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The Originals 3×19 ‘No More Heartbreaks’: McTears

Fast food hasn’t been in my body for a few months and with a new two-week gig starting up soon, I decided to celebrate by treating myself to one of those Taste Crafted sandwich things from McDonald’s while I watched this week’s episode of The Originals. This was a big mistake for a couple of reasons; 1. Now I want MORE fries and 2. I cried in a McDonald’s. For those who’ve been loyal readers since I started doing these reviews know that I have despised Cami from the first moment we locked eyes (well, I with her and she with Klaus). Perhaps the little fangirl in me was jealous of the affection Klaus showed her, or maybe it was just because I found her character annoying 99.9% of the time. All that said though, here I was with tears streaming down my face as we said a final farewell to the former psych student turned vampire.

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Source: FOX

Bones 11×13 ‘The Monster in the Closet’: Something wicked this way comes

It’s been a while since Bones delved into a good old-fashioned creepy case, and tonight’s episode made up for lost time with a story that harkens back to its earliest days. If you’d have told me I’d be sitting here this week actually on the edge of my seat until the end credits rolled, I’d tell you you’re cray-cray, but apparently the joke’s on me, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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The Big Bang Theory 9×22 ‘The Fermentation Bifurcation’: Set sail…

When you had a cast of characters that include 99.9% of couples most of the time, you have a lot of opportunity to mix and match, but The Big Bang Theory usually keeps thing realistic because they note when a pairing is weird. It’s not rare, but it is weird to some to think of hanging out with their buddy’s significant other when they aren’t around. While they explored relationships in terms of friendships, Raj was questioned about the romantic kind, and Leonard and Howard worried about the future use for their prototype.

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The Mindy Project 4×16 ‘So You Think You Can Finance’: Whitney’s back

Jody’s secret is out. This week’s The Mindy Project reveals that he has fallen for Mindy, and wants to do the mature thing and tell her. Right up until he realizes just how different their personalities are, and gets cold feet. Which, in my opinion, is actually a good thing.

While I like Jody’s character, and enjoy his adventures with Mindy, I don’t want them to become a couple. The problem is that Jody and Mindy don’t have any romantic chemistry together. Jody’s very formal and hides his emotions, making him a bad match for Mindy. (Granted, you could describe Danny the same way, except that Danny was actually awful at hiding his emotions, however much he wanted to.) It’s not Garrett Dillahunt’s fault – he’s played romantic characters before. It’s simply the way Jody’s written. He’s a funny character, and a great friend to Mindy. He’s a good confident, a good friend, a good coworker, but I doubt he’ll ever be a good boyfriend for Mindy. Read more »

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Castle 8×19 ‘Dead Again’: I need a hero

And so does this show. While an enjoyable and highly entertaining episode with even an exciting push forward with the LOCKSAT story line, the fallout from Stana Katic and Tamala Jones leaving was especially palpable in this episode, and I just don’t see how this show can keep going.

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Fresh Off the Boat 2×20 ‘Hi, My Name Is…’: Toasters and Garfield

When the Huangs end up needing a new toaster, they wind up down memory lane and Louis and Jessica tell their kids how they got their American names to help Evan come to terms with being named after a random nurse who was in the room when he was born on Fresh Off the Boat. It was not only an interesting look at them through a culture looking glass, but made you think about the importance of a name.

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Carol

The Last Man on Earth 2×16 ‘Falling Slowly’: Baby crazy

I love The Last Man on Earth for multiple reasons: the sudden twists in plot; the half-fun, half-horrific take on the end of the world; the great choice in casting. But one of my favorite things about the show is the relationship between Tandy and Carol.

Initially set up as a classic sitcom scenario: a lazy, easy-going guy and an uptight, neurotic woman stuck together, Carol and Tandy have become much more. Over the course of two seasons, the couple has changed and evolved, learning to adapt to each others’ moods and needs. They offer support and love one another, helping each other through any problem. Carol in particular is a good source of advice; she is the reason that Mike and Tandy are friends again.

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Game of Thrones 6×01 ‘The Red Woman’: The effects of loss

It’s an exciting time to be a Game of Thrones fan.  The show has officially caught up to the books, and, as a result, nobody quite knows what is going to happen next. Of course, this could entirely throw the show off the rails, but the great thing about Game of Thrones is its ability to dig a little deeper into its source material.  It’s not just a show where the source material is adapted; instead, questions of power are raised.  How do power structures operate?  At what point do they collapse?  What does their life cycle look like?  How do they change based on the terms of their inception, of the strength of their belief systems? Read more »

Source: FOX

Bones 11×12 ‘The Murder of the Meninist’: It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s world

Never ones to shy away from topical themes, this week our squints take a look at feminism — and the groups who fight against it. It’s quintessential Bones: in many ways predictable and broad, but it’s what’s painted between the lines that really shines and sets the show apart. With Hodgins’ recovery permeating the story, there’s no doubt that the gang challenges their biases, and our own in the process.

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The Big Bang Theory 9×21 ‘The Viewing Party Combustion’: Humble brag

Sides have been taken and Raj is dating two girls on The Big Bang Theory. It wasn’t the greatest episode of the season, but it definitely was one of their most grown up in terms of relationships.

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Mindy

The Mindy Project 4×15 ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’: The boyfriends are back

I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness Mindy Lahiri is dating again.

This week’s episode of The Mindy Project was a pleasant break from the rest of the season. Most of season four has centered around Mindy and Danny’s slowing dying relationship, with arguing and yelling and heartbreak (for the audience as well as the characters). True, there were jokes in the episodes, but at the core of the season was a very serious issue. Mindy Kaling addressed how hard it can be to be a working mother, and how even loving relationships can eventually turn toxic. It elevated the series to a new level of acting and writing, but it also was dark for a comedy. I have to admit, it’s nice to get an episode that doesn’t have drama, but is all about jokes.

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Better Call Saul 2×10 ‘Klick’: Coming clean

I hate raving about shows in my reviews, but man, Better Call Saul is ridiculously good. Almost as good as Breaking Bad. Now, I don’t think there’s much television that can top the frenetic insanity of Breaking Bad’s final eight episodes, but for a much, much quieter show, Better Call Saul succeeds on so many levels. It crawls at a relatively slow pace, but every scene of this show is dripping with nuance, with empathy for its characters, and often switches perspectives to push our allegiances from character to character. That ability to control the audience’s perspective, to push them back and forth, is an absolutely invaluable skill for a show to have. It shows that the writers are thinking from all perspectives, providing us two, three, four sides of a story. Read more »

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Girls 5×09 – 5×10: ‘Love Stories / I Love You Baby”: Real progress

There’s something inherently satisfying about the end of this season of Girls, more so than other seasons.  Other seasons had the characters lost in their ways, trying to find clarity and purpose only to find nothing on the other side but more questions.  Here, even though the characters are still certainly struggling, there’s a sense that they’re moving toward some inevitable destination, that they’re growing up in some fashion and are figuring out who they are and how they fit into the world. Read more »

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Fear the Walking Dead 2×02 ‘We All Fall Down’: Trying to move forward

Note: I’m going to be talking a little more broadly about this show instead of really focusing on the plot of the episode. So, if I leave things out, keep that in mind.

However strange this may seem, when analyzing art, it’s important to pay attention to gut reaction.  Of course, you can’t exclusively do this, as you end up making arguments you can’t support, but gut reactions can help you figure out what avenue to take your analysis.  It provides a starting point from which to build a foundation and move forward.  It might seem like I’m getting overly academic here, but as television analysis gets more and more academic (which it should get because it deserves to be taken more seriously), it’s important to think about this. Read more »

Phil Beard

The Last Man on Earth 2×15 ‘Fourth Finger’: Things are getting hairy

Before anything else, can we just discuss how dedicated Will Forte is to this show? He spends the entire episode running around with half his body shaved, with make-up caked over his face. That takes some commitment.

We also need to talk about Mike Miller, and his obnoxious behavior. So glad you made that huge journey from space, risking death, to get you brother to rub poison oak on himself, Mike. Yep, pretty revenge certainly makes the whole risky trip worth it.

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The Originals 3×18 ‘The Devil Comes Here and Sighs’: Stakes of love

The terrible twosome of this season used to be Aurora and her brother she’s too close with. Now she’s back and with love struck and power hungry Lucien by her side. So for an hour we had to watch them torture Klaus while Vincent tried to crack the ancestor code on The Originals.

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BONES: L-R: Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz and guest star XXX in the Spring premiere "The Death In The Defense" episode of BONES airing Thursday, April 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Bones 11×11 “The Death in the Defense”: Truth and consequences

Previously on Bones, Hodgins got hurt and everyone was sad!

It’s been such a long time since Bones has been on the air, that it almost feels like a brand new season is upon us just as other shows are wrapping up for the year! When we left off in December, Hodgins was left paralyzed after a tragic accident. Two months later in Bones-land, he’s in the depths of his recovery, and he’s not the only one feeling out of sorts in the aftermath.

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The Goldbergs 3×21 ‘Rush’: On trend

Rush is apparently a band that only resonated for those who legit grew up in the 80’s because I had no clue who they were until I Love You, Man. If it hadn’t been for that movie, then I would’ve heard about them tonight thanks to The Goldbergs. Erica discovered her rock roots didn’t have to be male based, while Adam realized just how great his mom really is.

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Mindy

The Mindy Project 4×14 ‘Will They or Won’t They’: Where do we go from here?

When we last left the not-so-happy couple of Mindy and Danny, it was on one of the most depressing Christmas mornings ever, as Mindy had just realized her relationship with Danny wasn’t healthy. Mindy Kaling seems to have known that any more episodes of Mindy and Danny yelling at one another would permanently break the audience’s heart, and fast-forwards through all of the drama in a four-minute montage.

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Better Call Saul 2×09 ‘Nailed’: Unintended consequences

Two seasons in, I’m going to say it: Better Call Saul is how you make a spinoff. Sure, it reuses some characters from Breaking Bad, but it does such a brilliant job making us care about characters that aren’t in Breaking Bad that it doesn’t matter. Maybe even more important, Better Call Saul doesn’t reuse Saul Goodman or Mike Ehrmantraut. Those two characters are clearly different than they were in Breaking Bad, more innocent, more willing to attempt to do good, and it makes the show more unique, more interesting to watch. It might be a spinoff, but it’s so easy to forget that it’s a spinoff, considering how fascinating the characters are and how easy it is to get lost in the story and its strong thematic framework. Read more »