buy: the deterioration of Dan and Blair’s relationship, which I gushed about here. I guess I always knew Blair would end up with Chuck, but I still feel cheated by the several season buildup of “Dair” and followed by the quick (and unjust) dismantling of the relationship. Dan is without a doubt the most consistent friend Blair has ever had (besides her maid, Dorota), and having Blair turn on Dan so quickly this season felt out of character.  I understand that the writers wanted to spend time weaving Chuck and Blair through the drama that would propel them to their eventual nuptials, but it didn’t have to be at the expense of the Dair storyline/friendship.  What am I saying though … this is Gossip Girl.  Gossip Girl don’t care.

I’m also skeptical of Dan and Serena actually ending up together.  Maybe I’m just super cynical, or just pissed that Dair is over, or seriously so in love with Penn Badgley that I don’t want him with anyone, even on TV … but after everything they’ve been through, it’s hard to imagine them truly making it.  I mean, Rufus and Lily didn’t even end up together and their love story was absolutely epic (really not happy about how their relationship ended up either but I can handle it).

There were some extra storylines that ended abruptly in the present and didn’t get any play-time in the flash-forward, but those were mostly the ones that made this season so awful, so I’m not even going to mention them (well, besides what I just wrote).

Oh Gossip Girl … it’s been a wild ride, that’s for sure.  But despite the bad episodes, the prominent characters that dropped off the face of the earth, and the lunacy of many storylines, I truly had a blast.  Thanks for 6 seasons!

I know I love you.  xoxo

#GoldenGlobe Nominations: My Thoughts

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It continues to be my favorite time of year: Awards Season!  The Golden Globe nominations came out today; and as per usual, I was thrilled with some nominations and insanely pissed when performances got snubbed.  Below are the nominations and my thoughts on them:

Best Television Series — Drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Homeland
The Newsroom

I understand these nominations, I do.  But for the umpteenth time, Sons of Anarchy has been overlooked.  I’m also surprised not to see Man Men or The Game of Thrones on here.  But LOVE the love that Downton Abbey gets – it’s a deliciously good show.

Best Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
The Big Bang Theory
Episodes

Girls
Modern Family
Smash

Out of these 5 series, I only watch Smash … and I’m shocked to see it on here.  Season 1 was entertaining, but it was a hell of a mess.  And considering that they’ve switched showrunners and cut half of their original cast, I really don’t think this nomination is justified.  I think New Girl deserved their slot (or HAPPY ENDINGS!  But that’s just a pipe dream).

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

The glaring omission of Charlie Hunnam for Sons of Anarchy truly hurts my soul.  This entire season read like his Emmy reel (so maybe I’ll hope for the Emmys).  I truly love SOA and while I might seem biased, Charlie’s performance this season was truly incredible – read the reviews, the recaps, your twitter feed; you’ll find I’m not alone in these thoughts.  I know Damian Lewis has this award on lock (and it’s deserved) but I was truly hoping to see Charlie get some recognition.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Claire Danes has this one in the bag, but I’m really happy to see Connie Britton on here, especially after she was snubbed so many years for Friday Night Lights.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Toby Jones, The Girl
Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn

I didn’t see any of these – I have no feelings.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Sienna Miller, The Girl
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

While Jessica Lange is an incredible actress, even she can’t save this overwrought AHS: Asylum season (for which her performance can’t even begin to compare to the one from the first season).  I think Julianne Moore is the clear winner, but I’m happy to see Sigourney Weaver nominated (Political Animals is definitely a miniseries you should check out.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Ed Harris, Game Change
Danny Huston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

I would LOVE to see Max Greenfield take this.  I can’t imagine New Girl without him – there has never been an episode where his presence hasn’t made the show infinitely better.  Also thrilled for Mandy Patinkin’s nomination.  His character Saul isn’t a flashy role, but it’s the grounding force of the show.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Maggie Smith.  The end.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation

As long as Lena Dunham doesn’t win, I’m happy.  I cannot stand her.  I just don’t find her funny or overly original.  I can feel the backlash brewing already …

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louis
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Pretty much what I expected.  I hope to see Nat Faxon from Ben&Kate on here next year.

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields & McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

Depending on which way the voters go, I could see a win for either Game Change or Hatfields & McCoys.

Best Motion Picture — Drama
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty

I’m really behind on my movies (mostly because I watch too much TV).  I actually don’t know which way the voters will go.  Lincoln is all about DD-L’s exceptional performance but I didn’t think the movie itself was the best I’ve ever seen.  I really need to see Argo – I read the script a few years back and loved it; a very smart screenplay.  I was hoping that Beasts of the Southern Wild would get nominated because Quvenzhane Wallis is amazing, and because my cousin that I’ve never met directed it!  Pretty cool, right?  I have a HUGE extended family and just learned I was related to Benh Zeitlin last year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Daniel Day-Lewis IS Abraham Lincoln.  I have never been more mesmerized by an actor’s performance.  No one can argue that he doesn’t deserve it.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

I have not seen any of these movies, but I have a huge grudge against Jessica Chastain.  She knows what she did.  But she’ll probably win.  Woof.

Best Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

I think Les Mis has this one, but Silver Linings Playbook is amazing and I’m sure it will be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most versatile young actresses around.  Her performance in Silver Linings Playbook was raw, funny and, in my opinion, the performance to beat.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Even though I think Hugh Jackman will take this, I would love to see Bradley Cooper win.  In Silver Linings, he was almost unrecognizable in his turn as a bipolar man trying to turn his life around.  I saw Bradley Cooper start to become a true leading man when I saw last year’s Limitless (which I loved and hope more people watch it), and I think he will continue to take projects that will make him a serious contender for all future award seasons (with the occasional Hangover sequel I’m sure).

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

I always have a hard time trying to figure out who will win in supporting categories.  I think it will be between Anne Hathaway and Sally Field.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

I love seeing Leo getting nominated because I honestly don’t understand how that man doesn’t have Oscar yet (or how we haven’t met and fallen in love…) However, I am extremely disappointed that Robert De Niro didn’t get a nomination for Silver Linings Playbook.  It was honestly one of the best performances I’ve seen from him in a long time.  But I have faith that he’ll be nominated for an Oscar.

Best Director — Motion Picture
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

I would love to see Ben Affleck take this.  I love the movies he’s directed and I thought The Town deserved more awards praise than it got.  But this is a group of heavy hitters so expect surprises.

Dear #GLEE

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Dear Glee,

I know that I’m writing you a lot of letters this year … but it’s only because I want to understand. Understand what, you ask? I want to understand how an innovative, witty, fun and wonderful show has turned into a giant MESS.

To be fair, there has been some good this season. Kate Hudson is flawless as washed-up Broadway star Cassandra July. This woman can act, dance, sing and throw a zinger like nobody’s business. I also truly loved the Break-Up episode, probably because it heavily featured fan-favorites Rachel, Finn, Kurt and Blaine (and terrific song choices). I think Finn taking over the Glee club was a novel idea, mostly because now he’s dressing like Mr. Schue and it’s great.

But the good can only appease so much. You have forced upon us 4 new McKinley characters who are just caricatures of the parts played by the original cast (a cast, mind you, that played them a hell of a lot better). But worst of all is the character of Marley Rose. Some people might not understand why I say that – her character is just so nice and sweet. Marley is also dirt poor and has an obese mother who happens to be the lunch lady. Her mom makes her clothes and sews in designers’ labels. Poor, poor Marley. You know what I say? BOO EFFING HOO. I haven’t hated a character this much since the introduction of Leo in Smash.

Think about the original core characters of Glee, first and foremost Rachel Berry. Rachel started the series as an unpopular dreg – but by NO means did we feel sorry for her. She was obnoxious, bossy, a true talent with a terrible fashion sense … and that’s why we LOVED her. She wasn’t presented as a character we should feel sorry for, like Marley has been introduced. She was someone real, someone with personality flaws that we all have, someone with dreams and ambitions that wasn’t going to let anything get in her way.

Some might argue that not every character can be as strong as Rachel, and that’s true. But Marley’s character is so unappealing – nothing that happens to her is her fault. She’s poor – not her fault. People make fun of her mom – not her fault. She stops eating and passes out at sectionals – definitely not her fault because Glee member Kitty told her to do it. She doesn’t present ANY personality flaws, which is a giant flaw in itself. No one is perfect, obviously. But for some reason, you have chosen try and make Marley into a martyr and it makes me want to scream. Marley is a walking pity party, and no one pities Marley more than Marley.

Glee, I’m going to stop talking to you, and start talking about you, ok?

Besides Marley, the main problem with Glee is that it’s completely lost its roots. And I’m going to blame Ryan Murphy. Mr. Murphy does a great season 1 of television (please see: Glee Season 1, Popular Season 1, American Horror Story Season 1). And then, in the second season, it starts to go to shit (please see: the 2nd seasons of the shows above). The first season of a Ryan Murphy show is always pushing the envelope. If you have ever watched Popular, you know that show was a walking force (and a walking farce). Entertainment Weekly called it “the proto-Glee” and said it “celebrated the value of outcasts and portrayed overplayed topics – Homecoming Court, sex, and secrets – through an absurdist lens.” This is the exact strategy that Glee used in the first season … but then the show (or its showrunner) got overzealous and instead of concentrating on the storylines, Glee boasted big guest stars and even bigger musical numbers. Somewhere along the way, Glee lost itself.

So why I am still watching? There are a few reasons. First, I love TV (if you hadn’t guessed). I’ve invested so much time (and FEELINGS) into Glee and it feels weird to think of just not watching it anymore. Second, I still really enjoy Lea Michele. She is insanely talented and her character’s journey has been the benchmark of Glee since episode 1. But the main reason I still watch Glee is that sometimes I can still see a glimpse of the show I was in love with, the show that got me excited about living in LA, the show that made me miss (and feel so proud of) my musical theater past, the show that dominated my iTunes playlists because I had to have every damn song they sang.

Despite my rants, I guess I’m not quite ready to give up on Glee. I hold onto the hope that they can turn the show around … but realistically, I’m pretty sure the Glee I loved isn’t coming back.

Shows You Should Be Watching: #BenAndKate

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There are a handful of new sitcoms on TV this season – but none quite as charming and wonderful as Ben and Kate.  Dakota Johnson is Kate, an adorably awkward & awkwardly adorable single mom to Maddie (played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones, the cutest child actor since Jerry Maguire’s Jonathan Lipnicki).  Nat Faxon is Ben, Kate’s older brother, a verbose jester with a heart of gold, who moves in with Kate and Maddie to help out.  Rounding off the cast is Kate’s self-centered but completely endearing best friend, BJ (played to perfection by Lucy Punch) and Tommy, Ben’s childhood best friend and right-hand man, who is (not so) secretly in love with Kate.  Tommy is played by Echo Kellum (who may very well be the MVP of the show for his facial expressions alone).

It’s this cast that makes the show so enjoyable – their line readings are priceless, Ben’s harebrained schemes are always entertaining, and BJ imparting her inappropriate wisdom to a very impressionable Maddie each week is my favorite part of the show (this week, after finding out Kate’s new boyfriend is rich, BJ  teaches Maddie the right way to talk to servants, Downton Abbey-style.   It’s as awesome as it sounds).  Yes, some of the storylines can border on just plain silly, but each episode is a believable slice of our characters’ world.  It’s a show rooted in family; the family we have and the family we make (I’m tearing up a bit because it’s so true).

If there is one thing Ben and Kate has mastered in its short time on the air, it’s the art of the cold open (definition: the technique of jumping directly into the story in the opening of the show before the title sequence).  Most cold opens introduce the theme of that episode.  Below is one of my favorite opening scenes from their recent Thanksgiving episode:

To close, this is my favorite new comedy of the fall and I hope this inspires a few of you to start watching it.  It airs every Tuesday at 8:30 PM on Fox.  And you can catch up on previous episodes at fox.com and hulu.com.

Viral Video VJ: 12/5/12 Edition

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For some reason, my Facebook newsfeed has been overflowing with viral videos today.  Just in case yours isn’t, here are some of the highlights:

 

#1 – One Day More … til our Wedding. Remember the JK Wedding Entrance Dance which came out a few years ago?  That was good, but this is better.  Welcome to the Les Mis wedding flash-mob, sung amongst the most talented wedding guests I’VE ever witnessed.  Does this make anyone else even MORE excited for Les Mis movie?  BRB, gonna go watch the trailer for the millionth time.

 

#2 – A Very Nickelback Ode to Instagram.  From CollegeHumor.com, this parody captures the essence of the Instagram generation.  I would like to state for the record that I have NEVER taken a picture of food and put it on Instagram.  But I have definitely taken picture of city lights (PHILLY!), and I think putting glasses on my cat is a brilliant idea.

I can’t embed the video so here is the link:  Look At This Instagram

 

#3 – The Happy and the Horror.  Fans of Happy Endings and American Horror Story will appreciate this mash-up.  But if you’ve never seen either, you probably won’t like this video.  Also, if you’ve never see Happy Endings, we have a much bigger problem on our hands.

 

#4 – All I Want for Christmas is Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots to sing together.  IT LOOKS LIKE MY CHRISTMAS WISH HAS COME TRUE:

 

#5 – I saved the best for last.  Grease fans, GET EXCITED; below is a music video so absurd, so cheesy, so incredible, that it could only be created by the minds of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.  I definitely lied earlier … THIS is all I want (and NEED) for Christmas!

#GossipGirl: In Defense of #Dair

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After watching yet another atrocious installment of this season’s Gossip Girl, it dawned on me that for the first time in 5 years, I am enjoying 90210 more than Gossip Girl.  This has NEVER happened before.  Gossip Girl has always been a staple in my TV diet – my necessary weekly foray into a world of Drama, Distress and Debauchery, brought to you by Dior.

I recently rewatched the entire first season of GG, and I had truly forgot how much fun this show used to have.  Not to mention how witty each of its characters were, coming up with my favorite one-liners as “That Mother Chucker” or “He’s such a Basshole.” CHEEKY!  In season 1, social statuses were constantly in upheaval, secrets were exposed by the bucketful, and the audience was captivated with every carefully plotted take-down & clandestine rendezvous.  As the seasons passed, the storylines became even more soapy, or just ridiculous (remember Rufus and Lily’s love child?  You know, the one who was a central plot point and then was never mentioned again?).  But one relationship storyline had fans in a tizzy – the romance between Blair, the Upper East Side Queen, and Dan, the Brooklyn-dwelling, Hemingway-esque outsider.  Since Season 1, the show had been pushing Blair and Chuck as the will-they-or-won’t-they couple, throwing them together and then ripping them apart (both happened almost every episode).  As someone who was thoroughly sick of the “Chair” drama, and a fan of friendship-turing-into-romance (see Joey and Pacey, Dawson’s Creek), I was absolutely thrilled with “Dair” becoming a couple.  I thought it was a smart move by the creators.  And I will tell you why!

Here are 3 GOOD reasons why “Dair” was a fantastic coupling:

#1: Blair and Dan were best friends before they started dating.  In Gossip Girl world, one-night stands are practically mandatory, and relationships bloom and fall apart faster than any of Taylor Swift’s.  But Blair and Dan’s friendship started slowly but slowly became the most consistent relationship on the show.  and grew into the least dramatic relationship on the show.  In one of my favorite episodes from Season 5, appropriately titled Crazy, Cupid, Love, Dan is finally ready to tell Blair that he’s fallen for her.  However, Blair is busy trying to set up Dan and Serena because she believes that is what Dan wants.  Blair corners him, not understanding why he seems so hesitant to go back to his (crazy, train wreck of an) ex.

Blair: Listen, you have nothing to worry about, Dan.  Serena already likes you – you know that!  Look, I’m telling you, just be your charming, wonderful self like you’ve been with me all year.
Dan: You think I’ve been wonderful?
Blair: Are you kidding me? Look at everything we’ve been through together! You kept it a secret when I found out I was pregnant, you shielded me from the world so I could deal with my paternity test and you brought me to a priest in my darkest hour. You wrote Louis’ vows for him, and then you saved me from my own wedding! Do I need to go on?
Dan: No.
Blair: So.  If you’re that guy with Serena how could she not love you? …You gonna make your move or what?

And he does make his move, as seen in the clip below:

With that kiss (and some minor drama), the relationship of Dan and Blair finally commenced.  And how could it not have?  The obstacles Blair and Dan tackled together (a few of those listed in Blair’s speech) spanned 5 seasons; unlike other relationships in Gossip Girl, we got to actually watch Blair and Dan fall in love.  Which in turn made me a bigger believer, supporter and ‘shipper of “Dair.”

#2: In their relationship, Blair never treated Dan like an outsider.  Which was the polar opposite of his on-and-off relationship with Serena, the other Queen of the Upper East Side.  Since episode 1, Dan was portrayed as the boy from Brooklyn desperately trying to fit in with his Manhattan prep school peers.  When he dated Serena, he constantly just felt like a visitor in “her world.”  But once out of high school, the Gossip Girl characters did what we all do – grow up.  The show became less about where the characters were from and more about where they were going.  This new direction paved the way for Blair and Dan to be together successfully.  During their relationship, Dan and Blair saw their differences as strength (rare on GG).  Their ultimate end had nothing to do with social stature, an issue that has made a casualty of many a Gossip Girl relationship.

#3: Penn Badgley, Mr. Dan Humphrey himself, acknowledged his appreciation for the “Dair” storyline.  In an interview with Vulture, Penn was asked if he enjoyed the Blair/Dan storyline in Season 5.  His response: “I did, actually.  Well, I didn’t like how it ended, because it was just kind of [draws in breath sharply].  But I do like the scenes with Leighton because I get to kind of interact in a fun way with her. When Dan and Blair are together, I think that’s him at his brightest, maybe.”

CHECK AND MATE.

This post is dedicated to my best friend, Sarah, for suggesting I write this entry and for being my biggest supporter!

Sunday Night TV: #OUAT Rant

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I was a bit disenchanted (see what I did there?) with tonight’s fall finale of Once Upon a Time.  We’re reminded every episode that “good always wins over evil” … but I think that’s getting old, fast.  I know that this is a family show rooted in fairy tales; but as most of us know, fairy tales are much darker than Disney led us to believe (did you know that Ariel attempted to kill her beloved prince in the original Little Mermaid? And then she was so ashamed that she turned herself into sea foam, which is basically Mermaid suicide?  I KNOW, RIGHT?)  And yes, I’m aware OUAT is an ABC show, which means it’s a Disney show, which makes my point completely moot.

I guess my thinking is that OUAT is the brainchild of two Lost writers, so I expect magic (see what I did there?) every episode.  Season 1 was innovative, and pretty ballsy when the writers killed off a series regular in the 7th episode.  Very Lost-esque (RIP Boone) and appreciated for it’s shock value; and the twist worked so well because within those 7 episodes, the audience grew attached to the character and was saddened by his death (at least that seemed to be the general consensus).  But this season, the old characters are treading on thin storylines, and the new characters… well, between their wooden performances (I’m looking at you, Jamie Chung / Mulan) and the zero necessity of even BEING on the show (I’m looking at you, Sarah Bolger / Aurora), I find myself missing last season more with each passing week.  The only way to redeem wasting episode time with “Mulora” (I saw it on twitter) is to go OC Season 2 and finally have them act on their underlying lesbian attraction (do the writers think I can’t see it?  BECAUSE I CAN.  Family show my ass).  If they forgo the OC-style, I hope Mulan and Aroura get trapped under an avalanche so I NEVER HAVE TO SEE THESE CHARACTERS AGAIN.

I do have good things to say about OUAT, but this is a rant so there’s no place for those feelings here.  Off to watch Homeland, the show that never disappoints me.

Thursday TV: #VampireDiaries + #OMG Moments

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Thursday is my busiest night of television.  I DVR 6 hour-long shows, which is ridiculous to try and fit into one night.  I always, ALWAYS watch The Vampire Diaries as soon as it airs, because 1) I love it and 2) There is an OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW moment in every single episode and I don’t want it to be spoiled … meaning I can’t go on any form of social media until I’ve seen it myself.  Then after TVD, I watch Glee … or at least I used to.  Now I have to force myself to and I’m not sure why I bother.  Glee has fallen SO far from it’s original premise that it’s almost unrecognizable.  But anyways, I have only thus far watched TVD and it was an episode full of those OMG moments, and not to mention a steamy scene between Damon and Elena that those ‘shippers of “Delena” have been waiting on for the past 4 seasons.

“Let’s not pretend this isn’t the best day of your life.”- Stefan to Damon, regarding Stefan’s break-up with Elena.

While The Vampire Diaries touts an impressive amount of mystical creatures (vampires, werewolves, witches, etc), the root of the story is about two vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon, who are both in love with the same girl, the human Elena.  For Elena, all roads have always led to Stefan.  They have basically been together since the pilot, with only a few roadblocks.  But the biggest road block of all is Damon, Stefan’s brother who prides himself on his ability to turn off any human emotion that might impede with his vampire lifestyle.  However, we have seen Damon start to let his human feeling in and love Elena from afar, which included a shocking confession to Elena in season 2 which he then compelled her to forget.

And now after 4 years and a lot of drama, Elena has turned into a vampire – and that change amplified all her human qualities and feelings … including those feelings for Damon she can no longer hide from.  In tonight’s episode, Elena confronts Damon and tells him the reason she and Stefan are through is because of him.  I wish I had a GIF of Ian Somerhalder’s face when he, as Damon, couldn’t help but smile at the news but also was obviously wary of Elena’s sometimes fickle heart.  Elena and Damon then find themselves exchanging longing glances (Dawson’s Creek style) during the Miss Mystic Fall pageant, which called back the season 1 episode where Damon escorted Elena to her pageant while Stefan was off having what I’m sure was an existential crisis.  Below is the clip from season 1:

But the end of the episode, the TRUE “OMG” moment, was a piece of editing mastery.  Caroline (Elena’s best friend and also a vampire) was trying to console Stefan’s broken heart, while Elena and Damon were finally consummating their relationship.  Caroline realized that Elena wasn’t actually in love with Damon … she was sired to him when it was his blood that turned her into a vampire.  You have the one scene where Caroline is putting the pieces together, and then it jumps to Damon and Elena furiously kissing, and back to Caroline again.  It was well-done, crafty, and I completely didn’t see that plot twist coming.

I forsee Elena and Damon ‘shippers crying foul, that their love is true and not just a sire bond.  I’m definitely interested to see how this plays out … until next week!