may the odds of drama, backbiting, scheming, and bitchiness be ever in our favor!

My apologies for being remiss in my Make It or Break It recapping duties. The past few episodes have been kind of meh. But have no fear. 3×05 is pure gold. Such gold, in fact, it has inspired a very special recap.

Presenting…

WARNING FOR MILD HUNGER GAMES SPOILERS

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Single White Female Gymnast or Make It or Break It 3×02 “It Takes Two”

I kind of like my title better. Lacking in creativity, I grant, but at least it’s not named after an Olsen twins film.

For some reason, I find this show infinitely more watchable this season. I didn’t say good, mind you. I said watchable. I was mulling over possible reasons for it, and here’s what I got so far:

  • Bigger budget. I’m not sure if you could call this show a hit, but I guess it performed well enough for ABC Fam to throw more money at it (some weirdos *cough* might have bought the DVDs, too). Whatever the reason, the sets no longer look like leftovers from an 80s after school special (can’t say the same for the writing, sadly) and the stunt work has vastly improved. Remember the pilot, when Emily threw some cowboyed flexed-footed vault that hadn’t been competitive since the early 80s? Now the stunt doubles (which still look nothing like the actresses, but baby steps) are throwing skills that actually are believable. We’ve come a long way, baby.
  • Less of the boring adults. They seem to have done a nu-90210 this season and scaled back dramatically on the adults, with most of the focus on the teens. Because let’s be real, who watches a teen show for the parents? (Queen Chloe, however, is exempted from this point. I miss you, Chloe. But not enough to want Emily back).
  • Less soap, more sports. I may be speaking too soon, but so far, this season actually seems to be about gymnastics (which is not to say that the athletes don’t still seem to have inordinate amounts of free time to chase after boys and pull pranks, but let’s not split hairs here). They actually seem to do other things at the gym than stand around the chalk bin and gossip, so it’s progress!
  • No Emily. Because I never miss a chance to shade Emily.

So let’s get this party started. Continue reading

make it or break it is back… and so am I!

Oh man and here I was thinking I would never recap this show again. But Season 3 is off to a glorious start and I am sucked right back into the rabbit hole. No, really. This episode had a BUNNY! WOOK AT THE BUNNY!

As always, this show is completely ridiculous and lacking in all realism or credibility, but that’s OK, because let’s be honest–we are not here for that. Continue reading

It’s Disney movie recap time! F-U-N fun!

So Geek Charming is one of those terribad teen movies I just cannot resist: shamelessly derivative, shamelessly trite, and shamelessly cheesy. I heard it was based off a novel, which I have never read and basically know nothing about. I do know, however, that the movie changed the ending, and people seem to be glad of it, since the original ending sucked. Like HP epilogue style.

Geek Charming is listed as a comedy, but one of the funniest bits is actually its imdb summary:

Dylan Shoenfield is the pink princess of the upscale Los Angeles Woodlands Academy. She has the coolest boyfriend, the most popular friends, and a brand-new it bag that everyone covets. But when she accidentally tosses her Serge Sanchez bag into a fountain, this princess comes face-to-face with her own personal frog, self-professed film geek Josh Rosen. In return for rescuing Dylan’s bag, Josh convinces Dylan to let him film her for his documentary on high school popularity. Reluctantly, Dylan lets F-list Josh into her A-list world, and is shocked to realize that sometimes nerds can be pretty cool.

Really, how can I top that? Pure gold right there.

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The secret circle returns

A while back I started recapping the Secret Circle books. I haven’t yet finished, but I’m in the process of rereading so I can finish my recaps. For now, however, here’s a little something to tide you over.

In an attempt to ride off the success of The Vampire Diaries and make a franchise out of everything ever, the CW has now made The Secret Circle into a TV series. Because of my general masochism and inability to resist a good train wreck, I tuned in. The first few episodes were rather ho-hum, but the show has officially crossed over from entertaining trainwreck to straight-up crack in episode 4, so things are looking up.

I’m not going to give the episodes the full recap treatment, like I have for previous shows. There’s just too much ground to cover and while I love recapping, it can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. Have no fear, though–I am working on another recap for this site. Aren’t you excited? I’m also not going to spend a lot of time comparing the TV series to the books. That can also get tedious, and generally speaking, I prefer to analyze TV adaptations on their own merits. Oh, and it should go without saying–MASSIVE SPOILERS UP TO EPISODE 4.

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City of Bones a.k.a. haven’t I read/seen this before?

OK so I know it’s been a while since I updated. I’ve been meaning to shred this book for aeons, but I never got around to it till now. Still, better late than never, right?

Cassandra Clare has quite the colorful history in online Harry Potter fandom (where she went by the name Cassandra Claire… why she dropped the i, I suppose we’ll never know). If you’re so inclined, you can read about it here or if you don’t have five hours to spare, the cliff notes version here. Now, I’m not trying to allege that anything in the Mortal Instruments series is plagiarized–it isn’t, although it’s been claimed that she lifted passages from her own fanfic–but given CC’s fandom history, well… how about I just break this down and let you decide. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so:

The Cast

Clary Fray – the story’s young protagonist:

Jace Wayland – the obligatory psychotic jackass love interest:

Valentine – the bad guy:

Some other people:

What, you mean you still want a proper synopsis? Sigh. FINE.

So the heroine, Clary, hits up an all-ages dance club in NYC with her buddy, Simon, where she witnesses a murder. Only it’s not really a murder, it’s a group of teenage demon-fighters killing a demon who’s glamoured himself to look like a normal teen. So Clary finds out she’s among a group of magical humans called the Shadowhunters, who keep themselves hidden from non-magical humans, whom they call “Mundanes.” The Shadowhunters use glamours to hide their places, so they appear to the Mundanes as abandoned buildings and such. Clary also finds out that NYC plays host to a thriving underground consisting of all sorts of magical beings and fairy creatures. In particular, there are demon/human hybrids called “downworlders.” A sect of the Shadowhunters known as the Circle seeks to rid the population of the downworlders. So the Shadowhunters are headed up by this totally evil guy named Valentine. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, K?

WELL TOO BAD. You wanted a synopsis, you got one. OK so most of the book is spent on nicking stuff from other series worldbuilding. Clary is introduced to the Institute, a hidden magical place where would-be Shadowhunters learn to shadow-hunt. There she meets a wise old mentor figure named Hodge who has a pet bird. Then the shit starts really hitting the fan. Her Mom goes missing, she consults a Trelawney-esque eccentric fortuneteller lady, and stuff happens involving flying motorcycles and a gay wizard. Which sounds pretty cool put that way, but so many other elements are so obviously borrowed, it kind of cancels it out. Besides, it’s not like TMI is the only series to ever feature a gay wizard. There’s also a Lupin knockoff in there who does… pretty much nothing but deliver a really long monologue Explaining Everything. And through it all is the teen angst–Simon’s in love with Clary who’s in love with Jace with whom she makes out and then finds out he’s her brother.

Oh, yeah.

Clary’s always wondered about her father whom she never knew, and naturally the story her mother told her was some twee fabrication and her father is really… dun dun dun… VALENTINE! Who also spawned a son who ended up with the Waylands! Who also happens to be… oh, fuck it, I can’t even pretend to be surprised.

So here’s the dealio. It’s not that CC is a terrible writer–her style is pretty no-frills but it gets the job done, and CoB is an entertaining enough read even if it totally lacks any originality. There’s a lot of stuff out there totally lacking in originality but is still a big hit. It just especially bothered me in CoB because the derivative elements are so transparent and so frequent that it’s actually distracting, and completely pulled me out of the story. I couldn’t invest in or care about any of these characters because all I could see were watered-down mishmashes of more memorable characters from earlier, better sagas. It’s that obvious. So if you’ve ever seen Buffy, HP, or Star Wars you’ll either love this book (because it’s just like crossover fanfiction with the names changed) or hate it (because it’s just like crossover fanfiction with the names changed). And if you’ve read/seen neither? Get off this blog and out from under that rock and do so. Trust me, the story was better the first three times around.

Welcome to Point Pleasant, Bitch! or Point Pleasant 1×01, “Pilot”

So, Point Pleasant. Some of you might remember this short-lived series. Its brief run began (and ended) in 2005, although the show looks and feels more like it was filmed in 1997. The premise was based around a mysterious young girl who (literally) washes up on the shore of the titular New Jersey town. She is the daughter of Satan and a mortal woman, in perpetual conflict between her human side and her evil side. PP received attention in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom because it was co-produced by Buffy alum Marti Noxon, but it soon became apparent that PP had more in common with a low-budget version of The OC sprinkled with elements of a Dan Brown novel. And therein lies the awesome. This is crack of the finest quality, guys.

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