31 January 2011

The Longest Night At The Jersey Shore, Recapitulated

Face-punches. Poofs. All-nighters. Birthday parties. Changing JWOWW's deadbolts. Sunday dinner. Underage grenades. Gym, Tan, Laundry.

The past three episodes of Jersey Shore have each been crazy in their own right, but it turns out they were all piling up toward the Loch Ness Monster that was Thursday night's episode. We bore witness to the night that just wouldn't end, and we watched it over and over again until I was positive I could just transcribe it and have an award-winning one act on my hands. That will come next.

In the meantime, here's more or less what happened in the most recent episode of Jersey Shore:
  • As you may know, Ronnie and Sammi fight a lot. So much that maybe they shouldn't be dating anymore. Lately, since Ronnie's been relatively low-key, Sammi's had a chance to reflect on the past year and get mad at him for things he did 6 months ago. This has infuriated his roid rage so much that Ronnie now tells Sammi things like "I am breaking up with you" and "There are your clothes. I put them all on the floor. Put them in your suitcase and leave." In turn, this has made Sammi take surprisingly mature counter-strikes: she has now apologized to Snooks and to Deena for all the things she really should be apologizing for. Wow!
  • But speaking of Woww, Sammi still hadn't apologized to JWoWW by the time Thursday's episode got started. And that's why it made her so hopping mad when she saw Jenni and Ronnie making up and acting like friends from her ivory balconette. And that's why she had to scream at Ronnie about it while Pauly D & the rest of the gang literally passed between them holding a lit-up birthday cake for Ryder, Snooks's visiting best friend.
  • Recently freed from prison, Snooks just did her best to stay sober* and help her friend have a good time**. She comported herself surprisingly well/sleepily.
    • * Oh yeah, remember how last week Snooks was like "just pinot for me from now on!" and then on Sammi's bed she's suddenly as tipsy as we've ever seen her?
    • ** unless Vinny can just take care of that for her again
  •  So as this birthday cake is floating by and everyone's definitely sobering up by now (just kidding, that will take another forty years), Sammi hurls herself over the balcony and throws a punch into Ronnie's face. Admirably, Ronnie doesn't immediately tackle her to the ground and mercilessly pummel her the way his roid logic is surely prodding him to do. Instead, he just sits there quietly - a true JWoWW move. 
  • Meanwhile JWoWW drools over her friend Roger, who may or may not have some girlfriend, and they assemble her two dogs nearby so they can smoosh with dogs nearby. Which is gross. 
  • We have been waiting for three seasons now since JWoWW first accidentally flirted with Pauly D in season 1. And now that she's single - finally - she's spinning her wheels with this sunburned, beard-scaped stay-puft marshmallow man? When will she realize that Pauly D is spinning his LPs waiting for her? Stop spinning! Start smooshing! Season 4, this is thine arc.
  • Did I mention that the evening really got its start after Karma with a (presumably) underage girl getting fetched by her mafia uncle as a grenade simultaneously bullied Sitch into giving her some of his gym shorts nearby? Because that's about where Act I ended, and I think it really gave the night a fun flavor to kick things off with. Not to mention a great vuvuzela sound cue.
  • Sammi does eventually apologize to Ronnie, just in case I forget to mention. He accepts because she has forgiven him so frequently for his mess-ups, and she wants just a fraction of that forgiveness to try to make things better. Fair point, Sweetfart.
  • THEN IT GETS GREAT. At a club later on that night (after some confusion involving Deena, FRonnie, and some wilted salad ingredients), JWoWW offers to get Sammi a drink and they spend some time together. At the bar, Sammi tells Jenni everything Jenni has ever wanted to hear - she knows why the girls did what they did, and she would've done the same thing - and they make up BIG-TIME. It's insane how much they made up. Particularly since JWoWW usually follows through on her "X is dead to me" statements. JWoWW has a lot of follow through.
  • By the end of the saga, nothing is perfect: JWoWW is still gaga for a large Virginia ham, Deena is still fighting/secretly enjoying rumors, and Sammi still has her basic genetic layout. But everyone is peaceful - there are NO existing fights at the moment - and next week's preview shows Ronnie in a proctologist's office. GET CRAZY GET WILD!!!!!

27 January 2011

Why I Won't Be Watching Skins

I'm seeing ads for Skins all over the place, and a few of my friends are telling me that the British version is sort of fun, but guess what. I won't be watching it. Why not?

Because if I watch Skins and God forbid I happen to like it, the LAST thing I'm going to want is to be the kid who's like "Ummmm, actuallllly guys, Skins is reallllllly good, if you just giiiiiiiive it a tryyyyyyyy." No way, no how.

26 January 2011

Gossip Girl Comes Back, Only This Time There Are Two Black People Also

  • When we last left Blair and Dan, they were waggling their eyebrows at each other, talking about all the French films they'd be seeing together at Film Forum. Now they're acting like they accidentally got married on Serena's bed or something. Film Forum does this to people sometimes.
  • This episode is called "The Kids Are Not All Right," which is untrue in that Serena's espionage skill set is clearly through the roof. It's MORE than all right. First she packs six suitcases' worth of costumery for ensnaring the judge, then she lets Chuck dress her up as Lily and waltzes right into her mother's safety deposit box. I take back what I said before - Serena's good at drinking, sure, but she's great at using clothing to trick people...which we knew already because of all her boob dresses.
  • But WHY couldn't we have seen Serena-as-Lily lying her way into the safety deposit box area? Just one line as her, please Serena. "I'm here to visit my jewels. Take me there immediately and don't dare look me in the eye."
  • Nate & His Dad: the Dumb Couple. I hate it when someone gets out of prison and then immediately goes back to whatever he did that got him into prison in the first place. On shows like The Wire it's all but inevitable. But on shows like GG, it's a useless stressball with a shaved head. Nate's dad (The Captain) is wii-ing it up with two pretty maids and missing job interviews right and left. Why don't you just give yourself a fresh buzzcut and dive right back into lock-up, dummy. 
  • PS, what show is it where someone's shaving his head in prison and another person is like "It's not the army, man. You don't actually have to shave your head in here." How amazing would it have been if Nate shot that over to his dad!
  • When faced with a janitor job interview, The Captain says something like "I had to sit there with half a dozen other ex-cons who probably didn't even go to high school - DO YOU KNOW HOW THAT MAKES ME FEEL?" Is that supposed to be a jab at my generation? Because it's really interesting that they'd have a Baby Boomer say it. Perhaps we Millennials are only as entitled as our ex-con hyper-feelingsy parents, ever think of that?
  • Welcome, Black Thorpes! I mean, just Thorpes! Chuck's apparently racist father might've scared you out of NYC into Chicago, but now you're back and your daughter is of-agier than ever. I'm all set to like Raina (the daughter), but something's still missing. Maybe a sparkle in her eye, I don't know. 
  • Chuck and Serena spent the episode trying to get back at Lily for selling Bass Industries, but as soon as Chuck gives Lily one minute to explain, he's like "Oh my God, you were so right." About the economy being bad? About real estate messing up things for businesses like Bass Industries? How much absinthe are you DOING, Chuck? This didn't all happen while you were in New Zealand for Christmas!
  • Rufus clinks Lily's cocktail glass when she explains how ostentatious the night's party will be. Tell the truth, Rufus. This is the culmination of your decades-long plan to become a "rock star," divorce your wife, marry an old flame, and finally afford all those cashmere flannels you've been dreaming about. FINALLY.
  • LILY GOLD ALERT: "I know you [Eric] disapprove of me, but can't you do so in a tuxedo?"
  • Dan & Serena's relationship took an extraordinarily realistic turn when (for the fortieth time) Dan was like "Wellll, could we please just do what I want to do just once? Just one time pleeeease?" Then Serena had the presence of mind to be like "I wonder if I sometimes test you." This is a narcissist/co-dep relationship to the max. Serena's so smart.
  • BLAIR GOLD ALERT: (Regarding the tie Dan wears which belongs to his father) "If only he had been buried in it." Hahahahahahaha
  • If we had known that Montel Williams was capable of delivering a monologue like the one he gives at the party, I think we would've-Wait. That is actually an actor named Michael Boatman. Ohhhhhhhhh God. Look, they both have Fu Manchus. I'm really sorry. But Michael Boatman and Montel? That's one for Celebrities That Look Alike.
  • And just like the end of last year, we're left watching Dan and Blair yet again waggling their eyebrows at each other making plans to see a thousand french films at Film Forum. At least she's better than Vanessa. I think we can all agree about that.
Predictions for the rest of Season 4:
  • Lily's pregnancy starts to show!!
  • The gang schemes to throw The Captain back in jail. Come on, he has it coming.
  • Serena, Dan, Chuck, and Blair do a swap and spend the next two or three years that way until finally coming to the realization that they had it right at the beginning and should just switch back. But now there are babies in the mix, and those babies are soon going to be 16 and falling in love with each other...things are going to get weird.
  • Rufus starts wearing pearls around the house when he thinks we/Lily can't see.
  • Eric continues to hate Lily even after everyone else forgives her and ends up framing her for a series of high-profile murders. While she's in prison sharing a cell with The Captain, Eric visits her to explain how the whole thing went down. It sounds a lot like the plot of Oceans 12.
  • Vanessa and Jenny stay gone. Hooray!
  • Come to think of it, Vanessa and Jenny are pretty much gone. Did the writers finally take all that Vanny-bashing to heart? I'd still be ok HEARING about their stupid exploits. I just don't want to see their faces or clothes or hear them speak. But feel free to have Serena update us on their lesbian couture wedding in Maine or whatever. That oughta be good for a few laughs!

20 January 2011


I'm always late and sporadic with these things. But doesn't that give Becklectic a shot of unpredictability? And people love it when they can't predict things. I know in advance that I always do!

This Saturday Gwyneth Paltrow hosted SNL and almost all my notes end in "totally funny and worth it." Ok, that's it, that's the recap.

ONLY I'M JUST KIDDING! Unpredictability.

The show opened with a Greta Van Susteren spoof with James Carville making it hard for a few Conservatives to maintain a level-headed convo. That darn James Carville. The Cajun Clown! After that Gwyneth, Kenny Rogers, and Cee-Lo sang "Islands in the Stream" together, which is easily my favorite Dolly Parton duet. Everyday this week I've had it stuck in my head and that is not a complaint. Happy birthday yesterday Dolly!

The first sketch after Gwyn's monologue was "Secret Word," starring GP herself and who else but Kristen Wiig. My favorite part was Gwyneth incorrectly assuming that her partner was her "game butler." And with Kristen Wiig, I'd be lying if I didn't say I thought everything she did was really, really funny. But as I'm sure I've written before, I've noticed just how much she appears in sketches (a lot). But here's what I was thinking on Saturday: if you were an archer (go with me here) and you had ten pretty great arrows in your thingie but one of them always hit the bullseye, wouldn't you use that one a WHOLE LOT? I mean, other people in the tournament might be like "Hey, buddy, use other arrows why don't you?" and you'd have to deal with that, particularly if like, the judge says that. Which would be akin to...blog commenters? But they're so miserable. I have a great compromise: more Vanessa Bayer!!

The Digital Short: MY ULTIMATE PEE WEE HERMAN FANTASY. I get the feeling that maybe the way the Lonely Island guys come up with material for the shorts is by illustrating whatever their ultimate dreams are. To live large on a boat! To charmingly seduce your friend's mother! To punch people about to take a bite! These are dreams, and where better to store your dreams than in a short film that doesn't even use film.

Upcoming Guests: Oh my god oh my god oh my god Nicki Minaj is coming! All I've heard from her is (1) her part in Kanye's "Monster" and (2) what she said and did when she appeared on Ellen recently. I TOLD you Gaga would be important. To me it looks like this: Lady Gaga took everything we've seen before from female sex-symbol singers and subverted it into a new, playful-yet-high-concept, acknowledging-materialism-more-than-Madonna-really-ever-did genre. And Nicki Minaj is like the 2.0 version of that. She does CHARACTERS. She's INSANE. And she's COMING TO SNL.

Next came "Jacob's Rocking Bar Mitzvah," where tons of famous musicians came to sing Weird Al songs about Bar Mitzvot. My favorite part of this one was Gwyneth-as-Taylor Swift having to qualify "Jap" with "not like Japanese" because I'm forever having to do that even though at this point it's like, Look at me. I was born in the 80s, not the 30s. If I say "jap," it's literally 100% impossible that it's shorthand for a Japanese person. When you look at me, do you see Roger Sterling? Or do you see a half-Jew who is therefore half-allowed to poke fun at Jewish princesses? (PS interestingly enough, Gwyneth herself is half-Jewish. POINT PROVEN!)

"Recording Execs" had an inevitable and really straightforward game: in its world, "Forget You" is the unrated version of Cee-Lo's amazing single and they've got to figure out a less offensive option. Unfortunately I didn't write down any of the punchlines, but I remember feeling like this was such a simple idea that there was no way for it to be bad. And then it led into the musical act! There's nothing like an all-girl band. Really, nothing like it in the world. And these grrls weren't even rioting.

WEEKEND UPDATE UPDATE: The "I agree fully" Edition
  • That's pretty right, it would've been more offensive if Sarah Palin actually knew what blood libel was.
  • For real, you can't make taxes better by making them phone-accessible.
  • Rent Is Too Damn High Jimmy McMillan came back:  "Do you have a platform yet?" "You mean, like where I sleep?" And he's all set to go back to Vietnam and finish what he started. I'm noticing something about Jimmy McMillan - what's up with the gloves? Are his hands disfigured? Is it just him knowing better than to leave fingerprints everywhere? What's up?...with that!
  • "Keep looking, the guy with the pet skunk definitely has weed."
  • Don't actually try to do a Cher impression or anything, Bill Hader. He visited because Chaz Bono is hitting the news again. This bodes well for my Modern Family spec. 
  • Garth & Kat: They were in Harrisburg so they couldn't get ready for their gig, but on the flip side they keep calling Seth "sir." I don't care how many times they do it. Trying to sing or talk the same words as someone else is no-fail hilarious,even if only to the people doing it.
The rest of the night was blurry because it was Saturday after all and I try to have fun at least one day a week. But here's what I can remember (you see, my notes are all nonsense words and exclamation points from this point on so they're useless):

Shakespeare Coming Attractions. Again with the really straightforward, successful games. NICE. And interestingly enough I was thinking about the Dust Bowl yesterday for some reason and was hoping that the next movie that comes out about it will have the tagline "It's about to get DUSTAY!"

Fresh Prince. This was a great way to start sneaking the new guy's impersonation talent into sketches that are also about things. Most of the jokes I remember are spot-on Will Smithisms like "Arooo?!" and "HuhHA!" and "Cha Ching!" I was wondering how they were going to get Goop on there since Hillary Banks was the only real option and that would've been like "AROO??!"

ESPN Deportes. This was another simple idea but what was really interesting about it was how great everyone's accent and speed were. With this talent they could easily do one of those sketches someday where somebody just goes off in Spanish and everyone else is like "duhhh whatttt?" On second thought that might not be a particularly strong sketch idea.

Spitzner needs a new partner! Gwyneth Paltrow did look a lot like Heidi Klum. And Paterson does need a new job. And with that, all loose ends are tied and we can finally go safely to bed. WHICH I DID!

    16 January 2011

    Jersey Shore Season 3 "Come On Give Us A Few More Tries"

    The Jersey Shore is back after a mercifully short hiatus, and great news: the duck phone is back too. Technically this will be about the second episode, but I have a very short recap of episode 1 to offer:

    Meet Deena, Snooki's Celebrity Lookalike.
    After an entire day of full-throttle passive aggression from Sammi to the new girl ("Meatball Deena"), the girls get into a brawl. It starts when Sammi laughs at Deena for wanting to make some time with The Situation. Deena loudly complains to the rest of the roommates, and Ronnie runs downstairs to demand that she not bring him into it. Snooki verbally attacks Sammi on Deena's behalf, which prompts Ronnie to call Snooks "a loser from Poughkeepsie," and that riles up JWOWW so much that she initiates some fisticuffs with Sammi. Well, Sammi initiates it too. The bodyguards come in to break it up. The whole thing is very confusing.
    The next morning (one episode later), Deena correctly guesses that Sammi just stands there watching Ronnie lift weights when they go to the gym. Later on that night, Situation tries to pull a fast one on Vinny:

    The Situation's Tricky Threeway Attempt
    After freaking out that some ok-looking girl was stalking him at Karma, Vinny successfully hits on some other less-ok-looking girl. At some point between that moment and taking her home, Situation hugs her from behind enough to believe that he has properly seduced her. Realizing he'll have a "situation" with Vinny, Mike suggests they have a threeway, then trips the girl headfirst onto a couch and casually bumps into her from behind. Despite the girl's quiet requests for Mike to join, Vinny locks himself and the girl in the guest room. Mike despairs and makes a PB&J. Deena reminds Situation that she would have sex with him at any time. Mike says "[Nah,] it's alright."

    Situation interrupted.

    The next day Sammi and Ronnie take the car to church before anyone else wakes up and then sit through a leisurely 7-hour restaurant meal while everyone else eats Family Sunday Dinner at home. Sammi returns to the house carrying a huge banana. She says a few obnoxious things in that familiar noncommittal teenage lilt and for some reason Snooki continues to believe that she's worth reasoning with. That's why you're America's sweetheart, Snooks! Because your heart is the biggest of them all.

    After a miserable night at the boardwalk, Sammi finally confronts Ronnie about his indiscretions in Miami. He subconsciously winks at the camera while asking, "can't you tell I'm like, madly in love with you?" and since I've been watching so much Lie To Me lately, I think I can spot a lie when I see one winking at me.

    By far the best part of the episode is the preview for next week, which shows Snooki considering a threeway with Situation, Snooki finally getting the apology she so fully deserves from Sammi, and Snooki facing criminal charges for getting too falling-down drunk on the beach. America loves you back, you adorable meataball!

    Jersey Malapropism Count for episode 2:

    1. Snooki repeats that she's given Sammi "so many tries." I think that usage-wise, "chances" might make more sense than "tries."
    2. Pauly D considers that Sammi and Ronnie might not be interested in "squashing their differences" with the rest of the group. I should read up on this to find out if I'm right at all, but don't you "quash" metaphorical things and "squash" literal things? Again, I should look this up.  Pauly D is a smart guy after all.

    03 January 2011

    Thank The Lord For The Primetime

    It's 2011, and that can only mean one thing: MORE TV!

    After weeks of nothing but Christmas specials and Jersey Shore marathons, it's finally time to get back to real tv, i.e., a new season of Jersey Shore. Here's a list of all the television shows I'm excited for in the upcoming months:

    1. Jersey Shore (MTV, Thu Jan 6, 10pm)
    Among the JS marathons this week, MTV has been slipping in some pretty extensive sneak peeks at the new season. Mark my words, New Deena's going to set this whole Sammi thing on its head. This will be the way I wished Lost could have ended, and I will feel fulfilled.

    2. Parks & Rec (NBC, Thu Jan 20, 9:30pm)
    Netflix Instant Watch is currently running season 2 of Parks & Rec (and season 2 of Party Down again, just so you know!), and my roommates and I are falling for it more and more each night. We keep trying to watch just one episode, you see, but then three hours later, we've done another minimarathon. It's a lot like Leslie Knope and that whipped cream. Why and how could we ever stop?

    3. Archer (FX, Thu Jan 27, 10pm)
    It turns out Netflix Instant Watch inspires most of my television these days. I'd tried to watch Archer when it aired on FX last season, but even though I love H. Jon Benjamin and Jessica Walter very much, I just couldn't do it. I'd switch to the show, sit staring with a furrowed brow for three minutes, then throw the remote at the tv screen until it changed to another channel...until one weekend when Josh had us watch the whole series on netflix, and my mind changed. It simply changed.

    4. Top Model!!! (CW, Wed Feb 23, 8pm)
    2 cycles a year = I'm always taken pleasantly by surprise!

    5. Bob's Burgers (Fox, Sun Jan 9, 8:30pm)
    H. Jon, let us see how this goes. I wrote an article about this show here.

    6. Gossip Girl (CW, Mon Jan 24, 9pm)
    Maybe for 2011 I can take notes on every episode but wait until the very last one to do a Dodecarecap Spectacular!

    7. Shameless (Showtime, Sun Jan 9, 10pm)
    I saw a poster for this in the subway and it looks awesome. But I am so poor. Does anyone happen to know off the top of your head if Showtime is going to do a free weekend any time soon? And if so, which channel would that be on?

    8. The Cape (NBC, Sun Jan 9, 9pm)
    I'm only in it for Forney from Where the Heart Is. And with that I have written the nerdiest, lamest thing anyone has ever written on a blog. Sorry guys.

    He was also a fast-texting vampire in True Blood, if that helps you/me. Oh, it doesn't?

    If I'm going to be at work all day, at least can't there be Neil Diamond playing? No? Ok, I guess that seems reasonable. So no Neil Diamond. Can I at least watch Regis & Kelly? No? Right, obviously not. It is hard to go back to work after a break. Can I at least pop out and catch a movie in the middle of the day? BUT I STILL HAVE TO SEE BLACK SWAN!

    Tiny James Franco: Me too!