E: Well. That, ladies and gentleman, is the episode we’ve been waiting all year for — maybe, for some people, the entire series. That was the beginning of the end. It feels like this entire season has been that slow, rickety ride up the hill, and now the roller coaster is zooming down, doing twists and turns and loops and shoots. I kind of regret that I don’t have the time anymore for a transcript style recap, because damn, that was beautiful and heartbreaking and full to the brim of complete game changing insanity.
E: Well, shoot. Guest stars continue to shine (this week Blair Underwood as a grieving father), the grand jury investigation of Peter marches on, the show continues to explore hot button, cutting edge legal issues, and Alicia continues to explore her (ahem) relationship with Jason in increasingly risky ways. Is there any shot that no one snapped a picture of the two of them in that pub? I’m going to say none. Where is all of this going? With only five episodes left to the entire series, surely there’s got to be a turning point – a ramping up of the action – soon.
This week we have five basic plots: the political plot, the work manuevering plot, Grace’s college letter plot, the case of the week and the romance plot. This was a lot of plotting; some bits were unworthy (sigh, stupid work plot) and some bits were really interesting but got short shrift. And, yeah, I know, I’m way behind. Let’s just slip back quietly into the world that was, though, and we’ll be up to speed in no time.
M: So, let’s see what April has to offer in the way of “major” releases… a Christian movie sequel (a bit of a first), another horrible looking Melissa McCarthy vehicle (cone on Hollywood, she’s funny, let’s get her some good material), a terrifyingly awesome looking new version of an old Disney classic, the Barber Shop crew taking on drive-by shootings, a sequel/prequel (I can’t even tell) to a Snow White movie that wasn’t particularly successful or well reviewed, and another rom-com-interconnected-story-centered-around-a-holiday crapfest. Summer movies can’t get here soon enough.
E: May movies (often the cream of the warm weather crop) can’t get here soon enough. That lot sounds pretty lame.
M: I don’t get it. What’s different between the beginning of May and April? Not even colleges are out of school until late May, and those early May blockbusters don’t usually last into mid-to-late June when lower grades get out. Spread the wealth, already!
E: Yes please!
M: And it turns out, the undercard, the limited releases, contains a pretty enticing looking slate of films. So strange.
E: So C is finishing writing her dissertation this week, and will not be joining us. Better luck to us all preparing for May, when she’ll merely be defending it! Or not so much. Not to mention June, when we’re all preparing for her wedding…
M: Yeah, if you thought the March “preview” was late…. but we digress. On to April’s unusual slate!
E: After the anemic leftovers of January and February, March brings a happy new dawn. Actual movies to see!
M: And you’ve probably seen half of them already, since C and I have been overwhelmed with work and other life events, and have not been able to help E get this up in a timely manner. Also because of that, no trailers this month. Our sincerest apologies!
E: Well, hmm. On the one hand, there was a lot of humor to enjoy in this episode. On the other, we have a heavy build up of old plots the show’s already done to death (Peter gets investigated! there’s dissension in the ranks!) and wasted guest stars (and regulars, for that matter) clogging up the works. Let’s break it down, shall we? And just because I feel like it, I’m going to change up the format again as I do it.
E: Well. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so happy to be wrong.
Honestly, I’m generally pretty happy to be wrong because it means that there was a surprise. Though it looked like last night’s awards had settled into complete predictability, there were a few surprises and a couple of truly shocking moment (good and bad) alongside all of the expected wins. Let’s take a quick look. Continue reading
E: Or at least, it’s starting to look like it might be a boring year after the complete insanity of this year’s precursor awards. For all that it’s been unsettled – who would be nominated, in which category, for which film — the uncertainty may have just settled into a typically predictable rut. This year’s race shows up pretty much everything that has always been dissatisfying about Oscar (the groupthink, the lack of racial and gender diversity, the penchant for awarding certain people because they’re due), while also managing to highlight some fantastic films.
Now, okay. A three-way race is inherently unstable, so it’s certainly possible that there could be a surprise in Best Picture, and maybe even in Best Director. The latter is particularly unlikely, but not impossible. So let’s all hope for the unexpected as we prepare for the opposite.