New Girl: The Do’s and Don’ts of Moving to Mars

by Aly Semigran March 26, 2014 6:00 am
<i>New Girl</i>: The Do’s and Don’ts of Moving to Mars

That was pretty sneaky, New Girl writers. You started off last night's episode "Mars Landing" with another rousing round of True Americans on purpose, didn't you? You taught us new rules to the game (if you invented the cotton gin, you have gin poured in your mouth) and gave us hilarious new shots of the gang having fun (except for poor Winston, who had the plague) just as a way to throw us off our course. The whole episode would have to be as fun and carefree as the latest installment of True Americans, right? Wrong! It was all leading us to what is, quite possibly, the end of Nick and Jess. Granted, their relationship has put Season 3 in a rut and these two were probably doomed from the get-go, but it was still a complete bummer. Especially because I have a hard time believing this is truly the end, when it will more than likely be the beginning of a lot of off-and-on. (This should prove to be especially tough when Jess moves to Portland, and Nick is living in outer space.) Here are the do's and don'ts of moving to Mars, especially when everything is still such a mess back on Earth:

<i>Girls</i> Finally Got Great Again… And It Only Took Until the Season Finale

Who could have guessed we'd be here? Who could have guessed that Season 3, which got off to such an ugly and joyless and borderline unwatchable start (if anything ever trumps "Dead Inside" as the worst episode of Girls ever, I'll be legitimately surprised and horrified), would end on such a touching and effective and funny note? If the fairytale Season 2 finale felt like a lame cop-out (which it was), then last night's Season 3 finale "Two Plane Rides" brought the show back down to earth where it belongs. It was bittersweet series of endings, to say the least, for Hannah and Co. But in your 20s, those are far more common than those elusive happy endings, anyway. Certain things about "Two Plane Rides" felt rushed, which is really too bad considering they could have cut the bullshit from earlier this season to make room for compelling story lines like Jessa's complicated request from Beadie to Shoshanna's understandable meltdown. For the first time in a long time, Girls has not only left me wanting more, but put me back in these girls' corners. Well, except for Marnie. Marnie is the worst.

<i>Parks and Recreation</I>:  This Is Not a Liam Neeson <I>Taken</I> Scenario

"Galentine's Day" (Part 2, technically) is the reason why I watch this show. I had a smile on my face throughout the entire episode and was pleased that they found a way to service every single character in one half hour, without sacrificing the funny. This one might end up in my top ten list of episodes, and not just because of Andy determining that he was "Goofus"… but that sure didn't hurt.

<i>Parenthood</i>: The Best and Worst Braverman Pairings of “The Offer”

Leave it to Sydney to ruin an episode otherwise dominated by the youngest of the Braverman generation. Sure, there was plenty of grown-up drama (this is Parenthood, after all) but "The Offer" was all about the kids, namely Victor and Max. But not Sydney, because Sydney is terrible. As Max devastatingly came to terms with his identity at school as a "freak," Victor dealt with his abandonment issues and worried that he was the cause for Joel and Julia's split. You know who put that idea in his head? Sydney, because Sydney is the worst. The entire episode wasn't perfect as a whole, but those last 15 minutes really packed an emotional wallop. If you never felt connected to Victor and Max before, you did after last night's episode. That is, unless, you're a monster like Sydney. While I'm still choking back tears thinking about the Max and Victor story lines (damn you, Parenthood, damn youuuuuuuu), I still have to declare the best and worst Braverman pairings from "The Offer":

TAGS: Parenthood
<i>Parenthood</i>: The Best and Worst Braverman Pairings in “Limbo”

My favorite episode of Parenthood so far this season. "Limbo" was funny and sharp and emotional and, for most of us who aren't as functional as the Bravermans all the time, very relatable during that dinner table blowup scene. In addition to being all of those things, "Limbo" actually moved the storyline along for several characters, including Joel and Julia who inched a little bit closer to reconciliation. While "Limbo" technically centered around the drama caused by Baby Aida's christening (that Baby Aida, always starting problems), let's be honest, it was all about Drew and Amber getting totally stoned together. I could have watched that for the entire hour. Here are the best and worst Braverman pairings for the best episode of Season 5 to date, "Limbo":

<i>New Girl</i>: The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Nick Miller as Your Lawyer

After the three-week saga of Abby Day, last night's episode of New Girl, "Fired Up," was pretty low-stakes. Jess helped Coach get a job as a volleyball coach at her school, who subsequently got fired and then hired back; Schmidt got sued and hired Nick as his lawyer, who subsequently got fired, and then hired himself back; Cece got a new love interest that Schmidt seemed shockingly fine about; and Winston… got a cool new nickname. The episode was pleasantly forgettable, which is sadly, how most of this season has been. It's not actively bad, or even unfunny, it's just that the magic from Season 1 and Season 2 just continues to be missing. Here are the do's and don'ts from last night's episode "Fired Up":

Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of Lena Dunham

by Aly Semigran March 10, 2014 10:41 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Lena Dunham

How you already felt about Lena Dunham going into this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live more than likely dictated how you watched and, thus, felt about the episode as a whole. If you're cool with Dunham, you probably got a kick out of the episode, but if you're not -- what appeared to be the entirety of the Internet -- you couldn't stand it. Even though I've had some issues with Girls this season, I tend to lean closer to Team Dunham, so I thought overall this was a pretty damn good episode. (Though, maybe compared to last week's Jim Parsons disaster, everything seems like a damn good episode.) Still, there were overwhelmingly better sketches than weak ones, and after a shaky monologue, Dunham settled in as the night went on. Sure, the SNL writers kind of went the obvious route with her (nudity!) but it was, overall, one of the stronger showings in 2014 so far. Here are the best and worst moments from Lena Dunham's debut as SNL host, with a little help from Liam Neeson and Jon Hamm:

Girls: The Beginning of the End (Again) For Hannah and Adam?

by Aly Semigran March 10, 2014 5:00 am
<i>Girls</i>: The Beginning of the End (Again) For Hannah and Adam?

It was only a matter of time. The groundwork has been laid for almost the entirety of Season 3 about how there are too many cracks in Hannah and Adam's foundation for them to sustain a healthy long-term relationship. These two may be crazy for each other (crazy being the operative word here) but their relationship started as such an uneven mess that it's impossible to build it from the ground up. As much as Adam would like to argue that Hannah still associates him with his "older" version, it's a little hard to do that when scorned ex-girlfriends show up at coffee shops or he acts distant and moody on a moment's notice. But Hannah's just as much at fault, too. She is self-absorbed, but also puts Adam on an impossible pedestal even when he doesn't necessarily deserve to be up there. Last week, Adam told her "I'm very committed to you "at this time" and her mother tried to plead with her "You're so special you deserve everything…he's nice, but stay open to possibilities" and it all seemed to fall on deaf ears. These two are operating on very different frequencies (see: how they both dealt with the subject of death this season) and as much as we want them to be perfect together, these are two imperfect people.

<i>Parks and Recreation</i>: All in All It’s Just Another Bee in the Wall

Has there ever been a more adorable sight on Parks and Recreation than that of Ron Swanson cooing at his adorable infant son John Middle Name Redacted Swanson? What's that, you say? Ron has a son? Yes, that ever-so-secretive Ron and his wife Diane had their baby and Ron, much to the horror of Leslie, told no one. Unfortunately, it wasn't all cute mini-Swansons: there were also mass bee stings and Leslie getting a black eye. That said, all those instances (as well as an oft-repeated Tom storyline that might actually work this time) lead to something positive in the end… which is probably the first and last time I'll ever say bee stings did anything good for anyone. Damn you, bees. Here are the highlights from last night's light, but effective episode "The Wall":

<i>Parenthood</i>: The Best and Worst Braverman Pairings of “The Enchanting Mr. Knight”

Hey! It's Zachary Knighton! Better known as Dave from the beloved, but far too short-lived, Happy Endings! Sorry, I get excited about anything Happy Endings-related. Knighton is the latest addition to the Parenthood family playing a handsome (Adam's words), cool teacher named Mr. Knight who, much to the delight of Kristina and Adam, sees Max for the bright kid that he is. In fact, it was an all-around great week for Adam and Kristina: they found out Kristina is still cancer-free. I guess you could say it was a… happy ending. Well, it wasn't all happy endings for the Bravermans. (When is it ever?) There were far more vague endings (Hank and Sarah, Drew and Natalie, Julia and… Ed?!) in "The Enchanting Mr. Knight." So, with that, here are the best and worst Braverman pairings from last night's episode:

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