Tag Archives: comedy

BINGE OR NO: Netflix’s GLOW

(Soon to be cross-posted on Agony Booth.com)

When I was a kid, my mother was a huge fan of soap operas. In the days before DVR, and before Netflix made binge-watching a “thing,” she would record an entire week’s worth of her favorite soap, Days of Our Lives, while she worked, so that she could spend her Saturdays catching up with all her fictional best friends and lovers and their increasingly wacky lives.

As a result, my father would often chide my mother, a career woman with a Masters degree, for her deep-abiding love for this evil-twin having, devil possessing, amnesia abusing, secret love child coveting, art form. Whenever he did so, my mother would wryly reply that my father’s ability to watch countless hours of WWF wrestling was pretty much precisely the same thing as her Days of Our Lives addiction. Wrestling, she claimed, was, after all, a soap opera geared toward men. This argument undoubtedly horrified my father, who would inevitably respond by turning up the volume on his wrestling match full blast, as if to say that no series that LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS could possibly be equivalent to a “ladies’ television show.” But deep down, I think he knew that my mother had a point.

This exact same epiphany is experienced by GLOW’s co-female lead Debbie Eagen, a former soap star, who must now try her hand at a role where your ability to “pretty cry” is not nearly as important as the depth which you could realistically portray the pain of having someone twice your size sit on your face.

Based on an actual television series of the same name that took to the airwaves for four seasons, during the years of 1986 through 1990 (many of the wrestling personas portrayed here are based on characters from the original series), Netflix’s GLOW is a ten half-hour episode long comedy set piece about the maybe (?) origins of women’s wrestling.

The REAL cast of GLOW

Leading this large and diverse cast of mostly female actresses is Allison Brie, as Ruth Wilder, a grown-up theater geek, and out-of-work actress, who is desperate to find an on-screen role where her character does more than bring a powerful male lead coffee, or tell him that his wife is on line 2.

That is, perhaps, one of the most interesting things about GLOW the series, the way in which it argues that women’s wrestling, as an art form, was actually pretty progressive, particularly for its time period, in the way in which it championed strong females, both as the heroes and the villains of its stories. Not such a big accomplishment, you say? Think about what a HUGE deal everyone made over the Wonder Woman movie actually featuring a female superhero, and how long that film took to make it to the big screen. And this is 2017, over thirty years after women’s wrestling premiered on TV!

In GLOW, Ruth is able to take on the role of her dreams, that of a female lead villain, who is strong, tough, takes no prisoners, and would sooner pour scalding hot coffee on a man’s head, than serve it to him black with two sugars. I mean, sure, women’s wrestling had its down sides too. Most of the “characters” on the show were thinly drawn, and often aggressively offensive, racial, and socio-cultural stereotypes: The Terrorist, The Welfare Queen, The Evil Communist, and an Asian Character named Fortune Cookie. Not to mention how the female wrestlers were often hooted at, degraded, and objectified by men, as they rolled around with one another in scantily clad outfits. Yet, arguably all those same downsides applied to men’s wrestling as well. So, there’s an odd sense of equal opportunity here, when it comes to poor taste.

Speaking of objectification, those men out there looking to revel in hot bodacious babes engaging in Sapphic aggressive dances with one another might be a bit disappointed with Netflix’s GLOW. With one or two exceptions, this is not a particularly glammed up bunch of ladies. 80’s fashions (which are showcased in all their neon-tinted, big-hair having, glory here) do NOBODY any favors, appearance wise, at least by modern-day beauty standards. Even Allison Brie, who in real life is quite beautiful, has her looks noticeably, and purposefully, toned down here. Her character Ruth wears little to no makeup throughout most of the series, and often prefers shapeless, oversized, outfits to more form-fitting attire.

In terms of characters, Brie’s Ruth, Betty Gilpin’s Debbie, and Marc Maron’s schlocky, but occasionally paternal, showrunner Sam take center stage here during most of the episodes. The rest of the cast serves largely as comedic support, their roles limited mainly to the stereotypical characters they play on the wrestling mat. As a fan of Jenji Kohan’s other Netflix Series Orange is the New Black, I found myself wanting to see more of many of these characters, and to learn what brought them to this unique job opportunity, possibly through the use of OINTB inspired flashbacks. There are no such flashbacks in GLOW.

Just as OINTB’s Season 1 story was largely about Piper and her complicated love-hate relationship with Alex, so too was GLOW’s Season 1 story predominately about Ruth and her friendship turned antagonistic relationship with Debbie. (I’d tell you why it turns antagonistic, but I’m afraid that would be a bit of a spoiler.) Perhaps, if the show gets picked up for a second season, GLOW, like OINTB, will branch out and feature more of the backstories of its intriguing and diverse ensemble cast.

As for the series itself, though it takes a little while to find its footing and humorous tone, GLOW is sudsy good fun, with just the right amount of 80’s camp, and a pro-feminist message thrown in for good measure. At a mere five-hour run time, GLOW is easy and painless to breeze through. The live-taping of the wrestling show featured in the final episode serves for an exciting and entertaining, colorful capstone to the series. And you will undoubtedly find yourself missing GLOW a bit when its over.

So, in the end, my mom was right.  Wrestling, and shows inspired by wrestling, are a bit like soap operas. Both are guilty pleasures, for sure. But if you look closely, you might just find a little bit of substance underneath those suds.

FINAL VERDICT: BINGE IT!

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Binge or No: Netflix’s The Santa Clarita Diet

(Will be cross-posted at Agony Booth.com)

Zombies are the new vampires, that’s for sure. So, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood decided to make them more physically attractive, grant them spacious homes in Suburbia, and give them white-collar jobs. The Santa Clarita Diet is about as pro-zombie as a television series can get . . . minus the gag-inducing scenes filled with vomit, and the occasional image of a limb grossly detaching itself from the human body . . .

The ten-episode thrill-omedy, which premiered on Netflix February 3rd, stars Drew Barrymore as Sheila Hammond, a West Coast suburban realtor, whose recent infection with a zombie virus has given her a renewed zest for life, and a passion for eating men’s balls off . . . literally. (This isn’t your mother’s “Mmmm, Braiiiiiinnnnnnns” type zombie. Sheila is way less wasteful, when it comes to munching on parts of the male anatomy. Oddly enough, no females were harmed in the making of the first season of the series. Is that sexist?)

Early promotional spots for the series actually skirted the whole “Sheila is a zombie” issue entirely, and instead cleverly featured the cast touting the benefits of a “new diet” that offers its participants “tons of energy,” and “makes them look great.” Sheila, herself, is a testament to this, as Drew begins the series looking rather frumpy (and with something disturbingly weird going on with her eyebrows), then subtly becomes more glamorous with each passing episode . . . until the last two, but that’s another story.

In fact, if it weren’t for (1) Sheila’s new zombie-like dependence on her id making her increasingly impulsive, hungry, and reckless; and (2) the whole “murdering people is wrong, and disposing of bodies is hard work” thing, zombie-ism, at least as it’s portrayed in the series, would seem like a pretty workable lifestyle.

As for Sheila’s supporting cast, we have Timothy Olyphant playing waaaaaay against type as Joel Hammond, Sheila’s mild-mannered nebbish of a realtor husband, who’s supportive faux cheeriness, as the body count piles up, borders on frenzied and manic. Basically, this is the kind of role you’d see Matthew Broderick playing, if this series came out about ten-years earlier.

Rounding out the main cast are: Liv Hewson as Abby, Sheila’s and Joel’s rebellious daughter (who is way cooler about the fact that her mother occasionally murders the neighbors, and feasts on human flesh in her spare time, than I would be); Sklyer Gisondo, as Abby’s nerdy and way too-loyal friend / paranormal enthusiast, Eric, and Dan Palmer and Richard T. Jones, as Sheila’s and Joel’s feuding cop neighbors, Rick and Dan.

The Santa Clarita Diet also features Nathan Fillion in a cameo that’s either truly thankless, or patently hilarious, depending on how you view it.

As for the series itself, I think it takes a few episodes to find its footing. The show seems to struggle early on, at least in my opinion, to strike the appropriate balance between comedy and horror. For example, in one scene, you might see Sheila and Joel bathed in blood and guts, as they try to bury the gnarly organs of body that the former just devoured in the woods, without being discovered by the cops.

And then, in the scene immediately following that, Sheila will be depicted, clad in a garbage bag, chasing after, and unsuccessfully attempting to wrestle, a rooster, like she’s a character in a Looney Tunes cartoon?

The series also takes its sweet time in finding the unique voices of its characters, in ways that go beyond them just spouting cheesy zombie and murder puns to one another for 25-minutes. The writing for Sheila, in particular, suffers in the early episodes, as we are told that the realtor mom’s personality has changed drastically, since she was infected, but have to take the rest of the cast’s word for it, as she begins showing signs of infection within the first five minutes of the series.

I was actually planning to discontinue the show after the first two episodes, but soldiered on, and found myself completely hooked around episode four. Around that time, the writing for the series becomes tighter, the jokes funnier, and the main characters become more consistent and relatable in their personalities.

In particular, I found the acting of the teen characters on the show, Abby and Eric, very strong. Their story line adds a sort of sweetness, and a touch of realism to the series, that I think would be lacking otherwise.

Another important point to note, before you venture into The Santa Clarita Diet is that it’s pretty friggin gross. As in, don’t watch it while you are eating . . . EVER! Maybe you folks who just love watching The Walking Dead, and really dig body horror, will be totally cool with this. But I found my eyes averting the screen pretty much any time one of the characters projectile vomits (soooooooo much vomit on this show), or a painted toenail pops off and rolls under the coffee table, or Drew’s Sheila is seen slowly and messily gorging on an arm, while looking much like a baby eating her first spaghetti and meatballs dish. These kinds of scenes amount to roughly a quarter of each episode’s run time, so be warned.

As for trademark zombie lore and the series’ central mystery, i.e. how Sheila came to be infected with the zombie virus in the first place, there isn’t really much there, at least in the first season, which focuses more on the inconveniences and unintentional hilarity of suburban zombie living than any sort of complex rules and/ or zombie origin stories. The mythos that is presented is rather vague and superficial, though I suspect that aspect of the show will be built upon, should The Santa Clarita Diet be picked up for a second season. Still, this might annoy some of you paranormal enthusiasts out there, who tend to like a bit more world-building with your blood, guts and gore.

In short, if you are someone who: (1) likes a good laugh, and a unique take on an old reliable horror movie stable, (2) doesn’t mind lots of gross shots of vomit and disemboweled corpses, (3) doesn’t care too much about origin stories, and (4) is patient enough to get through a rough first few episodes, The Santa Clarita Diet might be the lifestyle change you are seeking. And by “lifestyle change” I mean “five hours seated on your couch watching a show on Netflix, while not eating.” (Did I mention before that you shouldn’t be eating while watching this show?)

Verdict: BINGE IT . . . with discretion.

 

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It’s Hard Out There for a Ghost . . . and a Vampire . . . and a Werewolf – A Retrospective of SyFy’s First Season of Being Human

On Monday night, the SyFy channel aired the Season 1 Finale of it’s critically acclaimed supernatural drama,  Being Human (based on a British series with the same name).  The show, which has just been picked up for a second season, chronicles the lives of three roommates, who WOULD lead fairly normal lives, were it not for the fact that they are a Ghost, a Vampire, and a Werewolf, respectively . . .

Nice hat!

Nice lipstick . . .

Nice boxers!  (Now, please take them off!)

Although I stopped formally recapping this show after Episode Three, (due to other recapping responsibilities, and my general inability to secure solid screencaps of the show, in a timely fashion *blushes*) . . .

“That smells like bull$h*t to me!”

 . . .  I watched it faithfully, each week.  And, as a result, I am proud to name myself as part of its fanbase.  Admittedly, the series was a bit slow getting out of the starting gate, as its writers struggled to find a balance between copying what made the British version of the series so successful, and striking out on their own.  However, as the cast developed their character’s distinctive voices, and the producers ventured outside the British series for episode inspiration, Being Human really began to hit its stride, with the episodes improving significantly from week-to-week.

“You like us!  You REALLY like  us!”

In honor of that sentiment, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at Being Human’s first season, as seen through the eyes of its three main characters: Josh, the Werewolf, Sally the Ghost and Aiden the Werewolf . . .

Wolfman Josh (played by Sam Huntington)

Poor Josh!  Life definitely hasn’t been kind to this guy.  Two years ago, he was a loveable, overachieving college graduate with his sights set on med school.  He was also engaged to be married, and had a younger sister who admired him, and parents who worshipped the ground on which he walked.  Sounds pretty good, right?

Cut to two years later, when we first meet the afore-described “Golden Boy” in Being Human’s pilot episode.  Now, Josh is a hospital orderly, who cleans bedpans for a living.  He hasn’t had sex for two years. (So much for being engaged!).  And his whole family thinks he suffered a nervous breakdown.  Did I mention he is also a werewolf?

In addition to being my absolute favorite character on Being Human, Josh also bears the impressive distinction of being the cast member most often naked on the show.  Given Sam Huntington’s fine physique, I suspect this is NO accident . . .

If the repeated appearances of Naked Josh on Being Human were inserted into the show, as a cheap ploy to increase the female viewership of a television station, that has, heretofore, been almost exclusively watched by geeks men, it sure WORKED ON THIS FEMALE!  In fact, every time Naked Josh “exposed himself” to my television screen, I may or may not have have reacted like this . . .

Anyhoo . . . in addition to the monthly “wolfing out” of his man parts, Josh underwent a number of intensely personal and painful transformations, during the course of the season.  In the first few episodes, we sympathized for Josh, as he coped the shame he felt regarding his true nature, and the anger and bitterness he experienced over the many ways in which being a werewolf prevented him from achieving his lifelong dreams and goals.  These complex, and super angsty, emotions that Josh kept bottled inside caused him to isolate himself from others. 

*sings* “All by my selllllllllf . . . don’t wanna be . . . all by my selllllf, any morrrreeeee.”

However, as the series progressed, Josh began to open his heart to his roommates, who taught him that, just because he gets a bit hormonal once a month, doesn’t mean his life is over.  (Surely, many of us girls can relate to THIS!)  This “heart-opening” eventually enabled Josh to reconnect with his baby sister . . .

  . . . and make a new werewolf playmate (who ended up being this TOTAL vampire-hating psychopath, who was responsible for scratching Josh, and turning him werewolf in the first place . . . but still . . . babysteps!)

Eventually, he even manages to fall in love again, with a nurse at the hospital named Nora.  And she falls in love with HIM too, once he finally figures out how to stop growling at, running away from, and butt humping her, of course!

Speaking of butt humping, it takes a real well-endowed wolf to impregnate a girl THIS way, on the first try .  . .

Way to go JOSH!  (You sly DOG, you!)

In a matter of days post ass-screwing, Nora is suddenly the human-equivalent of three months pregnant (Apparently, wolf gestation periods are WAY shorter than ours.  Who knew?  Plenty of people who regularly watch the SyFy channel did, I bet!  ).  This, of coruse,  is going to make it REALLY hard for the new couple to find time to decorate the nursery! 

In the season finale, Nora walks in on Josh during a wolfy transformation, and watches him endure it.  In an oddly calm moment, a Wolfed Out Josh blinks his big yellow CGI-created eyes at Nora, from beneath a locked door.  (This Wolfman knows a Baby Mama when he sees ONE!) 

Far from being freaked out by this revealation, Nora actually seems pretty relieved to learn that Josh has been acting like a crazy man around her, because he’s a werewolf, instead of just your run-of-the-mill a$$h*le.  But then she realizes that, during his transformation, Josh inadvertently scratched HER, in an effort to push her out of harms way.  Sorry She-Wolf!  It looks like the MONTHLY CURSE is on YOU . . . TOO!  (And now you have TWO of them.  LUCKY YOU!)

Sweet, loveable, socially awkward, and undeniably goofy, Josh is definitely a character with whom I wouldn’t mind spending a second season.  Except, I’d probably buy him a REALLY THICK PAIR OF GLOVES, before I got too close . .  .

A girl’s always gotta use “protection,” you know!

Vampire Aiden (played by Sam Witwer)

If Josh was the Being Human character who got the most Naked Time (though, admittedly, Aiden got HIS share of that too .  . .) . . .

. . . Aiden was the character that got the most TOTAL screentime. (Then again, if YOU were alive for as long as THIS vampire’s been roaming the Earth, YOU’D have a lot of ISSUES to address too!)

Well, hello, Charlie Chaplin!  I didn’t know YOU were in this show!

*sings* “Grease is the time.  It’s the place.  It’s the no-tion.  Grease is the way we are FEELIN”!”

Yeah . . . I don’t really have anything to say about that . . .

For Aiden, most of the season was spent struggling to maintain a non-human munching lifestyle, and cope with centuries of past wrongs, all while trying to avoid the clutches of his evil old Vampire Empire Building boss, Bishop (played by Mark Pellegrino). . .

I’m proud to report that it only took me THREE-QUARTERS of the season to stop thinking of THIS GUY as “Jacob from Lost.”

Though Aiden managed to lead a fairly “human” law-abiding life style, throughout the season, there were a few minor missteps along the way.  Like, for example, the time when he accidentally ate his human girlfriend, Rebecca, while they were screwing . . .

So, Bishop turned her, just to piss Aiden off, basically.  Then, Rebecca became this REALLY ANNOYING, SUPER UNLIKEABLE CHARACTER with whom Aiden still inexplicably hooked up, for most of the season.  That nonsense ended in the penultimate episode, when he finally staked her, at her own request, thereby, putting us ALL out of our misery . . .

SAYONARA, BLOODSUCKA!

Then, there was this OTHER time, when Aiden met this guy who SWORE that Aiden had killed his dad, back when the guy was only 10- years old.  (HE HAD!)  So, Aiden tries to take away the guy’s memory of the event, but ends up driving him to KILL HIMSELF, instead . . . OOPS!

Then, there was this THIRD TIME when Aiden befriended a little boy, named Bernie, who accidentally got into Aiden’s vampire porn stash, making Bernie’s mom think Aiden was a TOTAL Pedo!  Then Bernie gets hit by car, and dies.  So Rebecca turns him.  But Bishop makes Aiden think his new vampire son is running around EATING bullies, so Aiden kills the little vampire child.  (Am I noticing a PATTERN, here?)

“Hey, little boy!  What do you say I give you a REALLY untimely death?  Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

The season ends with Aiden killing Bishop, and becoming Sheriff of Area Five, Eric Northman Vampire Ruler of Boston.  (Be afraid, Ben Affleck!  Be VERY AFRAID!)

Broody, tortured, soulful, and super sexy, with a healthy dose of guilt and self-hatred to boot, Aiden is EXACTLY the kind of TV vampire, us fangbanging fangirls love to drool over!

Sally the kind of Whiny Ghost (played by Meaghan Rath)

Sad Sack Sally has a sob story to tell.  You see, a few months back, she “fell” down the stairs of her apartment, hit her head, and died.  So, she’s been literally hanging around the apartment in her pajamas, ever since . . . unable to move on to the Great Beyond, due to “unfinished business.”  Sally spends the first half of the season crying over her boring, and rather personality-free, fiance, Danny, who is renting the apartment, where he and Sally used to live, to Aiden and Josh.

To make matters worse, Danny has recently started boning Sally’s best friend . . . while Sally watches.  AWK-WARD!

Care for a Menage-a-GHOST?

Things with Sally become slightly more interesting (not to mention WAY less annoying), when she learns that Danny just so happens to be a Girlfriend and Fiance-Beating Sociopathic Cretin, who KILLED SALLY, just because she accidentally dropped her engagement ring in the sink!  Suddenly, it becomes a battle of “wits” between Sally and Sociopathic Cretin.  Sally, with more energy and intensity than she’s exhibited all season, haunts Danny’s ass FOR FUN!  It’s all INCREDIBLY dark . . . and oddly cathartic.  In return, Danny does everything in his power to try and get Sally out of the house, even going as far as to perform an EXORCISM on her, and light their apartment ON FIRE!

After a brief bout of zombieism . . .

That’s taking the “smoky eye” look a bit too far, don’t you think?

 . . . Sally (with the help of a vamped out Aiden) finally scares Danny into turning himself in to the cops for killing her. 

When this happens, Sally’s Unfinished Business is suddenly not-so-unfinished anymore.  In the Season Finale, a LITERAL door opens for Sally to travel into the Great Beyond . . . and she conveniently forgets to walk through it.  OOPS!

And that was Season 1 of Being Human in a VERY SIMPLIFIED nutshell. 

Thirsty for more?  You can now check out full episodes of the first season of Being Human on Hulu.com.  For those of you who would prefer a “quicker fix” of the show, check out these nifty little sixty second episode recaps on the SyFy website: here

Not only do these recaps come FULLY LOADED with excellent video footage from each episode, they are also narrated by a woman, who clearly has a gift for the delivery of deadpan humor.  This woman can make you roll on the floor laughing without EVER HAVING TO CHANGE THE INTONATION OF HER VOICE!  She’s the Ben Stein of SyFY.com!

“Bueller . . . Bueller.”

Some of my favorite gems from the recaps include lines like these: “Evil Greaser Aiden threatens Bishop,”  “Josh gets sniffed .  . . weird,”  “Rebecca yells at Aiden.  She’s forgiven . . . again.”  and “Aiden and his Sideburns refuse.  Then they leave.”

For those of you who had a chance to watch the First Season of Being Human live, I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the Comments section.  As for the rest of you, see you in Season 2!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Paint the Town Blood Red – A Recap of Being Human’s “Something to Watch Over Me”

“Hey, there Crazy Cop Guy!  Long time, no see!  Hey, remember that one time when you were 10, and I ate your dad?  Haha, GOOD TIMES!”

(Ummm . . . yeah . . .  so this recap . . . is ridiculously late.  Sorry about that!  Consider it a “Refresher Course” to prepare you for tomorrow night’s episode!)

With Friends Like These . . .

This past week’s episode dealt with the various ways in which one’s past can come back to haunt him, in ways he may never have expected.  It all started with Social Butterfly Aidan wanting to expand his Social Network.  After all, the dude had been on the planet for centuries, and STILL, his only Facebook Friends are Bishop and his motley crew of Evil Blood Suckers . . .

Bishops “Likes” include: Vampire Recruitment, Compelling waitresses to give you free food, Grave Robbing, and World Domination

 . . . Shut-in Sally, who’s Status Updates are always the same.  (ex.  “I miss Danny.”  “Gee, I wonder Danny still thinks about me.”  “Do you think I can have Hot Ghost Sex with Danny some day?”)

“Blah, blah, blah DANNY, blah, blah, blah SAD, blah, blah, blah, I LOVED HIM,” *sniff, pout, cry, repeat*

 . . .and Josh, who once a month, leaves embarassing, and incoherent ramblings on Aidan’s “Wall” . . .

EXAMPLE: Grrrrroworororor Nom, Nom, Nom, Tasty Bunny, GRRRRRRR, Yummy Deer, GRRRR

So, Aidan has this great idea to start a Neighborhood Watch.  (You know . . .  to protect the community from scary things that could really hurt them . . . like vampires, werewolves, and ghosts.)  Inherent irony of the situation notwithstanding . . . seriously?   THAT was Aidan’s grand plan to make Cool New Pals?  Was it Aidan’s INTENTION to collect the lamest group of friends EVER?  Because, really, how many “cool people” do you know who participate in the Neighborhood Watch?

Oh yeah . . . Granny over here looks like just the person I’d want protecting the streets from evil, while I sleep.

Seriously though, if Aidan and Josh REALLY wanted to start a social circle including a group of their peers, wouldn’t it have made more sense to start a Twilight book club?

Bella, Edward, and the rest of the Cullens “Like” this . . .

Most notable among the Neighborhood Watch attendees are . . . Josh’s Mini Me

 . . . some chick who looks like Daria Morgendorffer from that old MTV cartoon . . .

Man, I miss that show!

  . . . Danny . . . who, of course, leaves right away, after seeing how LAME this party is . . .  (Not that Danny isn’t ALSO lame, because he totally is!)

“Is this the Star Trek Fan Club meeting?”

 . . . and this Creepy Cop Guy with Mountain Man Facial Hair, who keeps staring intently at Aidan, like he wants to make out with him . . .

“Oooh, he must work out!  I wonder if he has a Cop Fetish . . . or a thing for Guy’s with Beards . . .”

Aidan and Josh Try to Pimp Out Sally . . .

The next morning, the three roomies are hanging out in the bathroom, discussing how Sally might not be nearly so uptight and annoying, if she got laid every once in a while.  So, Aidan and Josh decide to set Sally up with a ghost that Aidan met while working at the hospital.  His name is Tony.  But I would prefer to refer to him as the Ghost of Eighties Past . . .

At first, Sally is not down with boinking this Hair Band Reject.  She likes her men more boring, soft-spoken, and effeminate.  You know . . . like Danny.  But then, through some scientific miracle that I can’t even begin to explain, Ghost of Eighties Past is able to SHAKE SALLY’S HAND (and, from the looks and sound of it, give her a MAJOR GHOST ORGASM!) . . .

I hope he washed his hands, first!

Suddenly, Sally is totally down for “playing” with the Ghost of Eighties Past.  Things get even MORE exciting, when he tells her that she is not stuck in the house forever, as she previously thought.   (Oh, thank the LORD!  I couldn’t take much more of that!)  You see, Sally doesn’t have a corporeal form like you and me.  And, for that reason, she can go anywhere she wants, just by using her MIND! 

This, of course, THRILLS Sally to no end.  And, knowing that she can go anywhere, I bet you will never guess where she decides to go first?

Yeah . . . right back to the bathroom, where she was two seconds ago!  (Girl’s got the imagination of a peanut!)   After everyone’s peed and pooped, Sally decides to go downstairs and bother Josh, who is watching TV with his new friends Mini Me, and Daria Morgendorffer.  The problem is, only JOSH can see her, which basically makes him look like a TOTAL lunatic, in front of his new pals . . .

The Awkward Moment when you are watching TV with your pals, and a weird Ghost Chick sits on your lap, and starts talking to you about flying . . .

Finally, Josh and the Ghost of Eighties Past manage to convince Sally to get the HELL out of the house.  And so she does . . . and by out, I mean RIGHT OUTSIDE HER DOOR.  (I lied. Peanuts are WAY more imaginative than Sally . . .)

Sally is so VERY proud of herself for moving an extra two inches, that she begins dancing around in circles like a five-year old.  Ghost of Eighties Past, of course, sees this as a BRILLIANT opportunity to get into her sweatpants . . .

I mean that literally, of course, “Tony’s” bottom half ACTUALLY intertwines with, and becomes part of, Sally’s.  It’s kind of gross, actually.  Sally, of course, is APPALLED at the notion of screwing anyone aside from Dear Danny.  And she tells Tony as much.  Feeling rejected, Tony skulks back to his Mom’s Basement, where you just know he lived, until the day he died . . . at age 35.  As for Sally, she goes back inside to pout about . . . you guessed it . . . Danny.

Josh tries to put some sense into Sally, explaining to her, that life isn’t an old Demi Moore movie from the Early 90’s.  So, she’s never again going to be able to make “sweet, sweet . . . ghostly pottery” with Danny.  The sooner she gets used to that, the better . . .

Then Ghost of Eighties Past returns to apologize to Sally.  And I fell in love a bit more with Josh, as he defended Sally’s honor and chastity.  “Well, if it isn’t Casper the HANDSY Ghost!  Not THE PLAN, MAN!”  Josh growls at Tony (even though, let’s be honest, getting Sally laid was TOTALLY his plan!).

Once he’s certain that Sally isn’t going to get Ghost Raped in her own house, Josh leaves the Dead Pair to their own devices . . .

Sally reluctantly forgives Tony for being an Invisible Date Rapist, and ultimately agrees to continue her Ghost Therapy with him.  Since, Tony knows that Sally SUCKS at choosing travel destinations, he decides to select the next one . . . and it’s .  . . a cemetery.

Wow, morbid much?  Come to think of it, maybe letting Sally pick the destination all the time, wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.  Ghost of Eighties Past Tony has decided to show Sally her grave, so that she can FINALLY come to terms with her own death.  In Tony’s experience, doing this usually gives a Ghost the closure they need to cross over to the other side . . .

Unfortunately, for Sally, it just gives her grass stains on her ass!  So, Tony decides to let her pick the next destination for their Wild and Wonderful Ghostly Journey . . .  I’ll give you three guesses as to where they go.  But I’m sure you will only need one.  (And, no, it’s not the bathroom, this time.)

*sigh*  Danny AGAIN!  This time, she’s in his friggin house, staring at him, while he sleeps in his friggin bed.  Ghost of Eighties Past gets fed up with her (just like the rest of us) and bails.  We don’t blame him.

Back at the apartment, Josh tells Sally that he doesn’t think that her moving into Danny’s place will give her the closure she needs to move on to Heaven, or wherever it is she’s meant to go.  So, Sally heads back to the cemetery to do some thinking . . . Tony is there waiting for her.  He tells her that listening to Sally do nothing but bitch and moan about Danny for two days made him want to strangle her think about the love of his life, and whether she was doing “OK.” 

So, he visited her.  And, guess what, she’s doing JUST FINE, without the Hair Band Reject, who she dated ONCE 23 years ago!  (SURPRISE!)  Tony helpfully notes that, because his “ex” girlfriend was “open” to his presence, he was able to physically touch her  .  . hand.  (Don’t get too excited, this is SyFy, not Skinimax . . . ) 

But you KNOW how much Sally likes HANDSHAKES, right?

So, this is VERY good news for her.

Then, a Very Cheesy and WAY TOO Literal Door to the Otherside magically appears in the cemetery.  Everybody assumes its for Sally.  (Actually, NOBODY assumes its for Sally.  Because then there would be no more show.  And we’ve only had three episodes so far.  But we’ll play along . . .)

Sally tells the Ghost of Eighties Past that she knows the door is for HIM, not her.  And so, he thanks her, and heads toward the door, secretly wishing his Guest Star Appearance could have been longer than one episode . . .

Don’t be sad, Tony!  I hear they are filming a Ghost Version of Friends on the other side, and need someone to play Joey.  You’d be PERFECT!

At the end of the episode, Sally returns to Danny’s house.  (AGAIN?  SERIOUSLY?  ARE THEY KIDDING WITH THIS?)  She tries to “touch” Danny, but finds, to her chagrin that he may already be “touching” someone else, if you catch my drift . . .

The Awkward Moment when you realize that your best friend and your once-fiance might be f*&king, and that they might do it on the couch RIGHT IN YOUR LAP!

And now for the storylines that didn’t annoy me . . .

Keeping the Neighborhood Safe from Graffiti Artists

Awww, Josh!  You’ve gotta love him!  He may not always get the best plotlines on this show.  But he always makes do with what he has, by tossing out cute one liners, and charming us with HILARIOUS facial expressions!  This week’s storyline, no joke, revolved around Josh trying to catch a neighborhood grafitti artist.  His partner in crime on the hunt, was a guy who was pretty much exactly the person Josh WOULD HAVE BEEN, had he never been werewolf-ed.

While on the Watch, Josh chats with Mini Me, and learns that his alter ego is hoping to start his medical residency at the same hospital where Josh is currently working as an orderly.  If you recall, Josh wanted to go to medical school, but never enrolled due to his CHANGE.  Though Josh tries to be friendly and nonchalant, you can tell this conversation is really making Josh feel like crap about his life. 

So, when the pair actually do find the Graffiti artist in question, a highly emotional Josh goes all Wolverine on his ass! 

No, he wasn’t shirtless at the time.  Yes, I’m using this adorable image anyway.  Got a problem with that?

Mini Me looks on with amusement, which quickly gives way to horror, as Josh nearly rips the poor hoodlum in half, for doing nothing more serious than leaving a little extra paint on the wall.  Eventually, Josh comes back to himself, and skulks away, as the graffiti artist, thankfuly, regains consciousness. 

The next day at work, Mini Me is at the hospital awaiting an interview for the residency position, when he sees poor orderly Josh, literally sweeping crap off the floor.  Mini Me wants to take Wolf Boy out for lunch.  However, a miserably depressed Josh declines.  Josh later admits to Aidan that he no longer wants to do his transformations at the hospital.  He feels that, in order to maintain a “human” lifestyle,” he must embrace the wolf within him.  Only by keeping that part of his life completely separate from his REAL one, will he be able to completely ensure that no one he cares about gets hurt.

The bad news, of course, is Poor Josh now feels even more lonely and isolated than before.  The good news? I smell MORE OUTDOOR NUDEY SHOTS! 🙂

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Drive Insane . . .

After learning from Bishop that the Crazy Cop Dude who was giving Aidan the eye, during the Neighborhood Watch meeting, has been using police resources to peek into Aidan’s past, Aidan promises that he will “handle it.”  So, he meets Crazy Cop dude at a nearby bar, and confirms that the guy really is Batsh&t Insane, just as Bishop had feared . . .

Even though Crazy Cop Dude looks quite a bit older than Aidan, the former is ABSOLUTELY certain that Aidan is the evil criminal who murdered his dad in cold blood, back when Crazy Cop Dude was just 10-years old.  To prove his point, Crazy Cop Dude pulls out a police sketch of his dad’s killer — a drawing that he’s probably had stuffed in his pants for about 30-years now.  (EW!)

I assume this picture is supposed to look just like Aidan.  But, honestly, it looks more like Frankenstein to me  . . .

Aidan logically reasons that there is no way he could have killed Crazy Cop Dude’s father, as he wasn’t even “ALIVE” when the guy was murdered.  (Get it . . . he was UNDEAD, during that time!  Har, de, har, har)  Then, since awkward conversations always make Aidan have to pee, he excuses himself, and heads to the bathroom . . . Of course, Crazy Cop Dude follows.

Quick, Aidan . . . PEE ON HIS LEG!

Crazy Cop Dude REALLY wants Aidan to take off his shirt (as do WE!).  Unfortunately, his reasons aren’t NEARLY as fun as ours.  You see, Crazy Cop Dude remembers that his dad’s killer had a tattoo on his chest with the name “Celine.”  He wants to see if Aidan has the same tattoo.  Fortuntely (or unfortunately, depending on how much you really wanted to see Shirtless Aidan this week), Aidan manages to scamper away before Crazy Cop Dude gets a chance to undress him.

But just when we think our boy Aidan’s going to be A-OK, Crazy Cop Dude jumps him in some alleyway.  And then THIS happens . . .

Where’s the Neighborhood Watch when you need them, right?

Now, that Aidan’s been nailed to the wall, like some cheap piece of religious artwork, Crazy Cop Dude takes this opportunity to ogle his chest (YAY!).  And yes, as supected, Aidan does bare the incriminating CELINE tattoo on his chest.  But, honestly, I was too mesmerized by his hot pects and erect nipples to give that much thought . . .

WOAH!

Once Crazy Cop Dude has left the scene, and Aidan has finally managed to disimpale himself from the WALL, our Friendly Neighborhood Vampire rushes to the hospital for a quick drink . . .

And, honestly, I’ve got to say, given how LONG Aidan has been drinking blood, I’m a bit disappointed in what a Piggy Eater he turned out to be.  Aidan, take note:  there are WAY classier ways to dispose of a blood bag.  Watch and learn . . .

Any questions?

You know, Aidan should REALLY start thinking twice about visiting public restrooms, because when he gets out of the stall after his little snack (looking FABULOUS, in his Super Tight White Tank Top, I might add), yet another Creepo is waiting for him . . .

Bishop is in the Potty with Aidan.  Apparently, Big Bad Vampire Daddy REALLY wants to rub in Aidan’s face, what a “crap” job he has done so far in taking care of this whole Crazy Cop Dude thing . . .

*sings* “Nah-nah, nah-nah, nahhhh-nah, you’re a Sucky Vampire!”

Aidan insists that, contrary to appearances, he TOTALLY has everything under control.  You see, Aidan plans to compel Crazy Cop Dude to forget that Aidan killed his father, all those years ago.  Bishop thinks this is a TERRIBLE idea, as Aidan has always been pretty lousy at compulsion, and has undoubtedly become even worse at it, since he stopped consuming LIVE blood.  Bishop would prefer the more “honest” method of turning Crazy Cop Dude into a vampire himself. 

I notice that this seems to be Bishop’s answer to EVERY problem.  If Nike’s slogan is “Just Do It,” Bishop’s must be “Just Turn Them.”  What Bishop doesn’t realize, however, is that his plan presents a number of logistical problems — the most notable being this:  If EVERYONE on Earth is a vampire, who will be left to eat?

“Beats me!”

Not believing that his SIRE will make the right decision, when it comes to handling Crazy Cop Dude, Bishop (who in addition to being Head of Vampire Human Resources, and Local Funeral Director, is also, apparently, Police Chief) heads over to Crazy Cop Dude’s House to “talk.”

To be honest, I’m not quite sure why BISHOP didn’t compel Crazy Cop Dude to forget about his father’s murder, himself.  After all, HE would certainly be strong enough to successfully remove the offending memories, without screwing the guy up any more than he already was.  But, NO . . . Bishop is intent on getting another vampire for his growing collection.  And so, he offers Crazy Cop Dude the Vampire Recruitment Pitch. 

Crazy Cop Dude isn’t impressed.  But when he tries to escape, Bishop’s henchman is waiting for him . . .

But before Mr. Henchman can turn Crazy Cop Dude into Aidan’s Blood Brother, Aidan arrives on the scene and intervenes.  Henchman is ready to do battle with him, but Bishop smugly insists that Aidan and Crazy Cop Dude be left to their own devics.  Clearly, Bishop has bigger plans in store for his petulant vampire child . . .

So, Aidan tries his hand at removing the offending memories from Crazy Cop Dude’s brain . . .

“I’ve got a headache THIS BIG . . . and it’s screaming for Vampire Compulsion!”

The next day, Aidan stalks Crazy Cop Dude’s home a bit.  And when Aidan spies Crazy Cop Dude picking up the morning paper like a Normal Person, he is, understandably relieved . . .

Problem solved, right?  Well . . . not exactly . . .

Cut to the next morning, where Bishop is giving Aidan a few choice words about the events of the previous evening.  “You were right, Aidan.  YOUR WAY was MUCH more humane,” Bishop snarks, throwing a large brown envelope in front of his “child,” before exiting stage left.  And you KNOW what was in that envelope, don’t you?

THIS  . . .

OK . . . now THAT’s just gross!

Just as Bishop had predicted, Aidan’s botched attempt at helping Crazy Cop Dude, by plucking traumatic memories from his brain, had the unintended effect of driving him so BATSH&T INSANE that the poor guy offed himself.  Now, that’s gotta suck!  Whether or not you felt this result was inevitable, your heart had to go out to poor Aidan, as he flipped through those grisly photographs, and wondered whether he could have somehow prevented this from happening . . . 

(Kudos to Sam Witwer for quietly breaking my heart during this scene, with his understated, yet breathtakingly touching, performance.)

And, just because I don’t like to end my recaps on a truly depressing note, please enjoy this picture of Sam Witwer Shirtless and holding a phallic object .  . .

You’re welcome.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Accepting the Monster Within – A Recap of Being Human’s “There Goes the Neighborhood Part 2”

Welcome back, fellow Humans!  (If that’s what you REALLY are . . . 😉 )  This week’s installment of SyFy’s newest hit series (ONLY hit series?), definitely wrapped up some of the storylines presented in the pilot episode.  However, it also presented our favorite supernatural roommates with some new, very interesting, problems . . . ones that will surely plague them for many episodes to come . . .

SHE is definitely going to be a problem!

If tonight’s episode had a “theme” to it, I’d say that theme had to do with the acceptance of one’s true nature.  For some, that acceptance can have negative consequences.  For example, Rebecca became an Evil Super B*tch, once SHE accepted her new bloodsucking nature.  And, we suspect, the same thing would happen to Aidan, if he decided to go back to his old vampiric ways. 

For others, acceptance of who you are, can lead you to a better life (or lack thereof).  Once Sally gave up trying to be heard as a human, she realized that being a ghost allows for other, more unique, methods of communication.  It also saves a TON of money on airfare!

I’m flying, WHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEE!

As for Josh, his refusal to come to terms with his wolfy nature, has kept him isolated from the people he loves — first, his parents and fiance, and now, his own baby sister . . .

The only thing hotter than a brooding werewolf, is a naked one . . .

Come on, Josh!  Be OUT . . . and PROUD (and stop covering your crotch, we wanna see)!

But enough of this philosophical mumbo jumbo, let’s get on with the episode, shall we?

Home Improvement for Dummies

Is that a pool of blood behind your head, Sally?  Or are you just happy to see me?

Ghost Sally spends much of this episode having funeral flashbacks, pining after her fiance (Does EVERYONE have a Long Lost Fiance on this show?), and breaking sh*t in the apartment, because she is feeling moody.  (I wonder if ghosts still get PMS?) 

After a whole lot of begging on Sally’s part, Aidan and Josh finally relent and invite their landlord, and Sally’s once fiance, Danny, to fix the clogged sink in the apartment, which Sally broke on purpose, precisely for this occasion!

“That’ll teach you to be cheap, and not get homeowners’ insurance!”

Sally gets pretty darn frustrated, when the man she loves LITERALLY doesn’t know she’s alive (because she . . . um . . .  isn’t).  When Danny arrives at the house for the first time, since Josh and Aidan moved in, Sally’s emotions go heywire.  This, of course, results in all the lights in the house EXPLODING!  (Nice one, Sally!)  Josh, who actually LIKES having working light fixtures in his home, is not amused, by this new development.

“Seriously!  You need to find some new hobbies!  Why don’t we invite over that kid from the Sixth Sense, and you two can hold a seance, or something?”

For his part, Danny can’t understand why in the world ANYBODY would want to live in this Ghost-Infested Death Trap he used to call home.  Clearly not a particularly savvy business man, Danny actually goes so far as to ask Aidan whether the apartment is as creepy as it seems.  “Every home has an echo of the people who used to live in it.  There’s a good echo here,” explains Vampire Aidan, causing Sally’s ghostly panties (not to mention, mine) to fall to the floor, as a result. 

*sings* “He really likes me.  He thinks I’m sexy.  He wants to date me.”

“Damn, I’m gooooood!”

 This, of course, brings up an important question:  Can ghosts have sex?

I didn’t think so . . . (Sorry Sally!  It looks like the vampire is MINE!)

Aidan, who is clearly angling to get supernaturally laid, throws Sally another bone, by asking Danny how his fiance died.  Danny, who is officially the WORST landlord and realtor EVER, not only explains in explicit detail how Sally fell down the steps and broke her brain, he even points out the SUPER CREEPY spot on the floor where she croaked!  In fact, Danny all but drew a chalked outline of Sally’s decaying body on the floor for Josh and Aidan to keep as a souvenir!  Now, if that doesn’t make a house fell like a home, I don’t know what does!

The next day, while the guys are out, Danny returns to the apartment to fix the sink.  He comes prepared, carrying a trusty Home Improvement for Dummies book under his arm . . .

Product Placement Alert!

But as good as Home Improvement for Dummies may be at teaching dummies like Danny to unclog a sink, I’m willing to bet there’s no chapter in it on “Ghostbusting” . . .

“Who you gonna call? (I ain’t afraid of no Sally!)”

And when Danny ignores Sally’s ghostly pleas for him to hire a plumber, Ghost Girl gets so mad, that she breaks the pipe beneath the sink, causing Danny to become soaked with water.  (But, hey, at least it’s not clogged anymore!)  Aidan arrives home, just in time to see Wet Danny escaping the apartment, like a bat out of hell. 

Later, Josh and Sally commiserate with one another, over the fact that they can’t be with their respective fiances anymore, because according to Josh “[We] are monsters, and [they] are not.”

Though things may look grim now, Sally’s romantic life may actually be starting to look up!  WAY UP!  Because, toward the end of the episode, Sally learns that SHE CAN FLY!  And you know what this means, don’t you?  She may actually be able to LEAVE THE HOUSE at some point (which is kind of essential, if you plan on getting laid, ever) . . .

See ya, Boys!  I’m off to Victoria’s Secrets to buy some lingerie.  I’ve been wearing this outfit for SIX MONTHS, and it’s high time I slipped into something ‘more comfortable.'”

So, I mentioned Josh, earlier . . .which, if you watched last week’s episode, may have caused you to wonder, whether he ended up actually eating his sister, Emily, after being locked in a room with her, during his werewolf transformation.  Well, allow me to fill you in, on THAT part of the tale.

All Bark and No Bite

“I smell a cliffhanger!”

So, as I mentioned, when we last left Josh, he was getting all werewolfy in a locked room beneath the hospital where he works, and his baby sister was locked in there with him.  He tried to call Aidan to rescue him, but Aidan was “eating dinner” at the time at Fangtasia Bishop’s Dungeon o’ Vampire Love,  and couldn’t come to the phone . . .

Fortunately, however, Aidan finished eating just in time to catch Josh’s frantic telephone message.  And so, the Sexy Vamp races to the “dungeon” and rescue’s Emily, just moments before Josh becomes a full-on Beast.  Realizing, the poor girl probably just had the worst night EVER, Kindly Aidan then takes Emily to a local diner for some coffee . . .

At the diner, Aidan explains to Emily, that Josh is “going through some stuff right now” (Understatement of the Year), but that he is going to be OK.  He just needs some “time” to eat more poor defenseless deer figure things out. 

However, when Emily confronts Josh after the traumatic event, offering him her help and support, Josh rebuffs her.  “My life is different now . . . You don’t know me . . . you can’t help me . . . Leave me alone,” He tells his own flesh and blood, in front of her new girlfriend (who, according to Emily is a Shiksa Goddess) . . .

Now THAT had to hurt!

Speaking of danger, you might be wondering what happened with Aidan and that “dead girl,” who police suspected him of killing (because he DID kill her) . . .

There’s a New Vamp in Town

Aidan learns that his one-night stand, Rebecca, is not so much dead, as undead, when she tries to EAT HIS ROOMMATE . . .

Fortunately, for Josh, Werewolf is not exactly Baby Vamp Rebecca’s new favorite food.  So, she ends up sparing his life.  But Josh still has quite the bone to pick with his roommate about his most recent brush with death.

“What’s the point of doing all this . . . playing house . . . and joining CostCo . . . if you are just going to keep killing all of our friends!”  Josh exclaims.  (The dude’s got a point, Aidan!)

When Aidan confronts Rebecca about the whole “We Used to Screw, Until I Killed You” Thing, he learns that his sort-of ex holds a MAJOR grudge against him, for leaving her for dead on that fateful night.  (Apparently, Jacob from Lost Bishop turned her into a vampire, and “oriented her to the lifestyle” the following morning.)

Aidan offers to help Rebecca cope with their mutual “curse,” and “be good.”  But Rebecca would prefer to be BAD, and EAT HER FAMILY for fun.  So, Aidan and Rebecca don’t exactly share the same “moral values,” which . . . I guess . .  is as good a reason to break up as any.  (Then again, being MURDERED by your boyfriend is also a fairly good reason to end a relationship.)

At work, Quirky Nurse Cara tries to hit on Hot Aidan, by making a very dated 90210 reference (not the new 90210, mind you, the VERY OLD one).

When Aidan doesn’t exactly appear to be wowed by Cara’s Dylan McKay joke, Little Miss Quirky gets very embarrassed, indeed.  “Oh my gosh, I’m older than you,” she mumbles.

“Oh . . . I don’t think that’s true,” replies the centuries old Aidan.  “I just never watched 90210, because I am a STRAIGHT MALE.”

But Majorly Obscure and Dated Pop Culture references are not enough to deter Cara.  So, she asks Aidan out on a date to the local bar, which is located nearby.  Aidan is obviously enticed by Nurse Cara’s scent.  (Then again, maybe he just REALLY likes red heads, I still can’t tell . . .).  However, Aidan fears that, if given the chance, he will eat Cara, just like he did Rebecca.  So, he tries to let the girl down easy.  “Oh, I’m not that much fun,” the actually SUPER FUN Vampire demurs.

“Me NEITHER!”  Cara responds excitedly.  (Woah, this Quirky Nurse is RELENTLESS!)

After work, Aidan heads to the funeral home where Big Bad Vampire Bishop conducts his daily business.  (How appropriate!)

Aidan gives Bishop the business about turning his ex-girlfriend, who Bishop obviously is using as a bargaining chip to bring Aidan back into the Vampire Fold.  “You don’t screw up often.   So, when you did, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  [Rebecca] is quite a find,” remarks Bishop.

Once again, Aidan reminds the Head of the Vampire Recruitment Agency that he is no longer interested in that particular line of work.  (Cleaning up bedpans, is WAY more his style!)  And yet, the conversation with Bishop stresses out Aidan enough, that he finds himself in desperate need of a drink.  And so, off to the bar he heads.  Of course, the ever-persistent Nurse Cara is there, waiting for him . . .

As soon as Aidan gets one whiff of Cara, he’s ready to drain her dry.  And so, Aidan calls his Vampires Anonymous sponsor, Josh (who, does, after all, owe him, for the whole “Sister Rescue” Thing) to come to the bar, and save Cara from becoming dessert.  But, before Josh can arrive, Evil Rebecca comes over and TOTALLY cock blocks Aidan, by telling Cara, in no uncertain terms, that she and the closeted vamp used to bang.

A bit intimidated by Rebecca’s Mean Girl attitude, Nurse Cara eventually leaves Aidan, and heads back to her friends.  So, Rebecca decides to use this Alone Time to make another play for Aidan’s affections.  (Seriously, who DOESN’T want to bone this guy?) 

When Aidan rejects her, Rebecca gets even, by enticing a silly male human to go back to her place, and (we assume) die a very painful death, by draining.  Interestingly enough, Aidan “rescues” the guy, by beating the crap out of him, so he can’t leave the bar with the hungry female vamp.  This pisses Rebecca off, so she takes a bite out of Nurse Cara instead  . . .

Josh arrives just in time to see Cara nearly bleeding to death.  In the alley, just outside the bar, both Josh and the lurking Rebecca, plead for Aidan to turn Cara into a vampire (though they both, obviously, have very different reasons for wanting him to do this).  But Aidan refuses to turn Cara.  So, he and Josh rush the poor girl to the hospital instead, for a bit of “old-fashioned” human healing . . .

JOSH:  “You should have turned her.  Now she’s going to die because of you!”

AIDAN:  “Nah, she won’t die.  Because you are in SERIOUS need of a love interest on this show.  And so far, unless you plan on banging your sister. she’s the best option you’ve got!”

While the two supernaturally-inclined roommates await the still-human, Cara’s fate, Aidan gets pulled aside by Big Bad Vampire Bishop, who ALSO wants to know why he decided not to turn Nurse Cara into a vampire.

“Maybe I am sentenced to a lifetime in hell with you, but here, and now, I choose them [humans],” Aidan explains eloquently.

Eventually, Josh also comes to terms with Aidan’s decision not to turn Cara.   This is evidenced by his conversation with Ghost Sally, in the final moments of the episode. 

“We take for granted how good Aidan is . . . and how he must struggle every day not to be like THEM,” remarks Josh.

 “Do you think he should have saved [Cara]?”  Sally inquires.

“I think he did,” the Werewolf replies.

Eh, I don’t know about all that.  Personally, being a vampire, always seemed like kind of an awesome Lifestyle Choice to me.  Then again, what do I know?  I’m only “human.”

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Vampires, and Werewolves, and Ghosts, OH MY! – A Recap of Being Human’s Pilot Episode “There Goes The Neighborhood”

OK . . . so let me get this straight .  . . It’s a show about vampires . . . and werewolves . . . and ghosts . . . where almost the ENTIRE cast is in their twenties . . . AND there was male frontal nudity in the first TWO MINUTES of the pilot episode?  You had me at HELLO!

A few nights back, the Syfy channel debuted it’s U.S. incarnation of the hit British supernatural horror comedy series Being Human. (Well, more accurately, it’s a Canadian incarnation.  Though the show is meant to take place in Boston, it is obviously filmed in a place where people are more likely to say “oot and aboot” than “pahk your cahr in a Hah-vahd yahd.”)  As a lover of all things supernatural, who had never watched the British version of this series, I was excited to get a fresh and unfettered glimpse at the show, when I finally got around to watching it this evening.  (For better or worse, Monday is a crowded night for me in TV Land.)

Though comparisons between this series and its U.K. incarnation, as well as other television shows of supernatural bent (most notably, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood) are inevitable, and not always favorable, I, for one, enjoyed this pilot.  In fact, once the producers iron out a few of the “freshman kinks,” I think this has the makings of a pretty awesome series — one that has the potential to stick around for a long time. 

Freshman Kink #1 – Is that supposed to be a werewolf, or a leprechaun wearing cheap dentures?

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s bite into that pilot episode!

I’m really “torn” about this screenshot.  (No pun intended.)  On one hand, I’m loving the Dirty Naked Dude!  But the Butchered Bambi’s Mother?  Not so much . . . Next time?  Let’s stick to Bloody Humans, and leave the Furry Woodland Creatures ALONE, shall we?

Meet Josh.  He’s a lonely twenty something, who’s desperately in need of a female influence in his life . . .

Worst . . . Walk of Shame . . . EVER!

For the most part, Josh leads a normal, if slightly dull and unfulfilling life.  But once a month, he really “lets his hair down.” When that happens, his Freak Flag flies at full mast.  You see, two years ago, Josh was bitten by a werewolf.  This event caused him to leave all his family and friends behind, and seek shelter in the vast city of Boston.  Now, he spends his nights alone in a forest, and his days rightfully feeling pretty sorry for himself . . .

This is Aidan.  And, no, he doesn’t always look like an extra from the Maenad-induced Orgies on Season 2 of True Blood.  (True Blood fans know EXACTLY what I’m talking about here.)

There . . . that’s better.  Aidan is a REALLY OLD vampire.  And, unlike his friend, Josh, he is not exactly unlucky with the ladies.  In fact, he gets lucky with one in his very first scene . . . a bit TOO lucky, some might say.

Don’t let this image fool you.  Aidan is not a BAD vamp.  In fact, he’s trying to go “straight,” by cutting living human blood out of his diet, entirely.  He just has a bit of an . . . “addiction problem,” one that has been fueled by many years of unadulterated feeding.  Sound familiar, TVD fans?

Unfortunately for Aidan, dead humans aren’t quite as readily accepted by the human population as Dead Bambi’s Mother.  And so, Aidan is forced to call upon one of his former vampire “friends” to clean up his mess for him, while he heads off to work.  On the way there, he picks up Josh.  The latter is still clad in that ridiculous dress (which fits him perfectly, by the way) that he pulled off some old lady’s clothes line to cover up his nakedness.  (Really?  Has anybody actually used a clothes line, since 1952?)

I read that, in the British version, Aidan (a.k.a. “John”) and Josh (a.k.a. “George”) are “hospital cleaners” by trade.  But here, in the American version, they seem as though they might be low-level orderlies, of some sort.  The job is convenient for Vampire Aidan, obviously, because it gives him ready access to a non-living blood supply.  Josh’s rationale for taking the job is a bit more murky.  However, we suspect it has something to do with him having been “pre-med,” during his “pre-werewolf” days.  It’s also a fairly anonymous job — one where he likely won’t have to work through too many full moons.

Throughout the day, Aidan keeps trying to convince Josh that they should shack up together.  By doing so, they can help one another satisfy their sexual urges “be more normal.”  (Honestly, I’m not really sure how sharing an apartment with another “freak” makes one less “freaky,” but I guess, there wouldn’t be a show, without it, right?)

Let the Bromance BEGIN!

Though initially skeptical, Josh ultimately agrees to live with Aidan.  (And why not?  After all, we never got a chance to see where either guy was living to begin with.  So, for all we know, they may both have been homeless.) 

“I don’t cook (or eat).  I don’t clean.  And my credit sucks,” explains Aidan, before the pair head off apartment hunting.

(Best ROOMMATE ADVERTISEMENT, EVER!)

Inevitably, the first day of apartment hunting, Josh falls in love with a little duplex fixer-upper apartment, close to where the guys work.  It’s current owner is a young skittish-looking guy, who seems VERY eager to rent out the place.  “You can keep all the furniture, and move in today.  And, honestly, I don’t need a credit check,” says the landlord nervously.

As it turns out, this guy has good reason to want to be rid of the apartment.  You see, his fiance DIED there. (Insert Dramatic Music Here).

But, as we know, Dead Stuff doesn’t phase these two in the LEAST.  So, into the apartment they go!   There’s just one problem.  They aren’t alone . . .

“BOO!  Haha, scared ya, didn’t I?  Get it?  Because I’m a GHOST . . . yeah . . . never mind.”

Remember how the landlord said his fiance died in the apartment.  Well . . . she’s still there!  Except, now she’s in “ghost form,” and can only be seen and heard by . . . wait for it . . . supernatural creatures.  Ghost Girl (her name is Sally, by the way) is just THRILLED about the prospect of finally having a two-sided conversation.  So, she just starts talking the boys’ ears off.  Aidan doesn’t seem too phased by the idea of bunking with a ghost AND a werewolf.  But Josh is PISSED!  He wants to have sex with Aidan alone time, DAMMIT!

The problem, of course, is that Ghost Girl Sally CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE.  You see, she still has “unfinished business” on Earth (as most ghosts do).  Specifically, Ghost Girl Sally isn’t quite sure how she died.  And, until she figures that out, Aidan and Josh are stuck with her . . .

Friggin Ghostly Cock Block!

But our boys have more problems than just coping with a third-wheel Casper of a roommate.  As for Aidan, there’s that little problem of the coworker he killed . . .

The police have been milling about the hospital where he works, asking questions.  And everybody seems to know that Aidan and “Rebecca” were kind of an item.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Aidan’s call to a “vampire friend” to “clean up his mess” resulted in him being tracked down by THIS GUY . . .

That’s Marcus.  He’s a Vampire Henchman of some guy named Bishop, who you will meet, in just a bit.  He keeps talking to Aidan about “coming back.”  Apparently, like in True Blood world, the vampires in Being Human are, at least somewhat, organized.  They have a leader.  They have a social structure.  And Blood Bank Sipper Aidan . . . well . . . I guess that makes him a bit of a deserter.

During lunch, Aidan gets cornered by a policeman, who seems to know WAY TOO MUCH about Aidan’s relationship with Rebecca. In fact, he all but accuses Aidan of murdering the girl.  And, just when I’m starting to yell at the TV screen, “YOU’RE A VAMPIRE!  USE MIND CONTROL ON HIM ALREADY, YOU MORON,” the cop sitting next to him does exactly that.

That’s right, boys and girls!  Big Bad Vampire Bishop is Jacob from Lost.  How’s that for a coincidence?  Now, don’t get me wrong, casting a Metaphor for God Character from a successful series, to play your show’s main (religiously named) villain is not a bad idea, all things considered.  And yet, if Stunt Casting was, in fact, the ultimate goal, there are a few other actors I think might have served this purpose even more effectively:

A girl can dream, can’t she? 

Anyway, Jacob Bishop mind controls  . . . or compels . . . or glamours (whatever you want to call it) Mr. Policeman to think Aidan is innocent, and leave the premises.  But he doesn’t do it out of the kindness of his heart.  He wants Aidan “back.”  (Here we go again, with that “come back” stuff, which sounds a bit sexual, if you ask me.) 

From flashbacks, we learn that Aidan used to be quite the naughty beast — crashing weddings with his pal, Bishop . . .

 . . . and proceeding to EAT the entire bridal party . . .

 Mmmmm, that Vince Vaughn is TASTY!

. . . well . . . except for THIS GIRL . . .

 .  . who we just KNOW is going to be important later, don’t we?

As for Josh, he’s having his own problems.  For starters, he’s getting all tongue-tied around the Cute Quirky Future Love Interest New Girl at the Hospital . . .

“Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.  My name is Poor Man’s Claire Danes.  Nice to meet you!”

He’s also been spotted by his baby sister, who was visiting her girlfriend there, because she conveniently had a broken bone, or something,  (Yep, Little Sis is gay!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  Now, Emily (that’s her name, by the way) insists on knowing where Josh has been for two years, and why he ran away in the first place . . .

Of course, Josh ultimately decides NOT to come clean to his sister, a decision he will soon come to regret.  That night, Josh heads back to the hospital, to seek out the new conveniently located dungeon therein, where Aidan suggested that Josh could “safely change.”

Sounds good, right?  Well, it would be . . . . except, unbeknownst to Josh, his sister has followed him down to the dungeon.  And now, she is LOCKED IN THERE WITH HIM.  (Again, sound familiar TVD fans?)

When Josh finds out what happened, he starts FREAKING OUT, understandably.  His poor sister, who mistakenly thinks he’s sick, keeps trying to comfort him, only to finally get shoved violently out of the way.  Josh uses his cell phone to contact to Aidan, who has the key to the dungeon, and has promised to help out in situations like this. 

Unfortunately for Josh, Aidan has been swept up in a little intrigue of his own, having been practically kidnapped by Jacob Bishop and brought to some sort of Vampire Brothel . . .

(Unfortunately, it is not named Fangtasia . . .)

Once there, Aidan is taken into some seedy back room, where a slutty-looking girl slits her wrist, causing Aidan to become totally aroused, vampire-style . . .

(Something tells me, he won’t be answering his werewolf friend’s text messages any time soon.)  Josh also calls Ghost Girl Sally.

Unlike Aidan, Sally really WANTS to help her new roommate!  Unfortunately, her ghostly hand keeps going through the phone.  So, she can’t pick it up.  (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)

The episode ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, with Aidan voyaging “back” toward the Dark Side, and Josh beginning his wolfy transformation, as his defenseless little sister looks on in horror . . .

SOMEONE needs a manicure!

And that was the Pilot Episode of Being Human in a nutshell.  Did YOU watch?  If so, what did you think?  Was it good enough to find a place on your permanent TV roster?  Or was it just a One Night Stand? 

 

Yes, I do recognize that using this picture again (especially in this context) was in poor taste.  It didn’t stop me from doing it, though!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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How Britney Spears saved the world (well . . . at least McKinley High) – A Recap of Glee’s “Britney / Brittany”

First, let me start by saying how INSANELY happy I am that Glee has made it cool, again (at least, temporarily), to listen to Britney Spears music!  Because . . . and I’m going to come out and say it right now . . . I’m a BIG FAN!  You know, people can say whatever they want about Britney.  For example, they might comment on her poor taste in men . . .

. . . uninspired fashion choices . . .

. . . or her “Toxic” relationship with the media . . .

But, even the HATERS have to admit, her music gets toes tapping and pelvis’ gyrating, like nobody’s business! 

When I first heard that Glee was doing a Britney-themed episode, I was so excited, that I took the liberty of jotting down some song ideas for the cast.  Some of those songs actually ended up in the episode. 

Others did not. 

Here are a few that, for whatever reason, didn’t make the cut.

1) Womanizer

Premise: Now that she’s baby-free and single, Puck wants back in the Febray Pantalones, pronto.  However, Quinn’s seen the way her former beau acts around the women who’s pools he cleans . . .

. . . and she’s not quite convinced he has the “staying power” for a long-term relationship.

2) Lucky

Premise: Quinn Febray and Santana Lopez — every girl wants to be them, and every guy wants to do them.  But not even popularity can cure a lonely heart.

3) Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

Premise: Emma comes to clean to new beau, Carl Howell, about her Energizer Bunny-esque virgin status . . .

4) Circus

Premise: It’s Sue Sylvester’s world.  The rest of us just live in it . . .

5) If You Seek Amy . . .

Premise: Brittany’s hidden feelings for Coach Beiste cause her to explore the true nature of her sexuality.

6) Oops, I did it again . . .

Premise: Despite being involved in a very serious relationship with Mike Chang, Tina comes to the conclusion that she may have unwittingly been leading on her ex-beau, Artie.

7) Drive Me Crazy

Premise: See explanation above.

So, now that we’ve covered some of the Britney songs we DIDN’T hear on this week’s Glee, let’s talk about the ones we did.  When the episode opens, Mr. Schuester is leading the kids in a discussion about what he would like this week’s theme to be:  Easy Listening Music.  (Ugh!  What a lame episode THAT would be . . .).  Not quite down with his Kenny G or Michael Bolton, Kurt . . .

 . . . has a better idea.  He suggests the crew perform a Britney Spears song at the homecoming pep rally.  Will says, “Absolutely NOT!”

Will considers Britney to be a “bad influence,” just because she “shaved her head” and “tried to bash in the headlights of a car with an umbrella.”  (Seriously, lighten up, Will.  I mean, who HASN’T done that, at least once.  Right?)  Most of the Glee kids bitch and moan about Wet Blanket Will’s Anti- Britney proclamation.  However, to everyone’s surprise, Brittany agrees with his decision.

Apparently, having the name “Brittany S. Pearce” has given our girl quite the inferiority complex.  No matter how many times, she’s propositioned K-Fed for sex, shaved her head, or called Matt Lauer for an “exclusive interview,” Brittany has just never quite been able to live up to the legacy of the songstress with whom she shares her name.  I feel your pain Britney.  My name used to be Maddy O. Na . . .

Meanwhile, for reasons that didn’t quite make sense to me, Will invited Emma’s new dentist boyfriend Carl Howell (John Stamos) to talk to his Glee clubbers about the importance of dental hygiene.

An impromptu teeth investigation, reveals that SOME Glee kids have been SERIOUSLY neglecting their chompers.  The worst of these offenders, by far, is Brittany, who “never brushes her teeth” and “gargles soda after every meal because she thinks Dr. Pepper is a real doctor.”  It’s a wonder this girl has any teeth left at all!

Because Crest is for weenies . . .

Over at Dr. Howell’s office, America’s Sexiest Dentist demonstrates preferences for (1) knocking out ALL of his patients with anesthesia (even if they are just having their cavities filled, or getting a “killer” bleach job); and (2) rocking out to Britney Spears, while he works.  Under the influence of  some pretty heavy drugs, Brittany fantasizes herself right into a Britney Spears’ video . . . or should I say a “Brittany S. Pearce” video.  In the video, Brittany sings “Slave 4 u” (Who knew actress Heather Morris had such amazing pipes?  Why hasn’t she been given a solo sooner?), while rocking some of her namesake’s choicest outfits . . .

 . . . or lack thereof.

When Brittany awakens from her stupor, she has a few less cavities, and a completely altered outlook on life.  “Are you a cat?”  She asks Uncle Jesse from Full House.

“How could she possibly find out my secret?  I’ve never told ANYONE!”

Later, Brittany returns to the dentist with Santana, who, despite having perfect teeth, insists on being put under, so that she too can have a Britney Spears-themed hallucination.  Dr. Howell, who is starting to eerily resemble Michael Jackson’s Doctor Conrad Murray,  more and more, with every second of airtime (R.I.P. MJ!), reluctantly complies.  The two besties, SHARE a fantasy, in which they both perform Me Against the Music.  Santana takes on the Madonna role . . .

. . . with Brittany, of course, filling the Britney Spears part . . .

Fans who were hoping for a MTV Movie Awards-style smooch between the two young ingenues . . .

 . . . ended up being sorely disappointed here.

However, the fantasy did end with a nice cameo appearance from Britney Spears, herself, in which she told Brittany that the cheerleader was sweet, and (despite NEVER BRUSHING HER TEETH) actually had really good breath.

“Pssst, I’m only saying that to get my Dr. Pepper endorsement money.”

The next day at Glee Club, a newly confident Brittany announces that she is more talented than Britney Spears (and Rachel Berry). Therefore, she now wishes to sing ALL the club’s solos.

Kurt notes wryly, that Britney Spears music has given Brittany the confidence she needed to wake up from her dimwitted, seemingly lifelong, haze.  But Will STILL refuses to let the Glee kids perform a Spears song at Homecoming.  In his trademark diva fashion, Kurt overdramatically accuses Will of being too “friggin uptight” .  . .

As a result of his outburst, Kurt gets sent to Useless Principal Figgins’ office.

“Hey!  At least I didn’t (1) cut your funding; (2) threaten to cancel Glee club; or (3) take Sue’s side in an argument against you, this week.”

Unfortunately for Will, Dentist / Wanna Be Shrink, Dr. Carl  TOTALLY agrees with Kurt, about the whole “being too uptight” thing.

Carl can tell just how tightly wound Will is, by how much he grinds his teeth.  His “loosening up” advice to Will?  Eat lots of sugary candy, and buy a fast sports car you can’t afford.  (OK.  I’m going to say it.  This guy is officially the WORST DENTIST EVER!)

Now, given his estimated age (early 30’s?), Will should, theoretically, still be about a decade away from a proper Mid-Life Crisis.  However, that doesn’t stop our favorite teacher from purchasing the same “rad sports car” his dentist has, and using it to try to win back Emma.  Unfortunately for him, she is unimpressed . . .

To make matter’s worse, Will’s ex-wife / permanent cock block, Terri .  . .

. . . randomly stops by to warn Will that, if he keeps this up, he won’t be able to afford the weekly support payment he’s required to mail her by law.  And this BIATCH still thinks she’s getting Will back?  Man, I hope Mr. Schuester is not that massive of a MORON . . . However,  I fear he might be.

Sorry, Schue!  You know I meant that in the nicest way possible.  Don’t you?

Meanwhile, Finn is stressing over the fact that having been kicked off the football team, makes him officially “uncool.”

But Rachel, who has always been uncool, thinks this is GREAT NEWS.  “I want to be the only thing that makes you happy.  You know the two of us can only work out, if we are both losers . . . Now, I won’t have to decide what song to sing at your bedside, when you are in a coma.”

Ahhh, such romantic words!  It’s a wonder, Finn doesn’t bone her right there in the hallway!

During her turn in the dentist chair, Rachel has a vision of herself as the Sweet, but Secretly Slutty, school girl in Spears’ debut video Hit Me Baby, One More Time.  “Is this real life?”  Rachel slurs woozily, upon awakening from her anesthetized haze . . .

Apparently, in “real life,” McKinley High School has NO DRESS CODE, whatsover.  Because, the next day, Rachel decides to wear the outfit in question, FOR REAL.

The whole school ADORES Rachel’s new look.  And Finn, though obviously titillated, is also more than a bit jealous of the attention his girlfriend is receiving, as a result.  “This isn’t like that time I dressed all ‘Sad Clown’ Sandy from Grease,” insists Rachel.

Really?  Because it seemed EXACTLY like that, to me.

Rachel explains that Britany Spears has finally helped her to realize that she is beautiful, and can, therefore, dress like a whore, without repercussions.

Now that everyone thinks Rachel is a TOTAL Ho-bag, she is suddenly very popular.  Therefore, she finds it totally OK for Finn to rejoin the football team . . . if he can.

Later that day, Sue Sylvester contacts Will to warn him of the dangers posed by teens’ excessive consumption of Britney Spears.

“Oops . .  . I . . . did it again — made a weird ‘O’ face at the camera”

Sue then recounts the depraved tale of Jacob  . . .

Sorry!  Wrong one . . .

 That’s him!

. . . whose intense lust over the newly slutty Rachel, resulted in him sitting naked in the school library, fantasizing about her.

 . . . and, while it was a funny scene, the description of the “naked butt sweat stain” Jacob left on Sue’s office chair, was just a bit much . . . I think .  . .

Meanwhile, Artie’s dentist chair-fueled hallucination, which featured him as a football player, alternatingly lifting weights and glaring at Tina, while singing Britney’s iconic song “Stronger”  . . .

 . . . somehow resulted in his and Finn being invited by Coach Beiste to join (and in Finn’s case, rejoin) the football team.

I know.  It didn’t make sense to me either.  The song was fun, though!

Upon hearing the news, Rachel — who has since shifted back to wearing Grandma clothes, and fears that Finn’s refound popularity will be the death knell for their relationship — offers Finn an ultimatum.  Football or her!

I’m still waiting for the episode where Rachel tries to become a cheerleader and / or a football player.  Everyone else in the club has . . .

This time, when Kurt makes his umpteenth speech about how Britney Spears is a positive influence on the Glee clubbers, Will surprises them all by saying “Yes,” to his request that they perform a Britney song at Homecoming . . .

Did I mention that WILL will be performing the number WITH THEM?

In a performance that’s very cool, but a bit creepy, in the “Will sort of fondles his underage students” kind of way, the Glee kids (“fresh off their last place finish at sectionals”) perform Toxic, at the pep rally.

The performance drives the teenybopper crowd SO wild,  that Sue is forced to pull the fire alarm.  Her impulsive move ends up only resulting in more chaos.  Sue, gets trampled and sprains her neck.  Meanwhile, Jacob grabs some guy’s ass and gets punched in the face.  When its all over, Sue, now sporting a neckbrace, threatens to sue Will for his part in the “School Sex Riot,” using her new lawyer, the ubiquitous, Gloria Allred.

Do I smell another Very Special Guest Star?

Sue also notes, quite accurately, I think, that Will owns more vests than the cast of Blossom . . .

90’s television at its finest!

Later, Emma tells Will that he shouldn’t try to change himself, because he’s “wonderful just the way he is.”  (Yeah, she TOTALLY still wants him to cash in her V card . . .  Don’t you DARE deny it, you Unpopped Cherry, YOU!).  Inspired by Emma’s words, near the end of the episode, Schuester trades in his fancy car for the old jalopy he cried in during Season 1.  He then watches glumly, as Emma rides off into the sunset with Uncle Jesse from Full House.

In the final moments of the episode, Rachel, realizing that she has, once again, been a TOTAL ass (as she generally is EVERY episode), dedicates a beautiful interpretation of Paramore’s “Only Exception” to Finn, who she loves dearly, and is going to let stay on the football team, after all.

So, what if Rachel only came to her senses, after manipulating Quinn to seduce Finn — thereby testing the latter’s loyalty to his and Rachel’s burgeoning relationship.   We’ve all gotta start somewhere, right?

Be sure to tune in next week, when Finn becomes all “born-again,” after Jesus appears to him, in his morning toast . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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