After a Jessa episode that felt plot-necessary but a little sleepy, this one, whoa. It blows up so many things about the characters and resets the board in a really profound way; it could’ve been a season finale, the kind that jumps the shark and makes you think about taking it off your TiVo. (Do you have TiVo? You don’t. I don’t, either. Sorry.) Only in this case, the shark is playing out audience expectations and the jump involved a jetpack from the Sharper Image catalog.
Was the Charlie part making fun of the Tumblr office? I think it was!
It is so clearly articulated in this episode that Patrick Wilson is a lonely old married dude who hasn’t slept with anyone else in years and a young woman walks right into his house and kisses him. The next 20 minutes of television depicts the most plausible scenario possible; the dudes lobbing the backlash at this episode are the same schmucks sitting on message boards for the last 15 years rating the appearances of Hollywood actresses and bragging about how they totally wouldn’t fuck them. Good luck with that, bros. P.S., Hannah is cute!
Also, the scene where she breaks down and cries and he tries to react in the kindest but realest way and she picks up on it and flips over the table of his emotions: fuuuuck.
I liked episode 6 even better.
Also writing about everything. This piece is great.
Also, this part:
As Elaine Blair wrote last year in The New York Review of Books, in pretty much the only essay on the show worth reading…
Can you say “BOOM” in the New Yorker?
And some artful photos of Lena. They talk about Tavi!
Liked this one better than the premiere. Ray-Shosh pillow talk is the season highlight so far. The Hannah-Sandy fight is both hilarious and politically intense, laying out a lot of the issues people have had with the show in a spectacular way. The Adam stuff is losing the last of its light and I don’t know where that goes next. Somewhere darker. I hope the puppies come back.
(Related: HBO GO, 9.5, Best New Service To Borrow From Your In-Laws.)
Show took a hard swerve into a Steven Soderbergh movie tonight, probably one of the really raw ones he released VOD and does not star Matt Damon. Among the bleakness: Adam, the former picture of strength, unable to leave his bed to pee. Marnie having bad sex in the apartment she tried to leave behind — somehow a less desperate moment than her confrontation with Hannah. So much has seemingly changed and twisted off-screen since we’ve seen these people. I’m excited to see what happens next but hope the show doesn’t abandon the warmth and exuberance of Season 1.
I’m glad it won the Golden Globe. Especially nice to see Apatow up there, beaming.
Thoughts on the 2011-2012 television season, no categories:
After a great, weird fourth season, Mad Men’s fifth season was my favorite yet. There’s so much at stake for Don and it’s not until the finale that he truly understands it. Every character’s struggle is completely compelling and individualistic. And from a direction/editing/writing position, the show’s nearly flawless. Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, Kiernan Shipka — all incredible.
Parks and Recreation remains one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen, powered by a diverse, brilliant cast — each actor could launch a spin-off that might actually work. No other show on television is so warm and sympathetic toward its characters’ flaws; the humor’s never mean, outside of the case of Jerry — which is in itself a meta-joke on fat, white sitcom husbands. And he never takes it badly. The “Pawnee Rangers” episode is straight-up the best half-hour of TV comedy since Seinfeld.
Girls: Still really love this, still really think it addresses my generation in a way no other show even tries to. That doesn’t mean every character or plot point on the show has to ring true to a viewer’s life experience — that’s not how storytelling works, people! Dunham gets a lot of credit for making a hip, inviting show that isn’t quite a hipster show — and for knowing she’s not infallible.
Louie: Season 2 is brutally dark — strip out the stand-up scenes and this is not a comedy, though it’s never less than magnetic. It’s brave television, a show without a net: Louis CK doesn’t have a 3-season story arc for us, though he drops a wonderful cliffhanger in the finale. It’s not always easy, but I’ll follow wherever he leads.
Downton Abbey: Everybody agrees Season 2 was sort of bad but we loved it anyway, right? Right. Peerless production values and consistently gripping performances. Why watch television that isn’t a soap opera? There’s always real life for that.
Pretty Little Liars: Season 2 gets off to a rough start but finishes stronger than S1, weaving an increasingly dense web of mystery that manages the near-impossible feat of not turning Gossip Girl-implausible every third episode. This show is more tightly plotted than LOST, which maybe isn’t a great compliment, but the threads almost always pull together in the best possible way. The characters are predictable and paper-thin, but it’s charming paper.
Gossip Girl: In some ways, this was the show’s best season — Blair Waldorf gets married, loses her baby and goes through the strongest character arc in GG history, plus the big reveal of Chuck’s dad’s return. All squandered by the dad arc turning unbearably stupid and Blair and Dan splitting up over a few drinks and a Serena seduction after months of pursuit and slow embrace. Unbelievable, even for GG. Also: let’s be real, does anyone still care about gossip blogs, especially ones still sending text blasts? The show’s titular conceit is its biggest flaw, a upper limit on storytelling that might soar without it. Still, Leighton Meester deserves much more credit than she’ll ever get on The CW.
(This is every show I watch, by the way.)
Hannah and I are both 13 pounds overweight