REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – SEASON 2

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

 

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Meet The Spartans)
Meg Donnelly (Zombies)
Daniel DiMaggio (Daddy’s Home 2)
Julia Butters (Transparent)
Ali Wong (The Lego Ninjago Movie)
Carly Hughes (Brampton’s Own)

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Carly Craig (Hall Pass)
Jeannette Sousa (Insidious)
Barret Swatek (2 broke Girls)
Mallory Jansen (Agents of Shield)
Evan O’Toole (Cake)
George Hamilton (The Godfather Part III)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Leslie Bibb (Popular)
Wendie Malick (Mom)
Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Julia Duffy (Newhart)
Sara Rue (Bones)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars)
Fiona Gubelmann (Wilfred)
Brian Stepanek (Young Sheldon)
Logan Pepper (Girls & Boys)
Jerry Lambert (Horrible Bosses 2)
Nikki Hahn (Genius)
Mercedes Colon (JAG)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Ravi Patel (transformers)
Mary Holland (Blunt Talk)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)

Diedrich Bader and Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)Of all the new shows on ABC last fall, there’s just one that kept my attention for the entire year: American Housewife. At first glance, it looks like a twist on the 80’s family sitcom full of narcissism and sass, but it’s a lot smarter than that. Each episode builds to a satisfying conclusion, with clever setups along the way leading to hilarious outcomes. But what’s more, the characters are relatable and through their faults, likable.Katy Mixon, Daniel DiMaggio, Meg Donnelly, and Julia Butters in American Housewife (2016)Reconnecting with the Otto family this season, Katie has a master plan to get out of a crazy commute that involves driving across town multiple times each day to get her kids to all of their after school activities. With their oldest daughter Taylor on the brink of getting her driver’s license, Katie can’t wait to take up hobbies like sitting in the bath drinking wine. But when Taylor reveals that she isn’t going to college, Greg wants to withhold Taylor’s drivers license as a motivator… and Katie is having none of it!George Hamilton and Daniel DiMaggio in American Housewife (2016)In typical American Housewife fashion, there’s a joke in this episode that gets setup early on, but has an even more hilarious payoff for those paying close attention near the end. Katie’s past also comes back to haunt her in a major way. When Anna-Kat refuses to participate in any after school activities, Katie’s plan of having Taylor drive everyone all the time falls apart. In order to get her daughter to be more outgoing, she has to volunteer at school functions with the same healthy trendy moms she spent last season mocking.Diedrich Bader, Katy Mixon, and Daniel DiMaggio in American Housewife (2016)If you aren’t already watching American Housewife, here’s what you need to know. Greg is a brilliant professor and his wife Katie doesn’t fit in with the athletic and trendy moms in their snobbish East Coast town of Westport, so she rebels through snark. The two oldest kids fit right in and often try to hide the fact that they are considered poor where they live, despite their upper middle class means. And the bottom line is mama Katie isn’t having any of it, so look out Westport and look out kids!NATHAN FILLION, KATY MIXONIn a world where weekly television series’ have to compete against streaming platforms like Netflix, it’s easy for shows like American Housewife to get lost in the shuffle. But what is clear to me is that this show has the power to stand up against the competition and you should tune in or at least add it to your Hulu watchlist. It’s guaranteed to be one of the funniest half hours of your week.

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REVIEW: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS – SEASON 2

Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, and Presley Smith in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)

MAIN CAST

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Malina Weissman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Louis Hynes (Barbarians Rising)
Dylan Kingwell (BIg EYes)
Avi Lake (Meeting Evil)
K. Todd Freeman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Presley Smith
Tara Strong (Batman: The KIlling Joke)
Lucy Punch (The Wedding Video)

 

Malina Weissman, Kitana Turnbull, Louis Hynes, and Presley Smith in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Roger Bart (Trumbo)
Sara Rue (Mom)
Malcolm Stewart (Moon)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Nathan Fillion (Santa Clarita Diet)
Carol Mansell (In The Light of The Moon)
Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers)
Ken Jenkins (The Abyss)
Kerri Kenney-Silver (Reno 911!)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Robbie Amell (The FLash)
Bonnie Morgan (Terminator: TSCC)
Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries)
Patrick Breen (Get Shorty)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone)
Aasif Mandvi (Spider-Man 2)
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage)
Allison Williams (Get Out)

 

 

Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)At the beginning of the new season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Klaus and Violet Baudelaire (Louis Hynes and Malina Weissman) delivers lines laced with irony. “It feels like we’ve been sitting on this bench for months,” complains Violet. “We’ve been waiting so long Sunny is starting to look less like a baby and more like a toddler,” Klaus agrees, to the consternation of baby sister Sunny herself (Presley Smith).Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman, and Louis Hynes in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)Sure, it may have been a year-long wait between series, but once you click on the first episode it feels like almost no time has passed in the Netflix series. Season two immediately throws us back into the miserable lives of the Baudelaire children, narrated by fictional author Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) as they flee from the grasping clutches of the evil Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris).  As before, each of “Snicket’s” books (actually by Daniel Handler, who’s written some scripts for the series) is adapted over two episodes and follow a similar format: the orphans are shunted off to a new guardian by Mr Poe (K. Todd Freeman) and confronted by Count Olaf in disguise before using their special skills to foil his latest plot to steal their fortune. Their guardian also usually dies, unfortunately, which might explain why this year fewer and fewer suitable adults seem keen to have the Baudelaires on their doorstep.Sure, there are new enemies for Sunny, Klaus and Violet this year – including a very rich trendsetter played by Lucy Punch, a village of mean-spirited crow-lovers and a manic school principal – and a few new allies (most notably Nathan Fillion as the dashing Jacques Snicket and some sweet schoolfriends called the Quagmires), but for all intents and purposes these new episodes could have just slotted on to the end of the last series. And to be honest, that’s a great thing. The consistency and quality of this adaptation is wonderful to behold, especially if you’re a fan of the original book series who never thought its unique tone and vaguely gothic world could be faithfully brought to screen.Neil Patrick Harris and Lucy Punch in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)In the books, the Baudelaires never felt truly safe, and in a strange sort of way that was part of the appeal – a kind of vicarious danger, as well as the satisfaction of seeing the children free themselves from the clutches of evil or incompetent adults with nothing but their wits. Going into this series, I knew we’d be faced with some of the biggest gut-punch moments of the books – one at the end of the Austere Academy story, another inside a big lift and the other involving a giant red fish. On screen, they really don’t land quite as well as they did in print, where every scrap of happiness found by the Baudelaires is continually snatched away. In the back half of the series – as the Baudelaires decide to be more proactive in their hunt for answers about the enigmatic VFD organisation – things do start to take a darker, weirder turn that fans of the books will be happy to recognise.Neil Patrick Harris, John DeSantis, Lucy Punch, Jacqueline Robbins, Joyce Robbins, Matty Cardarople, and Usman Ally in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)There’s no denying this is a brilliantly awful return to form for Snicket and Netflix’s disturbing world. Fingers crossed next year’s final series can keep up the quality to give the Baudelaires the grim, strange end we deserve.

REVIEW: SANTA CLARITA DIET – SEASON 2

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet (2017)

MAIN CAST

Drew Barrymore (Charlies Angels)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Liv Hewson (Inhumans)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jee Young Han (Why Him?)
Zachary Knighton (Flashforward)
Maggie Lawson (The Ranch)
Ramona Young (Z Nation)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Joel McHale (Spider-Man 2)
Andy Richter (Elf)
Natalie Morales (The Grinder)
Richard T. Jones (Terminator: TSCC)
Adam Rose (Veronica Mars)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Masterminds)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Sarah Baker (The Campaign)

santa-clarita-diet-season-2-joel-mchale-castSeconds are seldom as good as the initial meal. You’ve already eaten. Your stomach is beginning to fill. The mystery of the menu is gone. And because a food analogy isn’t strong enough to encompass a television show, the same thing about seconds can also be said with zombie films. There are rare occasions where the sequel is stronger than the original movie, but there’s usually a diminishing return the more you see zombies. These are areas where the “second course” is inevitably disappointing in comparison to the first, however Santa Clarita Diet season 2 rises above these expectations. If anything this new season will leave the audience hungry for more rather than feeling full from these undead antics. When the last season of Santa Clarita Diet ended, the series started to finally find a fitting groove and the tone. Santa Clarita Diet’s second season overpowers season one in practically every way possible.t5sbiwdabipjop4ures7The biggest strengths from the first season of Santa Clarita Diet came from Victor Fresco’s (Better Off Ted, Andy Richter Controls the Universe) irreverent, fearless comedy that was allowed to inject itself into an outrageous premise. All of that is still present and some of the rougher patches from the series’ freshman year like Barrymore’s broad performance or the show’s inconsistent tone during its beginning are now smoothed out. The series also benefits from everyone going into “rescue mode” over Sheila and her condition rather than the whole “let’s hide the central story” aspect that dominates so much of the first season. The training wheels are now off and this show really starts to get creative and have fun with its premise.6ccb292a-6ab9-4760-8a4d-dbdcec443b43Much of Santa Clarita Diet season 2 focuses on the Hammond family’s attempts to normalize their situation. For instance, if Sheila is chained up in the basement, then why not dress up the basement and slap a fresh coat of paint on the ugly situation? Right from the jump of the season there may be people who are anxious that Sheila should just be murdered, but clearly the family is in for the long haul. Joel, Abby, and even Eric are all blissfully hopeful towards their unique situation. Curiously enough, in spite of all the high stakes life and death undead material, Joel and Sheila still worry about their real estate job and it occupies a reasonable part of the season. That might seem like a considerably less important aspect of the series, but it’s encouraging to see the show try to embrace this normalcy, for better or worse. Meanwhile, Joel and Sheila’s murder-happy misadventures still go down under the nose of Deputy Ann, who’s only a few doors away. The ways in which they both squirm out of conversations with Ann and proceed to make matters worse for themselves is always the best kind of awkward mess. Sheila and Joel also find themselves in the weird situation where murder seems to be the best way to handle their problems, but they don’t just want to resort to murder whenever they’re caught in a bind, regardless of how good they may have gotten at it.Skyler Gisondo and Liv Hewson in Santa Clarita Diet (2017)At the same time, these middle-aged parents also realize that without these adrenaline-pumping murders in their lives they’re pretty boring people who don’t have much game. At one point Joel laments, “We’re realtors, so killing people and stuffing them in our fridge doesn’t come naturally.” That’s basically this show in a nutshell. Sheila’s “condition” is an obvious problem, but this season is just as interested in the fact that that Joel and his wife haven’t been able to have a date night, build a bookshelf, or write a yelp review since all of this undead business started. Santa Clarita Diet season 2 also starts to expand the show’s world in bigger ways. There are more undead individuals that are out there in addition to organizations that are on the hunt for a cure or a means to exterminate this epidemic. These secret factions begin to come out of the woodwork this season and it’s a good creative move on the show’s part. Joel and Sheila’s secret life continues to intersect with their job and social lives in interesting ways, all of which make the two of them continue to ponder whether they’re good people or not. It’s great to see Joel and Sheila use death and horror as a prop for comedy. You really don’t see that perspective anywhere else in this context—it’s almost like a suburban Dexter or The Walking Dead. Sure there are programs like Ash Vs the Evil Dead or Stan Against Evil, but this is so deeply entrenched in its family dynamic and is a comedy first and horrorsecond.santa-clarita-diet-season-2-netflix-feature

This season also digs into the bigger questions, like how Sheila became infected in the first place. Joel and company assume that if they figure this out then they can reverse engineer the rest of this mystery. The show’s mythology explodes in a big way here and the story turns into something that’s so much more interesting than simply a comedic take on zombies, which the show could be guilty of during its first season. The show’s lore goes to some fascinating places that touch on territory like the Knights of the Templar and all sorts of things that you wouldn’t expect. One of the best things about Santa Clarita Diet is its phenomenal cast and in the show’s second season everyone’s only more comfortable in these roles. There’s seriously such chemistry between the reluctantly murderous Hammond family. Their dynamic really clicks this year and they all feel more natural in a way that was absent last season. Timothy Olyphant’s Joel continues to play unhinged and flustered in the best way possible. The wide-eyed, beleaguered way in which he does comedy is perfect for this universe.santa-clarita-diet-season-2-trailerDrew Barrymore does an even better job as Sheila this season now that she’s acclimated to the role a little better. She plays the role with the glee of a puppy who’s just found a new toy. The show also really explores the beauty in how becoming undead can allow people to finally become the people that they wanted to be in life. It just happens to be something that comes with the awful side effect of needing to consume human flesh. Some of the best work from this season comes from the younger half of the show’s cast. Skyler Gisondo really gets to step up his game as the hapless Eric Bemis and he finds himself overwhelmed in a whole new way this year. His burgeoning relationship with Abby continues to make for believable tension between the two of them as well. On that note, this season is also a real showpiece for Abby’s Liv Hewson. The character goes through a metamorphosis that is a lot of fun to watch. Abby redefines who she is in both school and real life and it’s a fascinating arc for her character. Sometimes your mom turning into a zombie can be just as life changing as turning into the zombie yourself.20190221-PAGEONE-SANTA-CLARITASanta Clarita Diet’s second season features strong storytelling and performances, but it also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the extreme visuals and gore. This season features gruesome sights like broken thumbs, the lesson of what microwave settings to apply to frozen body parts, spider balls, and explosions of blood that make it seem like humans are carbonated soda that are just waiting to burst. In this sense, the show’s humor is still particularly on point and many conversations should make audiences laugh out loud, such as the prospect of sprucing up a kill room so it doesn’t so obviously look like a kill room or the debate of whether it’s discriminatory to kill a Nazi who’s in a wheelchair and the moral relativism of such a murder. Santa Clarita Diet proves that it has a sustainable vision and that this show is more than just some one-season fad. If anything the show is only getting better and it doesn’t suffer from the usual problems that can afflict Netflix shows, such as the season’s pacing. Admittedly, some of the show’s fight scenes play out a little awkwardly and look low budget, but it’s hardly a big deal. This isn’t Daredevil. The show’s second season snowballs and culminates in an impressive way where the year ends on a huge note that once more questions the status quo of the series. The bottom line here is that it’s consistently compelling and enjoyable to see if Joel and Sheila can continue to keep all of their blood-soaked balls in the air.

 

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: TWO GUYS AND GIRL: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Richard Ruccolo (Rita Rocks)
Traylor Howard (Son of The Mask)
Suzanne Cryer (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Jillian Bach (Julie & Julia)

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GUEST CAST

Marguerite MacIntyre (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Welch (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Robert Goulet (Scrooged)
Adam Caine (Days of Our Lives)

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TWO GUYS, A GIRL AND A CHRISTMAS STORY

Pete embarks on a new relationship with an older woman who has a 10-year old son. Sharon is having trouble organizing an office Christmas party and it’s only 4 days till Christmas. Berg is having trouble with one of his older patients who doesn’t seem to like him.

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OUT WITH THE OLD

Berg treats Robert Goulet for an ear infection. When Goulet learns that he cannot fly to the destination where he is doing a gig, Berg seizes the opportunity to get him to sing at Ashley’s New Year’s Eve party. But Berg has to work that night, so he swaps with another doctor whom Ashley has a crush on. She thinks he did it intentionally. Johnny tries to get out of a romantic evening with Sharon to hear Robert sing saying that his late grandfather used to sit him on his lap when he was a kid and play some of Goulet’s songs. Pete invites Irene to the party and she surprises him by acting normal. He even starts to fancy her, but Goulet moves in on his gal before he can get anywhere with her. To be a nice guy, Berg goes back to the hospital and swaps back his shift with the English doctor that Ashley likes. Ashley goes to the hospital to thank him and they end up having sex on a hospital bed.

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This was one of the funniest sit-coms ever, and it’s a shame that it had low ratings. Both the writing and acting were top rate. I usually hate TV sit coms. The actors tend to over do it, and most stories are trite, ie, been there, done that. But Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place was always inventively funny, and, I think, very genuine for the age group it was portraying. The Christmas episodes were some of the best they ever made. I highly recommend it.

REVIEW: PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS

CAST

Logan Lerman (Fury)
Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw)
Douglas Smith (Big Love)
Leven Rambin (The Hunger Games)
Stanley Tucci (Easy A)
Jake Abel (Love & Mercy)
Anthony Head (Buffy: TVS)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Brandon T. Jackson (Fast & Furious)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Robert Knepper (IZombie)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Robert Maillet (Hercules)
Paloma Kwiatkowski (Bates Motel)
Shohreh Aghdashloo (Flashforward)
Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
Yvette Nicole Brown (500 Days of Summer)
Derek Mears (Hatchet III)
Alisha Newton (Heartland)

While in Camp Half-Blood, Percy recounts the story of Thalia and her sacrifice. A young Annabeth, Luke, Grover and Thalia are running to Camp Half-Blood while being pursued by monsters. Thalia sacrifices herself to get the others into the camp, and her father Zeus transforms her into a pine tree, creating a magical border around the camp. Soon a Cyclops passes through the border and is revealed to be Tyson, Percy’s half-brother. The camp is later attacked by a Colchis Bull who breaks through the border and ravages Camp Half-Blood. Percy defeats it with the help of Tyson, Annabeth, and Clarisse. Following this, Luke (who had survived his and Percy’s battle in the previous film) appears and confronts Percy, trying to convert him to his cause. When Percy refuses, Luke disappears.The campers realize that Thalia’s tree has been poisoned by Luke and they are vulnerable to attacks. Percy visits the Oracle, who tells him of a prophecy of a half-blood of the eldest gods either saving or destroying Olympus. Chiron tells Percy that he is the only living, human half-blood of the eldest gods, so the half-blood in the Prophecy may refer to him. Annabeth and Grover learn about the Golden Fleece, which has the power to heal anything, and propose a quest in which they retrieve the Fleece and use it to heal Thalia’s tree. Mr. D chooses Clarisse to lead the quest, much to Annabeth’s and Percy’s dismay. Percy convinces Grover and Annabeth to accompany him on the quest, and Tyson joins them. Annabeth hails the Chariot of Damnation, and Percy threatens the three drivers (the Graeae) to tell him of his prophecy, giving him coordinates for the Sea of Monsters (the Bermuda Triangle) before ejecting the group from the cab in Washington D.C. because they lack money.While walking down the street, Grover is kidnapped by Chris Rodriguez and taken to Luke. Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson first locate Luke with the help of Hermes, then ride a Hippokampos to his yacht, the Andromeda. Luke reveals his plan to revive Kronos using the Fleece so Olympus will be destroyed. Percy and they are then locked in the brig, though they later escape when Percy uses his ability to manipulate water. The group is consumed by Charybdis, and they discover Clarisse in the monster’s stomach. Percy and Clarisse work together to escape Charybdis by shooting a hole through its gut, and soon they arrive at Circeland, Polyphemus’s lair. Percy finds Grover, and the five escape Polyphemus, retrieving the fleece and trapping him in his cave. Afterwards, Luke arrives and demands the fleece from Percy, who refuses. Luke shoots a crossbow bolt at Percy, but Tyson takes the bolt in the chest and falls into the water below.Luke begins reviving Kronos and Annabeth encourages Percy to take leadership. The team escapes captivity, and Percy grapples with Luke over the Fleece, like the prophecy said they would, but Luke easily gains the upper hand. Luke is suddenly thrown away by Tyson, revealed to have survived his wound due to the water healing it, as he is Poseidon’s son. Kronos rises from the sarcophagus and consumes Luke and Grover before battling Percy. Percy realizes that Riptide is the “cursed blade” of the prophecy and slices Kronos into pieces imprisoning Kronos in the sarcophagus once again, causing him to regurgitate Grover and Luke, the latter landing in Polyphemus’s Lair. Their victory is short lived as Annabeth is stabbed by the Manticore, who is killed in turn by Clarisse and Grover. Annabeth dies in Percy’s arms but is resurrected by the Fleece. Percy then gives the fleece to Clarisse, and they return to Camp Half-Blood. Clarisse places the fleece on Thalia’s tree. The group returns the next day to find Thalia alive, as the fleece returned her to human form. Percy realizes that Thalia, as a child of Zeus, is another possible child of the prophecy about either preserving or destroying Olympus. The film ends showing the sarcophagus with Kronos’s remains in it glowing, implying that Kronos still has some degree of his power, and is still planning to return.Exciting fantasy film with excellent effects and light hearted banter, great for all ages, sequel to Percy Jackson and the lightening thief.

REVIEW: SANTA CLARITA DIET – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Drew Barrymore (Charlies Angels)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Liv Hewson (Before I Fall)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Masterminds)
Richard T. Jones (Terminator: TSCC)
Joy Osmanski (Samantha Who?)
Natalie Morales  (Wall Street 2)
Thomas Lennon (Balls of Fury)
Grace Zabriskie (Drop Zone)
DeObia Oparei (Moulin Rouge!)
Portia de Rossi (Scream 2)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Andy Richter (Elf)
Patton Oswalt (Agents of S.H.i.e.l.d.)
Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls)
Derek Waters (Hall Pass)
Ravi Patel (Grandfathered)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)

Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix is an odd and yet oddly simple series. Its creator, Victor Fresco, made his name with Better Off Ted, which played fast and loose with the conventions of the office comedy. In Santa Clarita, he attacks the family sitcom with the same stylized absurdity and mock naïveté. And zombies. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star as Sheila and Joel, married real estate agents with a teenage daughter, Abby (Liv Hewson). That changes when Sheila dies after an epic fit of vomiting and comes back to life full of energy, sexually supercharged and very, very hungry for human flesh.
drew-barrymore-timothy-olyphant-santa-clarita-dietIt’s a clever idea — zombification as the route to midlife rejuvenation. Rather than grow bitter and have affairs, Sheila sips human smoothies and gets happier. Her new joie de mourir even recharges her marriage with Joel, a former jock who has receded into a suburban ineffectualness symbolized by the flip-flops he wears around the cul-de-sac.
santa-clarita-diet-staffel-1-01-rcm992x0The first few episodes of “Santa Clarita Diet” do have a good amount of gore and the last third of the season fills out as the mystery and thriller. But there’s a stretch in the middle where Mr. Fresco and his writers have a lot of fun subverting the formulas of the suburban comedy. Family dinners require finesse (because Mom eats people). Abby is angry that her parents keep secrets (because Mom eats people). When told that a pedophile has moved in down the street, Sheila perks up, because she’s on the lookout for undesirable people she won’t feel guilty about eating.screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-10-05-38-amA funny premise and appealing performances take Santa Clarita Diet far. There are enough laughs to make this show bingeable.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 7-9

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)


RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (Return To The Batcave)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Richard Gant (Rpocky V)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
J.B. Smoove (Date Knight)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight)
Elmarie Wendel (3rd Rcok From The Sun)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)
Azura Skyke (28 Days)
Carl Reiner (Two and a Half Men)
Alice Evans (The Originals)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
CeeLo Green (Sparkle)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Kristen Schaal (The Boss)
Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family)
Sally Struthers (All In The Family)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Hulk Hogan (The Ultimate Weapon)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger)
Edward Hermann (The Lost Boys)
Kat Purgal (Her Story)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Amy Sedaris (Elf)
George Segal (The Goldbergs)
Elisabeth Shue (Piranha)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Kathy Griffin (It’s Pat)
Wayne Brady (How I Met Your Mother)
Alan Rachins (Stargate SG.1)
June Diane Raphael (New Girl)
Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher TV)
Rupert Grint (Harry Potter)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
James Karen (Wall Street)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)
Jill Talley (Little Miss Sunshine)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Alison Brie (The Lego Movie)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Mariah Carey (Glitter)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss bang Bang)
Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Sean Hayes (Will & GRace)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Sinbad (Jingle All The Way)

American Dad returns for more unconventional family. The comedy carries on this season as the series prepares to celebrate its 100th episode with an unexpected Smith family wedding. Highlights in this Volume are.

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100 AD: Jeff continues to try to get Hayley back until Stan and Francine confront him and tells him to leave her alone. Taking Reginald’s advice to give Hayley some space, Jeff decides to confront Hayley once and for all. It is later revealed that Jeff and Hayley ran away and Stan and Francine offer the public a reward of $50,000 to stop the wedding. This causes mass hysteria with 97 people killed off in a freak bus accident. Later on, they are eventually found, and Stan and Francine are tricked by Jeff into giving him the $50,000, thus letting Stan allow them to get married. Meanwhile, in response of Jeff and Hayley’s marriage announcement, Roger and Steve dress up as Wheels and the Legman (from the episode Haylias) and try to stop the wedding and get the reward themselves, until Roger is under the influence of Turkish amphetamines, landing them in Shanghai.

SON OF STAN: Francine and Stan have a clash over how to raise Steve in retrospect to Hayley running away. Francine wishes to be more lenient, but Stan is convinced that they need to be firm with him. Stan creates a clone of Steve, named Steve-A-Rino, to determine who has better parenting skills. Steve grows up as a lazy, fat video game player, but Steve-A-Rino grows up as an athletic genius. Steve-A-Rino runs away and Francine declares herself as the better parent. However, she finds decapitated cat heads in Steve’s backpack, and Stan declares himself as the better parent. The Killer turns out to be Steve-A-Rino. With his identity exposed, Steve-A-Rino now plans to kill the original Steve. Francine and Stan find Steve-A-Rino’s lair as he is about to kill real Steve. After a fight, Stan and Francine decide Steve needs both of their parenting style, and Steve-A-Rino is shot by a cat. Meanwhile, Roger selfishly decides to go after Hayley and Jeff to steal the money. When they refuse, Roger begins to repeat the annoying noise; “Myah!”. The couple embark on a cross-country trip in an effort to escape Roger, only to find he somehow catches up to the two every time. Hayley finally surrenders when Roger corners them at the Great Wall of China, however it becomes apparent that Hayley and Jeff have used all the money already, in their attempts to get away from Roger.

Image result for american dad best little horror houseBEST LITTLE HORROR HOUSE IN LANGLEY FALLS: After years of hosting the scariest haunted house in the neighborhood, Stan finds himself outdone by a former design and development specialist for Disney theme parks named Buckle (first seen in An Apocalypse to Remember). Francine makes things worse when she finds herself returning with wet pants and declares that it is impossible to beat him. Depressed, Stan goes to Roger for advice and Roger suggests he use his CIA influence to get real body parts and instruments. Stan decides to pull in five of the most dangerous serial murderers in the area. However, the killers sitting in their cell fails to scare anyone so Roger decides to turn them loose, forcing Stan, Francine, Roger and Klaus to take cover in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends take Akiko trick-or-treating while a frustrated Toshi refuses to take up the samurai costume his mother got for him. Toshi eventually does wear the outfit, only to chase down Steve when he fails to hold a promise with him. After Steve defuses the situation, Toshi leaves him alone and instead takes out his rage by brutally murdering the five serial killers after they chase Stan, Francine and Roger out their house all the way to an abandoned factory. Roger brings home one of their severed heads as a souvenir.

THERE WILL BE BAD BLOOD: The Smiths prepare for the arrival of Stan’s half-brother, Rusty’s (Lou Diamond Phillips) family for Thanksgiving. However, it gets subdued because of Steve’s brattiness following Hayley and Jeff’s eloping. They decide to go to Rusty’s to see what their home is like. However, it is revealed that Rusty is rich after discovering copper from a land given from his grandfather (Ed Asner). The Smiths try to pull the old switcheroo on Rusty, resulting in getting trapped in the desert. However, they are saved by Hayley and Jeff. In the end, Stan lets Hayley and Jeff move into their home after what they’d done.

THE PEOPLE VS MARTIN SUGAR: Stan Smith anxiously awaits his annual jury summons. But when Roger is the defendant in the trial where Stan is the foreman, he is finally in a position to make Roger accountable for his misdeeds. Roger gets the last laugh when he escapes from prison. Meanwhile, Jeff and Hayley move in with the Smiths, and Francine tries (and fails) to get Jeff to clean up his act due to him needing to be stoned in order to keep his libido in check.

FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS: Stan gives Steve a gun for Christmas, even though Francine warns him that Steve is too young. After Steve accidentally shoots Santa, he sends the North Pole into a tizzy and jeopardizes Christmas, triggering a massive gunfight between the Smiths themselves and all the elfs and reindeer from the North Pole with Santa Claus himself leading the charge.

STANNY BOY AND FRANTASTIC: Finding that they have no friends that like the both of them, Stan and Francine steal tickets to a show from Hayley and unintentionally make friends with a younger couple. Soon, their (highly dangerous) life style proves too much for Stan and Francine; they sabotage their birth control products to force them into being less active. However, this causes the couple to break up and reconcile their differences once Stan and Francine reveal the truth to them, losing their friends.

A PINATA NAMED DESIRE: Roger asks Stan to attend an acting class, but tempers flare when they audition for the same role, which Hayley believes is underlying sexual tension between the two. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends have their last slumber party as kids.I AM THE WALRUS: Steve challenges Stan for dominance, with Stan winning as he does the one thing Steve will never have. Meanwhile, Jeff and Hayley try marriage counseling — and end up being held hostage by Principal Lewis.

SCHOOL TIES: Stan arranges a plan to get a raise through a favor of U.S Senator Buckingham (Burt Reynolds). The first part of his plan is to send Steve to the private school where Buckingham’s daughter, Cookie, goes to (though Steve refuses to go, so Stan uses Roger). The second part is to meet Buckingham there and talks him into playing golf with him. Stan gets his favor, but then he is enraged that Roger sold Cookie to drug dealers, while they were high on Cocaine. He gets her back, and he takes her back to Buckingham’s house for dinner, even though Buckingham knew about Cookie’s drug issue. Meanwhile, Steve is out of school because of an Asbestos outbreak, and after refusing to go to the private school, he joins a gang of Spanish thugs. He is arrested for robbing a pharmacy, prompting Stan to use his favor to release him from jail. However, this causes Stan to frame a student from the private school for the armed robbery. He is seen riding away with John Q. Mind (Randy Spears) to have further adventures.

JENNY FROMDABLOC: Steve tries to cheer up Snot after Hayley rejects him — so he convinces Roger to dress up in his best teenage girl persona and give Snot some confidence back. However, when Roger starts dating Snot under his new persona he starts to take the relationship too far which leaves Steve extremely disturbed and Snot becoming egotistic about finding love before his friends did. Meanwhile, Stan tries to live like a man of the 1960s by making Francine serve him martinis after work, despite that Stan can’t hold his liquor.

This season is honestly one of the funniest and entertaining I’ve seen!! The writers managed to find the perfect balance so that each character got their fair share of screen-time.

American Dad  the animated series that follows staunch GOP supporter and CIA agent Stan Smith (Seth MacFarlane) and the misadventures of his unconventional family in Langley Falls, VA, returns for a hilarious eighth volume. In this volume the highlights are.

HURRICANE!: Stan tries to protect his family from a hurricane that’s hitting Langley Falls, but every increasingly poor decision Stan makes endangers the family more than the actual storm.

THE WORST STAN: When Stan realizes that he might never fulfill his dream of becoming a best man, he convinces his last single friend, Principal Lewis to marry the school’s Superintendent (played by guest star Anjelica Huston) and to choose him as his Best Man. Stan invites Lewis’ old friend from prison to the wedding only to discover a secret that could prevent the wedding from happening at all. Meanwhile, Roger finds the perfect pair of shorts in a strange room inside a Ross Discount Clothing Store and vacations in Miami, where he meets Latin pop singer Ricky Martin.

VIRTUAL IN-STANITY: After discovering that he has never been there for Steve while growing up, Stan decides to use the CIA’s avatar system to pose as a hot, blond teenage girl — whom Steve plans to have sex with at the school dance. Meanwhile, Roger starts his own limo service, and when a group of frat boys “drive and dash,” he goes on a manhunt to get his revenge.

THE SCARLET GETTER: When Stan runs into his former crush from CIA boot camp, his affection for her resurfaces, which drives Francine into a jealous frenzy. Francine convinces Roger to take up his best bachelor persona to try and separate the two. It works, until Stan discovers that Scarlett (his former crush) is actually the best alien hunter in the CIA who knew Stan was harboring Roger. Meanwhile, Steve (in a rush to get dressed for school) slips on Hayley’s panties and is stricken with good luck — until Snot takes them away to satiate his obsession for Steve’s sister. When Steve accidentally reveals to Hayley that Snot has her panties, she breaks into Snot’s bathroom and brutally beats him up to steal them back.

SEASON’S BEATINGS: In this year’s Christmas episode, Stan finds himself excommunicated from Christianity after news hits that he beat up Jesus (or rather, Roger dressed up as Jesus) during the town’s Christmas pageant. Meanwhile, Hayley and Jeff adopt a child who may be the spawn of Satan.

THE UNBRAVE ONE: After being branded a coward by Stan for not helping him during a movie theater fight, Steve takes Roger’s advice and dresses up as a superhero, but the plan goes pearshape when Roger is the one who reveals that he’s Langley Falls’ local crimefighter. Meanwhile, Francine worries over being pregnant and gets dubious advice from an Internet physician known as “Dr. Vadgers.”

STANNY TENDERGRASS: Stan puts Steve to work at the Harvercamp country club as a groundskeeper to show him the true meaning of hard work. Steve then discovers the owner of the club, Mr. Vanderhill, is actually one of Roger’s personas and also the only one Stan can’t see through. Meanwhile, Francine — with Klaus’s help — tries to come up with a memorable catchphrase. Their final result is “Looks like things are getting too spicy for the pepper!”

OLD STAN IN THE MOUNTAIN: While waiting in line behind an old man to get hiking equipment for a trip with Steve and Hayley up Mount Kiliminjaro, Stan begins rudely insulting an elderly man in a wheelchair. The man, visibly angered, utters a latin hex that curses Stan to live as an old man. Unable to cope with the lifestyle of the elderly, Stan goes to drastic measures to reverse the hex. Meanwhile, Roger takes Francine on a road trip to a dance competition — which turns out to be a plot involving a dead redhead, Roger’s tenacious desire to have an authentic red wig and one of his old personas. Francine reaches a breaking point.

THE WRESTLER: When Barry threatens Stan’s old high school wrestling record, Stan enlists Roger to beat Barry and defend his small claim to fame. However, Stan is caught off-guard when Roger (under the persona of a fake Russian wrestler named Demitri Krotchliknioff) turns out to be the threat to Stan’s high school record. The two promptly duel for 10 days on the wrestling mat. Eventually Francine shows up and reveals she talked Roger into breaking Stan’s record to prove a point to Stan.

RICKY SPANISH: While going through his costumes in the closet, Roger finds the costume of the worst persona he’s ever done: Ricky Spanish. Meanwhile, Stan and Francine’s sponsored child from Africa comes to visit them and eventually drives them mad.

This is a great product. Much like the other 7 series of American dad the 8th is funny, outrageous and above all highly entertaining. Its a great buy for any American Dad or family Guy fan.

Take a “Stan” against boring, bipartisan comedy with this all-new collection of hilarious American Dad! episodes from the infinitely creative minds of Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.The Highlights this volume are.

LOVE, AD STYLE: Roger develops a crush on Hayley after he recruits her as the main entertainer in his new crooner’s bar, and ends up kidnapping her when she tells him that she cannot be in love with him because she is already married. Meanwhile, Stan (once again) tries to prove his manhood by negotiating a good price for an SUV he wants, and tries to sell his black SUV to get money for the new one.

KILLER VACATION: The Smith’s family’s tropical vacation turns out to be anything but relaxing when Stan is assigned a mission to kill the activities director at their resort, whom his boss at the CIA insists is an ex-war criminal. Meanwhile, Hayley and Jeff try to revive their dead sex life and meet a swinger couple, Steve joins a British boy (guest star Rupert Grint) to find a nude beach, and Roger (posing as an old widow) falls for an old widower.

AMERICAN STEPDAD: Stan invites his mother to come live with the family after Stan’s stepfather, Hercules, dies, and tensions rise when Roger is forced to share his attic with her. But Roger and Stan’s mom quickly fall in love and get married, and Stan is forced to deal with Roger as his new stepdad, which goes very well once Roger actually makes fatherly advice to Stan. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends discover a mysterious plane crash while on a bike ride and come across a long-lost script of a Fast and the Furious sequel that reveals a shocking truth about the entire series.

WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?: Stan decides that Snot is not cool enough to be Steve’s friend, so he attempts to separate them by staging a shooting at an ice cream parlor, of which Snot is the only witness and is then placed in the CIA Witness Protection program. Meanwhile, Roger hires Jeff to clean his attic for extra cash, but keeps robbing him every time he goes back to Hayley’s room.

ADVENTURES IN HAYLEYSITTING: The Smith family’s regular babysitter, Lindsay, breaks her leg in a soccer match, so Stan and Francine are forced to leave Steve with Hayley, despite her track record of being extremely irresponsible. When Hayley teases Steve about being a dweeb, Steve is determined to prove her wrong and sneaks out of the house to go to a party with the cool kids.

NATIONAL TREASURE 4 – BABY FRANNY: SHE’S DOING WELL – THE HOLE STORY: When Greg and Terry’s new talk show does a news story on the 35th anniversary of the rescue of “Baby Franny”, Francine begins to feel guilty over wasting her life while the fireman who rescued her from a well died in her place. Meanwhile, Stan and Roger team up with Toshi’s dad Mr. Hideki Yoshida to invent and market sexy shoes for male strippers. However, the deal sours when Hideki double-crosses Stan and Roger and keeps all the royalties for their creation to himself.

BLOOD CRIETH UNTO HEAVEN: In this parody of the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play “August: Osage County,” Francine throws a birthday party for Stan, which brings back bad memories of when his father abandoned him. Meanwhile, Roger (playing a black maid named Edna) kills off the love child had between Avery Bullock and Hayley.

MAX JETS: A waitress gets her claws on Roger’s philanthropic character Max Jets, who’s just gotten out of prison and is helping the Smiths with their financial woes.

FOR BLACK EYES ONLY: In this follow-up to season four’s James Bond parody “Tearjerker,” Sexpun T’Come (Francine) is shot and killed by Black Villain (Principal Lewis). Stan must now team up with Tearjerker (Roger) to stop Black Villain’s plan to melt the Arctic glaciers, even if going through a clone of Sexpun T’Come, who is black instead of white.

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THE MISSING KINK: Unsatisfied with missionary sex, Francine finds out she has a spanking fetish when Stan tries to punish Steve. Meanwhile, Hayley tries to move on from Jeff being sent into outer space and agrees to go out on a date with Snot.

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LOST IN SPACE: Months after the events on “Naked to the Limit, One More Time,” Jeff—still on a spaceship owned by Roger’s race of aliens that was originally intended to return Roger back to his birth planet—must prove to the emperor (voiced by Michael McKean) of the alien spaceship that he’s truly in love with Hayley so as to get back to Earth.Image result for american dad LOST IN SPACEThe continuity of excellent, boundary pushing, controversial comedy from the warped mind of Seth MacFarlane and his team is absolutely fantastic. Huge fan of all MacFarlane comedy. Helps to lift your mood on your “down days”.