Golden Globes 2017 – Predictions

January 8, 2017

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The Golden Globes kick off the Oscar races and that is why I mainly watch this awards show. Sure, it’s fun to see all of the year’s most famous celebrities get together in one room, and occasionally get drunk and make a fool out of themselves. But for me, the Emmy’s are the true awards for television and the Oscars are the true awards for movies. With the Oscars nominations just around the corner (Jan. 24), the Golden Globes actually do matter a lot more than they used to.

So what is at stake? We all know that La La Land is the clear front-runner going into the awards season. There is nothing that the Golden Globes can take away from La La Land, because it’s expected to win most of its 7 nominations (the most of the night). Even if they don’t win certain categories like Best Score or Best Screenplay, that won’t hurt it at all until the guilds start announcing their winners.

The two films that do have a lot riding on the Golden Globes are Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea. These two films are fighting against the La La Land giant at the moment and can sure use the momentum by winning big at the Golden Globes to possibly upset the feel-good musical come February 26. Therefore, the two major categories to look out for during the Globes will be Best Drama Film and Best Director. If either Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea takes both of these awards, it will give it a nice boost going into the Oscar nominations. I have a feeling that Moonlight will be the film to receive this boost, but these two awards can easily be split by both films.

Here are all of my predictions for the Golden Globes…

Movies

Best Film – Drama:

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Prediction: Moonlight. I feel like the HFPA will go for the more daring and talked about film between critic circles, but it’s practically a toss-up between this and Manchester by the Sea.

 

Best Film – Musical or Comedy:

20th Century Women

Deadpool

Florence Foster Jenkins

La La Land

Sing Street

Prediction: This one is La La Land, end of story.

 

Best Performance in a Film – Drama

Actor:

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea as Lee Chandler

Joel Edgerton – Loving as Richard Loving

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond T. Doss

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic as Ben Cash

Denzel Washington – Fences as Troy Maxson

Prediction: I’ll go with Casey Affleck mainly because Manchester by the Sea is a real threat for Best Picture early on in the Oscar race. Denzel Washington was incredible in Fences, so if there is an upset it should be him.

 

Actress:

Amy Adams – Arrival as Dr. Louise Banks

Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane as Elizabeth Sloane

Isabelle Huppert – Elle as Michèle Leblanc

Ruth Negga – Loving as Mildred Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie as Jackie Kennedy

Prediction: I haven’t seen Jackie, but it’s hard not to expect Natalie Portman to win for that role. I’ll be rooting for Amy Adams here because her performance and the movie she starred in, Arrival, are going unnoticed.

 

Best Performance in a Film – Musical or Comedy

Actor:

Colin Farrell – The Lobster as David

Ryan Gosling – La La Land as Sebastian Wilder

Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins as St. Clair Bayfield

Jonah Hill – War Dogs as Efraim Diveroli

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool as Wade Wilson/Deadpool

Prediction: Ryan Gosling because La La Land is on another level compared to any other film in the Musical/Comedy category this year. Gosling wasn’t as good as his co-star Emma Stone, but who else can the HFPA give this award to? Ryan Reynolds? Don’t make me laugh.

 

Actress:

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women as Dorothea Fields

Lily Collins – Rules Don’t Apply as Marla Mabrey

Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen as Nadine Franklin

Emma Stone – La La Land as Mia Dolan

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins as Florence Foster Jenkins

Prediction: Emma Stone truly sparkled in her role in La La Land. She should win and well deserves it. But I have a soft spot for Hailee Steinfeld for her great performance in The Edge of Seventeen.

 

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight as Juan

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water as Marcus Hamilton

Simon Helberg – Florence Foster Jenkins as Cosmé McMoon

Dev Patel – Lion as Saroo Brierley

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals as Ray Marcus

Prediction: Mahershala Ali. If Moonlight is truly as big of a player in this Oscar race like people have been suggesting, he will walk away with this award.

 

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis – Fences as Rose Maxson

Naomie Harris – Moonlight as Paula

Nicole Kidman – Lion as Sue Brierley

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures as Dorothy Vaughan

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea as Randi

Prediction: Viola Davis was a powerhouse alongside Denzel Washington. She pulled enough of her weight around the screen that she could’ve and maybe should’ve been considered for a leading actress role. But in this category, she should be a clear winner.

 

Best Director:

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Prediction: My favorite award of the Golden Globes because it’s the award that can truly match up the best films in both drama and comedy/musical categories. But to be fair, the director who has won the Best Director award at the Golden Globes, his movie has only won Best Picture at the Oscars once in the last seven years (Argo – Ben Affleck). So in hindsight, maybe you don’t want to win? Anyway, I’m predicting Barry Jenkins to win this award, just so La La Land doesn’t seem like such a clear runaway winner so early on in the Oscar race.

 

Best Screenplay:

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water

Prediction: Manchester by the Sea probably has the best plot and story-line of any film nominated here. That’s why I’m going with Kenneth Lonergan.

 

Best Original Score:

Nicholas Britell – Moonlight

Justin Hurwitz – La La Land

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Arrival

Dustin O’Halloran & Hauschka – Lion

Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams & Benjamin Wallfisch – Hidden Figures

Prediction: Doesn’t La La Land HAVE to win here? The score for the film was simply lovely.

 

Best Original Song:

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake) – Trolls

“City of Stars” (Justin Hurwitz, Pasek & Paul) – La La Land

“Faith” (Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder & Francis Farewell Starlite) – Sing

“Gold” (Stephen Gaghan, Danger Mouse, Daniel Pemberton & Iggy Pop) – Gold

“How Far I’ll Go” (Lin-Manuel Miranda) – Moana

Prediction: Again, doesn’t La La Land have to win here? But to be fair, I still have “Can’t Stop the Feeling” stuck in my head from the first time I heard it. Then again, Lin-Manuel Miranda is having quite the year… could Moana upset?

 

Best Animated Feature:

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

Sing

Zootopia

Prediction: Zootopia.

 

Best Foreign Language Film:

Divines (France)

Elle (France)

Neruda (Chile)

The Salesman (Iran/France)

Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Prediction: Elle

 

Television

Best TV Drama:

The Crown

Game of Thrones

Stranger Things

This Is Us

Westworld

Prediction: This is an awesome group of new shows, which makes this category extremely exciting. It’s hard not to pick Game of Thrones here as it’s arguably the most popular show on television, but it is surrounded by a bunch of new-comers that everyone has been talking about. Stranger Things is surely a popular pick and Westworld was the talk around every office week-after-week. But I’m going with The Crown. GoT has never won Best Drama at the Globes and likely won’t until its final season. Therefore, The Crown seems like the most appealing choice to the diverse HFPA.

 

Best TV Comedy:

Atlanta

Black-ish

Mozart in the Jungle

Transparent

Veep

Prediction: Veep is an Emmy darling, but for the Globes, they love rewarding new and refreshing shows. This year should go to Atlanta, Donald Glover’s comedy on FX.

 

Best Actor – Drama

Rami Malek – Mr. Robot as Elliot Alderson

Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul as James Morgan “Jimmy” McGill

Matthew Rhys – The Americans as Philip Jennings

Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan as Raymond “Ray” Donovan

Billy Bob Thornton – Goliath as Billy McBride

Prediction: I would love to see Matthew Rhys win here, but if I was betting on this category my money would go to Rami Malek.

 

Best Actress – Drama

Caitriona Balfe – Outlander as Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser

Claire Foy – The Crown as Queen Elizabeth II

Keri Russell – The Americans as Elizabeth Jennings

Winona Ryder – Stranger Things as Joyce Byers

Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld as Dolores Abernathy

Prediction: Claire Foy. Done and done.

 

Best Actor – Comedy

Anthony Anderson – Black-ish as Andre “Dre” Johnson Sr.

Gael García Bernal – Mozart in the Jungle as Rodrigo De Souza

Donald Glover – Atlanta as Earnest “Earn” Marks

Nick Nolte – Graves as Richard Graves

Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent as Maura Pfefferman

Prediction: Donald Glover.

 

Best Actress – Comedy

Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Rebecca Nora Bunch

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep as Selina Meyer

Sarah Jessica Parker – Divorce as Frances Dufresne

Issa Rae – Insecure as Issa Dee

Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin as Jane Gloriana Villanueva

Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish as Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson

Prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the safe pick here so I’ll go with her, but from Rachel Bloom to Gina Rodriguez, and Issa Rae from Insecure, this could be anyone’s to win.

 

Best Mini-series or TV Film:

American Crime

The Dresser

The Night Manager

The Night Of

The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Prediction: The People vs. O.J. Simpson will win here. No questions asked.

 

Best Actor – Miniseries

Riz Ahmed – The Night Of as Nasir “Naz” Khan

Bryan Cranston – All the Way as President Lyndon B. Johnson

Tom Hiddleston – The Night Manager as Jonathan Pine

John Turturro – The Night Of as John Stone

Courtney B. Vance – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Johnnie Cochran

Prediction: Courtney B. Vance. Let’s get all these O.J. awards handed out early, okay?

 

Best Actress – Miniseries

Felicity Huffman – American Crime as Leslie Graham

Riley Keough – The Girlfriend Experience as Christine Reade/”Chelsea Rayne”/”Amanda Hayes”

Sarah Paulson – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Marcia Clark

Charlotte Rampling – London Spy as Frances Turner

Kerry Washington – Confirmation as Anita Hill

Prediction: Sarah Paulson.

 

Best TV Supporting Actor:

Sterling K. Brown – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Christopher Darden

Hugh Laurie – The Night Manager as Richard Onslow Roper

John Lithgow – The Crown as Winston Churchill

Christian Slater – Mr. Robot as Mr. Robot / Edward Alderson

John Travolta – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Robert Shapiro

Prediction: John Lithgow.

 

Best TV Supporting Actress:

Olivia Colman – The Night Manager as Angela Burr

Lena Headey – Game of Thrones as Cersei Lannister

Chrissy Metz – This Is Us as Kate Pearson

Mandy Moore – This Is Us as Rebecca Pearson

Thandie Newton – Westworld as Maeve Millay

Prediction: Chrissy Metz.

 

 

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Girls – “Home Birth”

March 25, 2015

Season Four, Episode Ten

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Grade: A

There are plenty of things that Girls does very well, but one thing that I haven’t been sold on has been the acting… but hot damn did Lena Dunham act the hell out of that scene in the hospital! Kudos! But let’s rewind a bit and recap everything that leads up to that heart-breaking moment.

It’s the season finale and everyone is on their way to different stages of their lives. After all the interviews that Shoshanna has failed, she finally gets an offer from a company and a job she truly loves. The catch? She has to move to Japan. Is this good or bad timing? She’s been sort of seeing the handsome and kind guy whose company she doesn’t respect, plus her work as campaign manager for Ray is over. It sort of makes sense for her to go to Japan, right? But if that means we’re not going to see Shoshanna on the show anymore, then I vote for her to stay! Please don’t go Shosh!

Meanwhile Marnie and Desi are happily engaged for a brief moment, until Ray confronts Desi at his coffee shop. Desi has always been a tool bag, and Marnie has always been a sucker, but Ray tears Desi a new one by calling him out on all of his bullshit. I never would’ve imagined myself going along with things that Ray says, since from the beginning he’s been ranting about such outrageous things. But here, he hits all of his points right on the head. Desi is completely using Marnie and he knows that she’s wrapped around his finger. They have a volatile relationship and Ray is smart enough to know that it’s not going to work. At the same time, he’s wrong about Marnie when he compliments how caring and smart she is. Marnie is just as bad as Desi and in a way they deserve each other, but Ray is just over-the-top in love with Marnie that he can’t see through his own blindness.

His message is heard and Desi disappears that night, when him and Marnie have a super important gig. While Marnie is crushed, Ray is there to pick her pieces back up (once again) and pushes her to perform by herself. She nails it, but you just know that once Desi apologizes Marnie will be wrapped up in her arms again. You hope that Ray can learn to distance himself and walk away from Marnie, but it looks like he has it way too bad.

Meanwhile, Jessa and Adam break free from their relationships after Mimi-Rose decides she wants to be free from all men. You feel the worst for Adam because he seemed like he particularly liked Mimi-Rose, but she just wasn’t right for him. The confusion sets in with Adam because when he left Hannah for Mimi-Rose, he was in such a different relationship. It was more stable and arguably healthier than anything he ever had with Hannah, but with Hannah he’ll always be able to be himself. It’s very common for someone to go back to their ex when things don’t go right, and that’s exactly what Adam does, which brings us to that crucial scene towards the end of the episode.

In the hospital, Caroline finally has her baby delivered and Adam, Jessa, and Hannah are there to celebrate with her. Adam and Hannah share a moment alone with the baby and that’s when he informs her that his relationship with Mimi-Rose is over. Hannah gives her condolences, but doesn’t seem to expect how Adam begs her to take him back. A lot of this season has dealt with Hannah trying to keep moving forward with her life, even when everything doesn’t work out the way she wishes. She attended the writing workshop, which was a big step for her writing career, but that didn’t work out. Her relationship with Adam also didn’t last since he left her for Mimi-Rose. Then she decides she wants to teach and starts subbing at a high school, but over-steps her boundaries with a student and is told to take some time off. On top of that, her dad came out of the closet. Yes, it’s been quite a difficult period of time for Hannah, which is why her response is that much more powerful when she tells Adam, “I can’t.” Her eyes are overwhelmed with tears, but Hannah is at a point in her life where she’s moving on. It might not be as quickly as the world is turning, but she’s doing the best she can, and that involves distance from Adam.

It’s a brave decision for Hannah but as we see in the six-month flash-forward it pays off. She’s seen walking in the snow with fellow teacher, Fran, and even kissing him. She looks happy and the relationship looks healthy. It’s something I wouldn’t expect Girls to do, but I guess after everything that Hannah has been through this season, it’s nice to know that she does find happiness eventually. But this isn’t a series finale, although it certainly feels like it. Will Girls pick up six months later next season? Is that just a teaser that Hannah and Fran end up dating, but we’re still going to take the ride leading up to it? Or maybe in six months, Shoshanna can be re-located back to the city so the gang is back together! Maybe Marnie will have a record deal without Desi, Ray will be making moves up the political ladder, and possibly Jessa and Adam become besties. Hey, it can happen.


Togetherness – “Not So Together”

March 12, 2015

Season One, Episode Eight

togetherness-not-so-together

Grade: B+

Is it strange that a show called “Togetherness” has its characters breaking apart at the end of the first season? Not really, because as our four main characters are all splitting up in their own ways, there will always be a part of them that is comforted by being together. So what does that exactly mean?

The marriage between Michelle and Brett has been the central and most important story-line of the first season, despite Tina and Alex being a lot more fun. There was obviously things wrong with their marriage before the show even began, but we pick up when they’re sexually frustrated and fed up by their lack of communication. Is this what is supposed to happen when you’re married? That mentally is what keeps them together because they assume they just have to weather the storm, but as they slowly drift further apart, the chances of them finding their spark becomes thin.

Brett has always been distant with Michelle, but you can’t accuse him of not trying. When Michelle wanted to go to the beach, Brett attended even though he didn’t want to. When Michelle wanted to try something new, sexually, Brett obliged. Brett even tried the whole spur of the moment, dinner-date thing with Michelle, but to disastrous results simply because he knows she’s not into it. It’s generous of Brett to be doing all of these things, but to Michelle she needs things to go further than just being nice and supportive. She needs that flame to be burning bright with Brett, but unfortunately that fire burnt out a long time ago.

Brett goes through something during “Not So Together” that he hasn’t gone through all season long. He legitimately enjoyed being with his family. It’s concerning that he enjoyed it so much without Michelle being there, but something that he dreaded at the beginning of the season (going to the beach) he absolutely loved. Has Linda and the mushrooms awaken a new version of Brett who loves life and wants to share his passion for it with his wife and family? Possibly, but it might already be too late.

Michelle attends an important meeting with David to try and get a charter school in their district. She winds up saving the day and all of this is just another scoop of ice cream in her David-crush bowl. With David, Michelle feels reinvented. She feels important, happy, enthusiastic, and most of all she shares an energy between them. You just know something is going to happen between them. As the audience and also as a human being, when there are feelings between two people and they go away together for a night, I would say with confidence that more times than not (even if it crosses boundaries), you’re going to hook up. Tina knew it before Michelle even leaves. We all did. But then again, how intense (is that even the right word to use here) was the hand-written letter exchange under the adjoining door? That scene right there worked incredibly well, and it’s all due to the sexual build-up from the lack thereof in Michelle marriage.

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Meanwhile, Tina is moving in with Larry, something that does make sense for her. She doesn’t seem to have much self-esteem, she’s not successful, and with Larry she can be taken care of and live the glamorous life that she craves. The problem? Alex knows that she doesn’t love him and he’s offering his love to her on a freaking platter! This was a particularly gut-wrenching scene because Alex just exposes himself to her in such a vulnerable state, only to have her reject him. Sure, Tina is certainly out of Alex’ league when it comes to looks, but the two of them have something I don’t believe Tina has ever had before: actual friendship. But Tina is willing to give that up to be with Larry. Can you foresee that backfiring on her? I sure can.

It’s sort of cruel to see in one case, Alex rides a bike to express his feelings for Tina, only to have them crushed. But at least he was able to ask her. The timing was off because she already seemed to have made up her mind, but you can tell that even though Tina made that decision, she’s still searching for something better. And then there’s Brett and his newly discovered excitement for life. With Alex’ suggestion, Brett’s driving to Michelle to share his energy and passion with her. He’s coming at her with so much positive emotion I’m not sure how Michelle would receive it. But inevitably, Michelle and David break down the doors (not really, they just slowly open them but I think my way is a lot more dramatic) and hook up. We’re not exactly sure how far they go, but we do know that Brett is too late.

The first season was a roller-coaster ride, but what I loved most about it was how it portrays such flawed characters in an environment we can all relate to. We don’t have a cast of only beautiful people. They’re not thrown into stereotypes or cliques. The main cast are rich, deep, and troubled people who are trying to figure out themselves during a very critical time in their lives. Who can’t sympathize with that? Well done, and I can’t wait for the second season.


Togetherness – “Party Time”

March 4, 2015

Season One, Episode Seven

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Grade: A-

So Brett gets high and it’s amazing. Togetherness isn’t that show that brings out comedy easily between its characters and situations. It’s a lot more invested in its commentary about a married couple going through a valley in their relationship, along with a friendship between two very different people that looks wrong but feels right. With this being said, when Togetherness is able to actually make you laugh, it achieves something quite impressive. I’ll always have a spot for the kick-the-can episode, but “Party Time” gives us a version of Brett we’ve never seen before, and it’s great.

While it did cross my mind that Brett was making a terrible mistake to skip out on the children’s play day that Michelle was throwing, it actually did a lot of good that he visited Linda, got high, and then returned home. As the two of them continue to grow apart, they only really give each other fragments of truth. I wonder if it’s the same way during their therapy sessions, which I would love for them to show. But as Brett is standing in front of Michelle, high as hell, he’s able to say everything he wants to say without worrying about the consequences. And he does it in a way that isn’t mean or confrontational, but instead softly informs her of his feelings and hopes she understands. Does she understand? Maybe, but probably not.

Michelle has been mostly a miss for me during this first season of Togetherness. She starts out as a woman who is sexually frustrated with a husband who wants to have sex with her. She then skips out on her husband’s screening to see if she can get picked up at a bar. Then she suggests getting therapy to try and save their marriage, all while having the hots for David. Is there supposed to be a reason why we should like her? Because if there is, I’m not seeing it very clearly. Can I at least understand her? I guess, but that doesn’t make it much better.

Meanwhile, Alex and Tina are giving each other the silent treatment because they’re still mad at each other. Alex actually has a right to be, as he’s become Tina’s bitch since he has a serious crush on her. Tina, on the other hand, needs to be reminded like a child that she should treat Alex like a friend, who is someone who listens, understands, and is nice to. I admit, it was sweet seeing Tina struggle so much with the bouncy house but in the end Alex helps her out. Larry is on a different level and his power and confidence is certainly something that Tina finds attractive. His, “take it or leave it” attitude puts Tina in a short-lived dilemma, because it makes all the sense in the world for her to move in with him. But I think inside, she knows that there’s not much of a chanced they’re going to work out. And if she moves in with Larry, what does that say about her feeling for Alex?

With only one episode left of the first season, it seems like it’s going to end with Brett and Michelle either splitting up or one of them asking the other for a divorce. Isn’t it true that sometimes the only way to understand how much you need someone is to spend some time apart? Maybe it will do them some good, but the problem is that they have children. I would also like for them to explore their past a little bit more, since the present obviously isn’t working and the future looks bleak. Hopefully, they find out that in a chaotic world all you need is togetherness with someone you love.


New Girl – “The Crawl”

February 13, 2015

Season Four, Episode Fifteen

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Grade: B-

It’s Valentine’s Day for New Girl and everyone is happy, except for poor Nick Miller who has been recently dumped. Naturally, he’s not taking it well at all and hides his feelings by engaging in a bar crawl that will form an image of a smily face on a map. You don’t have to twist my arm for a plot that involves a bar crawl! Like the friends that they are, everyone decides to either postpone or cancel their Valentine’s plans to go on Nick’s bar crawl is attendance is mandatory.

It’s no surprise that New Girl is best when all of its characters are together, but here they run into an obstacle that even though they’re all in the same place, they all have different plots going on at the same time. In retrospect, Nick’s story-line is just the background to the more important things happening. Starting with Jess and Ryan, initially their plan is to pretend to drink during the crawl until they can leave and make their dinner reservation. During a conversation at the first bar Ryan asks Jess to move in with her, which caused her to freak out. At this point, we can just always assume Jess is going to freak out when things get into the “serious” stage of a relationship (almost as bad as Coach). She still gets away with it because she does it in such a cute way, but as a 30-something Vice Principal, when is she going to be a grown up?

The whole ebb and flow results in Ryan receiving an unbelievable job offer at his Alma mater back in England. This all just seems to move way too quickly, like the writers were tired of this healthy relationship and rather deal with break-ups and heartache. Jess and Ryan decide they’re going to try their part at the long-distance relationship thing, but we all know that’s not going to last. This is kind of a shame because what the show had between Jess and Ryan was the show’s only legitimate relationship. I saw this as growth for the characters and for the show to stray from its cartoon-ish portrayal of friendship and relationships, but it doesn’t seem like the writers want to go anywhere near something real. Too bad.

Meanwhile, we get more of the roller-coaster ride that is Schmidt and Cece. Schmidt finally gets Fawn to publicly declare her relationship with him, which happens right after Winston realizes Cece still has feelings for Schmidt. The timing just isn’t there for those two, but you have to assume that Fawn and Schmidt aren’t going to last very long. Also, Coach keeps running into an attractive girl who he feels is “relationship material” instead of the hook-up material he was looking for on Valentine’s Day. Winston was just putting out fires all over this episode with that gigantic book-bag as he slaps some sense into Coach.

In the end, Nick confronts his empty feeling without Kai, but with the help from his friends he’s able to pick up the pieces of his heart and move forward. So the show’s pointing to another round of Schmidt-Cece and even Jess-Nick. Are we prepared to go through that again? I’m not sure if I am, but I don’t think I have a choice. If there’s one thing I took from this episode, it’s that the crawl is for all! This show always makes me so thirsty for a beer.


Togetherness – “Houston, We Have a Problem”

February 9, 2015

Season One, Episode Four

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Grade: A

From the get-go, Togetherness has been about the struggling marriage between Brett and Michelle. They’re both good parents who are raising young children successfully, but there is a lot more involved that isn’t all fine and dandy as it may seem. In the bedroom, they’re not having sex and that’s a fear that everyone has when they get married. Sure, everyone thinks, “that won’t be us,” but as the tale as old as time goes, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Every episode, Brett and Michelle are trying to break out of their cold spell and do new, exciting, different things for each other to arouse them. Michelle tried to take control and spank Brett while he was on all fours, but that backfired. She then went out to a bar trying to see if she still had that magic touch she once had when she was younger. But up to this point, it was Michelle who seemed to be fighting with herself trying to work up the strength to have sex with Brett once again. In this episode, we see a bit more inside with how Brett’s feeling.

Keeping up with their spontaneous attempts to excite each other, Brett and Michelle go out to a fancy dinner and he even surprises her with a hotel room for the evening. Sure, it’s not very spontaneous to plan the entire evening, but it’s a great gesture that Michelle can appreciate, except for the fact that once this all begins to happen, she starts dreading the fact that they’re going to have sex. She dreads it to the point where she calls her sister from the bathroom to maybe brainstorm a way out of it, but Tina advises her to get in the bedroom and screw her husband. Michelle finally forces herself back to the bedroom. She’s walking on egg shells, fearing what’s going to happen next, but Brett senses her tension and assures her that it’s fine if they don’t have sex and just watch television all night long. Michelle’s reaction absolutely killed me while watching it. It was like a huge boulder was thrown off of her shoulders as she sighed in relief, with remarks of how amazing an idea that was. How could you not feel for Brett at this moment?

But to Michelle’s credit, she does attempt to have sex with him because she feels it’s important. And we know it is, so they try their best but it was like watching a couple have sex for the first time. Everything was awkward, there was no rhythm, and Brett was so nervous that he couldn’t finish the deed and jumped out of bed in a rage. To his defense, Brett has every right to be frustrated and angry. His wife isn’t attracted to him anymore, they haven’t had sex in however long, and he knows that it’s more of a chore than a desire for her at this point. But then Brett drops the bomb on Michelle that he’s not even into her anymore either, and how he just wants to get it done because it’s what should happen. He admits it’s not easy having sex with the same person for ten years. It’s a lot to take in and it’s a seriously painful discussion for any married couple to have, but at the end of the day they’re going to do everything in their power to avoid divorce.

I very much like Brett and Michelle a lot. They’re good people and it’s clear they’re both trying their best to keep their marriage afloat, but they’ve hit such a speed bump that it’s going to take a lot for them to get past this obstacle. Can a sexless marriage succeed? Up to this point, they haven’t really addressed the problem head on, but now it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with it. Are they going to seek therapy? Some self-help books? Will they be open to the idea of change or are they going to be stubborn and hope things get better without much attempts. I feel like they’ll give it a legitimate shot to seek therapy, but this might be a lot tougher to solve than they suspect.

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Meanwhile, Alex and Tina travel to Texas to pack up her things, which means they get to spend a night in her hometown where they hang out with some of her friends. Alex is still going through the phase of getting over his crush for Tina, and the best thing possible happens to Alex: he immediately hits it off with Tina’s friend Pam. And the friends were right, they made a really cute couple together while they danced on the floor and held each other close enough to show their affection, but stuff enough to show how they were both a bit nervous. What they had seemed genuine, but Tina’s not the kind of girl to have her thunder stolen. As Alex put it, she performed the biggest cock-block in history as she tried to out-dance them on the floor with a stranger, and then got so drunk she dragged Alex to drive her home instead of spending the evening with Pam.

At this point of the series, Tina is the least likeable of all the characters. She’s selfish and she uses people for her own gain without thinking of the consequences. She brings about chaos wherever she goes, but she always gets bailed out by her sister or by the goodwill of people, like Alex. But the end of the episode was sweet when in her own way, Tina apologizes to Alex for ruining his chances with Pam. Tina’s not the kind of person who has a lot of friends because of her personality and the way she’s able to burn bridges based off of her bad decisions. Does she realize that Alex might be the best person in her life? Probably not, but for the time being she does realize she was wrong to hurt a friend. This is growth in baby steps.

So is there hope for our characters on Togetherness? Is George Harrison’s wife right when she said the trick to staying married is just not to get divorced? Can Alex and Tina find romance in the future? You have to assume her thing with Larry isn’t going to last and who’s going to be there for her when it all goes to hell? It’s going to be Alex. Right now, I say there’s more hope for those lost ducklings than for the Michelle and Brett.


Girls – “Cubbies”

February 9, 2015

Season Four, Episode Four

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Grade: A-

During dinner, Hannah tells her dad about not fitting in and whether or not she should leave the writing workshop and move back to New York. She doesn’t know what’s the right choice, but Tad advises her that she’ll know what the right decision is. It’s something you hear all throughout growing up when you stare down two paths. “You’ll know it when it’s right.” But the truth is that you won’t. It’s impossible to actually know if you’re making the right or wrong decision. Only after you do make a decision, then you’ll figure out if it was the right or wrong one. And so Hannah does make the decision to leave Iowa and move back to New York, where she finds her stuff moved out of the apartment and Adam seemingly living with another girl, played by Gillian Jacobs.

But let’s rewind a bit to Hannah’s “apology” to the rest of the class in the form of a defensive letter. Hannah has always had a difficult time admitting she’s wrong and just because she typed “I’m sorry” a bunch of times in the letter doesn’t mean that she’s actually sorry for anything. Maybe she’s sorry for making her classmates feel bad, but she still stands by everything she said, which makes it a very shallow apology. It’s clear the class doesn’t want her there and it all stems from the criticism that Hannah couldn’t deal with about her writing. She tends to again and again fall into the area where she doesn’t treat her peers with the respect that she desires, but she doesn’t get how they go hand-in-hand.

Meanwhile back in New York, Shoshanna continues to fail job interviews after the one she aced, but never really wanted. Out of all the girls on the show, Shoshanna has the brains to figure things out on her own. She might be the youngest and might talk like a bimbo with no smarts, but she displays plenty of intelligence beyond the years of her friends. She stomps her feet after another failed interview, but is fairly quick to realize that there are things she needs to improve on herself to become the better person that can land the jobs she wants. Even though Shoshanna is probably the character we least see throughout the series, she has the most potential of growing up and not repeating the same mistakes. Her strength is apparent when she hangs out with her ex-boyfriend Ray and admits to him that she was the reason why they broke up. Hannah could take a note out of Shoshanna’s book on what a sincere apology sounds like.

Like Hannah, Marnie doesn’t seem to learn from anything. After she sticks up for herself and tells Desi that they can’t keep fooling around with each other while Desi continues to date Clementine. Desi reassures Marnie that he’s with Clementine and everything with her is strictly professional, but after an awkward practice session Desi knocks on Marnie’s door in the middle of the night to tell her that he broke up with Clementine. It takes every ounce of energy for Marnie to contain her excitement, but the whole story isn’t clear until Marnie asks him why did this happen now. Desi tells her that he’s pretty sure Clementine’s sleeping with another guy, which is the moment you would expect Marnie to realize the true reason of their break-up. But she sticks by his side, blind to all of the daggers aiming her way. Is it hypocritical that Desi was heart-broken when he thought Clementine was sleeping with another man after what he’s been doing with Marnie? Is it unclear to Marnie that he’s only running to her after things didn’t work out with Clementine? Does any of this matter to Marnie, as long as she has Desi to herself?

So Hannah is back in New York and can dish out all of the drama to her friends about Adam. But their relationship when she moved to Iowa was really up in the air, wasn’t it? But to Hannah, the world starts and stops with her so it’s easy to believe she truly thought she could come back whenever she was done in Iowa and Adam would still be there, waiting for her. What’s next for Hannah? Who knows. All of the girls are in-between things at the moment. Shoshanna is unemployed and is losing her mind that she hasn’t landed a job yet after seven interviews. Marnie sure will be flourishing with her newly acquired love with Desi, but we all know that’s not going to last. We don’t really get any updates on Jessa, but she’s always in limbo. But the question we’re left with is, who’s this girl in Adam’s apartment and what’s their deal? I’m sure Hannah will get to the bottom of that real quick.


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