Season Finale Grades, Per Me

My thoughts on the season finales for network TV, May 2011. The whole thing is just spoilers, so be careful when clicking through if you haven’t already seen! I’m excited to get more into reviewing TV shows, if only for my own entertainment. Hopefully you enjoy what I have to say, and perhaps come back to read more! My thoughts on the following shows after the break: Bones, House, Make it or Break it, The Middle, Modern Family, Happy Endings, Glee, Parks & Rec, The Office, SNL, The Big Bang Theory, and How I Met Your Mother.

Bones: A-

This episode would have gotten an A+ except for my aforementioned issues with them not showing Booth and Bones finally kissing/getting together. But Angela in labor, the baby’s middle names, and the surprise knocked up announcement at the end made this episode much better then others from this season. Also there were no Toyota ads, so that helped. I already went over this in one vivid detail in a prior post, so moving on!

House: C

Meh. The previews built this up like House was going to do something OMG crazy that resulted in people needing medical attention. I thought he might snap and hit Cuddy or something of that nature. Instead he drove his car through her dining room. Crazy, yes, but not the horrifying kind of crazy that I was expecting. Why was Cuddy sitting in an ambulance? Or did I make that up? Was she so emotionally disturbed that she had to sit down with an EMT for a spell? And Wilson’s hand was supposedly hurt by House driving past him en route to crashing through the wall. How did that happen? Did the side mirror smack him on the hand as it sped by? I did enjoy the plotlines for other characters, though. Last week had Chase and 13 bonding over their history of justifiable homicide, and I like the idea of them hooking up. Escandalosa! And Taub, who I always found annoying, is in a predicament that actually interests me. But House trudging through the beach, pleased with himself for his temper tantrum, was not the ending I was hoping for. Also this was a sucky last episode for Cuddy’s character – I wonder if she will be back at all for a cameo or something?

Make it or Break it: A

I know, I’m surprised too. Normally shows on ABC Fam Chan aren’t the best at acting or plausible storylines, but this season finale did quite well. This also would have earned an A+, except that the supposed main character, Emily, is off gestating her baby in Las Vegas. Em got preggo because she has only had one period in her whole life and assumed she was a-ok to knock boots sans condom. Oops! Anyway, she hasn’t been on for a few eps, but I’m sure she will be back. Highlights for me were:

-Hot Max turns the love triangle between him, Payson, and Lauren into a way bigger polygon when he drunkenly kisses hot Austin. This resulted in a really well-done scene about bisexuality and how it is a legitimate lifestyle, and not just gay people who haven’t fully committed to homosexuality. This issue is of particular interest to me – I am fascinated and disheartened by how there are so many people in the gay community that discriminate against bisexuals, despite having been discriminated against themselves. Anyway, good job Max in presenting a positive role model for bisexual teens. Also he’s super cute so I don’t mind seeing him kiss anyone, boys or girls.

-Lauren seems to have gone off the deep end, taking on a Lifetime original movie-like obsession with DJ becoming her mom. DJ (character’s name is Summer but since the actress – Candance Cameron – was DJ on Full House I can’t think of her by any other name) was going to marry Lauren’s dad (Steve Tanner, also confusing since she was DJ Tanner once) but has since broken it off because of Lauren’s craziness and her own attraction to hot coach Sasha.

-Kaylie went against the advice of the NGO (I’m assuming that stands for National Gymnastics Organization) and comes clean about her anorexia. Then she does a killer floor routine and wins the hearts of everyone, earning even more of their respect because she has triumphed over her illness and is now setting a positive example. Also she got together with hot guy Austin at the end, and they went public as boyfriend/girlfriend.

-Payson hurt her ankle on the vault and basically exactly recreated the 1996 Olympics moment where Kerri Strug hurts her ankle, but then goes on to do her second vault and land perfectly on one foot, thus earning her team the gold.

-After initially rejecting her (after she initially rejected him, a bunch of times), hot bisexual Max tells Payson he loves her and asks if they can be together. He tries to tell her that he’s bi but she doesn’t let him get in another word, she just wants to enjoy her blissful moment of happy togetherness.

The Middle: B+

This season finale was a bit lackluster for me. Nothing wrong with it, really, just nothing particularly exciting. The kids are always fun, but this week they weren’t as awesome as usual. Sue was the exception, fighting valiantly for her well-earned perfect attendance award. Nobody ever remembers poor Sue, so she has a tough time proving her flawless record. Ultimately the band teacher has a video of her from the day in question, so she is acknowledged at graduation. Unfortunately, since nobody ever remembers Sue, they got her name wrong. This bugged me a little, but I was worried that they were going to give the award to another student altogether, so this wasn’t too bad. Sue rolled with being called Barb Hecky and laughed like a crazy person on stage. I got to see her doing her woo-hoo dance, so I was pleased.

Modern Family: A-

I think I just have such high hopes for this show that it’s tough to live up to in actuality. I particularly enjoyed poor Cam talking unloading Lily on Gloria, Phil enjoying being seen with Gloria when he runs into his nemesis, and the photo shoot recreation. Of course Mitchell wears a sailor suit, complete with hat, and of course Claire thinks it’s ok to hop a fence since “we used to live here”! Mostly I just liked when they were stuck in the treehouse and got drunk on wine. When Jay picked them up and they giggled like kids in the backseat, I giggled too. The end, with Cameron and Mitchell deciding they want another baby, was perfect.

Happy Endings: B+

I’m on board with this show, for sure. Super competitive Jane makes me laugh every week, and admittedly chubby Max is a refreshing change from the typical gay characters on sitcoms. Granted, Penny did bring her uuber gay friend as a fake straight date to her ex’s wedding, but that’s ok. I don’t mind a flurry of fabulousness when there’s another gay archetype in the mix. Penny is a relatable character as well, and she plays her really well. She’s batshit crazy, but also very sweet. Her quote from the 1st episode is still one of my faves – in response to a girl at the gym calling her ma’am, Penny says: “Ma’am? I’m gonna go and bawl my eyes out, and then I will be back to physically fight you.” LOL. Anyway, I thought this season finale was nicely done, and it would have wrapped things up well if the show hadn’t been renewed for another season.

Glee: C-

Oh Glee, what has happened to you? This episode basically just blew. I understand that they’re trying to avoid paying royalties and are thus writing their own songs, but…their own songs suck. A huge part of why I watch (and I’m sure many others) is hearing their takes on my favorite songs that I already sing along to. The two songs that they supposedly wrote, memorized, and choreographed in their hotel room mere hours before the competition were nothing to write home about. They were fine songs, in terms of forgettable, pop music. Cotton candy songs with no real depth or emotion, you know? Brittany’s song, “My Cup”, was clearly superior. I thought they “wrote” the NY song, but apparently that was a mash-up of two different songs. One by Madonna and one from a musical I think? Idk for sure but I do know that the song was no bueno. When talking with Kali (college roomie/BFF/TV buddy/birthday sharer) re the unplanned twist that Jesse and Mr. Shue observe from the audience, I guessed it would be something lame like Rachel and Finn kissing. Oh surprise, it was. Yay for them being star-crossed lovers or whateves but I wasn’t into it on stage. Quinn’s hissy fit about being single was annoying to me. Poor, poor Quinn, she’s beautiful and smart and popular and talented. She can afford to go to college – if her parent’s house is any indication – and she can easily succeed on the cheer team and/or Glee club there. It’s silly to think that she will just stay in Ohio and pop out babies – she solved that problem by giving away her baby for adoption. The future is open for Quinn and she just wants to bitch and moan and get haircuts in hotel bathrooms. Cry me a river. What I did like:

-Santana’s rant en espanol re being from Lima adjacent, and her threats to kick Rachel’s ass.

-Rachel and Kurt singing from Wicked when they snuck on to the Broadway stage

-Brit’s moment of clarity regarding Glee as her family (but I wish Santana could finally own up and be public with Brit. I don’t really feel like her character is the type to hide being gay – she seems more the type to flaunt it, but I appreciate that they’re addressing teen lesbian relationships is a manner other than just omg hot girls making out are so hot)

-New Directions not even placing because they didn’t plan or practice or focus or sing any songs I want to hear again

-Blaine and Kurt’s I love yous. Awwww!

-Mercedes and Sam as a couple – but why are they a secret? Is he ashamed to be dating a big girl, or a black girl? Is she ashamed to be dating a poor guy, or a white guy? Perhaps Mercedes is embarrassed about Sam’s trouty-mouth, I dunno. I’m guessing they both just want to avoid all the stupid drama that all the other incestuous dating within the group results in.

-Puck & Lauren Zizes together. I have mixed feelings on this one. Let’s all be 100% upfront and honest here – it is unlikely that a hot, popular guy in high school would date a large girl like Lauren. BUT it isn’t impossible, and a large part of the improbability is because TV, movies, magazines, etc, generally say it’s not ok for a fat girl to be with a hot guy. What we know about Puck, though, makes it more believable. He’s rejected being popular in favor of following his heart (with Glee club, but presumably in life as well), and more importantly, he loves the ladies. Like alllll the ladies. I see Puck as one of those guys that all women love, from little babies to old ladies. He would flirt with all of them and make every woman feel like a 12-year-old with a crush. Also, in an earlier episode he pursued Mercedes. This was done supposedly because she was on Cheerios and could boost his popularity, but I think it helps reinforce the idea that Puck is down with curvy girls. Finally, from personal experience, I can say that girls with attitudes like Lauren’s DO often get the guy, regardless of looks or body size. The same actress playing a meek, insecure girl would not score a hottie like Puck.

Parks & Rec: A

Last week’s episode got an A plus for shiz, but this week just couldn’t quite top it. Last week we had Leslie and Ben kissing FINALLY, Chris playing the air banjo frantically from the back seat, and everyone was drunk and ridiculous. Ron Swanson, a hero among mortal men, was especially amazing. Later I will post some gifs that capture the glory that is Parks & Rec. This week was certainly not bad, but I felt like last week’s was better as a finale. Whatever, I’m on board with pretty much anything this show offers. Except killing off Lil Sebastian, cause that shit ain’t right. RIP Lil Sebastian.

The Office: B

Jim was very Jimmish this week, which I enjoyed. The interviews for a new manager weren’t as exciting as I had hoped, but I was glad that they ran the whole slew of celeb cameos in one episode. I wasn’t looking forward to Ricky Gervais one week, Jim Carrey the next, etc. James Spader was pretty brills and I think they should bring him back – he was the only one ridiculous enough but somehow skilled at the job to fit as a followup to Michael Scott. Ryan’s jab at Jim was probably the highlight of the episode for me: “Little advice? Take a day off from the whole Jim schtick. Try caring about something. You might like how it feels, James.” He delivered it as though he doesn’t play a narcissistic temp with a schtick of his own, and I loved it.

SNL: A-

Let me first say that Justin Timberlake is pretty much my fave SNL host ever. This started back when N Sync was on, and they did the skit “Supersize It”. It’s awesome, look it up. Then he came back on his own, and he’s consistently delivered with some of my fave skits ever:

1. Omeletville. Omeleteville? Whatever. This has Justin dressed as a giant omelet, squaring off against the Benny’s Diner bacon and eggs guy. Something about Justin wearing oversized Mickey Mouse style gloves just cracks me up every time. This original is definitely my fave, but the subsequent Homelessville and Liquorville were not bad. Homelessville was fun but not particularly memorable, so I’m moving on to Liquorville. Justin as a giant bottle of beer, rotating in circles and moving up and down in his costume, rocked my world. The only low point was Lady Gaga as wine. Granted, I don’t like her very much in general. But this time she seemed particularly awkward and it took away from the funniness for me.

2. Punk’d. Justin pretending to be Ashton Kutcher makes me oh so happy. Mainly I enjoyed how at the end, Justin cracked himself up, and signed off by saying “I’m Ashton Kutcher, and I love Justin Timberlake!”

3. The Barry Gibb Talk Show. How great is it that Jimmy Fallon totally comes back for this skit each time Justin is on? The original is, again, my favorite, but I’m in favor of the Gibb bros anytime.

The Big Bang Theory: A-

I’m only going to discuss one aspect of this episode – Raj and Penny hooked up! Yes, who would have thought? Well I did, actually, because when you have two drunk people alone in the living room on TV, they’re gonna kiss. But TBBT did the same thing Bones did, and deprived me of seeing the actual moment when they kiss. Why do these shows keep doing that? If I had seen that sloppy drunken kiss I would have given this finale an A+. I am excited to see how it all pans out though!

How I Met Your Mother: A

A solid A for the team on HIMYM. Lily’s velociraptor vomit noises were perfect, considering her loud chewing when eating. Marshall braving his interview despite fearing for his impending foot poisoning was also pretty funny. Robin and Barney in the cab made me tear up – they still obviously care about each other so much. I love that they stopped Ted from getting back with Zoey, and I especially loved Ted’s attempts at selecting the perfect orchid. It’s such a Ted thing to do, amiright? I’m not into Nora, and I hope Barney doesn’t end up marrying her. I’m guessing he will have a relationship with Nora, and Robin will have a relationship with guy from the clothing store/bar. But then her and Barney will realize that they’re meant to be together, and all will be well with the world. Ted would of course be Barney’s best man, but he also promised Robin that he would be her best man as well.

Another thought – when Robin tells Ted about her fake marriage in the Robin Sparkles episode, she gives some details on the wedding. She says that her colors were dusty rose and sienna. Granted, that fake marriage never happened (Ted: You’re driving me crazy! It’s no wonder your fake husband moved to Hong Kong! Robin: He moved there for business!) but perhaps those are still Robin’s preferred colors for her wedding. If so, I wonder if Lily’s dress could qualify as dusty rose. To me it is more hot pinkish, but whatever. That was a stretch anyway. More details to follow in my exhaustive breakdown of all things HIMYM. I know some people are pissed at the psyche/mom fakeout at the end, but it didn’t bother me. They’ve done this a couple times before, and anyone who watches every episode knows that a blonde in a coffee shop couldn’t be the mother. It’s already established that Ted meets her at the wedding, and that she has dark hair. Finally, Lily and Marshall’s reaction to being pregnant was so honest and sweet. I’m assuming they will honor Marshall’s dad when they name their son, but one of Marshall’s brothers is already Martin Jr. and I believe he has a son named Martin Jr. Jr. So I dunno.

Did I miss any shows? Probably. I had to let go of Secret Life, because I realized I despise every single character on there. I didn’t watch 30 Rock, because I want to start from the beginning and see every episode in order. Anyway, I think my dream job is tv critic, so thanks for humoring me as I played professional reviewer!

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