The Addams Family

Face Off: Death Becomes Them

Face Off this week was maybe my favorite episode of the season, but definitely my favorite episode in a long time… so let’s jump on in!

McKenzie meets the artists at a backlot this week to a house ruined recently utilized by Desperate Housewives but made famous for being 1313 Mockingbird Lane, aka the home of the Munsters!  This week’s challenge was to create a quirky and macabre character inspired by the likes of the Munsters and the Addams family.

They each pick a gravestone representing the family member they are to create:

  • Nora selects the Blacksheep Cousin
  • Evan selects the Bully Older Brother
  • Ben selects the Inappropriate Uncle
  • Jordan selects the Spinster Aunt
  • Scott selects the Stern Father

Everyone did a pretty phenomenal job:

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Evan’s Bully Brother is the only one I really couldn’t get behind.  I like the bull aspect and the actor played it well, but the paint job is… pug-like.

I love Scott’s Stern Dad.  He looks like Zombie Frasier Crane.

Ben’s Inappropriate Uncle has his deceased spouse in tow and has Ve sufficiently creeped out.  This is the clear winner for me.  Hilarious and successful!

I’m a fan of Nora’s Black Sheep Cousin too.  She’s the Marilyn Munster of the group, expect she looks like her sheep-demon family, but she’s totally positive and not satanic.  Hilarious!

Scott’s cartoonish Spinster Aunt is definitely interesting, but so different than the rest of the characters.  Too much for the challenge?  The judges think maybe not enough, if that’s the direction he was going.

The surprise of the episode is that two people will be eliminated and the final three will be chosen right then and there.  The first in the finale is Ben!  So happy.  Loved his make-up.  The second will be Nora!  While she was not my favorite throughout the season, she’s definitely had some stand-out make-ups and I loved her concept so much here, I think she deserved it.  The remaining three have an hour to revise their make-ups based on the judges’ critiques to fight for that final spot.  In the end, it’s Evan who’s selected.

True life: I wanted Scott based on his awesome dad make-up.  Jordan would’ve been my second choice for that third place.  Evan… just didn’t have it for me.  But let’s see what these three do next week!

Doctor Who: A Man in a Box, Literally

I know I said this about Kill the Moon, but Flatline is officially my favorite episode of series 8.  I feel like i’ve been reaching to like this series, but finally this episode completely worked for me.  The Doctor and Clara were in perfect sync, (up until the very end that is,) the monsters were interesting and conceptually scary, and we saw the classic tools of the trade that we love– the sonic screwdriver and psychic paper.  Oh, and we had a lot of fun with a tiny Tardis.

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Never has the statement “it’s bigger on the inside” been more true that when the Tardis, landing roughly when/where Clara asked for it to, turned out to be quite a bit smaller than it was before.

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The Doctor is immediately intrigued, but Clara’s a bit frustrated for ending up in Bristol while she’s hiding her travels from boyfriend Danny.  As Clara goes to investigate, the Tardis shrinks even more to a pocketbook-sized portability, which Clara carries around with her throughout the episode.  The Doctor is full-sized inside, and to indicate the new altered size of the Tardis, its interior door looks like something out of Willy Wonka or Alice in Wonderland.

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This means Clara gets to play Doctor throughout the episode, poking fun at the vagueness of the title and using her new found moral ambiguity to solve a mystery of missing people.

When an Alex Mack-style puddle sucks up a police office, the Doctor makes the connection that the disappearing people are being turned two-dimensional by the episode’s monsters.  Which is to say, they die.

In concept, monsters living in the walls and the floors and basically any flat surface are absolutely terrifying.  We see this as Clara leads a party of city workers through the underground.  In manifestation, they wear the people they’ve killed like camouflage, which sounds really creepy, but look like claymation zombies.

These monsters suck energy from the Tardis so the Doctor is unable to restore its size and functions.  At one point, the tiny Tardis is knocked out of Clara’s hands and onto the subway tracks.  As a train approaches, Clara suggests the Doctor “Addams Family” it off the tracks, as they only way to move it is manually.  He does, but in his short moment of victory dancing, he knocks it back onto the tracks.  It then goes into siege mode: a silver cube with Gallifreyan markings on it that no one could get into or out of.  Clara comes up with a brilliant plan to restore its power, thinking like the Doctor and using the monters’ power.  When the Tardis is restored and the Doctor finally comes out of the box, the moment feels so earned.

Did you guys love this episode as much as I did?

WCW: Joan Cusack (Shameless)

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!

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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?