Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Scandal” (Sorta.)

Dear Frank,

scandal-embed1I still haven’t watched True Detective yet. I know! I don’t have any really good excuses. It’s all available, right there on HBO Go, and I know that it is quality zeitgeist television that will Change My Life or at least Be Intellectually Stimulating.

But instead, while I work and write and keep up with the internet, I’m rewatching Season 2 of Scandal. This is in part because Scandal does not require one’s full attention. But also because ugh, Frank, Scandal is just SO GOOD.

And I say this as someone who has not typically enjoyed the television stylings of one Shonda Rhimes! I mean, mad props to her — I have the utmost respect for how she’s created three television shows and developed many more and worked with young, up-and-coming talent and the whole time remained completely true to her own voice.

But I got really mad at the Grey’s Anatomy pilot when Meredith Grey had an one night stand and OMG that one night stand was her new boss! So I never really watched Grey’s Anatomy, or Private Practice, and was totally ready to write Shonda Rhimes off forever.

And then Scandal happened! Scandal, you beautiful silly complicated slutty minx of a series. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “After Earth”

Dear Frank,

after earth posterAs I write this, let me tell you — I’m not feeling great. Some sort of head/chest congestion thing. It’s way better today than it was on Sunday, thanks to the joys of modern medicine, but it also means that I write this now after having just taken my second dose of DayQuil of the day, and I’m gonna tell you, I feel a little bit loopy.

Which is probably the best possible place from which to approach After Earth.

Yes, Frank, technically I know what I’m getting into. I know this movie is not good. But I need to know JUST HOW BAD.

Because here’s the thing — the question I pose today isn’t “is After Earth a terrible film?” but rather “is After Earth WORSE than Battlefield Earth?” It’s time for the Scientology Metaphor Movie Showdown! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”

Dear Frank,

noah-posterMonday night, about ten minutes before a screening of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, I made the following joke on Twitter:

Do you think I’ll have a hard time understanding “Noah” if I don’t read the book first? (I remember hearing it was based on some book…)

Not exactly groundbreaking, as jokes go. But it happened to be couched in some amount of truth. I would probably consider myself a spiritual person, but that spirituality owes absolutely nothing to the Good Book and any knowledge of the material within is due largely to pop culture’s appropriation of it. Like, I know what Gethsemane is, but only because there’s an X-Files episode called that, you know?

(DAMN IT I almost made it a full 24 hours without referencing The X-Files in some context. Frank, I was doing SO GOOD.)

Point is, I know the basics of the Noah story — God decides to punish Man with flood, one guy builds a really big boat to save the creatures that can’t swim to survive it — and went into Aronofsky’s interpretation assuming that the rest of what happened in the film would be drawn from the original text.

But the next day, when I was talking with people online about what I’d seen, I was surprised to learn that NOPE. Not only is the original text, in one person’s words, “really bare bones” but Aronofsky took some, um, liberties with the source material. And Aronofsky’s version? BONKERS. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “How I Met Your Mother”

Dear Frank,

how_i_met_your_motherSo it’s been a little while — sorry about that. There are a number of reasons, most of which boil down to “I really am going to tell you about After Earth out of revenge for it NEARLY KILLING ME the first time I tried oh god that movie’s bad.”

But someonething I loved left us forever this week, and I’ve been waiting for years to tell you about it. Once upon a time, Frank, this guy named Ted made his kids listen to the story of how he met their mother. It only took NINE SEASONS, Frank, but tonight that story came to a close.

And look, I could get into a lot of the details about this epic journey through the mid-20s to mid-30s years of a group of attractive white Manhattanites. I mean, just for starters, Ted’s many failed relationships, the incredibly loving marriage of his best friends Lily and Marshall, their womanizing buddy Barney’s love of manipulating women into casual sex, Ted’s long-time crush Robin’s pursuit of success as an on-air journalist, Lily’s failed art career, Marshall’s struggles as a corporate lawyer, Ted’s architectural obsession with the Empire State Building, Lily’s credit card debt, Robin’s secret past as a Canadian teen pop star, Barney’s black half-brother, Marshall’s obsession with puns, that time Ted and Barney licked the Liberty Bell, the Slap Bet…

Like I said. I COULD GO INTO DETAIL. But Frank, you want to know who the mother is. We all have wanted to know who the mother is FOR NEARLY A FUCKING DECADE. So I’m going to tell you. Read the rest of this entry

Jeff Tells Liz What Happend In “NXT Arrival”

Hey Liz, long time no Tell You What Happened In Stuff.

As you know, I am a fan of wrestling, specifically the WWE, the biggest wrestling company in the US. The WWE is a maddening company, capable of weaving excellent, nuanced storylines right along with pandering, misanthropic garbage, often on the same show. The quality of the actual wrestling in WWE right now is about as high as I’ve ever seen it, but the stories on the WWE’s flagship shows, Raw and Smackdown, are all over the map. However, recently there’s been one oasis of excellence in the WWE lineup: NXT, currently airing on the WWE Network. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In TNT’s “The Librarian”

Dear Frank,

posterThe other day, as I looked through my media collection, I was reminded of how many kinda stupid things I kinda totally love. Like, the 2002 Jennifer Lopez movie Enough, where Billy Campbell beats the shit out of Jennifer Lopez until she says ENOUGH! It’s through-and-through Lifetime crap, but I have seen it at least a half dozen times, the guilt tearing at me inside.

There’s so much other stuff I haven’t seen, Frank! And good stuff, too! The Internet won’t stop yelling about True Detective, but I’m rewatching a movie that contains lines of dialogue like “You have a divine animal right to protect your life and the life of your offspring.” STOP ME, FRANK. HELP ME SAY ENOUGH WITH ENOUGH.

I bring up stupid things I love apologetically to provide a contrast to stupid things I love unapologetically. Like, for example, the TNT original film series The Librarian: [Let's Go Looking For Insert Precious Relic Here], which (it was recently announced) will soon become fodder for an upcoming TV show! Holy shit, Frank! Is it fucking CHRISTMAS? Read the rest of this entry

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