Monthly Archives: November 2013

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 1.5/ 5


Glee didn’t even take Thanksgiving off as it continued through its quite terrible fall fifth season. Last Thanksgiving, we at least got a kiki to fix everything. This time, not much was around to save the show from its idiocy. The episode, titled “Puppet Master” was about all puppets and dream sequences, but they were certainly not up to par with the dream sequences of the Britney Spears episode, that’s for sure.

Kurt (Chris Colfer) wants “Pamela Lansbury” — yup, they’re still going with that name — to premiere at Callbacks, the NYADA piano bar. Everyone protests, saying it would be a bad venue to start the band at, but Kurt insists it will be great. He dreams up their premiere singing “Into the Groove” — even though they’re supposed to be some rock band or whatever but, sure, they can do Madonna covers — as everyone in the crowd cheers. I wonder if this is the way Ryan Murphy pictures the world accepting Glee’s performances. It’s not. It’s a good cover though; I’ll at least give them that.

Blaine (Darren Criss) comes into the choir room looking to talk about Nationals but all he wants is an affirmation of his brilliant ideas that would put him at the center of the act. He’s trying to control everything and be a “puppet master.” Well just come right out and say it why don’t ya?

puppetsHe storms around the school and finally returns to the choir room only to be startled by Brad who talked!! I love when they make fun of Brad. It’s awesome. Apparently, he’s not doing too well. He has a gambling problem and owes a lot of money. But who cares? It’s all about Blaine. He continues to rant as he sits in the back corner and then things get weird. Everyone turns into puppets and suddenly everyone thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. They even beg him to sing. So, they all sing “You’re My Best Friend,” and it was actually kind of funny but, yes, still weird. The whole puppet idea is entirely ridiculous but seeing Criss interact with them was hilarious. It was so stupid that it was good.

Jake (Jacob Artist) is a total man whore again and is tapping all the Cheerios, even Bree (Erin Westbrook) looks upset. To help him relax, Blaine tells him to sit in the back corner. It’s like they’re drug addicts now. Jake goes into the choir room complaining how no one can keep up with his choreography so he’s not even going to try anymore. Then he sits in the back corner and dreams up a mash-up performance of Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and “Rhythm Nation.” The sad thing is that this performance isn’t really that impressive. It’s supposed to be some big number for Artist to show off his dancing skills, but I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe it’s because the Marley (Melissa Benoist)-Jake-Bree triangle is incredibly dull, or because the performance was so cliché or simply because I’m sick of the show trying to just copy the music videos. Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” video was popular in its own time because it was unique. Copying said video is not going to get the same response, especially not on Thanksgiving night in this decade.

I should mention that the “back corner” only works because there’s a gas leak right there. Let’s knock some sense into the writers. A gas leak would not be confined to one corner of the room. But whoever thought doing puppets as an episode must have been sniffing some gas themselves.

The school board is coming to evaluate Sue’s (Jane Lynch) performance as a substitute principal and to see if she should be instated as the full time principal. Before the preliminary board members meeting is over, the superintendent asks Sue out for a drink not because he’s interested, but because he thinks she’s a man. This prompts Sue’s entire story for the rest of the episode: her questioning her femininity.

Before I rant, I have to mention that 1986 flashback to when Sue first started at McKinley and was feminine. She had a wonderful pastel skirt suit on but no one took her seriously so she put on the tracksuit, cut her hair, grabbed a megaphone and never looked back. That scene was great. It almost reminded me of the old Sue.

OK, now I’m going to rant. I hate how Glee talks the talk and doesn’t walk the walk anymore. They preach so much about how everyone should love who they are and be who they want to be but so often they have been writing episodes in which characters are changed or made to feel like they should change. Stop it. Sue is Sue. Do not belittle this character by making her question her very self because you wrote some minor bigoted character into the episode.

arShe even goes to Will (Matthew Morrison) for help. In the end, there’s a comparison made to Ginger Rogers and how she was just like Fred Astaire except she did everything backwards and in high heels. Of course, we then have a dream sequences in which Will and Sue recreate the renowned “Cheek to Cheek” performance from Top Hat. It was OK singing but nowhere near the dancing similar to that of Astaire and Rogers. Do not do this type of scene if you’re not going to have great dancing. Don’t ruin the classics. Please just stop trying to put Glee’s name on everything. You already ruined “Make ‘Em Laugh.”

Blaine makes his own Kurt puppet — in an arts and crafts class nonetheless — but Sue takes it because he sasses her and she thinks it’s because she’s trying to be feminine when really he was just defending his puppet. It’s literally just utter nonsense. Obviously, he puts on a mask and goes to break into her office but she catches him and gives him detention. Oh no! Now he can’t make it to Pamela Lansbury’s premiere. Cancel that invisible jet and try to get back the magic discount he has on the bullet train to New York!

Unfortunately, only one person showed up to Pamela Lansbury’s premiere, and he’s just a Murder, She Wrote fan looking for Angela Lansbury. I thoroughly enjoyed this character.

Bree thought she was pregnant, but it’s just a false alarm. Though Jake is pleased, Bree chews him out for being the kind of guy that’s just going to have to worry about being a baby daddy for the rest of his life. This gets to him so he goes back to Marley, pleading for her to take him back so he can be a better guy, which he can only be with her. She turns him down. Artist actually gave a fairly good performance here. That glistening in his eye was convincing yet Benoist ruins the whole thing because she is a terrible actress. Get her off the show.

After being dolled up by Unique, Sue is made the permanent principal and even fixes the gas leak. But even her new look can’t convince the superintendent to go out with her now. Pow. Just one blow to Sue’s self-confidence after another. I hated this storyline. We’ve had something like it before with her “romance” with Rod Remington, except that time he turned her down because he was cheated on her and not as an attack on her looks.

It turns out that one audience member at Callbacks has a connection to get Pamela Lansbury into Williamsburg Musical Hall, which is only the hottest venue in Brooklyn of course. In other lucky news, the glee club has decided that Blaine should have a number all to himself at Nationals and he can do whatever he chooses. So our conclusion is that everyone just gets what he or she wanted. Does that mean we didn’t have to waste an hour watching the show?

Blaine also gave everyone puppets of themselves as gifts and both the New Directions and Pamela Lansbury perform “The Fox.” STOP. This is not a song you cover. This was clearly just another one of the show’s moves to cover popular songs in hopes of earning the big bucks. They’ve now covered “The Fox” and “Gangnam Style.” Yes, they are very popular, viral songs but that doesn’t mean you have to do them on the show. It’s not like “The Fox” has any connection to the puppet thing. I mean does looking at a puppet replica of you really make you want to sing this song?! Just come on. Do not do a cover for the sake of doing a cover.

How excited are you that our torture of watching this fall season of Glee is almost over? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl


By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
Rating: 5/5

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.23.06 PM

Two weeks ago I heard How I Met Your Mother was doing an episode entirely in rhyme. I knew it was going to be phenomenal, and I was right. There was even a special lullaby-esque opening theme. It may just be my unwavering love for puns or the joy I’ve continually found in this final season, but I absolutely LOVED tonight’s episode titled “Bedtime Stories.”

Marshall (Jason Segel) realized that the guaranteed way to get Marvin to fall asleep is by saying rhymes to him. Unfortunately, he left the copy of Mother Goose in the car — for they’re now on the bus — so he has to make up the nursery rhymes himself. Absolute brilliance ensues.

Whipping up poetry in seconds flat, the first story Marshall tells is of “Mosby at the Bat.”

Yes, please expect me to try to rhyme as much as possible and/or just pull quotes from the genius dialogue in the show.

A new pretty professor named Lisa (Camille Guaty) asks Ted (Josh Radnor) to go out in order to learn how to make her lectures more interesting. The entire time Ted wonders whether it is a date or not, aided by Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) new theory about the “Date Line.” After much debacle of what team she plays for, we find out that she had a fling with a Yankee who turned out to not be Derek Jeter but instead our dear friend Barney Stinson.

Just when we think little Marvin is asleep, the bus driver yells at a passing driver and gives him one big beep. And so Marshall recounts the tale of when “Robin Takes the Cake.”

cakeAfter having just broken up with one of her exes, Robin (Cobie Smulders) heads to a bakery to eat her feelings only to find that another ex was there; twas Simon (James Van Der Beek) dressed to the nines and quite debonair. (Guys, rhyming is awesome). He was no longer that bum Robin Sparkles used to chase after but he was still following Louise Marsh and her stupid “jacuzz.” In fact, the two were engaged. Furious and sad, Robin stole their wedding cake. Ted pleaded for her to return it, but Lily (Alyson Hannigan) encouraged her to eat in order to be remembered not for freaking out and stealing an exes’ cake but for eating the entire three-tier cake. Not only did she eat the whole thing, she then did a keg stand. This was when I knew immediately that Robin was in fact my spirit animal.

Our next tale is of one that ends not so pretty, it is of “Barney Stinson: The Player King of New York City.”

At MacLaren’s, Barney spots a potential conquest, but Lily says that girl is too far out of his league. To prove that could never be so, he tells the story of how he truly is the player king of NYC. Barney leaves Lisa’s place, only to realize that he’s on the East Side, which is outside of his territory. He is taken to the High Council of Players, who in reality, is just Neil Patrick Harris in many outfits and different accents. He sets up a compromise so that there is no war, but in the end just poisons them all so he is the only player left. Alas, Barney still doesn’t get the girl for Ted grabs her for revenge for Lisa.

Marshall is done telling stories but he still isn’t at the hotel. The bus gets a flat tire and he has a few more rhymes to tell. He hopes that Marvin will forget their terrible weekend and the scandalous stories he’s told him, as they all glance toward the sky and look at the fireworks — the first thing Marvin does in fact remember.

The bus broke down only five miles from the Farhampton Inn, Marshall gets all crazy-eyed and gives one big grin: “I can walk that far,” he said. Oh dear. There’s going to be a terrible hitchhiking story soon, I know it.

OK, all rhymes aside. This episode was FANTASTIC. The stories were hilarious and brilliantly told. I can’t stop thinking in nursery rhyme intonation so I apologize if my writing reflects that. It was a great way to keep Marshall relevant, keep playing on time by flashing back and keep the audience thoroughly entertained.

Here are a few of my favorite rhymes:

Marshall: “Now the age old softball stereotype is just that and nothing more. But as the Yankees got a run, Ted feared he wouldn’t score. For the date side of the line is the one we all might guess he’s in, they’ll be no joy in Tedville if our Lisa is a…”   Lisa: ‘Yes, we win!’”

Ted: “Robin, I’m beside myself to see what you’ve become. You must return this cake at once!”   Robin: “I can’t.”  Ted: “Why not?”   Robin: “’Cause (she sticks her face in the cake) yum.”

Barney: “And thus my friends, through methods somewhat gory, I became the Player King of New York City. Boom. The end. True story.”

Quite possibly the best part of it all was the guest appearance by Lin-Manuel Miranda. For those of you who don’t know, Lin-Manuel is a writing/lyrical/poetic genius. He penned and originated a role in In the Heights and also wrote Bring It On: The Musical. On top of that, he’s responsible for the amazing raps and opening numbers done by Neil Patrick Harris at the Tony Awards. He’s literally the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not only did Lin-Manuel simply show up, he helped Marshall rhyme his way out of the whole he dug when Marshall tried to rhyme “Canada.” In the end, Lin-Manuel, of course, was brilliant and did it with one of his oh so creative raps. He also managed to make a jab at the show itself:


There were so many brilliant things in tonight’s episode. I loved that we got a new Barney theory, that Cobie Smulders can do just about anything — even something quite grotesque — and still look beautiful, and that this episode was really just quite fun. I can’t say anything more than I thoroughly enjoyed it and have already watched it three times.

Send me your best rhymes and puns @buzzlightmeryl

By Will Ashton || @thewillofash
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
| Directed by Francis Lawrence | Rated PG-13
RATING: 3.5/5

thehungergams-catchingfire-ukposterThese days, YA adaptations come and go like the seasons.

Just this year alone, there was The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Host, Beautiful Creatures, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Ender’s Game and now The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Of these, Hunger Games is the only one that has been successful, both critically and financially, and, this time, it’s for good reason.

Catching Fire continues the story set from before by following Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), the unorthodox winners of the 74th Hunger Games seen in the last film. These days, Peeta and Katniss are living comfortably, but Katniss, at least, is not enjoying her newfound fame. At least, she is not enjoying what she had to do to earn it, having gained PTSD from the traumatic events that have taken place.

In addition to this, she is continuing to fall victim to her feelings towards Gale (Liam Hemsworth), a boy she has feelings for in her District 12, and Peeta, the boy she has to pretend to love in order to win the last game. In order to keep order among the media and to inspire hope, Peeta and Katniss continue to fuel their fake, or “fake,” relationship that they established in the last film. But President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has been keeping track of their lies, and wants to eliminate them by any means possible. He may have found his opportunity through the counsel of Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the head leader of the Games.

The reason many of these YA adaptations have failed in the past is because they would get an audience. With Hunger Games, however, they earn their followers’ love.  In addition to its strong characters and its interesting social commentary, both films have been able to provide a tense, intimate look at their post-apocalyptic worlds. They certainly aren’t the first movies to do what they have done—as the Battle Royale fans will be quick to note—but the point remains that they do what they do well.

With that, Catching Fire is one of the rare sequels that not only builds on what has happened on the first film, but it improves on them as well. Under the guise of a new director, Francis Lawrence (not relation to the lead actress—I believe) and new screenwriters, Academy Award-winners Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt, now calling himself Michael deBruyn, the sequel is able to give weight and gravitas to what is happening on-screen. The direction is now far more assured and bigger in scope, and the script is able to provide a greater sense of detail in what is happening inside this world and inside these characters’ minds.

While I appreciated previous helmer’s Gary Ross’ shaky cam—if at least in the rural opening moments of the film—more than most, Francis Lawrence’s dictated, firm camera direction helps to provide focus and perspective. Not only does he drive this in from what is happening with the characters, but he also does it from the story’s universe.

Like any sequel, Catching Fire has a bigger, broader focus in its storytelling, but Francis Lawrence is able to provide a stronger sense of world-building and social commentary with his direction. Lawrence, along with Beaufoy and deBruyn, now elaborate on the stakes of what is happening in this universe, as well as give a greater sense of weight into not just what these games mean for this society, but also what these games mean for the main characters.

I think what separates series like Harry Potter and Hunger Games from various other generic YA adaptations and the Twilight series is their dedication to examining the nature of their universe and using them to build on their characters. With Harry Potter, this was accomplished more in the later films but, their ability to examine the tension of the situation from a more psychological point-of-view helped to add depth to not just the characters, but the characters’ world. This is also accomplished in Hunger Games, particularly in its first half.

While most action-thriller series would be more focused on establishing what is to come in the next couple hours, Catching Fire’s decision to look at how the events from the last film haunt our main characters makes them more realistic and honest, and therefore more compelling. Among the film’s best moments are those that set aside time to show Katniss as a person, not just a beacon of hope for the society in the film or as a action protagonist for us audience members.

Additionally, through an increased budget, the film is thankfully able to make the special effects in this movie much better than they were before. The fire clothes still don’t quite look right yet, but they do look better than they did before. The biggest improvement of this installment in the series, however, is found from its action scenes. Not only are the set pieces more impressive, but Lawrence’s action-directing expertise make these scenes much better than they were in the previous film. Ross’ close-up, shaky cam still was easily at its worse when these action scenes took place. Here, everything is much cleaner and far easier to follow. As a result, the action is much more intense and the scenes are more rewarding to watch.

Unfortunately, however, Catching Fire still falls victim to one problem that plagued the first movie, and it is probably the biggest problem of them all—the relationships Katniss holds with Peeta and Gale. In the first movie, partially from Hutcherson’s weak performance and the lack of romantic chemistry he shared with Lawrence, the film was unable to establish their relationship as appearing genuine.

Now, book fans have been quick to note that this relationship is meant to feel hollow, in the book/film’s ongoing commentary on the nature of celebrity status and how the media plays on celebrity couples. But, if it is not properly addressed, then viewers who did not read the book will not be able to fully grasp this concept. Like many YA adaptations, even Harry Potter, the film will sometimes take for granted that the audience will know what is happening because they read the books. Hunger Games isn’t the biggest offender of this—not by a long shot—but it is rather notable in these sequences.

While this film is better at examining the hollow reality of their relationship in the first half, whenever the film decides to drive home the point that they may have feelings for each other, the film begins to falter. While Hutchinson does give a pretty good performance this time around—even if he is still the weakest link (it’s hard to stand up against Academy Award-winners like Lawrence and Hoffman)—the lack of chemistry these two leads have together still continues to creep in.

Whenever Peeta gets hurt and Katniss is upset by it, I can believe that, primarily because of Lawrence’s performance, who does a great job here. But whenever the film wants me to believe that these two may be in love, it never feels genuine, and the film’s reliance on James Newton Howard’s score to try to push this down our throats often feels uncomfortably forced.

Additionally, Gale’s storyline here feels less vital than it even did in the first film, and, often, the film seems to forget that he is even there. I know that fans of the books would cry outrage if they cut Gale from the story, but I feel like the films would maybe be better if they focused more attention on Peeta and Katniss’ relationship. Maybe not, I’m not really sure; perhaps it flows better in the book.

Perhaps these relationships are going to lead up to a satisfying conclusion in the end. The film is quick to end on a cliffhanger, leaving audiences in anticipation for when the new film comes out next year—even if they already know what is going to happen because of the book.  Although the series is not without its faults, I can confidently say that I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series. Thanks to the increased quality of this film, my anticipation for it is even more so than it was before.

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 3/5 


Stop the presses! The apocalypse is coming! Tonight’s episode of Glee, titled “Movin’ Out,” was not the worst piece of television I’ve ever seen. Every episode — with the exception of the Cory Monteith tribute — of the current season has been atrocious. The storylines have been worse than ever before and I’ve never felt the need to re-listen to any of the covers. Some of that changed tonight.

The lack of an arts booth at the career fair inspired Will’s (Matthew Morrison) next lesson: Billy Joel, who struggled for so long and then made it big.

And what a coincidence that Blaine (Darren Criss) and Sam (Chord Overstreet) have decided to take a few days off and head to New York for college tours and Blaine’s NYADA audition. This is obviously a perfect time to duet to “Movin’ Out.” I liked the harmony, but I’m most interested in how this actually somewhat relates to the situation. Can it be?! It’s still rather ridiculous how they’re jumping through New York but still this is monumental for the show.

bryanryanOne of the first things they do in New York is of course have Blaine sing at the Spotlight Diner. Of course. He sings “Piano Man,” and it pains me to say that I didn’t love it. I prefer Neil Patrick Harris, aka Bryan Ryan, and Schue singing in the bar circa season one. Criss’s voice is way to poppy to match Billy Joel’s rock and soulful lyrics. But, sure, let’s give him a standing ovation anyway.

Artie (Kevin McHale) wants to help Becky (Lauren Potter) apply for colleges with programs for handicapped students, but both Becky and Sue (Jane Lynch) protest. Sue disagrees, saying Becky is not ready and that she should stay in the safe environment at McKinley. Becky is simply afraid of being made fun of again.

Eventually, Artie works it out with the both of them, though Becky needed a song sung to her in order to be convinced. He sang “Honesty” to her and, boom, she changes her mind. Yes, because that is how decision making works. Sing a song to someone and his or her entire ideals can change.

Artie takes Becky to tour the University of Cincinnati. She goes into the classroom of students with Down syndrome and is immediately hit on by one fellow, so obviously she likes it.

I enjoy Becky and how outlandish she can be but lately it’s been way too much. Yes it’s funny that this type of character would be saying these sorts of things but if you abuse it, it merely gets annoying.

Ryder (Blake Jenner) confronts Jake (Jacob Artist) about how stupid he is for having messed things up with Marley. In retaliation, Jake asks whether or not Ryder thinks he’s supposed to change who he is then — the exact opposite of what they preach in the choir room. Good point. In further retaliation, he breaks out into “My Life” and does a bunch of flips in the choir room. Good choice of songs; it’s once again applicable to the situation. However, I am not a fan of Artist’s voice; it’s not very strong. Also, we get it. Artist is a good dancer. But being a good dancer doesn’t mean you just do gymnastics across the choir room.

Sam painfully ruins his college interviews. He actually says, “So you’re black? That must be interesting.” I mean, come on. Yes, he can be nervous and say stupid things but that was just ridiculous. After that monumental failure, he realizes he doesn’t want to go to college; he wants to be a male model. Gee. Who didn’t see this coming?

sam rachelRachel (Lea Michele) sets up a photo shoot for him. Yum, Overstreet is looking fine. For one of the shoots, Rachel oils him up and did I detect a longing look between the two? Yes. I did and it should NOT have happened. I’m not about to go into some Finchel-forever rant. I don’t care if Rachel finds another love, however I do care if it’s Sam. Anyone else feel like the writers will cheat us like they did on Friends when they tried to pair Joey and Rachel together? They are friends. That’s it. There is no connection or chemistry between the two. Making them randomly have longing stares is not OK. Do not start this.

Ryder asks Marley (Melissa Benoist) out but she turns him down. He pleads that he’s a good guy and that he’d never do what Jake did but she still withstands. Ryder sings “An Innocent Man” to her and, boom, she then accepts his invitation. Wow. The power of singing a song to someone is really underutilized if it is that effective. Let’s use this in international relations. Think of how many things would be solved!

Side note: I’m glad Jenner is singing again. I love his voice.

Did the writers break Marley and Jake up because Jenner and Benoist are most likely engaged in real life? I don’t know if the rumors have been officially confirmed yet but still they’re together. Art doesn’t have to imitate life all the time Ryan Murphy.

Jake has fully returned to his douche-y self, but it’s not a homerun for Ryder. He’s moving fairly fast and thinks he’s in a full-blown relationship with Marley, but she’s still hurting. I’d be remiss to end the discussion of this horrid storyline if I didn’t talk about most awkward of awkward scenes between Marley and her mom. Marley confesses she’s relieved she never had sex with Jake after he so easily became the bad boy again; but Marley’s mom refers to it as “the humpty hump.” I’m sorry, just no. It’s not even funny. It’s weird, creepy, sad and unnecessary.

Kurt (Chris Colfer) wonders why Blaine has taken time to tour other schools. Blaine’s reply is that they’re just safety schools. Before I get to the point of this conversation, excuse me, Blaine, did you just say that NYU is a safety school? Please. Anyway, Blaine tries to act like he wants a school that could allow him to explore his other interests — like playing Operation and wearing bowties — when in reality he’s just afraid. Kurt reassures him of his greatness and Blaine replies, “Thanks for knowing me. I love you.” Barf. I’m sorry but who wrote that?

tyraSam takes his photos to “House of Bichette,” a popular modeling agency. He better learn how to smize because Tyra Banks is in charge!!!!! I screamed. I love Tyra and this cameo. We also get the return of “trouty mouth” so everything is perfect until Tyra tells him he needs to lose 10lbs. What’s that? I can’t hear anything over the sound of Ryan Murphy climbing up and preaching from his soapbox.

With any issue, it’s best expressed in song — that’s literally a line in the show. Thankfully, we had Santana (Naya Rivera) to protest and say how ridiculous that notion is. Nevertheless Kurt, Blaine, Rachel and Sam all sing “Just the Way You Are” — not the Bruno Mars one, the better Billy Joel one — because Sam is perfect just the way he is. But even Santana can’t resist as she comes gliding in, singing to her hairbrush. I love Santana. There is entirely too little Santana in my life. More please. Again, we have a “moment” between Sam and Rachel and nothing is OK about it.

Sue finally puts up an arts centric booth at the career fair. Somehow we progress into a conversation that has Will state: “You may be right. We may be crazy.” But before the song can commence, Sue shuts him down in the most perfect of perfect monologues:

“Oh no no no no,” she begins. “Over my dead body will you inexplicably shoehorn in another Billy Joel song just to go punctuate one of your weekly lessons that inevitably veers off into a sacred barrage of angst and affirmation.”



Cue the music and the school-wide sing-along and dance-along to “You May Be Right” begins. I liked this cover. I miss Will singing. But, I’m not a fan of how the entire school has been participating in the dance scenes. First, “Blurred Lines” and now this? It spoils the ridiculousness for me.

I don’t know if it’s my unwavering love for Billy Joel or just the fact that they may have done a slightly better job on this episode, but I didn’t hate my life for the entire hour. That’s really saying something.

Dear Josh Hutcherson,

I am, and always will be, a Peeta fan. I think I’m going to put a lot of that on you, because you managed to break my heart and put it back together multiple times in Catching Fire (yes, I saw it at midnight, obviously). But we all know Peeta was the best in the books too.  

Anyway Josh, you’ve been in my heart for a few years now, and I had a crush on you from the beginning. Now, you are still looking good. Your smile, your laugh, your hair, you face—everything.

You are so kind too and have been involved with so many philanthropic organizations. From your support of LGBT rights to animal rights, there is no limit on how much you want to help. I admire everything that you do.

Your humor, sass and wit are also amazing. Whenever I see clips of you and Jennifer Lawrence just goofing around, I wish I could just be there and be besties with you guys.

So I hear you are a soccer fan? It’s my favorite sport. Let’s play sometime. You like motorcycles? Me too. My dad is obsessed and raised me to appreciate a good bike. I hear you aren’t afraid to be romantic, and I quite appreciate that. 

In conclusion, you are brilliant. Can’t wait to see you on SNL. Good luck tonight!

Stay with me?
Anjelica Oswald

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX
Rating: 4.5/ 5


Man oh man. That’s all I have to say about tonight’s episode of American Horror Story: Coven, which is oh so appropriately titled “The Dead.” The episode deals with death in every way it could: facing an impending death, returning after death and a fresh killing. Buckle up kids; it’s going to be a morbid ride.

Flashback to when Kyle (Evan Peters) was still human and willingly singing Toto’s “Rosanna” at a tattoo parlor with his fraternity brothers. He forgoes the ink, but his friends get tattoos; one gets one on his leg and the other gets one on his arm. Coincidentally, zombie Kyle now has those same tattoos on his body.

I can’t even handle how amazing Peters is in this role. He actually says nothing but acts circles around countless other performances I’ve seen — cough Mulholland Drive, cough Lady in the Water. He groans and whimpers and steals my heart.

Madison (Emma Roberts) is the self-proclaimed face of the millennial generation. She’s narcissistic and numb to the world. She used to live her life in a way that would allow her to purposefully not feel anything. Now, she’d do just about anything to feel something. On the other side, she laments there’s nothing. It’s only cold and dark.

I heard Ryan Murphy was making Madison what he called “the poster person for the millennial generation,” and I have to say that I’m not entirely for this idea. Though her monologue was incredibly well written, it was actually more so depressing than anything. I can understand this point of view from someone in her position, but I’m not really OK with the writers generalizing that attitude to the entire millennial generation. I think instead of being numb to the world, we are more open to an array of emotions. Constantly linked in, we are always in a social interaction and thus always in situations that will conjure up reactions within us. But I digress…

bfflsQueenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) are bffls, and I LOVE their friendship. It blossomed even more as they bonded over the drive-thru food they got at 3 a.m. Nothing makes people greater friends than a good burger in the early morning. It’s all fun and games until LaLaurie starts talking about how the other girls in the coven — Queenie’s “sisters” — won’t accept her not because of her weight but because of her race.  This is going to be important. It’s not just LaLaurie’s old racist ways popping back up in modern day.

Fiona (Jessica Lange) and the Axeman (Danny Huston) have a weird sexual chemistry. They are GREAT together, but the relationship is more than complex. He’s watched her grow up and his love has evolved from a fatherly love into the love of a man; creepy. He’s in love with her but she’s hesitant and I’m pretty sure it’s not just because her hair is falling out — a moment that is always followed by some “dun dun dun” type of music, you know, for added effect.

Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) tries to teach Kyle how to communicate. It’s just a minute-long scene but my goodness was it adorable. I can’t stress enough how much I love Peters. I mean look at him. Come on! Adorable.

Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) runs into Madison and “sees” that Fiona was her killer. Delia then calls in Zoe to talk about how they need to kill her mother, especially if Zoe’s powers continue to grow and she becomes even more of a “hot shot witch.”

First, they need a confession. Zoe ties Spalding (Denis O’Hare) to his bed and puts his tongue back in his mouth! After all these years, Myrtle’s enchantment still works. Because he has to, he admits that Fiona is the one who killed Madison and admits again that he is in love with and worships her. You think, Zoe would just let him go, but nope. She stabs him!!! Every character is going dark but I kind of love it.

Queenie asks LaLaurie what was the worst thing she had ever done because she should know both her good side and the other if they are to be “true friends.” LaLaurie tells her grim tale. A black servant had a child by her husband so she killed that baby and used its blood for her anti-aging beauty products. The woman killed herself in response.

Kathy Bates is a terrifyingly good actress. I love her as a villain.

Madison bonds with Kyle over the fact that they’ve both died and now wonder whether or not it was worth anyone’s bother to bring them back. That connection turns quickly turns into a quickie. Probably my favorite Tumblr reaction to this is the question of how Kyle can barely hold a spoon yet he’s totally capable of screwing Madison? But really though.

tumblr_mwmdnnjaIY1riah6uo5_r1_250The worst part of it all? Zoe saw it and she’s not too happy. Awh don’t worry girl. Just join them. Yup. It happened. The poster was true. We got a three-way. Zoe just got out of the shower, Madison invites her to the bedroom with her and Kyle and Kyle reaches out for her — oh, now he’s super civilized. Did Madison train him with sex? Zoe’s towel drops and they get to it.

I cannot wait for this to blow up. All the repercussions.

And here’s an observation for you to ponder: Evan Peters and Emma Roberts are dating in real life. Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga are actual soulmates and have beautiful chemistry but only date on screen. The three of them just had a three way. Oh the irony. I love it.

Our interracial bffls may not actually be bffls. Queenie had gone to Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) earlier looking for a place to fit in. Marie says Queenie can join her world only if she brings LaLaurie to her. Oh no. Say it ain’t so!!!!! So Queenie tricks LaLaurie by making her think she’s taking her to get her hair done but instead takes LaLaurie to Cornrow City to turn her over to Marie! LaLaurie looks absolutely betrayed and heartbroken — in other words, the way I felt. I’m devastated their bff status is kaput. I’m only deducting points from the overall rating because I’m sad about the demise of their friendship.

Marie locks LaLaurie in a cage, and Queenie accepts the offer to “make the first cut.” We end with Marie mocking LaLaurie’s beauty techniques by painting blood on her face. All she says is “Beautiful.”









Excuse me, I need a Xanax. I cannot take how absolutely amazing Bassett is. She is so intense and so sassy, but mostly intense.

Tonight’s episode was great but I have bad news folks. Coven isn’t returning until Dec. 4. That’s a two week delay. Not ok. I need more story now.

How will you handle your Coven withdrawal? What did you think of that three-way? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX


Stevie Nicks has played a monumental role in American Horror Story: Coven, and she hasn’t even appeared on-screen yet. But that’s all about to change soon.

Show creator Ryan Murphy tweeted a picture of the singer Tuesday night and said, “She’s here! Stevie Nicks on the set of Coven!”

Nicks will appear in episode 10, according to an interview with Murphy in Entertainment Weekly. Unfortunately, though the seventh episode is set to air tonight, the tenth episode will not air until after the show’s winter break. And that may be because we’ll be left on a cliffhanger. According to Murphy, Nicks won’t just be used in some off-handed cameo for Misty’s (Lily Rabe) pure enjoyment. She’ll be much more important than that.

“She appears as herself,” Murphy said. “It’s part of Fiona’s ruse in that Fiona is trying to get the true Supreme to reveal herself because she needs to stay alive. So she tells Misty Day that the Supreme gets so many great things in life, like tickets to the Oscars and Met Ball tickets. So she brings Stevie Nicks in as a gift to Misty to prove to her that if she exhibits more power she’ll get that and more. Then the other girls come home and see Stevie and Misty singing and it starts them trying to move much quicker to prove that they are the Supreme.”

Even though Rabe’s character is the ultra Nicks fan, the actress herself is excited for the singer’s visit.

“It definitely makes my heart race a little!” Rabe told Yahoo! TV. “I don’t know what Misty would do if she met Stevie — I’m a little bit more worried about Misty surviving that encounter. … I’d like to think that she’s fond of Misty. I can’t talk specifics or plans, but it’s such an honor to garner Stevie’s interest. It’s really cool; I definitely think she likes the show, and what an impact she has on Misty.”

“(To prepare for) Misty I definitely spent a lot of time saturating myself with Stevie videos, and I even have a photo of Stevie as the background on my phone screen,” Rabe added. “When I play someone who is madly in love or obsessed with someone, I try to have that person around me as much as possible. It was already kind of there, because I really love Stevie anyway, but I learned to turn the dial up and have as much Stevie around me as possible.”

Needless to say, I am more than excited for this episode. You know it’s going to be amazing and probably extremely important to the overall story, especially since it will be episode 10 of a 13-episode season. It has to include things that will set up the conclusion.

I can’t say it enough: This season of AHS is my absolute favorite. There has not been one episode in which I am not sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next, laughing at the incredibly sassy dialogue or being mesmerized at the twists and turns in the story.

How is Coven shaping up for you? Are you excited for Stevie Nicks? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl