December 2014 Movie Preview

E: And so another year comes to a close, with films exciting, serious, thrilling, heart-warming and funny.

M: And almost everything being released this month opens in Christmas. Because nothing says “the Savior is born!” like a trip to the local multiplex.

E: Poor C needs saving these days, too; hopefully we’ll have more luck getting her to rejoin us once she’s finished with her dissertation and job applications! It’s less fun fighting with you without her as a buffer.

M: I’m not sure how much of a buffer she is, as we usually gang up on you, but I agree, less fun without little sis!

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The Good Wife: Sticky Content

E: This week’s Good Wife brings us a brilliant treatise on identity.  Where can you stand in the distance between reputation and personal honor, between what others know of you and what you know of yourself?  When it’s your choice, what do  you use to define yourself?  And how do you respond when you’re not in charge of your own narrative?  When you’re accused of a crime?  When your romantic life becomes public knowledge?  When your public persona requires personal sacrifice? Yeah, I’m a total sucker for those kind of questions.

I’ve made it quite clear what I think of the current direction of the show.  This week’s terrifying, explosive, dizzying episode almost –almost — makes all the rest of that plotting stupidity worth it.

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The Good Wife: Red Zone

E: You thought you’d just sneak that in there, did you?  All this build up this season and last turning Jimmy Castro into Alicia’s arch nemesis and what do you do?  Drop him out of the governor’s race with barely a complete sentence to mark his passing.  I mean, you’ve already pissed off essentially every fan of the show making her run, but you gave us this impetus, this overriding idea that Castro must be opposed and there was no one out there to do it and so some of us were grudgingly going along with it because well, he really did need to be opposed.

And then, poof!  Guess what we’re left with instead?  Alicia running against someone who kind of seems sincere, thoughtful and smart. That’s awesome!   Why is she doing this again?  Because she set herself on this path and she doesn’t know how to get off it?  Because her very existence depends on not quitting anything she’s started even if it’s stupid, or because she’s simply incapable of reflection and self-assessment?  Why does Eli even want her to stay in the race when his true loyalty is to Peter and Peter needs to be seen backing a winner — and Eli and the Haircut have both told Alicia she can’t beat Frank Prady?  Why are we all stumbling around in the dark, variously blind?

In other news, everyone gets into trouble. Cary breaks the conditions of his bail (presumably while wearing the tracking anklet mandated by said bail, a fact I expect to be conveniently forgotten by the writing staff). E & E conduct a focus group.  Alicia alternately pursues the reality and the appearance of good. And, surprise!  She goes for a drink with Finn. Kalinda lets her hair down, and stomps all over Cary’s already traumatized little heart so she can play house with Lana, which seems bafflingly out of character. Louis Canning adds an oxygen mask and a wheelchair to his theatrical props.  Sort of.

By the way, I’m going to try something a little different this week, largely because my son accidentally stepped on my back up drive and deleted half a show’s worth of recapping.  It’s too late in the week to simply start again – hence, something a bit new.  Or at little bit old, anyway. Continue reading

November 2014 Movie Preview

E: Now we’re talking.  November rockets out of the gate with spectacular looking adventures, and looks just as strong the whole month through.

M: Seriously, not a lot of movies this month overall, but the percentage of good ones is higher than an average month.

E: We don’t need there to be dozens when the ones they put out look this appealing.

M: Exactly, quality over quantity.

E: Let the holiday movie season begin!

M: And a quick reminder, the titles of the movies are links to trailers, so you can check out whichever ones pique your interest. Continue reading

The Good Wife: Message Discipline

E:  It turns  out that Alicia’s a pretty poor campaigner.  Gee, who would have ever guessed it?  Let’s all say it with Eli: politics is all about asking people for things, which is Alicia’s least favorite thing ever, and everybody knows it. Excuse me while I go knock my head against a wall (since it’s more fun than watching Alicia completely humiliate herself).  Ironically, she privately makes the best case I’ve ever heard for her running.  Or at least, she shows that she cares about the right things, which is something of a relief.  I’m sure we see her acting like a moron this week so we can get an arc of her learning to do better, but man, was it excruciating to watch.

In much more exciting news, the noose twists tighter around Cary’s neck, and that thirty foot distance rule seems to definitely be making Kalinda’s heart grow fonder.  See, they can beat up on a character in a way that produces good drama!  Also to the good: the production design team does their best to make Will’s office not look like Will’s office.

In sum this week’s episode was a combination of the brilliant writing and acting we love, and the wrong-headed plotting and ridiculous character choices we all despise.

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