Off Topic Round Up: Oct 14-20, 2013

How I Met Your Mother: The Poker Game (9×05)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Both of the story lines this episode left me feeling kind of… plain? I think the build up to the final season has made me have impossibly high expectations of each episode. But it seems that every other episode is good, unfortunately this was not the good episode.

They’re a team now. (yup, that’s barney and robin) (source: neuralmente@tumblr)

So, I do kind of applaud the episode for addressing that classic issue with in-laws vs the wife, since it’s a pretty real thing and I would have been disappointed if we didn’t get at least one episode about it (I know, I’m a horrible person). Anyways, so in an intense poker game, Robin taunts James into betting his wedding ring after he makes one too many jabs at the institution of marriage. She wins his ring, and when James brings their mother, Loretta into the mix, Robin wins her blouse at a round of strip poker.

Unsure of which side to take, Barney gets some helpful advice from Lily to always stand by your wife. Realizing that James and his mother are being selfish, James having cheated on Tom and Loretta forcing Barney to break loyalties with his wife, Barney announces to his family that he’s breaking ties with them. But not after saying that Robin told him to do it. It’s pretty hilarious looking at Barney struggle with married life, since he’s always been such a savant in the romantic department.

Right after this, Lily knees future!Barney in the crotch. (source: tedevelynmosbys@tumblr)

And despite his loyalty to Robin, he’s a pretty big idiot for thinking that blaming Robin for the severance from him and his family is not going to have serious backlash. In fact, we see at the end of the episode, Robin returning Loretta’s shirt and apologizing, but Loretta has clearly not forgiven her. One could even say she’s got a…vendetta (puns!) against her.

Meanwhile, Lily furiously watches on as Ted tells Barney and Robin about their multiple wedding gifts from him. It is revealed that Ted never gave Lily and Marshall a wedding gift. The two have been hinting at it for six years, with references to the Halloween 2007 with the Slutty Pumpkin, in which Marshall is dressed as a gift. When Ted is finally told the truth, he insists that he gave them a coffeemaker that held a lot of significance to them as a gift, and that he’s never got a thank-you note for it. He too, has been hinting at one for the past six years.

(source: fooldreamer26@tumblr)

It all turns out that Stuart took the tag off of Ted’s gift and put his name on it. When Lily goes to confront him, he states that that gift strengthened his marriage with his wife, but then ends the conversation revealing he’s cheating on her, or at the very least married to someone else now. Anyways, Ted and Marshall reconcile. Ted gives Marshall a gift he’s been asking for at the beginning of the episode. Passing through Chicago, he begs Daphne to stop at their old pizza haunt, Gazzola’s (remember from episode 5×05 “Duel Citizenship”), but she waves him off. As a peace offering, Ted has a delivery man deliver a pizza from a moving car to him.

Future Ted remarks that he didn’t get a thank-you note until four months later.

All in all, two mildly entertaining stories, neither really shone out as the good one. The first is a plot builder, and the second is just a throwback to older episodes. And you know how I feel about that.

Reviewed by Therese

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Brooklyn 99: The Vulture (1×05)

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s hard not to love this show. Every time I think they’re going to go for a stereotype, they don’t.

Amy Santiago’s vulture kills me.
(source: enchantedadieu@tumblr)

After weeks of leaving a case to just himself, Peralta finds out that his murder is being taken over by Major Crimes Unit. More specifically by Detective Pembroke aka “The Vulture”, played by Dean Winters. The Vulture swoops in on the precinct’s cases just when they are about to be solved and happily takes the credit for it. He also has a weird fondness for Jake’s ass. So Pembroke swaggers out with the case, as everyone begrudgingly watches him and then go to blame Jake for keeping the case for himself and not letting the team solve it together, which would have been faster.

The gang meet after work for a drink, and drunkenly start to think of ways to get revenge on The Vulture. Boyle suggests that they saran wrap his bike and heat it up with a hair dryer (you know, like they do at Bath & Body Works) and they decide to do it. But Holt finds out about their shenanigans and orders them to stop and learn to work together to solve cases from now on.

I totally agree…
(source: sandandglass@tumblr)

Taking it as a cue to solve this specific case, they go to the crime scene and try to recreate the crime and solve the murder. After finally working together and realizing what the murder weapon was, they are caught just as they are about to retrieve it. Security picks them up and they are sent back to the precinct to be yelled at by the Captain and by Pembroke.

Realizing that this was all his fault and that Terry is going to get yelled at for being a bad supervisor, Jake takes one for the team and gives the murder weapon to The Vulture and then tells the Captain he is the only one to be blamed for this. It’s touching to see his character grow, especially seeing each episode that he’s not actually an egotistical douche that doesn’t care. He’s not only a good cop but a member of the team.

In other news, Captain Holt asks Terry to go to the gun range with him, since he was once the best marksman and he wants to get some training at the range. Terry is super cautious, especially after his “incident”. They reference back to the hilarious scene in the pilot of Terry Crews shooting the crap out of mannequin, and then reveal that there was a second incident in which he shot up a piñata the same way. If nothing, this episode let me relive Terry Crews screaming like a little girl and shooting at an inanimate object.

This scene will forever be hilarious to me.
(source: gargoyles42@tumblr)

However, Terry agrees and goes with Holt, who also brings along Gina. Stuck between Holt asking for practical advice and Gina being generally super dangerous with a firearm, Terry takes the gun for himself and demonstrates, firing off seven rounds into the center of the target. Holt notes that it is only seven, and Terry realizes that he’s trying to re-certify him and that to re-certify he needs eight shots. Terry spends the whole episode panicking over the final shot and hyperventilating. But it takes Gina scaring him with what they could do around the office to let loose another three rounds right into the head.

So Terry is back in action, and Jake learned a good life lesson. He also sent a papier maché mold of his ass to The Vulture.

This show is pure gold.

Reviewed by Therese

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The Mindy Project: Wiener Night (2×05)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

On Mindy’s way back from an enemy’s wedding she sits next to Jason Richman an attractive culture writer. They hit it off and even arrange to go on a date much to Mindy and her bladder’s relief. She can’t wait to share the news with the guys at work and even brings in the magazine he writes for to show them a picture of her new guy. Unfortunately she doesn’t get the best reaction from them but that doesn’t stop her from being excited. Abruptly Danny steals the magazine out of Mindy’s hand and escapes to his office before anyone can see the ad for Christina’s art show starring nude pictures of himself. Danny, to say the least, is not very happy about not being informed that he and his birthday suit will out for the world to see.

While on her date with Jason Mindy is offended when he implies that he thinks she’s uncultured. She leaves him for the night but when Peter finds out about Christina’s art show and tells everyone in the practice Mindy decides to invite Jason along in order to prove to him that she is just as cultured as he is. Meanwhile Danny asks for Cliff’s (the attorney) help to try and shut down the exhibit.

mindy project 2x5

When the night arrives Danny reluctantly attends the show. The rest of his colleagues are there and enjoying themselves, in particular Betsy, who’s definitely affected by the art. Cliff’s there too and he informs Danny that there isn’t a way to stop the show unless Danny somehow interferes.

Mindy’s attempts at impressing Jason get disappointing results while Danny is humiliated further when Christina depicts him as a monster in his pictures. At this point Mindy’s had enough and stands up for Danny but he’s wasted and decides it’s a good idea to take off his clothes. At that moment the police arrive but luckily Cliff is there to make sure no one gets arrested. Unfortunately for Mindy her date leaves during the chaos.

Mindy comforts a dejected Danny and she even gets a kiss from him for her success. It’s only on the check but it’s early days, let’s be patient. She does, however, have a pretty steaming make out session with Jason, who turns up at her door and even serenades her with Katy Perry on the ukulele.

Overall it was a nice episode. I loved watching Mindy standing up for herself and for what she enjoyed and it was also funny to watch Danny’s mortification over his naked pictures. The little kiss between the two was also a pleasant extra to the episode. If I had to critique one thing it would be that this season hasn’t been as funny as I remember last season being but give it time and I’m sure it’ll get its hilarity back.

Reviewed by Chioma

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New Girl: The Box (3×05)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Sometimes I’m afraid they’ll do to Schmidt what they did to Bolin on Korra this season, but then an episode like this takes place. It wasn’t the best, but it was pretty funny.

(source: crazyfornaynay@tumblr)

So Nick is visited by a creepy guy who gives him a bag of cash that his father left him after his death. Never trusting banks, Nick decides to just spend the cash frivolously and do whatever he wants. Jess realizes that he has a ton of unpaid bills and Winston hopes to get back the $1900 that he lent Nick. It’s hilarious when Nick says that he doesn’t want to think about the money anymore and puts it into a box filled with unpaid bills, and Jess begins to pay back his bills against his will and without his knowledge.

Winston, hoping to take this moment to ask him for the money, gets rejected immediately. He tells Jess that she’s the only one he can trust, but finds out that she has been paying his bills with the money and the two get into an argument. He goes into her room and starts going through her things and throws a bunch of her purses out of the window. Only after calling bobby pins “metal toothpicks” and Bobby’s Pins, and after finding an entire drawer filled with “night” peanuts.

The best “awwwww” moment.
(source: jakeolanternjohnson@tumblr)

Jess writes him a check for the money that she used from him to pay his bills and leaves the room. She gets a call later in the day and goes to the bank. The bank is cautious of Nick, who comes in with a hefty check and a bag full of cash, but Jess tells them it’s fine.

It’s super cute when Nick tells her that he’d do anything for her. Though just when you want to say “aww man, he’s changing himself for her”, Jess turns around and yells at the bank for charging them for an $8 processing fee, using the same argument that Nick uses against banks. The two leave the bank in each other’s arms, kissing. After the accountant just waives the fee.

Schmidt, meanwhile, spends the whole episode trying to get people to call him a nice guy. He bugs his rabbi about his problems, but gets no straight answers. Going home, he sees a man on a bike hit by a car while also choking on his gum. Schmidt gives him the Heimlich and rejoices at being a good person and saving his life. He immediately breaks into song but realizes a few seconds later that he should call for an ambulance.

Schmidt is in a lot of pain.
(source: smileslikeschmidt@tumblr)

The rest of the day is spent with Schmidt trying to get people to call him a good man. But when he gets home Winston confronts him and tells him that he is a good guy but just one that made a bad choice. It was nice getting the old Schmidt back this episode, not the douche Schmidt that seems way more unlikeable than just odd, and not the Schmidt that thought he could get away with cheating on two girls.

Oh also, Winston got Schmidt a candelabra!

Reviewed by Therese

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Parks & Recreation: Gin It Up! (6×05)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

All right, so, the Committee to Recall Knope is back in full force with Councilman Jamm dragging out just about any scandal he possibly can. This time around it’s Donna’s personal tweet – involving an egg plant; a pair of very full lips; a tweet to a Fireman; and a raunchy, upcoming night together. She accidentally forgot to log out of the Parks & Rec account and, well. Of course crazy shenanigans ensue!

Which, by crazy shenanigans I mean hearings put on Jamm to blow things entirely out of proportion. Because this is Pawnee and that’s super easy to do. Even more of Donna’s tweets come to light – including a ton of which hashtagged #BitchBoss – and complaining about Leslie. It’s super sad. Of course, then Chris realizes that when Donna is happy about what Leslie is doing or supportive she writes #BossBitch. Oh, that Donna. They reconcile and everything is all good.

Meanwhile Ben is trying to convince Ron that he needs a will now that he’s married and has kids with another on the way. Ron, of course, says he does not need one and shows Ben the will he’s had since he was eight which says that his fortune should to go the man or beast who finally manages to kill him. There are also a number of squiggles and marks that, “The man who kills me will understand.” But then Ben reminds him that without a will all his money will go to the government so off to the lawyer they go!

Ron for a while doesn’t really want to leave his kids money because he doesn’t want them to grow up spoiled which Ben basically explains is stupid and that he shouldn’t leave his kids penniless and unable to care for themselves just to make a point. So he decides to leave them each 5% of his fortune… which is a lot of money, obviously. Then he also says that he and his wife talked it over and if something happens to them Ben and Leslie are their second choice for taking care of the kids. (Their first choice is the man who owns Ron’s favorite steakhouse and knows him better than anyone else.)

Nadia, a hot doctor from Doctors Without Borders, comes by the town to do a vaccination workshop in one of the parks because it turns out Pawnee has more West Nile Virus cases than any other place and is essentially on par with a third world country. Tom is totally taken by her and tries a lot of strategies to keep her around including talking in a bad British accent, delaying her paper work, and saying that he accidentally booked her park for someone else. None of which, by the way, endears her to him at all. But in the end with April’s help they track her down at her hospital and April explains that Tom is just an idiot and for whatever reason she decides to give him a chance.

I mean I wouldn’t but hey. Whatevs. People on this show can’t be counted on to make good decisions anyway. That’s what makes it Parks and Rec!

Reviewed by Sam

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