Monthly Archives: November 2011

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “The Simpsons” Episode “The Book Job”

Dear Frank,

When was the last time you watched a new episode of The Simpsons? Yeah, same here — a long time! At this point, I would guess that I have only seen a third of the episodes produced to date, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you remember that there have been almost FIVE HUNDRED EPISODES of The Simpsons. That is a lot of episodes. Perhaps too many! Who’s to say.

But while you, me and most comedy snobs have abandoned the show at some point in the last decade, The Simpsons has continued to turn out episodes with a continually impressive roster of guest stars. Last season alone they had Cheech and Chong, Halle Berry, Hugh Laurie, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, a whole bunch of other people

And this season, they had Neil Gaiman, which is what brings us together today. Frank, ostensibly I’m telling you about a recent Simpsons episode because revisiting the show this late into its run makes for an interesting intellectual exercise. But the real reason I’m writing this is that despite the fact that I’ve been a tremendous fan of his work for over a decade, Neil Gaiman has started annoying me over the last year or so, and I need to spend a thousand words or so working out why that is. Sorry, Frank. We’ll get through this together. Read the rest of this entry


Jeff Tells Liz What Happened In the “Top Model All Stars” Clip Show

Liz, it’s the clip show episode. There’s always a bit of new footage in here, so I’ll just give you a rundown of any interesting bits.

-During the first photo shoot, Sheena asked Lisa if she was a lesbian because Lisa could not stop staring at her.

-Isis had to answer a LOT of questions about her gender reassignment.

-Alexandria dreamed that this cycle would be different from her last one, where all the other girls hated her. Alexandria calls the other girls her “13 best friends”, because they are together 24/7. It’s like being in prison and declaring your cell mate to be your BFF. Do you get the feeling that Alexandria came back on this show not to win a competition, but just to prove that she can be likable? I’m getting that feeling. After Alexandria got into it with Bianca, Allison had a talk with her. In what seems like a wildly-out-of-context interview, Allison says “it’s like watching some strange car accident.” Allison admits that talking to Alexandria is hard, “I was just trying to be nice, but that doesn’t work here.” Allison knows the rules of Top Model prison. She’s like Morgan Freeman to Alexandria’s Tim Robbins. Read the rest of this entry

Lauren Tells Liz What Happened In “Hart of Dixie”

Guest post! Lauren Ludwig is a writer and TV watcher who likes movies about high school and weird old pictures of people. She regularly directs the comedy show Lost Moon Radio and helps out other writers in her work as a coach.

Hi Liz!

I don’t usually tell you things, but I have occasionally piped up when Frank has been telling you things. (You can see my child-like outbursts regarding the original Totoro dub track here.)

Since this is my first LTF post, let me start with some basic facts about me.

FACT #1: I love shows intended for teenagers.

FACT #2: Most shows intended for teenagers are terrible.

This does not mean I love terrible shows. It means I spend a lot of my time lamenting the fact that my favorite genre (if we can call teen-centric shows a genre — let’s!) is being run into the ground by CW executives that are more interested in playing dress-up that in storytelling. (I once heard that the Prez of the CW approves EVERY OUTFIT that goes on the air. How does she find the time to make good shows between all those outfits? She doesn’t!) Read the rest of this entry

Jeff Tells Liz What Happened In “Top Model All Stars” Ep 10

Liz, I have made myself a rum and Coke to help things along. Let’s do this.

We open this episode by establishing intense, one-sided rivalries. Angelea wonders why Dominique got first picture last week when Angelea felt that hers was better. Angelea does not think Dominique deserves to have made it this far. Dominique is completely oblivious to Angelea’s animosity. Meanwhile, Lisa interviews about how the judges (correctly) fawn all over Allison. Lisa thinks Allison looks “dead”. Uh, okay. Lisa says she is the total package, and that she should win. You just might, Lisa! If you could win any cycle, this would be the one. Yes, I’m still predicting an Allison/Lisa final two.

No one has a secret rivalry with Laura, because awwww, Laura! Laura does get a bit of interview time to explain that Angelea seems to be having confidence issues.

Don’t forget that we’re still in Greece! The girls get a Tyra Mail telling them that they will meet with the judges tomorrow. The next day, the girls meet with Miss J. Miss J explains that there’s a TWISTEROO and the judges the girls are meeting are EACH OTHER. The girls will be criticizing (constructively, supposedly) one another’s walks and portfolios.

On Dominique’s first photo, Laura says “Your face looks amazing, but I don’t like your legs. Kinda looks like you’re fartin’.” Laura, y’all! And ugh, all these critiques are chopped up and edited into a big critique salad, cutting between all the girls, making recapping difficult. Laura gets up for some grilling by Miss J, and he asks which of the girls doesn’t deserve to be the winner. Laura, class act all the way, tells Miss J that even if her answer costs her the challenge, she would never say that any of the remaining girls don’t deserve to win. When it’s Allison’s turn to answer the same question, she too refuses to name someone. So does Lisa, probably since she knows Allison is her only serious competition and putting her down now would tip her hand. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened in “She-Ra: Princess of Power”

Dear Frank,

This is a true story — I didn’t learn how to swim until the age of 12 because of She-Ra: Princess of Power. Well, and my own stubbornness, I suppose. When I was four or five, my parents, wanting me to be safe both on land and at sea, signed me up for swimming lessons. But the lessons were at the same time that She-Ra aired after school and in that pre-DVR age, missing She-Ra after school meant missing it FOREVER. This was unacceptable to me. So I staged a multi-pronged offensive, including temper tantrums, passive aggressive comments, and (to the best of my memory) one or two bathroom lock-ins, and eventually they gave up on the swim lessons and I was able to watch as much She-Ra as I liked.

I tell this story not because I’m particularly proud of it, but to make the following point: Frank, I REALLY LIKED SHE-RA. It was MY FAVORITE SHOW. But because not only was I watching it in a pre-DVR era, but a pre-DVD era, it wasn’t a show I was able to religiously rewatch; instead, as I grew older, I moved onto other animated entertainments, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men and Gargoyles.

This means that now, as a lady of mature years, I had the opportunity to sit down and watch a She-Ra episode at random — as if I were watching the show for the first time. I mean that pretty much literally, because WOW, Frank. I do not remember She-Ra AT ALL.

The episode I watched, “The Stone in the Sword,” was selected largely because it was the first episode available on Netflix. As a sampling of this beloved show, though, it seemed fairly representative of the series. Which is to say, WHAT THE FUCK. Read the rest of this entry

Jeff Tells Liz What Happened In “Top Model All Stars” Ep 9

Liz, this is not my only project tonight. I’ll try to keep it brief. Only six ladies left!

We open with Shannon admitting that she’s the only girl left who hasn’t won best photo. Hey, she’s right! She interviews that “thousands” of girls have emailed her to tell her she is their role model. Their role model in nonsensical underwear/bikini standards, I’m guessing.

The girls have lunch. The editors try and make it out like there’s tension between Dominique and Angelea, but I’m not buying it and neither should you.

Back at the house, Andre Leon Talley shows up at the front door, once again dressed as Raiden. I guess that’s just his regular day-wear. Or perhaps he REALLY IS RAIDEN. Anything is possible in this brave new world of ours, I suppose. He’s here to bring the girls dinner, and two “waiters” come in the front door, each carrying a stack of plates in each hand. The “waiters” mince about in the foyer until one runs into the other, knocking one of his plate stacks to the ground, shattering it. The “waiters” snipe at each other, and smash their remaining plates on the ground. They then dash past the girls and into the house.

Andre is “shocked”, but says that there is a country in the world where that is tradition. “Like in Greece! Where we’re all headed.” If you can imagine a more underwhelming introduction to the whole out-of-the-country trip, I’d like to hear it. Read the rest of this entry

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