The Leftovers, Episode Four: The HBO Effect

Categories: TV

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Wikipedia

Oh dear, it's starting. That thing that generally happens with HBO shows: Too much is happening and it's all too bizarre. Plot gets lost in a cyclone of ideas. Let's hope this is a momentary setback.

First we have Kevin's son and his charge, a pregnant chick who is enamored with the guru who disappears. This entire subplot is weak; who cares about any of them? They are roaming around hoping that their guru will call them, but on the way they run into men with no pants on who claim to be able to peer into their souls.

Then they are on a bus that nearly crashes after a UPS truck full of dead bodies capsizes and rolls all the corpses out onto to pavement. Why are so many bodies marked "Loved One" loaded up on a truck? Who knows.

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Real Girl's Kitchen, Season 1, Episode 7: Besties and Bellinis

Categories: TV

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Flickr
Bellinis for the Besties

The dynamic betwixt girls is fascinating... this week Haylie Duff says she wants to introduce her other girlfriends to her other girlfriend, in a co-mingling called Brunch: Bellinis and Besties.

"I love that you're not a friend hoarder," the Finnish model named Laura says.

You might remember her from the first episode. She looks like a geisha. Duff loves her though, insisting she just "is who she is, and I love her." Laura's got this vibe though, people. If I had to guess, I'd say she was a gawky kid who grew very tall and realized that when she piled on makeup she looked like a fashion model. From there the empty void that was her life became filled with the faux confidence beauty brings. She carries herself just a bit higher than the rest of us, her nose just a bit turned up at the world. I've seen this before. When she gets introduced to the rest of Haylie's friends, she is going to choke. That little 9-year-old girl inside who was last picked for dodge ball will ease out of her perfect pours and she will freeze. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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Hell's Kitchen, Four Idiots Compete: Determing the Final Two

Categories: TV

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Wikimedia
Ah fer fuck's sake!

Does Gordon Ramsay lie in bed at night wondering how it all went so horribly wrong? Sure, he has a great career, Michelin stars, a lovely family, tons of money, but he obviously sold his soul to the devil to acquire these things. He has a burning rivalry with fellow Brit chef Jamie Oliver, but you don't see Oliver hosting cornball shows like Hell's Kitchen. This week they staged fake Secret Service agents, fake LAPD "CHiPs" units, and fake metal detectors to roll out the contestant's families as a surprise. Does Gordon stand there amid all that, so caught up in the glitz of fame that he no longer notices what is stupid and what is sophistimakated?

Gordon, you are disappointing me.

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Mystery Girls, Episode 4 "Pilot": The Murder

Categories: TV

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Wikipedia
Stand down boys, we're waiting for Tori

Usually to qualify for a pre-quel, a show or movie must be a blockbuster. It must have a devoted following of cosplay fans that create memes and T-shirts and fan fiction. Mystery Girls is not such a show. In fact I am wondering what the ratings for this muy estupido half hour comedy even are. Nevertheless, the network decided to wait until the fourth episode to air the pilot.


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The Real Girl's Kitchen: Cordon Bleu Barbie

Categories: TV

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Wikipedia
Pho sheezy

Dagnabbit, this Haylie Duff person keeps teaching me things about cooking. It's usually bookended by shallow idiocy but the goods are there. Sort of like Cordon Bleu Barbie. This week she's, like, doing the Asian thing. The episode is called "Pho Sho," even though she readily admits she's never actually eaten the stuff.

Shut. Up!

No, you shut up!

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The Leftovers: Exploring the Crisis of Faith

Categories: TV

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HBO/Wikipedia

Imagine, if you will, that you spent your entire life in service to a deity with the belief that if you pleased him, you would be rewarded. Perhaps you are an ancient Mayan who sacrificed a live body so that you could present their still-beating heart to your god, but still the locusts come. Or you are a Hopi in what would one day be called Arizona, dancing to bring water from the sky which never arrives to nourish your crops. Meanwhile, the Aztecs or the Navajo, who have false gods and really bad senses of style, have been blessed with zero pestilence and verdant fields of maize. WTF?

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Hell's Kitchen, 5 Idiots Compete: Good Looks Always Win

Categories: TV

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Wikipedia
Stan Lee isn't a fan of yelling

It's hard to believe that it took this long for someone to have an epic meltdown and then split, but Joy choked in the last seconds of her run, deciding to leave the competition. "Shocking," said Gordon, but come on. This happens every time. It gets close to the end and someone can't handle the pressure. The sad part is that the menfolk are doing a lot better than the women. If either Jason or Scott win I will be disgusted. As fair as I find Gordon, I can't help but notice that the best looking contestants often win, which gives Scott's conventional good looks the boost he may need to be victorious. Yuck. Maybe having a Roman nose gives you the confidence to do what it takes, but I dunno. My money for the win is on Rochelle.

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Mystery Girls: Tori Spelling "Acts"

Categories: TV

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Wikipedia
Mr. Tori Spelling

I've solved a great mystery! Many people are accusing Tori Spelling of drumming up a fake marital scandal so that she can milk it for a reality TV show. As it seems, they are half right. Her husband Dean McDermott allegedly cheated on her with some hoe bag in Canada, and now they are sifting through the broken shards of their marriage with the cameras rolling. Tori simmers, cries, and screams, and let me tell you, it isn't an act. How do I know? Because she is just about the worst actress I've ever seen. No way could she pull off all that phony angst. Take Mystery Girls for example:

Her comedic reactions on her new show with Jennie Garth are laughable, but not in the right way. She's atrocious. In farce or The Great American Sitcom you are supposed to be one-bigger than real life with your double takes, harumphs, or boasts. But she goes so far up the scale you feel like you are watching a sixth grade performance of Kabuki theater without the mask. Garth plays her straight man sidekick and looks positively Streepish next to her.

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Real Girl's Kitchen: Okay, we Actually Learned Something

Categories: TV

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Wikipedia
Cake wrecker. Aka Hilary Duff.

Haylie Duff's back on the West Coast! Did you notice a shift in the earth's polarity? The California girl is home again after slumming it in New York. It's the height of summer and she's ready to take up her family's tradition of having a crab boil. We learn also that she has a boyfriend, a guy who looks just as generically attractive as she is but probably puts up with a lot of "shut up!" shoulder punches. Trooper.

As much crap as I give this chick, I do always seem to learn something from her show. This week she made a chocolate cake with black beans as one of the main ingredients. It's such a strange idea I have to try it. Her naughty sister Hilary shows up and digs her finger into the cooling cake -- oh no she di'int! These two gals are crazy but they also love each other so much because they are sisters even though yeah they are really like literally best friends. Literally.

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The Leftovers: Structurally the Same as The Wire

Categories: TV

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Wikipedia

I watched the first episode of The Leftovers blind -- I didn't read any background, follow any news releases. I didn't even watch "the making of" the show, which generally runs the week prior. I don't like to be manipulated into have any preconceived ideas about a television show. This week, however, I looked closely at the credits and saw some familiar names and realized who was involved in the production, mainly names I'd seen on Six Feet Under. Then I realized that this show is based on the book by Tom Perrotta, an author with a knack for artistic screenplays based on his novels.The film Little Children was based on his work and also the satirical Election. This explains why The Leftovers is unfolding in front of us like a novel.

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