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Drunk People . . . Singing – A Recap of Glee’s “Blame it On the Alcohol”

Sunglasses = The Ultimate Hangover Accessory

This week’s installment of Glee was kind of like a weekend-long, alcohol-fueled bender.  It was random, plot-free, only mildly coherent, embarrassing, vomit-filled, and, yet . . . at the same time . . . AWESOME!

So, fill up those shot glasses, turn on some Ke$ha, and get ready to make out with someone completely inappropriate, because it’s time for a GLEECAP!

Everybody in the School, Get Tipsy!

When the episode begins, Principal Figgins (or, as I like to call him, The Fig) is, once again, in need of Mr. Schuester’s help.  Apparently, McKinley High’s alcohol content has recently skyrocketed to Charlie Sheen-type levels.  The entire student body is walking around blitzed on Four Loko, cheap beer, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade (a.k.a. The Good Stuff).  To combat this trend, The Fig wants The Schue and his Glee kids to perform a song about “the Dangers of Drinking” at the school’s “Alcohol Awareness Assembly.”

Normally, The Schue would welcome this opportunity!  The problem is that lately he has become DEPRESSED.  And, why not?  He’s lonely and divorced.  The object of his affections is house hunting with her faux-husband, Jesse from Full House (Have MERCY!).  And .  . . well . . . actually, I’m not sure what it is about THIS week that is making Will so much more miserable than usual.  I mean, his life is the same degree of sucky that’s it’s been for about four episodes now!  But it’s important to the plot that he be “depressed.”  So, we’ll deal . . .

Always one to rub Will’s face in things, Sue materializes to tell Will that Alcohol Awareness Week will most certainly send our favorite Spanish Teacher straight to the Drunk Tank.

Now that you mention it Sue, a Rehab-themed episode of Glee would be FABULOUS.  Just imagine all the Special Guest Stars we’d get to see!

But enough about those BORING teachers!  We want to see some GLEE KIDS GET WRECKED!

Rachel Berry’s House Party Train Wreck Extravaganza!

Poor Rachel!  She had such good intentions.  There she is, just minding her own business, trying to create an original song for Regionals, when a (very hot) Mohawked-devil LITERALLY appears on her shoulder, and tries to convince her to throw a party at her house, while her two dads are on vacation.  Rachel initially rebuffs Puck’s offer.  But there’s nothing like a Really Bad Musical Performance to drive our diva heroine straight to the bottle . . .

Truth be told, Rachel’s “Original” single, “My Headband,” probably isn’t going to make it on to the Top 100 Itunes Downloads this week.  And yet SOME might have found it inspiring!

Unfortunately, for Rachel, Finn is more of a pigtail-type guy, and, therefore, doesn’t show Rachel’s ode to headgear the love that it deserves.  Rachel realizes that the reason she can’t come up with an “inspired” original song is that she has no “life experience.”  She has never even TASTED ALCOHOL BEFORE!  And so, our girl decides to throw a house party, after all, and invite “all of her friends” i.e. the Glee Club and Blaine.

The Glee crew is skeptical at first, as to whether Rachel will truly be able to “throw down” with the rest of them.  And yet, they all ultimately decide to attend, looking forward to the Massive Trainwreck that will inevitably result .  . .

Doesn’t this screenshot kind of look like one of those Sex Hotline ads you usually see on TV at 3am?  Justin sayin’

As expected, the party gets off to a pretty lame start, with Rachel, clad in a what looks like my grandma’s nightgown, pawning off wine coolers on her guests, and threatening to involve them in a game of “Celebrity.”

Oh, Rachel!  Hasn’t having two gay dads taught you ANYTHING about fashion?

Once Puck convinces Rachel to let him break into the liquor cabinet, however, things pick up, rather quickly.

We are treated to a fun little Drunk Party Montage, to the tune of Far East Movement’s G6, as Designated Driver Finn generously gives us all a tutorial on the “Different Types of Drunk People.”  (Who said you couldn’t learn anything from Glee?)

Which type are YOU?

Source

Angry that Finn has dubbed her Needy Drunk, Rachel sets out to prove how very UN-needy she is, by setting up a game of Spin the Wine Cooler Bottle.  To everyone’s surprise, the hottest kiss of the night actually belongs to . .  RACHEL AND BLAINE?

Sexual orientation aside, these two are actually kind of smokin’ together.  For one thing, they look like FRATERNAL TWINS! (Wait .  . . ewwww . . . nevermind.  That’s not awesome AT ALL!) 

Honestly, am I the only one who thinks Drunk Blaine and Drunk Rachel are WAY MORE FUN, and WAY LESS ANNOYING / JUDGEMENTAL than Sober Blaine and Sober Rachel?  I didn’t think so .  . .

“Your face tastes awesome,” slurs Rachel in Blaine’s ear.  (YAY, Cannibalism!)

After swapping spit and gnawing on one another’s faces for a good twenty seconds, while a dejected Kurt looks on miserably, Rachel and Kurt segway immediately into an impromptu duet of The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me?” 

Considering how COMPLETELY FUBAR-ed these two individuals supposedly are, the resulting performance is surprisingly good!  See for yourself . . .

Unfortunately, we don’t get to actually see the rest of the party.  However, we can assume that the night went pretty well, when we see Kurt’s dad Burt (who NEVER TAKES OFF HIS BASEBALL CAP, by the way.  What’s up with that?) barge into Kurt’s bedroom the next morning, only to find THIS GUY in there  . . .

“WAY TO GO, KURT!  (My son is a TOTAL PIMP!)”

“The Hair of the Dog that Bit Yo Ass”

Despite the party having taken place on Friday night, the Glee kids are all conveniently still completely hungover by Monday.  (LIGHTWEIGHTS!)  The experience of being hungover has somehow converted Artie into Chris Rock.  So, he informs the rest crew, in a RIDICULOUS accent, that they should all join him for some Bloody Marys, a.k.a. “The  Hair of the Dog that Bit Yo Ass.”

Cut to the once-again inebriated Glee kids performing “Blame it on the Alcohol” for Mr. Schue in the school auditorium, while swaying back and forth on Rotating Red Leather Furniture(?).  Seriously?  What kind of BUDGET does the Glee Club have that they get these type of props?  At my high school, musical performances in the auditorium always featured the exact same scenery:  Hand-Drawn Smiley Faces on Posterboard . . .

The Schue, who apparently has NO SENSE OF SMELL WHATSOEVER, and is also a moron, can’t tell his own students are wasted.  They are just REALLY GOOD ACTORS.  (De-Nial ain’t just a river in Egypt, Schuester!)  And yet, Will wonders whether this Jaime Foxx ditty glorifies drinking a bit TOO much to be performed at the Alcohol Awareness Ceremony.

You be the judge .  . .

The Schue Gets Sloshed

Tired of listening to Will’s nonstop “wah-wahing” about how sucky his life is (Aren’t we ALL?), The Schue’s new bestie, The Beiste, decides to take the Glee Club advisor out for a night of hard drinking, bull riding, and cheesy line dancing.  The pair even get up on stage and sing a duet of that countrified ode to wasted-ness, “One Bourbon, One Shot, One Beer.”

This would all be well and good, except for the fact that Will still has Spanish tests to grade . . .

“Que HAGO Uds.?”  “Yo ESTOY el hermano de Pepe?”  YO NO THINK SO!

After giving all his CLEARLY illiterate Spanish students A+’s on their exams  (I am SO transferring to this school!), Will makes the same fateful mistake many of us unfortunately make after a night of endless boozing and faux-soul searching.  Of course, I am referring to . . . THE DRUNK DIAL!

“Emma?  I luuuuuuuuuuuve youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

As luck would have it, the following morning, when a VERY hungover, also sunglasses wearing (Product Placement much?) Schuester arrives at school and confronts Emma about his belligerent late night phone call, she has no idea what he’s talking about. 

“PHEW!  Now THAT would have been embarrassing . . .”

Then again, maybe he’s NOT so lucky, after all . . .

“You want to put your   . . . WHAT . . . in my . . . WHAT?”

In sober-er news .  . .

Ring Around the Closet . . .

Poor Little Ornery Kurt!  He’s not exactly having the best episode.  First, he made the mistake of STAYING SOBER at Rachel’s party.  So, he had his full faculties, when he had to watch the man of his dreams make out with his new gal pal.  Then, his dad read him the riot act about having Blaine sleep over, despite the fact that the dude was so wasted, Kurt didn’t even get to COP A FEEL!  Kurt accuses his dad of having a double standard, regarding the whole sleepover issue.  “If Finn had PUCK sleepover at the house, you wouldn’t care!”  Kurt whines.

*sigh*  A Finn and Puck sleepover . . . I’ve had dreams about this .   . .

Burt gently reminds Kurt that his analogy is a POOR one.  While Burt wouldn’t care if Finn had PUCK sleepover, he WOULD care if Finn had Quinn or Rachel sleepover.  (Does that mean KURT can have Rachel sleepover, without his dad getting mad?  I mean, it’s only fair, right?) 

“I watched all of Brokeback Mountain.  Now, I don’t know much about gay stuff, but I’m pretty sure something went on in that tent,” Burt notes wryly . . .

*sigh* Memories!

Ultimately, the father / son duo come to a compromise.  Kurt will ask Daddy, before having any possibly gay dudes sleep with him (a.k.a. any guy in Glee Club).  In return, Burt will school himself on the wonders of male-on-male sex, just in case Kurt happens to “have any questions” on the topic.  (Oh, Burt!  I have a WHOLE LIST of really great movies I can recommend for you on this topic.  Just call me, OK?)

But Kurt’s dad is the least of his problems.  Kurt also has to worry about the fact that a ONCE AGAIN drunk (My, they sure fall off the wagon fast on this show!) Rachel has asked Blaine out on a REAL date, post kiss.  And Blaine has accepted!

“And we can play Barbies, and watch The Care Bears Movie, and you can braid my hair, and play with my dollhouse .  . .”

Kurt sees Blaine’s acceptance of a date with Rachel as a blatant rejection of Kurt homosexuality.  Blaine argues that he is just not that into him “confused” about whether he’s into dudes, chicks, or both, and that Kurt should stop chasing after him like a wounded puppy be more understanding.  Then Blaine ends the conversation, just as any straight manly man would, by sticking his tongue out, flipping his hair, and strutting off, in a huff . . .

That night Kurt stops by Rachel’s house to ask stalkerish questions about Blaine, and interrogate her about the Infamous Date the two shared help her clean up the basement, after the big party.  To Kurt’s chagrin, the pair actually had a great time.  Kurt “kindly” tells Rachel that she is destined to a be a perpetual  . . . forgive the expression . . . “Fag Hag” to gay guys pretending to be straight, starting with Blaine.  Now, if I were Rachel, I would of SLAPPED Kurt in the face for saying that to ME!  (Even though, let’s face it, it’s probably true .  . . for Rachel at least.) 

I love how, in this screencap, you can clearly see the bra Brittany was wearing earlier, at the party, hanging on the wall, behind Rachel and Kurt . . . It’s all about the details!

But Rachel, to her credit, refuses to be bullied by Jealous Kurt, and his pronouncements of doom and gloom.  She vows to kiss Blaine sober, thereby proving, once and for all, that the Warbler, is, in fact, in love with her.  After all, she is not about to pass up the opportunity to have “A New Musical Boyfriend” and . . .  eventually, “vaguely Eurasian-looking babies.”  I mean, can you blame her?

The next day, at the coffee shop, as Kurt creepily looks on, Rachel plants another smackeroo on the Blainester .  . .

Blaine’s reaction?  “Yep, I’m gay,” replies the Head Warbler, before exiting the coffee shop.

WOW!  Insensitive much?  Who knew gay guys could be such D-bags?  Fortunately, Rachel takes the rejection in stride.  Besides, being dumped by a gay guy in the middle of Starbucks is GREAT song-writing material.  Even, Rachel’s headband would agree!

Source

I Didn’t Know Vomit Could be That Color . . .

Looks more like Wet Cement . . . actually.

It’s the day of the Alcohol Awareness Assembly, and the Glee kids are unusually nervous about their performance of Ke$ha’s (or, as The Fig calls her “Ke Dollar Sign a”) rousing alcoholic anthem “Tik Tok.”  Fortunately, Rachel has come bearing courage-fabricating “refreshments.”  Said “refreshments” apparently include the REST of the contents of her dads’ liquor cabinet, all poured into one big yummy vat . . . along with cough syrup . . . and some crushed up Oreos . . .

Mmmmm . . .  Yummy!

Led by Ke$ha lookalike Brittany, and her criminally short-shorts, the Glee kids give a performance that starts off rather well, and ends in . . . for lack of a better word, Vomitpalooza 2011.

“Everybody drink responsibly,” slurs Brittany at the end of the performance, before rushing off for an intense session of Oreo Cookie Tossing and Porcelain God Praying.

You can enjoy the Glee kids, in all their pukey splendor, RIGHT HERE . . .

To add insult to vomit-covered injury, the next day, Sue decides to broadcast Will’s drunk dial to Emma across the student loudspeaker, during morning announcements.  (Poor Will!  He must not have very many friends AT ALL, if “Sue’s” name comes anywhere near “Emma’s” in his Cell Phone Contact List.)

Usually, on television shows like this, “Drunk Declarations of Love” are surprisingly romantic, eloquent, and poignant.  Not so here!  Kudos to Glee for showing the world what REAL DRUNK DIALS sound like: disturbing, stalkerish, and incredibly creepy.

  “Bring some wine coolers to my place, and we can get busy together ALL night . . . I rode a bull tonight, and when I was riding it, I was thinking of YOU,” slurs Will into his phone.  (Ummm  .  . . ew?)

“Awwww, you think I look like a Mechanical Bull!   That’s the sweetest thing anybody’s ever said to me!”

But just in case you were worried that our Glee kids and Will would experience repercussions for their bad behavior, worry not!  The Fig LOVED IT!  Thanks to the Glee kids barf, and Will’s humiliation, no one wants to be drunk in school anymore. 

Uhhhh  . . . your welcome?

In fact, The Fig is so grateful to the Glee club for their effort, he gives them all coupons to buy yogurt!  Because that’s the first thing you want to eat, after you’ve vomited up your insides . . . mushy, chunky, globule, yogurt  . . .

That afternoon, at Glee club practice, The Schue makes all the students sign pledges promising to stay sober through Nationals.   However, he also gives the crew his cell phone number, so that, in case they DO end up getting wasted, he can come pick them up from whatever dark alley they decide to shoot heroine in.

Can I get that number too, Will?

And that’s all she wrote!  Be sure to tune in two-weeks from now, when The Schue FINALLY takes a break from whining and complaining about how miserable his life is, in order to rock out to some Prince songs, and bang Gwyneth Paltrow.  Good times!

See ya then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Glee

Degrassi: In Too Deep — Anatomy of Two BRAND NEW Promos!

REJOICE, DEGRASSI FANS!  THE NEW PROMOS ARE FINALLY HERE! 🙂

Last night, Teen Nick aired two much anticipated trailers for Degrassi‘s upcoming new season, entitled In Too Deep, which is set to premiere on February 11th at 9 p.m.  The first trailer was relatively short (lasting only about 30 seconds).   However, it was comprised almost entirely of NEW footage, never before seen by Degrassi fans . . .

The second trailer was double the length of the first (clocking in at about 1 minute, 30 seconds), and was an amalgamation of scenes from the first trailer, scenes from the trailer that Teen Nick aired last season, and some extra “bonus” scenes . . .

So, now that you’ve seen them, let’s discuss what we’ve learned.  Shall we?

Fadam is ON! / Fiona is still drinking. / Fiona may be gay (and into Holly J)?

When we last left our favorite (and only) transgendered Degrassi student, Adam Torres, he was putting some major effort into wooing the object of his affections, Fiona Coyne.  He even went so far as to throw a genuine New York-style ball, fit for a Princess, in her honor.  However, up until this point, Fiona’s feelings for Adam have shown little evidence of venturing beyond the platonic.  She might be aware of Adam’s attraction to her, but she hasn’t done much to show that she reciprocates those feelings.  In fact, she BAILED on the party he threw for her — a major NO-NO, in Relationship World.

But if the promos we’ve seen for next season are any indication, all of that is about to change, BIG TIME . . .

Though Fiona and Adam’s first kiss may be the result of a drunken (at least on Fiona’s part) game of Truth or Dare (as suggested in the first promo), clearly their relationship extends far beyond this “momentary indiscretion,” as the season progresses.  We know, from last season’s promos (plus, many of those scenes were repeated in the new trailers), that Fiona and Adam (or Fadam, as the cool kids like to call them) engage in a full on, Horizontal Couch Makeout Session, later on in the season.  And it is this couch session that Holly J. unceremoniously interrupts. 

Sounds great, right? 

Well . . . maybe not . . .

When we first watched the earlier promos, many of us Degrassi fans speculated as to the “logistics” of Fiona’s and Adam’s relationship.  Specifically, we wondered how Fiona would react, when she learned  that Adam was born female (and still has lady parts).  Based on the promos we saw last night, Fiona’s knowledge regarding Adam’s trangender status doesn’t seem to be the issue . . .

Both promos feature Fiona telling Adam that “drinking makes it easier to be with [him].”

This line suggests three things: (1) that Fiona is still abusing alcohol; (2) that she is aware that Adam is transgendered; and (3) while that knowledge has not caused her to stop seeing him, it still makes her feel at least somewhat uncomfortable.

But here’s the REAL twist . . .

Could Fiona actually be a lesbian?  Is she merely using Adam to “safely” evaluate her attraction to people of the same sex, while secretly vying for her bestie, Holly J?  This would be an interesting plot development indeed!

Sound crazy and completely out of left field to you?  Here’s my take on why this might be a real possibility . . .

For starters, Fiona has always been someone for whom relationships seemed more about status and convenience, than about genuine attraction.  She briefly dated Riley (before he was officially out of the closet) because she thought he was a nice guy who would keep her away from the advances of douchebags.  The fact that Riley was gay, and would likely never want to be intimate with her, almost seemed like an added bonus, as far as Fiona was concerned.

Fiona dated the ultimatey abusive Bastard Bobby, back in New York, because he was rich, popular, and had the right family name. 

She hooked up with her brother Declan (INCEST!  GROSSSSSS!) , because she worried that she was losing him (He was her only friend, at the time,) to Holly J.  So, she assumed that, by being DISGUSTING, she  could scare her brother’s boyfriend away . . .

So, we’ve never actually seen Fiona exhibit feelings of attraction for a man of the opposite sex.  And, based on the promos, she does seem more open to beginning a relationship with a transgendered male, than most heterosexual women her age, and in her situation, probably would be.  In conclusion, what initially might have seemed like a bizarre “out-of-character” plot twist the Degrassi writers inserted into their story to appeal to a considerable fanbase of “Dudes Who LOVE HOT LESBIANS,” makes more and more sense to me, the more I continue to think about it . . .

As for Holly J. . . .

Apart from her scenes with Fiona and Adam, we really don’t get to see all that much of her in these new promos.  However, the above shot, seems to suggest that she gets injured at some point during this season.  She may even end up in the hospital, as a result of said injuries?  (Based on the white background, behind Holly J., I thought she might be laying on a hospital bed in the picture above.)

Could Holly have somehow been involved in the EPIC CAR ACCIDENT to which all the Degrassi spoilers keep referring?  And, if so, why did the hospital choose to cope with injuries, by merely pasting a cheap bandaid over them?  (Random Canadian Hospital FAIL!)

Ali gets in trouble again. /  She runs away from home, is robbed, and wears an UGLY wig?

When Alli told her parents that she wanted to be transferred to private school, she never expected that they would ship her off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Although we didn’t learn too much more about Alli’s predicament than we had already deduced from previous promos, these new trailers helped us fill in a few of the blanks as to what actually happens to Alli during this season.  First, we see her at home, in her school uniform, complaining, that while she tries to be “good,” bad things continue to happen to her . . .

Combine this scene, with the one from the earlier promo, in which she is arguing was Sav (“You are ruining MY life,” he screams at her.) and you can deduce that Ali got into some trouble at her All-Girls private school, and shamed the family, as a result.  She may have even been EXPELLED from that school.  After all, we do see Alli later on in the promo, talking to Clare, at what appears to be a Degrassi Dance . . .

There is no way of knowing for certain whether this “Dance Scene” comes before or after Alli runs away from home.  But we do know that she’s on the run at some point during the series, and is away from home long enough to be declared a Missing Person . . .

This information is all but spelled out for us, when we see Alli at home, threatening to run away . . .

We then see her out in the street dressed in that RIDICULOUS OUTFIT, ripping down Missing Person posters of herself . . .

I didn’t know Lindsay Lohan was on Degrassi!

After that, Alli gets mugged by some lowlife, who steals her purse and runs away (probably, because he thought she was Lindsay Lohan, and that he could see the purse on Ebay for some serious dough.  He was probably super disappointed, when he found out that the purse he stole belonged instead to “some chick from Degrassi”).

Then, finally, Alli’s dad, and Sav go out searching for her in the family car, during a rainstorm.  Presumably, they find her, and bring her back home  .. . just in time for the Degrassi Dance!

YIPPEE!

And now for the storyline, you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Eli flips out. /  He becomes super possessive of Clare.  / She dumps him.  / And he gets into a car accident on the anniversary of his dead girlfriend’s death?

Of all Degrassi’s upcoming season storylines, I’d say Eli’s and Clare’s is the one about which fans are the most excited.  And why not?  After all, the Degrassi: In Too Deep Season finale is set to air on April 22, 2011, precisely two years (maybe one in Degrassi world), since the tragic and untimely death of Eli’s former girlfriend, Julia, who was hit by a car.

I know that, in real life, this is the picture of a model in a bad black wig.  And yet, “Dead Julia” still gives me the creeps every time I look at her . . . kind of like that Freaky Chick from The Ring movies . . .

To add fuel to the Eclare fire, Degrassi Writer/Producer Stephen has publicly admitted that the Eli/Clare/Dead Julie saga will be featured prominently in the latter episodes of the season.  He also teased that something will happen to a creepy “picture” of Julia, and that Eli is in that picture as well.  Speculation as to what Sohn meant by this cryptic statement has ranged widely from the literal (a picture of Eli and Julia is stolen during the finale) to the practical (Eli accidentally ran Julia over with his car), to the outright BIZARRE (“Julia” is actually Eli in a black wig, a la Psycho)

This eye-catching shot from the extended promo seems to show a bereft, and tear-stricken Eli clutching Julia’s picture while standing next to his trusty hearse Morty.  The question is, where the heck is he?  The library?  (There are shelves of books shown behind the car); His garage? (Where else do you put a car indoors?)  Degrassi High?  (Did he DRIVE THE CAR INTO THE SCHOOL?)

In the promos, we see that things between Eli and Clare aren’t nearly as rosy as they were last season — back when the pair bonded over Eli’s hoarding issues, and Eli helped Clare cope with her parents’ impending separation.

Suddenly, Clare is talking about “taking a break” and “needing space” from Eli.  This is an unusual turn of events, especially considering that in previous episodes, it was Clare, who seemed the more “clingy” of the couple, while Eli was a bit more standoffish, and constantly required time alone to “sort things out.”

“Could someone tell me when exactly I became the GIRL in this relationship?”

Now, suddenly, Eli never seems to want Clare to leave his side . . .

Whenever they are together, he constantly has his arm wrapped around her protectively, as if he is afraid that if he lets go, she will get run over by a carhe will lose her forever . . .

The usually adorable Eli is suddenly saying creepy lines like the guys in the Lifetime movies do . . . right before they go after their girlfriend with a hatchet.  (“If I can’t have you, NO ONE CAN!”)

“You promised me you’d never leave me,” he tells her in one scene.

“We need some time ALONE together . . . just you and me,” he says to her in another.

It seems obvious that, as the date on the calendar creeps closer and closer to the anniversary of Julia’s death, Eli is becoming more unhinged.  He copes with these feelings, by sticking close to Clare, the only person who has the power him feel safe. 

But Clare almost makes Eli nervous.  After all, Eli presumably felt “safe” with his last girlfriend too, and look what happened to her!  So, just like Eli “hoarded” random objects in his room, to preserve Julia’s memory, he is, in essence, “hoarding” Clare now, to keep her out of harms way.

But Clare isn’t an old notebook, or smelly shoe.  She’s a person, who needs her own space.  Clare confides this in Alli at the school dance.  So, Alli suggests that Clare be honest with Eli about how she’s feeling . . .

Ummm . . . Clare?  1993 called . . . And they would really like that lipstick back!  (Seriously, why does the wardrobe department always insist on dressing this character like a 43-year old Soccer Mom?)

But was this the right advice?  In both of the promos, we see Clare confronting Eli, frustratedly telling her boyfriend that he is “suffocating her.”

Needless to say, Eli does not take this accusation (or possibly being dumped?) very well.  In the final scenes of both of the above trailers, we see Eli driving his car recklessly into the night, with tears streaming down his face . . .

Though a clearly anguished and incredibly guilty feeling Clare, calls Eli repeatedly on his cell phone, begging him to answer her, we can see that he does not do so . . .

Could THESE be scenes from April 22nd’s Season Finale, entitled “Drop the World?”  Could this be the Massive Car Crash Degrassi spoilers have been teasing us about since last year?  Is Julia’s picture in the car with Eli, while he’s driving?  Could Eli’s reckless driving, be construed as a suicide attempt, as a result of guilt over his girlfriend’s death?

I guess we will just have to wait until February 11th to find out.  (But until then, speculations and spoilers are always welcome in the comment section, and would be much appreciated. 🙂 )

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Degrassi: The Next Generation, Spoilers and Sneak Peeks

The Return of Freddy Rumsen (and Creepy Glen): A Recap of Mad Men’s “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”

“Ho, ho, ho!  Don’s a ho, ho, ho!”

Tonight’s installment of Mad Men marked the “return” of a number of important people and things:

First, there was Freddy Rumsen . . .

A man whose vast talents include: pissing himself before client meetings, taking “six-month leaves” and playing Mozart with his fly . . .

Also, returning for this episode was Glen Bishop . . .

His talents include:  creeping everybody out, watching grown women pee, asking for locks of their hair, and being show producer, Matt Weiner’s kid in real life!

“That’s my boy!”

The final addition to the “People Returning” category is Lee Garner, Jr. . . .

His talents include trying to rape Sal . . .

 . . . getting Sal fired because he tried to rape him, and making fans HATE HIS GUTS for getting rid of Sal.

Other non-human returnees included:

Peggy’s virginity . . .

But it left a few minutes later . . .

And Don’s misery and lack of good judgment . . .

But, when you think about it, has that EVER really left?

So, now that we’ve given all the old -newcomers a warm welcome, what do you say we get on with the show?

The Case of Creepy Glen and the Phantom Phone Calls

“I don’t know about you.  But I’m just really happy to be involved a storyline that doesn’t involve someone dying, or me getting screamed at by my Mean Mommy.”

When the episode first opens, the new “Francis family,” led by the “about as exciting as watching paint dry,” Henry Francis . . .

“What exactly is wrong with watching paint dry?  I very much enjoy watching paint dry.  It’s scintillating . . .”

 . . . are searching for a Christmas tree that won’t scrape the paint off their ceiling.  While there, Sally runs into Creepy Glen . . .

“I heard you got a new dad.  My mom said that would happen,” offers Glen conversationally.  (Ohhh  BURN!  Take that Mama Betty!  You should have really thought twice about giving this boy a lock of your hair.  He’s out for revenge now!)

Glen then shows Sally his red twine dispenser, and Sally remarks at its beauty, before being called away by her brother.

“I might call you sometime,” threatens Glen, as he ponders putting a lock of Mama Betty’s hair on a squirrel he just killed, and making it into a voodoo doll.

Creepy Glen DOES call Sally.  But instead of revealing his true identity when Housekeeper Carla picks up the phone, he refers to himself as STANLEY, his evil alter ego.  As if Creepy Glen wasn’t creepy enough before, he now has multiple personality disorder too! 

Sally, who, unfortunately, has never seen the film Fatal Attraction (both because it’s Rated R, and because it hasn’t come out yet in 1964), takes this brilliant opportunity to pour her heart out to Creepy Glen / Stanley.  “I hate it here.  I really, really do,” she gripes.

(It’s interesting how Betty CLAIMS to be squatting in Don’s house with her new husband for the “children’s sake” and the “children” themselves, don’t even want to be there.)

“Bad Mommy!”  (says Creepy Glen, as he stabs a pin in Voodoo Betty’s heart).

“Don’t worry.  One day your parents will wake up and they will want to move.  You’ll see,” Glen offers, cryptically, before hanging up the phone.

That night, while the “Francis’s” (I’m never going to get used to typing that) are out for dinner, Glen once again calls the house.  This time, no one answers.  He and his friend then somehow break into the house and vandalize it, by pouring food from the fridge all over the place.  “There’s eggs in my bed,” complains Bobby, who has had more to say in this episode then he did throughout the entire third season of this show.

“My room is fine,” exclaims a confused Sally, as she walks toward her night table and finds Creepy Glen’s red twine dispenser – clearly, a gift of love . . .  FROM HELL! 

(Insert maniacal laughter here.)

“Mark” Your Man?

You know who wasn’t getting stalked by a creeper this week?  Peggy!  But she WAS getting pressured into sex, by her clingy, nasally voiced loser of a boyfriend, Mark.  (PEGGY!  You can do SO much better!)

I rest my case.

“I want to be your first,” whines Dweeby Mark, uttering the most unintentionally hilarious line in the entire episode, about the girl who got knocked up by Pete, and who Duck Phillips gave “a go around like she never had before.”

Like a virgin .  . . touched for the very tenth time . . .

Born Again Peggy tells Marky Mark with his Pants in a Bunch that she “wants to wait.”  He responds by laying on her the slobberiest, most unsexy, kiss of all time.  “Think about THAT!”  He says triumphantly, as he struts out of her apartment.  Oh, she’s thinking about it, all right . . . and so are we . . .

After admitting to herself that she “doesn’t want to be alone on New Years,” Peggy receives some advice from Freddy Rumsen about “men.”   Freddy tells her that she should “not lead the boy on,” because that’s PAINFUL . . .

Ahem.

 . . . and that if she “really likes him, she should wait,” Peggy decides to screw Marky Turd anyway.  Hey Mark, get the hint . . .

But, hey, at least you won’t have to worry about THESE anymore . . .

Freddy Rumsen Doesn’t DO Santa Claus!

(Insert sad zipper music here.)

Well, I, for one, enjoyed seeing Freddy Rumsen return. (Now we just need Sal, Ken and Paul!)  Unfortunately, the poor guy didn’t seem to be enjoying himself all that much this week!  It’s tough being on the wagon in an office filled with alcoholics, isn’t it Freddy? 

 Just ask THIS GUY . . .

Sorry, wrong Duck.  I mean THIS GUY . . .

Kind of blew the punchline there, didn’t I?

Speaking of Duck, I never did forgive him for what he did to poor Chauncey . . .

So NOT cool!

But I digress, back to On-The-Wagon Freddy  . . . 

He comes to the offices of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce, sober 16 months, and armed with a two-million dollar account, Ponds Face Cream.  When asked how he managed to receive such a windfall, Freddy explained that he and the CEO were “in the same fraternity” (more on that later). 

Interestingly enough, the heretofore, happy-go-lucky (happy-go-drunky?) Freddy specifically requests that Pete not have anything to do with the account, as it was Pete who ultimately got Freddy canned for The Piss Heard Round the World.  Now, not that I blame Freddy at all for his decision, but I would be careful, messing with Pete, if I were him.  After all, the dude IS armed . . .

 . . . and REALLY likes to hunt!

Freddy might not be happy to see Pete, but he’s thrilled to see Peggy, at least initially.  Upon entering the office, he lovingly refers to her as, “Ballerina,” and gives her a big bear hug.  If you recall, it was Freddy who first convinced Don and Co. to give then-secretary Peggy a shot at being copywriter for the old agency.  And look how far she’s come since then!

“I’ve come VERY far!  I now wear granny suits, and have the haircut of an 85- year old, despite being in my mid 20s!”

Peggy’s and Freddy’s reminiscences are cut short when Roger Sterling comes back from lunch with the Ponds CEO, clearly wasted!

Not THAT wasted!

“That man sure knows how to have a good time!”  Roger proclaims about his lunch companion, before stumbling back to his office. 

“That’s some job he has,” scoffs Peggy upon Roger’s exit, echoing the same thoughts many of us Mad Men fans have had throughout the course of the series.  Seriously, does Roger ever work?  (He does have the best one liners-though!)

“I also have the best sex life.  Unless you count Don . . .”

Freddy is not paying attention to Peggy’s gripes, however.  He’s worried about the CEO of Ponds.  He gets up and rushes to make a call.  “I heard you went out with Roger Sterling today.  Do you have something to tell me?”  Freddy says into the phone.

Clearly, the “fraternity” Freddy and the CEO were in together only has two Greek letters in it . . . and both of them are “alpha.”

Later, Peggy and Freddy argue over the Ponds campaign.  Freddy wants to use more mature models as spokeswomen, and Peggy wants to use young beautiful ones.  Gone are the days of prim and proper Peggy, who would either hold her tongue completely or politely express her disapproval, when one of her colleagues made a campaign suggestion that was ill advised.  She really let poor Freddy have it, basically telling him, in no uncertain terms, that he was “old-fashioned” and had no talent. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women sticking up for themselves.  And Freddy’s notion that young women idolize and want to look like old ones, simply because old women are MARRIED, is pretty laughable.  And yet, the diatribe seemed a bit tactless on Peggy’s part.  Talk about biting the hand that once fed you!

Freddy wasn’t much better, telling Peggy that if she didn’t work so hard, maybe she’d actually find a man that would want to marry her (and impliedly allow her to stay home barefoot and pregnant).  Riiiiiiight, because MARRIED women are always SO MUCH happier than single ones . . .

Need I say more?

When Freddy didn’t show up for the office Christmas party, Peggy became concerned.  So, she was understandably relieved to see Freddy in the office the next day.  “I don’t want to have to worry that you are going to go out and get drunk, every time I hurt your feelings,” scoffs Peggy.

REAL NICE!  Pick on the former alchy, why don’t you?  What happened, Peggy?  Did Marky Turd steal your sensitivity chip?

As it turns out, Freddy didn’t skip the Christmas party because Peggy “hurt his feelings,” he simply didn’t want to be Santa, because, for whatever, reason, Freddy associated wearing the Santa costume with getting wasted in it.  Whatever the reason, he manages to stay sober. 

 Good for you, Freddy!

But you know who most certainly, DIDN’T stay sober this episode?

Don (Juan?) and Roger Claus

Not only is Don drunk for much of this hour, he is also having a REALLY difficult time getting laid.  First he tries to hit on his new neighbor, Reed from Grey’s Anatomy . . .

 . . . who has miraculously been brought back to life after her untimely death, and reincarnated as a nurse.  “Reed” (who according to Wikipedia is called “Phoebe” on this show) is initially a very friendly new neighbor to Don, flirting with him mercilessly, and expressing concern over his habit of returning to his apartment inebriated on a regular basis.  Upon confirming that Don is not the Scrooge he appears to be, (“I don’t hate Christmas.  I just hate THIS Christmas,” he clarifies), she even invites him to her Christmas party, an invitation that he declines. 

 But when “Phoebe” helps a drunken Don into his apartment, and he tries to pull her into bed with him, she refuses.  STRIKE ONE!

Don’s next target is a pretty market researcher . . .

 . . . whose presentation Don walks out on, because he doesn’t want to answer a questionnaire about his parents . . . (That’s understandable, Dick Whitman Don Draper).  When the researcher calls Don out on his evasive and rude behavior, he asks her out on a date.  She declines, condescendingly telling him that he’ll be married in a year to someone else, anyway.  STRIKE TWO!

But Don isn’t the only SCDP owner lowering his batting average this episode, Roger strikes out himself when he mistakenly invites Lucky Strike scion, Lee Garner, D-Bag (a client who more or less OWNS SCDP) to the office’s small “belt-tightened” Christmas party.

“Is Sal going to be there?  I really miss Sal!”

Suddenly, the tightened belt must be loosened A LOT!  “[You] have to take this party from Convalescent Home to Roman Orgy,” Roger instructs Joan.  (She does.)  “Wear that red dress with the bow on the back that looks like a present.”  (She does.)

SUCCESS!

Lee, meanwhile, uses the party held in his honor, to basically make Roger’s life miserable.  First he hits on both Roger’s new wife, and “Joanie,” his former lover.  He then forces Roger to don a Santa suit, and takes pictures of him, with all the male employees sitting on his lap.  (Fodder for the Lee Garner Jr. Spank Bank, no doubt.)

“But where’s Sal?  I want Sal in the picture!”

To Roger’s credit, he’s an exceptionally good sport about the whole thing.  The same can’t really be said for Don, who copes with the awkward event by getting completely sh*tfaced.  He does share a sweet moment with Peggy, though.  (“Merry Christmas, Sweetheart,” he tells her, and we can tell he really means it.)

When Don arrives home to find he has left his keys in his office, he calls his secretary, Allison (played by Alexa Alemanni), who is still at the party, but is about to leave with New Guy Joey and friends.  She locates Don’s keys and agrees to bring them to his apartment.  When New Guy Joey finds out that Allison is headed to La Casa de Drunk Don, he is not pleased.  “He’s pathetic,” grumbles New Guy Joey about his boss. 

(Note: A lot of fans on the message boards seemed “appalled” by Joey’s lack of respect for Don.  But was I the only one that saw something more here?  Does anyone else think Joey has the hots for Allison?  After all, he did draw her what looked like it might have been a personalized caricature in her likeness, earlier in the episode . . .

 . . . and he DOES have a cute butt!  I wasn’t really a fan of that hideous RED velvet suit he was wearing during the office party though . . . That was HORRID!)

Anyway, Allison arrives at Don’s house to find him sleeping on the floor outside his apartment.

She lets him inside, sits him on the couch, and gets him a glass of water and some Aspirin, which he quickly downs.  But as she is set to leave, he grabs her hand, and pulls her onto the couch with him.  He then begins to kiss her, as he caresses her neck.  “Don’t,” she says softly and without much fervor.

“Don’t, what?”  He asks, laughing a bit, before beginning to kiss her again.

Allison manages to pull away one more time, but when the third kiss comes, she is completely swept away.  “Oh,” she says with surprise, as Don falls on top of her, on the couch.

A few short minutes later . . . (because, lets be honest, Don had A LOT to drink), it’s all over.  After a few moments of surprisingly tender petting, Allison sheepishly rights her clothing, and tells Don she has to go meet her friends.  “Are you sure?”  He asks.

Allison nods and heads for the door, “I . . . um,”  She begins, not sure of how to broach the issue.

“I understand,” says Don.

The next day, however, it becomes pretty obvious, that Don does NOT understand!  He basically lets Allison know, in no uncertain terms, that, in his mind, this was a “one time thing.”  “I’ve too often taken advantage of your kindness,” he says.

Allison takes the hint, and, blinking back tears, accepts the envelope Don hands her, containing her Christmas bonus.  She eagerly opens the envelope, hoping for some sign that there was more to all this than Don “taking advantage of her kindness.” 

But along with the cash, is a card containing only one phrase: “Thank you for all your hard work.” – which, admittedly, can be interpreted in one of two ways, both of which make Poor Allison feel like a hooker  . . . (At least Don never asked her to slap him.)

Bad Don!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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My Love Letter to AMC’s Mad Men

To promote Season 4 of its critically acclaimed television series, Mad Men, AMC will be airing “marathons” featuring the five “best” (as determined by viewer votes) episodes of the show’s first three seasons.  The marathons are scheduled to air each Monday night (starting at 8 p.m.) until the season premiere (Sunday, July 25th at 10 p.m.). 

Tonight’s marathon installment featured five episodes from my favorite season of the show, namely, it’s first season.  Watching the marathon (and yes, I actually sat through all five hours) reminded me of how spectacular this program is, and how much I have missed having it in my life during its interminably long hiatus. 

The phrase “relationship television” refers to the phenomenon where a viewer will compulsively watch a particular television show each week, to the point of sometimes altering their personal and professional lives around the viewing of that show.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am in a “relationship” with Mad Men.  And you know what’s great about relationships?  The cheesy love letters that come with them, of course!

Dear Mad Men,

The first time I heard about you, I wasn’t sure we would get along.  You see, typically, I’m not a big fan of “period pieces.” 

And, although you are certainly more contemporary than other shows of that genre, you ARE technically a period piece, Honey.  Granted, you received rave reviews from highly intellectual critics and pundits, even before you arrived.  But that just made me think you were stuck up and elitist.

Plus, you were on a television channel that I had never watched before — one that I had heard catered almost exclusively to really, really old people.

But a friend of mine aggressively sang your praises.  She told me how hot, sexy, smart, and witty you were.  She had me at “hot and sexy” . . .

So, I watched the pilot episode.  And even before the first commercial break, I was hooked.  I mean, it was REALLY love at first sight.

Your pilot episode opened with this brilliant scene!   In it (just in case you don’t remember), the lead protagonist, Don Draper, is in a bar, struggling over an advertising campaign he must pitch to the makers of Lucky Strike cigarettes, the following morning.  You see, it had recently been revealed that smoking could cause lung cancer. 

Furthermore, federal legislation prevented advertisers from saying that cigarettes were “healthy.”  The meeting was just a few hours away, and Don still had nothing to present to his clients.  So, understandably, your protagonist was a tad stressed out.  So while Don is busy getting plastered at the bar, he is also hard at work, brainstorming ideas for his campaign (Talk about multi-tasking!).  To organize his ideas, Don uses the advanced technology available to him during the 1960’s.   No lame lined notepad is good enough for the likes of Don Draper! NO WAY!

Don has something a bit more “high-tech” in mind . . .

I mean, seriously, he wrote ALL OVER that napkin!  By the time he was finished, there was so much writing on that piece of cloth, you could barely tell what color it was! 

When the waiter approaches Don, the latter tries to wrangle him into a conversation about what type of cigarettes he smokes (Hint: NOT Lucky Strikes).  “I just love to smoke,” explains the waiter, matter-of-factly.  Don deems the statement important enough to jot down on the sacred napkin.  (Way to go, Waiter Dude!)

This conversation is interrupted by the manager of the restaurant, who immediately presumes that the waiter is bothering Don, simply because said waiter is black.  As a child of the late 20th century, I found the blatant racism to be pretty shocking and offensive.  But back then, it must have been fairly common place.  Then, as Don scans the bar, the entire room seems to explode in a giant puff of smoke! 

Because, of course, EVERYONE smoked in the early 1960’s!  The scene I just described was less than five minutes long.  Yet, despite its deceptive simplicity, it spoke volumes.

That’s one of the things I love most about you, Mad Men.  You never talk down to me, or feel the need to spell things out for me.  You don’t take my intelligence for granted.  This makes me feel smarter, when I watch you.  And, in case you haven’t noticed, I enjoy feeling smart. 

(It happens so rarely, after all.)

Aside from your witty writing and snappy dialogue, you know what else is so great about you?  Your cast of characters . . .

When writing a show that takes place in a corporate environment, it’s sometimes tempting to simply rehash the same stale corporate stereotypes we generally see on show’s of the “office” variety.  But you didn’t take the easy way out, Mad Men.  Each of YOUR characters are multi-faceted and complex, from the lead role down to mere walk-on parts, like, for example, that waiter in the aforementioned pilot episode. 

In fact, it wouldn’t be at all out of the ordinary for a character who initially seemed pigeon-holed in the uptight “goody two shoes” role to rock out at a party . . .

. . . or get high on some killer weed, while spending a late night at the office . . .

. . . or get knocked up by a coworker, and not tell him about the baby until a full season year has passed, since it was given up for adoption.

I also wouldn’t put it past you to have a heretofore pristine and well-coifed housewife come completely unglued . . .

 . . . or to have a beloved gay character nearly raped by a man, and then subsequently fired for REFUSING to submit to the rapist’s advances . . .

Oh, and the female characters on this show?  They totally kick ass!

Early 1960’s America wasn’t a kind place for working women.  In the workplace, they were often mistreated, and undervalued, if not openly sexually harassed.

They also lacked the same opportunities as men, and were expected to conform to the demeaningly narrow stereotypes of the era.

And yet, many of the female characters on this show, bucked societal trends, and found success in the “take-no-prisoners” world of corporate New York City.

Did I mention that the men on the show are hot?

And their sexual conquests are even hotter?

Seriously, what more could I ask for in a “Television Show Relationship?”

Well . . . maybe there is one more thing, I could ask for.  It’s a minor thing, really.  It’s just that . . .  DO YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING AWAY FOR SO DAMN LONG?

I know they say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but a YEAR???  Come on, Mad Men!  That type of “absence” just makes the heart depressed.

And yet, now, I hear you are returning to my home in just a few short weeks!

So, I hope you’ve been working out . . .

 . . . because I plan to have some SERIOUS makeup sex with you, upon your return!

See you on July 25th!  I love you!

XOXO,

KJewls

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