Orphan Black “Certain Agony of the Battlefield” Review (3×06)

23 May

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“We do terrible things for the people we love. Stop asking ‘why?’, and start asking ‘who?'”

“Certain Agony of the Battlefield” is exactly the kind of episode this season needs. It’s a thrill ride from the first second to the last, an hour brimming with tension and history and energy. It brings many of the show’s plots together, delivers answers to burning questions, and tells a compelling story in and of itself, and it’s easily one of the best episodes this show has produced.

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Louie “The Road: Part 1″ Review (5×07)

21 May

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The monotony of a Louie trip is summed up by the opening of the episode: him tossing a bunch of clothes into his suitcase and droning “Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, sweat”. Like he tells his driver–Mike, played wonderfully by Devin Ratray–this trip is pretty much “like going to the toilet, something I have to do”. The season’s not just looking at Louie within the context of his kids or his relationships; rather, it’s also looking at what it means to him to be a comedian, what it really means to “take a trip”.

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Community “Modern Espionage” Review (6×11)

19 May

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Community‘s first two paintball episodes were comedy classics, episodes that brought both humor and poignant emotional beats as they paid homage to a considerable number of action movies. They were the show at its best, and although “Modern Espionage” doesn’t quite capture the magic of those two episodes–what can?–it’s still my favorite episode of the new season. It’s an entertaining ride from start to finish, and it still manages to stay fresh and fun.

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Mad Men “Person to Person” Review (7×14)

18 May

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“Happiness is just a moment before you need more happiness.”

This specific quote is nowhere to be found in the series finale of Mad Men, but the idea behind it plays out in nearly every scene of the hour. It’s certainly not the best episode this show has produced, but it puts a thematic bow on the series, giving us a snapshot of and hope for these characters’ futures; yes, there will always be something in life that knocks them down and causes intense self-doubt, but what matters at the end of “Person to Person” is the fact that they find happiness in this moment. What matters is that we see just how much life is built on being person to person, on being formed out of the relationships we share with others. Happiness, therefore, is only a person away.

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Saturday Night Live “Louis CK/Rihanna” Live Blog and Review (40×21)

16 May

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HILLARY CLINTON SUMMER COLD OPEN: This is a pretty entertaining song to kick off the finale, and once again, it’s fun to see Kate McKinnon and Darrell Hammond as Hillary and Bill, respectively. My favorite part? Hillary attempting to lean against the surfboard in a “cool” manner. Also really like the sung “Live from New York!” GRADE: B+

MONOLOGUE: The SNL Facebook feed is hilarious to read right now. This monologue is going to cause many people–including Lorne–to lose their minds, but as is the case with anything Louis CK does, I find it absolutely biting and brilliant (understandable if you don’t, though). The “mild racism” is fairly, well, mild compared to his child molesting bit, and I can’t believe he got away with it. Happy he did it, though. GRADE: A

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Orphan Black “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” Review (3×05)

16 May

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“Now we are even, sestra.”

When Orphan Black centers an episode around a certain plot and commits to it with aplomb, it can be some of the most thrilling television on right now. As much as I love Alison and Donnie, them not being in this episode helps the hour maintain more of a focused, propulsive nature, and it’s fun to watch it all unfold. It’s the Tatiana Maslany show once again–this time for her Sarah and Helena performances–and it’s a great way to end the first half of the season.

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Louie “Sleepover” Review (5×06)

15 May

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This is just a really fun episode. Last week’s was certainly very experimental, but this one gets back to the basics, delivering a consistently funny storyline with tons of little jokes thrown in and several fantastic performances to anchor. It’s as entertaining as television gets these days, and it utilizes a great set up to both bring the laughs and to explore the Louie character in depth.

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