Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Movie Series: Night at the Museum- Battle of the Smithsonian

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch nervously wait to hear which one of them is still in the running to become America's Next Top Model

This movie has the same problem as Wolverine- trying to introduce way too many characters in the short span of the movie. There was no need for back story for this bunch (because everyone recognizes the historical figures and pop culture icons), but unfortunately, the many new introductions did take away from developing the plot.

Night at the Museum 2 starts out with Larry Daley, our hero night guard, moving on from the guarding business and now starring in infomercials boasting his own products. He visits his old museum when he can to check on his friends who now feel ignored and abandoned. They are especially resentful because no one was present to speak on their behalf when the board made the decision to replace most of the displays with new holograms. Now half of the museum is being sent to the Smithsonian for long term storage without the tablet! Larry feels sorry for everyone, but claims he can do nothing and moves on. This wouldn't really make for an interesting story, so the monkey steals the tablet to take to D.C., forcing Larry to follow and save his friends from new enemies.

He quickly encounters Kahmunrah (older brother of the true tablet owner) and discovers he is a flamboyant Hank Azaria with a lisp. I love a good bad...bad guy. Hank Azaria is hilarious from beginning to end. From recruiting Napoleon, Al Capone, and Ivan the criticizing Darth Vader's cape, he doesn't stop with the laughs. His plan to take the tablet is weakly written, though, and is pretty vague. He uses it to open a door to the dead to resurrect an army, but he needs to know the code for the tablet to do so. He assumes Larry must have this knowledge, and gives him one hour to decipher it before he starts killing off his trapped friends from the New York museum. The movie is a little disappointing in this respect because I liked the characters from the old movie, and in this one, they are barely shown. They explain this by keeping the old characters trapped in a storage box being guarded by Al Capone's men, but I feel like they could have escaped and contributed more to the story.

To appease the moviegoers, Amy Adams bounds in the movie as Amelia Earhart with an enormous amount of energy and spunk to make up for the lack of old characters. She is a fast talker, and even though she is always amusing, I found her a little hard to keep up with. One minute she's rambling on about adventure, and the next she is trying to fly her old plane just for fun. I think they needed to make her character a bit more competent and focused. Amelia tags along with Larry and helps him decipher the tablet's code by finding new museum figures to ask. One of my favorite scenes during this quest is when they resort to asking bobble head Einsteins. These quirky little guys are eager to help and finish each others thoughts as they give their two cents on the answer to the tablet. And...they do it with an attitude.

I also was highly amused by the giant red balloon dog statue that bounded around in the background of some scenes. I couldn't find a picture of him in the movie, but I did find a picture of the actual sculpture by Jeff Koons. The statue is nameless and never talks, but once it hops into screen, you can't help but giggle at its playfulness.

I had fun watching this movie, but I don't recommend going to it for the story. It mostly relies on your interest in museum figures and your ability to be dazzled by special effects. But that can be fun, too. They expanded on what they could bring to life, and now include moving paintings and pictures that you can jump into. This allows for a small extra plot involving the soldier kissing the war away picture and a cell phone, but you have to wait for the credits to see the result. It comes early on, so don't rush out of the theater.

I feel bad giving yet another 3 star rating, but that's how this movie was for me. The characters are fun to watch, and you leave with that same urge (like the first movie) to go to the nearest museum and wander around for hours. I just hope they don't make a third installment. Then I think museum attendance might start to go down....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Greek Episode Recap 5/25

Greek 5/25/2009

This is my first episode recap post. It will take some time to find a good format, but I'll start with a picture heavy post first to see how that works out. Greek is actually my favorite show on television right now (including those that have already wrapped for the season). The writing is always well-balanced (not too depressing or too happy) and fresh. I'm going to recap this episode by dividing it into the three main plot lines. First is the short, but funny adventures of Rebecca and Evan. These characters haven't interacted much since the beginning of the show, so it was fun to see them together. Here is how their story played out:

First, Rebecca's car was towed for parking in the faculty lot. Since Ashleigh had to study, Evan surprisingly offered to take Rebecca to the impound lot to retrieve her car since she needed to get to her laptop to turn in a paper.

No one was at the impound lot, so they tried to jump the fence to just get the laptop out of the car.

Unfortunately, the reincarnation of Kujo stood between them in the car.

After a few failed attempts, they managed to trap themselves in the car. Rebecca finished her paper and sent it in wireless, and the two realized they might be able to form some type of friendship despite all of the awkwardness.

I thought this side plot was great. The rest of the episode was tense, so it was nice to watch these two characters try to thwart a guard dog, especially after it swallowed Rebecca's remote control. They had to lure the dog near the car so the key would wirelessly unlock it, and this became higly amusing as niether one was able to outrun the dog, and instead opted for hiding in it instead. I'm glad it all worked out okay =D

Casey agreed to study with Cappie for their midterm since he invited a third girl he was dating to come along. Unfortunately, the new girl brought someone else Cappie had recently slept with, and so Casey and Cappie had to flee the study group and settle for studying elsewhere.

They tried the library next, but after things got too intimate on a crowded couch, they left and finally ended up at the Kappa Tau house.

Rusty showed up and explained his crisis with Jordan and how he decided that he could never be just friends with her. Casey and Cappie saw the obvious parallels to their relationship, which made things uncomfortable.

Cappie confessed his fears that no one will ever match up to Casey, and decided he will never find out unless he cuts her out of his life. They reluctantly agreed to end their friendship.

I'm a Cappie and Casey Forever person. Although I love Max, too. It reminds me of Ugly Betty a bit with Henry/Betty/Matt, but unlike Matt, Max is actually likable. I'm sure these two (Cappie and Casey) will eventually end up together. It just has to be the right time. Once they are together, though, the series will probably end. Their unrequited love story is the backbone of the show, and keeps it going (and good!) episode after episode.

And finally, Jordan and Rusty. Jordan had previously stated she and Rusty couldn't be friends after she kissed him when she was still dating Andy. But she decides she misses him and asks as innocently as possible if she can be a part of the guys' study group.

Dale and Calvin like the idea of a fourth person to spread out the art midterm material, so they leave it up to Rusty, who quietly agrees.

Before the study group starts, Jordan clears the air with Rusty by saying she wants her friend back. Rusty likes the idea of having Jordan at least as a friend (rather than no Jordan at all), so he says okay.

The study group is going great with Dale's crazy schedule and special Trivial Pursuit questions, but then Jordan's cell phone keeps ringing.

It's Andy, but she ignores the calls. He gets a hold of her by calling Calvin's phone, and breaks up with her.

After discussing the Sistine Chapel for their midterm, Rusty decides to re-create it for Jordan (who has seen it in person) by projecting it on the ceiling. This particular shot reminded me of the Breakfast Club for some reason...

The plan works perfectly as expected.

And Jordan can't get over how amazing it is, and in this moment, falls for Rusty.

Apparently going against her feelings, she gets back together with Andy when he calls back. Rusty decides it is too painful to be just her friend, and confesses that he had loved her from the moment he met her and tried to be cool with her dating Andy. She's overwhelmed and leaves him standing in the middle of the street.

At the art midterm the next day, Rusty gets passed a note from Jordan.

The professor thinks he is cheating, but Jordan stands up and tells him they aren't cheating. She goes on to ask him to read it outloud to prove it.

The note describes how she fell for Rusty the night before, and that she wants to be with him because he is new and is not the safe guy she usually dates like Andy.

The professor gives him back his midterm and tells him to talk to Jordan after class. The last line of the episode is Rusty happily muttering to himself "She fell for me!"

Wow. I LOVED this. How amazing was this storyline? My parents just happened to be in the room during the episode, and even my dad cracked a smile when the professor read the note aloud. It's that great "underdog gets the girl' story that just resonates with everyone. The Sistine Chapel scene was great, and made me wish a guy would project it on my ceiling. Or better yet, take me to see it in person ;) I can't wait to see how their little romance evolves. It took 9 episodes for them to get together, so I'm hoping the relationship lasts for awhile and doesn't get messed up right away by something stupid (reference Lana being infused with kryptonite right after she and Clark are back together....ugh Smallville, why?).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer Movie Series: Star Trek

Star Trek

I told you not to eat my last bag of cheetos!

When they said "This isn't your father's Star Trek," I was hooked. All I remembered of old Star Trek episodes was how cheesy they were. I always wondered how it was so interesting when one of the plot lines for an episode concerned rapidly reproducing furry animals called "Tribbles." I'm not making this up. Here is a picture from the episode:

So I'm thinking to myself, how can this (see picture above) be a summer blockbuster? Easy. Just have J.J. Abrams direct it.

The movie starts out with a giant version of the Toy Story claw coming out of a black hole,

and proceeds with an exciting battle involving the claw and the Kelvin ship that has a Chris Pine look-a-like running it after a quick change in command. You eventually hear the name Kirk thrown around and realize that this is the Kirk's father, and then get pulled in as the battle rages on. You see Kirk's birth, how his name was chosen, and then the movie fast forwards to his days of being a young troublemaker. Apparently in the future it is quite a challenge to pull over a 12 year-old driving a car, despite all the improved technology.

The story really takes off when young Spock is introduced. I was super impressed by the ways Vulcans are tested in little circular computer dugouts. I wish we had those in high school. Anyway, Spock is conflicted because he is half human and has a harder time controlling his emotions. He decides to break away from the Vulcan society when he grows up and instead takes a position at Starfleet. I would, too, because he basically goes from being the least intelligent person in the group to being the smartest person out of the entire Starfleet station. Good choice.

Kirk eventually grows up and agrees to join Starfleet as well. He quickly makes friends with Eomer from Lord of the Rings and finds himself butting heads with Spock when they meet. This makes sense since Kirk is an act before you think kind of guy and Spock is a think out every possible path and then choose kind of person, but apparently, they are supposed to be BFFs in the original series, so something is up.

The plot gets crazier as the Starfleet trainees are thrusted into being crew members when the planet Vulcan sets off a distress signal. Kirk is the only one who seems to know what is going on, but it is hard to take him seriously when Bones keeps injecting him with new serums that he continues to have comical allergic reactions to, including ridiculously swollen hands. The captain eventually listens to him, but of course it is too late, and now everyone has to pull together to defeat the bad guy. I don't think anyone would realize Eric Bana plays Nero (head bad guy) unless someone told them ahead of time. Make-up did a good job:

The rest of the movie involves sky-diving, fencing, a random ice creature that lookls like a mouth on legs, drops of red matter destroying whole planets, time travel (Of course. It wouldn't be J.J. Abrams without time travel.), and this friendly face:

My favorite part of this movie were the characters, which is funny, because that is one part that probably stayed similar to the original series. Spock seemed more of the focus in this movie than Kirk. His constant struggle with trying to remain indifferent despite his inclination towards human emotions was gripping, although at times I don't think Zachary Quinto quite lived up to the acting needed behind the role. He did a good job most of the time, though, and he obviously looked the part. I don't think anyone would dispute that.

I loved Chekov! Jessica told me she wished she had a Chekov to follow her all day because he was so cute and helpful in an endearing way. I like when he is running around the ship yelling "I can do that!" when they need to beam some people up in an emergency. I was also thrilled to see Simon Pegg in this movie. I had heard he was in it, but when the movie was halfway through and I hadn't seen him, I figured I read something wrong. However, he showed up when I least expected it and was as funny as ever. Between his harsh but loving commands to his assistant and his amusing commentary on the rest of the crew, Simon Pegg really nailed it. He doesn't really look like the old Scotty, but hopefully he kept the personality the same.

One thing I really did NOT like about this movie was Winona Ryder. Why was she in this? She was supposed to play Spock's mother, but the character is supposed to be well into her 50's or 60's. They made Ryder up to look old, but it seemed so out of place. The role was so small that I feel they could have hired a random old lady off the street to do it and come out with a better result.

When the movie was over, I found myself wanting more. I feel they could easily turn out a couple more movies with this cast and where they left off with the plot. I would definitely see any sequels. I'm even tempted to watch some of the original Star Trek episodes and movies. I would give this film 4 stars because it was a great revival, but could still use a little tweaking here and there with the acting and storyline. I felt all the scenes on the ice planet were really boring, even if they did involve Leonard Nemoy and Simon Pegg. The random animal attack was so unnecessary, and Nemoy's dialogue came across kind of flat even though it was great to see an original cast member.

I'll leave you with a picture of the new cast compared with the original just for fun. I thought it would take me awhile to find something like this, but it was actually on the first page of images related to the movie.

Summer Movie Series: Wolverine


Wolverine: The ultimate revenge against people who key your car.

Okay, this movie was all over the place. They had so many interesting characters, but they spent no amount of time on any one person besides Wolverine. You would be like, "Hey! That person's power is so awesome! I wonder where they came..." And before you finish that sentence, the character has either died or left the scene. Even the people without powers would only be in the film for a short time. I feel like the movie should have come with a pop up video feature so that as the scene is going on, little bubbles come up explaining where the character came from and why they are important. If they were a mutant, I'd also like a detailed description as to what their power is. Like Ryan Reynolds (Wade). Is his power super fast reflexes, or just kick-ass sword wielding? Same with Agent Zero. Is he all about the reflexes or gun control? I think at one point he moved his guns without touching them, so then I considered he might be telekinetic. It was so fast I couldn't really keep track.

Anyway, back to the movie. The plot starts out with Logan's dad being murdered by his biological father who was (surprise, surprise) a mutant. This is the same day Logan realizes he is a mutant, too, because he was born with bone claws (not metal). He and his brother, the consistently creepy Liev Schreiber, set off and join the army, but are soon discovered as mutants when Schreiber turns against his own men.

They heal too quickly, so neither dies at the hands of a firing squad, and are instead recruited by Stryker, an army general putting together a team of high powered mutants for special missions. This is when all the action sequences start to go down with the hard to keep track of mutant powers. I was happy to see Dominic Monaghan as one of the mutant squad, but he wasn't in the film too much. Logan quickly decides the missions he and his brother are on are not for the greater good and leaves the team for a simple life in Canada. He shacks up with the fiance from 13 Going on 30, but you know something bad has to happen to her for him to become the Wolverine from the X-Men movies.

After the incident, Wolverine agrees to be injected with the alien metal to make himself strong enough to kill the enemy, but quickly discovers that he might not know who the real enemy is. He goes on the run, meeting up with whom I assumed were Uncle Ben and Aunt May from the Spiderman franchise, and gets the whole "Be the better person" speech. Then he tracks down the old members of the mutant squad to figure out what happened after he left, and to find out who is responsible for everything that has happened to him.

Even MORE mutants are introduced, including Gambit, who I still am not sure exactly what he does, and Emma Frost, a rather....shiny.....person. I think she is a descendant of the Cullen family because of the way she can *sparkle*.

The end is pretty good. There is a big twist and a battle between Wolverine and the hardest opponent ever (I feel like video game fans everywhere about peed their pants imagining how they would beat this guy). They also wrap up how Wolverine lost his memory to create the bridge to the X-Men series. I was pleased with the last 30 minutes or so, but it would have been cool to throw in him meeting Rogue to come full circle, but I guess the end came to that point close enough. They include Scott Summers/Cyclops in the movie as a teenager and show how he met Professor X, but since Patrick Stewart is CGI'd for the film, it's kind of ridiculous. I think they should have just hired a stand in and shown him from the back. The audience is smart enough to make the connection.

Another 3 star movie. I liked the plot because it was sensible and made me want to re-watch X2 to see all the different movie connections. It could have been better by using fewer mutants and developing their back stories more instead of being showy with all the different types of powers. Although, I have to admit I was amused by playing the "Guess what I can do?" game when a new mutant was introduced. It reminded me of how I felt when I watched the Final Destination movies and tried to think out how a death sequence would play out as it was being set up.

If you like the X-Men movies, go see Wolverine. If not, maybe pass for now and catch it later on DVD or television.

Summer Movie Series Begins: Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons

I choose you, Pikachu!

Kicking off my summer movie review series is Angels and Demons. My first reviews will be a little late since this blog is starting after the beginning of the movie season, but I promise to catch up. I saw this film with my sister on May 16th. I went in with pretty low expectations since I was greatly underwhelmed by The Da Vinci Code and had only heard mediocre reviews about Angels and Demons. However, I had read the book awhile ago and pegged it as my favorite of Dan Brown's novels. Therefore, I felt obligated to see how it translated to film.

I told Katie after the movie that going in I only remembered the following three things about the book:
1. There is some science center type place involved in the plot in the beginning.
2. People die by the elements.
3. The bad guy turns out to be someone who was close to the main characters.

Luckily, these things were included, so I was satisfied enough that the movie "stayed true to the book."

The plot of the movie is that after the current pope dies, religious officials gather at the Vatican to elect a new pope, but find that their four best candidates have been kidnapped by the Illuminati. The Illuminati are followers of science that were hunted down by the Catholic church a long time ago, and are now seeking their revenge by killing off one pope candidate every hour, finishing with an explosion of an anti-matter bomb somewhere within the walls of the Vatican. Yeah, I know. Kind of confusing. This anti-matter bomb was created by a team at some scientific institute, led by Vittoria Vetra, the only female character in the movie. Vetra comes to the Vatican and assists Tom Hank's character in tracking down the four Cardinals before they are murdered by following the rumored "Path of Illumination."

Apparently, following a trail laid out hundreds of years ago is hard to do in an hour, and sure enough, the Cardinals start dying left and right by the elements the Illuminati revered.

Sometimes I felt like they should have just skipped ahead to the last element and worked their way back to ensure at least a couple would be saved. You'll have to check out the movie yourself to see if any of the doomed Cardinals made it.

The acting was....meh. I thought Vittoria's character was pretty pointless. She would have been okay to use in the beginning, but being with Tom Hanks was ridiculous. She just finished his sentences most of the time and it felt as though they were sharing a single acting part. Ewan McGreggor was cute as always, but seemed weak and suspicious most of the time. By the middle of the movie, you kind of suspect everyone as the evil mastermind behind the plot, but they keep you guessing pretty well. They also try to distract you from guessing by setting up elaborate murder sequences and continuing the search for the anti-matter bomb (mostly by shutting down power grids one by one to isolate it's location).

One of my favorite characters was the guard assigned to watch over Langdon and Vetra when they were down at the Archives. He provided comic relief and seemed to have more depth than the main characters. I also felt the assasin did a pretty good job. He was a modern Silas (Da Vinci Code), and always gave off the creepy and threatening vibe. His exit from the movie was predicatable, but it fit in okay with the plot.

The movie was pretty good. I would give it the typical 3 stars (out of 5), meaning that one should go see it, but once is definitely enough. The movie would have been better if it could keep its momentum. It sometimes slowed down way too much, and I found myself glancing at my watch wondering how much was left. They also could have spent more time on character development instead of focusing so much energy on action sequences. Even though this might contradict with my first critique about it being slow, I feel you can develop characters in a non-boring way. They pretty much jumped right into the story from the beginning, but maybe taking 5 minutes to see how the characters acted before the craziness would have created a connection with the audience so that we actually rooted for the good guys to save the day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Season Finale Score Card: May 2009

I wrote this to share my thoughts on the highs and lows of this year's season finales. Shows are given a score between 1-10 (10 being the best) and are listed in alphabetical order. I wrote out a stream of consciousness type paragraph afterward each rating to comment on each episode. This first appeared on Facebook as a way to chat with my friends about what crazy stunts were pulled as the TV season wrapped up. It gave me the idea to start this blog.

America's Next Top Model: 6

One word: Predictable. After Celia was booted off last week, the ending was ridiculously easy to guess. Aminat and Teyona could not be the final two because they are too similar. I know it's bad to be like, they can't have two tall, skinny, black girls left, but it's true. They want to appeal to more of an audience. So, Allison was basically guaranteed a spot in the final two (and guess who was called first?) as the last white girl, and Teyona was obviously the stronger of the remaining two (if not the rest of the competition). Even though Teyona kind of blew her commercial, she was good throughout most of the show. Allison was so often criticized during the season that I found it funny that they complimented her endlessly in the final judging. I think they wanted to make it seem like it was close. In the end, they are gonna choose somebody that can pass as the strongest pick and someone that adds variety to the list of winners. I don't think there has been an African American girl since Saleisha, so it was time to mix it up. I liked Allison better, but I think Teyona deserved to win. So Top Model you pass for another season. Predictable, but fair. PS...I love the finales because you feel like you've watched the contestants grow up, and you always feel a bit proud despite all the Tyra craziness =)

Dancing with the Stars: 8

YAY SHAWN AND MARK! I pretty much called Melissa coming in third. It would have been a long shot to have two females in the final two, and Shawn was the stronger of the two. I didn't vote too often, but the last two weeks I gave all my votes to Shawn. Gilles was great, but they praised him way too much and gave vague critiques to the others. They would make suggestions that wouldn't even make sense and then claim Gilles should get 11's. Geez. Calm down judges. In the end, the finale was great. You get to see all the old people come back that you forgot were on the show (minus unforgettable Lil Kim who was always fun and entertaining), and you get to see all the cheesy montages about the final three rivalry. I took off two points for the following. First, the Roast. That was just awkward and uncomfortable. This show is family oriented and fun and it just felt weird making inappropriate jokes at the expense of everyone, including a 17 year old who won our country a gold medal. Yeah, don't mock what you can't achieve yourself. The other point is for the announcement that Samantha Harris is going to play Roxie on Broadway. Really? Really? Deduction.

Desperate Housewives: 7

This finale was pretty good, but not fantastic. Wrapping up the Dave story was a relief, but I felt like we already knew everything by the finale. It would have been better to maybe reveal something else about his back story that was relevant instead of just having the showdown....which wasn't much of a showdown. It seemed slightly anti-climactic to me. MJ just gets out of the car and is fine in one minute? I mean, I know they couldn't kill the little guy, but maybe add some suspense. Then they just rush from that scene to a mysterious wedding to claim there is a cliffhanger, but honestly, I don't really care if Mike marries Katherine or Susan. I would be okay with either. I feel bad for Katherine because she reminds me of Juliet on Lost. No complicated current storyline, but somehow always gets screwed by the crazy female star of the show's drama. The storyline with Gaby is kind of lame, too, seeing as how it was already used with Lynette's evil step-daughter. It would be nice to see the hard parts of raising a teenager, but having a girl that controls the husband is played out. I hope they keep that plot line in check when the season returns. Bree kissing Carl? OBVIOUS. I saw that coming a million miles away. And Lynette getting pregnant? Also obvious as the scene got closer. I guess it is an okay twist, but we already did the million Scavo kids thing. I'd like to see Tom learn Chinese instead. So yes, good episode, but a little too predictable and safe. The other season finales for this show were much more exciting.

Dollhouse: 7

Dollhouse peaked a bit on the surprise shockers in the episode before the season finale. Finding out who Alpha is and greatly hinting that Dr. Saunders is a doll toned down the excitement of the finale. However, since the show was on the fence of being renewed, it made sense that the finale would need to wrap up some of the plot in case it was a series finale. I feel like it wrapped up a short, but great first season, and really set the tone for the rest of the show. I'm glad it got renewed because now that they have caught up the audience on Alpha's history, the show can start up new drama. It would be great to see Caroline through to the end of her Dollhouse time. I gave the finale a seven because it kept the excitement up, brought up a few questions to keep you interested, and answered a lot of questions for those who have been watching all season. Good job Joss. I wonder how your 13th episode (unaired) follows the finale.

Gossip Girl: 5

Okay, you were a hot mess sometimes. I feel like this episode tried to do way too many things in one hour, and most of the plot twists all came in the last 5 minutes. Too much Gossip Girl, too much. First of all, Graduation Day. Everything is going okay, and then for some reason, no one turns off their cell phone during the ceremony and everyone gets the same loud text message that doesn't even make the speaker skip a beat. And then the message is supposed to be so horrible, but all it does is call the main characters bad names. Really? That happens in elementary school and people move on. But no. Everyone bands together to take down Gossip Girl because of this. I would think maybe all the stuff she revealed earlier would cause a war, but no, just simple name calling set off the war. After feeble attempts to uncover Gossip Girl, everyone laughs and giggles in the end when they realize they are all gossip girls. Wow. I'm glad Blair and Chuck got together, but it seemed too cheesy for them the way it happened. I think they overdid the whole I love you/I don't love you thing and then tried to quickly make up for it. Too late. I would have been happier with a reunion had it not been the third attempt in a single episode. Lily and Rufus' son trying to find them again....meh. I don't really care too much. I also don't care about the on again/off again affair between those characters. I think the writers think splitting people up keeps people interested, but you can only do it a certain number of times before it gets old. I did like the Jenny storyline with Blair helping her, and it will be nice to see Georgina in the show again. I had forgotten completely she existed, but her character is well written. As I said, the last 5 minutes were ridiculously drama filled, and the most ridiculous plot twist was Serena finding out her dad is in Fiji. I felt like I was watching a bad soap opera. Overall, good. But I think the writers try to hard and don't know how to logically progress a relationship.

Grey's Anatomy: 8

This finale was prettygood. Usually I'm kind of meh about Grey's during the year, but am always fairly happy with their finales. This was no exception. Izzie's struggles were poignant and not overdone. I liked the scary parts when she was having her memory pre-tested and when she kept repeating herself. The reactions from the other characters during these times and background music helped me feel the tension of what was going on and feel emotionally invested. I was also happy with the friend character they gave her to talk to (and not just because she is a Gilmore Girls alum). The small subplots like the post it wedding, George's intervention plan (loved the roles they gave everyone!), Bailey's decision, and Arizona's history about her brother all kept the episode going and gave you a break from the main drama points. As soon as John Doe was wheeled in I knew it was someone we knew. Since we had just seen George, I didn't guess him. I first thought Sloane, but after seeing him, assumed I was *probably* wrong. Then I thought maybe it was Meredith's dad since they had recently brought him back, but gave up on this guess when the surviving girl described how she didn't look at him because he wasn't really cute. Then I was stumped. As soon as they said George wasn't at the hospital, it clicked. I liked Alex a lot in this episode, too. His notecard strategy was both funny and meaningful. I loved how they ended with Izzie retaining her memory, but then the show crashed for me. Izzie just going limp was so random and didn't really make sense. I think it would have been more meaningful if she showed some type of symptom before going unconscious, such as bleeding or slurred speech. It was too much too fast. This added on to realizing it's George made the last 5 minutes too intense. George was obviously injured, but he was stable when Meredith was talking to him. And then all of the sudden they are rushing him to surgery? He should have flatlined or something right after telling Meredith to make the run to surgery logical. So yes. Good episode. Last 5 minutes could have been written better in my opinion, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. I think Izzie will survive and George will either die, or live but leave the show to go off in the army.

Lost: 4

Lost, lost, lost. WTF. I was ridiculously unimpressed with you. This might be because I waited to watch you until Thursday and had seen exciting Facebook status updates about you to build up the hype, but by the end, I was bored. Jacob's scenes to me were absolutely pointless. We get it. You get around. Even his interactions that helped piece together some survivors' history (like how Nadia died and why Hurley got on the plane), weren't really enough to really be meaningful. The whole Locke thing also seemed very pointless and just a way to confuse your audience AGAIN. I mean seriously. Now I have no clue who those new island people are or who the Jacob counterpart man/Locke ghost is. That better go somewhere. And then the whole plot in the 70's. I like how comfortable everyone was with carrying a hydrogen bomb around about as carefully as an elementary school kid with a backpack. Although to be fair, I would have played fetch with it had I known dropping it down an abyss wouldn't set it off. And poor Juliette. It's not enough that you permanently live in Kate's shadow, but they kill you by wrapping you with chains being pulled by an electromagnetic force......that drag you to a horrible fall......that doesn't even kill you let alone knock you unconscious. I would have beat the crap out of the hydrogen bomb, too, to get out my frustration at the producers. I feel the episode ended too soon. Lost usually ends with something like the bomb going off and then some one minute cryptic scene. Maybe showing them all on the plane with one person having their memory of everything perhaps? I dunno. The finale was also lacking a Jin/Sun reunion. Showing their wedding is not the same writers. Don't try to appease me with flashbacks. This episode just seemed like filler to me. A bridge of sorts to the final season. Here's hoping this all comes together well.

The Office: 6

If this wasn't a season finale, it would have been a good episode. I think 1 hour Office finales are always better, but that is just my opinion. The Pam/Jim development was cute, but easy to guess from the episode of description of "Pam and Jim get good news." That usually points to a baby bump. I liked that Michael didn't go after Holly and came off as the good guy, but it seemed like a letdown of a plot line because it didn't really go anywhere. I would have done a shot of Holly by herself crying a bit or something to show she still loved him. Then it would have been more hopeful? I dunno. I enjoyed the Dwight/Jim cooperation with the prank in the beginning and the Volleyball tournament. It was a cute little thing to add. I also liked seeing a different branch's Toby equivalent. As brief as that scene was, I was amused. Good episode. *Okay* season finale.

Saturday Night Live: 4

I am ONLY giving you a 4 because 1) You did a Celebrity Jeopardy skit which is the reason I started watching this show in middle school. 2) I was able to play spot the celebrity with you having about 10 guest stars, half of which were old cast members. 3) Green Day did a good job. I like their second song, 21 Guns. I will probably download it later. And 4) Tom Hanks in a dry cleaning bag....I don't know why, but this was hysterical to me. You followed the Justin Timberlake episode which was 9 quality (10 if Ciara hadn't performed her awful numbers), so I understand you had a lot to live up to. You fell pretty flat, and seemed desperate with all the guest stars, but I still liked those 4 parts mentioned above.

Smallville: 2

I hate you Smallville. You hype up Doomsday for an ENTIRE season and then barely show him in the finale. Doomsday is the only villain in the Superman lore that actually killed Superman. Smallville took a different spin on who Doomsday is (making him half human) and they developed this whole intricate plot line for Chloe in which she is the only one who can keep the beast at bay. Then they are just like, she doesn't work anymore, let's split his human part from his Kryptonian part. The next 5 minutes encompass the following: Kryptonian part goes crazy in the city. Clark shows up and gets thrown pretty hard, so he pushes him back by jumping Doomsday into the air and crushing him down a tunnel to the center of the Earth. Fiery explosion. Human side of Doomsday turns out to be evil, too, and stabs and kills Jimmy Olsen for no reason, and Jimmy kills him back right before he dies. Clark is somehow alive and fine at Jimmy's funeral. WTF. Clark makes the decision that he is weak because he thought saving Doomsday's human side was important and it backfired, so he says "Clark Kent is dead" and walks out the door. Ummmm, what just happened? I feel like the writers didn't think out the finale and pulled an all nighter the day before shooting to come up with something passing as a script. I had high hopes for this episode, but I really can't think of anything worth complimenting. I would maybe say Jimmy finding out Clark is "the red/blue blur" but he died, so it doesn't really matter. I should have seen that coming. People who know Clark is Superman have a high mortality rate. I can't see how they can salvage this show unless they use time travel to re-do the finale, but I will still watch since I have given this show 8 years of my life.

Supernatural: 7

My standards were uber-low going into this seeing as how I just finished Smallville's finale, but this show pulled off a good end to their season. I was happy right when it started because they did a montage of what happened up until then to "Carry on my Wayward Son," a Rock Band favorite of mine because I recognized the song from Supernatural's pre-finale re-cap last year. The plot twist that Ruby has been evil all along (a character that has been around for two seasons) was surprising and satisfying. I didn't really see it coming until right before it was revealed. I also liked Dean forgiving Sam and trying to save his brother after everything. That was heartening. I feel good knowing that even thought the show ended with Lucifer about to be released from hell, at least the brothers made up =) The chemistry between the two stars I feel is the driving force of the show, and it is much more fun to watch them banter then be all dramatic alone and fighting each other. I'm hoping that next season is less intense and gets back more to individual episodes (the first season was more freak of the week, while this one was very heavy on an ongoing storyline). I will miss Castiel if he doesn't make it back next season. He was a great character as an angel conflicted by whether god's word is what's right. He kind of looked like he was gonna die, but we'll see.

Ugly Betty: 6

I really like how much Mark was in this episode. Michael Urie is great in his role, and I love when they give him material that goes beyond just interacting with Wilhelmina and Amanda (although that dialogue is great, too). His short talk with Justin was great. I think it's amazing that they are building a mentor/mentee relationship between them. I always enjoy when he and Betty work together since that is so rare, so I appreciated the scene where they both stuck together and agreed to resign if one of them was not chosen as editor. I'm glad Betty was chosen. I really thought that they would either make them two junior editors to share the position, or give it to Mark to make more drama for Betty. But surprise, surprise. She got it. I am really starting to hate Matt. He is pretty annoying and now that he has no direction and is blindly taking over as a boss at Mode to get back at Betty? Sigh. It would be better if he was just hurt. Then I could feel sorry for him and like him better because he is the victim. Henry coming back was fun, but kind of pointless. Why didn't he come back earlier when Betty was single? I knew there was no hope for them, and yet the writers toyed with my emotions and had them confessing they still love each other on a bench. Oh, and then had them kiss for a minute and then just walk off. I just threw my hands up in the air at the whole thing. And of course Matt would be right there to see it. Of course. Rachael Dratch falling off a building was hillarious. I think that is the only time I will be able to say that sentence. Daniel's wife's exit was nice. It was emotional enough without being crazy over the top. It seemed right that the episode would end with Betty being there to offer her support. The episode was okay, but seeing Henry again made me miss the good ol' episodes of Season 1, especially Secretaries Day, where Henry dons medieval armor to battle for Betty's honor.