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Tag: Spot Inspection (1-10 of 37)

'Parenthood' spot inspection: Heed the warning signs, Bravermans!

I only cried once. I ONLY CRIED ONCE! It’s a Braverman miracle. But don’t be alarmed: Though the two often seem to correlate, you can’t judge an episode of Parenthood by how many times it makes you sob. I recently saw a film that was so melodramatic I wept for 75% of its duration, even though it hardly developed a character beyond “she’s the nicest one, and she’s definitely going to die in an hour.” It went for the cry every time and it was not enjoyable.

Parenthood, by contrast, doesn’t go for the cry. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that Parenthood is only about the cry.

Thursday’s episode was a great contribution to a confident season. Perhaps its swing to the less-than-three side of my crying average had to do with its focus on non-original Bravermans — people we don’t know enough about to get emotional just thinking about all they’ve been through in the last four years.


PopWatch Confessional: I can't stop watching 'Pitch Perfect' on cable

There are movies we’ll watch every time we spot them on cable because we love them. For me, that’s Apollo 13. Then, there are movies that we’ll get sucked into because it’s summer and there’s nothing else on. This is particularly dangerous if you have the HBO family of channels — East and West feeds. The film that’s currently in heavy rotation is Pitch Perfect, which is genuinely great and therefore guilt-free – until you catch yourself tweeting about having a “toner” for Jesse (Skylar Astin), suddenly noticing how well that T-shirt fit him in the dorm room, and thinking of songs that could have LEGALLY followed his rendition of “Feels Like the First Time” in the Riff Off (“Like a Virgin, touched for the very first time” — if it hadn’t been used in an earlier round). I spotted the movie last night at 12:30 a.m. on HBOE, and didn’t stay up watching it, which would’ve been a triumph if I didn’t instead fast-forward through the airing I’d previously recorded on my DVR.

Your turn. What movies have you been repeatedly getting sucked into now that there’s nothing else on? More examples: In recent weeks, I’ve seen First Daughter – the movie starring Katie Holmes and Michael Keaton, not Mandy Moore and Mark Harmon – enough times that I feel I must finally admit, publicly, that I’ve forgiven Marc Blucas for Riley, his character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve also watched What’s Your Number? starring Anna Faris and Chris Evans repeatedly, and I know I’m not alone:

Spot Inspection: 'Nashville' gets it on sooner than we expected! -- VIDEO

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched this week’s Nashville and intend to, stop reading now. Otherwise, let’s relive the moment that had some people wanting to shout Deacon’s name from the rooftops. (Now known as Twitter and Facebook.) Then, we’ll assess where we stand on various plot-points in five polls. READ FULL STORY

Spot Inspection: What TV show are you marathoning before Fall TV kicks in?

With the fall TV season on the horizon, chances are  you’re feeling under the gun to marathon a certain show. Either you want to be caught up by the time it starts its new season or, if it’s an older show, you simply want to finish it before you have to turn your attention to returning favorites and figuring out which new series warrant a season pass. Which show is it? READ FULL STORY

'Bent': Love the 'Riggins,' hate the 'Screwsie'?

If you missed the premiere of NBC’s new comedy Bent last night — and judging by the ratings, many of you did — you can read Ken Tucker’s review here. What I want to discuss is whether the show lost whatever cool points it got for making “Riggins” the last name of contractor Pete (David Walton) by choosing “Screwsie” as the name for the wild younger sister (Margo Harshman) of his new client Alex (Amanda Peet).

Riggins was the last name of Taylor Kitsch’s character on Friday Night Lights, and since Bent cast FNL‘s Jesse Plemons (i.e. Landry) as one of Pete’s crew, it’s safe to assume the shoutout was intentional. Riggins fits Pete. He’s a laid-back bad boy who could have any woman he wants for a night except good girl Alex, a newly single mom with a new rich doctor boyfriend. She’d need Pete to be a better, more responsible man before she’d sleep with him. I assume Screwsie is a clever nickname for a promiscuous screwup actually named Susie, and the fact that Alex loves her sister is supposed to give us hope that she could love Pete. But Screwsie? Really? Or am I the only one it annoyed?

Read more:
NBC’s ‘Bent’ premiere ratings out of shape
‘Bent’ premiere review: Does this good sitcom deserve better treatment from its network?

Seasonal depression: What entertainment helps you cope?

As the days become colder and more gray in New York City, I’m making a concentrated effort to self-medicate against seasonal depression. My first line of defense was my “Summer” playlist, but I found that listening to Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You” just reminded me that I’m not feeling the “sunshine shinin’ down on me and you.” So last night, I decided to make a new playlist: “Fun country breakup songs.” It acknowledges my mood without letting me wallow in it. These are mid or fast tempo tunes you can sing along/drink to. That’s therapeutic, right? My playlist is below, in case you want to copy it.

How are you using entertainment to cope with seasonal depression? (If I’m at home, near my laptop, and in need of a quick fix, I’ve got multiple Urban guitar solos bookmarked like this one and this one that heat me right up. I’ll also visit Swoonworthy.net — tagline “It’s raining men… hallelujah!” — to check on the Magic Mike countdown clock or revisit this photo from the 30 shots for Taylor Kitsch’s 30th birthday post. Hey, whatever it takes, people. Royal Pains doesn’t return until Jan. 18.)  READ FULL STORY

Spot Inspection: What TV show are you currently catching up on?

Here’s some good PR for Netflix! Starting tomorrow, Mad Men‘s first four seasons will be available for instant streaming. That means you can catch up on the entire series with a binge, or by rationing to make it last you through the summer. That made us wonder: What TV show are you currently catching up on while your DVR is light? (It’s always both a relief and a disappointment to return home from a week’s vacation and find your DVR still has space, right?)

Right now, I’m in limbo. So really, I’m just looking for ideas. I finally watched both seasons of Party Down this summer and highly recommend you doing so if you haven’t. I’ve got a Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series set on my desk. Thinking that’s what I’ll dive into next…

Your turn.

'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark': The new reviews are in!

Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark made its official debut last night after overcoming months of delays, media ridicule, and the departure of original director Julie Taymor. But now the $70 million musical, which got a creative overhaul during a three week hiatus last month, faces its biggest challenge yet: Winning over the critics who widely panned it back in February. So how did it go over? READ FULL STORY

'Off the Map': Is it different enough from 'Grey's Anatomy' yet?

Off-Map-Im-HereImage Credit: ABC The fifth episode of Off the Map aired last night, and while prevailing opinions at the beginning of the show’s run were that it was simply “Grey’s Anatomy in the jungle,” it’s become clear (to  me, at least) that this show is not Grey’s Anatomy. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Let’s examine.

From a medical standpoint, they’re apples and oranges. Off the Map is bat-shat crazy in a way Grey’s needn’t be because the former show’s characters don’t have access to a vast array of advanced medical amenities — and I like it that way. Last night, for example, Zee removed larvae from the skin of a patient (whom she used to be involved with) using bacon. Seriously. READ FULL STORY

Spot Inspection: What's the most-played 'Glee' song on your iPod?

Watching the sneak peek of the Warblers’ cover of Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” from this Sunday’s post-Super Bowl episode (embedded below), I had two thoughts: Thank goodness Will didn’t sing this (I envision a lot of Matthew Morrison’s signature spin move), and I’m buying that on iTunes (done). That made wonder, what’s the most played Glee song on your iPod? I’ve got one Glee song in my Top 25 most played — “Bust Your Windows.” The rest of my Glee Top 10, in order: “Teenage Dream,” “Defying Gravity,” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (tie), “Last Christmas,” “Take a Bow,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” “No Air,” “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” and “Hello.” What’s interesting: Aside from the Christmas songs, the Glee covers of those tracks were the first versions I actually purchased for my iPod. I’m not saying they’re better than the original, but that if I don’t already have a song that I like on my iPod, I’m more likely to buy the Glee version when it reminds me of it. That happen to anyone else? READ FULL STORY

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