Tag Archives: Ginnifer Goodwin

The Lazy Recapper Takes On This Week’s Once Upon a Time, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl, New Girl, and The Big Bang Theory (in ONE post!)

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Don’t you hate it when your personal life gets in the way of you fulfilling your blogging responsibilities?

I know, I DO!  But just because I haven’t been updating you each day with 5,000-word in-depth analyses of various TV shows I watch, doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching television.  After all, I firmly believe that, no matter how busy you are, there is ALWAYS time for television . . .

That is why, this week, instead of merely recapping one or two of the shows I watched, I will recap EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY ONE but in a half-assed way, that waters them down to one or two punchlines, a piece.

Well, I don’t care if you’re impressed, DAMON SALVATORE!  I’m going to do it,  anyway!  (Besides, YOUR show is on hiatus.  So, what do YOU care?)

So, without further adieu I proudly present to you, The Lazy Recapper’s Guide to Television for the Week of April 2nd . . .

Once Upon a Time – “The Stable Boy”

This week on Once Upon a Time, I learned that I should never tell little girls my secrets . . .

“You can trust me!  I’m a Disney Princess!”

Because, if I tell a little girl my secret, I will probably become evil, for all eternity (and start wearing WAY too much mascara) . . .

Also, my blue collar boyfriend with the heart of gold will DIE . . .

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And I will cope with it, by removing all my neighbors’ hearts, and putting them in little individual jewelry boxes.  This way, whenever I’m having a bad day, I can take one out, and do this to it . . .

 I also learned that the little girl who briefly played Max on Wizards of Waverly place is kind of an AMAZING actress.  (She also might very well be Ginnifer Goodwin’s Time-Traveling Doppelganger.)

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P.S. So, it turns out, Prince Charming’s ex-wife isn’t quite as “dead” as we once thought she was.  (However, after spending over a week wandering the woods aimlessly, she probably smells a bit like death.)

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Zombie?

Mad Men – Tea Leaves

Here’s an interesting tidbit of information for you.  Did you know that Jared Gilmore, the kid who plays Henry Mills on Once Upon a Time, used to play Bobby Draper on Mad Men?

Unfortunately, the performance itself wasn’t all that memorable.  This has less to do with Jared Gilmore’s acting abilities, and more to do with “Bobby Draper” as a character.  For one thing, the kid is, for all intents and purposes, a selective mute, and has probably said about five lines in as many seasons of the show.  Also, the producers seem to change the actor who plays Bobby every few episodes.  (They are already on their fourth.)

Nonetheless, Jared Gilmore did manage to leave his mark on Mad Men, by famously tattling to the press about what a heinous biatch January Jones was to him, while he was on set.

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“Take THAT, Snow White’s grandkid!”

Well, you know how it is when people are REALLY mean to you, right?  You can’t help but feel the slightest bit of guilty glee, when they eventually get what’s coming to them . .  .

So, you could imagine how psyched Jared Gilmore probably was, when he turned on Mad Men this week (assuming it’s not on after his bed time), and saw THIS . . .

That’s right, boys and girls!  The once-modelesque, ice queen, Betty Draper nee Francis now wears your grandma’s house coats, and steals her own daughter’s ice cream sundaes, after the latter leaves the dinner table.  (She also, as it turns out, DOESN’T have a deadly disease.  So, you can post pictures like the one above on your blog, without feeling like a total cretin for doing so.)

Somewhere in Hollywood, Jared Gilmore is fist pumping for joy . . .

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Also this week on Mad Men, Sterling Cooper Draper Price hired its first Jewish employee.  Happy Passover!

Sure, Michael Ginsburg is a bit on the “socially awkward” side.  But he’s a smart guy.  And I think he’ll fit in at the firm just fine . . . provided he stops stealing jackets from Pete Campbell’s wardrobe . . .

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I mean, let’s face it, you REALLY don’t want to mess with Pete.  The dude keeps a hunting rifle under his desk, for crying out loud . . .

Speaking of socially awkward people who dress badly . . .

The Big Bang Theory – “The Hawking Excitation”

So . . . um . . . this happened . .  .

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And all I could think to myself was that Jim Parsons has some really well-toned legs!  He must do Pilates.  Or . . . maybe he takes those pills you hear about on late night infomercials . . . you know, the ones that make you .  . . bigger.

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Or . . . maybe not.  But while Sheldon’s weiner thigh muscles showed some signs of growth this week, his ego most certainly did not.  From having to wash the pee off Howard’s many belt buckles, to having to stuff Howard’s rotund mother in a teeny tiny dress, having to wear a French Maid costume was the least of Sheldon’s problems, this week.  And if all that didn’t drum up pity in your heart for the genius from Apartment 4A, then I suspect this will . .  .

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In other Disconcerting Revelations News . . .

New Girl – “Secrets”

Schmidt’s and Cece’s “secret relationship” isn’t such a “secret anymore.”

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Nick didn’t exactly take the news well . . .

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Jess didn’t take the news well either . . .

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And yet, I’d say that she took the news that all the guys in the house had “self-completed” while thinking about her, much worse .  . .

“Come on Cece, the boys are busy slapping their salamies.  Let’s go rob some banks.” 

(Of course, we all know that Jess secretly LOVES the idea that Nick frequently self-completes, while thinking about her.  She’s not fooling anybody.)

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Speaking of people who are going to have to do a lot more “self-completing” in the future . . .

Gossip Girl – “Con Heir”

It turns out that Chuck Bass’ often malevolent (but still totally awesome) Uncle Jack shouldn’t really be exchanging bodily fluids with ANYONE but himself .  . .

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And that means it’s safe to say that Uncle Jack’s blood wasn’t what saved Chuck’s life, back when he was still with Blair, before the show went to Hell in a Prada bag . . .

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Many viewers now suspect that the real source of Chuck Bass’ lifeblood was his secret bio mom, and Nate’s former screw toy, Diana, who not-so-coincidentally will be returning to the show, next week . . .

Personally, my money is on Damon Salvatore.  We all know how much he likes to “share” his lifeblood with the dying . .  .

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(Come to think of it, Chuck HAS been looking a bit pale,  lately . . .)

In other news, Blair Waldorf learned that the only way to make sex with Donut Dan Humphrey passable is to get drunk enough, and travel to a dark enough alley, that she can make herself believe she’s actually doing it with Chuck Bass . . .

Speaking of people who shouldn’t be having sex . . .

Game of Thrones – “The North Remembers”

This guy . . .

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 . . . is the poster child for why incest is BAAAAAAADDDD . . .

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Dear readers, please, please, PLEASE do not have sex with your siblings.  I don’t care HOW hot they are . . .

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Draco Malfoy’s Evil-er twin, Joffrey Baratheon’s douchebagginess knows NO bounds .  . .

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You know, in most cases I am a staunch opponent of corporal punishment.  Hitting kids is WRONG, DAMMIT  . . . but in this case . . . I’d be willing to make an exception . . .

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Coincidentally, if you live in Westeros and happen to have had sex with the late King Baratheon at any time during the last . . . oh, twenty or so years, I have a little piece of advice for you . . .

Yep, there sure were a lot of DEAD BASTARD BABIES in this week’s episode of Game of Thrones.  It was rather disturbing . . .

And yet, when it happened, somehow I didn’t cry quite as much as I did back in the pilot episode, when they killed Sansa’s pet wolf.

Puppies make me mushy.  Babies?  Meh! 

Clearly, I’m an awful human being . . .

P.S. Tyrion Lannister, if you are reading this . . . CALL ME!  (We can be short and snarky together!)

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 And that was the Lazy Recapper’s TV Week in review.  So, tell me, what did YOU watch on TV this week?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl, Mad Men, New Girl, Once Upon a Time, The Big Bang Theory

What’s on TV This Week? (1/29 – 2/4) – Spoilery Sneak Peeks from Once Upon a Time, Gossip Girl, PLL, Glee, and TVD

[ Gossip Girl’s “G.G.” and PLL’s “A Kiss Before Lying” recaps are both on their way!  I wanted to take a little extra time with these. Gossip Girl just celebrated it’s 100th episode, after all.  (That just doesn’t happen every day!)  Check back for both recaps within the next 24 hours . . .]

Greetings TV fans!  One of my absolute favorite new TV Trends is the Episode Sneak Peek, i.e. the Web Clip.  More and more lately, networks are releasing key scenes from their upcoming television episodes, a week early, in hopes of generating buzz about their shows, and, possibly, increasing ratings.

The way I see it, this is a win-win situation for both the network and spoiler-loving TV viewers like myself.  From the network’s perspective, it gives the corporate suits the opportunity to control which spoilers are leaked about their upcoming episode, while still giving impatient fans something to chew on, while they wait for the actual episode to air.

From the fan’s perspective, we sort of get to feel like we’re “cheating” the system, by getting the early scoop on select parts of upcoming episodes that only the most spoiler savvy of viewers get to see . . .

“Beating the system .  . . one YouTube video at a time . . .” 

This week, was particuarly exciting for me, because I managed to find webclips for nearly EVERY show I watch!  And these aren’t just throwaway scenes, either!  Some of the sneak peeks I found offer up some genuine hints as to what these shows’ upcoming episodes have in store for us.

From a torrid fairytale affair . . . to a royal wedding that positively NO ONE wants to happen  .  . . to a heart-wrenching betrayal . . . to a Michael Jackson-inspired sing-off . . . to an out-and-out war between two sets of vampire brothers, something tells me that this week’s television fare is going to be setting the internet a-blaze with heated discussions for weeks to come . . .

So, without further adieu, I proudly bring to you, This Week’s Collection of Spoilery Sneak Peaks . . .

Once Upon a Time

“I see youuuuu!” 

Episode 11 – Fruit from the Poisonous Tree

Airs: Sunday, January, 28th, 8.p.m. EST on ABC

Though I was initially drawn to this fairytale fantasy, due to it’s uniquely original concept, and wealthy of unabashedly nerdy literary nods . . . the complex, and suprisingly dark, love story between Snow White, Prince Charming, and their respective Storybrook counterparts, is one of the main reasons I keep returning, after week.

How much of a role should amorphous concepts like fate, instinct, and chemistry play in one’s pursuit of happiness?  Is it acceptable in life to hurt and betray others, in the name of True Love?  These intriguing questions are central to Once Upon a Time, in general, and Mary Margaret’s (i.e. Snow White’s) and David’s (i.e. Prince Charming’s) story, specifically.

In this first webclip from the upcoming episode, David and Mary Margaret sneak off for a romantic forest picnic, of which their fairytale counterparts — who memorably met one another in, more or less, these same woods — would most definitely approve.  And yet the happiness of this romantic reunion is shadowed by the fact that David is married to another woman, one who has been doing everything in her power to make their ailing marriage work . . .

What’s so interesting about this couple is how many complex emotions they bring about in the viewer’s subconscious.  On one hand, everybody knows that Prince Charming and Snow White belong together.  This is something we’ve taken for granted, since we were kids.  No one else will ever be quite as right for these two individuals, as they are for one another . . .

And yet, as far Mary Margaret and David are concerned, their life is not a fairytale.  They aren’t princes and princesses, but, rather, real people, with real responsibilities . .  both of whom (while, generally, still loveable) have some genuine character flaws.  And this raises a  difficult question: Does the fact that, in alternate universe, these two individuals lived Happily Ever After, justify what they are doing in this universe?

I guess that’s really up to the viewer to decide . . .

Our second webclip introduces us to the plot that I suspect will take up the bulk of the episode.  We know him as Sidney Glass, once-editor of The Mirror (Storybrooke’s local paper), and, up until this point, one of the malevolent Mayor’s strongest allies.

But in Fairytale land, he was the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror.  And judging by the below scene, in both worlds, his tendency to portray the world exactly as he sees it, might end up leaving him shattered . . .

Anytime Once Upon a Time focuses an entire hour on one of its minor characters, it takes a risk of alienating fans who are watching the show, more or less, just for it’s leads (i.e. Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and the Mayor).  Some minor character episodes have been highly successful, at least in my humble opinion.  In fact “The Price of Gold” (which featured Cinderella’s story), and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (which featured the now-dearly departed Sheriff Graham / The Hunter) were actually among my favorites of the entire series.  And yet, other minor character episodes, like “That Still Small Voice” (about Shrink Archie Hopper, i.e. Jiminey Cricket), and “True North” (about Nicholas and Eva, i.e. Hansel and Gretel) felt a bit flat to me.

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Having always been a sucker for characters who don’t always necessarily walk on the “straight and narrow,” but who, deep down, have a good heart, I found myself intrigued by Sidney Glass, ever since we met the character, early on in the series.  Even though he’s definitely a minor character, I think his story has a lot of potential, particularly, if it’s written in a way that illustrates him as a darkly complex character and morally ambiguous, as opposed to just another schlub the Wicked Mayor managed to buy off . . .

Oh, and The Stranger . . . he’s TOTALLY one of the Brothers’ Grimm, looking to rewrite fairytale history.  It’s SO obvious!

Gossip Girl

Episode 100, “GG”

Airs: Monday, Janury 30th at 9 pm. EST on the CW

As hit or miss as Gossip Girl has been lately, there was a time, not too long ago, when it was one of the best things on television.  The clothes were eviably hipper than most of us could afford.  The couplings and sexcapades were WHITE hot . . .

The plot lines ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to jaw-droppingly, OMFG, scandalous.  And there were enough snappy, snarky quotable lines in each self-contained hour to . . . for lack of a better phrase .  . .  fill a book . . .

It’s for this reason that I am SOOOO incredibly excited about this episode’s 100th episode extravaganza.  If the rumors are true, this hour of television will be jam-packed with homages to GG’s raunchiest moments, eye-popping blot twists, and most deliciously evil schemes and insults.

In short, it will be like Season 1, all over again.  And I, for one, can’t wait to celebrate the show that taught me, once and for all, that “tights are NOT pants!”

Of course, there’s that little unavoidable matter of Blair’s sham of a wedding to that cyborg Price of Dull, Louis-bot . . .

Ahhh . . . Chuck Bass . . . the only man who can cross his legs, and still look masculine doing it.  And that voice . . . I could listen to that voice reading a Depends commercial, and still get turned on.

Don’t worry, Chuck.  Blair CANNOT go through this wedding . . .  It would be positively un-holy for her to do so . . .

That said, you may want to get that adorably toned little butt of yours, over to the church, stat!  Because it looks like she’s actually made her way down the aisle, without angry GG fans tackling her, in protest . . .

Pretty Little Liars

Episode 18 – “A Kiss Before Lying”

Airs: Monday, January 30th, 8.p.m. on ABC Family

When you are being stalked by the mysterious “A,” who literally knows your every move, and can ruin your life for the slightest infraction, lying is pretty much part of your “job description.”

Throughout two seasons, we’ve seen the Rosewood foursome lie to practically everybody they know about something . . . their parents, their significant others, their siblings, even the police.  But when it’s revealed that one of the girls might be starting to crack under the pressure, and her boyfriend just might have the key to bringing down “A,” once and for all, the Pretty Little Liars find themselves in the unique predicament of actually having to lie to eachother . . .

Honestly, as far as webclips go, these were kind of disappointing.  After all, we already knew coming in to this episode, that the rest of the PLL girls were working with Caleb to continue hacking into A’s cell phone, and that they had all controversially decided to leave Hanna out of it.

That said, the show’s Season Finale is not too far away.  And with it will come the much-awaited reveal of “A’s” identity . . . Now, that we know this story actually has an endgame, the probability that the writers will drop important clues into upcoming episodes, like this one, is increasingly high . . . .

Glee

Episode 11 – “Wanna Be Startin Somethin'”

Airs: Tuesday, January 31st at 8 p.m., EST on Fox

After last week’s Yes/No episode, Gleeks were talking more about whether or not Rachel would accept Finn’s proposal of marriage, and less about the musical performances that dominated the hour.

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I suspect that for this week’s episode, which will feature a homage to the works of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the opposite will be true . . .

Truth be told, in the past Glee’s artist-centric episodes haven’t been among their best received.   Both the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes were harshly panned by the critics.  And, for me, Glee’s Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Rumors” stands out as one of the worst episodes in Glee history.  Only the Lady Gaga-inspired episodes, “Theatricality” and “Born this Way,” seemed to manage to stay above the fray . . .

Well . . . almost . . . 

All negativity aside, I actually think “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”  has the opportunity to become a Glee classic.  For one thing, Michael Jackson’s soleful and diverse catalogue of music . . . combined with his flare for flamboyant costumes, and seamlessly choreographed numbers . . . seems to dovetail really well with the things that Glee does best.

Plus, whereas the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes’ so-called plotlines were eye-roll inducing in their ridiculousness.  (Laughing gas induced fantasy sequences?  Seriously?), the reason why all these Glee-kids are suddenly all hopped up on MJ, despite having been infants through most of his heyday actually makes sense . . .

And it’s all explained, quite succinctly, here . . .

How I adore this clip, let me count the ways . . .  For one thing, I’m thrilled to see New Directions actually THINKING about their Regionals set list, ahead of time, for a change, as opposed to . . . oh, I don’t know, coming up with it five minutes before the episode actually airs?

I was also a big fan of Artie actually admitting that he was just a year old, when Michael Jackson moonwalked.  (In truth, he was actually not even born yet, but  I digress.)  So, many times, I’ve wondered how the Glee kids’ music taste often vastly pre-dated my own (see Fleetwood Mac episode).  In this case, at least the writers are inserting some recognition of that disconnect.

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And I hate to say it, but I’m REALLY digging Sebastian as Glee‘s new super villain.   After all, Sue Sylvester can only try to bring down Glee club so many times.  And not since Jesse St. James stint with Vocal Adrenaline has the New Directions really had a worthy adversary, who wasn’t afraid to “fight dirty” to win the competition.

Speaking of worthy adversaries, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about watching Sebastian go to head-to-head with Santana.  They say “Greed is Good.”  But I say “Mean is Better.”

And these two have that down, in spades.   Plus, dare I say it, for two gay characters, these two have an astounding amount of sexual chemistry. Don’t believe me?  Check out this musical sing-off to MJ’s iconic “Smooth Criminal” . . .

(By the way, did anybody else find the cello players oddly constipated looking facial expressions during the number a bit disturbing?)

And, of course, no Glee artist-centric episode would be complete without an ensemble number in which every cast member dresses up in one of the artist-in-question’s most memorable outfits . . .

(I think Blaine is supposed to be Michael Jackson from the beginning of the Thriller video.  Am I wrong?)

The Vampire Diaries

Episode 312 “Bringing Out the Dead”

Airs: Thursday, February 2nd,  8 p.m. EST on the CW

TVD webclips are notoriously heavy on Damon snark and Eye Thing, while frustratingly light on actual plot points . . .

I suspect this has to do with head writer Julie Plec being a bit of a spoilerphobe.  But with good reason!  After all, apart from the immensely attractive cast, and interminable shipper wars, it’s really this show’s game-changing plot twists that keep us tuning in, week after week.

This week’s webclip features a shirtless Stefan (Haven’t seen that one, in a while!) . . .

 . . .  and a rather smug “I kissed Elena, and you can’t take that away from me” Damon . . .

 . . .  doing what they do best, bickering and scheming  . . .

Just to be clear, Damon and Stefan were TOTALLY eye-f*&king in this scene, weren’t they?  Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed that . . .

One of the things TVD does best . . . apart from it’s unimaginably erotic and unbelievably addictive love triangles, of course . . . is it’s parallels and role reversals. Last season, Elena un-daggered Elijah, in hopes of finding a way to eliminate Klaus as a threat, without hurting the people she loved.

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Stefan dutifully went along with her plan.  While Damon was angrily outspoken about his mistrust for the Original Vampire (with good reason, as it turns out), and ended up taking matters into his own hands, in a way that neither Elena nor Stefan approved . . .

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Now, less than a year later, Damon is the one who has un-daggered Elijah . . .  (CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?)

 . . . and is now looking to him for a possible alliance.  And Stefan is the mistrustful one, who’d prefer to take matters into his own hands . . .

But, of course, the parallels don’t end there.  There’s also the little matter of Damon locking lips with the girl Stefan always presumed was his own . . . despite the fact that his recent behavior has made a reunion between the two former lovebirds nearly impossible.

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And though, on the surface, these two brothers are fighting about vampire wars, and the efficacy of “old-fashioned” sitdowns, just beneath that surface lies a slow burn of love for the same woman, and with it, decades of jealousy, betrayal, and heartbreak . . .

That’s a whole lot of angst and complexity for one minute and 21 seconds, isn’t it?  You can imagine then, how intense the rest of the hour will be . . .

And there you have it, an entire week’s worth of juicy television, condensed down into a few short webclips.  I know I’ll definitely be tuning in . . . Will you?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Glee, Gossip Girl, Once Upon a Time, Pretty Little Liars, Spoilers and Sneak Peeks, The Vampire Diaries

My Ten New TV Boyfriends of 2011 . . .

As the New Year approaches, I suspect that many of you are taking this time to reflect on the year past.  Perhaps, you are even wondering how you might be able to improve your life in the upcoming year.

Meh!  Self-reflection is overrated, I say.  As for me?  I prefer to use this time to think back on all the hot new fictional TV characters I’ve met this past year, and decide which ones are worthy of being added to my ever-growing TV Boyfriend List . . .

Now, I’m the first to admit that, when it comes to TV Boyfriends, I tend to be a bit on the slutty side (sometimes “dating” as many as  twenty television characters at once) . . .

Nevertheless, making it onto my List is still a rather competitive process for prospective faux-beaus.  After all, I’ve watched A LOT of television, during my time on this planet.  As a result, there are characters on my List that have been getting into my increasingly crowded panties, since the late 90’s.  (I’m looking at you, Pacey Witter.)

So, if a TV character wants to date me, he better be pretty damn special.  Because, when it comes to fictional men, I’ve literally seen it all!

Nonetheless, 2011 ended up being a pretty great year for TV Boyfriends.  New additions to my List run the gamut from fairytale characters, to warlocks, to bartenders.  I even managed to squeeze a little person in there!

So, without further adieu, I proudly present to you (in no particular order) my Ten New TV Boyfriends of 2011 . . .

1. Wade Kinsella – Hart of Dixie

Who plays him: Wilson Bethel

Why we’re “dating”: 

Just like Hart of Dixie’s own Zoe Hart, I’m both a city girl, and a native East Coaster.  And whether or not we like to admit it, us East Coast girls can be a bit high strung.  We could really use a laidback, small town, southern guy to keep us grounded, and prevent us from “sweating the small stuff.”  Whether he’s playing video games, jamming on his guitar, or cooking up a prize-winning pot of gumbo, Wade is a guy who knows how to have a good time.

Wade is a man’s man, through and through.  He doesn’t put on airs, or stand on ceremony.   You can always count on him to be straight and honest with you, whether or not you necessarily want him to be.  He’s also quite the ladies’ man, not that this should be any surprise .  . .

And yet, Wade has a soft side too.  He cares about his family and his friends.  And he can always be counted on to lend a helping hand, when they really need him.  And as much as he might mess around with the local floozies, deep down, I think Wade is a one-woman man, as evidenced by his adorable, suffer-in-silence pining over one, Zoe Hart.

Moments when he won my heart:

*When he kissed Zoe to “calm her down” . . .

*When he sang Moon River with his drunken dad to get him down from a roof ledge . . .

*When he cooked a prize-winning gumbo pot for Zoe, but let her take all the credit for it . . .

*When he offered to drive Zoe to the airport, in a tacit admission that he had feelings for her . . .

*When he called out George for leading Zoe on, when the two spent the night in jail . . .

*When he told Zoe that she taught others how to be “amazing” . . .
For your consideration:

2. Nick Miller – New Girl

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Who plays him: Jake Johnson

Why we’re “dating”:

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There’s just something super endearing about a grumpy guy . . . especially when you are one of the few people that can make him smile.  Like many of us, Nick is still figuring some things out about his life.  He’s a smart guy, and a law school graduate, but he isn’t quite sure what career path he wants to take.  He’s a “relationship guy,” but he just got out of a devastating relationship, and might not be quite ready to fall in love again . . .

However, Nick doesn’t let these shortcomings detract from who he is as a person.  If anything, his self-deprecating sense of humor, and good-humored, if slightly sarcastic, take on life makes him more relatable and approachable.  This is likely why most of the roommates in the house go to Nick first for advice.  And yet, as wise and grounded as Nick can be,  he’s not afraid to let his adorkable flag fly, when it’s warranted, or when his friends need a good laugh.

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As a friend, Nick’s a pretty considerate guy . . . one who almost always puts his friends needs before his own.   And even though he can tend to be a bit jealous sometimes, he never lets that get in the way of his friendships.  Oh, and I almost forgot, like Wade, Nick is a bit of a “piner.”  And the way he looks at Jess, when he thinks nobody is watching will most definitely turn you to mush. . .

Moments when he won my heart:

* When he convinced his roommates to leave a hot party, so that they could all serenade a recently stood up Jess . . .

*The way he looked at Jess, the first time he saw her in a dress . . .

*When he “fixed” the house soap dispenser, by attaching a wooden spoon to it . . .

*When he got super jealous of Jess and Paul, but still followed them to the back of the shopping line on Black Friday, so they wouldn’t be left out . . .

*When his feet pointed at Jess, wherever she went (a sure sign of attraction, if ever there was one) 😉 . . .

*When he missed Christmas with his parents to bring Jess to Candy Cane Lane, so that she could see the “pretty lights” . . .

For your consideration:

3.  Derek Hale – Teen Wolf

Who plays him: Tyler Hoechlin

Why we’re “dating”:

Derek Hale really is the best of both worlds.  He’s dark and dangerous . . . yet highly moral, loyal, and fiercely protective of those he cares about.  He’s masculine and tough, yet sensitive and vulnerable.  He’s got a bit of a temper, but he’s also surprisingly funny, and an exceptionally patient teacher.  He’s kind of a loner.  And yet he’s no stranger to “pack mentality.”  He can be cold and aloof sometimes, yet warm and caring other times.

Though Derek’s been hurt and betrayed in the past by those he loved, this hasn’t stopped him from caring about others, and looking out for their best interest.  Derek is the kind of boyfriend, who would always make you feel safe and protected, but would never be too clingy or overbearing.  He’d always be there for you, when you needed him, but would be willing to give you space when you didn’t.  I mean, so what if he sometimes gets hairy, and howls at the moon?  We all have our idiosyncrasies!

And have you SEEN this guy’s body?  It’s genuinely mesmerizing . . .

Moments when he won my heart:

*Every time he rescued damsel-in-distress Scott from certain doom . . .

*His sexy homoerotic “locker press” with Jackson . . .

*His surprising show of vulnerability with Kate, and when he found his sister’s corpse . . .

*His hilarious exchanges with Stiles, most notably, that one time Stiles tried to “pimp” him out to his gay friend . . .

*When he did pull ups half-naked, in his ramshackle house . . . (THANK YOU MTV!)

For your consideration:

4. Sheriff Graham / The Huntsman – Once Upon a Time

Who plays him: Jaime Dornan

Why we’re “dating”:

Having literally had his heart crushed by an evil queen, Sheriff Graham may not have been long for TV land, but he will most certainly live happily ever after in our hearts.  An animal lover, with expert aim (which can come in VERY handy, if you catch my drift), plenty of energy in the sack, and a high tolerance for liquor, this hard working public servant will most certainly be keeping you warm and happy during those long cold nights in Storybrooke.  Did I mention he has an adorable accent, and a sexy voice that will make you go weak at the knees every time he opens his mouth?

But lest you think my relationship with the Sheriff is just superficial, I can also tell you that, despite what he might tell you to the contrary, Sheriff Graham has a good heart.   He’s a hero, a protector, and a savior of those in need.  Plus, despite his murky past, and dubious history, he’s managed to stay surprisingly innocent.  There’s an almost childlike quality about him that’s quite refreshing.  Perhaps, that comes from spending so many years inside a children’s book . . .

Moments when he won my heart:

*When he drunkenly kissed Emma for the first time . . .

*When he (as the Huntsman) beat up some barmen for talking smack about wolves . . .

*When he (as the Huntsman) was brought to tears by Snow White’s letter, and ultimately spared her life . . .

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*When he sat with young Henry and learned about his history in Fairytale World . . .

*When he finally got up the courage to dump the Mayor’s ass . . .

*When he lovingly kissed Emma for the second time, just moments before his heart . . . turned to dust.

*Anytime he wore those super tight pants . . .

For your consideration:

5. Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones

Who plays him: Peter Dinklage

Why we’re dating:

This may seem like an odd choice to some.  But hey, I’m only 5’3”.  So, height has never really been an issue for me.  (Also, I hate wearing high heels . . .)  Though I despise most of his family members (which means we could probably never marry), Tyrion himself is a terrific catch, in my eyes.  He’s exceptionally smart, amazingly resourceful, exceedingly wealthy, uproariously funny, honest almost to a fault, and surprisingly honorable.

Though he comes from a very powerful family, Tyrion is most certainly not a snob.  In fact, he often acts as a champion for the weak and less fortunate.  Though not necessarily the most able-bodied of the bunch, Tyrion can use his intelligence and wit to get himself out of even the stickiest of situations.  And he knows how to get what he wants.

On top of that, Tyrion is a blast to hang out with.  He drinks like a fish, curses like a sailor, screws like an Adonis, and always has a joke or hilarious story handy, when the party is getting too stale.  In a world that is dark, bleak, and filled with war, Tyrion never takes himself or the situations in which he finds himself too seriously.  Optimistic, fun-loving, and good-natured, this is exactly the kind of guy, you want on your side, especially when “winter is coming” . . .

Moments when he won my heart:

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* When he helped the newly crippled Bran come to terms with his paralysis . .  .

*When he told the story of his first love . . .

*When he confessed to ALL of his sins, in front of the Moon Door . . .

*When he won a fierce deadly battle, despite being unconscious for most of it . . .

*When he proved that at least one Lannister, does, in fact, always pay his debts . . .

For your consideration:

6. Schmidt – New Girl

Who plays him: Max Greenfield

Why we’re “dating”:

Sure, he owns a Douchebag Jar, sometimes wears women’s kimonos, and gets a bit persnickety about his cooking, but, rest assured, if you are hanging out with Schmidt, you’re going to be having a great time.  You will also be laughing a lot . . . sometimes with him . . . sometimes at him.  A notorious ladies man, who’s clearly very comfortable with his sexuality, Schmidt feels just as comfortable being “one of the girls,” as he does being “one of the guys.”  Whether he’s at a baby shower, a wedding, or playing Sexy Santa at the office Christmas function, Schmidt is always sure to be the life of the party.  He’s also an impeccable dresser, with great hair.  So, if you are ever in need of fashion tips, he’s your guy.  (Just don’t let him choose your perfume . . .)

As if all that wasn’t enough, Schmidt is also super sweet and an unabashed romantic . . . when he’s not being douchey, that is!

Moments when he won my heart:

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*When he watched Curly Sue with Jess . . .

*When he singlehandedly saved a baby shower, by getting everybody (except for the mother-to-be) completely wasted . . .

*When, at the same party, he drank out of a giant baby bottle . . .

*When he admitted to not liking to sleep alone . . .

*When he saved Thanksgiving Dinner . . .

*When he played Sexy Santa at the Office Christmas Party . . .

*When he bought Cece her own personal perfume.  (Regardless of how bad it smelled, it’s the thought that counts, PEOPLE!)

*When he made this dating video . . .

For your consideration:

7. Owen Sleater – Boardwalk Empire

Who plays him: Charlie Cox

Why we’re “dating”:

Every girl wants a bad boy.  And Owen Sleater’s as bad as they come.  A hit man, and professional “enforcer,” Owen has no qualms about stealing, committing murder, or sleeping with another man’s betroved.  Don’t let his sweet smile, boyish good looks, and adorable accent fool you.  Owen is a very dangerous man.  He’s strong, smart, incredibly resourceful, and can be very manipulative when he wants to be.

But Owen Sleater can also be a true gentleman, one who sweeps ladies off of their feet, with his incredible acts of kindness, declarations of adoration, shameless flirtation, and calm, self-assured nature.  Owen might have a criminal’s brain, and a killer’s body, but he has a lover’s heart, and deep down, I think, a good soul.  Like many of the men on this list, Owen is a caretaker, and a protector.  And he’s going to make one lucky lady very happy some day . . . if he doesn’t get himself killed first . . .

Moments when he won my heart:

*His surprisingly awkward, and adorably cute, early flirtations with Margaret . . .

*His surprisingly friendly standoff at gunpoint with Richard Harrow . . .

*The sexy, and brilliant way he explained the inner workings of the explosives he was making to blow up Mickey’s liquor distillery . . .

*How he told Margaret that he was hers to “command” . . .

*The way he always looks at Margaret . . .

*The fierce growl he let out, when he finally had his way with Margaret . . .

*The look on his face, when he found out Emily was diagnosed with polio . . .

*The way he helped Margaret fix Emily’s leg braces . . .

*The solemn, and slightly sad, look on his face, as he acted as a witness to Margaret’s and Nucky’s wedding . . .

For your consideration:

8. Charles Meade – The Secret Circle

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Who plays him: Gale Harold

Why we’re dating:

If Owen Sleater is a “bad boy,” Charles Meade is arguably an “evil man.”  When he ignited the fire that killed his supposed long-time friend Amelia Blake, in the pilot episode of The Secret Circle, I got chills.  When he used a crystal to turn Jane Blake into a Stepford Wife / zombie in more recent episodes, I gasped.  Charles is an incredibly powerful warlock, one that will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  The fact that his motives for doing the things he does are, as of yet, not entirely clear, make him even more frightening . . . and intriguing.

That said, people are not all good, or all bad.  Most tend to reside within the shades of grey, and Charles Meade is no exception.  We’ve seen this man experience extreme guilt, and even have an emotional breakdown, as a result of his part in the accidental death of Nick Armstrong.  We’ve also seen him show love and concern for his daughter Diana, and affection for his longtime friend and fellow coven-mate Dawn.

Aside from all that, there’s just something about Charles Meade that makes me think that he lives by a rather rigid moral code.  He seems to truly believe that the things he’s doing are in service of the greater good.  Many times he’s even expressed disapproval toward Dawn, when she behaved particularly rashly, or hurt someone he felt didn’t need to be hurt.  This evidence leads me to believe that Charles Meade’s motives might be more benevolent than many viewers assume them to be . . .

Besides, there are plenty of perks to dating a sexy, strong, mysterious warlock.  I mean, when you think about it, the possibilities are absolutely endless . . .

Moments when he won my heart:

*When he broke down, following Nick’s death . . .

*Anytime he uses his sexy, eargasmic, spell-casting voice . . .

*During his flirtations with Dawn . . .

*During his father/daughter moments with Diana . . .

For your consideration: 

9. Prince Charming / James – Once Upon a Time

Who plays him: Joshua Dallas

 Why we are “dating”:

There’s a reason the phrase “Prince Charming” has come to embody the Ideal Man.  He’s strong, heroic, debonair, dashing, incredibly handsome, and, let’s not forget, how his KISSES SAVE LIVES!  And yet, admittedly, in children’s books, I always found the character of Prince Charming to be kind of wooden, and woefully personality-free.  Fortunately, in Once Upon a Time, the writers have managed to come up with a character who actually lives up to his name . . .

Unlike the traditional, born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth fairytale prince, our Prince Charming lived most of his life as a poor, sheep herder, in a remote town.  He worked hard, took care of his mother, who he loved dearly, and expected very little out of life.  In this new world post-recession world of 99%ers, where most of us “have-nots” deeply resent the “haves,” the fact that Prince Charming came from humble beginnings, and can, therefore appreciate the riches bestowed on him in later life is deeply refreshing.

And if that didn’t make him loveable enough, Prince Charming is also a dragon slayer, who put his life at risk to save an entire kingdom, and gave up his happiness to save his own mother’s life, when he agreed to marry a woman he did not love.  But what really makes Prince Charming an excellent TV Boyfriend is the way he behaves around Snow White.  With a disarming smile, sharp wit, and adorable banter, both Prince Charming and his Storybrooke counterpart James managed to bust through this slightly jaded woman’s firm walls and found his way deep into her heart.

Prince Charming literally lights up whenever he sees or speaks to Snow White.  And yet, there relationship isn’t cliched or cheesy.  They are both very strong willed, head strong, and slightly snarky individuals, who have fought hard for everything they have, and are inherently skeptical of those for whom things come easy.  There’s is the kind of love for which everybody secretly wishes . . . the kind of love that makes you believe in fairytales . . .

And who doesn’t want a little fairytale in their lives, every now and then?

Moments when he won my heart:

*When he rescued his knights, and singlehandedly slayed a dragon, without any battle training whatsoever . . .

*During his heartfelt goodbye to his mother . . .

*When he “captured” Snow White . . .

*When he flirted with Snow White . . .

*When he helped Snow White battle the trolls . . .

*When (in Storybrooke), he came to Snow White / Mary Margaret’s school to declare his love for her . .  .

*When he lost his own life (in fairytale land) to save his wife, and baby Emma . . .

*Everytime he said “I’ll always find you,” to Snow White . . .

For your consideration:

10. Matty McKibben – Awkward

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Who plays him: Beau Mirchoff

Why we are “dating”:

Sometimes in our lives, we are looking to find our Prince Charming, and have our fairytale.  Other times, we’d much rather date someone normal, with flaws, insecurities, and imperfections . . . someone like us.  What’s so great about Matty McKibben is that he’s so incredibly real.   Way too often television shows make teenagers act and look like people in their late twenties.  But Matty McKibben is a genuine high school guy . . . a guy who most likely reminds you of someone you went to high school with, crushed on, and maybe even were lucky enough to date . . .

In the pilot episode of Awkward, Matty is depicted as your typical popular high school jock.  He’s good looking.  He’s athletic.  He goes to the best parties, and dates the prettiest girls.  He has sex with Jenna Hamilton that first time, more on impulse than, as a result of any sort of strong feeling he has for her.  And he keeps their relationship a secret, because it’s easier that way, considering the fact that they come from different social circles.

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And in a typical high school drama, that would pretty much be the end of the story.  The “Jenna” character would inevitably find out that the “Matty” character is shallow, and using her for sex, so she would leave him for a “nicer” guy.  But real life isn’t that simple, and, fortunately, neither is this show.  As the series progresses, we get to know more about Matty McKibben.  What we learn is that he’s actually pretty good guy . . . someone who’s loyal to his friends, to the point of being willing to give up love for their sake . . . someone who truly cares about Jenna, and tries to do right by her, in the best way that he knows how.

Throughout the series, we watch Matty learn from his relationship with Jenna, and grow from a seemingly dimwitted and shallow jock, to a surprisingly smart and thoughtful boyfriend.  And in the end, when Jenna chooses the “nice guy,” our heart can’t help but break a bit for Matty, who, as it turns out, is  actually pretty “nice,” himself . . . not to mention, smokin’ hot.

Moments when he won my heart:

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*When he drove Jenna home from the football game on her birthday, and helped her toss out her not-so-lucky socks . . .

*When he finally told Jenna he wanted to make their relationship official . . .

*When he took Jenna to his parents’ restaurant on their first official date . . .

*When he bonded with Jenna’s friends, and gave them guy advice . . .

*The mixture of jealousy and friendly sympathy he showed, when he learned about his best friend, Jake’s feelings for Jenna . . .

*When we found out about the sweet way Matty planned to “ask” Jenna to formal . . .

*The resigned look of heartbreak and devastation on Matty’s face at Winter Formal, following Jenna’s tacit rejection . . .

For your consideration:

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(Sorry, MTV is surprisingly stingy, about allowing scenes from Awkward to exist on YouTube.  So, this was the best I could do.  That said, you could watch the entire series on MTV.com!)

And there you have it . . . my Ten New TV Boyfriends of 2011.  So, who’s on YOUR list?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under 2011, Hot Actors, Shirtless TV Stars, Television Super Couples, Top Ten Lists, TV Boyfriends

Weekend at Roman’s – A Recap of Big Love, Season 4, Episode 1 “Free at Last”

            Greetings “Big Lovers!”  It’s that time again.  After the obligatory year-long hiatus that has become trademark for HBO Series, our favorite polygamist family are back to grace our television screens with their Heavenly Father-loving presence.  So, without further adieu, gather up all your wives, broil up some crab legs, and let’s get on with the show, shall we?

            Big Love’s premiere episode began with a brand new opener and corresponding theme song.  The show’s producers have decided to ditch The Beach Boys’, sappily sweet and jubilantly jolly, “God Only Knows,” for the sad emo sounds of Animal Kingdom’s “Bright Lights.”  Really?  An ultra hip indie rock song as an opener for a television show about uptight polygamists in Utah?  Call me a fuddy duddy, but I am just not that comfortable with my Henricksons having cooler taste in music than I do.

            In addition to the new song, the old opening sequence has also been unceremoniously dumped.  No longer will we be treated to images of the Henrickson family holding hands as they enjoy ice skating through a sea of white, or chowing down on a bountiful outdoor meal under a sun-filled sky.  Instead, each of the four main characters are now shown amidst a sea of black, falling.  Not just falling, but falling “dramatically.” It was almost as if the entire cast of Big Love had taken an acting class together, in which they were given directions such as “fall sad,”  “fall happy,” “fall contemplative,” “fall constipated,” and we are watching their responses.

                  Remember back when The Sopranos was still on the air, and before each season began, the producers would release a promo poster featuring the entire cast?  (Man, do I miss that show!)  Remember how television pundits across the nation would use up pages and pages of magazine space analyzing the poster and its implications for the upcoming season?  Well, I could only guess that the producers of Big Love were going for the same effect here.  But for me, the new somber-toned opener was a tad esoteric, more than a bit depressing, and just plain over-ambitious.

            Overall, the series’ excessive ambition was a problem that plagued the entire episode, which seemed to be heading a million directions at once, making it difficult for the viewer to become particularly invested in any one story.  Nevertheless, there were some intriguing stories presented here, which definitely deserve their due.  Here are some of the new plotlines that jump started Season 4:

Plot 1: Weekend at Roman’s

            Although this will undoubtedly make me sound morbid as heck, this was by far my favorite plotline of the night.  When we last saw The Prophet of Juniper Creek (played with “dirty old man” goodness by Harry Dean Stanton), he had just been smothered under the weight of a pillow held by Bill’s brother, Joey and was, presumably, dead.

            Now, Roman is missing.  And yet, for a dead guy, he seems surprisingly adept at investing.  Apparently the aforementioned corpse has recently come into large sums of money – said money having been purportedly deposited into a new bank account opened in Roman’s name by his daughter and Bill’s scheming adulterer of a second wife, Nikki Grant (Chloe Sevigny).  As a result, the FBI are literally invading upon the lives of our characters in search of the errant Roman, raiding the compound and harassing Nikki, who, of course, denies all accusations against her. 

            When a hysterical Adaleen Grant (Mary Kay Place) calls Nikki about a power outage on the compound, her daughter reluctantly purchases a generator and heads to her estranged mother’s doorstep.  Nikki drops off the generator and turns to leave when her mother implores her to remain for a BLT sandwich. (This seemed to be an odd lunch choice for a bunch of religious extremists, so my Spidey Sense was immediately tingling by this point.)  Nevertheless, when Adaleen requested that Nikki go down to the cellar to “bring home the bacon,” Nikki obediently complied.

            I instantly expected Momma Grant to lock Nikki in the cellar, but she surprised me and didn’t.  What happened next was far more interesting.  When Nikki reaches the end of the dark creepy compound basement and moves the slabs of meat out of the way, she finds herself face-to-face with a Roman Grantsicle.  Yep, it appears Roman Grant has been reduced from the living leader of the Juniper Creek LDS community to a very realistic Madame Tussaud wax figure of Harry Dead Stanton, complete with icicles hanging from its nose.  And if that’s not dead, I don’t know what is.

            When Nikki informs her brother Alby (Matt Ross) about their father’s death and subsequent baconey burial, he can barely restrain his unadulterated glee at the news.  “No, you be sad!  It’s very, very sad,” Nikki scolds self-righteously.

            And yet, Nikki is not gone for two seconds before Alby and his Lady MacBeth-esque wife, Laura (Anne Dudek) begin their “Daddy is Dead Celebration Party!”  Laura, ever the rebel, goes as far as to remove two cans of Coors Light from their otherwise empty fridge!  (Apparently, when stocking up on the LDS-verboten alcohol, the Grants neglected to purchase any real food.  Perhaps Abaleen should send over some of her famous BLT sandwiches?)

                 Empty fridge aside, it is Laura who triumphantly utters the very words that make up the episode’s title, “Free at Last.”  Alby, whose fur-free baby face does mustache-twirling villany like no other, is slightly more restrained than his wife.  Instead of jumping for joy, Nikki’s bad seed brother calmly sits back in his chair, clasps his hands together and says tonelessly, “My destiny is filled.  God will surely punish those who block my path to Glory.”

            Later that evening, Alby and Laura are seen driving together in a car that bears some very precious cargo.  “Did you see that?  He just gave me a mean look, because I’m going to be the prophet now,” explains Alby childishly, as he stares intently at our favorite frozen LDS leader in the backseat.

            Our well-traveled human ice sculpture pops up again later, somewhat thawed out, on the grounds where the Henrickson’s new casino is set to open in just a few days.  There he sits, soaking up some sun, while lying a comfy beach chair, in what must be a send up to that classic 80’s dead-guy flick “Weekend at Bernie’s.”  And pardon me for saying that, just like the titular Bernie Lomax, Roman Grant seems to be having way more fun dead than he ever did alive.

            Fortunately, as always, Bill (played by the still sexy Bill Paxton) is there to save the day.  With Nikki in toe, he carts the Roaming Roman away in his car, presumably toward a proper burial.  En route, he and Nikki, who we learn have not screwed since he found out she was cheating on him with the DA investigating her father last season, share a moment.  Bill provides comfort, delicately taking his second wife’s hand, when the heretofore stoic Nikki finally breaks down and cries over the death of her not-so-paternal daddy.

Plot 2: Mother and Child

            On the homefront, the Henrickson clan is adjusting to yet another new addition to their already insanely large family: namely, Nikki’s 14-year old daughter, Cara Lynn.  Fearing that her former husband J.J. will enter her daughter into the Joy Book, making her eligible for marriage at the compound, Nikki takes Cara Lynn into her home, and hides her from authorities.  Cara Lynn, who desires the opportunity to attend public school, agrees.  We learn from Nikki, that Cara Lynn has done exceedingly well on her placement exams, and will start public school a grade ahead of other girls her age.  (Gee, the Juniper Creek educational system must be awesome.  When can I enroll?)

            When J.J. storms into the Henrickson’s backyard and demands the return of his daughter, Bill, ever the peacekeeper, brokers a compromise.  He proposes Cara Lynn be returned to J.J on weekends, provided that she be allowed to attend school and stay with the Henricksons during the week.  J.J. reluctantly agrees, and actually seems like a pretty good dad in his initial interaction with his daughter.  He denies designs on placing Cara Lynn in the Joy Book, and even offers to re-enroll her in school at the compound, if that is what she wants.  Cara Lynn promises J.J. that she has every intention of returning to him once the school year ends.  She even agrees to go with him to Kansas when he moves there the following summer.

Plot 3: Itchy and Scratchy Henrickson

            In my least favorite plot point of the night, Ma and Pa Henrickson (played by, Grace Zabriski and Bruce Dern, respectively) continued their three season trend of finding new and increasingly less inventive ways to try and kill one another.  Frank, for his part, hired goons with nooses to accost Lois when he picked her up in his car.  Lois, in return, put a gun to Frank’s head.  Later, after a tedious tussle in Lois’s new home, the couple came to a temporary truce, agreeing to become business partners in Lois’s new hare-brained (or should I say “bird-brained”) profit-making scheme, which involves buying parrots for $30 and selling them for $700.  Here’s hoping that these two play nice for at least a few more episodes.

Plot 4: I Want Crab Legs!

            In the season opener, we find that the often-underestimated Margene (played by the adorable Ginnifer Goodwin) has become overwhelmed with juggling her new jewelry making career and the public relations aspects associated with opening the Blackfoot Magic Casino.  As we learned last year, Margene exhibited quite a bit of natural talent when it came to schmoozing the Blackfoot people.  I love that the once-juvenile and needy Margene is finally coming into her own as a capable and intelligent woman this season. 

              Margene encourages Barb (Jean Tripplehorn) to take over her responsibilities regarding the Casino, claiming that doing so will help the First Wife regain the confidence she lost after being excommunicated from her church.  And yet, Barb, typically the universal caretaker, and quintessential Super Mom, finds herself to be lacking in the social skills and personable warmth necessary to handle the Henrickson’s newest business partners.  She butts heads with them in many ways, most notably regarding the food choice for the casino’s opening night.  Barb demands that they serve crab legs, apparently a main stay on every Mormon family dinner table, while the Blackfoot tribe prefers salmon. 

                 When Bill is way-layed on the casino’s opening night, and the Casino’s would-be headliner Kenny Rogers can’t make it there in time to perform, Margene encourages Barb to make the opening night speech.  Barb initially looks incredibly nervous and awkward, standing in front of the gaming crowd.  However, she ultimately does an admirable job welcoming her new customers to the casino.  She ends her short speech, by introducing her son Ben’s band to the crowd, as it performs a slightly pitchy karaoke-esque cover of Rogers’ once chart-topping The Gambler.

                 Judging by the impressive amount of green stashed in the metal box exhibited to the family at the end of the night by the security staff, Barb’s awkward introduction did little to diminish the new casino’s giant profit margin.  All in all, the casino’s opening night appeared to be a successful one.

Plot 1 (Reprise): Dead Guys Don’t Always Wear Black

             Unfortunately, when it comes to the Henricksons, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.  Despite, the Casino’s opening night success, angry Blackfoot Tribe representatives confront Bill at the end of the evening.  Holding Roman’s iconic white hat aloft like the talisman of evil it clearly is, the tribe representatives demand answers.  It appears that “Dead Roman” is having some trouble keeping himself buried.

                I have to say, this part rang just a bit untrue for me.  Are we really supposed to believe that the Blackfoots would instantly identify that hat as belonging to Roman Grant.  Sure, he was wearing it in his Wanted Poster, but doesn’t everyone in Utah own at least one white cowboy hat?  Come on now . . .  

              That aside, the re-emergence of the white hat was an intriguing end to an uneven episode.  Here’s hoping it symbolizes the promise of better episodes to come.

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