Read on for Crissy’s recap of Pretty Little Liars episode 4×19, originally aired Tuesday, February 11, 2014:
This week on PLL, Spencer stood in front of her kitchen sink. That’s it!
Unless you include the amazing, dream-like trip into the world of film noir that was “Shadow Play.” As a way to see Spencer solving the mystery that surrounds her, and a clever way to both pay homage to the cinematic tradition that’s inspired the PLL creators while giving fans so much awesome, this episode gave us a detour from the go-go-go plotting of PLL in the very best and most imaginative way.
We begin in boring old Technicolor: Hanna, Spencer, and Emily investigate Fitz’s office, and Aria’s still not answering her phone. While Han only finds coffee mugs, Spence stumbles upon Ali’s diary in his desk drawer. As the girls sneak out of his office, they see Mona sneak in (as they do the hilarious peek-around-the-corner Scooby Doo thing) and leave with piles of paperwork.
Over at the Hastings’, Spence grosses out Hanna with her relentless sniffling (“Allergies.”) but makes up for it with the best fox sweater. The diary doesn’t seem to be missing pages. Spencer and Hanna want more info on Shana’s time with Paige (but not “those kind of details”), and Em’s reluctant to interrogate her girlfriend. With all brains too full to strategize properly, the girls decide to regroup later. Em realizes that they found the diary too easily: was it someone else who planted it? Or was it “all about the A-ness of things”? (Hanna, never change.) read more…
Happy Galentine’s Day! To celebrate the lady-appreciation occasion, I joined in on an episode of the Secret Lover Podcast, which was super fun. I’ve been listening to Lenny and Katie and all their awesome guest co-hosts loyally for the past year, as “the podcast for people who love TV too much” is definitely something made for Lucias.
Joining longtime host Lenny (@lennyburnham, SpunkyBean.com), my friend LaToya (@lafergs, TheTelevixen.com, Pretty Little Liars Annotations) is the newly minted co-host. They invited me to join in, along with Kayla (@KaylaUpadhyaya, Pretty Little Liars Annotations), for the Second Annual Galentine’s Day Episode. The theme of the episode was female characters on TV and topics of discussion included our love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Paris Geller’s perfection, missing the early years of Gossip Girl, hating Fitz on Scandal, and other lady stuff. You can listen via iTunes or on the Secret Lover blog. Enjoy!
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Nashville episode 2×14, originally aired Wednesday, February 5, 2014:
Attention all Lamar Wyatt fans (if there are any out there): he’s back! This week’s episode is strongly centered on the crazy, political tycoon and former member of Nashville royalty, also known as Rayna’s father. As Lamar is released from jail, tensions within his family increase and, by the end of the episode, come to a boiling point.
After Teddy plants the seed in Rayna’s head about Tandy’s involvement in her father’s trial, Rayna asks the tough questions. With so much scandal surrounding their family, it’s about time that Rayna got to the bottom of it! In a ballsy move, Rayna asks both Tandy and her father what secrets they’ve been keeping from her. Lamar finally opens up about his wife’s death (spoiler: he didn’t kill her but he saw the whole thing!) and actually feels so guilty that he begins to cry. Rayna stands her ground and manages to trap her father into admitting he ordered the hit on Teddy that killed Peggy! Rayna is livid, as she should be, and tells her father to stay out of her life forever—super intense and well overdue.
Scarlett’s storyline continues to take a downward turn throughout the episode. Her drug use is becoming more and more obvious and frequent, as she tries to record her album on little sleep. Sooner or later the drugs are going to catch up with her and, for her sake, we hope it’s sooner. What would uncle Deacon say if he knew about her new habit? I’m sure he would have a lot to say (and it wouldn’t be nice), especially since Liam is the one who got her hooked! read more…
Read on for Crissy’s recap of Pretty Little Liars episode 4×18, originally aired Tuesday, February 4, 2014:
A slightly less terrifying episode than last week’s, though it did leave my brain, like Hanna’s, feeling like it was full of hot ice cubes. Let’s relive “Hot for Teacher”!
Alison DiLaurentis finds the last payphone in America to call Shana with very specific and very shady instructions — and Ali does not look as cool and calm as we’re used to seeing her. Girlfriend is freakin’. The four PLLs are similarly freaking out: Hanna is determined that the foursome stop looking for Ali (“A gave us an order — in my mouth”); Spencer is jittery and high from all her “study aids”; Emily’s determined to chase down Ali through Shana; and Aria? Well, she’s keeping secrets on all fronts and dating the shadiest guy in Rosewood. (And there are a lot of shady guys in Rosewood.)
Feeling isolated by her millions of secrets — she lies about her weekend plans to Hanna, she lies about the cabin break-in to Fitz — Aria turns to the new school counselor, but finds she can’t tell him anything without telling him everything and as “safe” as the space may be for regular kids, it’s not safe enough for Aria to spill the beans. read more…
Before the Ravenswood finale aired last week, I had the chance to participate in a Q&A conference call with Nicole Gale Anderson, who plays Miranda Collins on the ABC Family series. She discussed the show and her character, and it made me super excited for more Ravenswood. Fingers crossed that we hear favorable renewal news soon!
Check out the interview below, which features questions from a variety of media outlets. Thanks so much to Crissy and Tash for helping me come up with questions. Some of the excellent questions they pitched ended up being asked by other press. I only had a chance to ask two, and I labeled those. (I asked about ghost fashion and ghost sex, because I’m sophisticated like that.) Read on for some insight into the supernatural drama that has come a long way from its spin-off pilot.
What are your hopes for Miranda in the second season?
Nicole: I would like to see maybe more of her connecting with her uncle again, maybe he’ll be able to start seeing her. And then maybe something like, I don’t know, a ghost companion.
Did you know before you got the role of Miranda that you’d be playing a ghost character?
Nicole: I did. Yes, I found out during the testing process. So during the original audition I had no idea, during the callback I had no idea, and then when it came time for me to go to studio network and have my chemistry reads with Tyler. The new scene that they added to the audition process was the scene where Caleb sees Miranda for the first time as a ghost. So I was going through it, preparing for the test, and I was just like, “Whoa, wait. What? She’s a ghost?” And then my next thought was, “Oh, wait, so if I get this and then I die I have to make sure that I die in a really comfortable outfit.”
Did you have to do any research about ghosts or the paranormal for your portrayal of Miranda?
Nicole: I did a little bit just for fun. I watched a couple of movies, like Ghost with Patrick Swayze. Yes. But it’s an ABC Family ghost, and I think at the end of the day, Miranda, even though she is a ghost, she still is Miranda and she still was the girl that she was before all of this. She just has a lot of other problems in her life now. But, yes, I have fun with it.
Were you excited to learn that your character was killed in the first [episode], since it’s something you’ve never really done before?
Nicole: Yes, I think that with the ghost component of Miranda aside, Miranda as a character in itself is just different than anything I’ve played before. I’ve played the hyperactive, bubbly Macy and I’ve played a lot of mean girls before, but never really played a “bad ass,” if you will. And even though Miranda has a sweet side, she definitely is, I think, stronger and more outspoken than a lot of the other characters I’ve played. So, yes, I think I’ve really just been enjoying playing that kind of role. read more…
On Tuesday, February 11th at 8:00pm ET/PT, ABC Family will air a very special episode of Pretty Little Liars. In a nod to Film Noir, “Shadow Play” will be a special black and white episode of the teen mystery show. The official synopsis of the episode reads as follows:
Spencer’s numerous sleepless nights with the help of prescription pills start to take a toll on her as her hunt for Ali and much needed answers continues. As she pours over newly acquired information, her world view takes a black and white turn. Now teleported into the world of 1940s Film Noir, Spencer tries to come up with the answers she and her friends have been desperately looking for. But in this world of fedora hats, switchboards and 15 cent coffee, can Spencer finally put all of the pieces together that lay in front of her?
This is everything I ever wanted. Back in the 2012 Halloween special, “This Is a Dark Ride,” Toby and Spencer channeled Bogie and Bacall, and I was like “More, more, more!” It looks like I got my wish in the promo photos featured in the gallery below, along with Alison DeLaurentis as a perfect femme fatale. How amazing do they look?
If you haven’t watched any Film Noir, may I suggest a few of my favorites? The Maltese Falcon (1941), Laura (1944), Mildred Pierce (1945), The Big Sleep (1946), Gilda (1946), Out of the Past (1947), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948). When I used to live in San Francisco, there was an annual Film Noir Festival at the little movie theater down the street, and it was the highlight of my year. Get some gritty B movies in your life. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: ABC Family/Eric McCandless.
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Nashville episode 213, originally aired Wednesday, January 29, 2014:
In Nashville, it’s all about the music, and this week we are focusing on new albums, talent and scandal (obviously). The episode begins with Rayna bringing Liam to help Scarlett work on her album. Since Scarlett is quiet and introverted, Liam’s style doesn’t mix well with hers. Liam isn’t impressed with Scarlett’s sweet and innocent persona and steals her journal to learn more about who she really is…not cool!
As Scarlett is battling Liam, Deacon is trying to figure out how he’s going to ask his friends to sing with him on his album. With the new solo record deal, he is being forced to ask for handouts and he isn’t happy about it.
Rayna on the other hand is ready to release the single she wrote with Deacon. In order to help, Luke manages to get her name and face painted on a race car! read more…
My friend Melissa (TheTelevixen.com) returned to the podcast! We had so much fun catching up, and we also talked TV. First up, I asked her about upcoming premieres, as she was recently in LA for the cable presentations at the TCA Press Tour. She had lots to report, and I’ve also listed links to the trailers of the shows we discussed below. At the 46:02 mark, we switched topics to Justified, discussing the latest drama in Harlan, Kentucky. Oh, Raylan! Listen on the player below, subscribe via iTunes, or download the MP3. Enjoy!
Upcoming premiere trailers (or links to further information):
- The Americans (FX)
- The Red Road (Sundance)
- Salem (WGN America)
- Turn (AMC)
- The Leftovers (HBO)
- Silicon Valley (HBO)
- Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)
- Outlander (Starz)
- Star-Crossed (The CW)
- The 100 (The CW)
Read on for Crissy’s recap of Pretty Little Liars episode 4×17, originally aired Tuesday, January 28, 2014:
This show has scared me before. Tons of times. But this episode? Kind of super duper scary. It’s as if the writers polled all of America for their #1 fears, and week after week they just play out one of those nightmare scenarios. Bees? Being trapped in a box with a dead body? Trapped in a room with a killer trying to get in? Waking up in the dentist’s chair with some foreign object embedded in your mouth?! Pretty Little Liars has your personal horror movie covered. And, of course, I love it; “Bite Your Tongue” was intense.
The fallout from the Spencer-Emily fight of last episode is hardcore. Not only is Emily freezing Spencer out for the betrayal, she’s mad at Hanna for not being sufficiently mad at Spencer. So while Aria and Emily go to the movies and then return to Casa Montgomery to find Mike throwing a pizza-fueled rager, Hanna is on a mystery-novel reading bender (“Is Travis reading them to you?”) and Spencer is trying to decode the stories she photographed before Ali’s diary was stolen. (Well, re-stolen. Technically Hanna stole the diary from A’s lair.) And both sleuthing girls have great leads. Meanwhile, Aria and Emily find Mona leaving Aria’s room, leading to an especially hilarious exchange. Some people don’t tuck and roll every time Mona comes into a room, Emily. (Most people do, though.)
The Mona stuff in this episode is great: she’s bonded with Mike in their school counseling group, bonded to the point of kissing on school property, and she’s having a closed-door meeting with Mr. Fitz. But at the same time, her response to Aria’s suspicions and characterization of her (“Mona is the devil.”) rang true. The girls did befriend Mona (or at least, fake befriend her) and then ice her out. Without explanation. Total clique behavior. And while they have every reason in the world to mistrust her, have they mistreated her? If Aria forgave her dad for the affair, should she forgive Mona for her efforts to ruin their family? The cool-guy new guidance counselor seems to have a good point or two for Aria. Like, how she is filled with unresolved anger. We see her unleash some of it on Maggie, resulting in breaking some of Malcolm’s toys, but I agree with Mr. Counselor’s suggestion that Aria take up roller derby or something. Or, you know, go to town on her deceptive boyfriend when she finds who the monster is … read more…
Back in November, my friend Kyle joined me to discuss The Walking Dead. He had recently marathoned the show, and there were only 2 episodes left to air of the first half of season 4. But I was so exhausted during the recording (you can hear me literally fall asleep at one point), and things were so hectic with work and home, that I kind of forgot to post the podcast. Oops. We decided to reschedule to discuss the remainder of the season (which was awesome and sad!), and we finally made it happen last week. I present to you 2 and a half hours of zombie-themed discussion, edited together to hopefully make sense. Get ready for the show’s return on February 9th, 2014 by listening to the podcast on the player below, subscribing via iTunes, or downloading the MP3. Enjoy!