31 July, 2013

The Plopper Review - COVERT AFFAIRS 4.03: 'Into the White'

Have I already mentioned that Teo Braga may be my new Simon Fischer?  Yeah ... 4.03 “Into the White” pretty well solidified that.  For now, at least.  Sigh.  “Do you trust me?”  YES Teo, YES ... your wish is my command.  Your sweet sexy puma eyes have melted my heart!!  I’m yours.  You DO still know true north honey!!  Let’s talk it out.  There, there.

Answer me this though ... I’m tired, I have a headache, and my brain is moving slowly tonight ... but how is it that it took Annie & Team so long to figure out that the Solstar meeting was the target of the ALC bomb plot?  Didn’t we already know last week that Solstar was going to be having a big executive pow-wow in Colombia the following week?  And of course, Henry (who is in bed with Solstar) is the one who gave Annie the intel about the bomb plot to begin with.  Shouldn’t that have been higher on Annie’s list of possible targets before she even got to Colombia?  Also, is it a little convenient that amongst the torture devices, weapons, laptops, and other random junk at the CIA Black Site, there also just so happened to be a brochure/packet for the Solstar meeting laying around??  Kinda funny.

O.k. since I started this with a gripe (or else a dumb misunderstanding on my part), let me get to one more of those before I get to the good stuff:  What the hell is UP with that Senator Pierson biznatch!!??  What is her damage, and why does she have such a vendetta against Joan??  I mean ... were her accusations of Joan using Arthur to climb the CIA ranks and being too dense to realize he was cheating on her just ... a little weirdly personal?  One thing I’ve always complained about with ‘Dexter’ since day one, even when it used to be a good show, is how ridiculously exaggerated some of the “bad guy” characters are ... beyond real life.  As in, a convenient way to make them extra hate-able.  It felt like there was a *little* of that going on with the Senator Pierson character here ... but maybe that’s just me?  And Joan’s blackmail, WOW!!  I don’t know whether to be disappointed in her dirty tactics, or bow down to her badassery here.  A bit of both.  And I definitely appreciate the layered characters on this show.  No one ever seems to be 100% “good” or “bad.”

O.k. now let’s get to the stuff I liked.  First off, this episode contained a shockingly high number of moments that made me laugh out loud, by myself, at my TV.  And yes, I mean that in a good way.  Even from the very first scene: In the parking garage, Annie says to Arthur/Joan, “It’s intel that suggests that Teo may be involved in a bomb threat against an American target in Colombia.”  Arthur’s “It’s a total lie!” spoken simultaneously over Joan’s “I’ll get this to South America desk, loop in the CTC (etc)… right away” cracked me UP.  Other crack-ups: EVERY scene where Teo flustered the crap out of Annie.  From the first time she found him and he threw her exit package papers all over the ground for her to dive and grab, to the moment at the CIA black site when he answered her proud/accomplished, “That’s right I can get you out of here (if you tell me the ALC target)!!” with a swift kick to the chest.  And knowing that kick was coming (from the preview) meant that Calder’s warning, “He can kick out 5 feet so stay back at least 6,” right before leaving her alone with him made me laugh really, REALLY hard.

We got some good character interactions in this episode as well.  Annie and Calder trying to work out their different approaches to their spycraft was fun.  Like in the jungle: “Well I want him captured alive.”  Calder: “Alive is the toughest option.”  Calder then questions Annie on whether she really knows when to give up on trying to charm/turn a target and instead simply ... well, deal with them another way, let’s say.  Also, we got yet another *very* interesting Annie/Joan conversation following baby Teo’s smackdown (kickdown).  “You don’t need to worry ... do you understand?  You have my support on ... whatever you need.”  Again, Annie looked a tad bit choked up at the end of that.  I still wish these two would communicate better with each other, but I’m very glad to see them back on good terms this season.

My other random thoughts:
  • It’s one thing to ask your boyfriend for a favor like killing a spider or doing your laundry ... it’s *quite* another to ask him to break the news to your boss that you KILLED her close colleague-slash-buddy-slash-ex-boyfriend.  Oopsie!!  Auggie wins enough points for like 20 good boyfriends on that front.
  • I liked Auggie’s little Marshall Flinkman moment with his untraceable cell phone prototype.  If only he could’ve tied the number 47 in there somehow.  “It’s a prime number.”
  • “You just packed my favorite t-shirt, didn’t you??”  “I was hoping you’d think it was in the wash, and then I felt bad!!”  Last week Piper Perabo won the “cutest line delivery” of all time award (per Chris Gorham and all CA fans on Twitter) with her “That’s my forehead” line.  She may have actually managed to match it again this week with the “I felt bad!!” line here.  The cuteness of these A&A scenes this season has been pretty damn great so far.  I hope they can keep this up.
  • Colombia looked pretty fuckin’ (err, gosh darn) awesome in this ep ... damn, fans of this show are spoiled as hell with all the on-location shooting.  It’s the thing that makes CA stand out from everything else on TV, and I hope they never stop doing this as long as the series lasts and despite any budget cuts they may be forced to endure in future seasons (NONE I hope!) haha.
  • In that first scene of Joan’s “interview” with the Senate Intelligence Committee, the guy asks, “We all reviewed the intelligence surrounding Jay Wilcox’s death ... We also read a closed file about an unnamed operative who was shot in her house, here in Washington.”  Proof of how useless my brain is tonight – I seriously had ZERO idea who this statement referred to until I rewound it and watched again hahaha.  Oy.
  • I know everyone thinks Auggie’s protective behavior over Annie is super sweet and cute and all ... but at what point does it become a little too “controlling boyfriend”-y?  I get it from his side, don’t get me wrong, and it’s not like he’s not still letting her do her thing.  He is.  I’m curious to see how long that lasts though.  Is she gonna have to tell him to step off at some point?
  • Annie’s reactions/flinches to Calder’s beating Teo at the CIA black site were priceless.  And Calder’s giddiness at grabbing the jumper cable thingies and water bucket - also funny.
  • “I know exactly what I did to him.  I know that 4 blows to the head and not 5 would be the difference between the hospital and death.”  Oh, sweet Teo, you had me at “4 blows to the head.”  Swoon.
  • If that final sequence had ended before Annie made it back home to Auggie, I would’ve bashed in my TV with the remote.

One last thought to end this: Remember the quote I gave in my 4.01 “Vamos” review from Myles McNutt’s AV Club review, the one that gave me the “ah ha!” moment?  The one that asked, “Who is Annie other than a vessel of the series’ narrative?”  A major part of Myles’ point was that in season 3 (more like mid-season 3 onward in my personal opinion), most of Annie’s motivations have centered around OTHER people: Saving Eyal, convincing Simon to turn himself in, seeking revenge for Simon’s death, helping Simon’s sister, etc. etc.  This season feels similar so far: She’s trying to protect Auggie from being brought down by the Arthur scandal, she’s trying to help Arthur, to help Teo, to help Joan, etc.  Even with the theme of “secrets” this season, all the secrets so far are OTHER people’s secrets.  What about Annie herself??  What’s HER deal??  I already harped on that in ep 4.01, and now I’m thinking I may be asking that question for a while ... but we’ll see.  We shall see.

EP 4.03 GRADE: B+

I liked this one a bit better than the premiere, which I also gave a B+, but let’s call this like an 89% vs. an 87% for the premiere.  Maybe I should start rating these out of 100 like HGF does.  Now tell me I’m a nutjob in the comments below.

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29 July, 2013

'Game of Thrones' Home Video Sales Plummet in Season 2

I am a big fan of GAME OF THRONES, and an even greater fan of the books on which the show is based, the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin. So I was very excited last year when home video sales catapulted the show to #1 in DVD sales for 2012.

I was also excited when season 2 was released on DVD/BD and read this article (based on an HBO press release) that touted the success of season 2 home video sales.

Here is the problem, following that “day one” phenomenon, sales kind of took a dip. A kind of huge dip. Even when factoring in the Blu-Ray sales, which likely increased year-to-year, the overall home video sales for season 2 are much lower.

Let’s look at where the sales for the season 1 DVD box set was last year around this time:

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season – 949,240 units sold for $32,450,566 in revenue.

Now look at what sales are right now for season 2:

Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season - 534,471 units sold for $16,493,733 in revenue

It is still doing well, coming in as the #2 television show in home video sales for 2013 (after “The Bible”). However, it is a stark change from the previous year.

So what happened? Especially considering that TV viewership increased (the show has a per episode total viewership of nearly 14 million). Well, without having HBO’s internal data, I'll conjecture that many of the people who bought season 1 went on to watch season 2 (and 3) and skipped out on buying the show now that they have HBO and can watch it anytime they want via its various viewing options (HBOGO and On Demand etc).

If this is the case, then HBO is fine with people not buying the box set since the revenue from subscriptions more than make up for any loss in home video sales, especially if the subscriber holds on to their HBO service for the whole year.

Or, all those illegal downloads really are hurting HBO’s bottom line.

What say you?

Note: I tried to contact HBO about these numbers but never received any kind of response (even though I attempted several times).

UPDATE: since someone brought up Blu-Ray sales making up for some of the losses, here is my response from below (which you can find easily but I decided to include it as part of this article since some will never look for it).

BLU-RAY Sales:

Week 1 Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season - 336,215 units sold - $10,083,088 total revenue

Week 2 Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season - 64,534 units sold - 365,193 total sold - $2,580,733 revenue - $11,597,496 total revenue

As you can see, after the first week, sales plummeted. By the third week, it wasn't even on the top 20 list (which means it sold less than 20,000 units that week).

UPDATE 2: here is the comparative DVD sales numbers for that period of time.

Week 1 Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season - 241,587 units sold - $6,037,259 total revenue

Week 2 Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season - 64,932 units sold - 306,519 total sold - $2,225,869 revenue - $8,263,128 total revenue

Week 3 Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season - 27,725 units sold - 334,244 total sold - $831,473 revenue - $9,094,601 total revenue


25 July, 2013

CFBWMR Episode 7 - SDCC 2013 Vs. NerdHQ 13

Nacho Libre and GeekFurious talk about SDCC 2013 and NerdHQ 13. This was supposed to be short. Then it went long. Lots of rambling. Some GAME OF THRONES spoilers for season 3 so careful!


Also, I apologize for an audio problem where the entire audio cuts out. Yet again, I did something that caused full audio cut offs in spots (for a second). I will be sure to fix that next time. Sigh. SIGH!


OR, right click and save the MP3 file to your computer to play later. We don't do iTunes.


24 July, 2013

Review - SUITS 3.02: 'I Want You To Want Me'

As per usual, let's get my rant out of the way first ...

So this was episode 2, did I miss an episode 1.5 or something? This week begins with Mike and Rachel all lovey-dovey, but where the hell did that come from? That is certainly not the way those two left things in the premiere last week. Am I missing something here? I don't mind them being together, but holy shit they missed a step along the way here. Someone please help me out with this.

But luckily one of my fears was alleviated this week. With Harvey and Jessica working together on the case, I was worried the show was going to renege on Harvey's plan to take over as managing partner. But despite them co-existing to claim victory in the Ava Hessington case, Harvey told Donna he still plans a coup d'etat.

And as I've said several times since reviewing the show last season, this show is at its best when the characters are at odds with one another. And this week was the perfect example of that. Whether it was Donna vs. Rachel, Harvey vs. Mike or Harvey vs. Jessica, those battles were really great to watch. Let's face it, no one is watching this show for the cases-of-the-week. So that high-level tension is needed.

If it were up to me, I would have kept Mike with Louis for at least a few more episodes -- the spat between Harvey and Mike would have been better if it lasted longer. (I really don't think Harvey would have relented so easily. He was so adamant to Mike that they were done ... and then Donna comes and says it's time to forgive him and he suddenly does.) There was plenty more material to get out of it, too. Oh well.

And I'm sure Donna and Rachel will be back to being BFFs soon, which is unfortunate considering how epic their argument was. No way would Rachel forgive her so soon, but realistically that's probably what will happen.

I want something in the show's core to change and our only hope for that is a continued attempt from Harvey to take down Jessica. I'm just skeptical that's what will actually happen.


--DONNA: "What high school did you go to?"

--LOUIS: "Can't a man just take out another man in the middle of the day for some steak, for some wine and for some cheesecake that will knock your socks off?"

--LOUIS: "Is this about the fact that I'm in the nude?"
--MIKE: "Please don't harp on that."

--MIKE: "OK, If I get in will you stop saying words?"

--HARVEY: "Maybe you didn't hear me -- I said you and I ... are done."

--RACHEL: "This wasn't about a job for me, it was about having a life -- but I guess you wouldn't understand that."
--DONNA: "Rachel, I'm going to walk away before we can't go back."

--LOUIS: "I think you're half-Harvey and half-me. You've had your time with him, now have your time with me."


--See what happens when people tell the truth? All hell breaks loose.

--My senior prom went amazingly well, unlike Louis'.

--Donna really likes Richard Gere.

 --Oh dear God, Louis. (I'm thinking of the mud bath scene)

--I'm sorry, I just can't feel bad for someone who made a "Welcome to Team Litt' cake.



The Plopper Reviews - COVERT AFFAIRS 4.02: 'Dig for Fire'

Umm … holy SHIT, Covert Affairs. If you haven’t seen episode 402 "Dig for Fire" yet, turn back immediately, because I’m going to just jump right to the point here.

The very LAST thing I expected when this episode began was that we would finish it with our two main characters attempting to cover up a dead body that Annie left in the Potomac. And not just any dead body, but none other than Joan’s “Pills Anonymous” buddy and carrier of massive pining Joan-crush from last season, Seth Newman!! And of course that is only after finding out that he was the mole leaking intel to Henry and Solstar. I suppose that last part was not exactly a major shock, but until now I really hadn’t even thought much about Seth since last season. And I spent the first half of the ep busy focusing on the question of whether Joan’s baby was Seth’s instead of Arthur’s. So I will admit, I was a little distracted, until that moment when Seth walked past A&A and Auggie grabbed Annie’s arm with a gasp. At which point I said, “D'OH!! Uhh DUH!!”

Whew ... o.k. let’s take a few steps back, shall we? I spent the first 30 minutes of this episode on the edge of my seat, but also wondering if this would wind up being one of those episodes like “Man in the Middle” that is literally ALL tension and dialogue on a medium simmer with some occasional moments of intense flare-ups/arguments between characters. Those eps are nice to do every now and then, but I’ll admit that I was wanting more than that from the second ep of season 4. Still, the first half of the episode gave us great tense scenes between Annie and Arthur, Annie/Henry, Joan/Auggie, and quite a nicely heated argument between Arthur and Auggie in Arthur’s hotel room while Annie pretended to have to take a wizz. (“Sack up,” Auggie!!) The sequence where Annie tails Henry through the DC Metrorail was really cool too; nicely filmed. I’ve only ridden the DC Metro once ever and it was way back in 2004, but I think that was really the DC Metrorail in this ep, right? Or am I an idiot for thinking that? It’s got those domed ceilings, right, with the big “M”s on the trains?

We also got some very nice plot progression during this first 30 mins with the Teo/Colombia stuff, and I was frankly kind of shocked at how many of the secret bombshells from the premiere were fully let out of the bag to all the characters here, so early on in the season. In a sense I’m extremely happy about this though, because I can tell you from other shows I’ve watched that there are few things more frustrating to the audience than to spend an ENTIRE season knowing a secret that one or more of our major characters don’t, and to be forced to sit through ridiculously contrived storylines and idiotic behaviors from the characters in order to keep the secret(s) hidden from each other until end of the season. Any Sons of Anarchy or Castle fans will know exactly what I mean. Uggh. So I’m quite glad Covert has laid a lot of this stuff out on the table right upfront, so we can now sit and watch as it hopefully causes very interesting situations for our characters to deal with and work through as the season plays out.

So, all in all, the first half of the episode chugged along pretty decently, but THEN, BAM, we got the first scene in Auggie's apartment. This was where "Dig for Fire" really started to come together for me, and to break away from that "Man in the Middle" feel. First off, CHRIST, how sexxxy was that scene, visually?? This ep was directed by Félix Alcalá, the same guy who directed “Suffragette City," with that dreamy ethereal quality. So it’s really no surprise that he directed this ep as well, with scenes like this one on Auggie’s bed with the jazz music in the background. Whew!! (fanning face) ... And of course, as I mentioned and discussed with several of my fellow fans last week, we got some actual real dialogue between A&A here! Per usual, Auggie did most of the talking, but at least we got some important character interaction here, albeit with Auggie clearly still hiding some major stuff from Annie. Annie’s never been great at expressing herself; I and several of my fellow fans have wanted to shake her by the shoulders for quite a while now (season 3 included), and tell her, “Annie, USE YOUR WORDS, HONEY!! Use your WORDS.” At least we got a little of that in this scene! A teeny tiny bit. I really hope we get more eventually.

And then shortly after this, we got the scene of Annie and Joan in the bathroom! I didn’t mention this last week, but one of the things that greatly pained me about the last third of S3 was how horribly strained Annie & Joan’s relationship was, and how neither of them ever properly talked anything out. We kept getting hints that Joan had gone through a similar past traumatic situation that Annie had been through with Simon and Lena, but we got zero exploration of what that was or whether Joan could give Annie advice in that area. Instead, these two just fought like an exhausted mom and teenage daughter and never got to the root of any of their issues. So I really appreciated this scene in the bathroom, even if they still talked about essentially nothing other than the preggers bombshell. Annie looked like she was about to choke up when she said, “Joan, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something ...” before Joan interrupted her. Was the “something” simply the Arthur/Teo/non-cheating secrets? Or was there anything more to that?

And of course, last but not least, we have Annie breaking into Seth’s apartment. I had read a spoiler that made me expect a physical fight to ensue there, but I did NOT expect anything like what actually went down. It totally shocked me not only how involved and stunt-laden the fight was, but the fact that Seth DIED as a result. I mean o.k. first off, maybe this is stupid of me, but I’m not convinced that a fall from the height of that bridge would really kill someone. But maybe it’s way higher than I think. In any event, holy shit. And then, seriously, the scene in Auggie’s apartment afterward, with the bandage tape on the forehead!? I will admit I am a HUGE sucker for shit like this, but that was seriously one of the best things I’ve seen on my TV in a while. Well o.k., in the cute/funny department, anyway. This is another perfect example of the type of character interaction that we’ve gotten almost none of since mid-season 3!! MORE, please. MORE!!

And then of course at the end, we have Henry setting Annie up to carry out more of his agenda, via a trip back to Colombia. With this development plus Seth Newman now mysteriously “missing,” we’ve got a lot for our characters to deal with in ep 403. (Insert Seinfeld voice: "Newman!!!") I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

A few last random thoughts:

*The first scene in the episode, with Annie and Arthur – This is the first scene inside Danielle’s kitchen since Lena shot Annie and Simon in there, right? I had been wondering if and when Annie would enter that room/house again. This scene was different than how I thought that would go down, but we did get a callback to that trauma with Annie mentioning “the last time someone broke into my kitchen.”

*I cannot emphasize enough how much I HATE that weird stubby fat creepy little silver revolver Annie always insists on carrying. Does the flash-forward scene at the beginning of 401 indicate that she’ll finally get a normal gun later in the season!? God, I hope so.

*Have you ever heard of the Showtime documentary called “That Guy … Who was in That Thing?” It’s about exactly that – those actors you’ve seen in countless movies and TV shows, and you know their face SO well, but you don’t know their name. You just know that they were “the guy from that one movie, and a few eps of that TV show.” I caught a decent chunk of this doc last year, shortly after getting into CA, and was pleasantly surprised to see Gregory Itzin featured pretty prominently in it. Well guess what? We know his name now.

*Should we discuss the flats Annie wears during the Henry-tailing sequence? I mean Jesus, I’m just glad the poor girl is finally wearing some sensible shoes for an outing like this. Maybe they should let her do that more often.

*So we were right about Arthur’s “affair,” just a cover for the Teo-related secrets he’s trying to hide. No shock there. Nice to see him protecting Joan from the shitstorm, at least.

*Have you ever heard a more polite and dainty puke than Joan in that bathroom with Annie?? Hahaha that was amazing. I wish I could barf like such a lady.

*Seth’s “Buenos tardes” that causes A&A to recognize his voice was kinda hilarious for two reasons: 1) that he would conveniently say that exact phrase in the office, and 2) his voice is so weird and loud there; sounds like it was definitely put in during ADR.

*Annie’s little red VW has taken a lot of shit-talk from picky fans over the seasons, who have wondered why she never got a better car. I’ve never had any issue with it, but I do find it interesting that they beat that thing up pretty bad in this episode. Is that the end of Annie’s little red Golf?? Well maybe not, I just watched the scene again and I guess it’s not THAT bad. It just initially had me picturing that ep of South Park where they kill off Chef by slowly tearing him to shreds via bear/cougar-mauling. There was major venom involved in South Park’s case … was there any similar venom in this case about that little red Golf? Hehe. But after watching the scene again I’m thinking it’s actually more like Walter White’s Aztek, indestructible.

So now for the ep 402 "Dig for Fire" grade ... I’m going to give this episode an:


Holy shit, is that too high?? Am I being too generous? I kinda loved this one. I just have not felt nearly this satisfied by a CA ep since the “Let’s Dance”/”Rock ‘n Roll Suicide” timeframe. Maybe that’s not saying much given my huge frustrations with the last third of season 3, but still. I really liked it, what can I say? Am I crazy? Tell me in the comments section.

Rachael (The Plopper)


18 July, 2013

Review - SUITS 3.01: 'The Arrangement'

I'm not a lawyer so I don't know this to be a fact, but I think it's safe to say that TV shows that focus on the law are not all that realistic.

But hey, perhaps lawyers like Franklin and Bash performing outrageous stunts to win cases do exist! (Example: "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!" SHIT, it DOES work!) And I'm sure Mike Ross isn't the only fraud lawyer out there, either. (Jeff Winger did it too!)

If these shows were realistic, they probably wouldn't be that compelling. So I suppose this is a good thing. But what happened in the first five minutes of the Season 3 Premiere of 'Suits' was NOT a good thing.

That first storyline involving Harvey trying to finagle more money for his basketball player's new contract was an absolute travesty of television. Let me count the reasons...

1. Deron Williams, the player whom he was negotiating for, is ALREADY under contract for another four full seasons in the NBA. Scheduled to make $18,466,130 in the 2013-14 season ... $19,754,465 (2014-15) ... $21,042,800 (2015-16) ... $22,331,135 (2016-17). I can let that one slide. But...

2. In the NBA, there's a ceiling in how much money a player can make in a season. Williams is a max-contract player, so there would literally be no haggling on the final dollar amount whatsoever. Even if the team WANTED to give him more money, they couldn't.

3. In fact, if a player signs a max-contract with the team he is currently on, he stands to make $30,000,000 more than if he signs a max-contract with a new team. So there is no leveraging to be had with another team. If the player wants to take a different team's offer, fine, but he's leaving 1-year and 30 million bucks on the table to do so. Yeah, it doesn't happen very often (Dwight Howard just did so when he left Los Angeles to go to Houston)

4. Obviously agents do some shady/manipulative type stuff when negotiating. This isn't news. But Harvey HAD to be lying when he said he had an offer from another team, because Williams was still under contract. Because that is tampering and illegal to do. Teams can't talk contract with a player from another team. That is a colossal no-no in professional sports and teams get fined a shit-ton for doing so. Not only that, but they would be likely be prohibited from ever signing that player.

5. Yeah, because Deron Williams is going to threaten to sit out the fourth quarter of a playoff game to leverage more money in his contract. Which, as we now know, isn't even possible in the first place. UGH.

OK, rant over. My apologies. Chances are either some of this bothered you already, or you hate sports and now hate me for wasting all your time when you thought you would be reading a review of the episode.

Now back to regularly scheduled programming...

Speaking of ranting and false threats -- did any of us really think that Harvey was going to either quit the firm or try to get Darby to fire him? Come on. I hate when shows resort to false stakes to create drama. IT DOESN'T WORK WHEN WE ALL KNOW THAT THERE ARE NO REAL STAKES ON THE LINE.

OK, rant over. It actually turned out pretty awesome in the end, because Harvey quickly abandoned that plan and decided to try to railroad Jessica. Let's hope he sticks to this plan and we get several episodes of that, because that will be fun to watch -- even though, again, I think it's fairly safe to assume that plan will essentially not be successful, either. As long as it results in some fun and some viciousness between Specter and Pearson, I'm more than fine with that. Those two are at their best when they are at war, anyway.

Two last things from the premiere that I really don't have much to say about, but need to touch on or some of you will get mad:

1. Here we go again with Mike and Rachel. They continue to go back and forth between kinda being together and her hating him. I don't mind that necessarily, I just prefer them to stick with one of those paths for more than an episode or two. It seems like she's pretty damn furious with him right now so I hope that continues for a while. Rachel is really awesome when she's angry and it would be fun to see Mike with her as a pseudo-enemy.

2. The feud between Louis and Nigel is a bit weird, but I still like it. I mean, these two should be the best friends in the world, but of course Louis screwed it up. It's just so great to see people mess with Louis (and I love Louis). He just wants a friend and everyone is out to get him. It's great.

I'm really glad this show is back. Let me know what you guys thought about my rants and the first episode back.


--HARVEY: "So unless you intend to cook me breakfast tomorrow, I'd say we're done."

--DONNA: "Please stop saying Uniball."
--LOUIS: "No, I will not."

--MIKE: "You have no idea what I have or haven't done to get where I am."
--RACHEL: "And that's the whole problem -- I have no idea who you are."

--HARVEY: "You come to me. You tell me everything -- that's what god damn loyalty is."

--RACHEL: "Code 2!
--DONNA: Richard Gere is in the lobby?"

--MIKE: "By the way, if you ever do send that letter, you're in the same boat as me."


--If you forgot where the show left off, check my review from the Season 2 finale for a refresher.

--Man, I missed the great music from this show. This week's favorite: 'Sacrilege' by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

--That dream sequence from the beginning with Rachel exposing Mike didn't fool me even for a second. What's the consensus on dream sequences? Yay or nay? Personally I find them rather lame and overplayed on TV. I mean, we get it, Mike is worried about being exposed. We don't need a dream sequence to tell us that.

--How come when I tell girls about the first time I saw them, it doesn't go quite as well for me as it did for Harvey?

--Haha, I love you Donna for torturing Louis. Excellent work.

--Did Harvey send Scottie to London just because the show couldn't afford to have her as a regular on the show? Or because she wasn't available to? Or because they plan to bring her back for dramatic effect later? This is something I'd like to know. I've always liked Abigail Spencer, so it would be nice to have her back at some point. Although I've never felt much of an investment in her and Harvey.



The Plopper Reviews - COVERT AFFAIRS 4.01: 'Vamos'

Ladies & gentlemen, months ago I announced that we would no longer be doing TV episode reviews on this blog. And then Sony hired Dan Harmon back and I had to keep my word (that I would review any episode of a Dan Harmon run COMMUNITY). So TV reviews are back! And we kick it off with a guest review from The Plopper (aka maryploppins). Enjoy. Comment below if you want her to write more. If you don't, then don't comment below. I'll know by the total lack of comments that you hated it. --HGF

I figure it’s only fitting for me to write a guest review of the Covert Affairs season 4 premiere at GeekFurious, since it was HGF’s review of ep 302 last year that made me finally pay attention to this show.  I fell completely in love with the first 11 eps of S3 … and then liked, but had issues with, the last 5 (312-16), which was most of the fall season.  The writers squeezed a new major story arc (Khalid/Megan/Mossad) into those last 5 eps, which, IMO, made them very plot dense (a plot which I wasn’t entirely in love with), and light on character focus, at a time when I thought we needed that more than ever.  One of the many things that made the first 11 eps of S3 so great, other than the very engaging long arc with Simon and Lena, was that the pacing allowed for enough character moments and interactions along the way to really draw you in, and to allow you the viewer to better understand the characters and their motivations.  312-16, however, felt a bit jumbled (main story arc included), and these character moments were few and far between.  So I’ve been a bit nervous to find out whether season 4 will more closely resemble those first 11 of season 3 that I loved, or the mixed bag of the last 5.

So what’s the preliminary verdict, based on ep 401, “Vamos”?  I give it a thumbs up, for the most part, but I would say that in certain ways it felt quite similar to the S3 finale.  I thought the finale was the best of the last third of S3, but it still had that dense and slightly cluttered feel of many plot points being tied up (and/or kicked off to set up S4) all at once.  Likewise with “Vamos,” it felt a bit like the writers were in a contest to squeeze in as many S4 set-up plot points and bombshells as possible.  We got three major new character introductions, several huge bombshells/plot twists (including a long lost son, a flash forward to Annie and Calder shooting at each other, a surprise pregnancy, and an extramarital affair), a trip to Colombia with a full (rogue) mission for Annie/Auggie, hints at even more bombshells to come, and the intro of A&A as a couple.  That is a LOT to take in, in just one hour of television.  Many of these seem like promising storylines, but of course only future episodes will tell.  What I can say is that they certainly kept me quite entertained throughout this ep, at least.  The fact that a full hour went by in the blink of an eye to me says a lot for how immersed I was in it.  Hill Harper and Manolo Cardona both did excellent jobs of introducing us to the characters of Calder Michaels and Teo Braga, and I’m excited to see what they’ll bring to the rest of the season.

Now let’s talk about Annie & Auggie for a sec, shall we?  First off, I gotta say, one of the things I really like about Covert Affairs is that it has managed to spend 3 seasons keeping us engaged in the A&A friendship without putting so much focus on it that the entire series revolves around it.  Many shows wind up becoming almost solely focused around the main ‘ship, even when they never necessarily planned to do that at the outset of the series.  I love that CA has spent 3 seasons allowing both of these characters to have their own romantic lives completely separate from one another, while still building their friendship into something that you eventually want to see moved to the next level.

And overall, I like how they handled this new romantic relationship in “Vamos.”  I reeaally hope they don’t shy away from the sexy sex scenes now that A&A are together, which seems to be a pattern with many other shows (I’m looking at you, Chuck and Castle). And thankfully we got some of those sexy times in the opening sequence.  But somewhat surprisingly, the scene I enjoyed much more than the opener was A&A in the hotel room while Annie stitches up Auggie’s shoulder.  Why?  Because not only was it pretty physical and sexy, but A&A actually talked as well!!  One of my huge frustrations of the last 5 of S3 was that A&A did not converse about anything significant in those eps, like, nearly at ALL.  And this was at a time when they had a LOT to talk about. Without scenes like this, it's extremely difficult to have a clue what is going through these character’s heads.  So in a sense, this hotel room scene felt like something long overdue from the last third of season 3.

The hotel room scene gave us intriguing thoughts from these characters such as Auggie feeling emasculated because of Annie's need to “protect” him on their mission (similar to 302 “Sound and Vision”).  We also got an observation from Auggie about what Annie’s true motivations are in wanting to continue chasing down leads/clues in Colombia – that she gets personal satisfaction in attempting to outwit Henry Wilcox.  Myles McNutt makes a fantastic point about this exchange in his AV Club review, which gave me a bit of an “ah ha!” moment in piecing together my own frustrations with the last third of season 3.  He says: “The show has gotten better, and Piper Perabo has done some solid work in the role, but who is Annie other than a vessel of the series’ narrative?”  It’s not that the show hasn’t explored this - it has - it’s just that I’ve seen very little of it since Annie returned from Russia.  I spent much of those last five S3 eps wondering WHAT the hell was going through her head, as I felt like the audience was almost entirely shut out.  I really, really hope Auggie’s observation about Annie in the hotel scene is an indication that we’ll get more character focus like this in S4.  I’m the type of person who needs to get into the characters' heads a bit, to understand and relate to them, in order for the show to fully suck me in (it’s the primary reason I’ve had trouble completely immersing myself in The Americans, even though it’s a very good show).

A few last points:

  • Each season of CA uses episode titles based on song titles from one particular band.  For S4, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that the writers are using a Pixies theme.  But if there’s not an ep somewhere in S4 called “Wave of Mutilation,” I’m gonna be kinda bummed.  It’s too good an opportunity to pass up.
  • Is Arthur’s story about his extramarital affair real or is it just a cover for something else he’s is hiding behind closed doors?
  • Kari Matchett just had a baby (congrats to her!) and was pregnant when filming the first few eps of S4, so her pregnancy was written into the show.  Not shockingly, that story felt fairly tacked on in this ep, and I wonder if it’ll eventually be developed into something that gels better with the rest of the storylines.
  • I know the flash-forward at the beginning of the ep is an overused storytelling device at this point, but I was intrigued by it.  Stylistically it felt a little funky at the point where the elevator opens and the shooting begins, but I can’t tell if that’s just because I was watching it in shitty low def on this hotel TV with horrible picture and sound quality (I'm on vacay at the moment).  In any event, I am very interested to see how we get back to this scene in real time.
  • There is one other exchange in the Colombia hotel room scene between A&A that intrigued me as well: Annie apologizes for her “janky” stitch-up job on Auggie’s shoulder, mentions that it’ll cause a scar, and Auggie says, “Well, scars are sexy.”  Annie responds with, “Depends on how you get them.”  What does she mean by this?  Is there an obvious meaning or reference here that I’m missing or forgetting?  I do find it kind of an ironic statement considering the mystical powers she seems to have that allow her to have zero visible scars from taking two slugs to the chest last season & having surgery to open her chest as a result.  She’s like Claire from Heroes or some shit.
  • I think I may already be in love with Teo Braga.  That was quick.
  • Did you notice the theme song was gone from this episode?  I saw a tweet from Chris Gorham that seems to indicate that this may be permanent.  If so, I'm fine with it.  The peppy tone of the title sequence fits much better with the lighter seasons 1 & 2, than it does the significantly darker seasons 3 and 4.

Overall, I would give “Vamos” a grade of:


I toyed with giving it a B, but I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt for now that what we saw in this ep will pay off further as the season continues.  Fingers crossed.

The Plopper


13 July, 2013

CFBWMR Episode 6 - We Haven't Seen Anything

GeekFurious and the raging Australian, Nacho Libre, talk about stuff for an hour.

Totally unedited podcast. Totally "live". Sorry about any audio issues but that's what happens when you don't prep or test.

We talk GAME OF THRONES a little bit, but mostly movies we haven't seen (PACIFIC RIM, MAN OF STEEL, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS and so on). We avoid spoilers as much as possible. Though, if you haven't seen season 1 of GAME OF THRONES, then you will definitely be spoiled. I also make up spoilers for the show that could turn out to be true one day.

Click below to play:

Or RIGHT CLICK HERE and SAVE AS to download the mp3.


GeekFurious and Magnifico turn British


05 July, 2013

Then Why Did You Say it Sucked?

I don't know why I'm using this image for the article.
Inevitably, in life, you will come across someone who shits on something you like or love.

Perhaps you just saw the new Star Trek.

“Oh man, that raped my adulthood!” says your newest angst buddy.

Or you played The Last of Us and loved it.

“Overrated bag of crap!” says your closest YouTube comment section friend.

Or you were in emotional turmoil over something that happened on GAME OF THRONES.

“It’s just a TV show, you idiot! Also, it's shit! Wheel of Time rules!” exclaims anonymous Reddit user #756,341.

But ever get into an actual discussion with any of those people about the thing they claim is the worst thing since 9/11?

Because I have. Many times. And you know what seems to happen almost every single time? The gut-reaction loony doesn’t seem to think it sucks all that much. In fact, a lot of the times they will say something like “I don’t hate it or anything” or “It’s alright, I just didn’t like that one part.”

So why did you say it sucked?

When did something either have to be THE GREATEST FUCKIN’ THING EVER!!!! Or THE WORST PIECE OF SHIT IN THE UNIVERSE?!?!?

Is it really that difficult for people to discuss things without using hyperbole when something doesn’t affect them in a dramatic way?

Perhaps take a moment and think about what you are about to say, then consider it some more, and weigh your true feelings versus your teenaged Internet hormones (tintermones?) and then try to have a reasonable discussion where you proclaim the new Superman the worst movie of all time, even worse than NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER which was fuckin’ horrible omg Van Damme suxxxxx!!!!

*Head Geek Furious is a classically trained Shakespearean thespian actor/writer astronaut who attended Julliard and Harvard Law in a dream once.