25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 1

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CAST (voices)

Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Critters)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Son of Batman)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (Carrie 2)
Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: TNG)
Jeff Fischer (Jennifer’s Body)
Curtis Armstrong (Return to The Batcave)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

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THE BEST CHRISTMAS STORY NEVER

Guest voices
Lisa Kudrow (Easy A)
The episode begins with the family in the town square. Roger is horribly depressed and drunk complaining that since landing on Earth sixty years ago he’s accomplished almost nothing; Stan, however, is overjoyed until he finds out that the Christmas tree has been banned due to its religious nature. He is further dismayed when more signs of secularism occur–the clerks at the mall aren’t allowed to say “Merry Christmas” and the town goes so far as to rename the annual attacker, the Christmas Rapist, the “Holiday Rapist.” Stan blames the whole thing on Jane Fonda–his logic being that her going to North Vietnam revitalized the “dying” hippie movement and that, since yesterday’s hippies grew up to be modern liberals, modern liberalism is her fault. Stan finally becomes so enraged that he destroys the tree and the presents; the kids and Roger are horribly sad and Francine is so mad she banishes him to the couch.
That night, Stan is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (a former Tooth Fairy named Michelle) who takes him back to 1970. Stan, however, runs away from her in an effort to find Jane Fonda so he can assassinate her thus changing the future. The Ghost, unsure where he has gone, goes back to the present to get Francine; the two then return to the past to find Stan.
Stan has tracked Fonda down to the set of Klute where he finds out that Donald Sutherland was the one who led her to politics and changes his plan to assassinate him instead. He finds Sutherland at a Hollywood party where he happens to meet Martin Scorsese and convinces him to give up drugs. Francine and Michelle then grab him and bring him back to the present where they are shocked to discover the street desolate with Soviet tanks patrolling. They eventually figure out what has happened–by getting Scorsese off drugs they stopped him from ever making the movie Taxi Driver; as a result John Hinckley, Jr. never saw Jodie Foster in the movie and became obsessed with her which resulted in him never trying to assassinate Ronald Reagan. This dented his popularity in the 1984 election as the near-death experience made him appear stronger; in the new reality he thus lost to Walter Mondale who then surrendered the country to the Soviet Union just 47 days into his Presidency. The group then goes back to attempt to fix what Stan did.
Stan decides to make the movie himself; however, he quickly alienates Robert De Niro and decides to make the movie with John Wayne instead. Stan and Francine follow Hinckley into a movie theater and watch the new Taxi Driver behind him. After the movie is over, Stan asks Hinckley what he thought of the movie and he says it was alright. Francine then asks him if he thinks Jodie Foster is attractive and he reacts very badly to this pointing out that she is 12-years-old. This means that the future remains unchanged. The Ghost then transports them to March 30, 1981, and tells Stan that the only way to fix the future is if he shoots Reagan instead. Stan is shocked; he is unable to shoot his favorite president. Francine reminds him how much he wanted Christmas and points out that it wouldn’t exist at all if the Soviets ruled; Stan replies that he doesn’t care about trees and presents but would be happy as long as he had Francine and the kids. The Ghost then informs him that in the alternate future Francine and Stan may never meet meaning also that Steve and Hayley won’t exist. Stan then decides that he must shoot Reagan and shoots him. Just as he does, the two suddenly transport back into their bed on Christmas morning, 2006.
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The two are relieved to find out that history is back to normal and, after fixing the presents and tree, the family enjoys a happy Christmas. The Ghost appears to Stan one last time to give him a gift for saving her job–a brand new gun she says she bought the previous night. When Stan asks how that is possible, as the Brady Bill requires a week long waiting period, she informs him that he only shot Reagan and not Brady meaning that buying guns is incredibly easy. Stan rejoices that he changed the future for the better (in his own eyes) and says “this is the best Christmas ever.” In a subplot, Stan buys a “Best of Disco” cassette for Roger. When he goes back in time to 1970, the tape falls out of his jacket and is found by Roger. Playing it to executives, Roger becomes fabulously wealthy by inventing the Disco era. However, in 1981, disco becomes “dead” and Roger loses everything. Upon returning to the future, Roger still talks of his time as the inventor of disco and the episode ends with that timeline still in effect.
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A great first Christmas episode for American Dad, Lisa Kudrow is brilliant thou when her character returns she does not voice it.

 THE MOST ADEQUATE CHRISTMAS EVER

Guest Voices
Paget Brewster (Now You Know)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
J.K. Simmons (Burn After Reading)
Jane Lynch (Role Models)
Michelle
After Stan comes home from another dangerous mission, he finds that his family has decked the halls with boughs of holly and donned themselves with gay apparel, but just not to his satisfaction. He demands a grander Christmas starting with the search of a bigger and better tree in the forest. When his family has had enough, Stan powers on by himself, finds the perfect tree and meets an untimely end when it falls on him.
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His soul ends up in Limbo, where an ice cream man tells him that he will get a ride to either Heaven or Hell. However, Stan believes that it’s not his time and demands a second chance. Reluctantly, the ice cream man takes him to a courthouse where he can prove he deserves one. Unfortunately, Stan is assigned to Michelle, a lawyer who has a bad relationship with her father, the judge, and didn’t earn her wings. The prosecution is Scott LaRose, who has won many cases, allowing him to become smaller and cuter. Scott proves that Stan does not deserve a second chance because of his stubborn and arrogant ego, as evidenced when he took a pregnant Francine to Africa against their doctor’s advice;a baboon help her give birth to Hayley. Michelle tries exonerating Stan by showing him accepting Steve’s advice to give his kidney to a homeless man. However, Scott shows the rest of the clip, revealing that it was all a dream. Stan’s appeal for resurrection is denied. Worse, Michelle informs him that his family, except Roger, will die of hypothermia because he took the car keys.
 With the court refusing to at least help his family, Stan pulls out his gun, only to learn that Earthly weapons have no power in Limbo. Therefore, he grabs a Heaven gun, which can kill anyone and kidnaps Michelle to takes him directly to God. Stealing a chariot and evading the Archangels, they make it to Heaven. Michelle tries sneaking Stan in as a German man but when he speaks English, it rouses St. Peter’s suspicions. When it seemed like Michelle turns on Stan, she knocks out St. Peter to help Stan. They then sneak into God’s mansion, where Jesus is having his annual birthday. While Michelle mingles amongst the crowd, having never received an invitation.
Stan eventually finds God’s study and pleads Him to save his family. God refuses his plea, so Stan puts the Heaven gun to his head. God asks Stan if he knows better than the Almighty, to which Stan admits that he doesn’t and consents to God’s judgement. God then reveals that this was all a test for Stan to show some humility and agrees to send him back to Earth, all because it’s Jesus’ birthday. Stan thanks God, before requesting that He give Michelle her wings in gratitude. Then suddenly, God then takes the Heaven gun and shoots Stan in the head. Next thing he knows, Stan is back at the beginning of the episode. Using the lessons he’s learned in Limbo, Stan agrees with his family that all their decoration are perfects. As the Smith family hugs, Roger notices Michelle fly down to watch.

American Dad Christmas episodes are always a highlight to watch, Paget Brewster takes over from Lisa Kudrow from this point on, it’s nice that there’s some continuity between the xmas episodes.

RAPTURE’S DELIGHT

Guest Voices
Paget Brewster (Now You Know)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Stan is upset when he cannot find his family a good seat for a standing-room only Christmas Day church service. To allieviate this, Francine takes him to have sex with her in the closet. When they come out, everybody in the church has gone, with their clothes left behind. Upon exiting the church, Stan discovers that he, Roger, and Francine are among those left on Earth during the Rapture (Stan and Francine because they had sex in a holy place, and Roger because he wasn’t human to begin with), while Hayley and Steve have ascended. Francine becomes upset when Stan cares more about ascending into Heaven than being with her and leaves him; she soon meets Jesus Christ in his second coming and becomes his girlfriend.
Seven years pass and the war between Jesus and the Anti-Christ reduces the world to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with the human race on the brink of extinction. The survivors have degenerated into savage bikers, militiamen, and prostitutes. Jesus travels by motorcycle to the war-torn city of Denver, Colorado and meets in a local bar with Stan, who has lost an eye and replaced one hand with a blade. Jesus convinces him to help rescue Francine, who has recently been captured by the Anti-Christ. Stan agrees to do so on the grounds that Jesus send him to Heaven afterwards. On their mission, they meet up with Roger, who for the past seven years has been trying to repair his spaceship in order to return to his home planet and escape the war. They get to the United Nations Building, where they find Francine bound in a manger.
Stan and Jesus meet with the Anti-Christ, depicted as an effeminate villain parodying The Riddler who claims to be the opposite of Jesus. When he tries to trap them, the container breaks apart; being the opposite of Jesus, he is a bad carpenter. After a drawn-out battle, Jesus jumps onto Anti’s back and breaks his neck. Anti survives and attempts to shoot Jesus but Stan takes the bullet for him, giving Jesus enough time to throw a cross-shaped shuriken into the Anti-Christ’s head, killing him. When Francine tears Stan’s shirt away to look at the wound, she sees that he has always kept their wedding rings, and he admits that he had in fact come to save Francine. He activates a bomb to destroy the lair and end the war once and for all. Francine tries to rescue him but Stan asks her to leave lest the explosion kill her too. Stan dies in the blast and is sent to heaven. When Michelle guides him to his own “personalized heaven”, Stan enters his home just the way it was at the beginning of the episode, the only difference being Klaus’ dead fish body being mounted on a plaque hanging on the wall.
American Dad’s version of the rapture is one of the best AD episodes of all time. Religious groups kicked off but it’s there lost.

FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS

Guest Voices
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
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Stan Smith continues to reject the idea that Jeff Fischer is now a member of the family despite Francine’s suggestion that he should be included in their family traditions. Despite Francine’s objections, Stan gives Steve an Ak-47 assault rifle for Christmas and Steve accidentally shoots a mall Santa. Steve, in turn, is shattered emotionally and swears never to pick up a weapon again. Meanwhile, Roger goes off in search of the strongest whiskey possible and he is directed to a moonshiner in the Chimdale Mountains, named Bob Todd, who teaches him his ways.
Stan convinces Steve to hide the body from Francine and try to find out whom the Santa was with his fingerprint, but his DNA is not in the CIA database. Stan dismisses this and doesn’t investigate further. Francine quickly discovers the body, and as the family buries the body; she chastises them for not letting her cut off the hands and smash the teeth out; much to their chagrin. The next day they receive threatening letters, stating that someone knows what they did and that they will be punished. They watch the news and discover that no one really feels like it is Christmas, as if someone killed Santa. Feeling a little doubt they then dig up the body and discover it is gone. When an elf appears and tells them that it was actually the real Santa that they buried and that he was recovered and rejuvenated in a Star Wars Bacta Tank at the North Pole and vows vengeance on the Smiths, they decide to take refuge with Roger in the moonshiner’s cabin where Bob Todd lives. Jeff arrives to spend the holiday with Hayley, much to Stan’s displeasure. However, Santa soon arrives since Jeff wrote a letter telling him where they would be staying. Bob Todd reveals that his airplane-house is also an armory, which includes an M60 machine gun, two RPKs and an M16 assault rifle, to fend off an attack of endless waves of armed elves, flying reindeer, and an enormous snowman (reminiscent of a Cave Troll from Lord Of The Rings) led by Santa. Francine snaps Steve out of his fears, ordering him to “pick up a gun this instant and send these toy makers to Hell!” and the family proceeds to defend themselves.
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Santa tries to convince Jeff to abandon the Smiths, recognizing that he was not involved in their plot to hide his body, and by offering a relic from The Golden Compass. Jeff walks to Santa’s side, but then turns on him and is able to pull Stan who was injured to safety. While Jeff takes care of Stan; Jeff says he thinks Stan is an ass. But, the two agree on their love for Hayley, causing Stan to see Jeff as a true member of the family. The family is almost overrun, until Santa and his army are forced to retreat because they only had until Christmas morning to get vengeance. Santa disappears, leaving behind a letter warning them that he will return next year to take his revenge and kill them, while the Smith family realizes that they have found a new Christmas tradition.
Another episode that shows American Dad knows how to do Christmas specials well. The fight against Santa and his elves was EPIC!.

SEASON’S BEATINGS

Guest Voices
Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Stan hears of the church putting on the story of Christ at the mall and rushes to get the lead role, only to be told by Father Donovan that he is too fat. He is instead given the role of Santa Claus but when he finds out the Roger got the role of Christ attacks and beats him senseless. Shocked at the attack, church leaders around the world universally agree to kick Stan out of all religion. When Stan asks if there is any way to stay in the church, he is told it is almost impossible, given that the only three acceptable ways are to kill the anti-Christ, discover the Holy Grail, or donate large sums of money.Meanwhile, Jeff tries to talk Hayley into adopting a child. Hayley says no but Jeff adopts a child anyways and names him Nemo. Hayley at first is angry but is quickly charmed by Nemo. While Stan is watching Nemo, he discovers he bears the numerals 666 which is considered the mark of the beast and is convinced the child is the Anti-Christ. Stan gets Father Donovan to come see the marking and they agree to go to the orphanage where Nemo came from only to find it burned to the ground. as they search the remains of the orphanage, Father Donovan discovers Nemo’s birth papers. Nemo senses the Father’s discovery and causes the orphanage to collapse on him, severing his legs. Father Donovan is able to share that Nemo is indeed the son of Satan before he dies.
Stan, Roger and Jeff travel to the Vatican to obtain a set of sacred daggers to kill the anti-Christ. Although Stan is barred from entering, Roger and Jeff are able to enter the catacombs to search. Nemo sees them through the eyes of a rat and causes the catacombs to flood, washing Jeff away. Roger climbs out and finds the daggers and escapes with them after attacking a Cardinal. Roger and Stan return home to discover Francine putting up Christmas lights while a possessed Steve scampers around. When Stan tells Hayley that they need to perform a ritual killing of Nemo, she fights to protect him and ends up shooting Stan. Stan awakes in the hospital and finds everything is back to normal. He was accepted back into his church when it tuned out that Roger’s eggnog “pimp” cup was really the Holy Grail. Nemo was sent off to Alaska to be raised by Sarah Palin and become the future Anti-Christ.
A Strange but fun Christmas episode, another American Dad Classic.

 MINSTREL KRAMPUS

GUEST (VOICES)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
 As the holidays approach, Steve becomes a brat and Stan takes him to see his grandfather to be scared straight. Grandpa Jack tells him the story of Krampus, who punishes the naughty children at Christmas and Steve refuses to buy into it, as Jack tells how he captured the Krampus and keeps it in a copper pot in the basement. Steve starts opening his gifts early and Stan tries to hide them in the basement. There, he is called by the Krampus who talks him into being let out to punish Steve, but he kidnaps him instead and demands Jack so he can extract revenge. Stan tells his father what he did to Jack’s horror as he promises to use his CIA connections to get him out. Instead, Jack takes off.
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In the Krampus’ Castle in Bavaria, Steve is imprisoned to his surprise and spanked. Stan talks to Roger who brings up Santa, but Stan is nervous about confronting Santa after their last encounter. Despite this, they set off to the North Pole and are captured. Santa beats Stan as he tells what happened. Santa only agrees to help if they can kill Krampus and also promises to take him off the naughty list. At the Krampus’ lair, the household goods try to convince Steve that Krampus only punishes naughty children because he cares for their well-being. Steve realizes that it is the truth and discovers that the Krampus actually only intended to beat Jack to save him from being bad, but was captured in a moment of carelessness while eating strudel.Meanwhile, Hayley goes Christmas shopping but needs money. She goes to see Roger for a loan but he refuses her and gives her the help-wanted section where she spots a job at the airport. There, she bumps into Jack trying to flee as he tries to figure out why he should help the family. She gets the message through to him and he heads to Bavaria to save Steve. Santa and Stan arrive and take on the Krampus, killing the household items. As Steve tries to stop him, Santa shoots Krampus and finishes him off before turning the gun on Stan and Steve as he reveals himself to be the true bad guy due to being a partner in the toy business. As Santa tries to shoot Stan, Jack intervenes and saves Stan, injuring Santa who flees with his elves. As Jack lays dying, his and the Krampus’ blood intermingles, allowing Jack to become the new Krampus to punish naughty children.’
American Dad’s version of the Krampus myth, this episode aired a year late due to shootings in America but it was worth the wait. The ending was brilliant.

DREAMING OF A WHITE PORSCHE CHRISTMAS

Guest Voices
Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
The family goes to the mall to get their picture taken for the family Christmas party invitation and Stan half-heartedly shops, just picking up whatever he can grab. When Francine points out that she is wearing a sweater that matches the one he picked out, he has to return it. When he bumps into Principal Lewis, he insists he come to the party since his antics excite everyone. When Stan is ignored at the party except for running errands, he wishes he had Lewis’ life while placing the angel on the tree.When he wakes up the next morning, he finds that his wish has come true although Roger is still his companion, apparently due to touching Stan’s bottom at the moment of the wish. He starts to enjoy his new life but decides he needs to consult with Lewis to get an idea of how to further enjoy it. But when they find Lewis, they discover that he has inherited the family. This causes Stan distress and he tries to wish things back without luck. Roger speculates that he might need to learn a lesson first but Stan refuses to be that patient and confronts the family, although they don’t recognize him as their dad and husband. When Lewis reveals that he has also become a CIA agent, Stan takes his gun from his own accustomed place and takes the family back to his home, holding them at gunpoint.
As the CIA arrive, Stan desperately tries to get the family to remember him. Francine feigns remembering to get them turned loose and they go free to the CIA, who then lob gas at Stan. He tries to flee, but is caught when leaping off of a bridge and is riddled with bullets. Having apparently learned his lesson, an angel meets Stan and takes him to an ideal dream family that is not his own. Stan realizes that things are not correct and calls for his angel. He reveals that the dream family is his real family and the one he knows was given to his as punishment. When he wants to return to the family he knows, he is rejected. Opening gifts with the family, he finds he is still a bad father and when Roger arrives without knowing who he is, he tries to convince him and eventually succeeds in winning him over by telling him about his crazy habits. To try to reverse the wish, he has Roger place the angel on the tree and make a wish, but gets a Porsche instead. Stan tries to get the family to wish he wasn’t around, but fails. Gazing at a wine glass that looks similar to what Francine wanted, he makes note of a small dirty spot and finds that his new wife hates her cleaning being criticized. He gets her to wish they weren’t married and then places the angel on the tree, allowing Stan to go back to the family he knows, although Snot tries to pass himself off as a family member as well without luck.
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The latest American Dad they decide to do there version of It’s a wonderful Life with a few neat twists. It once again proves American Dad knows how to celebrate Christmas and makes people look forward to the next one.

REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 30

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CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

The Simpsons (1989)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Rhys Darby (Yes Man)
George Segal (2012)
H. Jon Benjamin (Wet Hot Ameircan Summer)
Jon Lovitz (Happiness)
Kristen Schaal (Gravity Falls)
Tracy Morgan (Cop Out)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl)
RuPaul (But I’m a Cheerleader)
Scott Thompson (The Kids In The Hall)
Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick)
J.K. Simmons (Justice League)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Bryan Batt (Scream: The Series)
Patti LuPone (Witness)
Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of The Water)
Wallace Shawn (Young Sheldon)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8)
Nicole Byer (Tuca & Bertie)
Chelsea Peretti (Game Night)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Josh Groban (The Crazy Ones)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Jackie Mason (The Jerk)
Liev Schreiber (The 5th Wave)
Illeana Douglas (Ghost World)
Jenny Slate (The Secrets Life of Pets)
Werner Herzog (Jack Reacher)

The Simpsons (1989)It’s hilarious comedy, funny, and one of my all time favorite T.V shows .. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. Modern Simpsons episodes are often both overstuffed and under-imagined, resulting in two indifferent, inadequately realized stories. Even though the show has dropped in creativity and in the joke department, it’s still worthy.Nancy Cartwright, Pamela Hayden, and Tress MacNeille in The Simpsons (1989)

Season 30 Highlights are…

The Simpsons (1989)

Bart’s Not Dead

Bart ends up in the hospital after taking a dare and lies about going to heaven to cover it up, but is forced to confess after Homer takes a deal with Christian producers to make a movie about the whole thing.

Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and Yeardley Smith in The Simpsons (1989)

Heartbreak Hotel

Marge and Homer travel to a tropical island and go on Marge’s favorite reality competition program to win a million dollars.

Yeardley Smith in The Simpsons (1989)

My Way or The Highway to Heaven

While God and St. Peter discuss who will get into heaven, the citizens of Springfield recall divine encounters.

Julie Kavner and Dan Castellaneta in The Simpsons (1989)

Baby You Can’t Drive My Car

A self-driving car company comes to Springfield, poaching all of the power plant employees with their fun work environment.

Julie Kavner and RuPaul in The Simpsons (1989)

Werking Mom

In search of a job, Marge gets one selling plastic food storage containers – as a drag queen; Lisa tries to make the world better.

The Simpsons (1989)

Mad About The Toy

Motivated by a PTSD episode Grampa had while babysitting the kids, the Simpsons take a journey to Grampa’s past as a post-WW2 toy model for plastic army men, and Abe finally faces his on confused sexuality.

The Simpsons (1989)

The Girl On The Bus

Lisa tries to live a double life when she makes a new friend and gets a taste of what it would be like to live with a more cultured family.

Hank Azaria, Julie Kavner, Dan Castellaneta, and Yeardley Smith in The Simpsons (1989)

I’m Dancing as Fat as I Can

Homer tries to make amends for binging his and Marge’s favorite show without her; Bart prepares for “Krusty’s Holiday Trample”

Wallace Shawn and Dan Castellaneta in The Simpsons (1989)

I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

When a romantic night ends in injury for Homer and Marge, Lisa turns to an unlikely source to fix their strained relationship.)

The Simpsons (1989)

E My Sports

Homer discovers a passion for coaching Bart in video game competitions; Lisa’s plan to bring Homer back to reality creates chaos.

J.K. Simmons and Yeardley Smith in The Simpsons (1989)

Girl’s in the Band

Homer works extra shifts at the plant so Lisa can play in the Capitol City Youth Philharmonic.

The Simpsons (1989)

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say D’oh

Marge becomes Director of Springfield’s local theater, armed with Lisa’s script resembling “Hamilton”; Homer joins a baby class with Maggie, and takes a liking to supervisor Chloe.

Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, and Awkwafina in The Simpsons (1989)

D’oh Canada

Lisa is mistakenly given political asylum in Canada during a family trip to Niagara Falls.

Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and Yeardley Smith in The Simpsons (1989)

Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion

Marge starts a business selling healing crystals and other New Age products to the naive mothers of Springfield when Homer’s work cuts children’s health-care benefits, leading Marge to use the crystals as a cheaper solution for Bart’s ADD.

REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 23-25

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Aron Ralston (Imagine This!)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Gordon Ramsey (Hell’S Kitchen)
Neil Gaiman (Nightbreed)
Andy Garcia (Ghostbusters)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Kevin Dillon (The Doors)
Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer)
Joan Rivers (Spaceballs)
Dana Gould (Gex)
Ted Nugent (A Nightmare On Elm Street 5)
Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger)
David Letterman (I’m Still Here)
Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman)
Michael Cera (The Lego Batman Movie)
Alison Krauss (Eight Crazy Nights)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Treat Williams (127 Hours)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Eric Idle (Transformers: The Movie)
Lady Gaga (Sin City 2)
Ken Burns (Gettysburg)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy)
Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Jon Lovitz (Big)
Jeff Gordon (Cars 3)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls)
Steve Carell (Anchorman)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Alex Trebek (The Bucket List)
Fred Armisen (Archer)
Carrie Brownstein (Carol)
Patton Oswalt (Two and a Half Men)
Tom Waits  (Domino)
Valerie Harper (Rhoda)
Rashida Jones (I Love You, Man)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Tina Fey (Muppets Most Wanted)
Wanda Sykes (Clerks II)
Goerge Takei (Star Trek)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Edward Norton (Fight Club)
Tony Bennett (Analyze This)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Jane Krakowski (Alfie)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Justin Bieber (Zoolander 2)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Lisa Lampanelli (Bounty Hunters)
Kristen Wiig (Paul)
Rachel Maddow (House of Cards)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives)
Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Judd Apatow (Zookeeper)
Seth Rogen (50/50)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Daniel Radcliffe (Horns)
Max Von Sydow (Game of Thrones)
Zach Galifanakis (The Hangover)
Amy Poehler (Inside Out)
Tavi Gevinson  (Scream Queens)

1kqKJBfw73I9q2caApghcLRUZoiTwo and a half decades on, the show’s status as a comedy classic remains untarnished, which is testament to the genius of its creator.

SEASON 23 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

23.1) THE FALCON AND THE D’OHMAN

Homer befriends the nuclear plant’s newest hire – a security guard with ties to the CIA and a painful backstory involving the Ukrainian Mafia. Meanwhile, Marge dreams of appearing on Top Chef and the results to the “Will Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel Stay Together” contests are revealed.23.2) BART STOPS TO SMELL THE ROOSEVELTS

Principal Skinner challenges Superintendent Chalmers to get Bart to be excited about learning something (anything) after Bart’s latest pranks — and finds it in the form of teaching Bart about the life and times of Theodore Roosevelt. However, when Chalmers’ unorthodox teaching methods get him fired, it is up to Bart and the rest of the students who have been motivated by Chalmers to reinstate him.23.4) REPLACEABLE YOU

Homer gets a new assistant named Roz who is secretly out to steal his job. Meanwhile, Bart and Martin create a robot seal that becomes a hit with the elderly crowd at the Springfield Retirement Center.23.5) THE FOOD WIFE

Tired of doing “mom” things and being much less fun for the kids than Homer, Marge takes the family out to an Ethiopian restaurant and enjoys the food so much that she starts a food blog with Bart and Lisa, which hurts Homer’s feelings — and may do more than hurt him when Marge tricks Homer into thinking a rundown building housing a meth lab is a hip, new restaurant.23.6) THE BOOK JOB

When Lisa discovers that her favorite book series (the Angelica Button fantasy series as mentioned in “The Haw-Hawed Couple”) is ghost-written by a group of publishers (with an actress as the “author”), Homer and Bart are inspired to do the same by getting a group of people to write a fantasy novel about ghouls in a prestigious academy — but when an actual publisher plots to turn it into yet another vampire fiction book for tweens, Lisa, Bart, and Homer must save their original work from getting destroyed.23.10) POLITICALLY INEPT, WITH HOMER SIMPSON

Video footage of Homer ranting about being harassed by TSA agents and forced to sit on a grounded plane for seven hours (due to airport incompetence) goes viral and lands Homer on cable television as a political pundit with his own show. But when he stirs up mixed emotions with his planned endorsement of the next GOP Presidential candidate, Marge and Lisa worry that Homer’s opinion and influence might be more powerful than he realizes.23.11) THE D’OH-CIAL NETWORK

Lisa wants more friends and starts her own social network website called SpringFace, but when it turns everyone into an online addict, Lisa begins to realize that adding thousands of friends online did not compare to having real friendships. Meanwhile, Patty and Selma compete against the Winklevoss twins for the 2012 Olympics.23.13) THE DAUGHTER ALSO RISES

Lisa falls in love with Nick, an intellectual romantic, and starts a secret romance with him. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse team up with the gang from MythCrackers to debunk some urban schoolyard legends.23.14) AT LONG LAST LEAVE

In the 500th episode, the Simpsons stumble upon a secret town meeting where everyone is voting to throw them out of Springfield. As a result, they find themselves in an off-the-grid community, and when Homer and Marge try to sneak back into Springfield, they are welcomed with hostility from their former friends and neighbors and begin to appreciate their new and more accepting home.23.15) EXIT THROUGH THE KWIK-E-MART

After being forced to spend some time in a rabbit cage for a prank he didn’t commit, Bart exacts revenge by spraypainting unflattering caricatures of Homer all over town, which become a sensation with real-life graffiti artists Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Kenny Scharf, and Robbie Conal. Meanwhile, Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart is in danger of shutting down when it faces competition from a health-food supermarket.23.17) THEM, ROBOT

To get out of paying for employee drug tests, Mr. Burns fires all of his employees (except for Homer, who is kept on as a scapegoat) and replaces them with robot workers; when a bored Homer ups the robots interactive and AI features, all hell breaks loose.23.18) BEWARE THE CHEATING BART

Bart finds himself the object of affection to a girl who is dating school bully Jimbo Jones. Meanwhile, Homer buys a state-of-the-art treadmill that gets wireless TV and uses the treadmill to binge-watch a “Lost”-style show rather than exercise.23.20) THE SPY WHO LEARNED ME

After a disastrous date night at the movies, Homer suffers a head injury the next day at work and, during his eight weeks off to recover (about which he does not tell Marge), sees visions of a super-suave superspy named Stradivarius Cain, who gives Homer lessons on being the husband of Marge’s dreams. Meanwhile, Nelson uses a Smart Phone to shake down kids for their lunch money, and Bart gets revenge on Nelson by feeding him Krusty Burger’s nutritionally dubious food.23.21) NED ‘N EDNA’S BLEND

Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel elope after months of dating, and Marge later organizes a proper marriage reception for them, which becomes a problem when the many couples of Springfield bring their many personal crises to the party. Meanwhile, Mrs. Krabappel-Flanders helps Rod and Todd make new friends.23.22) LISA GOES GAGA

Eccentric pop star Lady Gaga stops by Springfield to help Lisa (who was voted Springfield Elementary’s least popular student and is now more of an outcast thanks to ghost-writing positive messages on the school’s online forum) and the rest of the town boost their self-esteem.1060026-thumb_500It’s hilarious, comedy, funny, and one of my all time favourite T.V showS .. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. Modern Simpsons episodes are often both overstuffed and under-imagined, resulting in two indifferent, inadequately realized stories. Even though the show has dropped in creativity and in the joke department, it’s still worthy.

SEASON 24 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

24.1) MOONSHINE RIVER

The Simpsons return to New York City after Bart discovers that, out of all of the female interests he has had, the only one who continued to like him was Cletus Spuckler’s daughter, Mary who once helped him save a cow, and now that Mary has moved to the Big Apple to be a writer for Saturday Night Live, Bart wants to see her again.24.4) GONE ABIE GONE

Homer puts Lisa’s college fund into online poker as a way to fight back against big banks, and Lisa must become a player to get her college fund back. Meanwhile, Grampa Simpson mysteriously disappears from the Springfield Retirement Castle, and leaves behind clues to parts of his life that the family never knew before, like the time he was married to a black singer named Rita LaFleur, and when he worked in a restaurant with Marvin Hamlisch.24.6) A TREE GROWS IN SPRINGFIELD

Lisa wins a Mapple MyPad for Homer at a school raffle and Homer becomes obsessed with it until he falls and breaks it. Feeling depressed over his life and the loss of his MyPad, Flanders picks up Homer’s spirits when he finds the word “Hope” written on The Simpsons’ backyard tree in sap and everyone sees it as a miracle.24.7) THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD COOL

Homer wants a younger, hipper image, so he starts hanging out with Terrence and Emily, two hipsters from Portland, but Marge and Bart find the couple, their child, and their ilk who take over the unhip town of Springfield to be irritating and pretentious. 24.9) HOMER GOES TO PREP SCHOOL

After a lockdown at a kids’ fun center (caused by a kid chasing after a ball and a negligent worker talking on her cell phone), Homer is traumatized over seeing everyone panic in the chaos, and meets a doomsday prepper who introduces him to some Springfield residents who are preparing for the day when society crumbles from a disaster. 24.10) A TEST BEFORE TRYING

Springfield Elementary School is in danger of shutting down due to low test scores on the latest standardized test, and Bart may be the school’s only hope. Meanwhile, Homer uses a discarded parking meter to rake in some extra money.24.11) THE CHANGEING OF THE GUARDIANS

After surviving a tornado, Marge and Homer seek out guardians for the kids, in case the worst should happen. They first turn to friends and family, including Homer’s half-brother, Herb Powell (who inexplicably has gone broke again), with whom to entrust their kids, but when Bart and Lisa fall in love with a super-cool couple, Mav and Portia, Marge starts to question their potential guardians’ true motivations.24.12) LOVE IS A MANY-SPLINTERED THING

A “special Valentine’s-themed outing” in which Bart’s heartstrings are pulled once again when Mary Spuckler returns to Springfield, but his failure to pay her enough attention strains their relationship.24.14) GORGEOUS GRAMPA

Homer buys a storage locker after watching a reality show, only to discover that it is Grampa’s, from the days when he was Glamorous Godfrey, the most hated wrestler in the business.24.15) BLACK EYED, PLEASE

A new substitute teacher named Miss Cantwell is hired while Miss Hoover is out with severe depression, and Lisa must figure out why Miss Cantwell hates her. Meanwhile, Flanders tries to atone for punching Homer in the eye after Flanders’ parents take a liking to him instead of their own son.24.16) DARK KNIGHT COURT

Lisa must defend Bart after he is accused of pulling an Easter prank on the school marching band. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns fulfills his dream of becoming a superhero, and Smithers pays the townspeople to be supervillains.24.17) WHAT ANIMATED WOMEN WANT

Homer takes a page from 50 Shades of Grey and decides that a sadomasochistic relationship with Marge is the way to go. Meanwhile, Milhouse uses Marlon Brando’s ghost to get advice on how to impress Lisa.24.21) THE SAGA OF CARL

Homer, Moe, Lenny and Carl team up to buy a winning lottery ticket, but when Carl absconds with the winnings and heads to his homeland of Iceland, Homer, Lenny, and Moe set out to get him and the money back.24.22) DANGERS ON A TRAIN

Marge stumbles upon a website for married women to arrange affairs (after mistaking it for a cupcake delivery website) and meets a man named Ben, who falls for Marge after the two bond over a Downton Abbey-esque period drama. Meanwhile, Homer takes home a steam train that used to belong to Springfield’s high-end, outside mall and recruits Reverend Lovejoy, Moe, Lenny, Carl, and Larry the Lush to fix it for his wedding anniversary.UntitledI absolutely love this show. It’s one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Ever. It’s so funny, and it keeps getting better and better. There is a reason why it has been going for as long as it has been.

SEASON 25 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

25.1) HOMERLAND

An FBI agent helps Lisa solve the mystery of why Homer’s personality has changed after attending a nuclear plant convention.25.3) FOUR REGRETTINGS AND A FUNERAL

At the funeral of a beloved Springfielder, four residents remember events in their lives they would like to do over.

  • Homer regrets selling his stock in Apple to buy a bowling ball.
  • Marge blames her taste in music for Bart’s rebelliousness.
  • Mr. Burns remembers his relationship with a Parisienne.
  • Kent Brockman regrets not taking a job as a cable news anchor

25.5) LABOR PAINS

After a night of playing poker with Moe, Lenny, and Carl, Homer finds himself in an elevator with a young mother named Gretchen, who is in labor and needs someone to help her keep calm. Meanwhile, Lisa helps the local football cheerleading team unionize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions.25.6) THE KID IS ALL RIGHT

Lisa makes friends with a new girl in school, who turns out to be a conservative Republican (a George W. Bush one rather than an Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan one) with connections to Springfield’s Republican party.25.9) STEAL THE EPISODE

To combat the poor quality of today’s movie theaters, Homer and Bart begin to illegally download movies and exhibit them in a makeshift theater in the backyard, but Homer ends up arrested when Marge sends the FBI a check and an apology note.25.10) MARRIED TO THE BLOB

The Comic Book Guy falls for a Japanese manga artist, but Homer’s advice and the woman’s father may ruin his chances at true love.25.12) DIGGS

Bart makes friends with a transfer student named Diggs, an expert in falconry who saves Bart from the wrath of the Springfield Elementary bullies – and who intends to take to the sky himself, which makes Bart worry about Diggs’ sanity.25.13) THE MAN WHO GREW TOO MUCH

Lisa discovers that Sideshow Bob has become the chief scientist of a massive chemical engineering company, but the two of them bond over their appreciation for high-culture. Meanwhile, Marge ends up a church volunteer to help horny teenagers become abstinent.25.15) THE WAR OF ART

Marge buys a painting at a yard sale. She decides to auction it off when it appears to be valuable, but it turns out to be a forgery.25.17) LUCA$

Back at school, Lisa sees a boy choking on pizza. She performs the Heimlich maneuver on him, reveals his name is Lucas Bortner and he’s a competitive eater. She doesn’t think that competitive eating is for him, and suddenly gets a crush on him. She then thinks about changing him. Meanwhile, Snake, grateful for Bart’s actions, steals a PlayStadium 4 and leaves it in Bart’s room.25.18) DAYS OF FUTURE FUTURE

A sequel to “Future-Drama” and a continuation of “Holidays of Future Passed,” set 30 years from now. In this futuristic installment, Bart goes to a clinic to rid himself of his feelings for his ex-wife Jenda (who is now dating a xenomorph-esque alien named Jerry), Lisa must choose whether or not to cure her zombie husband Milhouse after he gets bitten by a homeless zombie, and Marge (after putting up with years of Homer dying and being cloned back to life by Professor Frink) loads Homer onto a flatscreen monitor and throws him out of the house.25.20) BRICK LIKE ME

Homer wakes up to a world made out of LEGO bricks and grows to like this new world, where everything fits in and no one gets hurt — until he begins seeing flashes of a previous life and, with help from The Comic Book Guy, discovers how he ended up in the LEGO world.25.21) PAY PAL

Marge swears off befriending any more couples when Homer offends their charming new British neighbors. But when Lisa declares that she, too, doesn’t need friends, Marge reconsiders.25.22) THE YELLOW BADGE OF COWARDGE

Bart is plagued with guilt when he wins the annual “last day of school” race around Springfield Elementary, with an assist from Nelson, who beats up frontrunner Milhouse. Meanwhile, Homer tries to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display after it’s canceled for budget reasons.Even in the later seasons The Simpsons showed it still has staying power.

 

 

REVIEW: VERONICA MARS – SEASON 1

Starring

Kristen Bell (The Good Place)
Teddy Dunn (Jumper)
Jason Dohring (The Originals)
Percy Daggs III (Detention)
Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Death Proof)
Francis Capra (Izombie)
Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint)

Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars (2004)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Michael Muhney (The Young and The Restless)
Corinne Bohrer (The Flash 90s)
Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables)
Lisa Thornhill (Agter The Sunset)
Kyle Secor (The Purge: Election Year)
Daran Norris (Izombie)
Brandon Hillock (Villains)
Bradley Joseph (Stone & Ed)
Patrick Wolff (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Duane Daniels (Fashion House)
Jonathan Chesner (Bones)
Christian Clemenson (Apollo 13)
Aaron Ashmore (Smallville)
Wilmer Calderon (Fast & Furious)
Paris Hilton (House of Wax)
Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls)
Bobby Edner (The Amanda Show)
Paula Marshall (Murder In The First)
Alison MacInnis (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Kyla Pratt (Dr. Dolittle)
Adam Wylie (Child’s Play 2)
Robert Baker (Supergirl)
Sam Huntington (Superman Returns)
Melissa Reneé Martin (The Secret Craft)
Lisa Rinna (Days of Our Lives)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Harry Hamlin (Clash of The Titans)
Amanda Noret (Bunny Whipped)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dar Thirty)
Adam Kaufman (Buffy: TVS)
Steven Williams (Jason Goes To Hell)
Bonita Friedericy (Chuck)
Alona Tal (Cult)
Tina Majorino (Scorpion)
Erica Gimpel (God Friended Me)
Anastasia Baranova (Z Nation)
Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls)
Chris William Martin (The Vampire Diaries)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (That 70s Show)
Kevin Sheridan (Heart of Dixie)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Christopher B. Duncan (Legacies)
Katie Leclerc (The Big Bang Theory)
Bridget Hoffman (Total Recall)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Jowharah Jones (Ugly Betty)
Ken Merckx (Masked Rider)
Christine Lakin (Family Guy)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Leighton Meester (The Roommate)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: TVS)
Cynthia LaMontagne (Austin Powers)
Zachery Ty Bryan (Home Improvement)
Erin Chambers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Last Man Standing)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy)
Roy Werner (Power Rangers Time Force)
Kyle Gallner (American Sniper)

Veronica Mars is set in Neptune, California, a town without a middle-class. Everyone’s either a millionaire or works for one, and the man largely responsible for Neptune’s unparalleled success is Jake Kane (Kyle Secor), the resident billionaire software mogul. Kane and his family are still reeling from the murder of his daughter Lilly (Amanda Seyfried) some months earlier, and as if that loss wasn’t enough, the beloved Kane family was doggedly pursued by a county sheriff convinced that they were hiding something. Public sentiment turned against Sheriff Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni), who was ousted from office and abandoned by his wife.Kristen Bell and Jessica Chastain in Veronica Mars (2004)Cue the title character. His daughter Veronica (Kristen Bell) had already lost her best friend with Lilly’s death, but standing by her father also cost Veronica her friends, her social status, her house…even her mother. Veronica had already been unceremoniously dumped by Lilly’s brother Duncan (Teddy Dunn) shortly before her friend’s murder, and a defiant visit to face her former friends at a party weeks later led to Veronica being drugged and raped. Despite having lost so much, Veronica is resilient enough to move on with her life, and as her father struggles to stay afloat as a private eye, Veronica puts her smarts and determination to work to help ease the caseload at Mars Investigations. She also puts her talents to use to help her classmates with their troubles — for a price, of course. To cap it all off, Veronica’s faced with a couple of her own mysteries to solve. What convinced Lianne Mars to abandon her family, and where is she now? Who was it who drugged and raped Veronica last December? Also, is her father right — did someone other than disgruntled Kane Software employee Abel Koontz murder Lilly? If there is, who orchestrated the conspiracy that led to Koontz’ confession and why?Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars (2004)The dialogue in Veronica Mars has the same sparkle as Joss Whedon’s work…arguably better, even, since Buffy sometimes sounded like a deliberate attempt to be hip, whereas Veronica Mars manages to be witty and clever without feeling quite so forced. The writing doesn’t skew as young as one might expect from a TV show set in a high school. If anything, the target audience seems to be twentysomething — I don’t know how many fifteen year olds would be able to appreciate references to Archie comics or 21 Jump Street, f’r instance. Characterization is another strength of the series, and part of the reason Veronica Mars works as well as it does is that the audience truly does care about the characters. Despite having a seemingly endless array of talents, Veronica isn’t some sort of idyllic Mary Sue. She’s not always right. Her investigations frequently take morally questionable turns. Things don’t always go the way she wants. Not every episode has a happy ending.Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars (2004)Along with the cases that are solved in the space of forty minutes and change every week, a couple of mysteries are introduced in the pilot that are gradually explored throughout the entire length of the season. That’s right — unlike the hydra that is Lost, where answering one question spawns ten more, all of Veronica Mars’ mysteries are resolved by the time the season finale rolls around. (The finale tosses out a couple questions of its own, but if a second season hadn’t gotten the green light, it still would’ve been a fitting end to the series.)Veronica Mars has a capable cast to match the quality of the writing. Veronica is strong and cynical…bright and sarcastic…and even though all of the trauma she’s suffered over the past year has aged her somewhat, she’s still an emotionally vulnerable teenage girl.Kristen Bell and Alona Tal in Veronica Mars (2004)That’s a lot to juggle, but Kristen Bell is talented enough to make such a colossal task seem effortless and captivating enough to carry a show on her shoulders. Of course, Bell is joined by a strong enough supporting cast that she doesn’t have to shoulder it all herself.VM-S2D2_04After cutting down Wallace (Percy Daggs III), the new kid at school, who’d been stripped naked and duct taped to a flagpole, he and Veronica become best friends. In teen-TV land, it’s an immutable rule that people of different genders can’t just be pals…there’s this endless temptation to couple everyone. Veronica Mars manages to resist, resulting in one of the few platonic friendships like this left on television.Enrico Colantoni, who plays Veronica’s father, is another fan favorite, able to shift from warm, loving, and borderline-goofy to secretive and deadly serious when the situation calls for it. There’s also Eli “Weevil” Navarro (Francis Capra), the leader of a local biker gang from the wrong side of the tracks who engages in some mutual backscratching with Veronica.Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars (2004)The character who stands out the most — aside from Veronica, of course — is Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). Like Kristen Bell, Dohring is endlessly engaging. He’s introduced as an “obligatory psychotic jackass”, but as the season progresses, Logan’s humanized without being watered-down; even when he’s doing something as thoroughly loathesome as bribing a homeless vet to join in on his homebrew Bumfights video, there’s an undercurrent of understanding why Logan is the way he is. The character changes throughout the season, but the shift feels deserved and natural, not just because that’s what’s scrawled on the whiteboard in the writing room.Other guest stars throughout the season include Napoleon Dynamite’s Tina Majorino as computer whiz Mac, Aaron Ashmore as a love interest with a shady past, Logan’s movie star family (played by Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna, and Alyson Hannigan), Anthony Anderson, Zachary Ty Brian, Joey Lauren Adams, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and, in a shameless bit of stuntcasting, Paris Hilton. Kristen Bell and Francis Capra in Veronica Mars (2004)The fact that the second episode of Veronica Mars manages to be really good despite a Paris Hilton guest spot really is a testament to how good a series this is. Oh, and, in true Laura Palmer fashion, just because Lilly Kane is dead doesn’t mean that Amanda Seyfried can’t rear her head in nearly every other episode.The conclusion to most of the mysteries caught me by surprise. Throughout the entire season, the only time I correctly guessed the culprit was in “Lord of the Bling”, and even then, the motivation and execution were well out of my reach. The many twists the stories take are clever, and watching these episodes a second time, I could spot all sorts of clues and hints that didn’t seem that important the first time through. Veronica Mars is a series that’s easy to dive into as a marathon, but for viewers catching these episodes for the first time, I’d recommend drawing it out a bit.

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 11

Starring

Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch)
Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
Amber Tamblyn (Girlfriend’s Day)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)

Jon Cryer and Amber Tamblyn in Two and a Half Men (2003)
Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Shanti Lowry (Code Black)
Nicole Travolta (Anger Management)
D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Madison Dylan (Femme Fatales)
Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Brian Stepanek (Young Sheldon)
Paula Marshall (Cupid)
Kate Miner (Fifty Shades of Black)
Diane Farr (Roswell)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Odette Annable (Supergirl)
Clark Duke (Kick-Ass)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Tim Conway (Coach)
Steve Lawrence (The Blues Brothers)
Garry Marshall (Murphy Brown)
Marin Hinkle (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (The Flash)
Brooke D’Orsay (The Skulls 3)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Ken Davitian (Borat)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)

Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher, and Amber Tamblyn in Two and a Half Men (2003)The creators decided to spice things up and give Charlie’s daughter Jennifer a prominent role in the series. Yes, apparently one time, Charlie wasn’t careful enough when he was dating a certain woman and so along came ‘Jenny’ (Amber Tamblyn). The minute she appears on the show, you can clearly see why the makers of Two and a Half Men decided to bring her along for the ride. She’s just another Charlie, but in the form of a lesbian girl. And she’s just as hilarious as her late father.Conchata Ferrell, Ashton Kutcher, and Carl Reiner in Two and a Half Men (2003)Besides Jenny, there’s another new recurring character who’s called Barry Foster (Clark Duke). Barry is a typical geek: very naïve, not that good with the ladies and a bit socially awkward. The newcomers are a much needed fresh wind in the series and they add a lot to the creation of hilarious moments. Besides those newcomers, you’ll see a lot more from Alan and Charlie’s mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor) as she has found a new lover (not coincidentally a very old man with lots and lots of money). Although Evelyn herself isn’t such a caricature like, for example, Alan or Jenny; she always succeeds in waiting for the right moment to drop sarcastic and ironic one-liners. As her screen time is mostly quite brief, it’s fantastic to notice how much of an impression she leaves behind every single time she crosses paths with the main actors. The same can be said of the-always-napping-housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrel) for that matter.Two and a Half MenStory wise, season 11 offers a lot of variety which keeps the viewer from getting bored with the plot. Acting performances are pretty good. Especially newcomer Amber Tamblyn knows how to put down a very likeable character without getting annoying. It’s great to see how Charlie’s role has been transferred to his daughter and it really fits the show perfectly. Kutcher too does a fantastic job with his Walden personage and of course, Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without Jon Cryer.

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 9

Starring

Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch)
Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)

Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in Two and a Half Men (2003)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Jenna Elfman (Fear The Walking Dead)
Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds)
John Stamos (Full House)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign)
Jenny McCarthy (Dirty Love)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jennifer Taylor (Shameless)
Liz Vassey (The Tick)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Joel Murray (Mad Men)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Stephany Jacobsen (Terminator: TSCC)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Joe Manganiello (Rampage)
Macey Cruthird (Hope & Faith)
Taylor Cole (The Originals)
Rebecca McFarland (Scream 2)
Amanda Schull (Suits)
Gary Busey (Predator 2)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Sophie Winkleman (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Graham Patrick Martin (Major Crimes)
Jim Piddock (Best in Show)
Jane Carr (Legends of Tomorrow)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Travis Van Winkle (Transformers)
Talyan Wright (Five)
Patton Oswalt (Young Adult)
Brian Stepanek (Young Sheldon)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Eddie Shin (Westworld)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)

Two and a Half Men (2003)This season focus on Alan (Jon Cryer) and his son Jake (Angus T. Jones) moving on with their lives after Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) unexpectedly dies off-screen due to a subway train while in Paris with Rose with the help of their new housemate, internet billionaire Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher), who buys the Malibu Beach House which was put up for sale by Alan and Jake Harper. Walden, who is a dot-com billionaire, is in the process of being divorced by his wife.Jon Cryer, Conchata Ferrell, and Ashton Kutcher in Two and a Half Men (2003)Alan temporarily moved in with his and Charlie’s mother Evelyn after Charlie’s beach house was sold to Walden. Alan and Jake were invited to move back into Charlie’s beach house by Walden after Alan with the help of Walden’s ex-wife Bridget saved him from a con-artist. Walden, Alan and Jake eventually bond and formed a surrogate family unit. Walden starts to date Zoey, a British woman he met at The Malibu Grocery Store. Charlie pays Alan a visit from the afterlife, as a ghost trapped in a woman’s body (Kathy Bates) but his intentions for coming back are rather suspicious. Jake approaches adulthood fast pending his graduation from high school. Jake joins the army after graduation and leaves Malibu at the end of the season.Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in Two and a Half Men (2003)Although season 9 takes some getting use to without Charlie Sheen, I think Ashton Kutcher adds a freshness to the show, with his child like nature and blossoming friendship with Alan makes this season worth while. Waldans relationship with Zoey is just adorable and its nice to see her in several episodes

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 8

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)

MV5BMTY4MDI3NjUwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODMyMDE5Mw@@._V1_

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Graham Patrick Martin (Major Crimes)
Kelly Stables (The Ring Two)
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)
J.D. Walsh (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Erinn Hayes (The Watch)
Liz Vassey (The Tick)
Krista Kalmus (Veronica Mars)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Macey Cruthird (HOpe & Faith)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Jenny McCarthy (Dirty Love)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Dakin Matthews (Child’s Play 3)

MV5BMjE1MTY5MjAzMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjAwODM5Mw@@._V1_Season 8 was filmed at the time Charlie Sheen had his meltdown. What is interesting is that although the real-life Charlie now seems to be a lot like the onscreen Charlie, the onscreen Charlie is a lot happier, a lot more care-free, a comic rather than tragic figure. But enough of the psycho-analysis, what’s the show like, given that this is Charlie’s last season?MV5BNzA5MjIzMTMxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTYxNDUwNA@@._V1_Alan and Charlie are of course the classic comedy duo – the uptight dweeb and the anarchic, cool, funny guy – and although it is played very broadly and superficially, they are presented as essentially good, likeable characters. Jake remains a bit-player throughout the season, never really given any room to shine, which is a shame, but well-judged and very funny cameos from Jane Lynch, Ryan Stiles and Judd Nelson help break up the at times repetitive and derivative interplay between the leads.MV5BNzg4MjQ1NDUyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjMzODcwNA@@._V1_The season opener is a stand-alone, but after that a series of plots lines are introduced which play out over a number of episodes, which proves much more satisfying. Most enjoyable are the episodes that involve Alan’s developing relationship with Lyndsey, the mother of one of Jake’s class-mates. It is one of those situations that is not milked to death, but is allowed to become at times desperately painful and embarrassing, but also very funny and enjoyable.MV5BNzM4Mzg0MDM4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzE1Njc3MjE@._V1_The season seems to end awfully abruptly with the collapse of Alan’s Ponzi scheme and the various loose ends of Charlie’s relationship with his stalker, this was due to the fireing of Charlie Sheen and paved the way for Season 9 with a new lead.