Star-Crossed. Season one, episode seven.

"If I kill everyone whose seen this show, maybe I'll only be remembered for Friday Night Lights."

“If I kill everyone who has seen this show, maybe I’ll only be remembered for Friday Night Lights.”

I’ve been trying to figure out why I enjoy Star-Crossed so much more than its counterparts on the CW. All CW shows are ostensibly the same. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, improbable barriers keep boy and girl separated for two episodes, they reunite, repeat. I think what makes Star-Crossed different — and a hell of a lot more fun — is its insane cast of secondary characters…

1. Lukas, Emery’s friend from the first day of school. He’s basically the obnoxious Asian friend from Twilight only black. In episode seven, he’s exposed to deadly alien spores. And just like that, he’s everyone’s best friend!

“That’s my best friend who just got taken away in an ambulance,” says Emery, contrary to all evidence on the show.

But he must not be that important, because when Emery and Roman go into the bayou to find a cure (a very time-sensitive cure, as he has mere hours before dying), they spend a lot of time standing in the woods discussing their relationship. And when they find the cure, they take a five minute pit stop to make out.  Continue reading

Reign. Episodes fourteen, fifteen, sixteen.

I deeply regret joining the cast of this show.

I deeply regret joining the cast of this show.

Poor Anna Popplewell. Since rediscovering that they accidentally cast Susan from The Chronicles of Narnia, the writers of Reign have forced the her to inexplicably have sex with the Dauphin and carry his unborn child, a plotline that is pleasing to 0% of the show’s audience.

And now, the greatest indignity of all: The scene in which she must keep a straight face while being educated about condoms by Kenna.

“If you don’t know, you shouldn’t be having sex!” Kenna says. When you’re getting sex ed from your sluttiest friend, you know your life has taken a turn.

Sex is portrayed — quite unintentionally, I’m sure — as an undesirable nightmare on this show. In episode fourteen, the King of France literally bangs a girl out of the window to her death. As in, he bends her over an open window and she falls out. That actually happens.

Later, we’re meant to suspect this is the beginning of some death-sex fantasy that the King has; soon, he’s off strangling hookers. He’s the Night Stalker of the French court.  Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Finale.

Once upon a time there was a spinoff that ABC hoped would make them boatloads of money, just like the original franchise. But the show’s poor acting, awful special effects and dull plots doomed it to a quick pink slip. The writers had once last chance to say goodbye. And here’s how they did it…

In the last episode, we were blissfully rid of the Red Queen who was killed and left in a glass coffin like Lenin, her lips stuck in permanent duck face after rigor mortis set in. But, of course, she doesn’t stay dead for long. Jafar brings her back to life to serve as his new queen … because he loved her all along? No, that can’t be right. And yet that seems to be the implication. Moving on…

Our band of heroes sets off to find a way to bring down Jafar. Cyrus and his mother head first to the reflecting pool where zombie Lisa Bonet lives:


On the way there, Cyrus’ mother turns out to be the Jim Jones of sorceresses when she compels an army of enemy soldiers to kill themselves. Strange move, considering she’s one of our heroes.  Continue reading

Star-Crossed. Season one, episodes five and six.

"Don't shoot! My career is already dead!"

“Don’t shoot! My career is already dead!”

A smattering of observations on a show that dares to create a teenage love triangle between an alien steroid user, a blonde prom queen and an alien lesbian with a bowl cut…

  • Star-Crossed sure has a soft spot for racists. Despite the fact that militantly stupid Eric routinely issues death threats to the aliens, our hero Emery insists he doesn’t deserve to go to jail for being affiliated with the show’s KKK equivalent. Eric gets a free pass because actually attacking the aliens is “not what I signed up for.” Oh no, our mistake. He wanted to be a racist in words, not in deeds.
  •  Roman spends all of episode five searching for the alien safe haven called Aljuita. When he doesn’t find it — after hours of searching in the Louisiana bayou — he proclaims that it’s “just a myth after all. Just like my father.” No, your father was an adulterer and a liar. Not a myth. Echo and Narcissus is a myth.
  • Roman and Emery’s teacher, who happens to be the secret mother of Roman’s dad’s love child, sticks around in the bayou long enough for a creepy old man to come motoring through the swamp. She hands over her half-alien baby to the old man for safe-keeping. Presumably, he takes the boy to the Beasts of the Southern Wild island where they live in shacks amidst crippling poverty and alcoholism.

Continue reading

Reign. Episodes twelve and thirteen.

Kenna, put your breasts away, jesus. Why is it always about you?

Kenna, put your breasts away, jesus. Why is it always about you?

More from Mary, Queen of Bad Decisions, on the latest episodes of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bash”…

  • Yes, our fearless Scottish leader was finally faced with the ultimate marriage dilemma and chose to marry Francis. “I love him more,” she explains blandly and completely inexplicably. Good thing their happiness won’t last long…
  • … Because Francis has been bangin’ Mary’s friend Susan from the Chronicles of Narnia. The writers of Reign realized recently that they’d cast her ages ago but hadn’t done a thing with her character. So why not have Mary’s loyal best friend have a sexual relationship with the future king of France? That’s completely in-character for all parties involved.
  • In an act of kindness, Mary has a mask made for Clarissa, the deformed girl monster who lives in the castle’s secret tunnels. But for some reason, Mary commissions the freakiest possible mask and turns Clarissa into the Phantom of the Opera. When Clarissa kidnaps the young princes and says, “We’re going to be a family,” you half expect her to add, “I’m going to teach you how to sing ‘All I Ask of You.’”

Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Episodes ten and eleven.

"Will. Have you noticed how my lips wax and wane like the phases of the moon? How is that possible?"

“Will. Have you noticed how my lips wax and wane like the phases of the moon? How is that possible?”

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland recently left us with something of a cliffhanger: We met the Jabberwocky and she looked like a member of a Poison tribute band after a particularly rough night — but what makes her so terrifying? What makes her the most-feared monster in Wonderland?

It’s obviously not the way she speaks. She doesn’t talk like the Jabberwocky at all. She speaks regular English. Perhaps it’s the method by which she murders — by sticking her giant press-on nails into her victim’s ears which, aptly enough, is a visual metaphor for this show.

Admittedly, it’s fun in a masochistic sort of way to watch her go toe-to-toe with the Red Queen, one woman trying to out-ham the other. With the introduction of the Jabberwocky, I thought the Red Queen might finally become the second-worst character on TV. But, like any good foil, the Jabberwocky only serves to amplify the stupidity of the Red Queen.

I think the Red Queen used to have powers. In fact, we’re shown a flashback where she learns how to use magic. She can light fires with her mind! And yet none of those skills are brought to bear when she’s tortured for information by the Jabberwocky.  Continue reading

Star-Crossed. Season one, episodes three and four.

I love where the Star-Crossed writers’ heads are at. They’re committed to creating a futuristic alien universe, but at the same time they’re clearly terrified of crafting a world that’s too unfamiliar to their audience.

As a result, there’s some WTF-worthy fictions — the aliens light up blue when they’re licked … I know there’s already fanfiction out there utilizing this feature AND I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT — mixed with ordinary facts. Like how the Mad Max Alicia Keys alien is named Teri. Of all the names you could give to a teenage alien, they went with Teri. It defies explanation.

Our Toil Shall Strive to Mend

Ordinary meets surreal perfectly in episode four. One alien decides, of all things, she wants to join the high school swim team. That’s all well and good, but it turns out that Atrians have two hearts and two sets of lungs. Continue reading

Beauty and the Beast. Season two, episodes thirteen and fourteen.

"We gather here today to honor Greg. Gordon? Something."

“We gather here today to honor Greg. Gordon? Something.”

As Cat endlessly waffles between her new boyfriend Gabe and her old one Vincent, CW’s Beauty and the Beast presents a playbook of how not to conduct yourself in a relationship. Here are the highlights:

  • Gabe books a surprise trip to Mexico with Cat before they’re even in a committed relationship. That’s a big move, playa.
  • On the other hand, Cat probably doesn’t actually want to have sex with Gabe considering she brought him a massive order of Mexican food before their alone time.
  • Gabe is moments away from being blown apart by a bomb when Vincent rushes in to save him. In the aftermath, Vincent’s friend JT says he’s now “very deserving” of winning back Cat. Yes, so noble. Nothing says “I want you back” like opting against manslaughter. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Episode nine.

"Oh god no. We're still on the air?!"

“Oh god no. We’re still on the air?!”

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland took a big risk reuniting Alice and her long-lost love Cyrus in episode eight of the first season. Perhaps they worried viewers were tired of her quest to find someone she’d barely shared the screen with.

They were wrong. This is worse. So much worse.

Now that they’re in the same room, it’s apparent that Alice and Cyrus have no chemistry. Each time they kiss, you’re expecting to hear raw, sandpapery sounds. As for the journey now, they’ve teamed up with Queen Big Lips to find the Knave who — plot twist! — has turned into a genie.

It’s a transference of problems. The plot’s exactly the same: Jafar needs a genie, someone who loves the genie is trying to save him, friends help find the genie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plot twist that gave us the exact same plot as before. So I suppose that’s an accomplishment.

Continue reading

Star-Crossed. Season one, episode two

"Wait, you've got to be like, 28 years old, right? And you're supposed to be a junior in high school?"

“Wait, you’ve got to be like, 28 years old, right? And you’re supposed to be a junior in high school?”

There’s a misconception that the CW casts a bunch of awful young actors for their awful new shows. Wrong! The CW also casts equally awful grown-ass men (and women)!

Take the school meeting scene from episode two of Star-Crossed. Parents are debating whether or not the aliens should be allowed at school functions like the homecoming carnival. And before I leave you hanging on that detail — yes, it’s an actual carnival. With games and ferris wheels and funnel cakes. School graft on a scale that would make Putin jealous is apparently an integral part of The Future.

Some parents are bringing up safety issues. Others are mentioning fights at school. And then a lady stands up and says, “WHAT ABOUT THE HOMECOMING CARNIVAL?”

Scale back the outrage, lady. This is a CW show about an alien and Coach Taylor’s daughter from Friday Night Lights falling in love. You will not be winning your Emmy here. Continue reading