Sunday night TV treats us well, doesn’t it? We’ve got Game of Thrones to look forward to, Nurse Jackie coming up, and the last half season of Mad Men (but more on that later!) to help us cope with impending Mondays.
We’ve finished Girls, we just wrapped up Walking Dead, and yes, Shameless. I think this is what I most looked forward to on Sunday nights. I’ve loved watching this season, so let’s talk about where the season 5 finale has left us.
[Frank + Bianca] Frank isn’t a likable character, but his tryst with Bianca really made him so in these last few episodes. Sure, it started out in typical Frank fashion, but he really cared about her. He looked cleaner, happier, and more useful than ever. It was inevitable that Bianca would slip away, and at least she went out peacefully. It was nice to see more humanity in her too, despite tempting fate with some Russian. It was really nice to see Frank be sweet.
[Lip] Okay, we know Lip’s not stupid, so why does he ignore Amanda’s feelings like he did? We’ve seen Lip care about people before, and I feel like his treatment of Amanda was just cruel. Poor thing blew up in the library like that and I don’t blame her. What I don’t get is the professor… this is what he thinks love is? What does she actually do for him, aside from rock his world in bed and have her husband watch? This is creepy. This isn’t a relationship! Amanda was. And she gave you her car.
[Ian + Mickey] I don’t even know what to say about Ian. I don’t know what’s right for him. He doesn’t know what’s right for him. My real heartbreak is for Mickey, though. Mickey truly loves Ian; he’s such a changed man for having loved Ian. I hope it’s not the end for these two.
[Debbie] This girl literally knows nothing about life. When you look at Debbie’s role models, it’s clear why. Which brings me to
[Fiona] Ugh, Fiona. After all the trouble you caused last season, you’ve completely abandoned your family this season again. What happened to the young lady granted custody of all these kids, keeping the Gallaghers together? I think she’s forgotten about that. She played house with Gus without ever really putting in the effort– she cheated on him almost immediately, and when things got tough, she backed further away. When faced with the reality of her sham marriage, she runs to Sean’s arms and he denies her. Does Fiona know how to be alone? Does Fiona know who she is at all? Not yet.
A couple of other things:
- Nice to see Carl again at the end!
- I had a feeling that Sammi, who I’ve completely hated all season, was alive after all. The way she came back makes me think there’s a place for Sammi in this series afterall– chasing and shooting after Mickey, hilarious!
- Vee & Kev, back together at last! I don’t blame Vee for any of her reactions, honestly, but I’m glad that these two finally worked it out. We all love them.
Tell me what you thought about the Shameless season 5 finale!
These episodes feel quick, especially with the characters so far away from each other. I keep thinking back to Beach House and seeing them all play off each other. I’m hoping we’ll get that soon. For now, more Iowa! Let’s go character by character, as I do:
Hannah | As usual, Hannah is discontent. Does she even want to write? Is she asking herself the same question right about how? I do love her juxtaposed with Elijah, who is oddly thriving in Iowa. His bit about mastering the selfie and then having the novel idea of turning the camera around was hilarious. Hannah’s form of making friends is apparently calling out every other person in the program. I’m not sure I liked that Francesca Lia Block dig, Hannah.
Marnie | On one hand, hasn’t Marnie learned yet that this relationship with Desi is destructive? Maybe this is the danger of being in a relationship for so long through some major learning years (Charlie) but she’s had a rebound or two by now, so she should know better! On the other hand, I do think she handled it well when Desi annoyingly categorized her— you’re so young/your views are culturally specific/this is a sexual-music relationship. All bullshit. Thankfully Marnie agreed, but no changes on the horizon just yet. Oh, but she kissed Ray. Super sane.
Shoshanna | I’m going to be honest; I was disappointed by how little Shosh we got in this episode. I thought we’d get to see some interview rejections, but I’m guessing that’s yet to come. I did happen to enjoy her interview with Ann Taylor Loft… throwing Loft in there leads me to believe this is a retail opportunity and not a corporate one. Kids, take it from someone who used to make her living coaching recent college graduates through job interviews: this is not how you end it!
Jessa | So, Jessa and Adam are kind of close, which irks Hannah more than she lets on. Jessa decides to be brash and pee in the street, which leads to a small altercation, which ends with handcuffs for both her and Adam. After Ray bails them out, Adam yells at Jessa for her manipulative behavior that he saw her impart on Hannah. He calls her a bad influence. (If you’re watching Shameless on Showtime like I am, did this remind you of the scene between Fiona and her boss/love interest?) He tells her to grow up and that he doesn’t need any more friends. Jessa relents and calls after him that she really does.
And one quick parting thought…
How cute was this kitchen?!
What did you all think of Female Authors?
This is the most important list I could write. Now that we’ve talked about favorite shows of 2014, let’s look forward to my most anticipated shows of 2015. Mark your calendars for these very important premiere dates!
MasterChef Junior | We don’t have to go too long without this delight! A new season returns Tuesday, January 6th at 8 PM on Fox. You’ll probably see my recaps pop up on Fridays again.
Shameless | After quite the surprise in the end of last season, I can’t wait for new episodes! Shameless returns to Showtime Sunday, January 11th at 9 PM. I’ll be watching on Showtime Anytime since this conflicts with another show…
Girls | I feel like it’s been such a long time since the season finale. Is Hannah going to Iowa? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday, January 11th at 9 PM. My recaps should be ready for you Mondays, as usual.
The Fall | Oh goodness, how I’ve missed this delicious Gillian Anderson detective thriller. I’ve been waiting forever for new episodes, and the second series finally hits Netflix on Friday, January 16th.
Best New Restaurant | Tom Colicchio hosts this Gordon Ramsay production, Bravo’s new Best New Restaurant. With the two of them involved, it’s a sure thing I’ll be watching. The premiere is Wednesday, January 21st at 10 PM, I guess taking the place of Top Chef. I’m hungry just thinking about it.
The Walking Dead | I’m going to be very busy on Sundays. The Walking Dead returns from it’s midseason hiatus on Sunday, February 8th at 9 PM on AMC.
Better Call Saul | I finally finished Breaking Bad, checking it off from my TV to-do list. Saul has got to be my favorite character, and I’m looking forward to more Bob Odenkirk in the AMC show! It’s set to premiere Monday, February 9th at 10 PM.
Broadchurch | I’d been watching Gracepoint, but when Broadchurch finally hit Netflix it was clear that this is the superior show. While series 2 premieres in January in the UK, we’ll have to wait a bit longer on BBC America. Broadchurch series 2 premieres Wednesday, March 4th at 10 PM.
Orphan Black | It’s straight-up torture to make us wait this long! My favorite show of the year finally returns to BBC America on Saturday, April 18th. Clone Club Catch-Up will be back, friends!
So now you know what I’m most looking forward to in the new year and how you can watch too! What shows are you most looking forward to?
Padma and Ming Tsai announce the second Sudden Death Quickfire of the season. It’s Boston Tea Party themed… because that might the be only thing people know about Boston. Actually, it’s a neat challenge. Each cheftestant gets a different type of tea to cook with. There are thirteen different types which include:
- strawberry white tea, which Gregory gets
- gunpowder spearmint, which Aaron gets
- lemongrass pomegranate rooibos, which Rebecca gets
- Asian pear white tea, for James
- chocolate & salt herbal tea, for Rob
- toasted nut oolong, for Melissa
They don’t get to pick, they just open a container and that’s what they need to prepare tea for two with for Padma and Ming. Melissa, Gregory, and Ron come out on top. Gregory takes the win and earns immunity for the elimination challenge. The bottom three are James, Aaron, and Rebecca. Ultimately, Aaron loses and is up for elimination. He has to cook for his life.
Aaron chooses Katie to cook again, as she is a culinary instructor and he has some kind of chip on his shoulder for not being able to afford culinary school. The twist? The only source of heat Aaron and Katie can use is boiling water.
Aaron does “a spring roll, but a fucked up one,” which Padma asks how he would like her to eat. Katie makes pasta by hand since she couldn’t figure out the pasta maker. Aaron’s fucked up spring roll is enough to beat Katie and keep him in the competition. It’s nice to see no one go home! But Aaron’s ego, man.
Ming & Padma then announce the elimination challenge and FENWAY PARK home of the Boston Red Sox! I’m still too excited about that not to type it in caps. The cheftestants must use a classic ballpark snack as inspiration (peanuts, popcorn, pretzels, friend dough) to make a fine dining dish to serve at Fenway.
Tom, Richard Blais, Hugh Acheson, Padma, Ming, and guests Dennis Eckersley and Dan Shaughnessy sit below the green monster and are served the following:
Back at the judges’ table, Ming accompanies our regulars. The favorites are Gregory, Melissa, and Katie. Gregory takes the win, again! I’m really starting to like him after hearing more of his backstory. On the bottom, we have Ron, Kerriann, and Katsuji. None of these are people I wanted to go home. Ron ends up packing his knives. I would’ve liked to see more from him; he seemed like a genuinely good guy.
NEXT WEEK THOUGH features one of my absolute favorite shows, CHEERS! Special guests include George Wendt (say it with me, Norm! Did you know I’m the world’s oldest 25-year-old?) and Shameless’s Emmy Rossum! Every preview just gets me more and more excited about Top Chef Boston!
If you watch in the Eastern time zone, remember to tweet with me next week! @nikkisee
What did you guys think of this week’s episode and the results?!
School’s back in session and the students have returned to my city in full force. The trains are packed in the morning, as everyone returns from vacation. I mourn the loss of beach days, but I welcome the onslaught of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin Munchkins, and pumpkin everything else I’ve already begun to consume. Fall TV is looming, and I am ready!
I may have watched the entirety of Toddlers and Tiaras no less than three times this summer, but I also caught up on shows people have been recommending to me! Here’s what I watched this summer:
Shameless – At the recommendation of my cousin Amanda, I started this Showtime show at the very beginning of summer. I had tried out the UK version of this show previously and didn’t connect with it at all, so I was resistant. The US version was easier for me to connect with– familiar faces like Emmy Rossum and Joan Cusack drew me in. Showtime Anytime is a wonderful thing, friends. This series was engaging and hilarious, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this next season!
The Following – My friend and coworker Julia was actually my recommendation queen this summer. I watched Scandal thanks to her, too! She told me about this show on a Beacon Hill roof deck saying, I think you’d like it. When I started this show about cults and serial killers, I thought: this is what you think of me?! However, she was totally right. I absolutely LOVED this show. I only watched the first season, since it’s available on Netflix, and it definitely stands alone as an interesting story. I will actively seek out season 2.
Nurse Jackie – Apparently it was the summer of Showtime for me. My friend Chelsea recommended this to me years ago. I’m a huge fan of House, which is why she thought I would like Nurse Jackie. I was against the idea because it initially sounded too similar to House– a drug-addicted medical professional– but without the medical mysteries that make the show interesting! Nurse Jackie is a dark comedy with an engaging cast of characters. Once I got into it, I devoured the 6 seasons quickly! I can’t believe I have to wait for 2015 to see what happens!
As you can see, I take my recommendations seriously. Your turn: what should this girl watch next?
Have a great weekend, everybody!
My cousin’s been telling me for months to watch Shameless. Aside from my access to Showtime being a recent occurrence, my hesitation came from the episode I watched of the UK version by the same name. It just didn’t click. Though the first episode of the American version was very similar to what I remember of the UK version’s first episode, something clicked this time. Perhaps it was just the magic of a second try, but I think it’s the American cast that sealed the deal for me. Emmy Rossum is fantastic, yes, but my favorite has got to be Joan Cusack. Thanks to Shameless, she’s my Woman Crush this Wednesday!
I’ve loved Joan for a long, long time. She’s a shining star in my favorite movie, (perhaps the only movie I truly love,) Addams Family Values. She plays Debbie Jellinsky, a serial killer known as the Black Widow who marries Uncle Fester. Her final monologue in this dark comedy is one of my favorite things ever and kind of a personal slogan: Don’t I deserve love? And jewelry?
She next caught my attention in a family favorite, School of Rock, as the principal of Horace Green. From singing Stevie Nicks to announcing that “all of your children have gone missing,” she carries off this uptight role with the most hilarity. I remember being surprised to see her in this then, recognizing her of course from AFV and the many John Cusack films of my youth.
These days I recognize Joan by her voice first, my eyesight not being too keen and my TV being farther away than my eyes like. Her voice is how I spotted her in SVU, and her voice is what first drew me to Sheila.
Sheila– neurotic, agoraphobic, and a little bit slutty– has been an absolute joy to watch so far. I’m making my way on to season 2 and savoring every bit of crazy Joan infuses into Sheila! I’m so excited to have Joan on my screen in episodic format. She’s making Shameless for me!
I’m interested in trying out the UK version again now that I’m onboard. Thoughts?