26 November 2012

When The [Walking] Dead Come Knocking

When the dead come knocking
Out from the sweet night,
Your doorways need blocking;
Snuff out your light.

For zombies always try
To get in when, tho they're lazy.
So get ready to die.
Before then GET CRAZY.
                                              -Lord Byrains

Merle's been feeling motivated lately. He wants to find his brother Daryl, so he's been forming hunting gangs and taking detours into red zones and killing curly-haired people willy-nilly. Now he's got Glenn in an interrogation room. This does not bode well for our favorite car thief.

Michonne hobbles around the front of the prison, sort of killing walkers and sort of giving up. Eventually Rick and Carl get tired of watching and rescue her with their two-man dream-team zombie-killing abilities. It's ridiculous how much better it is to see your protagonists be good at something than bad at it. Carl goes over and grabs the formula basket before anyone even tells him to. Good Carl!

I think this is the first time Rick's group has taken in an outsider without committing murder. Besides zombie murder, of course. Hershel stitches up Michonne's leg as she fills in the gaps of how she got there and where Glenn and Maggie are. All of this useful information is interrupted by a hugely long Welcome Back Carol party wherein Carol touches everyone's chests for five hours each. I just wish this stuff wouldn't happen.

Michonne is up and walking on that leg faster than Hershel learned to hop around on one foot. This prison yard must've been filled in with dirt from The Island from Lost. How can everyone heal so quickly? Is it that they're lighter people now that they've been starving for a while, so it's no big deal to stand upright on an injured leg? Or is it sheer determination?

Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar decide to waste no time heading over to Woodbury. Before they go, Carl asks Rick to name the new baby after his 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Mueller. He never explains his interest in the name (Judith), but I'm willing to guess that Mrs. Mueller had boobs. Not the baby Mrs. Mueller; the teacher Mrs. Mueller.

While Merle pummels Glenn into a bloody mess, the Governor shows Andrea the Zombie Lab. Milton Mamet, scientist extraordinaire, prepares an ultra-scientific experiment: sit next to an old Peter O'Toole character named Mr. Coleman (Goldman?) and watch him while he dies. Part two of the experiment is to sound a Tibetan singing bowl while some old creepy record from the 1930s plays in the background. Part three is to wait patiently for Mr. Goldman (Coleman?) to wake up as a zombie and then do it all again! Andrea's new lab assistant job is to kill Zombie Coldman once it's all finished.

Caveat: Milton the Scientist has never seen a zombie turn before, nor does he understand how putting his face close to a zombie's mouth might make the zombie BITE HIS FACE. Where has Milton been for these past 9 months or so? Is he originally from Woodbury and he just stayed put? It's understandable that he hasn't witnessed the moment a human corpse reanimates, but it's ridiculous that he's trying to (a) remove the restraints from a hungry zombie and (b) jump the rails of his own experiment like this. What must his lab report say? Unsatisfactory.

Merle gets tired of maiming Glenn by hand, so he locks a zombie in the room with him. Glenn uses nothing but a box spring, some duct tape, a wooden chair, and sheer adrenaline to kill it. And did I mention the chair is attached to him with the duct tape? He should be dead!! In the next room over, the Governor makes Maggie go topless. Woodbury is a very bad place.

So it's a good thing Rick's group is sneaking into Woodbury to destroy it. On the way, they encounter one zombie, who turns into two zombies, who turn into a whole lot of zombies. This must be the red zone Merle was talking about last week, still riddled with pockets of zombies from the herd that came through. The gang runs into a farmhouse and several confusing things happen: they find a fresh dog corpse on the rug and a sleeping hermit man in the bed. First of all, as my roommate Zachlers pointed out, why didn't they get someone famous to cameo as the hermit? That could've been Kelsey Grammer in that bed! Second, if this non-famous hermit has stayed alive this long, why does he start yelling at the intruders? Shouldn't he know sound attracts zombies and that there are zombie pockets everywhere, even if he's been taken by surprise and doesn't happen to know that there are zombies clawing at his door? (He should still be able to discern that, though, but whatever.) Third, why does he keep his dog's corpse in the living room, stinking up the place? Has he been asleep for 100 years? Is that why his dog is dead and he has no idea what zombies are or how to act in a post-apocalyptic hostage situation? 

There are too many questions, so Michonne stabs the hermit. It's better this way. They shove him out the front door to distract the zombies that have collected. Then they sneak around the back.

The Governor brings Topless Maggie into Glenn's cell. He points a gun at Glenn, which makes old No-Shirt blurt out that their group is holing up in the prison. Torture is awful. All that physical pain and mental anguish endured for nothing. I'm also pretty sure Maggie isn't fully out of the might-still-get-raped woods. This is pretty bad.

Thank God Rick's gang is already outside of Woodbury. Next week is the midseason night's dream finale, and I'm expecting those fireworks that last week's episode carted out. I want Merle to steal Carol from Daryl. I want Maggie to be wearing Glenn's shirt. I want Baby Mrs. Mueller to get even more formula. I want Carl to kill Merle or the Governor. I want Andrea to fall in love with T-Dog posthumously. I want Lori to be a zombie after all so we can watch someone bash her brains in. I want a good, clean fight. That's all I want.

photos from amctv.com

21 November 2012

Soon To Be Ast-"Hounded": The Walking Dead Recap

Sunday night's "Hounded" may not have been fireworks, but it did cart the fireworks into place out on the high school baseball field. Then it took off its American flag cap and waved to the crowd, who in turn took out their phones to receive an imaginary, collective call from their dead wives. Wacky stuff!

At the very top of the episode, Merle and three buffoons stumble upon a "bitergram" (a zombie corpse telegram) in the woods warning them to "go back." Michonne has thoughtfully left it for them so that they have a brain teaser activity to work out during their long trek. She watches the curly-haired one have a crisis of confidence, then swoops out to kill the rest of the hunting party. "I knew I shouldn't'a tried to be a hunter yet! I'm too little and curly-haired :(" he thinks. How right you are, Curly. Too little!!!

Rick spends the entire episode on the phone for crying out loud. We're paying him $15/hour to sit, I just don't see why he can't hang out with the kids instead of chatting away on that damn phone for hours on end. This is not a day spa, Rick. This is not a day spa for wayward babysitters. It is a PRISON in the ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE. SO START ACTING LIKE IT!

Andrea's a li'l sassy to the Governor about all this pro-wrestling zombie-arena business: "It's brutality for fun, and I think the world's brutal enough already." Not nearly as brutal as a wardrobe consisting exclusively of off-the-shoulder gauze shirts. BURN, well done. (James Bond theme music).

Later on Andrea starts fence duty. She's paired up with a loser who can't even shoot an arrow into a zombie's head from 12 feet away. Andrea hops the fence, walks up to the walker, and stabs his brains out. She could've twisted her ankle or found herself in the middle of a zombie ambush, but she does it anyway. I told you Andrea would miss the action.

Honey, send Hershel in. I bet he can get Rick off the phone. What do you mean, 'he's just standing there?' He's a doctor! He should have some bedside manner, for Pete's sake! What was he doing, hoping Rick would eventually notice him? He's a one-legged white-bearded farmer! Rick has a problem.

Michonne, Merle, and Curly run into each other again and quickly realize they're surrounded by zombies. Curly saves Merle's life as Michonne gets away. Merle keeps Curly from going after her because "she's going to the red zone" and will die from copious zombie bite marks without their involvement. Then Merle KILLS Curly to keep him from telling the Governor. And his name was Curljulio? Rest in peace, Curljulio.

Daryl, Oscar, and Carl clear out a prison tunnel in the hopes of finding Carol's dead, rotting corpse. Daryl tells Carl about his mom smoking in bed and dying in a fire, and Carl responds with "...shot my mom." Oscar's like, "DANG. These white boys are way more screwed up than I thought. Is it too late to just have my own cell block with Axel again? Dang."

Andrea and the Governor flirt more, and boy is it titillating. They chat on a manicured jungle patio, drinking whiskey that was more than likely distilled in a tank full of zombie heads. Very sensual, very romantique.

Michonne is injured and covered head-to-toe in zombie guts. As we learned in a season 1 episode ("Guts"), the overwhelming stench of rotting zombie flesh prevents zombies from recognizing people as delicious food. Here we are, observing how people learn things without the internet. They go through visceral experience. PUN INTENDED HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALMOST!

You're kidding me. Rick is seriously still on the phone? We must be going over our minutes by now. He's not getting a tip. I'm serious this time, no tip!

Glenn and Maggie drive out to a pharmacy and find the baby formula mother lode. Michonne limps into that very parking lot, hoping to find a car to recuperate in. Then Merle farts in, right on cue. That's strange, earlier it seemed like was willing to kill Curly in order to avoid going into the "red zone" (which this must be, if Michonne is here). He must be trying to get to Daryl! The hunt for Michonne was a ruse! A dangerous ruse. Because now she's free to kill him. But she doesn't. She watches Merle take Maggie and Glenn hostage. Michonne, why have you forsaken us?

I'm going to cut the phone cord. I'm cutting it. No, there is no way Rick is talking to his dead wife. She's dead. She can't be on the phone! He's on the phone with a boy and we all know it! Well I've got news for him: if he wants to talk to boys, he's just going to have to do it on his own time. At the sock hop or the football game. Babysitting is a job and he's going to have to learn to respect that! What's that? He got off the phone and went over to the baby and the baby literally nestled into him? Ok he gets a tip. This time.

Merle marches into the Governor and Andrea's naked love nest. He's got an Asian and a farmer's daughter out back. WORLDS COLLIDE.

Daryl finds Carol and picks her up like at the end of An Officer & A Gentleman. Yikes and barf. May I say, there have been a number of funhouse mirror images in this episode. Rick carries the baby while Daryl carries Carol. Hershel's got one leg while Merle's got one arm. The zombies are swimming in a sea of person-food while the baby starves for formula. What's the underlying message? Stuff is wacky, I guess.

Wacky enough to trudge all the way to the prison and show up amidst a bunch of zombies carrying the formula Glenn and Maggie left behind!!!! MICHONNE!!!!!

photos courtesy amctv.com

16 November 2012

[Let's] "Make It Unofficial"

Last night's Jersey Shore, "Make It Unofficial," is the unspoken companion piece to the earlier episode, "Let's Make It Official." Why they left off the "Let's" is above my level of comprehension. Is it because it's no longer an "us" decision? Is it because The Situation systematically drops words when they're more emotionally difficult to say? Is it because no one in production cares about parallelism? Definitely, sounds right, and most likely. GET CRAZY!

At the Shore Store, Ronnie and Danny pull a Meatball and don sideways caps while sidling out of the store to go drink. It makes perfect sense, as Ronnie is a Male Meatball and Danny is courting a Female one. They get out just before a storm hits, and it all feels a little too similar to the recent hurricane. By the way, MTV finally added a Hurricane Sandy donation link to its website: Restore the Shore!

Back at home, Mike jumps on the [duck] horn with his sister to discuss Paula. "I just want a very hot-looking girly girl," he explains. She guides him through a few breakup tactics. Mike's so pleased, he gushes about how much he wants to be with a girl like his mother or sister. Yikes, Mike, yikes. Is the brain damage back? Or is this just unadulterated guido?

MVP go out to the boardwalk and start telling the ladies that Mike's newly single. Technically he's not, but it doesn't matter. To Pauly D, the kid's been single this whole time. It's just a shame that everyone knows everyone in Seaside because this will all definitely get back to Paula. Very sadly, this gem never makes it back to her: "All of a sudden you get the title and you fuck it up!" says Mike, re: winning the Situational Championship. Man, Paula, you really blew it.

At this point, the episode should rightly be called "GTB: Gym, Tan, Break Up with Paula." Once it gets said, it never gets dropped. Ronnie makes a GTB shirt. Pauly has Vinny make a "Let's Make It Unofficial" tank top. Everyone says "GTB" in myriad tiny whispers until it blends into the background noise. GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB GTB

Snooki and Jwoww have a heart-to-heart that covers several topics: inviting Vinny to the wedding (pending a talk with Jionni), inviting Sitch to the wedding (NO DEFINITELY NOT NO WAY), not wanting to be a pregnant buzzkill to everyone (even though Deena would give her left buttcheek just to hang out with her and her buzzkill vibe for ONE PRECIOUS SECOND), and figuring out how to spell "hors d'oeuvre." I personally believe that no one should have to know how to spell hors d'oeuvre, unless you're a high-end caterer, in which case you know who you are and you should've brought me my pigs in croissant blankets by now. I have been waiting for too long already.

Jwoww goes behind Snooki's back and plans a surprise "Shore Shower." She encourages Vinny to "settle the air" (almost, Jen) with Jionni so that everything can be at peace when her godson is born. It looks like Jwoww is solving the whole damn Shore Tangle until Paula calls Mike and asks why every single person she works with is telling her they've broken up. Somehow he dodges the question. "Do you want me to come visit you at work or not?" gaslights Mike. It's either her fault for not letting her boyfriend visit or it's her fault for inviting her boyfriend to break up with her. Either way, she has it coming.

At the Shore Store, Ronnie notices that Jionni's never around. He's appalled at Jionni's not wanting to "be pregnant with your girlfriend" and insists that he'd "be pregnant" with Sammi if she were with child. Jwoww says that Roger would "be pregnant" with her, but I don't think she realizes that his version would be "Rub my feet, honey, they're sore" and "God I just want to eat everything and I don't want to hear what you think about it!!!"

At this point it's clear from all the GTB GTB GTB that it's only one letter away from LGBT. Gym, Trans, Bisexuale!

While Snooki takes a balloon penguin out for a walk on the boardwalk, all the other roommates accompany Mike to Simply Sun. They've figured out that he should definitely tan before breaking up with Paula - otherwise he might not get to tan. Pauly D and Vinny snuggle up in the lobby and declare themselves the Waldorf & Statler of the "movie." Sick of previews, they're ready for action. Mike waddles out to the front desk (after removing his tan-goggles and putting his crumpled clothing back on) and tells Paula he wants to go back to the way things were. She tells him she doesn't want to get fucked over, so they kiss on the lips and hug. "You're fair game now," she says. I don't understand.

That is, until they are followed into the parking lot by a huge tanning booth careening out of the Simply Sun window.

photos from mtv.com and tv tropes and early bird catches the worm and celebeat

14 November 2012

Your Recaps Are Up To Date

Butt Pads & Yarmulkes: The Anatomy Of Deena's Breakdown

"Control Your Crazy!" say the Seaside roommates AND the episode title of last Thursday's Jersey Shore. Poor Deena is agitated, weepy, and drunk, just as we left her at the end of the last episode. It is time for her to get crazy-in-control of her emotions and comportment. Get crazy, Deena, but for God's sake keep a lid on it!

We enter the episode on the downhill slope of the most recent Upset Meatball Night. Ronnie apologizes, and Deena finds her words. She explains that she doesn't know what's making her so upset, and Ronnie tells her that this lack of an explanation makes everyone assume it's just alcohol. Wow, I can't believe how lucidly this is sorting itself out. It's like that season of Real World I watched a few years ago (the one with Jem & Knight). They're using their words, and everyone seems to be getting to the same page. Vinny takes Deena outside to remind her to "breathe, idiot!"

Ronnie calls Deena's mom and tells her not to make Deena leave. This is adorable because (1) Ronnie has to punch Deena's mother's cell phone number into a duck phone, (2) it's funny to see Ronnie have a full-out conversation with anyone's parents, and (3) Deena's parents are halfway there anyway, so the Don't-Take-Deena stuff could wait until they get to the house. What are they going to do, turn around and go back home?

The Corteses arrive with a huge box of cheesecake for the house and a chicken caesar wrap for Deena. Deena's mom wonders aloud, "Can't you wait 'til night time?" and "Can't you drink just a little?" but there are no answers to those questions besides "NO, MOM, OBVIOUSLY NOT." It might be time for Deena to go to a talking doctor, but before any appointments are made, Deena's mom is laughing again. "Can't you have a Meatball Day without drinkin'?" she asks without really expecting an answer. These Meatball Parents, they just can't get enough of their kids' foibles. My mom would have murdered me by now.

The rest of the gang hits the club, where Ronnie immediately wipes out on the floor. Hahahahaha, great one, Ron Ron.

Sitch is sneaking around with other girls so much, people start calling him a "Sneaky Dickens." The kid's shirt is wide open, nary a button buttoned. A girl sucks on his finger. When Jwoww tells a group of ladies he has a girlfriend, they scatter. This seems somehow...wrong?

Vinny brings home a "spanish girl" and fears for his celibacy. Lucky for him, she just lies there. He creeps out of bed and tapes a confessional about how his hand is "the best f*cking skank [he's] ever met." Then he gets a full night's sleep while dreaming of p'zones.

MVP wake up, send their ladies home, and go to the store to buy some hot dogs. It's barbecue day in the backyard y'all!!!!! Somehow there are zero jokes about the phallic nature of hot dogs. JK don't worry, hot-dog-looks-kinda-like-a-penis gets a 30-minute segment. The weiner talk segues into yet another discussion of What's Wrong With Deena, and Sammi goes off on her. Deena finally says what I think is at the bottom of this - she misses her other Meatball - but Snooki doesn't pick up on it. In the end, Sammi shits on Deena a little more and then they both go to bed.

The internet should make a montage of all the times Sammi checks her hair in the mirror.

Jwoww, Sammi, and Snooki work a shift at the Shore Store, and Jwoww sells $540 worth of shot glasses in a few hours. Then Snooki steals $540 worth of stuffed leopards from an unguarded boardwalk kiosk. It's so strange how all this math keeps working out so perfectly, but it does.

Deena, Sitch, and their significant others go on a double date. The leggy, thin, tan, sweet, and very pretty Paula has become a burping pile of wretched garbage to Mike over the course of two days. He almost vomits when she mentions that she might get a food baby after eating dinner in a crop-top. He almost strokes out from embarrassment when Paula waves to Deena with a hand sign known as "the shocker" on a carnival ride. "I think Paula's trying to audition to be a Meatball...but Meatballs do not have manners, and they are less ladylike," explains Mike. That makes sense. After all those baldly vulnerable romantic overtures to Snooki last season, it's clear that Mike has a problem with Meatballs. They're not his type at all.

Back at home, Mike tells Paula he's just "chalking it up" to not being able to control what comes out of her mouth. "Chalkin' it up," he says over and over, every time she opens her mouth to speak. At this point she's getting the wrong idea, thinking that if she talks even dirtier, maybe it will please her new boyfriend or get them the screentime he seems to want. The interstitial segment shows Mike split-kicking a punching bag man in the backyard to impress Paula and Chris. Simpler times.

Everyone hits the club and Mike immediately slips away from Paula. They spend the rest of their evening apart, separated by a 50-something year old nurse who starts breakdancing and turnpiking. This is a David Lynch movie now and I feel so scared and confused. Why isn't this old lesbian dying? Did Deena push her over to her death? Why is she putting her hair on the floor of Karma? Who is this dude who loves her so much? He is all of us.

Back home from the club, Sitch sprints upstairs to take a shower so he doesn't have to hang out with Paula. She, in turn, takes out her butt pads and shows them to the gang while explaining various joke sex acts. Vinny puts the butt pad on his head and has a blast and a half doing a smallish set in the confessional. Eventually Mike comes down and sees what Paula's been up to. "That's real chalk," she says, the fear in her eyes growing.

photos courtesy mtv.com

13 November 2012

Great Drunken Meatballs Of Fire [Who Are Constantly Drunk]

Now I'm recapping a Jersey Shore episode only 2 1/2 weeks late.  Congratulations, Becky, on continuing your tradition of excellence and objectivity. If I'm too sleepy to write this, it's because I miss you? Wake up and get to writing, Beck. GET CRAZY.

Mike wants to get the hell out of this relationship he's gotten himself into. Sammi reminds him that "it's only Day One," and Ron believes that "if you can get through rehab, you can get through this." That's true; technically Mike should be able to get through 28 days of ANYTHING that make him mildly uncomfortable. But ideally a new relationship wouldn't be as painful as detox.

Danny makes Deena wear a prison jumpsuit at the Shore Store to remind her that she went to the drunk tank last week. He'll probably make her wear it when they get married, too. She, Ron, and Mike talk about Paula and how Mike wants to "spruce up" the "natural 8.2" that is his new property. But guess what! Paula breezes right in and makes that 8.2 look more like a PSYCHO.3! What's she doing visiting her boyfriend at work?! Psycho.3!!!!! Deena and Ron start placing bets on how long this relationship could possibly last. Then Paula walks out of earshot.

Now is where the episode gets great and happy and worth it. Vinny and Pauly want to play a prank on Deena, so they find three lovey-dovey framed photos of her and her boyfriend on her nightstand and replace them with identical photos of Vinny and Pauly. It's amazing. The pictures are perfect, and there's plenty of time for that "this is going to pay off so well" feeling to grow and grow. The boys almost don't make it in time, but they throw the new pictures into her room in just enough time to make Deena laugh. Now that's a great prank.

Deena and Ron have a Meatball Day, and she makes the foolish mistake of assuming he wants to hear about anything that has to do with her body. She tells him about crabs and wiping her butt, i.e. Normal Meatball Stuff, which inflames Ronnie's sense of propriety. Back at home he tells Sammi that he'll "kill [him]self if [Deena] keeps talking about herself." This sounds like he can't stand hearing I-statements from a woman, but in actuality he just can't stand words like "period" and "clitoris." Which is worse? I don't know. "I am physically sickened by your emotions" vs. "I am physically sickened by your anatomy." Either way, he must hold in his puke if he wants to go to Karma with the rest of the gang, including Snooki, who is TIRED of not going out.

Roger surprises Jwoww at the club with a few of her friends from Long Island. Neato, what is this, penance? I thought he didn't do anything wrong. Luckily Roger doesn't appear for the rest of the episode, so I won't dwell on it. But wow remember when he threw his girlfriend around by the neck?

Snooki tells Jionni that not only does she want to cook for him, she also wants him to be brutally honest about the food's quality. This is as close to genuine as their relationship communication is going to get, even though it's just shorthand for "I'm a nouveau Italian-American woman so I can't possibly cook, even though I should be able to, because of my mom's misunderstanding of the women's lib movement all those years ago. Reinforce that! Wahhhh!"

A pretty girl comes up to Mike and starts grinding on him immediately. He is extremely into it, but he throws in half-hearted "I don't know what's happening" shrugs to the camera every few minutes to save his butt. Remember, it was just last night that he tore that shirt open for Paula. But now he's falling in love with another girl, or at least his penis is.

A huge dude comes up to Mike right away and says he's a friend of Paula's. He's not threatening him or anything, but just so he knows, Paula is someone he does NOT want to screw over. Paula's best friend is also there, and she's seen everything. Miraculously no one tells Paula about Mike's misdeeds. Miraculously Paula never watches MTV. Miraculously Mike never does anything questionable ever again. He's fully gotten away with it!

Ron waits until everyone's in the taxi on the way home to tell Deena that he's uncomfortable with her "talking about herself." It doesn't quite compute until she's at home and thinking about the fantastic Meatball Day she just had with him. When she gets upset, Ronnie asks "why are you so sensitive?" and tells her not to "be grumpy." "Why are you grumpy??" asks Jwoww.

It is much better for a guidette to hide her emotions if she's thinking about turning into a bitch. And it is much better for a guidette to stop feeling at all than to hide her emotions if that's just going to make her a passive-agressive bitch. And it is much better for a guidette to dope herself up with pills or perhaps BOOZE if she's thinking about reacting to any stimuli at all in her immediate vicinity. Deena might want to go home.

The next day, MVP goes to lunch and discusses whether you can "grind up on chicks when you have a girlfriend" until they look up and notice THE STALKER. This isn't the Italian-Jew, nor is it Taran Killam - it's the girl with heavy eyeliner, big front teeth, and nothing to lose. She doesn't do anything but stare at each of them right in the eye, such that if they glance at her they're sure to make direct eye contact. She's pretty good at this. She also looks like she might have some sort of disability, so I'm not sure that just because her face is on tv, she can necessarily give consent. Let's not make as much fun of her as MVP does.

Snooki tries to cook and pull off an I Love Lucy scenelet at the same time. Since garlic is a mainstay of Italian cuisine, she assumes she should cook it first, which is a horrible idea because it burns within a minute and nothing else cooks that fast. Especially when the stove is set to high. So the kitchen fills with smoke and Snickers calls her dad to find out how to cook real quick. "Dad, my place is like, burning down right now," she jokes, half-panicking. "WHAT?!?!" he shouts, as she runs to the kitchen and leaves the phone behind. Then she asks for cooking directions and hangs up on him. When she presents it to Jionni later on, I'm honestly shocked it isn't 3 charcoal briquettes.

During another Meatball Day, Sammie and Ronnie decide to go back home while Deena opts to stay out. She drinks and smokes with strangers as Sam fields a call from her VERY angry mother. "She's not drunk-havin'-fun, is she Sam?" Sam says "uh" literally 30 times. "I'm a little upset heah, Sam!!" Eventually Deena gets home and calls her back, and for a while it looks like Deena's mom is coming to pick her up.

Then the whole thing devolves into Ronnie telling Deena she's upset over nothing and Deena insisting that she's upset for a good reason. Besides being drunk. This poor kid can't exist here without numbing herself, and even though she does it the way everyone else does (besides Sitch and Snooki), she's still getting called on doing it wrong. When Ronnie gets drunk he verbally abuses Sam. When Roger gets drunk he throws Jenni around by the neck. Nobody's telling them they're upset over nothing. I guess that's one more rule to the Jersey Shore guidebook: if Deena's doing it, she's upset over nothing and probably wrong.

photos courtesy mtv.com

"Say The Word" "OK, Ooga Booga"

After last week's episode, I didn't know if The Walking Dead could keep this pace going. But between Rick's bloody, ax-wielding rampage and the Governor's sassy zaughmbter, I'd say they kept the train movin' just fine. This Sunday's 9:01 to Woodbury arrived right on time. Train whistle!

A block party's brewing in the Governor's utopia: cold iced teas, foldable lawn chairs, and toothless little zombie girls whose brains come out in chunks when their dads brush their hair. Happy Veterans' Day to you, too, fellow survivors! It's a fine day in Woodbury!

Over at the prison, Hershel's got a diagnosis: that newborn baby needs formula. So Daryl and Maggie go on a run to the local preschool, and it's one hell of a trip. First of all, Daryl's wearing a pretty heavy-duty poncho and I'm into it. He sees a little construction-paper leaf that says "Sophie" and it's a bummer. Then they find a possum in the pantry and it's a fat, crazy marsupial. The entire time I'm on the edge of my seat just waiting for a toddler zombie to jump on one of their heads, teeny legs flailing around for leverage, miniature teeth chomping wildly.

While they're gone, Rick picks up an ax and obliterates one million zombies inside the prison. [Spoiler alert] I was hoping the tv show would do something with what happens in the comic book when Tyreese destroys a gymful of zombies, and I guess this is it. But in the comics it felt like the guy had finally gotten through something, whereas here it feels like just the beginning of Rick's problems. [End of spoiler alert]. Man oh man what a psycho move.

Michonne's finally had enough of Stinkville, USA. She marches into the Governor's quarters and steals back her katana. She also finds a notebook that contains a list of names that eventually turn into thousands of tally marks. Either tally marks or blades of grass doodles. Just then, Philip the Governor, Milt the Scientist, and Merle the Asshole walk in! Michonne escapes through the window.

Outside, Michonne finds herself in a courtyard she's never seen before. It's a zombie basketball court, and the zombies are all locked up in the equipment shed. This is like field day for Michonne, who frees all the zombies at once and assassinates them like a complete and total boss. Josh thought we were saying "Miss Shawn" for the first 4 episodes of this season.

The Governor immediately finds her and starts feeding her all sorts of lines about how he was just about to give her the katana back and how he wants her to be part of his "research team." She still doesn't buy it, somehow, and FINALLY Michonne is ready to leave. BUT IS ANDREA READY TO LEAVE? SOMEBODY TELL ME IF ANDREA STILL FEELS THE SAME WAY SHE'S BEEN FEELING FOR 4 EPISODES!!!!!!! I NEED TO KNOW!!!!!

Andrea feels the same way she's been feeling for 4 episodes: not ready to leave Woodbury. She humors Michonne and approaches the gate with her just to prove that they aren't prisoners. In classic Merle fashion, he swings the door wide open and dares them to leave in a tone of voice that suggests he's about to hunt them down like deer. Michonne accepts the dare. Andrea hangs out.

Merle and Milt the Scientist run out to a zombie trap they've laid to collect a few replacement walkers (since Michonne killed theirs). They have a whole system for it - duct tape covered jackets, neck grabber-sticks, and huge nets - and it looks like they've come up with the genius idea of removing each zombie's teeth. Michonne, where were you on that one? Cutting off an entire bottom jaw is one way to keep a walker from biting, but taking out all of its teeth is almost elegant. And at least that way there isn't still a creepy set of top teeth just waiting for a chance to sink into your arm.

The Governor moseys over to Andrea and tells her he's got something to show her. Not with this lighting, pal! It's all golden and glowy in the middle of the night, and you know that means something unnatural is about to go down. You can imagine what Andrea must be thinking: "Stupid old Michonne, always trying to get me to- YIKES! YUCK! OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP ANDREA YOU'VE REALLY DONE IT THIS TIME." Because the evening entertainment is a human wrestling match in a zombie ring. There are zombies all around the perimeter of a WWE-style fake fight between Merle and some dude. Soon enough, their chains are loosened and they scooch in even closer to the fighting. Their teeth may be gone, but I still expect to see a zombie put his entire mouth over Merle's face and eat it off somehow. Please?

Back at the prison, Daryl and Maggie return triumphantly with 2 canisters of powdered baby formula. Since Rick isn't around and I guess it's against Hershel's hippocratic oath to feed a child, Daryl picks up the bottle and gives it to the new baby. "The baby's gonna think Daryl's its dad!!!" cries Colin, my roommate and go-to Nature expert. Papa Daryl wants to name it "Li'l Ass Kicker." DARYLLLLL!

Rick finds the room where Lori gave birth, but her corpse is missing. From here I will simply paste from my notes:
is she a zombie after all? what? he's going to kiss her blood. yikes. what is that? a tooth? what is it? not happening! what is this? who is it, a dude? oh I guess this [fat zombie] ate her? he gorged himself on her? now rick's going to cut lori out of his belly after he killed the dude? this guy's crazy now. he's just crazy now. this is insane. is that her hair in his mouth? rick's doing a c-section of his own! I guess now he's just stabbing lori.
So that happened. Then, naturally, a phone rings. Rick looks at it like "who could that be?" I CAN'T WAIT FOR NEXT WEEK!

Addendum: Apparently the gang thinks Carol is dead, too. Daryl puts a Cherokee Rose on her grave and everything. She is like your lost child, Daryl, you mom-loving poncho-wearing lil-ass-kicking freak!

 photos courtesy amctv.com

09 November 2012

"Let's Make It Official": The Jersey Shore Sucks

First things first, my thoughts are with Seaside Heights, NJ (more than normal) after Hurricane Sandy's destruction. I found a NJ Relief website, and you should click through to see a video of the way the boardwalk looks now. Surprisingly, MTV's website doesn't seem to have any links for donating. I'd say the safest bet is Occupy Sandy's wedding registry, which sends much-needed items to people in affected areas who can use them (here's the NJ one). 

Now onto the important things: recapping a 3-week old episode of Jersey Shore.

Last time on Jersey Shore, Deena got carted away to the drunk tank. Ron knows what that's like: "When in Rome, keep on rollin [possibly roamin'?]; when in Seaside, keep on drinkin!" He offers to go sit in the drunk tank with Deena, but Sam can't lose both her meatballs. That's it, that's the missing piece: Ronnie has secretly been a meatball this whole time. Hiding in his meat gravy in broad daylight. That's why all the drinking, that's why all the fighting with Sam. Remember when the Meatballs fought with Sam? Can you even IMAGINE what Snooki would be like as a guy? Yep, because she'd be Ronnie.

MVP go to a sporting goods store ("watch guidos shop for sports equipment" is clearly leftover from the brainstorming whiteboard from season 1), and Mike picks up a rugged stroller for Snooki. He tries to arrange it as a surprise for her on the roof, but since he fucked her over so thoroughly last year, she refuses to go up to see it. Later on at dinner, once he knows she's seen it, he prompts her to thank him. A remarkably kind gesture from The Situation Sorrentino.

PS Deena's parents know about the drunk tank and they're PISSED.

Jwoww refuses to use her crutch properly, which turns out to be fine because her doctor's second opinion is that the foot isn't broken anyway. She and Snooki go to a geriatric supply store and buy Rascals. Now the show is just about stores the gang goes to and what extravagant items they buy there. I guess if nobody's drinking and nobody's falling face-first on the pier, this is what's left. Using their fortunes to buy diamond-encrusted wheelchairs.

Mike goes to the Shore Store and buys a tank top. It's an extravagant tank top, of course, due to its iron-on message: "LET'S MAKE IT OFFICIAL." He wants to make an honest woman out of Paula, not so much by marrying her but by finally admitting that they've been dating for four years. The guidos use so much marriage language for it (see: "get wifed up"), it's hard to understand exactly what Mike plans to do, especially considering he invites the entire cast of Jersey Shore to come to the restaurant where he's proposing[?]. I think the guidos are playing a trick on us. In the meantime, Danny plays a real trick on Mike and irons-on "I LIKE MEN" to the back of the tank top.

So the gang accompanies Mike to his destiny and sits at a separate table that offers a clear view of Mike and Paula's personal booth. They got a personal booth, you see, because date-proposing is the kind of thing that's better when it's just between two people. Which is why it was extremely odd that he invited all his roommates to the restaurant in the first place.

He whips off his shirt, actually, scratch that - he slowly and seductively unbuttons his shirt so that Paula can read what her destiny will be. It's all scrunched up, which means Paula takes an extra minute to read it, which means Ron-Ron gets to do 5 minutes of seated stand up about how she must not be able to read. Vinny agrees and adds that they're both dipshits.

One breath after the tank-top proposal, Paula blasts off into space in a rocket made of a house, a puppy, some kids, and a church-wedding. Mike tries to send out "chill, girl!" vibes, but she just keeps barreling on, now explaining her ovulation schedule. "I'm hearin' things I've never seen before," says Mike. Almost, Mike! He's too skittish to take Paula to the Smush Room that night. "It's like 3 summers of cheese pizza," he explains to his boxing coach the next day. "Now here's pepperoni?"

Jwoww forgets that Roger THREW HER BY THE NECK and calls him up to make sure they're still dating. It's the same duckphone conversation as always - "I'm sorry I got in your business" "BABE YOU CAN'T GET IN MY BUSINESS" "You're right, just like always" "BABE I'M NOT A CHILD AND I REFUSE TO BE TREATED LIKE ONE!!!!!!!" "You are always right" "Shut up babe my mom says the pizza rolls are ready."

Ron and Sam reminisce about the room wreckage and face punches they've been through. Looks like they made it, I guess, in that Barry Manilow way where that song is actually about breaking up. Here are the lyrics for your infotainment:
There you are, lookin' just the same as you did last time I touched you.
And here I am, close to gettin tangled up inside the thought of you.

Do you love him as much as I love her?
And will that love be strong when old feelings start to stir?

Looks like we made it
Left each other on the way to another love
Looks like we made it
Or I thought so, till today
Until you were there everywhere
And all I could taste was love
The way we made it

Loves so strange, playin hide and seek, with hearts and always hurtin
And we're the fools standin close enough to touch those burnin memories

And if I hold you for the sake of all those times
Love made us lose our minds - could I ever let you go?

Oh, no...we made it
Left each other on the way to another love
Looks like we made it
Or I thought so, till today
Until you were there, everywhere
And all I could taste was love
The way we made it
This marks the halfway point of the final season of Jersey Shore. Thanks to one million nights of double-episodes, I haven't been on time for a single recap. Think of me as Deena in the drunk tank - willing but unable to party when it's appropriate. 

photos courtesy mtv.com

Last Night I Had A Nightmare I Couldn't Wake Up From

Last night it finally happened - the Zombiepocalypse hit Manhattan.

I was over at my friend Jackie Too-Tan's house, which was up at 92nd Street, which was the edge of urban Manhattan. It only took about 10-20 minutes to walk to an Atlanta-style apartment complex, which quickly turned into a rich people neighborhood. The houses weren't mansions, but they were spread out enough to show off the amount of space they could afford.

We ended up in a woman named Adele's house, but we had to leave once night fell and she was scared we weren't safe enough there. Maybe the locks had been broken. So my group split up and I went with the 2 people, one I think Tess and the other some faceless male friend, who'd decided to scale a steep and dry-grass covered hill and hide in the overgrowth. No zombies could climb up, and no one could see us. It was cold but relatively safe. It was in front of a house that belonged to someone vaguely unfriendly. Nothing happened there besides a few slow zombies shuffling out on the street.


We found our way back to Adele's and by then I needed to poop, so I crept into Adele's little girl's room. There was a toilet on the wall of an otherwise normal bedroom. I looked around her children's books to find something to read, but then I saw a woman about my age on the bed, keeping perfectly still and looking at me. I told her I was sorry and I thought it was her little sister's room, and would she mind if I still pooped in there? "Go ahead," she told me, but I don't think I followed through.


I carried 2 katanas at a time. I lamented that this was the real world now, and that no matter how hard I tried to wake up, this was reality and not a dream. I couldn't believe this was happening. It felt so unfair that we'd just dealt with the blackout and now it was turning into the same exact situation only MUCH more dangerous this time. "Will we ever go back to the way things were?" I asked. "Obviously, just not right away," answered someone.

I found out there was limited bus service going back into Manhattan, so I walked out of the large neighborhood and found the bus line. Everyone was back to human, but then again they were never really that zombieish in the first place. Everyone was nervous about when the next wave would arrive (would it come at night?) but no one let it keep them from going right back into Manhattan. I called my mom to let her know I was ok. Finally I woke up. Then it took another 2 hours to finally be convinced that I was wrong, that this was indeed just a dream, and that it was now over. It doesn't feel over.

07 November 2012

Dr. T-Dog & The Women

Sunday night's "Killer Within" was easily the best episode of Walking Dead Season 3 so far, and since this is easily the best season so far, I guess we just watched the best episode of Walking Dead so far. We finally got to the bottom of the who's-spying-on-Carol mystery. We finally got to see T-Dog interact with other characters. We finally got Rick (and Carl) to cry. What is this world coming to??

Michonne sees bloody bullet holes all over the army jeep the Governor just brought back, and guess what, she smells something fishy yet again. Meanwhile, he's flirting with Andrea by sternly reminding her he'll NEVER tell anyone his real name. Hey, it's better than Merle's tactic: "How come we never hooked up?" Andrea: "You called me a whore and a rug-muncher." How you gon' choose with all these fine men around, girl?

Back at the prison (FINALLY!!), the person who was spying on Carol a few weeks ago is now smearing deer parts (zombie bait) all over the unfortified entrances to the prison. Oh boy, are we in trouble now! This guy (or girl) is stirring the zombie prison pot!!!

The two remaining inmates (Axel and Oscar, according to Wikipedia) keep wandering out of their cell block. They've noticed the weak spots on their own fences, but the gang isn't having it. Despite T-Dog's fervent pleas to let the inmates live peacefully among our survivors, Daryl locks them up again. Sorry T-Dog, you might actually be the last Democrat left.

Hershel's healing up so darn quick, he's ready to take a stroll in the yard with one leg and a crutch. He's dancing around, bell-kicking and yee-hawing, when suddenly ten million zombies start flooding in. It's that damn deer bait! It leads the zombies directly to the Hershel bait! Everyone runs inside the cell block, but I guess there must've been more deer bait in there too because now it's full of zombies. Zombies inside, zombies outside - nothing could be worse than this. Nothing except T-DOG GETTING BITTEN IN THE SHOULDER.

Nowhere is safe. Everyone else is trapped in the prison's inner tunnels while Rick, Daryl, and Glenn try to find the source of the alarm blares that are now attracting every zombie in Georgia to the prison. Oscar thinks it's one of the backup generators. CLASSIC OSCAR.

Maggie, Lori, and Carl search for shelter because, oh yes, Lori's having contractions right now. They sneak into a boiler room whose door won't fully close (but don't worry, that never becomes an issue) so that Lori can go for broke. She's pushing and pushing, perhaps jumping the gun a bit (I mean her water hasn't even broken yet and this is TELEVISION after all), and when lots of blood starts coming out, she realizes she needs Maggie to just go for it and give her a c-section. Carl just stands there like, "...don't...do that..." as Lori takes off her pants.

Over in good old Woodbury, the Governor is capable of hitting golf balls directly into zombies' heads from 100 yards away. JUST LIKE UNCLE BUCK. Walking Dead, if you are trying to make me like the Governor by making him just like Uncle Buck, you have succeeded. I want one of the zombies to go "I'm SORRRRAYYYYYYY, ok assholes?! I'm SORRRAYYYYY- Ow! (sniffle) I'm sorry." Haha what a gas! Merle comes up and is like "Andrea showed me where my brother might be on a map. Can I go?" but the Governor is just testing out fancy plates on a piano and saying "huh, unbreakable!" He's not even listening. Larry and...uh...Betsy...yeah, that's right. It's worth noticing that as the Governor promises Merle he'll go with him if he can bring more evidence of Daryl's whereabouts, his face twitches LIKE CRAZY. It's Claire Danes level.

Carol and T-Dog can't reach their tunnel exit because there are walkers blocking their way. So T-Dog, who is already bitten up and frankly must be running on pure adrenaline by now, blitzes them and allows himself to become T-dog bait to let Carol get by. But instead of running by, she stares at him for like, an hour. She can't get enough T-Dog, either.

The Governor tells Andrea his "real" name - Philip - I guess to fully tear her friendship with Michonne asunder. He plies her with whiskey and tells her that Michonne's island plan is a bad idea. She completely takes the Governor bait. Is this the Andrea we've been watching for 2 years? The gun-toting Shane-crotch-grabbing all-night-sprinter? "Philip's" existential argument for staying at Woodbury pulls at her desire to settle down again at some point, but I don't know if that totally gibes with what we've seen of Andrea so far. Granted, she's been in an apocalypse, but she just seems more alive when she's on the run. What was she before this? A patent attorney?

Rick's group finds the backup generator as well as the skinny kid he threw to the wolves a few episodes ago. Remember when I was asking if that kid had done anything to deserve such a fate? Well, he teleologically just did. He and Rick fight, which makes Rick's gun fly out of his holster. Oscar picks it up and aims. He kills the kid, spins the gun on his finger, and hands it to Rick handle-first. I THINK I'M GONNA LIKE THIS GUY.

Back in obstetrics, Lori knows she's going to die. She gives perhaps the best performance she'll ever give, hugging Carl and telling him he'll be able to overcome all of this. She tells Maggie to rip her open and kill her after. In a blur, Maggie delivers the baby and Lori passes out. It's not clear if she's dead or not, but she most likely will be, so Carl takes it upon himself to execute her. He flashes back to a scene from last season at the barn - Rick gives him a gun and tells him he's not going to like using it. I'LL SAY.

Carl, Maggie, and the new baby limp out into the yard where everyone's reuniting. The baby's limping because it's so small and can't really use its legs yet. JK but for real, Rick sees that Lori's not with them and he just loses it. Andrew Lincoln can really let 'er rip, and he does. He weeps, looks at Carl and finds yet another reason to weep, and eventually rolls around on the ground just crying and crying. I can't wait to rewatch it. THIS WAS THE BEST EPISODE OF WALKING DEAD THERE'S BEEN SO FAR.

photos courtesy amctv.com and filmfreak, which comes attached to a pretty spectacular Uncle Buck essay