Tag Archives: death

Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 24 – “Goodnight Gracie”

KIP MOONEY: It’s been a little more than two months since my grandfather passed away. I miss him every day, some days more than others. What usually makes me sad are the fragments of things he said that come to…

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Modern Family: The Last Walt

KIP MOONEY: My apologies for not getting last week’s review up. Technical difficulties, and that was totally on me. Anyway, after rumblings I heard this morning from friends and family about this week’s episode not being up to snuff, I…

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Downton Abbey: Week 6

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: An intense two hour episode of “Downton Abbey” rarely leaves much to the imagination when all questions are asked and answered without much lull in between. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t love every minute of this episode, but oy veh, is this emotional roller coaster exhausting!

ZOË RICE: The pacing of this week’s two-hour whirlwind left little room to breathe. So much action keeps a viewer utterly engaged. But from another point of view, it also robs us of the kind of slower progression that allows for heightened suspense and a savoring that only comes when a drama series makes you earn its tastiest moments.

MICHAEL CUMMINGS: Much better. Much, much better. Love stories were advanced, an in-the-way character died, affairs were narrowly avoided, the annoying long-lost presumptive heir nobody cared about stayed away (hopefully for good), and everybody’s favorite nice-guy walked bravely to his arrest. All in all, it was an outstanding week, but one minor detail keeps nagging me: How old is everyone?

HOWARD MEGDAL: The conclusion of Season 2- from what I understand, this coming finale is really a separate, Christmas at Downton aired later over in Great Britain- had the pacing problems Zoë mentioned for me as well. That said, there was so much to like, and I am greatly saddened at the idea that Downton is coming to a close for now.
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Downton Abbey: Week 4

SONIA BRAND-FISHER When scandal strikes on “Downton Abbey,” we are intrigued and enthralled to be caught up in the frivolous exhilaration. Even when something as wild as Branson’s attempted vandalism happens at the dinner table or when Thomas sobs at the suicide of a blind soldier, we watch from afar, curious yet hopelessly invested. Episode 4, however, brought us closer into the tragedies of the household that were articulated with so much intimacy and humanity that at times it was very difficult to be a part of. This episode took us out of our cozy roles as observers and into the depths of Downton, all the way to the end of the South Gallery, behind white curtains, and into the hearts of the inhabitants.

ZOË RICE: And so this week the camera doesn’t cut away when Matthew and William face their gravest peril yet. Instead we see them lying seemingly lifeless on the battlefield. With that, this season’s most gripping episode of Downton yet is underway.

MICHAEL CUMMINGS: I swear for a minute there I almost thought Julian Fellowes was trying out material for the tragically as-yet-unplanned Star Wars Episode VII post-quel. First, Lady Mary and Daisy started feeling disturbances in the Force when their men took shrapnel at the front. Then, the radical chauffeur reminded the cute daughter to be more mindful of her feelings. Later, Captain Crawley and William (requiescat in peace, by the way) threw down in an epic Darth Vader egg-off. At that point I was honestly expecting to see a 1138 Easter Egg pop up somewhere.

HOWARD MEGDAL: So much to love about this week’s episode. My fellow reviewers have touched on the larger points, and I largely agree. It is almost impossible to imagine that Matthew, whose entrances have provided so much of the show’s lifeblood, will now be a forlorn figure in a wheelchair. Perhaps they can split the difference and give him an FDR persona, but betting on a misdiagnosis seems wise. Continue reading

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Modern Family: Season 2, Episode 17

KIP MOONEY: In the long run, I think this will become one of my all-time favorites because, while it doesn’t have the extreme punch lines of other great episodes, it earns major points for actually building on emotional moments instead of simply blind-siding us with sentimentality.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Tremendous episode, with all three plots working well together.

Agree with Kip that the writers need to be careful with narrowing Phil, but I also greatly enjoyed him within the framework here- both at the spa, and classically, in the encounter with Claire near the end of the show. Continue reading

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The New Tom Jones Album

AKIE BERMISS: Without a doubt, the very last place I expected to hear good new music was from someone like Tom Jones. When Dave told me it was a record I had to hear I was at first under the impression that he was joking. I mean we’re talking about Tom Jones here. You’ve got to be kidding me, right? The sex-bomb, the not-unusual, the tired cliche of a cliche of a cliche — Tom friggin’ Jones?! First of all, isn’t he like a billion years old? And secondly, what the hell is he doing making a record?

What the hell is that recording doing being so damned awesome?!

DAVE TOMAR: Until only recently, my appreciation for Tom Jones has been strictly ironic. He’s hilarious. The bulge in his leather pants. The silk shirt unbuttoned to his navel. The style of ultra-swank that he seems to have virtually invented. The Welsh choogler is almost a caricature of rock and roll, reveling for decades in its excess and frequently dispensing of its substance in favor of its sexuality. He is all the raunchiness and comedic value of a mid-coital facial expression. Continue reading

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