Am I Breaking Up with ‘Revenge?’

MADELEINE STOWE, EMILY VANCAMP, GABRIEL MANN, JOSH BOWMAN, ASHLEY MADEKWE, NICK WECHSLER, HENRY CZERNY, CHRISTA B. ALLEN, CONNOR PAOLO

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Sometimes when I break up with a show, it is dramatic and abrupt. I turned off the TV midway through an episode of the new 90210, announced “I’m never watching this stupid show again” and have never looked back. (Same thing happened with The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I announced during one of Amy’s hair-flip whines, “I can’t take this show” and immediately deleted the series from my season pass manager).

Sometimes I agonize over the decision wondering if I’ll miss something if I don’t watch. That happened last season with American Idol. I had watched the show since its inception. To actively decide not to watch anymore took a few months to come to terms with, but, once the decision had been made, I didn’t miss Ryan and the gang.

And sometimes the break up sneaks up on me and I don’t even realize that it’s happening. I think I might be breaking up with Revenge and I didn’t even know it. We’re on Day 13 of the Amy’s Not Watching Revenge Watch. I am two episodes behind but every time I sit down to watch TV, I chose something else. I can’t seem to bring myself to watch the drama. Maybe it’s because of the fast and furious but basically nonsensical plot twists (what is the Initiative and do I care?). Maybe it’s because the show doesn’t adhere to its own rules (seriously I cannot abide the lack of security on Nolan’s computer). Maybe it’s because of all the bad characters and bad acting (your names begin with D,C and FA). Maybe it’s because they changed Takedas on me without ever acknowledging it. Maybe it’s because of that insipid Neiman Marcus commercial. I don’t know. All I know is last season I enjoyed the show’s fun, soapy antics and this season, it seems like a chore to watch the series.

How about you? Are you still watching Revenge? What shows have you broken up with this season?  Should I watch the two episodes of Revenge that are sitting on my TiVo taunting me? Talk about it below.

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Joe Nieves was one of the lawyers questioning Owen on Grey’s Anatomy. He is Carl, the bartender at MacLaren’s, on How I Met Your Mother.

Chelcie Ross was Harold Pierce, the CEO who was acting crazy as his son was about to take his company public on Scandal. He was Conrad Hilton on Mad Men . He also played Avery’s grandfather, Harper Avery on Grey’s Anatomy.

Becky Ann Baker was Alma,  the prosecuting attorney in the other county on The Good Wife. She plays Hannah’s mother on Girls, Karen’s mom on Smash and was Jean Weir on the wonderful Freaks & Geeks. Fun fact: Her real life husband is actor Dylan Baker, who plays the devious Colin Sweeney on The Good Wife.

Richard Gant was the lawyer at the beginning of The Mindy Project advising Mindy, Jeremy and Danny. He was Owen’s dad, Owen Thoreau Sr.,  on Men of a Certain Age.

Betsy Brandt was Hank’s ex-wife on Parenthood. She’s Marie on Breaking Bad. and she was also the abused woman Violet met at the airport last season on Private Practice.

Quotes of the Week

“You’re right. If those 40-year-olds on Glee can act like teenagers than so can we.” Virginia to Burt on Raising Hope.

“I told him you’re Italian so he might call you Tina,” Jack to Liz on 30 Rock.

“I’ll convert to Indianism.” Schmidt to CeCe on New Girl.

“I really love you but I can’t do this anymore.” Mark to Sarah on Parenthood. That scene hurt my heart to watch.

“We want different things. Every time we try to ignore that we end up hurting each other. We don’t work. That’s what we know and that hasn’t changed.” Owen to Cristina on Grey’s Anatomy. This one didn’t hurt my heart at all. I just can’t care about these two being together.

Exchanges of the Week

“I have been sure for a long time that this was never going to happen and I was fine with it. Ergo it couldn’t matter.” Liz to Criss about getting married on 30 Rock.

“It’s okay to be a human woman.” Criss to Liz

“No it’s not, it’s the worst.” Liz’s response

“What if he comes back?” Alicia to Kalinda about Nick on The Good Wife

“He’s not coming back.” Kalinda to Alicia.

“You sure?” Alicia to Kalinda.

“Yeah.” Kalinda’s response. So do we think Kalinda killed Nick and do we care? I”m just so happy that he’s off the show.

That’s all for today. I’m back next week to begin my favorites of 2012 lists. If you have a favorite episode or TV moment from 2012, let me know about it via my contact page. Have a great weekend.

Checking in on the Believability Rating of ‘Modern Family,’ ‘New Girl,’ ’30 Rock,’ ‘Homeland’ and ‘Parenthood’

JULIE BOWEN, SOFIA VERGARA

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

As we have discussed, I don’t require a lot of realism in my TV shows. I’m okay with most of the outrageous TV conventions. Couples can have babies that they often seem to forget they have.  Female detectives can walk around all day in high-heeled shoes.  Characters can go to work at offices that don’t require they do any actual work. Jess can pack a sexy negligee to go to a safe house. Heck Abu Nazir can even Skype with Brody on a smart phone and, in general,  I’m pretty much okay with it.  Let’s take a look at some of the things that happened on TV last week and see where they landed of the believability scale.

Let’s start with pregnant Gloria on Modern Family.  I loathe pregnant Gloria. Loathe her. It’s as if the writers googled “pregnant women stereotypes” and then decided to gift Gloria with all those traits this season. She doesn’t want to wear maternity clothes. She’s forgetful, irrational, emotional, and even unbalanced. I’ve been pregnant and I’ve known a lot of pregnant women and no one I know acts like this. For some reason I am unable to willingly suspend my disbelief on this one. Perhaps it’s because pregnant Gloria is not funny. She’s just gratingly annoying.  Can you imagine how ridiculous she’s going to be a mother of a newborn? Believability Rating: 1 out of a possible 10

Over on New Girl, the comedy tried to send women over 30 into a panic about their ovarian egg reserve. Let’s ignore the fact that the show blatantly disregarded actual medical facts on what constitutes ovarian reserve testing, when it can happen, and how the results are interpreted. I’ll  go ahead and suspend my disbelief on that one because hopefully no one is seeking out medical advice from a television comedy.  What bummed me out about the episode is that there is a larger, more thoughtful conversation to be had here about being a single woman over 30 who knows she wants to have a family but isn’t ready to yet. Instead we got lines like Jess shouting “give my nipples a purpose” and her referring to her uterus as a 1930’s dustbowl.  I’m curious to see if the show brings this topic up again or if it was merely a one-shot plot development. Although I know this is something that mostly affects women, it would be great to see some male characters (other than Ted Mosby, of course), discuss their desire to have a family. Believabilty rating: 0 out of 10 on medical facts, 3 out of 10 on emotional reactions

But thank goodness Liz Lemon had the most perfect wedding on 30 Rock. As I wrote about in my review of last week’s episode for Paste Magazine, Liz was able to confess that getting married was a big deal without losing her sense of self or suddenly becoming a different character entirely. I would have been so angry if suddenly she wanted to wear a princess ball gown and surround herself with women in pastel-colored matching dresses. That’s not the Liz Lemon we know and love. I really hope she and Crises get to have a baby before 30 Rock says its final goodbye in January. Believablity rating: 10 out of 10.

I  also wrote about my beloved Parenthood in Paste Magazine’s Best TV Shows of 2012.  But what I want to talk about today is how much the show is stressing me out. What is Sarah doing? After my initial panic, the series has set up the Hank/Mark/Sarah triangle believably.  Hank and Mark are such completely different people and you can see how they each offer attractive qualities the other doesn’t have. I even believe that Hank kissing Sarah would send her into a full-fledged panic where she would immediately move in with Mark to try to squelch any feelings she might have for Hank. But would she cancel her plans to attend a wedding with Mark to help Hank out? I’m not so sure. I don’t quite know what the show is trying to do here. And I like not knowing. But if Sarah and Mark do break up, we have to figure out a way to keep Mr. Cyr on the show. Believablity rating: 6 out of 10

Okay, now let’s talk about Homeland. At some point this season I decided to give into all the ridiculous Homeland plot twists and just go with the show. It’s absolutely one of those situations where if you think about a show too much you’re not going to be able to enjoy it. And I want to enjoy Homeland.  So I went with the fact that the world’s most renowned terrorist would be able to get into the country, rent a car, buy a big gulp (really he doesn’t have a minion he can send in to the convenience store?) and kidnap Carrie. I’m not saying I preferred this plot twist, I’m saying I  went with it. But the biggest question Homeland faces now is: Can the show continue with Brody or does he need to be killed off? Brody crossed a line he had not crossed before when he killed the Vice President.  His switching from abject horror at what Abu Nazir was asking him to do to smirking as he told the Vice President he was killing him was way too abrupt. And what’s with Carrie going back in to find Abu Nazir? She’s like the teens in some B horror movie that go into the woods alone. My biggest concern with the most recent episode is that Brody has long been a bad guy for whom I’ve had some degree of sympathy for but that’s gone now.  And I’m not sure I’m interested in watching a completely evil Brody. I was hoping for way to keep Damian Lewis on the show next season because I love him so but I don’t see how that’s possible now. I’ve learned, of course, to never doubt Homeland so I can’t wait to see what happens in the final two episodes of the season. Carrie believability rating: 5 out of 10, she  is crazy enough to go after Nazir. Brody believability rating: 4 out of 10, why didn’t he give Nazir a number that was a little bit off?  Abu Nazir believability rating: -1 out of 10, but I didn’t care.

That’s all for today. I would love to hear your thoughts on Modern Family, New Girl, 30 Rock, Parenthood and Homeland below. And if you have seen a familiar face or heard a great quote, definitely let me know about it.