31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE BIG BANG THEORY – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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CAST

Johnny Galecki (Vanilla Sky)
Jim Parsons (The Muppets)
Kaley Cuoco (Hop)
Simon Helberg (Dr. Horrible)
Kunal Nayyar (Dr. Cabbie)
Melissa Rauch (The Bronze)
Kevin Sussman (Ugly Betty)
Mayim Bialik (Blossom)

Image result for the big bang theory THE MIDDLE-EARTH PARADIGM

GUEST CAST

Brian Patrick Wade (Agents of SHIELD)
Rachel Cannon (Fresh Off The Boat)
Aarti Mann (Heroes)
Courtney Ford (Revenge)
Buzz Aldrin (Transformers 3)

FlashSuprise
THE MIDDLE-EARTH PARADIGM
After the gang gets their butts kicked (from 13-year-olds) at paintball, they meet Penny who invites them to her Halloween party. As the party is costumed, the gang is extremely excited. Initially, all four of them dress up as the Flash, so they all agree to change. Leonard calls for Frodo who is everyone’s second choice. Leonard asks Sheldon not to embarrass him at the party as he feels this party could be a milestone in his relationship with Penny interacting with her social group.The gang arrives at Penny’s apartment on time while everyone else arrives much later. Leonard is Frodo from Lord of the Rings, Sheldon is the Doppler Effect (which no one understands), Howard is Robin Hood (though everybody thinks he’s Peter Pan) and Raj is the Norse God Thor (not the Marvel Comics character). After the party starts, the guys seem left out just sitting on Penny’s couch. Howard spots a girl and manages to creep her out. As Leonard wants to talk to Penny’s friends, but is afraid to do so, Sheldon becomes his wingman. A girl named Cheryl approaches Raj and talks to him asking him how “wasted” she is, but he still is unable to respond though does react with her.
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Suddenly, Penny’s ex-boyfriend Kurt arrives at the party. Penny greets him warmly. As they both want Penny, Leonard decides to confront Kurt. After saying Kurt is less evolved than himself and Kurt seems to understand Leonard, Kurt lifts Leonard up intimidatingly. Penny tells Kurt to stop and says that he was just having fun with his little buddy. Leonard is a little shaken up so he and Sheldon leave the party.
Later, Penny feels bad about what happened so she stops by at Leonard’s apartment. She gets emotional and claims that she invited Kurt because he was all apologetic, but she can’t go back to her party and wonders what is wrong with her. Leonard says that there is nothing wrong and that she is perfect. Penny realizes he feels that way and then kisses him. He stops her advances because she had been drinking. Then Penny tells him that he’s really smart and Leonard sarcastically replies that he’s a frickin’ genius (for stopping Penny). Penny wonders why all guys couldn’t be like him. Leonard replies that if all guys were like him, the world wouldn’t survive. Despite that, when she leaves she kisses him again. This time, Kurt saw them and Leonard stands his ground saying, “that’s right; you saw what you saw,” and then quickly shuts and locks the door behind him. Later, Howard asks if Sheldon has seen Raj; Sheldon answers he hasn’t.
Raj is seen having just finished having sex with Cheryl (the girl from the party), despite having not said a word the entire time he’s been with her. Cheryl describes Raj as a good listener.
For a first attempt at a Halloween episode, it was fun, a few character developments too which is always nice.
THE GOOD GUY FLUCTUATION

Sheldon is working late in his office thoroughly frustrated since it’s after nine o’clock. After a sudden blackout, Sheldon finds “blood” dripping down the walls. Then he is scared by a phosphorus-covered skeleton on a zip line. Sheldon is not impressed as Howard and Raj join him in his office. Sheldon turns around to find Leonard in a Balok mask from Star Trek causing Sheldon to faint.

At the comic book store, while Sheldon discusses his Texas background meaning that there will be revenge. A good looking girl wanders into the store which Stuart tries to talk to but can’t. She picks up a Hellboy comic book that Leonard was purchasing and then connects with her. (You’re cute.) She offers to make a trade for that one and gives him her phone number. Howard and Stuart were impressed. Stuart takes his picture for the store’s “Wall of Heroes” display.
Sheldon booby traps the mailbox on Leonard, but Leonard turns the prank around and gets Sheldon with it. Sheldon might be from Texas; however, Leonard is from New Jersey.
Leonard gets together with Alice, where he shows her a drawing Jim Lee drew of him at Comic-Con. Alice shows him a comic she drew based on her life including her having sex with half of a Chewbacca. She then kisses him and they start to make out, while she offers to trade Leonard her comic for the Hellboy comic. Leonard then offers her his car.
Leonard admires the artwork of an amateur comic book artist named Alice. Sheldon’s next target: Raj where he hides a snake in Raj’s desk. Raj opens it and sees the cute snake and takes him to the biology lab to get it some mice.
Leonard goes over to talk to Penny about his  personal relationship dilemma. He wants both Priya and Alice. He wants be one of those guys who goes sneaks around and sleeps with more than one woman. Penny tells him that he is looking for a way to sleep with both women and have everybody be happy about it. That’s what he’s looking for.  Sheldon then approaches Howard with a joy buzzer and wants to shake his hand for various reasons. He hears Bernadette who now is sounding more like Howard’s mother. Sheldon shocks Howard who drops to the floor and collapses due to his heart condition. Sheldon freaks out and Bernadette insists that he has to jab a needle of adrenaline into his heart because she isn’t strong enough. Sheldon does it and then Howard wakes up because they pranked him. Sheldon can’t believe he got duped and face palms himself getting stung by his own buzzer.
After consulting with Sheldon about his dilemma, Leonard actually had good advice from Nietzsche, morality is the fiction created by the weak masses to hold back the strongest in society. Leonard has a formal date with Alice. As they are heading toward sex, Leonard’s conscience gets the better of him. He tells Alice that he has a girlfriend which seriously annoys Alice who calls him just another jerk. Leonard explains that he is a good guy and wants to just be friends. She throws him out of the apartment. As Leonard walks down the hall, he calls himself an idiot. Leonard confesses the incident to Priya over videoconference, and she instantly forgives him. Leonard first thinks she is wonderful and then asks why. She confesses to having slept with an ex-boyfriend. Leonard is very unhappy. Priya explains that it isn’t a contest. Leonard disagrees and tells her that she won ending the call. And then Leonard gets the crap scared out of him by Sheldon hiding inside the couch jumping out dressed as a zombie. (Bazinga, punk! Now we’re even!)
This was very enjoyable. The two plots were set up early on, both were clear and easy to get into with clear motivations for all involved. The Sheldon story played to his strengths. His inability to be subtle and hide his real motives make pranks ideal comedy.. Leonard’s story was really good. It was a simple moral dilemma that anyone and particularly guys could relate to.
THE HOLOGRAPHIC EXCITATION
The episode starts with Howard presenting Stuart with his official NASA portrait (autographed, of course), [though Sheldon mentioned that he also gave one to the dry cleaners and Walgreen’s drug store]. Leonard and Sheldon hypothesize that Howard will connect his trip into outer space with any subject, and decide to test their theory. Leonard succeeds immediately talking about dinner options; Sheldon initially appears to strike out when he brings up lemons, but Howard meets their expectations moments later. Stuart decides to organize a Halloween party at his comic book store, so Raj decides to become the party planner.
Amy and Bernadette are attending ladies’ night at the Cheesecake Factory bar while Penny serves them. Amy claims that life doesn’t get any better than right now, to which Penny says to herself that she hopes it does gets better. Leonard texts Penny about going out costume shopping. Penny confides in the girls that she’s going to the comic book store Halloween party even though the guys that hang around there can be creepy.
Amy and Bernadette then asks, like their better halves? Bernadette also says that Leonard does things that he doesn’t like to make her happy and that maybe she should take more interest in his work. Penny says that that is true but she doesn’t understand what he does, and their explanations about experimental physics don’t help. Later, Amy and Sheldon are discussing their Halloween costume ideas and Sheldon surprises Amy by agreeing to go in a couple’s costume because that is one of the great advantages of being in a relationship. Amy wants to go as something like Romeo and Juliet; however, Sheldon’s ideas for great costumes are R2-D2 and C-3PO or Hewlett and Packard. Amy is unmoved by his choices, and states that they should at least compromise. Penny visits Leonard’s Lab and he shows her some of his “high techy techy” equipment, including a system that scans objects and generates rotating holograms. First there is a floating pencil, which changes into a rotating Earth and then a galaxy. Leonard muses about some scientists who think that the whole universe is one large hologram. Penny remarks that she forgets how smart he really is, gets turned on, locks the door, and they start to fool around on the lab table.
 In the cafeteria, Raj is discussing his Halloween themed party foods and Howard keeps talking about his time in space. Leonard wanders in with his hair messed up and a smile on his face. Asked about what is going on and he replies “nothing.” Howard says that he knows where there is a lot of nothing is and the three of the guys say “space” simultaneously. Howard and Bernadette had just crawled into bed and started getting romantic, but after six space metaphors, Bernadette stops to talk. She tells him that people are getting tired of hearing about it. Howard complains that he can’t talk about the greatest adventure of his life, and she suggests that he wait until they bring it up.
Penny is again visiting Leonard’s lab as he demonstrates a floating iron ball levitated by a large magnetic force. Penny thinks it’s very neat until Leonard mentions that sometimes he feels like Magneto from the X-Men. Penny replies now it seems less neat, until Leonard mentions he’s wearing the black underwear she bought him. “There ya go,” she replies, and starts to kiss him again. In the cafeteria, Raj is getting a Doctor Who TARDIS police booth for the party which excites Sheldon, while Howard is being very quiet and noncommittal. He finds that Sheldon and Raj agree that he was talking too much about space. Leonard enters again, all messed up and very happy. Amy and Sheldon, on Amy’s proviso that the both of them should compromise, are still discussing their costumes. Sheldon suggests salt and pepper, but Amy has had a bad experience with both. She claims that there are three things that say that she doesn’t have a made-up boyfriend: couples costumes, hickies, and sex tapes. She asks Sheldon to pick one, to which he asks what a hickey is.
At Howard and Bernadette’s apartment, they are both dressed up as Smurfs. Howard isn’t that excited to go since all his friends think he is boring. Bernadette asks if he is feeling blue, laughing that that’s like the funniest thing she ever said. She then pushes him out the door since she just spent three hours painting herself blue and doesn’t want people to think she is a very short alien from Avatar. At the Halloween party, Penny dresses as a sexy cop and Leonard goes as Albert Einstein. Bernadette mistakes her for a slutty cop, but Penny explains that that costume only came with a skirt and two badges. Leonard says (in a German accent) that later she was going to arrest him for traveling faster than the speed of light. Penny reminds him about their no-accent rule, to which he replies, “Sorry, officer.” Stuart as Willy Wonka tries to pick up a girl, claiming to have come up with all the party food and decorations, much to Raj’s disgust. Raj is Indian Jones, the love child of Indiana Jones. Amy and Sheldon show up as “Raggedy C-3PO” and Raggedy Ann due to “a compromise”. Howard gets upset about not being about to talk about his space adventures because, otherwise, he is just plain old Howard Wolowitz. Bernadette reminds him that he is the best guy she knows and that she married him “on purpose.” Penny and Leonard stumble out of the TARDIS all disheveled and Penny explains that there is nothing to see, only sexy police business.
At the end, Howard gets a YouTube clip from Raj showing Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, handing out Halloween candy to kids mentioning his trip to space to every kid. Howard tells Bernadette that he now understands everybody’s objections to his boasting.

It was half an hour of entertainment that satisfied.  I liked that we got four separate stories built around Halloween and an attempt to tell us something about each couple through them. A classic episode this was pretty entertaining.
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REVIEW: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – SEASON 2

CAST

Clark Gregg (When A Stranger Calls)
Ming-Na Wen (Stargate Universe)
Brett Dalton (Killing Lincoln)
Chloe Bennet (Nashville)
Ian De Caestecker (Filth)
Elizabeth Henstridge (Reach Me)
Nick Blood (Identicals)
Adrianna Palicki (G.J. Joe: Retaliation)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Hayley Atwell (Cinderella)
B.J. Britt (Veronica Mars)
Neal McDonough (Arrow)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Henry Simons (No Good Deed)
Patton Oswalt (Blade: trinity)
Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Kenneth Choi (Street Kings)
Simon Kassianides (Quantum of Solace)
Brian Patrick Wade (The Big Bang Theory)
Ruth Negga (World War Z)
Maya Stojan (Castle)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
Kyle MacLachlan (Dune)
Brian Tee (Jurassic World)
Monique Gabriela Curnen (The Dark Knight)
Joel Gretsch (V)
Tim DeKay (Swordfish)
Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse)
Lou Ferrigno Jr. (The Young and The Restless)
Jamie Harris (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Blair Underwood (Gattaca)
Christine Adams (Batman Begins)
Edward James Olmos (Green Hornet)
Luke Mitchell (Home and Away)
J. August Richards (Angel)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Jaimie Alexander (The Last Stand)

For many, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD in its first season  became a forgotten and/or overlooked series, which was too bad, and yet understandable. This was Marvel’s first TV series, coming off of an amazing run of movies and it just didn’t deliver when it debuted. The initial episodes felt unfocused and badly paced,but many people people felt the show improved when SHIELD notably improving in the wake of Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s events.In season 2 the pacing was hugely improved, with storylines no longer taking forever to bubble up again and secrets no longer being kept both from the audience and the characters that no one on screen seemed in a hurry to deal with. Instead, there was payoff to big plot threads happening consistently, as both lingering questions from Season 1 and newly introduced plotlines were deftly dealt with and tied up, while paving the way for new mysteries. On the villain front, there was some nicely done twisting and turning regarding who the Big Bad would be in Season 2. We began with a focus on Hydra leader Whitehall and while Reed Diamond had fun in the role, Whitehall rarely had moments that made him feel like a truly credible threat. When he was killed in the midseason finale, it seemed Kyle MacLachlan’s Cal would take center stage as SHIELD’s main foe… but there was yet another swerve in store.The fact that Skye’s mother, Jiaying (Dichen Lachman), was alive at all was a surprise and we soon saw that she was the leader of the Inhumans and could be pretty strict and cold when it came to doing what she felt was right to protect her people… but that was all hiding just what a zealot she had become, convinced war with humanity was inevitable and willing to begin it herself (via a staged attack) to get all her people on her side. The fact that Jiaying was the true main villain of the season was a subtle, slow reveal and much appreciated for how it was pulled off. We understood the tragic events that had changed her, even as we came to see she, and not Cal, who was the most dangerous.Oh, and did I say Inhumans? This was also a huge part of the season, which was especially notable because it indicated that behind the scenes, Marvel had decided Agents of SHIELD could lead the way in a much more notable way than before, rather than being simply reactive to the events of the films. We know an Inhumans film is coming in a few years, but now this series has already introduced the concept into the MCU. Presumably the film will focus on the Royal Family and a very different group of Inhumans than the ones we met here, but this show was still allowed to be the first part of the MCU to give us Terrigen Mist, the Kree origins and all the major background elements of the Inhumans.
In general, SHIELD felt less restrained this season. The first couple of episodes utilized the notable Marvel villain Absorbing Man, while the reveals that Cal and Skye were, respectively, Mr. Hyde and Daisy Johnson/Quake, rooted this show much more into its Marvel Comics roots.While it began in the latter half of Season 1, SHIELD: Season 2 also benefited from much stronger characterization. While there were so many characters they all didn’t get as much time as might have been ideal, they still all felt much more distinct and specific than the show’s early days, and the fact that several members came and went and shifted allegiances kept things interesting. Ming-Na Wen was always a great presence on the show, but Melinda May was given a lot more depth, as we met her ex-husband, Andrew (Blair Underwood) and finally got the dark details of that incident in Bahrain that we kept hearing about in Season 1. The rift between Fitz and Simmons added a lot more textures to both of them, and was beautifully played by Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge, while Coulson, now the director of SHIELD, had to reevaluate his approach, making much harsher decisions that pained him, but felt more involving and believable than the overly sappy, often naive approach that he began the series with.As for Skye, the writers and producers certainly still were determined to make her the most important and revered character on the show, but this season, it actually felt like they were earning her that position. Sure, we had to accept that she’d apparently gotten one hell of a crash course in being a badass fighter from May between seasons, but it felt good to see her actually be such a formidable presence in the action scenes – and Chloe Bennet really rose to the challenge of her characters new dynamic. And by making Skye both an Inhuman and Daisy/Quake, we at least had tangible reasons she would be important to us as viewers, beyond Coulson simply saying she was awesome over and over again. Bennet and Kyle MacLachlan also were able to build a strong rapport together as the estranged father/daughter duo. Speaking of MacLachlan, what a job he did. While Dichen Lachman brought the perfect pained righteousness to Jiaying, who truly believed what she was doing was right, MacLachlan had the freedom to go absolutely crazy as the absolutely crazy Cal and wow, was he fun. He expertly conveyed his character’s wish to be a happy, doting husband and father intermixed with his violent rage and gave the season some of its best moments – goofy Mr. Hyde makeup/visuals in the season finale aside.The new additions to the SHIELD crew were also appreciated, with Nick Blood’s Lance Hunter, Henry Simmons’ Mack and Adrianne Palicki ‘s Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird all fitting in very well. With such a big group of agents, someone was bound to be overlooked, and unfortunately, that was Trip (B.J. Britt), who never really got a storyline of his own – except to be the big midseason death. Which wasn’t as impactful as it could have been because he felt like a character with potential that was never fully utilized in any capacity (Remember when he and Simmons were flirting?).The “Other SHIELD” storyline was an interesting inclusion, with Edward James Olmos bringing exactly the gravity you’d expect him to as Gonzales. I liked the idea of he and Coulson being so opposed and yet very respectful of one another, in their own ways. I just wish we’d gotten a bigger payoff to that, as Gonzales was killed by Jiaying before he and Coulson really came to any sort of conclusion in their own conflict except on the “very begrudging/wary allies” level.I went into Season 2 very concerned about Grant Ward’s continuing presence on the series. His betrayal was a shot of Adrenalin the bland SHIELD crew needed and his actions had been too extreme and lethal to be forgiven or excused – but this is TV, where it seems any character can be redeemed. And I really didn’t want to see Ward redeemed, especially since Brett Dalton really found the character when he was allowed to play him as a villain. Thankfully, Season 2 didn’t try to bring Ward back onto the SHIELD team – in fact, by the end, he was more delightfully despicable than ever, torturing Bobbi and setting a trap to kill any SHIELD agent that attempted to rescue her and shooting and killing May, point blank, the first chance he had.SHIELD: Season 2 benefited from a show now unafraid to shake up the dynamic. Perhaps having to completely change everything about the series two thirds into the first season served as an inspiration, but from Simmons’ double agent status, to Gonzales’ crew taking over, the show rarely felt stagnant. The show’s always been in a difficult scenario – people love the interconnectivity of the MCU, but because the movie’s have the big superheroics covered, SHIELD felt hindered by not being able to deal with a lot of the bigger name heroes, in a way a series like The Flash (which isn’t connected to DC’s movies at all) doesn’t have to deal with. The decision to have Coulson and Skye begin to form a team of superpowered members seems to indicate those involved have decided its time to bring some more ongoing flash  to the series, even if it won’t be with the biggest name characters. Things will no doubt change in a big way again as a result, but right now, it’s exciting to ponder what’s coming next.

REVIEW: BRING IT ON 1,2,3,4 & 5

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CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Jesse Bradford (Cherry Falls)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
Clare Kramer (Buffy)
Nicole Bilderback (Dark Angel)
Tsianina Joelson (Xena)
Rini Bell (Road Trip)
Nathan West (The Skulls 2)
Huntley Ritter (Voodoo Academy)
Brandi Williams (Honey)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: TTW)
Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement)
Holmes Osborne (Anchorman)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Riley Smith (24)

Torrance Shipman, a student at Rancho Carne High School in San Diego, anxiously dreams about her first day of senior year. Her boyfriend, Aaron has left for college, and her cheerleading squad, the Toros, is aiming for a sixth consecutive national title. Torrance is elected to replace the team captain, “Big Red,” who is graduating. Soon, however, teammate Carver is injured and can no longer compete. Torrance replaces her with Missy Pantone, a gymnast who recently transferred to the school with her brother Cliff, with whom Torrance develops a flirtatious friendship. While watching the Toros practice, Missy recognizes their routines from a rival squad that her previous high school used to compete against. After accusing Torrance of being a liar and stealing (and upon seeing Torrance’s angry reaction, thus realizing Torrance was completely unaware) she drives Torrance to Los Angeles, where they watch the East Compton Clovers perform routines that are virtually identical to their own team’s. Isis, the Clovers’ team captain, angrily confronts the two. Torrance learns that “Big Red” regularly attended the Clovers’ practices to videotape and steal their routines.

Isis informs Torrance of her plans to defeat the Toros at the regional and national championships, which the team has never attended due to their economic hardship. When Torrance tells the Toros about the routines, the team still votes in favor of using the current routine to win; Torrance reluctantly agrees. At the Toros’ next home game, Isis and her teammates show up and perform the Toros’ routine in front of the whole school, humiliating them. The Toros realize that they have no choice but to learn a different routine. In desperation, they employ a professional choreographer named Sparky Polastri to provide one, as suggested by Aaron. But at the Regionals, the team scheduled immediately ahead of the Toros performs the exact routine they had been practicing. The Toros have no choice but to perform the very same routine. After the debacle that ensues, Torrance speaks to a competition official and is told Polastri provided the routine to several other teams in California. As the defending champions, the Toros are nevertheless granted their place in the Finals, but Torrance is warned that a new routine will be expected. Torrance, crushed by her failure to lead the team successfully, considers quitting.

Cliff encourages and supports her, intensifying their growing attraction. Aaron, however, suggests that she is not leadership material and recommends that she step down from her position. When Cliff sees Torrance and Aaron together, he angrily severs his friendship with Torrance, to her distress. But her confidence is renewed by Cliff’s encouragement and she convinces her unhappy team to create an innovative, new routine instead. She breaks up with Aaron, realizing his infidelity and his inability to be supportive, but Cliff still refuses to forgive her. Meanwhile, the Clovers are initially unable to compete at Nationals due to financial problems. This prompts Torrance to get her dad’s company to sponsor the Clovers, but Isis rejects the money and gets her team to Nationals by appealing to a talk show host who grew up in their area. In the finals, the Toros place second, while the Clovers win. However, at the end of the movie, Torrance and Isis find respect in each other, and Cliff and Torrance share a romantic kiss.

Bring it On’ is without a doubt, sassy, funny and has bags of attitude. It’s a fun movie that spawned several sequels.

 

 

CAST

Anne Judson-Yager (Minority Report)
Bree Turner (Grimm)
Kevin Cooney (Dead Poets Society)
Faune Chambers Watkins (Epic Movie)
Bryce Johnson (Willow Creek)
Richard Lee Jackson (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Bethany Joy Lenz (Agents of Shield)
Holly Towne (Dumb and Dumberer)
Felicia Day (The Guild)
Joshua Gomez (Chuck)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Brian Patrick Wade (The Big Bang Theory)
Chris Carmack (Into The Blue 2)
Derek Richardson (Anger Management)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)

Whittier (Anne Judson-Yager) arrives at the fictional California State College hoping to join the national champion varsity cheerleading team. She meets up with her friend from cheerleading camp, Monica (Faune Chambers), and they’re both impressive at the tryouts.

Head cheerleader Tina (Bree Turner) is ready to ask them to join the team, but Greg (Bryce Johnson) goes a step further, telling Tina that Whittier will be the next head cheerleader. This angers Tina’s pal Marni (Bethany Joy Lenz), who had the position staked out, but at the urging of Dean Sebastian (Kevin Cooney), Tina goes along with the plan, taking Whittier under her wing. Whittier meets Derek (Richard Lee Jackson), a campus D.J. who immediately takes a shine to her. But Tina is very demanding and controlling. She warns Whittier that Derek is not the type of boy she should be dating. Monica is bothered by Tina’s meddling, but Whittier momentarily lets her cheerleading ambition get the better of her, and breaks it off with Derek.

Then Tina, upset with Monica’s sassy attitude, punishes her which leads to an injury and she forces Whittier to choose between her friendship and the squad. Whittier and Monica get fed up and quit Tina’s tyranny, but Whittier’s school spirit cannot be suppressed. With Monica’s help, she gathers up the outcasts from the drama club, the dance club, and other groups that have lost their funding because of the squad and forms a ragtag squad of her own, determined to battle the varsity squad for a spot at the national championship. The two teams end up competing for the spot at nationals, with Whittier’s squad ultimately winning. Afterward Whittier offers Tina a spot on her squad, which Tina refuses but ends up wanting. The film ends with Tina sucking up to Whittier and Monica, deciding she wants to be on their squad after all, while Marni comically throws a fit.

Despite not having the big budget and all star cast of the original, this sequel does a grand job and gives the first film a good run for its money. The mild language is toned down slightly more but it’s still a 12 rating presumably due to the bitchiness which is over the top fun. The film does sag a little in the middle part but it still makes great family viewing and there are more humorous moments in this and it does give more a team spirit approach as a bunch of misfits takes on the established Varsity cheerleaders.

CAST

Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Solange Knowles (Johnson Family Vacation)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Danielle Savre (Boogeyman 2)
Emme Rylan (General Hospital)
Cindy Chu (Coach Carter)
Giovonnie Samuels (Fatherhood)
Gustavo Carr (500 Days of Summer)
Rihanna (Battleship)
Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow)

Britney Allen’s (Hayden Panettiere) living a ‘dream life’ as the cheerleading captain and girlfriend of the star quarterback of Pacific Vista High School. Her nemesis is the highly ambitious Winnie Harper. Her life changes dramatically when her father loses his job, and the family must relocate to the disadvantaged city, Crenshaw Heights, which Britney, being the “White Girl”, takes quite a while to adjust to.

She meets Camille, cheerleading captain of the Crenshaw Heights ‘Warriors’ and her friends and fellow cheerleaders, Kirresha and Leti. She also meets Jesse, a male cheerleader and the only person who is nice to her on her first day. Britney, at the urging of Winnie, has already vowed to never cheer for another team (as this would make her a ‘cheer whore’), but after being dared by Camille and Jesse to show up at the cheerleading tryouts, Britney impresses everyone with her cheerleading skills and experience. Camille, after being persuaded by her friends to “do it for the squad,” reluctantly invites her onto the squad. Britney and Jesse become close and eventually kiss.

Around this time, singer Rihanna announces a TV special where all high school cheerleading squads can compete, with the winners appearing in a music video with her and winning new computers for their school. Winnie finds out that Britney’s cheering with the Warriors and reveals this to her friends. A week later, Britney lies to Camille, telling her that she can’t cheer at the next game as she’s holding a memorial service for her dead dog; when she’s actually going to Pacific Vista’s Homecoming dance. Camille and Jesse arrive at Britney’s to offer their condolences, and when they see Britney and Brad dressed up for the dance, Camille kicks her off the squad.

At the dance, Winnie reveals to everyone that she has been sleeping with Brad behind Britney’s back causing Britney to dump him and end her friendship with Winnie, telling her that she’s “too much of a backstabber to have any real friends”. On the day of the auditions, Britney arrives at the Warriors’ bus and comes to wish them good luck. When Winnie, with the rest of her team, makes fun of the Warriors, Britney stands up to Winnie and defends them. Camille, impressed by this, lets Britney cheer with them again. Jesse, however, is still mad at her for not telling him that she had a boyfriend before they had kissed. Both of the rivaling teams show their performances. At the auditions, the two finalists are Pacific Vista and Crenshaw Heights. PV wows the audience with their routine and Camille starts getting worried. Then Britney points out that all their steps are repetitive and that they have their secret weapon: Krumping. Now dressed in streetwear instead of their regular uniforms, steps on stage during PV’s performance and begins mirroring their steps. Finally, they begin krumping, wiping PV off the stage and impressing Rihanna with their routine. After the Warrior’s performance ends, Winnie approaches Rihanna and insists that Crenshaw Heights should be disqualified (“or arrested”) for interrupting PV’s routine. This leads to an argument between Winnie and the rest of the Pacific Vista squad, during which Britney notes, “Spirit Law states that if there’s a cheer mutiny, a squad can vote to replace their captain.”

Everyone present, even Rihanna and the other performing squads, vote to replace Winnie as the Pacific Vista High cheerleading captain. Winnie protests, dismissing CH’s style as “ghetto,” to which Rihanna responds that she judges a squad by their skills and not by where they come from. Rihanna ultimately selects Crenshaw Heights as the winners, and the Pacific Vista squad (with Britney’s friend Amber as their new captain) comes forward to congratulate them. Britney and Jesse also make up, kissing backstage after their first performance. The movie ends with a made-for-movie music video of Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” with the Crenshaw Heights squad dancing in the background.

The characters are likable, the script is great, the acting is brilliant and the finale holds up to the original. All in all, I had great fun watching this film. It’s one of the best Sequels mostly because of Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame.

 

CAST

Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers)
Cassie Scerbo (Soccer Mom)
Michael Copon (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jennifer Tisdale (Ted Bundy)
Ashley Tisdale (Donnie Darko)

The West Coast Sharks Cheerleading Squad, led by Carson (Ashley Benson), are attending Camp Spirit-Thunder where they’re confronted by their arch-rivals, the East Coast Jets Cheerleading Squad, led by Brooke (Cassie Scerbo). Both are fierce rivals because each is the best on its respective coast; however, the Jets have beaten the Sharks at the annual Cheer Camp Championships for the previous three years in a row.

On her first day at camp, Carson meets and hits it off with Penn (Michael Copon). They trade phone numbers, neither knowing the other is a member of their arch-rival squad. When Carson eventually does find out that Penn is a Jet, she gives him up although she really likes him.

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As part of the Camp Spirit-Thunder ritual, the West Coast Sharks are given the Spirit Stick, a “special” cheerleading item that they have to guard fiercely. Carson agrees to watch the Spirit Stick when her friends leave for a poker game, but she forgets about it when Penn arrives to ask her out. They go to a nearby amusement park and spend time together, notably riding the Double Dragons (Dueling Dragons) rollercoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. At this time, Penn confesses his darkest secret to Carson: he forced his team to raise money for him to go to the camp so that his father wouldn’t find out he is a cheerleader.

Carson’s friends return to her room, but find both her and the Spirit Stick missing. They search for her, eventually finding her dancing with Penn. At this time Brooke and her friends also see the duo. When the Sharks reveal that the Spirit Stick is gone, Carson accuses the Jets of sending Penn to lure her away, and she angrily announces to all, Penn’s secret. The Sharks are worried, because losing the Spirit Stick means they are “cursed.”

The Sharks decided to hold a ceremony to ask the “Cheer Gods” for forgiveness. They are interrupted when the Jets arrive, and the squads have a “cheer-rumble”. This scene is similar to the scene in West Side Story (1961 film starring Natalie Wood) in which rival gangs named the Sharks and Jets face off. The authorities arrive, and in the ensuing melee, a number of members from both teams become injured. Both squads are forced to leave the camp as neither one has enough members to compete. But before they can board their respective buses, Carson suggests to Brooke that they combine into a single squad to compete at the Cheer Camp Championship. Though reluctant at first, the squads come together as the “East-West Coast Shets,” complete with new uniforms made through patching their old uniforms together. The two teams slowly bond, while Carson works on repairing her relationship with Penn.

The Shets sneak into Camp Victory, the rival of Camp Spirit-Thunder, to scope Camp Victory’s star team, the Flamingos. After seeing their impressive performance, Carson devises a new routine, inspired by the Double Dragon ride at that amusement park. On the day of the competition, the Shets perform their routine perfectly, winning the competition outright. Carson and Penn kiss on the mat in the middle of the celebrations, and it is revealed that Camp Victory are the ones responsible for stealing the Spirit Stick. The end credits feature clips of the cast dancing “all over the world”, while the singer Ashley Tisdale, who is the sister of Jennifer Tisdale, performs her single “He Said She Said.”

his has all the initial bitchiness of the other three but has more of a storyline being more about co-operation than outright competition. The humour is still there, but its played down whilst most music features in the background rather than as a main boost to the routines. If you want a light hearted film which is a little cheesy in places but still entertains this is a good choice.

 

CAST

Christina Milian (Torque)
Rachele Brooke Smith (Iron Man 2)
Vanessa Born (Sky)
Cody Longo (Fame)
Gabrielle Dennis (Rosewood)
Meagan Holder (You Again)
Nikki SooHoo (The Lovely Bones)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Brittany Anne Pirtle (Power Rangers Samurai)

Lina Cruz is a tough, sharp-witted cheerleader from East L.A. who transfers to Malibu Vista High School after her widowed mother remarries a wealthy man. Lina not only finds herself a fish-out-of-water at her new high school, she also faces off against Avery, the snobbish and ultra-competitive All-Star cheerleading Captain who leads her own squad, ‘The Jaguars’ after the high school squad, ‘The Sea Lions’, did not vote for her to be Captain.

After Lina upsets Sky, her stepsister, she is forced to join The Sea Lions. She goes into the school stadium to check them out and finds Evan, a basketball player who is also her crush, practicing hoops. He is also Avery’s younger brother. Lina impresses Evan, and The Sea Lions vote her Captain. When Lina is Captain, Gloria, her friend from East L.A, is called to help her out. After a team member from the Sea Lions quits, Lina calls her other friend, Trey, to come and help her out. At a basketball game, the Sea Lions go on and perform, but a fall takes place, so The Jaguars, led by Avery, are there and save them from their misery. Lina calls for back up and takes the Sea Lions to an impromptu flavour school to work on their movements. She later meets Evan waiting for her there, and Victor, Gloria’s boyfriend, befriends him.The next day, Lina comes up with the idea of The Sea Lions competing in  the All Star Championship. After the team agrees to double up their practices, The Sea Lions are invited to a Rodeo Drive Divas (RDD) party. Following Sea Lion practice, Gloria and Trey are expelled when Avery goes to the principal and gets Lina in trouble for sneaking them in without approval. Lina refuses to go to the dance but is confronted by Sky. Evan takes Lina as his date to the party, where Gloria and Trey turn up. Lina and Avery proceed to have a dance off. Lina wins the dance off, and Avery tells her that she does not belong in Malibu using multiple racial slurs. Lina, angered, runs off the dance floor and outside, where Evan follows her. There she breaks up with Evan, sends for Gloria to take her back to East L.A, and quits being Captain of The Sea Lions.

There, Lina is confronted by Gloria and Trey, so she stays at Malibu and becomes Captain of The Sea Lions again. The next day at school, half of the Sea Lions squad quits because of Lina’s routines and practices. Avery and Kayla approach Lina, Christina, and Sky to tell them that they are dreaming if they think they have a chance at winning the Spirit Championship. Sky loses her temper and tells them to back off, otherwise a fight would start.

Lina then goes on a field trip to East L.A with the remaining Sea Lions, where Gloria has persuaded a gym to sponsor the Sea Lions and some of the members of The East L.A. Rough Riders as an All Star squad. By combining the Sea Lions and the Rough Riders, they become The Dream Team. The next day after practice, while Lina is at her locker talking with Sky and Christina, Evan kisses her and tells her exactly how he feels in front of a crowd in the hallway that is recording the entire scene. They get back together, and Lina and her team make it to the final round of the All Star Championship and end up defeating The Jaguars, after which Avery breaks down. Evan comforts her but motions a “call me” signal to Lina over Avery’s shoulder. The film ends with Lina taking a picture with Trey, Gloria and Sky, claiming all of them as her cheer sisters.

Of all the `Bring it On’ films this probably has the most developed story but it is highly predicable and mimicks many of the earlier films, but it’s still light and entertaining. The acting is good and the characters are more developed in this although they are over the top as you’d expect from this series. Of all, this is probably the most family friendly of the lot, but like the others it’s still a 12 rating probably due to the fact it uses a number of racial slurs to highlight the cultural difference. There are plenty of dance routines to keep the interest .

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 1-5

MAIN CAST

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (I Am Sam)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
April Bowlby (How I Met Your Mother)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Eugene Byrd (Bones)
Jennifer Taylor (Rumor Has it…)
Steven Tyler (Be Cool)
Liz Vassey (Tru Calling)
Eric Allan Kramer (The Incredible Hulk Returns)
Krista Allen (Mutant X)
Kristin Dattilo (Intolerable Cruelty)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Rebecca McFarland (Faking It)
Megan Fox (Transformers)
Noel Fisher (Shameless US)
Richard Lewis (Drunks)
J.D. Walsh (The Crazy Ones)
Jenna Elfman (EdTV)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Chris O’Donnell (Batman & Robin)
Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Heather Locklear (The Return of Swamp Thing)
Stacey Travis (Easy A)
Cheryl White (Major Crimes)
Amy Farrington (Soul Survivors)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Community)
Kristin Richardson (Rock Star)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Elvis Costello (3rd rock From The Sun)
Harry Dean Stanton (Avengers Assembles)
Bobby Cooper (I Am Sam)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3)
Kelley West (Evenhand)
Paget Brewster (Anotehr Period)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Kristen Miller (Team America)
Alicia Coppola (Another World)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Dylan Minnette (Lost)
Gigi Rice (The Man)
Cyntia Preston (Carrie 2013)
Candace Kita (Masked Rider)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target)
Cloris Leachman (American Gods)
Josie Davis (Dirty Teacher)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Brian Smith (The Big Bang Theory)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Gail O’ Grady (American Dreams)
Diane Delano (The Ladykillers)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Sandra McCoy (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Brian Patrick Wade (Agents of SHIELD)
Katherine LaNasa (Alfie)
Sara Rue (Mom)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Sab Shimono (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3)
Brooke Shields (Blue Lagoon)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Susan Sullivan (The Incredible Hulk)
Morgan Fairchild (Roswell)
Lamont Thompson (Mike & Molly)
Lee Garlington (Flashforward)
Judy Greer (Jurassic world)
Tammy Lauren (Wishmaster)
Kay Panabaker (No Ordinaru Family)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Enrique Iglesias (Desperado)
Rachel Cannon (The Big bang Theory)
Robert Wagner (Austin Powers)
Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer)
Jennifer O’Dell (The Lost World)
Ming-Na Wen (Agents of Shield)
Jud Tyler (That 70s Show)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Jenny McCarthy (The Bad Girl’s Guide)
Cerina Vincent (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
Christina Moore (That 70s Show)
Jamie Rose (Silk Stalkings)
Michael Lowry (The Longest Ride)
Carrie Reichenbach (Yes Man)
Hope Allen (Liar, Liar)
Susan Blakely (Over The Top)

Two and a Half Men was a television situational comedy (sitcom) about a carefree, womanizing bachelor whose life is turned upside down when his neurotic bother and son move in. The series first aired in 2003 and was widely received by audiences, as well as critics — winning the People’s Choice award for Favorite New Comedy Series. The show’s success is an excellent rounded cast, witty dialogue, and all-around goofy storylines. What it boils down to is that Two and a Half Men is a fun-filled sitcom that is nonstop with laughter.

In the series’ pilot episode introduces one of the three main characters, Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen). He is an easygoing bachelor with a fabulous house on the beaches of Malibu. For work, he is a successful composer and writes jingles. Life is perfect for Charlie, with little responsibility, lots of money, and oodles of women. While spending an exotic evening with a female friend, Charlie’s life is disrupted when his brother Alan (Jon Cryer) shows up. Alan was married to Judith (Marin Hinkle) for twelve years. They have a son together named Jake (Angus T. Jones). Alan comes to Charlie in a time of need, after Judith kicked him out.

Charlie reluctantly lets his brother stay with him, but agrees on a temporary basis. Unfortunately for Charlie’s wild social life, Alan and his son Jake turn a short stay into a permanent one. Joining the two and a half men are Evelyn (Holland Taylor), the Harper boys’ domineering and loving mother, Rose (Melanie Lynskey), the crazy next-door neighbor who had a one night stand with Charlie and has been stalking him since, and Berta (Conchata Ferrell), the tough house keeper who is more than willing to put Charlie in his place

After the season one pilot episode, the series continues with Charlie, Alan, Jake, and company getting used to their new lives together. The show’s comedy follows two primary avenues. First, Charlie and Alan have opposite personalities. While Charlie is carefree and easygoing, Alan is neurotic and compulsive. They have different expectations of life and their personality clashes make for some fun moments. Second, the formulation of the Charlie-Alan-Jake relationship is constantly at the fore. Charlie’s hip lifestyle isn’t exactly the best influence for a 10-year-old boy, but Jake, on more than one occasion, takes after his uncle. And it drives Alan crazy to no end.In general, the comedy comes off rich. The three primary characters (Charlie, Alan, Jake) have a great chemistry together. Sheen’s character Charlie resembles his role of Charlie Crawford from Spin City. He has a quick and dry wit that plays well against Cryer and Jones. Cryer is especially good with his neurotic character and delivers a convincing performance. Jones brings a youthful innocence that compliments Sheen’s womanizing personality and Cryer’s neurotic behavior. The supporting characters offer decent additions to the cast, but are as strong as the three lead characters.

For fun season one episodes, some of the best deal with Charlie’s lifestyle shaping Jake. “If They Do Go Either Way, They’re Usually Fake” is a classic episode and a perfect example of the wonderful chemistry between the three lead actors. While having breakfast, Jake witnesses the undressed half of one of Charlie’s female friends. The incident peaks his interest in the female form (to Alan and Judith’s dismay). The result is several fun moments with a sexually-charged boy, a supporting Charlie, and two unhappy parents. “Big Flappy Bastards” is another fun one, where Jake rebels against Charlie’s authority and he learns what it means to be a parent.

Other fun episodes include “The Last Thing You Want Is to Wind Up With a Hump”, a solid episode with sex at the fore and a few desperate soccer moms, “Camel Filters And Pheromones”, Berta’s attractive granddaughter sets a (metaphorical) fire in the house, “An Old Flame With A New Wick”, Charlie’s ex-girlfriend resurfaces as a man and it is an awkward situation for the two and a half men, and “Can You Feel My finger?”, Charlie has a pregnancy scare and considers having a vasectomy.

Overall, Two and a Half Men is a fun sitcom with a strong leading cast and solid writing. The season one episodes are a great collection of episodes that will leave you laughing at every turn.

In season two, there is a lot of hilarious happenings for the cast of Two and a Half Men. Their crazy antics include fun situations from Charlie and Alan dating the same woman, Charlie’s womanizing past coming back to haunt him (in multiple flavors), Alan exploring his sexual side, Judith’s new boyfriend, Charlie and Alan facing their childhood, and Jake’s all-around goofiness. In short, the second season, like the first, offers twenty-four solid episodes.

One of the season’s funniest developments involves guest star Jeri Ryan. Ryan plays Sherri, who is essentially a female version of Charlie. Charlie first meets her in “Bad News From the Clinic”. He is shocked to learn that Sherri treats him as he usually treats his dates — purely for sex and pleasure. Charlie becomes obsessed with understanding why Sherri doesn’t want him more. It is a fun case of role-reversal for Charlie. In the episode “A Low, Guttural Tongue-Flapping Noise”, Ryan reprises her role as Sherri. This time she dates Alan. The relationship starts off on a good note, except for the fact that Alan’s brotherly obsession for competition gets in the way. It is a fun episode and twist.

Another strong development comes from Charlie’s past with women. As a womanizer, he has left a lot of broken hearts. In particular, one woman he had a one nightstand with started a website dedicated to Charlie bashing. After an attractive gal blows Charlie off, he learns about the website. In an attempt to correct his past mistakes, he quests to apologize to all of the girls who he thinks might be running the site. His apologizes are well received and he finds they are more than willing to give him a second “chance”. Charlie’s past also comes back to haunt him in episodes like “Woo-Hoo, A Hernia Exam!” and “Yes, Monsignor”.

Other fun developments include Charlie dating Jake’s neurotic teacher, Charlie acting as primary caregiver to Jake while Alan deals with an IRS audit, Alan falling in love with a woman who opened up his world sexually, Alan’s approval of Judith dating a well-to-do doctor, Judith moving into Charlie’s house, Jake and Evelyn trying to be friends, Alan and Charlie chasing after an old friend from high school — a geek-turned-hottie who wants them both, Alan going on a double-date with Evelyn, and Rose revealing an ironic truth about her background. Overall, season two has a lot of fun moments. The cast continues to give stellar performances with a wonderful chemistry together. Of note, Charlie Sheen is excellent and his carefree personality makes every scene he appears in a laugh riot. Jon Cryer is also quite good with his neurotic, goofy character. The youngest lead, Angus T. Jones, does a fine job complimenting the two older leads.

Season three is another fun set of episodes with two and a half of America’s funniest bachelors. The season has several classic, over-the-top episodes that include Charlie dating a cultist, Alan dating a grandmother, Jake taking ballet, and Rose’s dad entering the picture. There are also some good all-around developments for the cast. Notably, Charlie gives up on his bachelor lifestyle after meeting the perfect woman.

The season kicks off with “Weekend in Bangkok With Two Olympic Gymnasts”. Charlie tries to prove his value as a responsible adult. He agrees to run Alan’s office while he goes to a school appointment for Jake. Of course, Charlie makes a muck of things and Alan freaks out. This aspect is not a new development, as pretty much the entire show has centered on the conflict between Charlie’s carefree personality and Alan’s neurotic behavior.

The season gets better and better. The pinnacle occurs with episode six, “Hi, Mr. Horned One”. This episode has a goofy undertone. Charlie spends a ravenous few days with Isabella. She is an indifferent girl with ties to the underworld. When she meets Alan, they do not click. She puts a curse on him. It is a ridiculous episode that ends with on a great note. The next episode is “Sleep Tight, Puddin’ Pop”. This episode has classic written all over it. The real strength comes from the guest star Marin Sheen. After Charlie gets drunk and wakes up with Rose in his bed, Rose’s father (Martin Sheen) demands to know Charlie’s intentions for his daughter. But after meeting Evelyn, Rose’s dad becomes obsessed with her and moves in — father like daughter. It is a great episode with an awesome performance from Martin Sheen, who fits the show like a glove.

The next two episodes are also great and worth noting. In “That Voodoo That I Do Do”, Charlie meets Mia (Emmanuelle Vaugier), the woman of his dreams, who resists his charm. Charlie ties to win her over and fails. Eventually, he learns that she is a ballet teacher. To get on her good side, he pays Jake to take ballet lessons from her. The situation is simply funny and even kookier as Jake falls for her too. “Madame and Her Special Friend” has Alan at the center of an old tale. After trying to smooth things between Charlie and senior citizen neighbor Norma, Alan befriends her. One thing leads to another and he finds himself in an odd position as her young lover. Alan weighs his pride against material goods. He can have his own building dedicated to chiropractics; the catch, he has to sleep with her.

Overall, it is a solid season that has a lot of laughs and fun for everyone to enjoy.

At the end of season three, Charlie and Alan were headed away from bachelor life. Charlie and girlfriend Mia were getting close to tying the knot. However, when it became clear that Charlie would have to give up Alan and Jake for marriage, he picked family. Despite the fact Alan married his young, ditzy girlfriend Kandi, won five hundred thousand dollars, and bought a condo. Four months later, season four begins and life quickly gets back to normal. Kandi kicks Alan out and files for divorce. He is broke and goes back to Charlie. Since losing Mia, Charlie spent his time partying, boozing, and chasing women. Now, Charlie, Alan, and Jake get reacquainted and there are some solid laughs

Image result for two and a half men season 4 episode 4

 

After the guys settle back into bachelor life, there are a couple major season developments. The first development is Alan’s divorce. The early season episodes deal with his financial situation getting worse and worse. Alan loses his condo, his dog, his pride, and pays two alimonies after Judith gives Kandi her divorce lawyer. The flipside to this story is Judith and Herb’s relationship. They get engaged and Alan and Charlie do everything they can to get them hitched. Alan’s romantic life is also a big development. Some of his love interests include Berta’s daughter Naomi and guest stars Brooke Shields and Allison Janney.

Life for Charlie is busy as usual. He spends most of his time chasing after women, drinking, and working very little. “Apologies For the Frivolity” is a fantastic episode. Charlie dates a woman who has uncanny similarities to Evelyn. Everyone sees it but Charlie. In the episodes “Smooth As A Ken Doll” and “Aunt Myra Doesn’t Pee A Lot”, Charlie and Herb’s sister Myra hit it off. As the relationship gets intimate, Alan fears how it will affect Judith and Herb. Charlie worries because he thinks he has true feelings for Myra. Everyone is in for a surprise in this highly comical, yet ironic storyline. “Tucked, Taped and Gorgeous” is another solid episode, where Charlie’s sexuality comes into question, as does Alan’s. Charlie has many other fun interludes, but these ones are among the best.

As for Evelyn, there are a couple great episodes involving her and her overzealous sons. In “The Sea Is a Harsh Mistress”, Charlie goes surfing with a beautiful beach babe. The catch is that he does not know how to surf. He gets in an accident, which leaves him with a slight concussion. Just as Charlie’s life flashed before his eyes, he saw his father, who told him to take care of mother. Charlie teams with Alan to treat their mother better. “I Merely Slept With a Commie” is another fun episode with Evelyn. She makes Charlie and Alan jealous by getting a new family. Overall, season four continues the enjoyable and hilarious comedy found in past seasons.

Two and a Half Men continues to stand as a testament that a product doesn’t need to be complicated in order to work, as it continues to deliver just as many laughs during its fifth season as it did in its first. The fifth season opens a whole new world of refreshingly snappy one liners between the brothers as Charlie begins seeing matured women, as opposed to the young college meat he normally keeps under the sheets.

What also helps the brothers dynamic this season is Alan’s son, Jake. This character has been used as a tool to bring a little more depth and variety to the situations the guys can get into, and although this aspect of the show hasn’t changed that much, the changes depicted in Jake’s life ensures the episodic storylines continue to stay fresh. This season we see Jake start junior high, and it brings on all the adolescent phases that comes with it. He starts dating, sneaking out of the house, and begins to cling to Charlie a little more since he’s the cool uncle that won’t father him to death.

Although these central points from season five are adequate enough to keep the show feeling fresh, a most noteworthy episode named Fish in a Drawer is a huge highlight. The episode is part of an ‘episode swap’, as the writers of CSI and Two and a Half Men switched writing duties for a week. The CSI writers have designed this particular episode to be a spoof of their very own series, and focuses on investigating a death that occurs in Charlie’s home during his mother’s wedding reception. Can you imagine the kind of jokes that could be conjured up using crime scene equipment in Charlie’s bedroom?

Two and a Half Men’s game has also stepped up with the inclusion of numerous guest stars, such as Jenny McCarthy, Janeane Garofalo, Ryan Styles, Robert Wagner and more. Fan favorite characters such as Berta, Evelyn Harper and Charlie’s stalker Rose, are all still here and utilized to a greater extent.

REVIEW: THE BIG BANG THEORY – SEASON 1-8

CAST

Johnny Galecki (Hancock)
Jim parsons (Garden State)
Kaley Cuoco (Killer Movie)
Simon Helberg (Dr. Horrible)
Kunal Nayyar (Trolls)
Sara Gilbert (Poison Ivy)
Kevin Sussman (Ugly Betty)
Melissa Rauch (I Love You, Man)
Mayim Bialik (Blossom)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Vernee Watson (Mike & Molly)
Brian Patrick Wade (Agents of Shield)
Laurie Metcalf (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Mark Harelik (Election)
Rachel Cannon (Fresh off the Boat)
Brooke D’Orsay (Two and a Half Men)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Carol Ann Susi (Cats & Dogs)
Brian George (Ghost World)
Alice Amter (The Good Girl)
Sarayu Blue (Monday Mornings)
DJ Qualls (Road Trip)
Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Riki Lindhome (The Muppets)
Sara Rue (Mom)
Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica)
John Ross Bowie (The Heat)
Christine Baranski (Into The Woods)
Summer Glau (Terminator: TSCC)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Will Wheaton (Powers)
Katee Sackhoff (Riddick)
Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years)
Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Judy Greer (Ant-Man)
Ally maki (Wrecked)
Brian Smith (The Flip Side)
George Takei (Heroes)
Aarti Mann (The Monogamy Experiement)
Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse)
Eric Andre (2 broke Girls)
Jesse Heiman (Chuck)
Keith Carradine (Dexter)
Rick Fox (Holes)
Jessica Walter (Dinosaurs)
Joshua Malina (Scandal)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Katie Leclerc (Switched at Birth)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
Courtney Ford (Revenge)
Lance Barber (Gangster Squad)
Becky O’Donohue (Fast & Furious)
Peter Onorati (Goodfellas)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Stephen Hawkings (Futurama)
Margo Harshman (Sorotiy Row)
Ken Lerner (The Running Man)
Howie Mandel (Gremlins)
Ryan Cartwright (Bones)
Casey Sander (16 Blocks)
Meagan Fay (Barton Fink)
Regina King (Ray)
Kate Micucci (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Bob Newhart (Elf)
Brian Posehn (New Girl)
James Earl Jones (Conan The Barbarian)
Carrie Fisher (Family Guy)
Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw)
Laura Spencer (Bones)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Stephen Root (King of the Hill)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Kevin Smith (Daredevil)

As the series opens, into this world in walks Penny (Kaley Cuoco). She’s literally the beautiful girl next door since she moves into the apartment across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon. She’s an aspiring actress, which naturally means she’s making a living as a waitress. Most of the guys immediately develop crushes on her, but it’s Leonard who is the most serious about her.And despite how little they have in common, the five main characters form a friendship. But first, Penny has to deal with Sheldon and Leonard cleaning up her place for her while she slept. Sheldon gets fired for telling his new boss exactly what he thinks of him. Leonard and Sheldon stop speaking to each other after Leonard decides to present a paper they both authored. Sheldon tries to tell a sufficiently complex lie to Penny. And Penny must take care of a sick Sheldon. If there is any standout character that makes this show hilarious, it’s Sheldon. The guy may be brilliant when it comes to his job, but he is a complete idiot when it comes to interacting with anyone. His reaction to things, or lack of reaction, makes for some of the best jokes in the show.
The acting on the show is universally great. The main actors are great as breathing life into their characters and really rounding them out. Yes, even Simon Helberg is good as Howard. Special praise must go to Kunal Nayyar whose Raj is too terrified to talk to women. His facial expressions alone are priceless. But the undisputable star of the show is Jim Parsons. He makes anti-social Sheldon completely believable and funny without resorting to too many stereotypes. He was born for this role pure and simple.
Due to the writer’s strike of the fall of 2007, there were only 17 episode in the first season. All of them are here on three discs in widescreen and stereo sound. They look and sound great. There is one 17 minute behind the scenes type featurette that talks about the creation of the show and the characters.

In season two, the laughs continue as the goofy cast gets into many hilarious situations, as the combined brain power of The Big Bang Theory is no match for normal life. This season continues to build upon the romance between Leonard and Penny, which has its ups and downs. Leonard also dates a couple girls and Howard has his eye on both. Sheldon’s neurotic and weird portrayal of life continues to be the butt of almost every joke, as he is far from normal. Raj has his fifteen minutes of fame, which go to his head. Overall, it is a strong season.
The season premiere episode is “The Bad Fish Paradigm”. Leonard and Penny have their first date. Unfortunately, it is their only date. At first, Leonard thinks the date went well. However, his odd friends convince him that things did not go as he thought. Penny confides in Sheldon. She does not feel smart enough for Leonard and fears he will get bored with her. She forces him to keep it a secret, which causes Sheldon to move out of the apartment, staying with Raj and Howard. Eventually Leonard learns about Penny’s fear and only makes it worse. The episode is fun way to start the season with Sheldon’s neurotic behavior stealing the spotlight.In the next episode “The Codpiece Topology”, Leonard is jealous of Penny who is dating again. He considers his options, which are slim. Oddly enough, Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert) has her eyes on him. They had a brief romance in the past, but Leslie was only looking for short-term fun. Now, she wants to settle down and thinks Leonard might be Mr. Right. The new relationship causes complications for Sheldon and Penny. The episode is really fun. Gilbert and Galecki have great chemistry together, which is a rehash from their time together on Roseanne. Gilbert shows up in additional episodes this season and has a romance with Howard.“The Griffin Equivalency” is a fun episode where Raj gets put in the spotlight. He is listed by People magazine on their ’30 Under 30 to Watch’ for his contributions to science. When Raj tells his friends about it, they do not give supportive reactions. Sheldon attacks him for getting lucky. Leonard and Howard decide to take him out to dinner to celebrate his accomplishment. However, the tables turn when Raj is given special treatment by the university, which causes jealous amongst his friends. He invites them to a party and they refuse. Penny agrees to go with him and it turns out to be a little more than she bargained for… Penny meets Raj’s parents and it does not go well for anyone.
In “The Barbarian Sublimation”, Penny is feeling down about not accomplishing any substantial with her life and turns to Sheldon for comfort. He gets her hooked on online gaming, which is a real fun sight to see. Penny takes on an odd persona and even scares Leonard. It is a classic and geeky episode. In “The Euclid Alternative”, everyone is tired of Sheldon leeching off of them for rides and force him to get his driver’s license, which he is apparently incapable of. Sheldon, again, steals the spotlight with his neurotic physical comedy and turns this very common situation into a bunch of laughs.
“The Lizard-Spock Expansion” introduces a multi-episode story arc and Stephanie Barnett (Sara Rue), a new love interest for Leonard and Howard. Howard uses his access to the Mars Rover to pick up Stephanie, but when he crashes it, he calls on his friends for help. Leonard and Stephanie hit it off and start dating, behind Sheldon’s back. Oddly enough, Howard thinks they’re together. The Leonard-Stephanie-Howard threesome produces a lot of laughs. Stephanie also appears in “The White Asparagus Triangulation”, Sheldon tries to help Leonard’s relationship, but only dampens his style, and “The Vartabedian Conundrum”, Leonard realizes Stephanie is living with him.As for the rest of the season, there are many more fun episodes, such as “The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem”, Sheldon gets a girlfriend (sort of) and no one understands what is happening, “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”, Penny dates Dr. David Underhill (Michael Trucco), Leonard’s better looking counterpart, “The Friendship Algorithm”, Sheldon befriends someone at work to everyone’s amazement, “The Maternal Capacitance”, Leonard’s mother visits and her personality is identical to Sheldon, ” The Terminator Decoupling”, the guys run into Summer Glau (Firefly, Serenity, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) on a train, and “The Hofstadter Isotope”, Penny goes with the guys to the comic book store and exchanges phone numbers with someone, and it eats away at Leonard.Overall, The Big Bang Theory’s second season continues to be very strong. The cast has a great dynamic together. The leading males’ geeky views of life provide neurotic and hilarious situations. Cuoco is a good balance to them, and also provides her own silliness. However, Parsons repeatedly steals the spotlight with physical comedy and excellent delivery of dialogue. He manages to turn many common situations, as he interacts with the other cast members, into a riot. The show’s writing is also topnotch. It provides witty dialogue that leaves you laughing. The plotlines can be simplistic, but they work and never fail to draw in your attention. In the end, The Big Bang Theory is a major success with its second season.

At the end of season 2, Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard were leaving for a three month expedition to the North Pole to test one of Sheldon’s theories. Leonard was sad to be leaving Penny behind, though they weren’t dating and surprisingly, Penny was upset to be away from Leonard too. As this season opens the group has just gotten back from the far north and when Leonard knocks on Penny’s door to inform her of their return she leaps into his arms and kisses him passionately.  Turns out Penny really missed Leonard, and they go into her apartment and close the door.
The Big Bang Theory continues to remain one of the funniest sitcoms on network television today. eason 3 showed us exactly why this is the case bringing us some of the funniest BBT episodes yet to date. This show is at its very best when its five main characters, rather than being shoehorned into conventional sitcom devices like hook-ups and infighting, are simply allowed to be their smart, socially awkward, idiosyncratic selves. And for the most part, they were.

One of the pleasures of this show is that you can throw together practically any two characters and have a unique, unpredictable and funny dynamic. Forget Leonard and Penny — perhaps the best odd-couple pairing we got all season was Sheldon and Penny, who despite all odds, have figured out that they enjoy each other’s company. Something about his smug childishness gels perfectly with her unsinkable good humor and ability to deliver a zinging comeback. “The Adhesive Duck Deficiency” showcased Sheldon and Penny’s unique chemistry to great effect on multiple levels — not only did Sheldon have to tolerate hours alone with Penny, but he was forced to adopt the role of caretaker while the other guys were off getting stoned in the desert. The episode culminated in a newfound trust between the two, who by the end of the season grew to think of each other as friends.

Speaking of Sheldon, he continues to be an amazing comic force. Jim Parsons shone this season, and the writers wisely showcased him at every possible opportunity. It’s hard to imagine this actor ever playing any other role. We followed Sheldon from the North Pole to his home state of Texas (where Laurie Metcalf did a very funny turn as his uber-conservative mother), learned the back story of his friendship with Leonard, and best of all, saw him face off against his sixth most hated rival, Wil Wheaton. Wheaton’s guest appearance in “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary” was so well received that the show brought him back a second time, in “The Wheaton Recurrence.” Sometimes you can tell when actors are really enjoying themselves onscreen and this always seemed to be the case when Wheaton showed up, so hopefully he’ll continue to play himself on a semi-regular basis. Season 3 also introudced us in the finale to  Amy Farrah Fowler, (played by Mayim Bialik) who would become a regular in season 4.

The writers introduced two female characters to the regular cast this year, although both did show up in season three. Melissa Rauch returns as Howard’s girlfriend Bernadette. And Mayim Bialik, who appeared in the final few moments of season three, is back as Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon’s not girlfriend but friend who is a girl. Since both either have doctorates or are going for doctorates, that still leaves Penny as the only non-super smart person of the cast. However, everyone has trouble relating to us mere mortals, and that’s where Penny really shines. Her heart comes through in every moment she is on screen..
Over the course of the season, Sheldon breaks up with Amy Farrah Fowler over scientific differences and buys a bunch of cats to ease his loneliness. Howard’s past mistake comes out when the FBI investigate him for a security clearance. The guys enter a New Year’s Eve costume contest with some surprising additions to their group. Leonard’s idea for a smartphone app gets out of hand when Sheldon gets involved. Raj begins to have feelings for Bernadette while Leonard starts seeing Raj’s sister Priya (guest star Aartia Mann). Everyone winds up at an out of town science convention where friendships get tested. And in one of my favorites, Amy Farrah Fowler and Sheldon decide to experiment with gossip by starting rumors and seeing how long it takes the entire group to find out.

Of course, with this show, some of the sub-plots can be just as great as the main plot. I’m especially fond of one involving Howard performing a magic trick that Sheldon can’t figure out. Another memorable one involves Sheldon and his new three person chess game.
The new additions haven’t dampened the acting at all. The original cast knows their characters and invests everything they have in bringing them to life every week. Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik slip into the cast seamlessly and feel like they’ve been playing these characters just as long. Jim Parsons went into this season having just won a well-deserved Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy, and his work is just as impressive here.

Season 5 picks up exactly where season 4 left off. Penny (Kaley Cuoco) has just spent a drunken night with Raj (Kunal Nayyar). While it wasn’t quite what it appeared, they quickly go back to normal, which isn’t hard when Raj will only talk to women when he’s drunk.
Meanwhile, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) tries to maintain a long distance relationship before putting his relationship with Penny back in a beta test. Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is forced to take his relationship with Amy (Mayim Bialik) to the next level – and he insists they both sign a relationship agreement. Leonard finds a loophole in his relationship with Sheldon when he voids the friendship clause. And Howard (Simon Helberg) gets ready for a trip into space and his marriage to Bernadette (Melissa Rauch).
That’s just a few of the bigger storylines of the season. Each episode is filled with laughs. Some people complain the show isn’t as funny as it used to be, but I find it hysterical just about every week. Yes, they have one or two weeks that fall flat, but they are by far the exception rather than the rule. And even then, there are some great lines and classic moments. Howard and Bernadette have the biggest story arcs of the season, and I must say I love watching the two of them interact. Usually, they are so sweet together, although when they fight it can be pretty funny as well. Howard used to annoy me like crazy, but now I actually find I like him.As far as guest stars we’ve got Wil Wheaton, Brent Spiner, and Dr. Stephen Hawkins appear as themselves, and Leonard Nimoy voices a Spock doll. The show pasted the 100 episode mark this season, and that means the cast is very familiar with their characters. It shows, too, in the acting. Everyone is believable and comfortable with their parts, and it’s easy to just sit back and laugh as the show plays.
Season 6 starts off with 5 overarching plot episodes based around Howard’s trip to space and return to Earth with a less than warm welcome. These are some very good episodes, the premiere has some nice moments during Amy and Sheldon’s anniversary. Another highlight in the first 5 is when Game night turns into Men vs Women. These episodes put quite a bit of spotlight onto Howard and his accomplishment that no one else acknowledges, and I enjoyed them immensely, some character developing episodes for him.The season has some great highlight episodes. We get a very good dramatic episode (rare for TBBT) called “The Closet Reconfiguration” where Sheldon being Sheldon, he cleans out Howard’s closet and comes across an unopened letter sent to Howard from his father who abandoned him. They all get to show off their acting chops in this episode (especially Helberg). We get another appearance from Wil Wheaton in “The Habitation Configuration” (Which Jim Parsons just won an Emmy for his work in) that turns into another fantastic episode when Sheldon has to choose between his friend or his girlfriend. “The Closure Alternative” involves one of Sheldon’s favorite shows being cancelled, and lastly “The Proton Resurgence”, which features Bob Newhart in an Emmy award winning guest appearance as Sheldon’s childhood hero, Professor Proton.

As for the relationships, this season was a huge one. Leonard and Penny finally take the next step in their relationship. Sheldon and Amy continue to move forward at a Snails pace, with Sheldon finally considering more. Raj gets some much needed character development when he finally finds a girlfriend, who is essentially A reflection of himself, named Lucy. The cast is as great as ever, with their chemistry remaining tip top…Parsons again steals the show with his excellent physical comedy and strong delivery of his dialogue. Galecki plays off perfectly against Jim. Simon Helberg gets some meat to chew on this season and he kills it, especially the episode where he finds the letter from his father that was sent years earlier. The writing remains witty and top notch, that is conveyed perfectly on screen through the excellent performers. The writers need to continue with this great writing, The Big Bang Theory proves here why it’s still one of the funniest shows on TV.

This season picks up exactly where the last one left off. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a research trip. Back at home, the gang must learn to deal with his absence, especially his roommate Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and his girlfriend Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). However, when he comes back, his desire to spend some time with Penny over Sheldon shows the beginnings of the first changes in the group, a theme that actually echoed through the season.

Following up on the sixth season finale, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) is now able to talk to girls even when he’s sober. What didn’t change there is that he still isn’t a lady’s man, although it does open up a few new relationship possibilities for him. Speaking of relationships, Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialk) wind up taking what for them is a huge step forward in their relationship on a romantic train ride up to the Napa Valley. Penny makes a huge change to forward her career as an actress and finds herself in a less than desirable roll opposite a surprising co-star. I would argue that the only main characters not to have major changes this season are Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), but since they adjusted to married life last season, maybe that’s for the best. They still get some great stories, like Howard’s drastic change after trying to help out his mother and how they deal with having Raj has a house guest for a week.

And the geekiness continues. Stuart (Kevin Sussman) and his comic book store regularly appear in the series. When the guys don’t get into Comic Con, Sheldon decides to start his own, leading to a day with James Earl Jones. Speaking of which, the show finally celebrates Star Wars day in what is a touching and funny episode featuring the third appearance of comedy legend Bob Newhart.

Relationships are a key element of the season, which starts with the socially-awkward Sheldon stuck in an Arizona railroad station without any pants, the victim of poorly-received changes in his life. What exactly is going on between him and Amy, as well as what is happening with Penny and Leonard and their extended engagement, are the engine of this run of episodes, as Sheldon faces the need to overcome his off-putting personality, and Leonard has to overcome Penny’s new-found success. After seven seasons, the show hasn’t felt the need to artificially change its main characters and their lives, instead going in a more organic direction, choosing to highlight change that happens naturally in a relationship. That evolution also powers an impactful cliffhanger of a season finale.

The series did have a sudden change to cope with though, when Carol Ann Susi, the actress who gave voice to Howard’s unseen harpy of a mother, died, and her passing was written into the series, creating more change for Howard and giving a bit of a goose to the other characters, who took from her death in different ways.

Season 8 once again had excellent guest stars such as  Laurie Metcalf, Christine Baranski, Billy Bob Thornton, Nathan Fillion, Wil Wheaton and Stephen Hawking. The Shocking Cliffhanger leaves fans wondering where certain relationships will end up.