Archive for April, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I was at my brother’s house and he asked me what good movies were coming out this summer. I started listing off the usual suspects of big-budget summer tent poles – Star Trek 2, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Fast 6 – when he stopped me and said “Isn’t there anything that isn’t a big loud sequel?”

I wasn’t prepared for the question and was uncharacteristically frozen by it. I sat there, slack jawed, for about two minutes trying to think of something, anything, that was neither a sequel nor featured a hero in a cape before I finally just changed the subject by asking about his kids or the weather or some other such subject that normal people talk about.

It was a sad moment, both because I failed to serve what is essentially my sole purpose in a social scenario and also because I had let my perfectly-justified excitement for one of the geekiest years of cinema on record to overshadow some of the great independent, artistic and dramatic works that are forthcoming.

So, with the official start of the summer movie season descending upon us this Friday with the opening of Iron Man 3, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight some of the less bombastic titles heading to cinemas this summer that (in my humble opinion) can’t come soon enough.

Here’s four movies whose trailers don’t feature a single explosion (unless you count fireworks) and one that does.

The Great Gatsby 

Sure the trailer is big and loud with a Jay Z-produced soundtrack and lots of beautiful shirts, but Baz Luhrman’s Great Gatsby is still a dramatic dissection of the myth of the American dream, based on the timeless literary masterpiece by F. Scott Fitzgerald that most moviegoers only loosely remember skimming through in their high school English class.

In this third and latest silver screen adaptation, Leo DiCaprio is the titular Gatsby, a man haunted by his past and clinging to a precariously-constructed future. The film is set in the heart of the roaring 20’s, in which the privileged are drunk off their own excess and the rest of the world struggles to survive. Topical? Yes much.

As a reminder, Luhrman is the man that gave us the visually indulgent Romeo + Juliet (also starring DiCaprio) and Moulin Rouge, as well as cult classic Strictly Ballroom and polarizing one-movie-that’s-really-two Australia. Sink or swim, Gatsby is sure to be bold in style and unique in vision.

Much Ado About Nothing 

First off, if I had one wish it would be that my life could essentially be the trailer for Much Ado: hanging out in black and white with Nathan Fillion and the rest of the Whedon regulars while great music plays in the background. But in the interim, I’ll just have to satisfy myself with watching this movie as soon as possible.

After wrapping post-production on The Avengers, geek-extraordinaire Joss Whedon decided to relax by inviting a few of his actor friends out to his house and filming a micro-budget adaptation of Bill Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. If you’re a fan of any of Whedon’s non-avengers projects (Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, etc) that’s probably all you need to hear, but if not then look at this as a modern retelling of a classic story populated by a who’s-who ensemble cast of terrific character actors.

To The Wonder 

Terrence Malick is one of those directors – like Woody Allen, Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarantino – where you probably already know if you’re a fan or not and if you’re not sure then approach with caution. I first came across his work with 2005’s The New World – part of a week long movie-watching binge as I recovered from a hernia surgery – and then again with 2011’s The Tree of Life which featured Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and dinosaurs. To this day I’m not entirely sure what The Tree of Life was about but I’ve learned that it’s best to avoid prescription-strength pain killers when watching a Malick movie.

His latest, To The Wonder, wouldn’t be on this list if I didn’t think it was worth seeing for the average person. So if you’re intrigued, just bear in mind that you should go in with certain expectations. Chief among them being that TTW will likely be missing a lot of the elements that make up a typical film, such as dialogue, or plot.

In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t think of To The Wonder as a movie at all. Think of it instead as a two-hour art installation. Still intrigued? Then get ready for some of the most hauntingly beautiful imagery you’ve ever seen.

Before Midnight

I had the chance to see Before Midnight at Sundance but held off to give myself the opportunity to watch its predecessors Before Sunrise and Before Sunset (yes, BM is a “sequel” but come on, spirit of the law here). I’m glad I did, because Before Sunrise more than lived up to the hype and now I’m all but thirsting to see what happens with the characters.

18 years after their chance meeting on a train headed to Vienna (Before Sunrise) and 9 years after reuniting in France, we check back in with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) in Greece. Expect a lot of walking and talking in exotic locales and a minimalist plot that mostly centers on philosophical discussions of life, love and relationships.

Elysium 

Somewhere in the middle of all the sequels, reboots and comic book adaptations we have this original science fiction concept straight out of the amazing mind of District 9 creator Neil Blomkamp. Much like how D9 told the tale of racial inequality disguised as a humans vs. aliens flick, Elysium uses a dystopian future as an allegory for economic disparity and class warfare.

In Elysium, we find a world in which the wealthy have escaped the dirty, polluted Earth to live in a floating paradisaical space station while the rest of us are left behind to scratch out whatever pitiful existence we can. Matt Damon, bald headed and outfitted with a black market militaristic exoskeleton attempts to crash the party, upsetting the delicate balance in the process.

District 9 was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in 2010 and gave us Sharlto Copley, a balls-to-the-wall South African who has largely dwindled in lesser projects ever since (see: The A-Team). With Elysium, we have Blomkamp’s follow-up and a returning Copley, and I can’t wait to see what happens. It also boasts the first on-screen appearance of Jodie Foster since her odd, head-scratching Cecil B. Demille Award acceptance speech, so there’s that.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

After months of analog, One Wood Uke has gone digital. I got tired of trying to play and sing into the bargain bin digital recorder that I bought for work so I splurged on an Apogee Jam, which is a USB guitar input for your laptop or Ipad.

Basically every web search I did on the subject pulled up the Jam, which boasts of being “studio quality” with the same kind of Quixotic delusion you would expect from a product geared towards novice musicians who make DIY recordings in their living room (like me).

That said, you kind of can’t help but marvel at modern technology that lets any yahoo with a laptop record a song and post it online for the world to hear. As my mother has said countless times since I was a child, “The pioneers would LOVE this!” (that, and Penicillin, I suspect.)

Anyway here’s a video of me trying out my new toy and failing miserably at the finger-picking sections of Jake Shimabukuro’s Kelly’s Song. If you want to hear what it sounds like in the hands of a capable ukulele player, click here.

Read Full Post »

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Oblivion for quite some time. I devoured the trailers that promised a post-apocalyptic struggle for the future of mankind set to the backdrop of stunning 4K digital imagery. I looked forward to another feather in the cap of Tom Cruise’s career renaissance (seriously, why didn’t more of you see Jack Reacher? Shape Up!) And, of course, who could say no to a movie where Morgan Freeman cryptically waves a match in front of his face while chomping on a cigar.

Like a boss.

So imagine my surprise when, in the final days before the film’s wide release, a ho-hum buzz of mixed reviews started rolling in. Aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gave Oblivion a very just-ok score of 59 percent while Entertainment Weekly, the I Ching of all things film, handed down a very stern C+ rating.

Now, I would never question the right of an individual reviewer to state his view of a film, whether I agree with that view or not. I hated the Blind Side. I absolutely, unequivocally despised it, but they still gave Sandie Bullock an Oscar (absurd). That’s the thing about opinions, sometimes every human being on earth besides you is wrong.

But among the criticisms of Oblivion‘s detractors is an interestingly omnipresent thesis statement, which in essence says that the visuals in Oblivion are mesmerizing and gorgeous but the plot is largely derivative of other, greater films. You can almost see the gleeful expressions on the faces of writers as they derisively compare Oblivion to WALL-E, Blade Runner and The Matrix. Even the positive reviews use the copy-cat label as a rubber stamp of failure, like that of Richard Roeper who said “This is the sci-fi movie equivalent of a pretty damn good cover band.”

Well, dear reviewing colleagues and not-so-dear internet trolls, I respectfully disagree.

First, the complaint of “it’s like every other sci-fi movie” has been and can be raised against essentially every other sci-fi movie. And chick flick. And coming-of-age tale. And buddy cop show. And Tyler Perry’s Madea’s latest adventure. Yes, some movies blatantly rip off the creative work of other, greater minds but the idea of building from a base of familiar themes and concepts is not, in and of itself, a negative trait. Also, some movies are just plain bad. Oblivion is not one of them.

Yes, it incorporates elements that are recognizable, but in my opinion it does so largely to set a stage from which several interesting and surprising paths diverge.

Second, I would argue that the plot’s weaknesses (of which I admit there are a few) in this case are not so grievous as to warrant a negative review, particularly considering the compensatory caliber of the remaining cinematic elements. In particular, the visuals in this movie are quite simply amazing. The scenes shot in the film’s most notable set piece, the Sky Tower, are exquisite, incorporating an innovative projection method in lieu of the cheaper and industry-standard green screen. For the shots, director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) literally surrounded the actors on stage with the same ethereal vistas that the viewer is experiencing in the theater. It’s a neat visual trick that pays of in spades.

This kind of meticulous and product-conscious directing to me makes the “just like other movies” argument even more infuriating when we consider that Avatar, the most derivative film ever made and a similarly visuals-heavy blockbuster, scored an unwarranted 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and went on to be nominated for best picture as well as become the single highest-grossing film of all time.

Injustice, I say. Which brings me to point number three: people just love picking on Tom Cruise.

Reading through the internet chatter, I can’t help but wonder how much of the non-buzz surrounding Oblivion is residual negativity from America’s refusal to let go of the couch-jumping incident. Despite being, by nearly all accounts, one of the nicest, hardest-working men in Hollywood, there is an unfortunate lingering schadenfreude toward Mr. Cruise. I still, from time to time, hear people saying “I can’t see that, Tom Cruise is weird.” To them I say, “Go kill yourself, Ghost Protes was Re-donk-ulous.”

In closing. I saw Oblivion last night and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Perfect? No. Awesome? Yes. Trippy? In the best ways. As always, Cruise is a machine of whispered intensity and I can not say enough of his co-star Andrea Riseborough. She was absolutely haunting, a master-class in subtlety and nuance. Also, watching it in IMAX melted my face clean off.

Oh, and initial reports have it pulling in about $13.3 million on Friday, on track for an opening weekend of just under $40 million and a first-place finish in the box office. So stuff that in your pipe and smoke it.

Read Full Post »

CoverArt2_webtitle  Let’s get right to the good stuff shall we? For a free download of my cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” click here. Once there, click on the big blue letters that say “Buy Now” and then enter a big fat zero when asked how much you want to pay — or some other number, followed by your credit card information 🙂

As an aside, we put this track together in the basement of my aunt’s house. My cousin-in-law Chris is a bit of a local music phenom who also dabbles with at-home DIY recording. He’s the one in the video rocking the shaker/tamborine combo and I handled the Uke, vocals and piano.

So, since I know you’ve all been thinking “Man, I wish I could have Ben Wood playing Ukulele in my ear when I go for my morning jog/drive through my morning commute/gaze longingly out of rain-swept windows” you are in luck.

But wait, that’s not all.

As you may or may not know, my sister and I are film enthusiasts and have some lofty goals of world domination. But every journey has a first step so we decided that putting together a quick music video would be good practice for future projects.

In hindsight music videos are a difficult first step, as the need to synch your video to an audio track is exaggerated, making it hard to convincingly mimic that you’re singing live when you’re actually not. But all in all I think it came together pretty well for a couple of kids who didn’t really know what they were doing.

Enjoy.

Read Full Post »

So my last post, admittedly, was a bit of a low point in my quest for a digital relationship. I lost sight of the prize, letting my own frustrations dampen my resolve.

But, as they say in theater, “The Show Must Go On!” and as The Doors said in Light My Fire, “The Time To Hesitate is Through!” After the crushing defeat of my last post, I decided to redouble my efforts in the online dating game and am happy to report that it yielded results, but more on that later.

Drawing from the knowledge I gleaned from my ill-advised business minor in college, I knew that with little demand for my product (in this case, me) I could either close up shop entirely or extend my breadth and depth by diversifying into the marketplace. So, as March came to a close I added two free online dating services and the mobile app Tinder to my tapestry of digital romance, while also recommitting a can-do attitude to my original, niche online dating service (hint: it’s not WomenBehindBars.com).

What I’ve increasingly come to realize is that in a nutshell, free dating sites are digital wastelands of human depravity, while subscription-based sites are just depressing.

photoIn you haven’t yet heard of Tinder, you will. It is the new hot app sweeping across college campuses around the country in which users are presented with the photograph of another human being and asked to swipe right if they’re interested and swipe left if they’re not. If two people express a mutual interest, it creates a “match” (tinder + match = fire. Get it?) and ships the two users into a private chat for the purposes of arranging a rendezvous.

It really is that simple, cutting down the noise of online dating to its most basic visual elements and allowing you the satisfaction of rejecting dozens of your peers in quick fashion from the safety of your home. There’s no awkward requirement to describe your hobbies and personality in paragraph form. There’s no questionnaires about how you would rate your own self-confidence or whether you are a morning or night person. And, best of all, there’s no possibility of being asked by a stranger how you take your ice cream unless you’ve already registered your approval of their appearance.

But Tinder, as addictive as it is, paints a worrisome picture of the future of online dating. The same ease of entry it presents undermines the essential elements that drove people online in the first place. All the literature I’ve read on the app (which is more than you would think) suggests that the majority of women who use it have absolutely no intention of ever meeting or even speaking to the men they “like” and in the best case scenarios, it’s little more than a way for urban adults to meet up for casual sex.

It’s success (which is rabid) will likely lead to the Tinder-ization of many online dating programs, and while I never thought I would find myself defending the medium it is unfortunate that as the stigmas fall and the online format becomes more mainstream, all of the hangups and annoyances of modern romance that drove people online in the first place will become digitized. What was once intended as a respite from the superficiality of bar-scene hookups and a way to get to know someone on an intellectual level prior to a physical first impression has now given way to the same snap judgements and cat-calling of the real world.

I believe we will look back at the arrival of Tinder as the day online dating became “cool.” So on the one hand congratulations, we’ve arrived, and on the other hand it’s probably time for the hipsters to jump ship.

In it’s worst and often-ridiculed form, online dating is largely an additional medium through which men can objectify women with the hope of a quick score. One blogger put this to the test to hilarious results, in which she created a false online persona to see how crazy she had to act before men would stop trying to shag her. The answer? Very.

In fact, Marla’s favorite movies — Free Willy and Monkey Trouble — made frequent appearances in her interactions with men who still wanted to bang her even after she called them “wanksta” or that she’d accidentally killed her boyfriend because he forgot the safe word. They didn’t care that she reported her day to be terrible because she found out that she just ran into a friend who had syphilis. They didn’t care that she was bummed out about having to pay to taxidermy the hamster that her cat had killed, or that she was upset that her cat had died after eating her pet poisonous Amazon frogs.” Jezebel.com

And it’s not just women who have reason to utter a collective groan. For the few sincere, relationship-seeking men in the world, online dating is now one more medium in which beautiful women claim to want a nice sensitive guy but reject his advances in lieu of the basketball player/surfer/warewolf. In the meantime he’s under a burden to prove he is more than an online predator while also dodging the increasingly real possibility that the woman he’s pursuing online is Manti Teo’s dead girlfriend.

For example, I recently came across a woman, screen name MadiWolff, on OkCupid who’s profile picture was that of a blond in a tank top bending over at the waist to make sure the web cam had a mostly unobstructed view of her naval. In her description, she make it clear that she was looking for someone to have sex with. How, you ask? By writing “I’m only on this website to find people to have sex with. Seriously, I love sex and I’m not afraid to say it.”

Under the “Things I’m Good At” heading she responded “sex” and under the “Six Things I Couldn’t Live Without” heading she listed 1. Sex 2. Sex 3. Sex 4. Sex 5. Sex and 6. Sex, with a smiley face emoticon on the last one to really drive the point home.

In January, a story made the rounds about a Brooklynite who had created a fake OkCupid profile to lure the thief who had stolen his iPhone. After pretending to be a 24-year-old woman named Jennifer and a few rounds of flirting, the thief agreed to meet up for a bottle of wine, at which point the phone was restored to its rightful owner.

Or there was this recent story on Huffington Post about how some 70 idiots at BYU were lured to a FroYo shop on the invitation of a fake Tinder profile. One single message saying “meet me for Froyo” and a smiley face emoticon was all it took. No questions asked.

Now, for all I know, MadiWolff is an actual flesh-and-blood female who just wanted to have herself some sex, but I doubt it. I suspect she was a similar type of online specter (referred to as a “catfish” in internet parlance) and would’ve posted a screen grab of her profile here for your enjoyment but it appears she no longer exists. Surprise, surprise.

But, now that I’ve bored you with my analysis of modern dating I suppose I should probably tell you about the date I went on this week.

Returning to the well of my original niche dating website (hint: It’s not CougarLife.com), I encountered Tess (not her actual name) who had actually engaged me in conversation about who I preferred between Batman or Superman — Batman, natch.

After a few exchanges with Tess, through which I learned that she was from Oregon, would select Telekinesis as her superpower of choice and would prefer to lose her sense of smell if one of the big five had to go, I suggested that we meet up and chat over a hot beverage. She accepted, passing me her number, and the date was set.

We met on a Tuesday night at a local haunt renowned for its delicious hot chocolate. Yes, I felt like a 12-year-old taking a girl out for cocoa, but this stuff is seriously amaze-balls.

In my entire life I’ve only been on two blind dates and so I’m in no way versed in the appropriate arrival behavior when you don’t know your date from Eve. I found myself almost paralyzed by the question, feeling that I had to do something even though a hug felt like overkill and a handshake would be anathema. Luckily she arrived immediately after me and I was able to remove the threat by holding open the door (or using it as a shield, depending on perspective).

We ordered our libations and found a seat beneath a photograph of the store’s owners sheltering themselves from what appeared to be chocolate rain by an umbrella. This detail isn’t pertinent to the story, other than the fact that I found it extremely distracting as I attempted to carry on a conversation with Tay Zonday stuck in my head.

I learned further that Tess works on campus, practices Karate, has lived in Utah for 7 years, is studying exercise science and has been a member of our mutual niche online dating web site for only two weeks. We covered the usual first-date basis — work, school, family, books, movies, hobbies, other — sipped hot cocoa for about an hour and then called it a night. I was careful to not tell her my last name in attempt to avoid her finding me on facebook and, by extension, this blog post; but she knows where I work and my first name, which would be enough for anyone determined to find me online, especially since I exist on the internet in a greater capacity than I do in the real world (I can’t decide whether that’s depressing or not).

I learned several things from this experience. First, that I tend to present the gayest version of myself on first dates, like how I enjoy a cup of Rooibos tea in the morning, how I’m a lover of musical theater, how the thing I miss most about new york is a Broadway-themed sing-a-long piano bar in the Village whose primary clientele is single turtleneck-wearing gentleman and how I have a very strong relationship with my mother. At the time all of those statement made sense but looking back I’m not sure it’s completely indicative in the aggregate.

Second, I re-learned that dating doesn’t have to be death. I have no intention of seeing Tess again but it was a altogether painless and relatively painless evening nonetheless. Who knows, if I were to ever actually meet a girl I was interested in, this could almost be fun.

Read Full Post »

You could argue that the Serial Killer Era of television that we’re currently living in began with Showtime’s Dexter, but NBC’s Hannibal is so clearly and obviously designed as an answer and competitor to Fox’s The Following that it is impossible to not compare the two.

Following, starring Kevin Bacon and an ever-expanding host of relatively obnoxious secondary characters, has the advantage of arriving first, putting Hannibal in a position of catching up. Following centers on a serial killer (James Purefoy) obsessed with and inspired by the work of Edgar Allen Poe who, having been caught once and imprisoned, orchestrates a prison break with the help of cult of followers ready and willing to kill and orchestrate general mayhem at his command. Bacon, then, is the emotionally- and physically-damaged FBI agent charged with catching him, he being the one who caught him in the first place.

Hannibal, on the other hand, is a prequel to the Hannibal Lector tales immortalized by Anthony Hopkins, in which a brilliant psychiatrist (played by Mads Mikkelson) who moonlights as a murderous cannibal aids the FBI in catching other, lesser evil-doers. He is hunted, unknowingly at this point, by an emotionally- and mentally-damaged FBI agent (Hugh Dancy) who has a knack for getting into the heads of killers but subsequently has trouble getting out of them afterwards.

*Fun side note: Dancy and Mikkelson both played knights of the round table in Antoine Fuqua’s 1994 “King Arthur,” an underrated sword-and-sandals flick starring Clive Owen as the titular King of the Britains.

Having only seen one episode of Hannibal it is hard to declare an outright winner in the Killer Wars, but if the pilot is any indication Hannibal is the superior series for one simple reason: Showmanship.

Much like the dueling magicians in Nolan’s The Prestige, both Following and Hannibal are performing the same trick, but the NBC cannibal flick knows how to dress it up better. The visuals of Hannibal, particularly the macabre fantasies that play out inside Dancy’s mind, have an eerie artistic quality and the scene progression is stitched together in sometimes-jarring jump cuts that evoke the unstable nature of both the hunter and the hunted.

Then there’s the central dynamic of the show. Where Kevin Bacon’s Agent Hardy knows full-well the man he is pursuing (absent a few anonymous henchman that pop up from week to week only to be quickly dispatched without providing any information) Dancy’s Agent Graham and Hannibal the Cannibal are locked in a Cat and Mouse game where the cat doesn’t know who, or what, the mouse is.

It is that dramatic irony, the viewer knowing something the protagonist does not, that infuses Hannibal with an nervous unpredictability as the two men throw psycho-babble at each other over a suspicious home-cooked plate of protein scramble.

As for the violence, both shows have made it clear they want to push the envelope. So far on the Following we’ve seen stabbings, eye gougings and strangulations with an amount of blood typically reserved for pay-cable fare whereas in a single episode of Hannibal we had three slit throats and a naked woman, fully displayed, impaled on the antlers of a stag.

Whether or not the violence is used as a higher commentary on society remains to be seen, but suffice it now to say that neither show is for the faint of heart. The content of Hannibal, while I suspect it will be of lesser quantity, is perhaps more objectionable simply because it is presented in a darker, sociopathic lens compared to the relative smash-and-grab superficiality of Following.

Kevin Bacon’s character is more likeable, while Hugh Dancy’s agent is more interesting. Likewise, Joe Carrol is a more charismatic presence while Hannibal Lector delivers more chills, despite being at times unintelligible behind Mikkelson’s thick accent. Lawrence Fishbourne, as fellow FBI handler on Hannibal, also presents more gravitas compared to the FBI team at Fox which is diluted among more faces than I care to count.

Hannibal: B+ 

The Following: B

Read Full Post »

Normally I don’t take the time to review mid-season spring premieres, but since ABC’s new comedy How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest of Your Life) is intended as the replacement for superior-yet-ratings-challenged Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B**** in Apt. 23 and also stars Scrubs alum Sarah Chalke, I decided to bite the hook.

Despite being another prime time show whose title is longer than its running time and despite being shoehorned between the spring and summer television season, HTLWYP(FTROYL) – seriously, what are we supposed to call this thing? – is a generally enjoyable albeit largely underwhelming offering in the new “quirky dialogue and quirky family” genre of television. The show is, in essence, Modern Family with a smaller cast, more sexual experimentation jokes and a cloying voice-over narration in place of the mockumentary character interviews.

The show revolves around Polly (Chalke) who, along with her daughter Natalie, moves back in with her Gen-X hippie parents after leaving her man-child of a husband. So in addition to Modern Family, it’s a lot like Fox’s cancelled-too-soon Ben and Kate, except it takes itself too seriously.

The pilot episode is spent with a throwaway plot that does little more than introduce the characters, which include Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Brad Garrett as Polly’s stepfather (a running gag centers on his anatomical challenges following a bout with testicular cancer) and Elizabeth Perkins as Polly’s dance-in-the-rain bohemian mother. Garrett always irritated me on Raymond, but as the ear-pierced Max he was actually the most enjoyable aspect of the show besides Rachel Eggleston (Natalie) who avoids the curse of the annoying child by having relatively little screen time (A tactic I like to call “The Baby Lilly”).

It gets some laughs and keeps the dialogue zippy, but also dips into a few lazy ponds, such as insinuating over and over again that Polly is a “slut” by agreeing to go on her first date, 6 months after her divorce, to a man that she met in a grocery store and is nicknamed “Jewish Superman”. “My stars!” all of the viewers shocked by her behavior would say while fanning themselves, if they existed. The dialogue and jokes are a little forced but not woefully so, and a few more episodes will tell if its indicative of the writing talent or if it’s just typically pilot-episode awkwardness. I also worry about setting up Polly’s ex-husband as a potential will-they-won’t-they reconciliation since he’s firmly established as an undependable dunce.

Ultimately, HTLWYP(FTROYL) is an innocuous, if not enjoyable, addition to the TV landscape.

Grade: B

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »