Read on for Johnni’s recap of Once Upon A Time episode 2×17, “Welcome to Storybrooke,” aired Sunday, March 17th, 2013:
The wicked witch may be dead, but the trouble is only beginning for the characters of Storybrooke. This week’s episode delves into the aftermath of Cora’s death and reveals another glimpse of the past, when Storybrooke was first created and the curse had just begun. Very interesting.
“Welcome to Storybrooke” begins with a father and son are camping in the woods, when a storm hits and a cloud of purple smoke rolls over their campsite. The next morning they search for the road to lead them to a town where they can get their car fixed, when they stumble upon Storybrooke. Who greets them? Sheriff Graham! I’ve missed him.
Shortly afterwards, we see Regina wake up in her perfect home with a smile on her face (a rare occurrence). She’s happy because she is waking up to the Storybrooke where she rules all and no one knows of their Fairy Tale pasts–Storybrooke before the curse was broken!
In present day Storybrooke, however, Regina is mourning the loss of her mother. Rumple comes to pay his respects, and he tries to talk Regina out of revenge against Snow. But Snow killed Regina’s mother, so she won’t listen and vows to make her pay. Meanwhile, Snow is depressed at home and won’t speak with anyone. So sad. read more…
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Once Upon A Time episode 2×16, “The Miller’s Daughter,” aired Sunday, March 10th, 2013:
One will die! But who dies and how? Let’s start at the beginning! The episode begins with a flashback as the miller’s daughter is delivering flour to the castle. As she is walking, the princess named Ava trips her and makes her look like a fool. The miller’s daughter has quite a temper and yells at the princess. The king makes her apologize, even though she didn’t do anything wrong, and asks her name. Guess who it is? The miller’s daughter is Cora, and she isn’t happy that a child has humiliated her. So much drama so early on … I love it.
In present day, Bae (Neal) and Henry drive Hook’s pirate ship back to Storybrooke, while Emma reassures Rumple that she will save him now that he is family. So sweet. Meanwhile, Cora and Regina have figured out that Rumple is dying and therefore need a “plan B.” If Rumple is dying, they won’t have time to make him do their bidding as the Dark One. Therefore Cora suggests that she stab Rumple and become the Dark One herself, gaining all the power.
Rumple and the rest of the family arrive safely in Storybrooke and begin their preparations for war. Emma casts a protection spell over Gold’s shop because she has magical powers now, remember? Snow and Charming are getting set for the battle as well, but Snow is beginning to come undone. She is talking crazy, threatening revenge for her mother, Queen Ava. Side note: when Queen Ava was a young princess, she was the one who tripped Cora and embarrassed her years ago. Wow, this show never ceases to amaze me with how well it ties together all of the loose ends. read more…
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Once Upon A Time episode 2×15, “The Queen Is Dead,” aired Sunday, March 3rd, 2013:
Behind every princess is a queen and, in Snow White’s case, a very good and pure one. In “The Queen Is Dead,” we finally meet Snow’s mother and see how she died. Spoiler alert: the queen didn’t just “get sick.”
In the first flashback, Snow is a young girl getting ready for her birthday celebration. Her mother, the Queen, takes her to see the tiara that she will soon be wearing. They walk in as the maid Johanna is trying on the crown. Side note: I can’t help but love Johanna because she is the same actress who plays Downton Abbey’s Mrs. Patmore!
Snow, however, in an uncharacteristic move, yells at the maid and acts very high and mighty. Her mother quickly scolds her and tells her that she must be kind to all because being royal doesn’t make you better then anyone. It is clear Snow’s heart comes from her mother! As soon as Snow learns her lesson, the Queen hunches over in pain—the beginning of her sickness and eventual death. read more…
Welcome to another edition of “Things I Watched That I Love,” which is pretty self-explanatory. What stood out to me on television this week? What did I absolutely love? What am I dying to discuss? To answer those questions, I will discuss plot lines from recently aired episodes of Justified, Hart of Dixie, Arrow, The Walking Dead, and Nashville. Read at your own risk.
Episode 4×08, “Outlaw,” aired Tuesday, Febrary 26th, 2013
Oh wow, Justified. That was brutal. Visually and emotionally. Arlo was willing to kill to keep the secret of Drew Thompson, and he took the secret with him to his grave. Looks like there was no redemption for the old man in the end, no attempt to make amends to his son, not even on his deathbed. And that’s the way it should be. This episode really rang true to Arlo’s character, and his continually rocky relationship with Raylan. When Raylan told his fellow Marshalls about his father’s death, he announced the news very matter-of-factly: “Arlo’s dead. I got the call an hour ago. What?” That is how Raylan would act, right? And yet, that scene at the elevator … such excellent work by Timothy Olyphant. I feel like I need to watch the episode again to really take in the nuance of the performance, and all the little beats and moments that built up throughout “Outlaw.” This episode was a longtime coming, and it felt very earned.
Boyd Crowder is a wonder to behold. Walton Goggins is one of my favorite parts of television right now, and I’m really glad that this season of Justified is so focused on his character’s journey—both his personal life with Ava (Ava Crowder continues to be THE BEST), and his empire-building. Make way for Boyd and Ava Crowder, Kentucky. Make way, World. Season 3 was not my favorite, but with season 4 it feels like a return to form for the show. Boyd is making bigger power plays than ever, which feels like a natural progression. He never ceases to use any situation to his advantage, and I couldn’t help but shake my head with admiration at what Boyd pulled off this week.
P.S. Colt and Johnny are not long for this fictional world. Buh-bye, boys. read more…
On Monday, March 4th at 8:00 ET/PT, Switched at Birth will air a special episode of the show, presented entirely in ASL (American Sign Language). ABC Family is understandably proud of this unprecedented venture, promoting it as a “ground-breaking episode, a first for a scripted series on mainstream television.” The official press release explains that the episode will feature Carlton students, as they “rally to save their school in a story inspired by the real-life 1988 Gallaudet University Protests.” Daphne will play a leadership role, following last week’s episode when she stood up at the School Board meeting to protest proposed changes to Carlton’s programs. Things are sure to get even more intense for Daphne as the struggle ensues. So I was very happy to join in on a Q&A conference call with Katie Leclerc, who plays Daphne on Switched at Birth, in which she discussed the upcoming episode and what the show means to her.
Question: Could you please describe for us the Gallaudet protest in 1988 and their significance?
Katie: Absolutely. In 1988 the students who had been attending Gallaudet University—I believe [it had been around] for just under 100 years—had finally gotten fed up with always having a hearing person be in control of the school, the dean, the administrators, the board. All of the decisions were made by hearing people, and the deaf students at the time rallied together and decided to protest the oppression, as they felt, and shut down the school. They didn’t go to classes. They gated up the fences, sort of like “occupy Gallaudet” in ’88, and they actually achieved what they were hoping for. They got a deaf president and everybody went back to classes and everything was okay.
Question: When did you first learn about Gallaudet and how did it make you feel?
Katie: I learned sign language when I was 17 in high school as a foreign language elective, and they told us the story of Gallaudet when I was in that class, and I felt inspired. I felt like here’s a group of kids who feel a certain way collectively and took it upon themselves to make their voices be heard in a time when no one was even listening to deaf people. I think that it goes to show you that if you really put your mind to it, you can achieve extraordinary things in the face of oppression, and these students definitely set out to do that. read more…
This is the first edition of a new blog post series on Heroine TV. I watch so much television, but I have often lamented that this blog doesn’t really reflect that. So I thought I’d try out this new format as a way to cover my favorite TV of the week. I’ll keep the list down to five, with some honorable mentions at the end, and just discuss each show briefly.
1. The Americans
Episode 1×04, “In Control,” aired Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
When I reviewed the pilot, FX’s new spy drama was off to a great start and I was cautiously optimistic. But pilots are funny things, and can only do so much (or so little, as the case may be) in terms of predicting the future quality of a television series. Now, four episodes into The Americans, and I am more enthralled each week. Honestly, I look forward to this show more than any other at the moment. I rush to watch it live each week, and am sad when it’s over. Luckily, the series was renewed for a second season already, so we can feel free to get invested.
“In Control” did something new for the series in that it focused on a specific historical event: the assassination attempt on President Reagan. The shooting by John Hinckley, Jr. is something still in the public memory. Although I was only a few months old at the time, the fact that a crazy person tried to shoot the president was something I was definitely aware of later on, as a young child. Like Mad Men’s episode about Kennedy’s assassination, “The Grown-Ups,” it captured the ways in which an act of violence affected ordinary people in the nation. While it wasn’t as an emotional of an episode as “The Grown-Ups,” we got a glimpse of the unrelenting news cycle, and how kids like Paige, Henry, and Matthew reacted to this event. read more…
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Once Upon A Time episode 2×14, “Manhattan,” originally aired Sunday, February 17th, 2013:
This week’s episode of Once Upon A Time uncovers secrets and connects a lot of dots, and it all begins with a flashback. In the first scene, Rumplestiltskin runs into his cottage to tell his wife Milah (who is still in love with him at this point) that he has been called to the Ogre War. He doesn’t want to be a coward like his father, so he insists on going. This doesn’t seem like a good idea to me!
The day before the big battle, Rumple is asked to guard a Seer, a woman who can “see all” and has her eyes on her hands—very creepy. While he is guarding her, she surprises him with her knowledge of who he is; she tells him that he will have a son, but this battle will leave him fatherless. Rumple panics and injures himself in order to get sent home and not have to fight. He clearly isn’t going to get rid of the “coward” title with this move.
Cut to present day Manhattan, as Rumple, Emma and Henry arrive at an apartment building, where they hope to find Baelfire. Of course Bae isn’t expecting his father, and as soon as he hears someone at the front, he makes a run for it. Rumple tells Emma that she must get Bae to talk to him in order for her debt to be paid. Emma runs after Bae and eventually tackles him. Let’s be honest, he never had a chance. She was a bounty hunter, remember. read more…
Bunheads doesn’t get enough credit for what it does well. Yes, it has a silly name (to some) and is nominally about ballerinas (and ballerinas are awesome), but it is a lot more than that. While it is not a show for everyone, I would venture to guess that if you are willing to embrace its charming craziness, you will be rewarded in full. ABC Family aired ten episodes of the quirky dramedy last summer, and it returned with a second batch of ten in January of this year.
Since its return, I have been enjoying Bunheads more than ever. Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop shared some excellent scenes in the early return episodes, and I could watch the rapport between Michelle and Fanny forever. Also, Liza Weil has been brought on as Truly’s sister Milly, which has been a lot of fun. Milly’s business relationship with Michelle and Fanny has really provided for some great story. More surprisingly, I have finally become invested in the younger girls—the teenage students at the ballet studio. The actresses and the characters have really come into their own, and it has improved the show overall. When we returned to the lives of Sasha, Boo, Melanie, and Ginny, the girls all had new interests beyond dance—new jobs, hobbies, boyfriends, and friends—which was an important step in developing the characters.
In particular, I have really been enjoying the deepening of Ginny’s character, played by Bailey Buntain. She has been dealing with a lot this year. First, her mom has been going off the deep end over her father’s upcoming remarriage. Teenage Ginny has been admirably (and hilariously) managing her mom’s realtor business in her absence. And with the introduction of Cozette and Frankie, Ginny even has a new nemesis and crush, respectively. What’s more, she has developed a new passion for musical theatre, gaining the nerve to try out for the school musical, thanks to Michelle’s coaching.
Last week, I had the chance to take part in a conference call Q&A with Bailey Buntain, which I will share below. She discussed her experience playing Ginny, and her thoughts on her new storylines.
Since this is your first major role in a TV show, I was wondering how the experience has been different going into these episodes starting in January? How has that experience been different in this new batch, with all the new and fun things you guys are doing?
“In these second episodes, I really had the opportunity to like do a lot of things, just because Ginny is dealing with so much and she’s totally turning into her mother. So she tends to like bottle it all in, and then she’ll freak out, and so it’s definitely been really fun.
It’s been challenging, but in a great way. There’s a lot of dancing and there’s a lot more—there’s a lot of dancing in these eight episodes; a lot of different styles. I think we don’t ever repeat a style. We do ballet and we do a jazz. We do a funky one. There’s been a lot of variation, and it’s been different than the first ten just because there is more, but it’s more [of] the same. It’s more of the same stuff we were doing in the first ten, so it was kind of a nice little preparation before they put us into like super gear. It’s been really fun. I actually just started hiatus and I’m missing it. I’m starting to talk at like a normal pace and I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” read more…
In Part II of our movie edition podcast, Kyle and Colin joined me once again. If you missed Part I, you can find it here. This time, we started off with a discussion of recent movie-going experiences, which led to a some talk about women in comedy, and Melissa McCarthy. This was followed by our thoughts on Les Misérables (12:24), Argo (42:53), and Zero Dark Thirty (67:39). The analysis of each movie also included wider and more general discussion of past and upcoming award shows. You can listen to the podcast on the player below, download the MP3, or subscribe via iTunes. Thanks!