Girls

hannah-en-couple-avec-adam

Tomorrow night, while you’re tuned into the 71st Golden Globes, the HBO series Girls (which is again nominated for a couple of those awards) will be kicking off its third season with an excellent therapy-filled episode featuring the guest-starring talents of Richard E. Grant (wise and weaselly), Bob Balaban (hilariously mumbly), Kim Gordon (magnificently meth-y) and Danielle Brooks of Orange Is the New Black (I almost want to believe she’s the same character here). You’ll want to DVR it. And make sure to subscribe to the whole season while you’re scheduling that recording. If you got rid of HBO or don’t have it, borrow someone’s HBO Go password. Stick with it for another round. Even if you’ve already made up your mind that you’re not going to bother with the show anymore, not after a fairly mediocre and miserable sophomore season, rethink that decision. So far, having gotten the chance to dip halfway in with the first six episodes, I think this is the most entertaining season yet. Maybe not the most consistently interesting, I’ll give its critics that, but still very smart and funny and relevant. And most importantly I think it’s the most likable it’s ever been. Perhaps after the midway point the characters will start being really shitty or pathetic again, which I’m sure is what some of its audience actually wants anyway. For now, I think it’s nice to not hate these people for a while. Because it’s the third season, I’ve appropriately limited myself to only three reasons for […]

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2013review_tvshows

According to the kind of people who are prone to make such pronouncements, the Golden Age of Television ended this year with the series finale of Breaking Bad. But with more quality television on the air today than is humanly possible to watch, I don’t see how that could possibly be true.  The one big observation about the TV landscape this year that I’d like to make is that there finally seems to be a preponderance of shows about women, a much-needed correction to the masculinity-obsessed, anti-hero shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. I love and admire all of those shows, but I’m glad to see that the new opportunities for original programming that the proliferation of cable and now Netflix and Amazon offers has resulted in more stories about women. Without further ado, my picks for the 13 best shows of 2013:

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2014 is almost upon us, and as loyal viewers of things on screens, we must prepare in advance for all that must be watched in the coming year. HBO feels the same way, it seems; in the last day or two they’ve begun rolling out previews for anything and everything available on the network next year. First came Girls, which we saw last week. Now comes a fresh crop of premiering TV for us to devote our lives to and/or quickly grow bored of. And yes, I know that “it’s not TV. It’s HBO,” but were I to actually write using that descriptor, this whole thing would be impossible to read. So let us begin. First to premiere (on January 12th) is True Detective. We’ve already seen a trailer for this one a few months ago, and this “Slow Boil” trailer is actually quicker and shorter than the original one. So no points there. But we’re given a few new tidbits that imply detectives Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey have, in fact, done something not-so-good somewhere between the twin timelines of 1995 and 2012. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Michael Potts, who, to all who’ve ever burned through five season of The Wire in a single weekend, will be instantly recognizable as Brother Mouzone. Glance below to watch.

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Girls season three

We may still be a few months out (fine, less than two, but it sure feels longer) from the third season premiere of Lena Dunham‘s Girls on HBO, but the series seems dedicated to keeping its fanbase involved by way of some offbeat (and surprisingly informative) teasers. We’ve already seen an all-stills look at the new season (which we wildly speculated about), and now we’re getting a GIF-friendly look at what we can expect to see in the lives (and complicated loves) of Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet (and Adam Driver! of course also Adam Driver!). BuzzFeed first revealed the new trailer (via an all-GIF preview that should round out your Girls Tumblr page quite nicely) earlier this week, and now the actual trailer is online for our enjoyment (via ScreenCrush). It’s not a traditional trailer for the show by any means, but it does feature some very interesting commentary about what we can expect from this new season. Let’s take a look and see what the future holds for our four favorite gals (and Adam!):

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Girls - Bad Friend

While we may have giggled (quite heartily, in fact) at Saturday Night Live’s recent Girls parody, we’re still excited about what the third season holds for creator and star Lena Dunham’s love life, co-star Zosia Mamet’s folliclely dazzling mane, sidekick Allison Williams’ surprisingly stirring Kanye West impersonation, and whatever the hell it is that unique snowflake Jemima Kirke will fuck up next. Though we won’t get any new Girls until next year, HBO has shared a very quick thirty-second “in production tease” that we will now break down for maximum speculation. When we last left our Girls girls, Hannah (Dunham) had pulled back in ex Adam (Adam Driver) with a deadly sexy combination of being just really pathetic and even more lonely, Shoshanna (Mamet) had finally cut ties with her sinking ship of a coffee shop manager boyfriend Ray (Alex Karpovsky), Marnie and her newly-reunited internet upstart boyfriend Charlie (Christopher Abbott) seemed poised for romantic greatness, and Jessa (Kirke) had run off after ditching her dumb bunny husband and crying in a bathtub. While I wasn’t wild about the second season finale, it did set up some interesting moving pieces – what would happen with Hannah and Adam? Would we see Hannah’s OCD again? Would Jessa come back? Was Ray going to be okay? – and the surprise departure of Abbott before filming began seemed to throw a real wrench into whatever insanity Marnie and Charlie were going to embark on. So what’s next for the be-denimed crew? Let’s guess.

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Tina Fey Girls

Saturday Night Live’s “rebuilding” year kicked off on Saturday night (well, of course) with the fall season’s first episode, featuring Tina Fey back to host (and to presumably add some gravitas and reliable talent to a rocky show) and Arcade Fire back to apparently have a Roman Coppola-filmed reason to consume illicit substances and dance on national television as if no one was actually watching. Fey’s entire monologue was amusingly centered on making the show’s six new cast members prance around in gold lame to a song about, well, making new cast members prance around in gold lame. While it could have fallen flat, Fey’s charm (and the inclusion of some very funny examples from her own early SNL days) powered it, and the mild desperation/total gameness of some of the new featured players (Beck Bennett, congrats on just really going for it) made it not entirely embarrassing for everyone involved (fine, we really enjoyed it). While the episode featured yet another self-referential bit that didn’t have nearly the same mileage, with  “New Cast Member or Arcade Fire,” the show was at its best when it allowed the new cast members to actually do something interesting and clever that genuinely capitalized on their talents. Or, as is the case with their “Girls Promo,” when it allowed new cast members (Noël Wells) to gel seamlessly with returning talent (Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam) and the episode’s host, giving the show not only its best sketch, but the best […]

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Girls

Having drawn (incredibly poor, it has to be noted, though damn if Shoshanna isn’t like a new wave Charlotte) comparisons to Sex and the City since the day it premiered, it seems only inevitable that Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls is now the subject (victim?) of its own “totally unauthorized and unofficial” walking tour in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Yesterday, Dunham herself Instagrammed a picture of a flyer (you can see it after the break) touting the tour that was apparently heartily taped to some sort of utility pole, presumably somewhere in Brooklyn (where Dunham lives). She amusingly captioned the ‘gram “Sign me uppp!!!” We like you, Lena. The tour’s flyer promises that you will accomplish the following during your tour of Greenpoint: “find out where Hannah whips up cappuccinos, tour the playgrounds of McGorlick Park, gawk at the exterior of an apartment building where Adam Driver’s character bench presses iron, discover where cast and crew have martinis after the last shot of the day (no pun intended!).” There are also notes about getting “insider tips” on how to make your own Tiny Furniture and a tempting offer for free Pabst Blue Ribbons. There is no way this tour is real. To reiterate: this tour promises to take you to the outside of an apartment building and then get you drunk on cheap beer. They also promise that you’ll get to hold a Golden Globe for a souvenir photo, which raises the question: just where did these wily tour operators get a […]

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Girls

The second season of Lena Dunham‘s Girls wrapped up with a humdinger of an episode, tantalizingly titled “Together.” Let’s just say that things ended on a far different note than they did last time around. When we open, Hannah is still struggling with her OCD, Adam is still struggling with his new girlfriend, Marnie is trying to get Charlie back (still?), and Shoshanna is trying to get rid of Ray (maybe). Oh, how things can change in just a matter of months. After the break, Rob Hunter and I continue to bemoan Adam’s happiness level, plot Marnie and Charlie’s yuppie future, and wonder just who thought a conventional rom-com ending was what anyone wanted (or deserved) for the season finale.

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Girls On All Fours

Editor’s note: Apologies on this late post of our most beloved Girls column, as editors Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter have been tied up with equally important endeavors – Kate moved cross country and Rob is eating veggie breakfast tacos at SXSW. It will never happen again. Onward with the embarrassment and sadness! Discomfort and embarrassment were the order of the day in the latest episode of Lena Dunham‘s Girls, the appropriately-titled “On All Fours,” as Hannah continued to spiral downward into her newly-revealed OCD, Marnie shamed every white girl who thought she could sing Kanye West in the middle of a crowded tech party, Shoshanna almost revealed her biggest mistake to Ray, and Adam attempted to live a happy life (emphasis on the “attempted to”). Were you sad last week? Yeah, meet this episode and recalibrate your depression appropriately. After the break, Hunter and I explore Adam’s inability to be happy, Dunham’s major acting step-up, and the worst party in the history of parties.

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It

Time to throw all our other superlatives out the window – turns out, the most memorable episode of Girls‘ second season won’t be that Patrick Wilson one or the one where Jessa leaves or even the one where Adam and Ray go on a terrible adventure together – it’s the one in which we learn that Hannah (Lena Dunham) has OCD. And, moreover, that’s she had it the entire time we’ve “known” her and she’s just been hiding it from everyone (not just her friends and admirers, but Dunham’s own audience). What? Exactly. Elsewhere, Adam (Adam Driver) goes on a great new date (with Shiri Appleby), Marnie (Allison Williams) learns about Charlie’s (Christopher Abbott) new life, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) starts sowing some wild oats while Ray (Alex Karpovsky) waits patiently at home. Were you looking for something to shake up the Girls world? Boom, here it is. After the break, Rob Hunter and I continue the Adam Driver lovefest, argue about the implications of Hannah’s newly-revealed OCD, and don’t really miss Jessa at all.

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Video Games

There have already been a number of major changes in the lives of our Girls in the HBO series’ second season – Hannah has an e-book deal, Marnie is finally struggling with career and romance issues in a believable way, and Shoshanna is in the first adult relationship of her life – but nothing has been as markedly relatable as a giant life change than Jessa’s (impending? already done? totally just laying in wait until it can pop up at a more inoppurtune time?) divorce from idiot Thomas John. While we’ve seen a bit of the fallout from their final bust-up (in previous episodes, it’s clear that Jessa might not even be showering as of now), the newest Girls episode, “Video Games,” provided us with the seemingly novel opportunity to really get inside Jessa’s head – by visiting her family. Jessa and Hannah head upstate to visit Jessa’s dad, his latest girlfriend, a pack of ill-fated rabbits, and one of Hannah’s most inappropriate paramours yet (hint: not a rabbit), and the result is a glimpse inside Jessa’s childhood, some serious regression, and a surprise ending that leaves a lot to wonder about. After the break, Rob Hunter and I just flat out disagree on a lot of things about “Video Games.” We both, however, agree that Hannah’s got some great one-liners this time around.

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Girls and Boys

Things are getting tough in Girlstown. A week after Lena Dunham‘s series had its most controversial/wonderful episode yet, we get plunged back into the darkest depths of life in the big city with “Boys.” Well, as dark as they can get. While Hannah (Dunham) gets an e-book deal (which is a thing now?), seemingly setting the stage for a happy episode, she vomits into the bushes immediately after getting the biggest career boost of her life. How fitting, because it’s all downhill from there, as Marnie (Allison Williams) is forced to confront the real nature of her relationship with the unbelievably-still-around Booth Jonathan (Jorma Taccone), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) apparently abandons bathing, and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Adam (Adam Driver) (yes, you read that pairing right) go on an adventure to Staten Island. You won’t believe how many people cry by this episode’s end – and maybe you will, too. After the break, Rob Hunter and I discuss the most depressing episode of Girls yet, wonder just what the hell an “e-book” is, and envision our own Adam and Ray variety hour.

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girls patrick wilson

Kate Erbland and I don’t quite agree on this week’s episode of HBO’s Girls. It’s a shame, too, as we’ve been in such beautiful synch recently. The ep opens with a brief appearance by Ray (Alex Karpovsky) before Hannah (Lena Dunham) disappears down guest star Patrick Wilson‘s rabbit hole for a few days of the high life. That’s it… no Marnie, no Jessa, no Shoshanna and still(!) no goddamn Adam. What’s the deal? Keep reading as Kate and I struggle to answer that question below:

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Girls

A dinner party does not an adult make, but trying telling that to Hannah (Lena Dunham) during the latest episode of HBO’s Girls. Intent on celebrating her coke-binging, article-writing success, Hannah throws a dinner party for her nearest and dearest (currently made up of a true motley crew of pals, considering that Hannah has also recently chucked out Elijah and appears to be in need of a bustling apartment to make up for such a sizable and well-coiffed loss) that only leads to disaster while, elsewhere in the city, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is in the middle of her own terrible dinner, this one at a steakhouse with Thomas-John’s (Chris O’Dowd) parents. These people just shouldn’t eat together, because this week’s episode, “It’s a Shame About Ray,” proves that gathering people over food only leads to the outing of some pent-up angst. Oh, it was so unappetizing. After the break, Rob Hunter and I again delve into the machinations of the Girls girls, miss our favorite wacky paramour, and ponder the unexpected love story blossoming before our eyes. Delicious.

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Girls - Bad Friend

Apologies to our loyal readers, as your faithful Girls recappers/chatterers have just returned from playing in the snow and lung-crushing altitude of the Sundance Film Festival, an outing that kept myself and Rob Hunter from watching, reviewing, and bitching about the HBO series’ second episode of its second season in a timely manner. So consider this a two-for-one, as this week, we discuss both “I Get Ideas” and “Bad Friend,” the second and third episodes from the show’s second season. And, man, are these some enlightening episodes (if you consider drugs to be enlightening, which these girls definitely do). After the break, Elijah confesses, Hannah experiments, and we start pitching ideas for our own Girls spin-off.

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Girls Lena Dunham

Hosts Geoff LaTulippe and Scott Beggs hate Girls, so they’re celebrating it with Kate Erbland, who was nice enough to help them understand the genuine love for Lena Dunham‘s terribly average HBO series. Also on this week’s show, Broken City director Allen Hughes talks shooting fast, celebrating 20 years of Menace II Society and why he loves crime dramas, and Geoff explains a truly despicable “management” scam that aspiring screenwriters need to protect themselves against. Don’t get suckered. Listen now. Download Episode #2

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lindsay-lohan-james-deen-the-canyons-trailer-01

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s exactly what it says it is… movie news, after dark. Here is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie – This great expose from the New York Times Magazine exposes the world of Lindsay Lohan, Bret Eastin Ellis and The Canyons. Poor, poor Paul Schrader.

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Girls, It

It’s only appropriate on the morning after Lena Dunham‘s Girls picked up two Golden Globes and the HBO series debuted its second season opener that Rob Hunter and I unveil our new Girls column. And, here it is! Just kidding (only sort of). In this new feature, Rob and I will break down the latest episodes of the scripted hit and then talk about them via email for as long as we can stand talking to each other about a scripted television show via email. We know you can’t wait to get inside our heads when it comes to half-hour series about unhappy twentysomething scraping by in the far reaches of Brooklyn, and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this new feature. Much like a still-blossoming Brooklyn twentysomething, this column is still in development, and we appreciate any feedback, hate mail, and demands you feel like sending our way. Or cake. We like cake, too. Without further ado, after the break, Rob and I share our thoughts on the first season, recap some of our favorite bits from last night’s episode, and get deep about Adam finally getting honest.

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The Best TV Shows of 2012

While the new fall line-up wasn’t too impressive (there are only two freshman series on this list, neither of which premiered in the fall) and former powerhouses have stumbled (Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire), this is still an amazing time for TV. The most outstanding programs don’t just have excellent writing and actors, they’re reinventing genres and challenging viewers with daring storytelling. TV is gutsier now (sometimes literally gutsier with blood and innards all over the place) and its fantastic. When compiling this list, I chose the shows that sparked visceral reactions. These are the comedies, dramas, and (often overlooked) animated gems that made me laugh out loud, cringe, cry like an idiot, or yell “oh snap” at every wild turn.

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! Who wants a free DVD of one of this week’s new releases? As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Story of Film: An Odyssey There have been many documentaries about movies, but all of them can pretty much give up and go home now. This British production was six years in the making, filmed across four continents, covers eleven decades and nearly one thousand films in its quest to offer as complete as possible a look at and into the world of cinema. Film historian Mark Cousins begins his journey in the late 1800s and through fifteen hour-long episodes explores the innovators and the ways they helped the art form grow and transform into the films we have today. Filled with film clips, anecdotes, interviews and a deep knowledge of film history, this is a fascinating look at all aspects of cinema. The only criticism I can muster, and it’s a minor one, is that Cousins’ voice may not be the ideal choice for fifteen hours of narration. [Extras: Booklet]

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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