Monthly Archives: March 2013

Criminal Minds Recap – “The Gathering”

After a two week hiatus, Criminal Minds returned with a new episode this week. The team was still set on investigating their own stalker, who made his return appearance last episode. However, Behavioral Analysis Unit Section Chief Erin Strauss set the team straight, suggesting that they give their investigation a break and focus on other cases. So their attention was diverted to St. Paul, Minnesota, where the bodies of two women were discovered with their tongues ripped out.

At first, it seemed that there was no connecting link between the victims. Usually the victims will have something in common: physical features, workplace or some other link. Eventually, though, it was discovered that each of the victims had a big online presence, from blogging to social media to online dating. The Unsub was able to keep track of their every action simply from their online lives, which probably hit home to many viewers as most people today constantly update Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and numerous other social media sites.

Just when you thought the Unsub couldn’t get any more creepy, the BAU team discovers that he has been using the information from the victims’ online lives to write psychotic fantasies. Ultimately, it turned out that it wasn’t the author of the psychotic fantasies that was committing the murders, but instead the instructor from his writing group.

Character development this episode focused on Penelope Garcia and her ex-boyfriend Kevin Lynch. In season seven, Kevin asked Penelope to marry him, but she declined his offer. While there was speculation that the two would end up getting back together, this episode proved that that isn’t the case. The two have remained separated and have even been dating other people, though they are trying to remain friends. Kevin has been a recurring character on the show since season three, but it will be interesting to see what the show’s writers will do with his character now that he is no longer romantically linked to Garcia.

Criminal Minds will be taking another short hiatus, retuning April 3 with the episode “Restoration,” which it seems will be a Morgan-centric episode. The CBS press release for the episode gives this description, “The BAU goes to Morgan’s old neighborhood in urban Chicago in search of an UnSub targeting middle-aged men, and a clue leads Morgan to believe that they are after someone connected to the man who molested him as a child.”

Also, keep an eye out for the second Matthew Gray Gubler-directed episode this season on May 1, titled “Alchemy.” You can find some set photos here, courtesy of matthewgraygublerfans.org.

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Welcome to Storybrooke – “Once Upon a Time” Recap

With both “Criminal Minds” and “Suits” on hiatus, this week the blog will be covering “Once Upon a Time,” which airs Sunday nights on ABC at 8 p.m. If you haven’t yet seen this seasons episodes, take caution because the following summary has many spoilers.

In the aftermath of Cora’s death, Regina plans to seek revenge against Mary Margaret and to get Henry back. She finds a spell in one of Cora’s dresses which will allow her to do both those things.

Meanwhile, the show flashes back to when Regina’s curse first took hold. The first scenes of the episode show a father and son camping in the woods when the storm of magic overtakes the land. They discover the new town, which wasn’t on their map, and end up meeting Regina. She quickly takes to them and invites them over for dinner.

Despite the fact that she has complete control over the town and that she’s split up Snow and Prince Charming, she still isn’t happy. She realizes that having them under her power because she forced them to be isn’t the same as them obeying her because they want to. So when two people from outside of Storybrooke enter the picture, she realizes she has a chance for a real relationship with people who aren’t being forced to stay there, but that might want to stay because they want to.

Regina talks to the young boy, Owen, and finds that his mother had passed away six months ago. The two of them bond as Regina can relate to the pain of having lost a loved-one. Later, she asks Owen and his father if they would like to stay in town, offering the father a job. Unfortunately, Owen’s father declines the offer, which upsets Regina. She has Graham, the sheriff, to arrest the father. As Owen is running away, she tries to explain that she thought they could be happy together, to which he replies, “Not like this.” So she let’s him go.

In present day Storybrooke, Henry decides to fix things by finding a way to destroy magic altogether. This way, Regina can’t kill Snow and he won’t be forced under a curse. As he is stealing dynamite from the dwarves’ mines to blow up the wishing well, he runs into Regina, Emma, Baelfire, Charming, and Rumplestiltskin. Henry doesn’t end up destroying the town’s magic, but Regina ends up destroying the potion she was going to use.

Snow is still reeling with guilt over being partially responsible for Cora’s death, and in the end she goes to Regina and asks to be killed. Regina rips out her heart, only to discover a black spot forming in the center. She tells Snow that she won’t put her out of her misery and that it’s Snow’s own fault that her heart is turning black.

But the real surprise? The man who mysteriously drove his car into town, crashing it as Hook shot Belle at the edge of the town, is actually the little boy Owen now all grown up. He’s still looking for his father, and he’s gotten plenty of evidence of the town’s magic recorded on his cell phone. Not only will there be trouble in Snow’s future, but the entire town is at risk of being exposed.

 

 

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Why Do We Watch Reality shows?

Reality TV is popular in many countries. While America may seem to have tons of reality programming spanning across numerous subjects, there are countries all over the world that love the genre as much as we do. It is such a mystery why people love watching reality television so much that it seems like human nature. This article will attempt to solve that mystery.

Britain began most television trivia shows, music competitions, and reality syndicated shows. There are forty-four different countries’ versions of “Britain’s Got Talent” since the original released in 2006. “Wife Swap,” which is seemingly less popular in the states, has twenty-two versions across the globe. “Master Chef,” which also originated in Britain, has thirty-two versions in the world.  (Source: Economist)

A 2012 report from The Hollywood Reporter narrows the scope to an American perspective. It says that of 100 percent of people surveyed, fifty-one percent admitted to watching talent competitions, forty percent admitted to watching shows about historical jobs (Pawn Stars), thirty-six percent about food and cooking (Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen), thirty-one percent tune in to physical competition shows (Survivor, the Amazing Race), and thirty-one percent watch shows about dangerous jobs (Deadlist Catch, Gator Boys). Obviously some people are pulling double duty on some of these shows.

A study from the journal Psychology and Marketing found a “decline in the importance of humor and an increase in the importance of drama” in adolescents who watch reality television. Drama is very popular in shows like “The Real Housewives” franchises. It almost seems that the more drama is involved, the more popular the show. Atlanta is the most popular, with thirty-two percent of viewers, New Jersey holds twenty-one percent of viewers, Orange County has nineteen percent, Beverly Hills has sixteen percent, and New York holds eleven percent (The Hollywood Reporter). Interestingly enough, Atlanta is full of arguments, and New Jersey has an inafamous “table-flipping” scene featuring a livid Teresa Guidice. Bring on the drama, bring on the ratings?

Adolescent Motivations for Reality Television Viewing: An Exploratory Study says that “The age-related differences with respect to the drama and humor motivational categories found in this exploratory study suggest an emerging hypothesis—that the importance of the humor motivation may decline with age and the importance of drama as a viewer motivation may increase with age.” This finding could likely explain why high schoolers and older identify more with shows like The Real World or The Real Housewives franchises, while younger audiences find humor in American Idol failed auditions and The Amazing Race contestants running all over the place.

The study from the journal Psychology and Marketing also went as far as saying that “Advertisers have concluded that reality programs are especially suitable for product placements because of the possibility for natural integration of the product within the context of the program.” This is true from an earlier post on the TalkinTV Blog, which shows all of the high fashion brands sold in Kyle’s store on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Teresa Guidice of the Real Housewives has been on the New York Times Best Selling Authors List three times for her cookbooks. Bethenny Frankel sold her Skinny Girl alcoholic beverage line for one hundred and twenty million dollars, as reported by Forbes.

Although these businesses are thriving, many viewers do not take reality television stars as seriously as they take themselves. Sixty-six percent of viewers reported in a poll from The Hollywood Reporter that they are laughing at the characters of reality television shows, rather than the thrity-four percent who are laughing with them. The same poll revealed that seventy-three percent of viewers actually care about the set-up of the show they are watching from producers, or script set ups behind the scenes of a show.

As far as commercials go, the best place to advertise is clearly live television. With live television, viewers cannot seek through commercials as they could on demand or with DVR. Viewers of shows like talent competitions prefer to watch the shows live so they can vote in real time and view the results as they occur. Therefore, advertising during these shows would yield the best results (The Hollywood Reporter).

The Hollywood Reporter’s study showed that seventy-five percent of viewers have a preference for television personalities that are relatable for the viewer and ninety-six percent prefer likeable personalities. The viewers oppose a star who is over the top and cannot be relatable. As a matter of fact, the company reported that viewers have a keen awareness on what is relatable. Seventy-none percent of viewers surveyed see through Kim Kardashian and believe that her wedding with Kris Humphries and her sudden relationship with rapper Kanye West are stunts for publicity. Thirty two percent of viewers truly believe she is a business mogul and sixty eight percent consider her to not posses true talent or any skills.

As a matter of fact, many viewers find certain reality television shows to actually be tasteless. The Hollywood Reporter says that thirty percent of readers surveyed believe that Jersey Shore “crosses the line of taste and decency (Hollywood Reporter).”

In Eric Hoyt’s article Keeping it Real: Watching the World Watch TV, he states “It is unfair and shortsighted to write off reality television as a vast cultural wasteland, particularly when taking this canonical view.” But why do we watch Reality TV? And why can’t we stop ourselves from tuning in weekly? “It’s a constant need to check up on the lives of other real people,” says Joe D’Alonzo, Drexel University alum. “My favorite reality television show is Top Gear because the hosts talk about cars as if it is a conversation with friends. I like to watch which new car features come out and what the celebrity guests say about them. It’s interesting to see what a car is capable of with a basically limitless budget.” He says.

Everyone seems to have an interest in a reality show that applies to their favorite topics. In an article published in Psychology & Marketing, a study called Adolescent Motivations for Reality Television Viewing: An Exploratory Study reveals that “People make decisions as to what program to watch—and whether to watch television at all—based on the needs and wants they seek to satisfy.” This would make sense with the quote above. Joe D’Alonzo likes cars so he satisfies his needs through watching the show. If people like fashion but don’t have the cash to throw around, they can satisfy their needs when they watch Project Runway and live vicariously through the personalities.

With a new reality show coming out every day, and different people being cast regularly, there are no limits to the potential shows that could come out. We have shows about Teen Moms, shows that are known as the Jersey Shore of rednecks (Buckwild), shows about the wives of the mafia (Mob Wives), Ghost Hunters, and even Hillbilly Hand-fishing. Tons of Soap Operas have been cancelled; actors are frustrated with shows getting cancelled in place of reality shows, and American viewers’ priorities seemed to have shifted. Will reality television stay this popular forever? It’s hard to tell, but it’s looking like it’s here to stay.  It doesn’t seem to matter why we are watching reality television, but we are watching it, and the ratings are just getting higher.

Sources: The reality television poll. (2012). Hollywood Reporter, 418, 50-51. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1023847472?accountid=10559

“Entertainers to the world; The reality-television business.” The Economist [US] 5 Nov. 2011: 67(US). Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.
Patino, A., Kaltcheva, V. D. and Smith, M. F. (2012), Adolescent Motivations for Reality Television Viewing: An Exploratory Study. Psychol. Mark., 29: 136–143. doi: 10.1002/mar.20510
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The Popularity of Parody TV News Programming

When a person thinks of television news, what probably comes to mind is the local nightly news or 24-hour cable news stations such as CNN, MSNBC or FOX News. Increasingly, however, audiences are tuning into satirical news programs like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” for current events information as well as entertainment. It seems that this is especially true for younger generations of TV watchers.

According to the PEW Research Center, 43 percent of viewers of The Colbert Report and 39 percent of viewers of The Daily show are ages 18 to 29. This is a big difference from 19 percent that watch FOX News or the 13 percent that watch NPR. So, what does this mean, and is parody news seen as a legitimate news source for younger audiences?

While, Jon Stewart would argue, and has, that “The Daily Show” isn’t meant to be taken seriously, the show continues to grow in popularity while cable news networks viewership is in decline. Another PEW Research Center study from 2007 found that viewers of parody news programs, such as those previously mentioned, reported the highest knowledge of national and international affairs.

A study by Indiana University found that “The Daily Show” is just about as substantive as network news programming. Indiana University’s assistant professor of telecommunications Julia R. Fox, said this about “The Daily Show,” “You have real newsmakers coming on, and yes, sometimes the banter and questions get a little silly, but there is also substantive dialogue going on … It’s a legitimate source of news.” As an example, recent guests on “The Daily Show” have included Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson. “The Colbert Report” has also featured prominent figures, such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Bill Gates.

So, what is it that makes news programs like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” so popular? Perhaps it’s the fact that these programs air on Comedy Central, a television station well known for inducing laughter among the 18-35 age bracket. These two programs in particular are short 30-minute segments of what’s been going on in the country and the world that day. While they do present news and factual information, they do so in an entertaining way. Short clips are shown, typically followed by comedic commentary. Fake news anchors parody real-life events, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It’s very different than the much more serious 24-hour news circuit.

One thing that people love about these types of parody news programs like Jon Stewarts’ is that they call out hypocrisy and make a point to show how real reporters and new agencies just aren’t doing their jobs properly sometimes. Stewart sure does like to make an example of FOX News, though every journalist and every news agency (regardless of policial affiliation) is fair game.

In 2004, Jon Stewart was a guest on FOX News’ program “Crossfire.” During his interview, Stewart criticized television journalism and called for “Crossfire”‘s Tucker Carlson to “stop hurting America.” He has also been a guest on other news programs, such as the “The O’Reilly Factor.”

This isn’t to say that viewers should get their information solely from comedic news sources, but it is interesting to see the differences in how younger generations are getting their news compared to older generations.

Though, to be fair, “The Daily Show” isn’t all fun and games. It may be a comedy, first and foremost, but Stewart does a good job at pointing out some important issues regarding the United States’ journalism industry. When he’s not making jokes, he’s serious about issues such as journalistic integrity and politics. This summer, Stewart is taking a break from ‘The Daily Show” to direct “Rosewater,” an adaptation of a book written by a BBC journalist who was captured and held for 118 days during the Iranian presidential elections in 2009.

A professor of international affairs and comparative literature at Penn State University, Sophia McClennen, did research on how satire is shaping the younger generations of America. She notes that more and more young people are turning to parody news programs because they are seeking more engaging sources of news and information. On a more important note, she also points out that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, while entertaining these younger audiences, are also raising awareness about important issues. McClennen surmises that after young people watch these parody news programs, they are then seeking out more information on the issues that were presented in the program.

Leading up to the most recent election, Super PACs–committees that can raise unlimited funds to advocate for or against a political candidate–played a large role. Stephen Colbert created his own Super PAC, which was approved by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). While Colbert’s PAC didn’t actual do very much, it was a good vehicle for informing the public about what a Super PAC actually is and can do. On the Colbert Nation website, viewers can see clips from the show’s episodes that focused on Super PACs, a definition of what a Super PAC is and even a copy of the FEC Advisory Opinion granting Colbert permission to create a Super PAC.

The FEC Advisory Opinion on Colbert’s Super PAC also points out how “The Colbert Report” provides “commentary on political discourse in the United States.” In 2008, Colbert ran in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary election, which was covered on his show.

Later on in 2010, Colbert and Stewart hosted a “Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear.” While it was meant to be satire, Colbert and Stewart did mean for the event to bring awareness to issues with the media and propaganda involved with politics. In a moment of sincerity, Stewart said at the rally, “his was not a rally to ridicule people of faith, or people of activism, or look down our noses at the heartland, or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are, and we do.” Stewart and Colbert also used the event to raise money for two different charities: Donorschoose.org and Trust for the National Mall.

Satirical or parody TV news keeps young audiences entertained, but there’s also a more serious aspect. These shows highlight some important issues within journalism and politics in the United States. Though audiences are laughing, they are also still becoming informed and thinking critically about what they’ve seen on the show.

Let us know what you think of parody news television programs. If you watch these kinds of television news programs, is it for the entertainment or do you rely on it to get the facts? What do you think of the PEW research data?

Younger generations prefer news programs that are much different than that which traditional nightly news or 24-hour cable news present. It will be interesting to see how these types of programs and presentations of the news continue to change and evolve as time goes on.

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Today’s post is dedicated to the fashion of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The past few episodes have been extremely dedicated to fashion and the women can’t get enough of their designer brands. I must say, the ladies always seem to work their fashions well and usually never look tacky. Now if only they could take that mindset and apply it to their hair-tinsel and plastic surgery… but I digress.

Yolanda bought Brandi a pair of turquoise heels while they were in Paris and it was a very sweet gesture. Brandi has gone through a very public divorce (her ex, Eddie Cibrian, left her for LeeAnn Rhymes. Google it.) and it was nice to see Yolanda take her under her wing and experience true Paris fashion. The shoes were Louis Vuitton and can be seen here. Photo Credit: Stoopid Housewives

As mentioned before, Kyle’s husband bought his sister-in-law Kim a purse to celebrate her sobriety in the Paris episode. The bag is made by Stella McCartney and goes for a cool $1,195.00. It can be seen here. The large bag is called an “infinity bag” and has a chain link strap. You can see Kim look longingly for it here. Thanks BigBlondeHair.com for the photo!

In last week’s episode we see that Kyle opens up her own boutique now that Portia, her youngest daughter, is a full-time kindergartner. What is this empty nester to do? Buy a ton of clothes and a store space in one of the most coveted shopping districts in Beverly Hills, of course! Good thing Mauricio is a great realtor. I’m sure he got her a really good deal on the commercial space. She carries all the latest trends- Boho style, Haute Hippie, BCBG, Robert Rodriguez, and Jennifer Zeuner jewelry. You can find Kyle by Alene Too’s Facebook Page here. It’s definitely worth a browse, her inventory is impressive and she has some decently-priced items hiding in there.

Real Housewives Fashion

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Not Your Mother’s TV

The act of watching television has undergone an extensive transformation in recent years. The way in which most Americans watched television growing up is rapidly changing and continues to change every day. The main reason for this change? The internet of course. The internet seems to be our answer for everything and all changes in current society, but it is the source of change for its competing medium: television.

According to Nielson, the average American spends 41 hours a week consuming media from all screens. Screens can include tv, computer, smart phone and even tablets.  Between 2007 and 2013, 2.5 million households have changed the way they get their media content, favoring other devices and services. A whopping five million homes now choose to get their content through these other screens instead of through typical television subscription services. Nielson calls these “zero-tv households” despite the fact that the majority of them own at least one television. These televisions are connected to the internet rather than a cable service provider. Instead 48 percent of these households are watching television content through subscription services such as Hulu, Netflix, or Roku.

These unique households are comprised of individuals under the age of 35 and who have no children.  The majority of them cite cost as their main reason for not subscribing to a television service.

“In this economy having a Netflix subscription is what we can afford.  With two young kids I could never watch my favorite shows when they air anyway so it just makes sense,” Philadelphia resident Roberta Pierce said.

Nielson plans to begin including these “zero-tv households” into their research for 2013 because they account for five percent of the market. Expanding research to include the new ways that consumers obtain their media and entertainment is a reaction to the evolving way that people are watching television.

Another change to television watching is the added aspect of social media. Social media is now so tightly intertwined with the act of watching television that many people won’t watch without their smart phones in hand.  Smartphone usage while watching television can serve a multitude of purposes.

One purpose for using a smart phone while viewing is to look up information. People are looking up information about actors, programming, scheduling, and content found in commercials. Many commercials are using the smart phone app Shazam to encourage consumers to unlock secret content related to their products. They do this by using the Shazam app to “listen” to the commercial which then unlocks the content.

The most popular way people are using their smartphones to interact with what they are viewing is through social media. Twitter has become a hot spot for television commentary. Most television shows and commercials even display a specific hash tag to be used when talking about their topic.

Most live events that have high viewership also receive the most social media attention as well. The 2013 Oscars brought in 40.4 million viewers, up a full million from last year’s show. It prompted 6.4 million Oscar related tweets from 1.6 million different people. The most tweeted about moment of the night came when Jennifer Lawrence fell while walking to the stage to claim her Best Actress award.  44,000 tweets were sent commenting on her epic fall.  It is also interesting to note that this moment came at 11:44pm for those watching on the East Coast, quite the late hour for many people to be awake, watching television and tweeting. First time host Seth MacFarlane brought in the most mentions of the night with 52,021 followed by Adele, who was nominated for Best Song, with 23,739.

One of the most tweeted events includes Osama Bin Laden’s death which registered 5,106 tweets per minute.  This event is a particularly good example of the social media phenomenon.  When President Obama came on television in the ten o’clock hour to declare to the world that Osama Bin Laden was dead the Philadelphia Phillies happened to be playing on Sunday night baseball at that exact time.  Watching a baseball game in an enclosed stadium doesn’t usually give one much contact to the outside world but through social media the crowd was soon aware of the monumental news and could be seen and heard on Sunday Night Baseball chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A.”

Other television related events making the top tweeted moments list are: Beyonce revealing her baby bump on the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (8,868 tweets per second) Tim Tebow’s overtime touchdown pass to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs in 2012 (9,420 tweets per second) and Madonna’s halftime show at the Super Bowl (10,245 tweets per second).

Social media provides an outlet for the masses to discuss these events as they are happening. It also allows for every person to feel as though they have a voice and that people are listening.

“I really enjoy tweeting along with live events.  It is fun to get my opinion out and to also see that other people are thinking like I am about a specific moment or topic,” Drexel University senior, Juliana DeMarici said.

Live tweeting is also becoming popular during new episodes of prime time television. Most shows have their own Twitter account and tweet alongside fans, answering questions and tweeting hints and spoilers throughout the live broadcast. This past week new ABC show, The Taste, had its first season finale. Earlier in the day they held a live twitter chat with mentor chef, Ludo Lefebvre, where he answered fan’s questions for an hour. This allows for a much more in depth connection with the shows a person watches and the actors and characters they play.

Social Guide Intelligence is a Twitter analytics and audience engagement platform for US television which claims to give results and reflection in real time. Social Guide was established because Twitter and social media has transformed the “traditional television viewing experience.” They state that they harness “the real time social activity around linear television” which provides networks, brands, and agencies new ways to understand and reach the new social television audience. Producers and advertisers who recognize the new way people are watching television utilize Social Guide’s statistics to take advantage of a new generation of viewers.

Upon researching what they have to offer to unregistered users it gives a very interesting look into what people are taking about and interacting with based upon what they are viewing on television.  Surprisingly the networks that were being the most talked about were ABC Family, FOX Soccer, FS Florida and SUN Sports. None of these networks show up as tops in the ratings but they are generating a lot of buzz on social media. This is great information that advertisers can use to their advantage for marketing their shows and products.

These are major changes occurring within the television medium that are still being researched and processed daily. Social media and alternative television subscriptions are just the scratch of the surface to where we could go in just a few short years.

 

 

Sources:

http://sgi.socialguide.com

http://nielsen.com

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Actresses in Advertisements

Advertising has utilized celebrities throughout time but is it a conflict if an ad depicting a celebrity airs during the time the show they are a part of? Check out this slideshow featuring advertisements throughout the years featuring famous female TV stars.  Do you remember seeing any of these ads?  Did the actress in the ads make you more or less likely to purchase the product?  Sound off in the comments!

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Real Housewives Paris Edition

The whole episode of Real Housewives in Paris Part 2 revolves around a fear for Kim’s relapse. Kim got a rhinoplasty and the women fear that she is abusing her pain medication. Kim was a former alcoholic and is currently in recovery. This episode shows a lot of dirty laundry aired and it is very unclear if Kim is “just being Kim” or if there is something deeper. It’s uncomfortable to watch the producers compile together footage of the women speculating and being catty. The first 20 minutes of the episode could be spared.

Meanwhile, Mauricio and Ken are showing a very cute side of the men’s time on the trip. Mauricio and Ken got in an argument earlier this season about what each man would do if facing a lawsuit. Now, they’re chilling out on a bus trip and having a blast together in Paris. The difference between the mens’ argument and the womens’ lasting grudges are a true attribute to the show’s producer-canned drama. Where the cameras don’t linger, the arguments settle down.

The women participate in a true Parisian cooking class. Many sexual innuendos ensue. I feel like I’m in home economics at high school again. Kyle draws a heart for Mauricio’s meal. Yolanda writes her husbands initials (even though he’s not there… how sweet, I really mean creepy and dependent.) Brandi writes “F.U.” with her cherry sauce. That was my favorite one.

Lisa is being extremely uncomfortable, pulling people aside to talk about Kim’s hypothetical relapse. Kim is obviously within an earshot. Yolanda isn’t having it- and she tells Lisa “We’re finished talking about that.” Yolanda is so drama-free, it’s almost refreshing. Brandi and Kim are having a conversation about how Kim wishes her sister would not baby her. Kim clearly feels embarrassed.

The ladies go shopping and have a discussion about Kim’s discomfort. Kim feels victimized and the women decide that she should speak with Lisa about their differences. They are clearly setting up the reunion show to make Lisa the “mean girl.” Kim opens up about being vulnerable and frightened about her sobriety but assures the ladies that she is keeping strong.

In true Mauricio fashion, he notices Kim in the store and bought her the handbag that she was eyeing up. He expresses his pride in his sister-in-law for maintaining sobriety and hands her the gift. It was one of the few very genuine and precious moments of this episode. Best brother-in-law ever.. or husband ever! He goes on a segway tour with his partner in crime Ken. At this point, I just want to join them. The camera should follow them around more.

Kyle then goes to a confrontational discussion with Lisa atop the Eiffel Tower. Lisa has no idea why she is being confronted because she loves acting oblivious. Their entire conversation reminds me of why I don’t miss junior high school, so excuse the zoning out.

Yes, back to the segway tour! This is high quality entertainment. Ken asks Mauricio if they should go up to the ladies in the Eiffel Tower and Mauricio says they should just go. Good call, Mauricio.

Oh boy, we’re back to the argument. This friendship is such a flip flop. Kyle immaturely says “I’ve been replaced” in reference to Brandi’s newfound friendship with Lisa. What is going ON on the Eiffel Tower!?! Kyle starts crying and says “You still didn’t say you love me!,” demanding that Lisa repeats that she loves her.  This is getting more and more uncomfortable. Meanwhile, arch-nemeses Kim and Brandi are talking about their love lives. This show is just getting twisted. But hey, it’s Beverly Hills.

Can we get more Mauricio? Preferably beachside? Just kidding, but I’m not really kidding.

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Glee: Girls (and Boys) On Film

After two long weeks of waiting for the return of Glee I have to say that I was quite disappointed in this episode! I wanted answers and I didn’t get any!!

So the episode revolves around songs from movies. I actually really loved all of these classic movie songs! I really enjoyed most of the musical numbers in this episode, especially Come What May. This episode also featured their 500th musical performance! In 4 short seasons, that is a lot of musical numbers!

So the episode again takes place half in New York with Rachel, Kurt and Santana and half in Ohio with the Glee club. The trio in New York are stuck indoors in a snow storm, along with Kurt’s potential new boyfriend. Santana is a complete bitch and makes lots of accusations based on things she found in their apartment when she went rooting through everyone’s things. Basically she comes to the conclusion that Brody is a drug dealer based upon the large sum of money and beeper that she found in his things.  Rachel of course denies it but Kurt is on board with the idea. Later in the episode she confronts Rachel about the pregnancy test she found in the trash can and Rachel breaks down. This is literally all we get in terms of the potential pregnancy news which is so frustrating! That’s what everyone wants to know about!!

Back at William McKinley Finn is determined to find out where Emma is hiding after she left Mr. Schuster at the alter. Finn actually does manage to track her down and Mr. Schuster, accompanied by the entire Glee club, serenade her outside her window with a boom box and all. After the kids scatter post song Will and Emma talk about the state of their relationship and come to the conclusion that they need to start over and get to know each other again. Good plan by the Glee writers because the Wemma fan base is still happy because they are still technically together but it also gives them a problem, something to work through, and drama of course.

Other small parts of the show include dumb Marley dreaming about Ryder and telling Jake that Ryder kissed her on Valentine’s Day, which of course causes him to storm out. Finn also tells Will that he kissed Emma before the wedding! This is going to be the main source of tension in the next episode where Finn and Will will be battling it out on stage which is supposed to get them back on track to being buds.  Uh huh.

Do you think Will can forgive Finn for kissing his almost wife? Will we finally learn if Rachel is pregnant or not next week? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts on this week’s episode.

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“Once Upon a Time” – How do the show’s characters compare to their Disney counterparts?

If you haven’t seen “Once Upon a Time,” which is currently in its second season, then I highly recommend it. The show takes classic fairytale characters and puts them in modern-day Maine in a town called Storybrooke. The series starts off with a young boy, Henry,  leaving town to find his birth mother. He carries around a storybook full of fairytales and is convinced that everyone in the town is actually one of the characters from the book’s stories. It turns out that his birth mother, Emma Swan, is Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter. Henry’s stepmother? The evil queen, of course!

Throughout the series, other well-known fairytale characters are introduced: Rumplestiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jiminy Cricket, Pinnochio and many other fairytale favorites. The first season of the show dealt with the curse that the evil queen placed upon the land and how the curse is broken. The second season, so far, is about the aftermath, now that all of the Storybrooke residents remember their lives from the fairytale world.

The following slideshow takes a look at some of the show’s characters. “Once Upon a Time” airs on ABC (which is owned by the Disney corporation), so here’s a look at how the characters compare to their Disney counterparts.

If you haven’t seen the show then be prepared for some spoilers; the slideshow does reveal some of the characters alternate identities.

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Credit for the photos goes to Disney and ABC.

Watch “Once Upon a Time” Sunday nights at 8/9c on ABC.

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