Tag Archives: retrospective

Once Upon a Time Recaps and Retrospectives By Yours Truly at Happy Nice Time People.com

young and adult snow

“NOW, she suddenly decides to recap us? Where the heck was she the first three seasons? I was so young and beautiful back then . . . sigh.”

If you haven’t been stopping by the positively brilliant recapping website, Happy Nice Time People, daily for their hilarious snark-filled recaps of every television show under the sun, you should start now for the following reasons:

(1) They are TOTALLY FRIGGIN awesome!

(2) They were crazy enough to hire me!

Starting today, I will be posting weekly recaps of ABC’s hit drama Once Upon a Time (which premieres Sunday September 28th, at 8/7 central on ABC), including retrospectives of Seasons 1 to 3, to get new viewers caught up on the insanity that is Storybrooke, Maine, and the almost-criminal sexiness that is Captain Hook . . .

broody hook

You can check out my first post, RIGHT NOW, by clicking here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Once Upon a Time

Gossip Girl is DEAD . . . and a Donut?! – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s SERIES Finale

baby bass

“I’m Mini Bass.”

My dear GGers.  I know I’ve been a bit remiss this season about recapping the trials and tribulations of our favorite Upper East Siders.  (OK . . . I haven’t recapped them at all.)

natefacepalm

However, seeing as Gossip Girl uttered her final XOXO earlier this week, I felt I couldn’t possibly bid the series a fond adieu, without at least offering up some final words .  . . consider it a eulogy, of sorts.

gg dead

Source

In which Bart Bass proves that Evil Old Men can fly . .  . and die.

YOLO my ass

Source

Here’s a philosophical question for you. If a man falls from the roof of a heavily populated skyscraper, onto a busy street, and no one sees him go splat (or is squashed by him), did it really happen?

natefused lola rhodes

Last week, we all laughed inappropriately at the sight of Chuck Bass battling his Big Bad Dad on the roof, as “SCARY” Music swelled awkwardly in the background.  We marveled at how a single push from Chuck, who, let’s face it, has never exactly been the athletic type . . .

bass ket

Bass-ketball, anyone?

. . . was enough to send NotDonaldTrump soaring over the side of the skyscraper, like an inept super villain in the final pages of a comic book.

hanging

Source

“Just hanging out . . .”

Then, we giggled as Blair and Chuck did all but throw the man a Going Away Party as the Big Bass-tard plummeted to his death.

dying bart bass

Source

Hey, that was actually kind of fun to watch.  Let’s see that again . . .

dying bart bass

I know.  I’m a terrible person.  Moving on . . .

Perhaps, all the hot air that filled Bart Bass’s head facilitated a surprisingly smooth landing.  Because, not only did the real estate magnate’s dive-bombing body not cause ANY damage whatsoever to the streets below, the sheet that is now covering it is conspicuously free of blood.  Talk about a classy way to go!  Then again, Bart Bass is what some would call an Expert Die-r.  He’s done this before . . .

funeral2

Reporters are now on the scene.  And police are questioning everyone on the Upper East Side, even going as far as to stop limos leaving the party where Bart Bass was last seen.  Of course, they are only checking the back seats of those limos . . . not the trunks.  After all, why would someone who just committed murder hide away in the trunk of a car?  That would be silly!

in the trunk

Possible conception spot for Henry Bass?

Yes, boys and girls, Chuck and Blair are ON THE LAM!  (I’ve always wanted to say that.)

They’ve turned themselves into a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde.  You know how I know?  Because the song playing in the background on Gossip Girl says so!

In which everyone finds out Bart Bass is dead, and Chuck is a suspect, except . . . you know . . . THE GUY WHO OWNS THE NEWSPAPER!

Oh dear sweet Nate, with your permanently glassy (but still very pretty) blue eyes from a decade of pot smoking ./ . . and your equal opportunity boning of tweens and cougars alike . . . you must seriously be the WORST NEWSPAPER MAN EVER!  OK . . . OK, I know you are dating a 17-year old.  And she probably told you that using pretty-colored handwritten index cards to study once helped her earn a B+ on a very hard exam about the Civil War.  But seriously?  This is how you choose to solve the mystery of Gossip Girl’s identity?  No wonder it took you five years!

5 5 sad nate

Also, hey I majored in journalism   write a blog  watched Newsroom a few times on HBO!  I know that all major news outlets get blasts on the wire, before everybody else.  Not Nate though.  He has to get a call from Ivy/Charlie/CallMeSerena telling him to turn on the television, where Bart’s death has made prime time.  Nate Archibald, you’ve just been scooped . . . again.

I like how uniformly uncooperative the rest of the Non-Judging Breakfast Club, and their respective parental units, are when the police come snooping around for C and B, especially since it seems like most of them are 100% certain their friends / children are guilty of murder.  Now that’s what I call true friendship.  If I had to choose a favorite brush-off of the po-po, however, I’d probably have to go with Nate.  I mean, it takes a real true blue friend to tell a cop.  “Yes, there’s a rather young looking woman in my bedroom.  And yes, it’s quite obvious I’m sleeping with her, which I know is statutory rape.  But no, she can’t talk to you about Chuck Bass, Mr Policeman, because she is much too young.

nate and sage

“Do you think we can hurry this up?  Spongebob Squarepants is on in three minutes.”

Speaking of super sneaky legal loopholes . . .

“It’s twisted, but very you . . .”

1 8 bed head chuck

“Peekaboob!”

Chuck and Blair are holed up in a hotel . . . ON THE LAM (Twice in one recap, WOO HOO!).  And who should pop in with a tray he stole from room service (probably after schtupping the maid), but a surprisingly twiggy looking Jack Bass?    (Oh, seeing these three individuals in a hotel room together, brings back bad memories.  No me gusta.)

uncle jack

Source

Turns out, the dude put a tracking device on Chuck Bass’ limo, just for sh*ts and giggles.  You know, because that’s not creepy at all . . .

love both

Source

Anywhoo, since Blair is the only person on the entire planet who saw Chuck, not so much kill Bart, as huff and puff and blow his body off the building, Jack comes up with the idea that the two should get married!

happy elena

This will enable the pair to take advantage of the spousal privilege laws that prevent husbands and wives from testifying against one another in court.  It will also serve as a massive apology to Chair fans, who have suffered through Blair’s ill-fated pseudo-romantic relationships with the likes of a Louis-bot and  a certain doughy pastry, who shall remain not-so-nameless.

twisted but you

“It’s twisted, but it’s very you,” Jack Bass muses.

(It’s also the Graysons on Revenge.  Spousal privilege marriages are SO the new Greencard Marriages.)

Chuck is bothered by this.  He wants the love of his life to have the wedding of her dreams.  Blair reminds him that she did that already, back last season when she married the cyborg with the weird accent, thus proving that dreams are usually VERY overrated.

blair post

She also reminds Chuck of this memorable moment between them . . .

Upon being reminded that he and Blair aren’t a boring couple .  . . like say Louis-bot and Blair . . . or Blair and You Know Who, Chuck decides to propose again.  And why not?  He knows this is the only realistic way to get him and Blair married off and spawning during this abridged final hour of television, amidst about 30 minutes of those cloying Carrie Diaries commercials loves this woman, and wants to spent the rest of his life with her.  The ends therefore, definitely justify the shady means . . .

will you marry

Source

Meanwhile, on some private jet . . .

In which Serena forgives Donut way too quickly, despite never actually receiving an apology (or a retraction)

4 19 ridiculous dan face

Call me callous.  But if someone published really crappy things about me in Vanity Fair for the world to read.  And then he sent me some nice words about me that he never planned to publish, I would probably use the paper containing those “nice words” as toilet paper, the next time I really had to pee.

But I guess Serena is a better person than me . . . or at least a dumber one.  Because all it takes is a few kind paper words from Donut Dan.  And, suddenly, girlfriend has abandoned her private jet to LaLa land (must be nice), and returned to the “villain’s” apartment for “answers,” and, I suspect, a hopeful shot at makeup sex.

terrible at goodbyes

“I also have very little self respect.  Shhh!”

Source

Now, maybe it’s just because I’m not a big Dan Fan.  But, honestly, I didn’t find the guy’s apology all that “apologetic.”  Basically, Dan’s explanation for why he wrote terrible things about Serena was because he developed a crush on her sophomore year, to the tunes of Rihanna’s Pon de Replay, and has been stalking her ass ever since?  That sounds more like a confession of guilt to me.  But hey, at least it gave us the opportunity to see Flashback!Chuck and Flashback!Nate in HIDEOUS wigs, and hear Flashback!Blair utter the words “Happy Barf Day!”

serena flashback

Source

Elsewhere in Manhattan . . .

Ivy Dickens, Queen of the Swamp People, star of “Nobody Gives a Damn”

sexy pose 123123

Question: If a woman who is always boning younger guys is called a cougar, what do you call a young woman with a penchant for humping fogies?  Cougarthritis?

4 21 blushpink call me s

Maybe you just call her Charlie/Ivy/CallmeSerena . . .

Yeah, poor St. Ives . . . She thought the death of Bart Bass meant a beginning of public bliss for her and the perpetually sniveling Dr. VDW.  But, in a classic case of Turnabout is Fair Poison Ivy, the good doctor — who once tried to poison his ex wife, in order to get her to love him again — was only using Ivy to get to Lily, just as Ivy was using Rufus for the exact same reason . . . well sort of . . .

ivy dickens story

Be careful, VDW.  This chick has bunny burner written all over her . . .

bunny burner

So you could imagine how mortified / miserable Ivy became when Dr. VDW denied their relationship ever existed, in front of none other than Miss Lily herself.  “You’re a Lifetime movie called ‘Nobody Gives a Damn,’ the Ivy Dickens story.  Actually, I think I saw that one before.  Didn’t Tori Spelling star in it?

Just as hilarious is Dr. VDW’s assessment that Ivy’s Florida roots made her “Queen of the Swamp People.”  There is always a certain type of New Yorker, who believes that any residence outside of the five boroughs is basically Hillbilly town.  VDW is definitely one of those dudes.  He’s a total douche, but at least he’s damn funny.  Maybe they should have made him Gossip Girl . . .

The Quick and The Wed

big kiss

Source

I don’t know about you.  But if I had a bunch of cops out looking for me, and I didn’t want to be found, the absolute last place I’d go would be the local courthouse.  But that’s where Chuck and Blair go to get their quickie marriage license.  (Now, come on.  I know it’s not Vegas. But there’s gotta be at least one of those crazy drive-thru chapel’s in Manhattan.  Just saying . . .)

chair wedding

Once their marriage is legal, Chuck and Blair decide to make it official, inviting all of their friends for an impromptu wedding over at . . . of all places THE MET!  How fitting!  Chuck even gives Blair an Egyptian Snake ring to seal the deal.  It’s no Harry Winston.  That’s for sure.  But in a way, like the circumstances surrounding their marriage, it’s . . . wait for it . . . “twisted, but totally them.”

At the wedding Dan magically gives Worst Newsman Ever Nate a Vanity Fair piece on Gossip Girl, and Nate acts like he’s just received inside information on the taking down of Osama Bin Laden.  (Knowing Nate, he probably isn’t even aware that’s happened yet.)  He gets his high school girlfriend to publish the scoop on his behalf (because, you know, Nate’s “staff” only consists of people he porks), and turns his attention back to the wedding.

4 22 mini mes those two chicks

When the Newsie overhears Mini Blair and Mini Serena (remember those two?) on the steps of the Met complaining that Gossip Girl never published their scoop on Chuck and Blair’s quickie wedding, Nate FINALLY puts two and two together, and figures out that . . . DAN . . . IS . . . GOSSIP GIRL!

BabyScared

But then the girls end up reporting C&B to the police.  (INGRATES!)  And now it’s race against the clock to get them “kiss the briding” in time.  Chuck dips Blair into a triumphant kiss, uttering his trademark, “three words, eight letters” line just moments before the cops take him and his new bride away.  Part of me kind of wishes that, when the cops came for “Blair Waldorf,” she would have announced “I’m Blair Bass,” in true “Mrs. Chuck” style.

im chuckbass

But she didn’t.  I guess Blair isn’t really the type to take a man’s last name, even if it’s Chuck Bass’.  Oh well . . .

It’s Donut Dan’s Coming Out Party, and YOU’RE Invited

dan little mermaid

Source

Hilarity ensues, when Nate’s cheeseball newspaper outs Dan Humphrey as Gossip Girl, and we get to watch all the show’s past guest stars react.  “I always thought it was Dorota,” exclaims Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

nanny

(Sure, blame the maid.  Typical New York politician . . .)

“That B*TCH!” Announces Agnes, that chick who once burned Little Jenny Humphrey’s fashion designs in an outdoor trashcan  . . .

Juliet and Vanessa are also shocked,  but not quite as shocked as Rachel Bilson and the voice of GG herself, Kristen Bell, who in a highly meta scene, play themselves auditioning for the film version of Dan’s book, Inside.  “Gossip Girl is real?”  Bilson exclaims, as Kristen Bell offers an exaggerated wink at the camera.

is real

big wink

Source

Oh Veronica Mars!  I haven’t had this much fun watching you on my screen, since that one time when you killed Sookie Stackhouse .  . .

. . .  or that other time when you got really, REALLY excited about a sloth . . .

Plothole, Schmathole.  It’s the FINALE!

post from me

Source

OK.  Now despite having never been a Dan Fan, there are some things I really like about his character ending up being Gossip Girl.  For one thing, unlike that goopy love letter he wrote to Serena that somehow ended up in the New Yorker, during Season 1, or that crap Dair fanfiction we know better as Dan’s first “novel” Inside,  the fact that Dan, even at the young age of 16, was able to so seamlessly mimic the voice of a snooty Upper East Side female actually makes him a GOOD writer.  This show has always been telling us, ad nauseum, that Dan had talent, but this is the first and only time I actually believe it.

laughing dan

And yeah, that “talent” also makes him a sociopath . . . one that most likely has multiple personality disorder.

crazy bitch

It’s the only possible explanation for his sending blasts to Gossip Girl, and acting visibly surprised when they hit his own e-mail, despite being alone at the time he received them.  Or how about that time when Gossip Girl outed Dan for porking a teacher?  Or the time when Dan porked the Hillary Duff character, and Gossip Girl knew she was an actress back when she first appeared, but it took “Dan” weeks to figure it out . . .  Let’s not forget that the whole time Dan dated Blair, Gossip Girl thought she was a better match for Chuck . . .

emails gg

now im crazy gg plotholes

Source

It’s actually pretty clear that the writers hadn’t decided on the identity of Gossip Girl, until at least early Season 5, despite their protests to the contrary.

lindsey lohan

Source

But hey, now we just have another reason to re-rent those DVD’s and prove them wrong right?  From a marketing perspective, choosing Dan as Gossip Girl was actually pretty genius . . .

Oh, and I did like the idea that Little J knew that Dan was Gossip Girl, and used it to her own advantage, like when she wanted to challenge Blair as Queen B, and when she wanted to leave town, after her unfortunate virginity slicing rendezvous with Chuck . . .

In short, those Humpty Dumpty’s really were the ultimate scheming social climbers .  . . something we’ve really always secretly suspected,  back in Season 1.

penn

But what I don’t understand is why everyone but Blair was totally cool with it, especially considering how many times Gossip Girl ruined each of their lives, while Donut Dan sat idly by and feigned moral anguish?

I guess considering the guy has already lambasted the entire Upper East Side crew, first in a national bestseller, and then in Vanity Fair, nothing would surprise them about this douche.

And yet, when Dan triumphantly announced that Gossip Girl is dead, part of me wishes the entire cast pulled out their carving knives and killed him.  Now THAT would have been a cool ending . . .

you are dead

A Derena Wedding and the Most Adorable Mini Bass EVER

argument invalid

Source

Flash forward five years into the future.  Chuck and Blair are happily married with the best-cast child star EVER as their kid “Henry Bass.”  (a clever nod to Chuck’s days living in Europe under the pseudonym “Henry Prince”).

But where was Monkey?

5 3 cuddle chuck honey sponge

mad monkey

“I’ve been replaced by a child star.  GRRR!”

Blair has taken over Waldorf designs, with none other than Jenny Humphrey herself, as her prime fashion designer . . .

j by waldorf

(She’s come a long way since her days as a rabid raccoon . . .)

4 3 sad jenny

(Though, honestly, these two’s fashion senses couldn’t be more disparate, so I’m not really sure how that works.)

Lily is married to Dr. VDW again.  And Rufus is married to . . . wait for it . . . Lisa LOEB.  Remember her?

All those years, and girlfriend never bought a new pair of glasses . . .

Jack Bass hooked up with Georgina Sparks, which kind of works, considering they are pretty much both the same person.

georgina and jack

(Though I do wonder what happened to Baby Milo and that “Nice Guy” she used to call her husband.)

georgina hubby and milo

drunk interesting

Nate is single, but running for MAYOR?!

surprised-face

(And you said Gossip Girl wasn’t funny!)

Eric VDW is back from the set of Revenge, and spouting some facial hair.  But he’s single too.

And how could we forget Charlie/Ivy/CallMeSerena Dickens?

ivy league

ivy dickens story

He’s PSYCHIC!

Oh, and it took five years, but Serena finally married Gossip Girl.  Ahhh . . . a gay wedding, in more ways than one . . .

derena

Even Donuts deserve love . . .

In the episode’s final moments, Kristen Bell reprises her role as the voice of Gossip Girl one more time, only this time around she’s the voice of a NEW GENERATION of Upper East Siders.  And so what was once old has theoretically become new again.

rid of dan

never rid of me

All in all it was a flawed but fitting end to a series with which us fans, I suspect, all have a pretty complicated relationship . . . much like the relationship it’s main characters have with one another.  We loved it. . .

We hated it . . .

eye roll s

We were aroused . . .

We were nauseated . . .

blair waldorf frown

We wanted more . . .

We wanted it to end . . .

4 4 ridic

But through all the ups and downs, Gossip Girl will remain an important part of my TV viewing history . . . one that I suspect will send me clamoring back to YouTube for nostalgia’s sake, for years to come.  And for that I have the show’s cast, its crew, its costume designers, and, yes, even its writers to thank.

5 1 cute hug

They all know we love them, and will miss them terribly.  XOXO,

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever 2]

8 Comments

Filed under Gossip Girl

Pretty Little Liars Season 3A – The Good, The Bad, and the TOBY!

Source

Hey there, my Pretties!  This week, PLL wrapped up its third summer season with a hot sex scene, the discovery of a bastard child, another dead body, and a shocking twist that absolutely blew last season’s arguably anti-climactic reveal of Mona as “A” out of the water.  Though admittedly a bit less action-packed than past seasons, season 3A of PLL still managed to serve up some genuine scares (Mona’s “nursery rhyme” anyone?), a few great one liners (“Bitch can see!”), and some tantalizing clues that kept fans guessing each week, long after the final credits rolled.

So, hold on to your teeth, check your dolls for hidden recording devices, and always keep that wooden mannequin leg handy (You never know when you might have to murder a snake with it.), because here comes a Pretty Little Season 3A retrospective . . .

THE GOOD

After Mona’s “outing” as A last season, I think a lot of fans, myself included, worried that PLL would begin to run out of steam.  “Would subsequent seasons of the show just be more of the same?”  We wondered . . . another A . . . more text messages . . . a few empty scares and clues that would end up going no where . . . until it was ultimately revealed that the story was turning out just as the books had predicted it would.

And yet, somehow, the writers and producers of PLL managed to overcome this obstacle . . . at least, partially, by giving the season a darker, more mature, tone (the girls are seniors now, after all), introducing some new characters, while delving further into some older ones, and creating some really solid standalone moments that brought back memories of what the show was like in its groundbreaking first season.

So, without further adieu, I present to you, “The Good” of Season 3A . . .

Best Scares/ Moments of Season 3A

Maya-normal activity

Admittedly, I had a lot of issues with the Maya St. Germaine murder mystery, as you’ll see in “The Bad” below.  That said, one aspect of this B-plot that I enjoyed thoroughly was the use of web videos to increase the intrigue, and heighten the fright factor, of what otherwise could have become just another “cold case” type story.  Just as the PLL writers have always done with their trademark Dead Ali Flashbacks, Maya’s web diary, helped to make Maya a more interesting and mysterious dead character, than she ever was a live one.

Source

In addition to providing some “slice of life” character insight, Maya’s videos also heightened the tension of the scenes in which they were featured, because the viewer always knew that, just outside the video frame, someone was out there trying to KILL her.  This technique sort of harkened back to “Ali’s Last Video Debut from Season 1.”  I’m sure you guys remember that one . . .

However, one of my favorite video moments of the season actually didn’t come from Maya’s video diary at all.  Rather, it came from the surveillance video that Noel Kahn sent Spencer to exculpate himself as a murder suspect.  The makers of the Paranormal Activity series will tell you, there’s just something about a grainy surveillance video, featuring seemingly random footage of people you know that’s inexplicably scary.  Maybe it’s the feeling of “authenticity” you get from watching something with a time stamp.  Or, maybe it’s because they catch you off guard, by being so boring most of the time, and then, converting to BATSH*T CRAZY MODE, just when you’re about ready to change the channel . . .

All I know is that when Maya, seconds after appearing on screen, got yanked out of the frame by an unseen evildoer, I jumped out of my seat, for the first time, this season . . .

Show Me Your Teeth

Sure, it was campy, and not particularly believable, but I love that the “A” team made a necklace out of real teeth, and slipped it into Emily’s bag at school.  I mean, sure, I imagine those chompers could have come from any number of mundane places . . . the dentists office, some way-too-proud parents commemorative jar, the tooth fairy . . . But just the mere idea that the A Team might have hand plucked pearly whites from Ali’s now nearly two-year old corpse is disgustingly genius!

Truth or Scare

Source

Because the girls are forced to deal with some pretty adult stuff on a daily basis, we often forget the fact that, back when they were hanging out with Ali, they were all still REALLY young.  That’s why some of my favorite PLL moments take seemingly innocent childhood toys and games, and present them in a creepier, much more sinister, light.  The most obvious example of this are those ugly-as-sin talking dolls that have fast become Evil!Mona’s calling card.  Halloween masks, Ouiji Boards, pumpkins, and super cute clown banks have also been used to create this same effect.

This season, however, the PLL writers boldly tackled a place where only middle school sleepover parties have gone before: Truth or Dare.  We’ve all played this one before, right?  It’s a game that, at it’s tamest, involves revealing secret crushes to your friends, and at it’s most bawdy typically involves flashing people, and making dirty prank phone calls.

But PLL somehow managed to turn a simple game of Truth or Dare into a tantalizing game of Cat and Mouse, during which Rosewood’s two most intense residents, Spencer Hastings and Jenna Cavanaugh each tried to out interrogate one another.  And while the game, itself, didn’t exactly reveal to fans, anything they didn’t already know, it was still incredibly fun to watch . . .

Source

Snakes at a Fashion Show

Let’s face it.  Snakes are SCARY!  If they weren’t, nobody would have ever bothered to make a movie, who’s entire plot featured them slithering around on a plane.  So despite the fact, that I have no idea how anyone on the so-called A-team managed to (a) buy that kind of a snake; and (b) slip it into a box of clothing without anyone being any the wiser, the ick factor produced when Spencer opened that box, and that disgusting snake started nipping at her heels, had me squealing at my TV set.

But that wasn’t the best part.  The best part was when Cece Drake “rescued” Spencer though, honestly, it’s seems pretty obvious she had something to do with the darn thing being there in the first place by  . . . wait for it . . . beating the CRAP out of the snake with a MANNEQUIN LEG!  Girls got skills .  . .

Source

Child’s Play – Mona van der Waal Edition

I’m going to discuss Mona’s dialogue in this scene a bit more in depth in the “clues” section.  For now, I just wanted to fangirl a bit about this scene itself, and how it seemed custom-made to produce chills in anyone who happened to be watching at the time . . . from the abandoned corridor in the already creepy insane asylum . . . to the implication that there are enough Crazy Babies, and/or Crazy Mom’s with Babies for said insane asylum to have a Toddler’s Ward . . . to that terrifying way Mona had of stroking the dolls lovingly like that Creepy Ring Monster from Lord of the Rings, while speaking in this whisper-soft, sing-song voice that made you feel like, any minute, her head was going to start spinning around and green-stuff was going to pour out of her mouth . . In short, it was AWESOME!

Best one-liners

“Or, I’ll show my boobs and we’ll be news again.”

Source

Why: Because Drunk!Emily is always ten times more fun than Sober!Emily.  And because, no matter how old I get, the word “boobs,” still makes me cover my hand over my mouth and giggle like an eight-year old who just heard a “naughty word.”

“Bitch can see!”

Why: We’ve all known Blind Jenna could see for ages.  But there was something genuinely satisfying about having the girls FINALLY figure it out.  And Lucy Hale’s wide-eyed, yet uncharacteristically “street,” delivery of the line was priceless (and made me secretly want to watch Jenna and Aria “rumble” in the school parking lot.  For the record, my money would be on Aria.  She may be small, but she’s scrappy!

“When you baby squirrel Ezra, you are stealing his nuts.”

Just the images on Tumblr of Ian Harding’s head on a squirrel’s body that followed the episode in which this statement appeared, were enough to make me fall in love with this line.  Plus, once again, the eight-year old school girl in me, got a real kick about the fact that, no matter how you slice it, Spencer was talking to Aria about  Fitzy’s Man Parts . . .

Source

Best New Character – Cece Drake

Source

When you are coming onto a show in its third season as a new character, the deck is already stacked against you.  TV fans aren’t particularly known for being fond of change.  And chances are, the new character is being brought in to mess with their Ships, and Gal Pals, which makes it even harder for the Newbie to develop his or her own fanbase.

Source

I’ll be honest, I was all set to dislike Cece Drake, when her character was first introduced in the middle of the Season.  Though she was portrayed as a possible early muse for Ali, I thought for sure she’d be the straight-to-video version of a complex character I had actually grown to adore over the seasons.  However, as the season progressed, I developed a soft spot for Cece’s Fiercely-Loyal-Mean Girl-Who-Likes-to-Party-Persona.

Source

Of course, I don’t trust her, as far as I can throw her, but the PLL girls have all become SO serious lately, that it’s nice to throw a character into the mix, who clearly doesn’t give a rats about anything, but living in the moment, and having a good time.  Did I mention she MURDERED A SNAKE WITH A MANNEQUIN LEG?

Best Villain – Mona van der Waal

Source

As I mentioned earlier, I was one of the people, who were annoyed by the writer’s decision to stay loyal to the books, and make Mona “A.”  Though I thought Janel Parrish did a great job with the material she was given, during the first season, I thought her reveal as a Crazy Psychotic Loon in last season’s finale was too abrupt, and not necessarily believable.

Fast forward to season 3A, and Mona has become one of the best villains on TV.  Alternating from nearly comatose, to syrupy sweet, to oddly sympathetic, to creepily childlike, to batsh*t crazy, to EVIL!GENIUS MASTERMIND in the course of just twelve episodes, you never really knew what you were going to get, whenever Mona van der Waal appeared on screen.  But you always knew it was going to be spectacular . . .

Best clue- Mona’s secret code

Perhaps suffering from “A Fatigue,” I found it difficult to become invested in PLL during the first few episodes of Season 3A.  Basically, I just couldn’t bring myself to care all that much about which 5 or 6 suspicious-looking Rosewood residents stole Ali’s coffin, and took Drunk!Emily on a Wild Ride.  More on that later . . .

However, all that changed, during the episode “Crazy,” when Mona started speaking in her super special code.  Suddenly, I was like a Season 1 PLL fan again, re-watching scenes, stalking the message boards, and ravenously hunting through trade magazine for spoilers.  What I loved about this code, was that it never took fan’s intelligence for granted.  The PLL writers had enough faith that us fans would pick up on the hidden messages in the scene.  And we did, which made solving the mystery that much more fun . . .

Best flashback – The story of Pigskin

Source

If you’ve read this blog before, you might know that I was never Paige’s biggest fan.  (I belive the nickname “Little Orphan B*tchy” was used once or twice.  And while I’m still not 100% sold on the character, or her relationship with Emily, I adored the opportunity to delve deeper into her psyche this season.

Source

One of the best opportunities us fans had to get to know Paige better, was the flashback involving her and Ali.  Sure, it made Paige look a little crazypants, with those marks she left on Ali’s back (though, not nearly as crazy pants as she looked when she tried to DROWN EMILY), but it also explained  a heck of a lot about Paige’s treatment of Emily, and arguably disturbing behavior, during those early episodes.  I mean, how could you not sympathize with the poor girl, after Ali stole her love letter to Emily, thereby humiliating her in the worst, and most personal way possible?

Well, actually, this hair is more humiliating . . .

Oh, and she ended up NOT being Maya’s killer . . . so . . . that was nice . . .

THE BAD

Ah, yes . . . the Positivity Train has officially left the station . . . at least temporarily.  Here’s the part of the blog, where I talk about the aspects of Season 3A that I thought didn’t work, and dragged down an otherwise solid season . . .

Worst twist – Nate is Maya’s stalker / killer

Source

Come on now, PLL writers!  No one, for a second, believed that the super creepy, suspiciously appearing, and not the least bit interesting or likeable “Nate St. Germaine” was Maya’s real cousin, or anything, other than exactly what he turned out to be, Maya’s stalker / murderer.  So, the fact that this guy spent no less than twelve episodes, eating up screentime, with his fake Maya Memories, and his cringe-worthy attempts at “bonding with Emily,” were more frustrating than they were fascinating.  It also made Emily look like a TOTAL MORON (more on that later), for falling for his tricks . . .

Maybe if the writers (and the actor who played Nate) made the character look like a bit less of a lecher, from the get go, more of us would have actually been fooled by the guy . . .

Worst Plotlines –

PLL parents try dating 

Yeah, sorry.  Maybe this makes me sound ageist.  But I don’t watch PLL to see Ashley Marin date the Dull as Dishwater Deacon, or Byron Montgomery date that blonde twit student with whom he cheated on Ella.  And, yes, the American Pie Guy is hot and charming.  But I don’t watch PLL to see him makeout with Ella in the coffee shop either.  None of this has ANYTHING to do with Ali’s death or “A.”

Just sayin’ . . .

Emily’s “lost night”

So, let me get this straight.  Emily got roofied.  Then, she was picked up on the street by Jenna and Noel.  Then, she went to some restaurant with that dude who sort of/ kind of/ but not really dated Aria for one episode, and then pretty much disappeared forever.  Then, she went to Paige’s house, and made out with her a little bit. And THEN she went back to the cemetery, and watched the “A” team dig up a grave?

Ummm . . . am I missing something here?

Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of Ali’s corpse being stolen, and Emily being framed for it, shows a lot of promise.  I just wish the writers managed the mystery in a more streamlined way, rather than going for the, throw in everything but the kitchen sink approach . . .

Worst clues –

The Ugly Earring

The real mystery for me, is why ANYONE in their right mind would wear that hideous earring, and not, how it ended up being Rosewood’s answer to the Traveling Pants, winding up under couch cushions, in graves, inside of lockers, and in Paige’s purse, all in the course of a single season . . .

Those lame final sequences

Remember when PLL final sequences were AWESOME?  Like the one that showed Lucas bashing the crap out of Ali’s memorial fountain . . . . or the one where “A” killed the Rat Named Spencer . . . or the one where “A” changed the Rosewood Population sign to imply that SOMEONE WOULD DIE TONIGHT!

Yeah . . . now, we’ve got “A” drinking booze, watching Wheel a Fortune, and listening to old songs on a jukebox.  Can you say, LAZY?

Worst new characters

Nate – SEE ABOVE. 🙂

Maggie

Source

Hey, I love Alex Mack as much as the next girl . . .

But I do not love the freaky, wide-eyed pixie version of her that Fitzy supposedly impregnated with his spawn.  And now, from what I hear, this is Aria’s New Competition?  Jackie 2.0?  Been there, done that, read the Cliff Notes for it . . . let’s move on . . .

Most Frustrating Character Development – The Dumbing Down of Emily

Oh, Emily.  Let’s face it, you were never the sharpest tool in the shed.  And we know academics have never been your strong suit, considering you were ALMOST LEFT BACK A GRADE.  But, in the course of a single season you, failed to mind your FLASK (NEVER LEAVE YOUR BOOZE UNATTENDED, GIRLFRIEND) . . . got roofied . . . lent your diseased flask to your girlfriend, WITHOUT WASHING IT, so that she could get roofied too (Now, that’s just unsanitary.), hung out with your dead other girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, believed that your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER was her cousin, despite the fact that he DIDN’T KNOW WHERE HER PARENTS LIVED, and SEEMED TO LOOOOOVE HER, IN A WAY COUSINS SHOULD NOT LOVE ONE ANOTHER, kissed your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, despite the fact that he was a TOTALLY DISGUSTING CREEPER, and finally, went to a cabin alone with your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, despite the fact that he was a TOTALLY DISGUSTING CREEPER.

Maybe you just mistook your thinking cap for your swim cap this season, huh, Emily?

And, finally .  . .

THE TOBY

Ooh, talk about a shocking twist.  Coming off a season, where the Big Reveal of who “A” Was shocked almost NOBODY, Season 3A’s final moments legitimately surprised EVERYONE!  Who would have suspected that Spencer’s stalwart Rock . . . the man who supported her crazy, fell off a scaffold for her, played endless games of Scrabble with her, humped her many times in his truck, and took her virginity, would also be one of her biggest enemies?

Source

And that look on his face, as he donned that hoodie, and ran off into the night . . . SUPER CREEPY.

Of course, the implications of this discovery are HUGE.  WHY did Toby do it?  How long has he been doing it?  And, perhaps most importantly, did he ever really care about Spencer at all?

It’s interesting how, of all the PLL girls it was the one least likely to trust others, who let The Enemy literally get underneath her skin . . .

But I guess all is fair, in love and A . . .  Until next season, my Pretties!

Source

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

5 Comments

Filed under Pretty Little Liars

A Six-Year Old’s Take on the Film, Dirty Dancing . . . (My Retro-spective)

The first time I saw the movie Dirty Dancing, I was six-years old.  My mom had rented it from the video store, and decided to let me watch it with her.  I was excited, because it was my first ever PG-13 movie.  So, I was absolutely certain it would be filled with all sorts of naughty grown-up stuff (like curses and sex!), the likes of which I had never seen before!

In actuality, Dirty Dancing had a disappointingly minimal amount of curses (like 15, 20 tops . . . I know, because I counted).  And while there was adult content, I was too young to understand most of it.  (I’ll get to that later . . .). 

Despite all of this, I was a fan of the movie, almost instantaneously, because the Dad in it, Jerry Orbach, looked kind of like my dad.  And sort of acted and sounded like him too . . .

I hated Baby’s sister, though!  She seemed like a total poopyhead!

 So, I was kind of happy that, by the end of the movie, you find out that she’s a TERRIBLE dancer and singer, and nobody in her family really likes her.  (That’s what you get for being a poopyhead, after all.)

Oh, yeah, and Baby’s sister didn’t get ANY of the boys!  Not even that nerdy hotel manager’s son, Neil, or that rapist waiter, Robby.

Speaking of Robby, that whole rape/ abortion storyline completely flew over my 6-year old head.  When the cast started talking about how, “Penny got knocked up by Robby, the creep,”  I thought they just meant that he punched her or something.  But she didn’t have a black eye, or anything!  Weird!

So, why couldn’t she dance at the show?  And why did they have to pay all that money for a doctor with a dirty knife to cut her?  Why couldn’t she just put a bandaid on her boo boo, and have her mommy kiss it to make it better?

Newman from Seinfeld was in the movie too, and he did MAGIC TRICKS!  He even cut Baby in half!

Who knew mailmen had magical powers?

When I was six, I thought it was really funny that, in order to get into the hotel employees’ dance party, Baby had to carry a watermelon. 

But it didn’t make a lot of sense to me that she would have to do this, because none of the hotel employees at the party even ate the watermelons she brought!  And no one there seemed particularly hungry . . . for food, at least.

Then the BEST part of the movie started!  Baby and Johnny started DANCING!  Except that, for some reason, the characters decided not to dance to cool music, like Madonna . . .

or New Kids on the Block.

Oh, give me a break!  I was six.  I didn’t know any better . . .

Instead, they danced to “Old People” music — like the kind Mom and Dad made me listen to in the car when we went out to dinner on weekends.

But that was OK, because Baby and Johnny got to dance in COOL places!  Like on a log that reminded me of the balance beam at gymnastics parties . . .

 . . . and in the POOL

 .  . . and on the FLOOR!

And Baby’s mom NEVER even yelled at her for getting her jeans dirty!

Plus, watching Dirty Dancing made me less embarrassed about being ticklish . . .

Then Baby had a sleepover with Johnny, and she got in trouble with her Daddy, because sleepover parties are supposed to be ONLY with girls!  Silly!

Then, at the end of the summer, there was a Big Dance at the hotel, and Johnny said, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”

Suddenly, all of the hotel employees appeared out of no where!  (Where did they come from?)  They did this awesome dance to the song  “I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” which they all knew PERFECTLY, even though they never, ever practiced. . .

Baby even did THE LIFT without falling on her face!  So, of course, her Daddy had to forgive her about the whole “sleepover” thing . . .

And they all lived happily ever after . . .

When we finished watching the movie, I asked my Mom if I could take “Dirty Dancing lessons.”  She didn’t like that idea too much.  So, signed me up for jazz instead.  In hindsight, jazz dancing probaby wasn’t as much fun as “dirty dancing” would have been . . .

But I did get to wear pretty shoes . . .

After that first viewing, I went on to watch Dirty Dancing at least 20 more times, as I’m sure a lot of little girls from my generation did.  However, just in case you haven’t seen the film, you can check out this really awful old-school trailer for it (complete with cheesy film-announcer narration).  If you are one of those people who think that trailers give away the major plot points in movies today, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

They just don’t make ’em like THAT anymore . . .

3 Comments

Filed under Awesome 80s movies, Dirty Dancing, Movie Trailer Recaplets