TV: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – “Winter”

Television

* warning: contains spoilers from the “Winter” episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life *

 

They’re back!!! We’re back watching them!!! All is right in the world. It feels like it’s been so long, yet at the same time like no time has pasted at all. When was that moment for you? The moment in watching the first episode of the Netflix Gilmore Girls revival that made you realize that this is real, they’re back on out screens, and our beloved characters where going to grace us with their presence again. Was it the voice over of iconic Gilmore Girls quotes? The crane shot of Stars Hollow? The gazebo? And this is only in the first 30 seconds of the episode! What a journey we’re about to embark on.

Favourite Moment from the Episode: The part of the episode that got me really excited (apart from the whole episode) was the moment that we saw all three Gilmore girls: Rory (Alexis Bledel), Lorelai (Lauren Graham), and Emily (Kelly Bishop) in the same room for Friday night dinner. Because that was one of the roots of the show; a mother-mother/daughter-daughter relationship, and an arrangement to meet every Friday night for dinner. Oh course; what makes this revival different from the original series is the absence of the Gilmore patriarch Richard (the late Edward Herrmann) who always seemed to be a mediator on many occasions. In his absence, theses characters are left on their own, and as we see in these scene, he’s presence is greatly missed.

BEST LINE FROM THE EPISODE:

“I’m going to therapy with my mother.”

– Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham)

 

What do you think? What was your favourite moment from the “Winter” episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (Pilgrim Rick)

Television

Season 1, Episode 8 “Pilgrim Rick”

Airdate: November 22, 2016

*** warning this contains spoilers from this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

 

Everyone’s come together for Thanksgiving! This week This Is Us invites us to spend the holidays with the “Big Three” and family. In the past we witness how one particular Thanksgiving ends up being the root cause in being a favourite holiday for one of the triplets. In present day we see Kate make the difficult decision to break off her relationship with Toby, and makes a big announcement in regards to her weight loss journey.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: Kevin (Justin Harley) makes the genius decision to bring his girlfriend (?), cast mate Olivia (Janet Montgomery), to Thanksgiving diner with his family. Upon realizing what she has gotten herself into, she decides to bail from the feast. But before her Uber driver can come and get her she decides to ask William (Ron Cephas Jones) the ever-tactful question of what it is like to die? Whether she asks this because of her profession as an actress or her general curiosity has a human being we will never know. But I am sure that his answer to her question was one she was not expecting.

William: “It feels like all these beautiful pieces of life are flying around me and I’m trying to catch them. When my granddaughter falls asleep on my lap, I try to catch the feeling of her breathing against me. When I make my son laugh, I try to catch the sound of him laughing. How it rolls up from his chest… But the pieces are moving faster now and I can’t catch them all. I can feel them slipping through my finger tips and soon where they used to be; my granddaughter breathing and my son laughing there will be… nothing. I know if feels like you have all the time in the world, but you don’t. So stop playing it so cool. Catch the moments of your life. Catch them while you’re young and quick, because sooner than you know it, you’ll be old and slow. And there will be no more of them to catch.”

This is an extremely powerful and emotional scene for two reasons. One, you see how William’s relationship with his son has affected his life, how it made it one that he enjoys living and also how much more difficult it is going to be to say goodbye to it when his time comes. And second, he sees how Olivia is throwing her moments away, moments that he would surely give the world just to have a bit more of. But William is never patronizing in this exchange, he’s just being completely honest. And whether Olivia wants to follow is advice is her choice.

 

What do you think? What was you’re favourite part of this week’s episode? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Best Washing Machine in the World)

Television

Season 1, Episode 7 “The Best Washing Machine in the World”

Airdate: November 15, 2016

 

*** warning, contains spoilers for this week’s episode of the show This Is Us ***

In this week’s episode of This Is Us, we see Jack and Rebecca raising the “big three” through their teenage years. The fighting between Randall and Kevin has reached a breaking point, which results in Kevin moving out of their shared bedroom and into the basement. After a failed attempt at to reconnect with his brother, Randall takes his aggression towards his brother out on him during their football game. We also witness how Jack and Rebecca’s marriage begins to fray. And we see how a beat down old washing machine (what the episode was titled after) brought together a family, and also how a new one caused them to drift apart. In present day, Kate is shocked to see Toby fall off the wagon with his weight loss which also starts to affect her own. Randall’s wife Beth, after one of William’s chemotherapy treatments, attempts to make him feel better with a pan of weed-brownies. While bonding over their illicit desserts, William lets his secret slip to Beth about his relationship with Rebecca.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: After dinner plans with their mother falls through, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) are left going alone. This turns out to be an absolute disaster with both of them arguing how the other knows nothing about their lives. This only escalates when they leave the restaurant and their unresolved problems from childhoods resurfaces.

Kevin: (Upon seeing he has been re-cast in his show by a black actor) “That’s great. Replaced by another black man.”

This comment sends Randall over the edge, launching him into a monologue about how Kevin treated him growing up. Your family are the people that know you the best, which also means they know how to hurt you the most. Kevin knew saying this would set Randall off. Having to defend his position in the family as well as his title as Kevin’s brother. There was a sense of competition between the two brothers growing up, and Kevin always felt like he played second fiddle to his adopted brother. This explosion of repressed feeling ends in a physical altercation that results in a cameo from Seth Meyers (what’s going on Meyers?).

 

What do you think? What was the moment of this week’s episode that you connected to the most? Let me know!

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: KRISTEN WIIG / THE xx

Review, Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: Last week we were still in shock, now we have to deal the current predicament. And so does SNL. When Alec Baldwin was offered to play the presidential nominee, and now president-elect Donald Trump, he probably didn’t think it would last past the election. But now Trump won the election, and Baldwin has a steady gig now. As life imitates art, we see the newly elected President in complete shock as his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon) ushers in people who are determined to have Trump come through on the promises he made on the campaign trail, including ISIS and locking up Hilary Clinton. The sketch involved a meeting with Mitt Romney (sup Jason Sudakis?). Only to result in him not wanting to change anything, a la the revolutions that were discovered during the recent 60 Minute interview.

OPENING MONLOGUE: She’s back; former SNL cast member Kristen Wiig is hosting this week. And it doesn’t seem like there is anything she’s here to plug so here’s no awkward “I’m in the movie [blank]” line to look forward to. Wiig decides to fall back onto the ole faithful singing monologue, she launches into some song about Thanksgiving or something. Some pluses to having a former cast member host the show is the hopes that they might do some favourite characters or sketches from their time on the show, or even the possibility of them bringing along other past alums (like formerly mentioned Jason Sudakis)…. And oh my goodness it’s STEVE MARTIN AND WILL FORTE!!!!! Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh, and they’re back to singing…

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (Secret Word) As I said, one of the upsides of having an old cast member is the possibility that they’ll break out some old characters or sketches. And Wiig did just that with “Secret Word” and her character of Mindy Elise Grayson. You know, the washed up Broadway actress who never seems to understand the concept of a ‘secret’ word. Classic Wiig, and Cicily Strong was great in this sketch too.

Honourable mention to Anderson Cooper 360, set in Westworld. Too realistic!

And surprise party Sue, obviously!

WEEKEND UPDATE: CHE! JOST! I’ve been looking forward to see you all week. The duo behind the news desk reported on, you guessed it, Trump. More specifically, his recent appointments. To make it seem like the didn’t spend the whole segment bashing Trump, they bring on Pete Davidson (yay!) to talk about his concerns, and those of young people, about the recent president-elect. His comments on Trump are hilarious, especially since last season he compared a Trump victory to how former American Idol contestant Sanjaya. How people kept voting for him for laughs instead of talent, so yeah, he definitely saw this coming. They also brought on Che’s neighbour Willie, but I’m not the biggest fan of that character. (SIDENOTE: Micheal Che’s comedy special “Micheal Che Matters” comes out on Netflix this Friday, in case you need a Gilmore Girls break or something 😉 )

MUSICAL GUEST: Musical guest this week is indie pop band The xx (and yes, it’s supposed to be 2 lower cases ‘x’s, I Googled it). Their first song of the night was “Hold On” which is a new song that will be on their upcoming new album I See You, which comes out in the new year. It’s a cool song, and the performance wasn’t bad, maybe not one that the audience can really jam too but that’s not always the point.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW:

“How was Hamilton?” – Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin)

“It was good, I got a free lecture.” – Mike Pence (Beck Bennett)

 

NEXT SHOW:

December 3

Host: Emma Stone

Musical Guest: Shawn Mendes

BOOK REVIEW: Scrappy Little Nobody

Book, Book Review, Review

RATING: ★★★★★

 

Author: Anna Kendrick

Pages: 275 pages

Published: November 15, 2016

 

I normally am not interested in “celebrity-memoirs,” partially because 1) they’re mostly by celebrities from shows and/or movies that were before my time or 2) these stars don’t seem all that relatable to me (sorry Rob Lowe and Brooke Shields, but it’s hard for me to see us as being from the same species you handsome aliens!!!). But if I’m being honest, I was super excited for Anna Kendrick’s “memoir” Scrappy Little Nobody because in typical millennial fashion, she’s just so #relatable.

The book takes us back to the times of a young Kendrick making her debut on Broadway (and getting a Tony nomination in the process), being a part of the “Twilight” franchise, and her experiences on “Pitch Perfect.” As well as the whirlwind of being nominated for an Oscar for “Up in the Air” despite being flat-broke. Now not many people would find themselves in these experiences, how this young woman was dealing with these events is what makes readers want to be this girl’s best friend.

Because before she was the darling that makes great late-night segments that garners millions of YouTube views, she was this girl from Portland, Maine. Who was always the littlest in the class, bought the cheapest IKEA furniture when she moved out of her parents house (same girl), and who had a tendency to like boys who had no interest in her (again, relatable).

If Twitter ever needs proof of why they should increase their character allowance from 140 characters per tweet, they should read this book.

 

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“I lost a Tony award to Broadway legend Audra McDonald when I was twelve so I’ve been a bitter bitch since before my first period.”

– Anna Kendrick

MOVIE REVIEW: The Edge of Seventeen

Movie, movie review, Review

RATING: ★★★★☆

 

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Kyra Sedgwick, Woody Harrelson, Hayden Szeto

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

Length and Rating: 1 hr. 44 min | R

 

Among friends, we call know there is this cardinal rule that we are not to go after our friend’s brothers or sisters. You just don’t. Obviously rule doesn’t always stop people from doing it, but it’s still there. There are countless movies and TV episodes where this happens, and The Edge of Seventeen can be included. When we meet our protagonist Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) and her best, and only, friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) couldn’t be closer. For Nadine, why have any other friends when Krista fully accepts her odd fashion choices and sense of humour. Besides other seventeen-year old girls are mouth-breathers, so why even try to make new friends. But that all changes after one night of drinking that leads to Nadine discovering that her best friend as hooked-up with her arch-nemesis older brother Darian (Blake Jenner).

After Nadine gives Krista an unfair ultimatum, she is on her own. Left to her own devices, she is now forced to interact among the people around her, whom she has spent the past three years of high school looking down upon. This includes her history teacher Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson), who we all wished was our history teacher in high school, because duh Woody Harrelson. Her overbearing mother (Kyra Sedgwick) who seems to still be in the transition of being a single parent after her husband, and Nadine’s father, dies of a sudden heart attack. And her classmate Erwin (the completely endearing Hayden Szeto, painfully endearing), who tries to get Nadine to open up enough to let him in.

Let it be known, this is Hailee Steinfeld’s movie. Yes there are other amazing people in it, but Steinfeld had the very difficult task of playing this stubborn, cynical, and emotional teenager (so a teenager) without having the audience completely abandon her. Yes her character makes mistakes, but as an audience you never really give up on Nadine. I think we forget that Steinfeld was first introduced to us as an actress, probably because we now know her through her songs that play on the radio and get stuck in our heads hours after hearing it. But it’s through her interactions with her teacher, mother, and brother that we see that this girl is not as tough as she wants people to believe she is.

This movie has been tossed around has being in the same genre of John Hughes movies of the 80s. And if you need to convince your friends to go see it with you, sure you can draw the comparison. But I think people make those calls because of the fact that this movie, along with John Hughes films, was able to capture what being a teenager is like. These films have teenage characters that are more than the stereotypes that countless other films cast kids to be like. And if that is what it takes for a film to be called “Hughes-like” then sure, I’ll give it that title.

 

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“You’re the first person who has underestimated how much I make, that made me feel good.”

Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson)

MOVIE REVIEW: Arrival

Movie, movie review, Review

RATING: ★★★★☆

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Length and Rating: 1 hr 56 min | PG-13

Are we the only living things in this universe? If not, what would we do if aliens came to Earth? Well, in Arrival, it seems we would all lose are freaking minds. Because when 12 alien pods, that look similarly like the Chicago bean, land all over the planet in different locations, the planet is at a lost of how to communicate with them. In America, the army enlists the help of renown linguistic Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and scientist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to try to decipher their language in order to know their purpose here on Earth. They are not only racing against time, but also against the other host countries of these pods so that no one takes matters into their hands and start an all-out war with these aliens.

Amy Adams shines as Dr. Banks, a woman who is tasked with an impossible job while also struggling with her own inner turmoil. Her anxiety is also ours, and your wanting her to succeed also comes with apprehension of what her victory will mean for the planet. Will we like what the aliens have to say?

What this movie succeeds in is the fact that it throws away this notion that if alien life were to inhabit Earth we would be able to understand them. This film explores the idea that aliens not only would not be able to speak any of our languages, but also have a completely different comprehension of what language is and how it is used. Which only makes the task of deciphering their language that much more difficult.

This movie is advertised as an alien invasion movie, but if you have read other reviews you know that it’s more than that. This film does bait and switch, and the decision to accept that is ultimately up to you. But if you do accept it, you will walk away thinking about this movie for days after, like I did.

 

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “There are days that define your story beyond your life, like the day they arrived.”

Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams)

MOVIE REVIEW: Dr. Strange

Movie, movie review, Review

RATING: ★★★½☆☆

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton

Director: Scott Derrickson

Length and Rating: 1hr 55 min | PG-13

 

It’s been a couple months since a superhero has been released into theatres, but the Marvel movie making machine made sure that their films are perfectly spread out so we don’t forget about them. The newest installment of the Marvel universe comes in the origin story that is told in Doctor Strange. Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a world-renowned brain surgeon whose skills barely surpasses his ego. He’s good at his job and he knows it, and lets everyone else know it. But not even the greatest surgeon is immune to distracted driving. When it is revealed to the great Dr. Strange that he will no longer be able to use his hands in the same capacity as before, he refuses to accept that and goes on a quest to regain the mobility he has lost. It is on this journey that he gets swept to Kathmandu and the teaching of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), where his understanding of the known universe gets expanded drastically.

Dr. Strange may not be the most popular superhero in the Marvel universe; where Captain America has his shield and super strength, Thor has his hammer and luxurious blonde locks, Dr. Strange can bend space and time all while donning a cape (who is a scene stealer). This is definitely the most psychedelic Marvel movie, with special effects that make Inception’s seem like child’s play.

Whenever the concept of time and the ability to control it may cause the audience to lose its ability to follow the storyline, it makes up for it with the characters that are infused in this universe. Although Dr. Strange can be completely arrogant, Cumberbatch’s approach to the character makes you not want to fully abandon the character. Making him more rounded of a person with sprinkles of redeemable qualities. The supporting cast is just as strong, with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo and Mads Mikkelsen as the villian Kaecilius. Even with all the controversy surrounding the whitewashing of the character The Ancient One, Tilda Swinton does do a superb job, but even the performance doesn’t take away from the fact that the casting should have been more conscious of the choices they were making.

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“We don’t get to choose our time.”

The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton)

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: DAVE CHAPPELLE / A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: Some say the tragedy lies in the fact that Trump is now the President elect, I would like to argue that the next real tragedy in this whole thing is the fact we may no longer see Kate McKinnon as Hilary Clinton. Sitting solo at a piano McKinnon launches into her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” who recently passed this week. I would also put this cold open as the Have to YouTube moment from the show. With McKinnon has Clinton, hopefully not the last time, telling us that she is not giving up and neither should we.

OPENING MONOLOGUE: Dave Chappelle is hosting this week. The first time host (yes you read that right) did something I have not seen in a long time in an opening monologue. Do an opening monologue. No song, no dance, just jokes. Sure he’s Dave Chappelle, so he’s used to being on stage and telling jokes (obviously), which gives him an advantage over other first time hosts. It’s so refreshing seeing someone on that stage and just tell jokes, especially during a time when it seems like people just need to laugh.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (Election Viewing Party) In an attempt to capture what you would think was going on during many household election viewing parties this past Tuesday evening, we see people try to come to grasp with the results of the night. Although most viewing parties didn’t have Chris Rock gate crash. While the white guests of the party are trying to understand how their country could refuse to elect someone like Hilary Clinton, Chappelle and Rock are amused in witnessing their friends revelation of their countries prejudice tendencies.

(The Walking Dead) Introduced by Chappelle live on air, this pre-taped bit was inspired by last week events during the latest episode of The Walking Dead. It was pretty much a cornucopia of many favourite Chappelle’s Show characters. Definitely YouTubable.

*** look, all the sketches were hilarious, just watch the whole show if you can ***

WEEKEND UPDATE: From the outset it was Trump jokes left, right, and centre. Throw in the brilliant Kate McKinnon as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and you have a fantastic Weekend Update.

MUSICAL GUEST: Also a first timer on the show tonight, A Tribe Called Quest is here, and promoting their new album We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service. And do they know how to make a first impression on SNL, starting with their song “We the People,” they got the show going. Their second song of the evening, “The Space Program,” was also a strong performance. Surprised that they have never been on the show before, but then again, it’s taken 42 seasons for Chappelle to host so…

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW: “Donald Trump is now the President of the United States. Ha… ‘United!’”

Michael Che

 

NEXT WEEK:

Host – Kristen Wiig

Musical Guest – The XX

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / SOLANGE

Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: With the election only days away, did you really think there wouldn’t be an election related cold-open? Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are back, in a last minute opportunity to address the country. And this could also mean it is one of the last times we get to see Alec Baldwin put on the ridiculous wig and do one of the best impressions to be seen on the show. The cold-open is used as an chance to address the email frenzy that has taken over the country the past couple of weeks, which has caused Clinton to have less of a lead in the polls. Honestly, if this is one of the last opportunities we see Baldwin and Kate McKinnon together, then yes this cold-open is a tad disappointing. But at the same time, the election has served as a punching bag for SNL for so long, that it needed the time off.

OPENING MONOLOGUE: Benedict Cumberbatch is here and as a first time host, plugging his new movie Doctor Strange. As if anyone in apart of the Marvel franchise has to go SNL in order to get people to go see the film, but if that means we get actors like Cumberbatch to host, I’m not going to stop them. And in typical SNL-newbie fashion, it’s a singing monologue. He goes into song and dance to introduce himself to the American audience of SNL. Unfortunately, he’s not that unknown to pull this off genuinely. Oh well, I’m still invested in this episode.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (Granny Bachelorette Party) Granny comes home to find there to be a surprise bachelorette party being thrown for her, causing her to go into shock and die. As she lies there dead without anyone knowing, two construction worker stripers come in to perform a routine for her and her friends. Although it was funny to see the posh and put together Cumberbatch in a blonde wig donning plaid, the real MVP of the sketch is Aidy Bryant. Having to play dead while one of the most attractive actors in Hollywood plus player of the Chicago Cubs gyrate all-over you. It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it girl!

WEEKEND UPDATE: Election filled jokes, what else do you expect with THREE DAYS till the election? The jokes were funny; again do you expect anything other than election jokes THREE DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION? Well, how about Church Lady? And boy, does she have things to say about the election. Commenting on the presidential candidates, and the amount of gay actors of TV… Or even better, how about we get another appearance of the Cubs players plus Billy Murray. Yes, I repeat BILL MURREY. Really you’re better off YouTubing it rather than reading this weak recap 🙂 GO CUBS GO!!!

MUSICAL GUEST: *** let it be known that I went to bed after Weekend Update because I was tired and not even Benedict Cumberbatch could keep me away from sleep *** This week’s musical guest is Solange who, while wearing a halo-like head piece, sang her song “Cranes in the Sky” for her first song. There was nothing bad about the performance; although the surprise cameo by Bill Murray and the Chicago Cubs singing whatever the Cubs’ song is called is a tough act to follow for her second and final song of the evening.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW: “Jesus likes a good joke, so that would leave you out of the equation wouldn’t it?” – Church Lady (Dana Carvey)

NEXT WEEK:

Host – Dave Chappelle

Musical Guest – A Tribe Called Quest