[ Gossip Girl's "G.G." and PLL's "A Kiss Before Lying" recaps are both on their way! I wanted to take a little extra time with these. Gossip Girl just celebrated it's 100th episode, after all. (That just doesn't happen every day!) Check back for both recaps within the next 24 hours . . .]
Greetings TV fans! One of my absolute favorite new TV Trends is the Episode Sneak Peek, i.e. the Web Clip. More and more lately, networks are releasing key scenes from their upcoming television episodes, a week early, in hopes of generating buzz about their shows, and, possibly, increasing ratings.
The way I see it, this is a win-win situation for both the network and spoiler-loving TV viewers like myself. From the network’s perspective, it gives the corporate suits the opportunity to control which spoilers are leaked about their upcoming episode, while still giving impatient fans something to chew on, while they wait for the actual episode to air.
From the fan’s perspective, we sort of get to feel like we’re “cheating” the system, by getting the early scoop on select parts of upcoming episodes that only the most spoiler savvy of viewers get to see . . .
“Beating the system . . . one YouTube video at a time . . .”
This week, was particuarly exciting for me, because I managed to find webclips for nearly EVERY show I watch! And these aren’t just throwaway scenes, either! Some of the sneak peeks I found offer up some genuine hints as to what these shows’ upcoming episodes have in store for us.
From a torrid fairytale affair . . . to a royal wedding that positively NO ONE wants to happen . . . to a heart-wrenching betrayal . . . to a Michael Jackson-inspired sing-off . . . to an out-and-out war between two sets of vampire brothers, something tells me that this week’s television fare is going to be setting the internet a-blaze with heated discussions for weeks to come . . .
So, without further adieu, I proudly bring to you, This Week’s Collection of Spoilery Sneak Peaks . . .
Once Upon a Time
“I see youuuuu!”
Episode 11 – Fruit from the Poisonous Tree
Airs: Sunday, January, 28th, 8.p.m. EST on ABC
Though I was initially drawn to this fairytale fantasy, due to it’s uniquely original concept, and wealthy of unabashedly nerdy literary nods . . . the complex, and suprisingly dark, love story between Snow White, Prince Charming, and their respective Storybrook counterparts, is one of the main reasons I keep returning, after week.
How much of a role should amorphous concepts like fate, instinct, and chemistry play in one’s pursuit of happiness? Is it acceptable in life to hurt and betray others, in the name of True Love? These intriguing questions are central to Once Upon a Time, in general, and Mary Margaret’s (i.e. Snow White’s) and David’s (i.e. Prince Charming’s) story, specifically.
In this first webclip from the upcoming episode, David and Mary Margaret sneak off for a romantic forest picnic, of which their fairytale counterparts — who memorably met one another in, more or less, these same woods — would most definitely approve. And yet the happiness of this romantic reunion is shadowed by the fact that David is married to another woman, one who has been doing everything in her power to make their ailing marriage work . . .
What’s so interesting about this couple is how many complex emotions they bring about in the viewer’s subconscious. On one hand, everybody knows that Prince Charming and Snow White belong together. This is something we’ve taken for granted, since we were kids. No one else will ever be quite as right for these two individuals, as they are for one another . . .
And yet, as far Mary Margaret and David are concerned, their life is not a fairytale. They aren’t princes and princesses, but, rather, real people, with real responsibilities . . both of whom (while, generally, still loveable) have some genuine character flaws. And this raises a difficult question: Does the fact that, in alternate universe, these two individuals lived Happily Ever After, justify what they are doing in this universe?
I guess that’s really up to the viewer to decide . . .
Our second webclip introduces us to the plot that I suspect will take up the bulk of the episode. We know him as Sidney Glass, once-editor of The Mirror (Storybrooke’s local paper), and, up until this point, one of the malevolent Mayor’s strongest allies.
But in Fairytale land, he was the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror. And judging by the below scene, in both worlds, his tendency to portray the world exactly as he sees it, might end up leaving him shattered . . .
Anytime Once Upon a Time focuses an entire hour on one of its minor characters, it takes a risk of alienating fans who are watching the show, more or less, just for it’s leads (i.e. Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and the Mayor). Some minor character episodes have been highly successful, at least in my humble opinion. In fact “The Price of Gold” (which featured Cinderella’s story), and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (which featured the now-dearly departed Sheriff Graham / The Hunter) were actually among my favorites of the entire series. And yet, other minor character episodes, like “That Still Small Voice” (about Shrink Archie Hopper, i.e. Jiminey Cricket), and “True North” (about Nicholas and Eva, i.e. Hansel and Gretel) felt a bit flat to me.
Having always been a sucker for characters who don’t always necessarily walk on the “straight and narrow,” but who, deep down, have a good heart, I found myself intrigued by Sidney Glass, ever since we met the character, early on in the series. Even though he’s definitely a minor character, I think his story has a lot of potential, particularly, if it’s written in a way that illustrates him as a darkly complex character and morally ambiguous, as opposed to just another schlub the Wicked Mayor managed to buy off . . .
Oh, and The Stranger . . . he’s TOTALLY one of the Brothers’ Grimm, looking to rewrite fairytale history. It’s SO obvious!
Episode 100, “GG”
Airs: Monday, Janury 30th at 9 pm. EST on the CW
As hit or miss as Gossip Girl has been lately, there was a time, not too long ago, when it was one of the best things on television. The clothes were eviably hipper than most of us could afford. The couplings and sexcapades were WHITE hot . . .
The plot lines ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to jaw-droppingly, OMFG, scandalous. And there were enough snappy, snarky quotable lines in each self-contained hour to . . . for lack of a better phrase . . . fill a book . . .
It’s for this reason that I am SOOOO incredibly excited about this episode’s 100th episode extravaganza. If the rumors are true, this hour of television will be jam-packed with homages to GG’s raunchiest moments, eye-popping blot twists, and most deliciously evil schemes and insults.
In short, it will be like Season 1, all over again. And I, for one, can’t wait to celebrate the show that taught me, once and for all, that “tights are NOT pants!”
Of course, there’s that little unavoidable matter of Blair’s sham of a wedding to that cyborg Price of Dull, Louis-bot . . .
Ahhh . . . Chuck Bass . . . the only man who can cross his legs, and still look masculine doing it. And that voice . . . I could listen to that voice reading a Depends commercial, and still get turned on.
Don’t worry, Chuck. Blair CANNOT go through this wedding . . . It would be positively un-holy for her to do so . . .
That said, you may want to get that adorably toned little butt of yours, over to the church, stat! Because it looks like she’s actually made her way down the aisle, without angry GG fans tackling her, in protest . . .
Pretty Little Liars
Episode 18 – “A Kiss Before Lying”
Airs: Monday, January 30th, 8.p.m. on ABC Family
When you are being stalked by the mysterious “A,” who literally knows your every move, and can ruin your life for the slightest infraction, lying is pretty much part of your “job description.”
Throughout two seasons, we’ve seen the Rosewood foursome lie to practically everybody they know about something . . . their parents, their significant others, their siblings, even the police. But when it’s revealed that one of the girls might be starting to crack under the pressure, and her boyfriend just might have the key to bringing down “A,” once and for all, the Pretty Little Liars find themselves in the unique predicament of actually having to lie to eachother . . .
Honestly, as far as webclips go, these were kind of disappointing. After all, we already knew coming in to this episode, that the rest of the PLL girls were working with Caleb to continue hacking into A’s cell phone, and that they had all controversially decided to leave Hanna out of it.
That said, the show’s Season Finale is not too far away. And with it will come the much-awaited reveal of “A’s” identity . . . Now, that we know this story actually has an endgame, the probability that the writers will drop important clues into upcoming episodes, like this one, is increasingly high . . . .
Episode 11 – “Wanna Be Startin Somethin'”
Airs: Tuesday, January 31st at 8 p.m., EST on Fox
After last week’s Yes/No episode, Gleeks were talking more about whether or not Rachel would accept Finn’s proposal of marriage, and less about the musical performances that dominated the hour.
I suspect that for this week’s episode, which will feature a homage to the works of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the opposite will be true . . .
Truth be told, in the past Glee’s artist-centric episodes haven’t been among their best received. Both the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes were harshly panned by the critics. And, for me, Glee’s Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Rumors” stands out as one of the worst episodes in Glee history. Only the Lady Gaga-inspired episodes, “Theatricality” and “Born this Way,” seemed to manage to stay above the fray . . .
Well . . . almost . . .
All negativity aside, I actually think “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” has the opportunity to become a Glee classic. For one thing, Michael Jackson’s soleful and diverse catalogue of music . . . combined with his flare for flamboyant costumes, and seamlessly choreographed numbers . . . seems to dovetail really well with the things that Glee does best.
Plus, whereas the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes’ so-called plotlines were eye-roll inducing in their ridiculousness. (Laughing gas induced fantasy sequences? Seriously?), the reason why all these Glee-kids are suddenly all hopped up on MJ, despite having been infants through most of his heyday actually makes sense . . .
And it’s all explained, quite succinctly, here . . .
How I adore this clip, let me count the ways . . . For one thing, I’m thrilled to see New Directions actually THINKING about their Regionals set list, ahead of time, for a change, as opposed to . . . oh, I don’t know, coming up with it five minutes before the episode actually airs?
I was also a big fan of Artie actually admitting that he was just a year old, when Michael Jackson moonwalked. (In truth, he was actually not even born yet, but I digress.) So, many times, I’ve wondered how the Glee kids’ music taste often vastly pre-dated my own (see Fleetwood Mac episode). In this case, at least the writers are inserting some recognition of that disconnect.
And I hate to say it, but I’m REALLY digging Sebastian as Glee‘s new super villain. After all, Sue Sylvester can only try to bring down Glee club so many times. And not since Jesse St. James stint with Vocal Adrenaline has the New Directions really had a worthy adversary, who wasn’t afraid to “fight dirty” to win the competition.
Speaking of worthy adversaries, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about watching Sebastian go to head-to-head with Santana. They say “Greed is Good.” But I say “Mean is Better.”
And these two have that down, in spades. Plus, dare I say it, for two gay characters, these two have an astounding amount of sexual chemistry. Don’t believe me? Check out this musical sing-off to MJ’s iconic “Smooth Criminal” . . .
(By the way, did anybody else find the cello players oddly constipated looking facial expressions during the number a bit disturbing?)
And, of course, no Glee artist-centric episode would be complete without an ensemble number in which every cast member dresses up in one of the artist-in-question’s most memorable outfits . . .
(I think Blaine is supposed to be Michael Jackson from the beginning of the Thriller video. Am I wrong?)
The Vampire Diaries
Episode 312 “Bringing Out the Dead”
Airs: Thursday, February 2nd, 8 p.m. EST on the CW
TVD webclips are notoriously heavy on Damon snark and Eye Thing, while frustratingly light on actual plot points . . .
I suspect this has to do with head writer Julie Plec being a bit of a spoilerphobe. But with good reason! After all, apart from the immensely attractive cast, and interminable shipper wars, it’s really this show’s game-changing plot twists that keep us tuning in, week after week.
This week’s webclip features a shirtless Stefan (Haven’t seen that one, in a while!) . . .
. . . and a rather smug “I kissed Elena, and you can’t take that away from me” Damon . . .
. . . doing what they do best, bickering and scheming . . .
Just to be clear, Damon and Stefan were TOTALLY eye-f*&king in this scene, weren’t they? Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed that . . .
One of the things TVD does best . . . apart from it’s unimaginably erotic and unbelievably addictive love triangles, of course . . . is it’s parallels and role reversals. Last season, Elena un-daggered Elijah, in hopes of finding a way to eliminate Klaus as a threat, without hurting the people she loved.
Stefan dutifully went along with her plan. While Damon was angrily outspoken about his mistrust for the Original Vampire (with good reason, as it turns out), and ended up taking matters into his own hands, in a way that neither Elena nor Stefan approved . . .
Now, less than a year later, Damon is the one who has un-daggered Elijah . . . (CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?)
. . . and is now looking to him for a possible alliance. And Stefan is the mistrustful one, who’d prefer to take matters into his own hands . . .
But, of course, the parallels don’t end there. There’s also the little matter of Damon locking lips with the girl Stefan always presumed was his own . . . despite the fact that his recent behavior has made a reunion between the two former lovebirds nearly impossible.
And though, on the surface, these two brothers are fighting about vampire wars, and the efficacy of “old-fashioned” sitdowns, just beneath that surface lies a slow burn of love for the same woman, and with it, decades of jealousy, betrayal, and heartbreak . . .
That’s a whole lot of angst and complexity for one minute and 21 seconds, isn’t it? You can imagine then, how intense the rest of the hour will be . . .
And there you have it, an entire week’s worth of juicy television, condensed down into a few short webclips. I know I’ll definitely be tuning in . . . Will you?