Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Review: Hannah Winds Up Right Back Where She Started In Solid Season Finale For 'Girls'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 17, 2012 10:30 PM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
Suddenly, everything has changed. That might be the recurring theme of "Girls" across its first season, one that has seen Hannah (Lena Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) navigate their early '20s and the curveballs that come with it. As we've said time and again, Lena Dunham's focus on character, combined with a willingness to allow them to be unlikeable, wrong, selfish or simply unsure -- as one tends to be at that pre-adulthood age -- has afforded the show a real resonance that belies its standard sitcom set up. Besides a couple mid-season episodes that wobbled, Dunham's instincts have proven right more often than not, with "Girls" delivering unexpected big laughs and tender moments in the unlikeliest places. And so it's fitting that the season finale reorients the lives of everyone. Well, almost.

You Only Live Twice: We Look Towards The Future As 'Mad Men' Wraps Up A Phenomenal Season 5

  • By Cory Everett
  • |
  • June 12, 2012 9:59 AM
  • |
  • 12 Comments
The fifth season of AMC's "Mad Men" came to a close Sunday night, wrapping up what has been arguably among its strongest seasons yet. No small feat considering the show has taken home four consecutive Emmys for Best Drama and been proclaimed one of the best shows on TV by nearly every critic reviewing the medium. After a run of 13 almost uniformly excellent episodes, it becomes harder to remember that this season had gotten off to a rocky start. When the network decided to pull the show out of its summer slot to make room for the other best show on TV ("Breaking Bad"), fans had to endure a brutal 17-month wait. Contract negotiations between creator Matthew Weiner and the studio were made public and gave both the network and creator some negative buzz to overcome.

Review: Ambition Fractures Friendship In 'Girls'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 10, 2012 11:00 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
There has already been much to admire about Lena Dunham's "Girls," one of the most sastisfying and purely entertaining new shows on television. Sharp, funny writing, a knowing ability to find true character moments even in life's most awkward or humiliating circumstances and an honest, obversational style has made the program one with a surprising amount of heart and depth. This has all contributed to a show that isn't just an amusing trifle, but one with a broader scope than the other female driven programs on TV ("The New Girl," "2 Broke Girls," "Veep") just don't have. But if you need even more evidence of just how well-conceived "Girls" really is, tonight's episode truly raises the bar. "Leave Me Alone" takes two seemingly minor and throwaway plot strands from earlier in the season and expands them into integral storylines that once again finds "Girls" moving in unexpected directions.

Review: 'Veep' Caps Off Uneven Season With Tears

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 10, 2012 10:30 PM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
Armando Iannucci made it clear with last week's episode that "Veep" will be steering away from anything resembling real issues. While a pregnant Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) at the end of "Baseball" opened the door to a potentially inspired direction for the show, one episode later it was explained away by Meyer having a miscarriage, as the veep and her team moved on to the next issue that was plaguing their office. The show's established theme is that the office of the veep is essentially powerless and even meaningless, and as a result the doesn't have much to say about political climate in Washington except for how it operates on the most superficial level. The recurring theme is that those in Washington who wield power and influence are stupid, assholes, self-involved or all three at once. Listen, we get it, but we hope as "Veep" moves into season two it has a bit more to say as they are running out of non-issues to try and mine for laughs.

Recap: 'Game Of Thrones' Thrillingly Closes Out Season 2 With Songs Of Ice & Fire

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 4, 2012 9:56 AM
  • |
  • 9 Comments
While the series has kept the "Game Of Thrones" title from the first novel, George R. R. Martin's book series are collectively known as "A Song Of Ice & Fire," and while hints of the relevance of that have been contained throughout the show so far, that title has never been so front & center than in "Valar Morghulis," the superb season two finale, which managed to give satisfying climaxes to most of the ongoing stories that have run throughout the last nine episodes, including those that have been rather less developed.

Review: The 'Girls' Navigate Boyfriends, Threesomes & Art In Another Standout Episode

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 3, 2012 11:00 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
The season isn't even finished yet and we're already seeing best friends Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Marnie (Alison Williams) swap places in the boyfriend department. During the last episode out at a wild party in Bushwick, Marnie was forced to come to terms that not only is her split with Charlie very, very real, he's moved on with a new girl, Audrey. As for Hannah, after a heated confrontation with Adam ("Do you want me to be your fucking boyfriend?") they've finally sorted out just where their relationship stands and when "Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too" opens, the pair have very comfortably settled into coupledom. With used Magnum condom packages strewn on the floor, and open jar of Cinammon Raisin Swirl peanut butter between them, Hannah and Adam lie in bed, watching his childhood home movies.

Review: Amusing 'Veep' Cheaply Sidesteps A Major Plot Development For Laughs

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 3, 2012 10:30 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Well, that was kind of cheap. After ending last week's episode on a potential game-changing plot development, it seems Armando Ianucci didn't have the balls to follow through with it, or least see where Selina Meyer's (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) pregnancy could take the story in "Veep." It's not even five minutes into "Full Disclosure" when we learn that she's had a miscarriage, and the crisis of the moment is flushed out to focus on a bland minor incident from a couple of episodes back, with the media reporting that the veep's office fired a Secret Service agent because he smiled.

Recap: 3 Weeks In, 'Veep' Gets More Focused & Funny While Taking A Bold Narrative Leap

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 2, 2012 4:07 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Listen, we know our "Veep" recaps dropped off for the past few weeks. A combination of the Cannes Film Festival and screeners that didn't arrive in time led to the gap in coverage, but when we finally sat down to catch up on what we missed, we were in for a very pleasant surprise: "Veep" has hit its stride in a major way. Unlike the overstuffed and strenously zany first three episodes of the season, a sharper focus on story and the stripping away of extraneous subplots has allowed the show's humor to come right to the fore, and the results speak for themselves. Laugh-out-loud funny in a way it hasn't been yet, and finally bringing greater dimension to the lead character Selina Meyer, "Veep" is now showing the teeth we've been wanting to see since the pilot and taking a bold story jump as well. Instead of doing full-blown recounts of what's gone down in over the last three episodes, we're going to summarize them briefly, each with a letter grade, before getting back in the swing of things tomorrow.

Review: 'Girls' Encounter Crack & Boyfriend Troubles At The Best Party Ever In Bushwick

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • May 27, 2012 11:00 PM
  • |
  • 9 Comments
"It's like 'Waterworld' in there," Hannah notes before she, Marnie and Jessa enter what may possibly be the best party ever in Bushwick. Taking place inside a giant warehouse, it's very much a TV Show Party -- you'd never see anything like this in real life -- the kind of thing that has a band playing, DJs, a room full of lesbians dancing and crusty punks all hanging out together. But despite the trappings which threaten to pull this episode of "Girls" into the wacky territory it has gone into here and there throughout the otherwise stellar first season, Lena Dunham and her co-horts keep things on an even keel.

Review: You Can't Go Home Again In Maybe The Best Episode Yet Of 'Girls'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • May 21, 2012 4:30 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Over the last couple of episodes we've lamented that Lena Dunham's "Girls" has taken a turn towards the sitcom, with episodes that have favored wacky shenanigans over the humanity and heart -- and the humor that followed -- that opened the season on such a strong footing. Well, we're happy to report that "The Return" harkens back to those initial shows, and marks easily one of the best episodes this season so far. While we've been critical of the softball, superfluous subplots given to Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), it's a bit revealing that with the story centering strictly on Hannah (Dunham), it allows for some of the most focused and observant writing we've seen yet on the show.

Email Updates

Recent Comments