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New Girl

Raven’s Home – Baxter’s Back (1×01)

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Baxter’s back, back again. And she’s got a house full of mini-me’s with her.

In a world of reboots, reviving a show after 14, almost 15 years is tricky and could go one of two ways. It could be a smashing success like Gilmore Girls, a few season flop like Girl Meets World (although I was sentimental and appreciated the lessons Corey Matthews taught our new generation), or it could be a super cheesy hit like Fuller House.

The verdict on Raven’s Home, the follow up to 2000s sitcom, That’s So Raven, is that it’s a worthy sequel.

Raven Baxter, who went from psychic teenager to psychic mother, has not changed one bit. I mean literally, the first episode almost seems as though you’re a pre-teen again. Except now, Raven’s a divorced mom to two kids,  Nia and Booker, who don’t know that she’s actually a psychic. And she’s not planning on letting them in on her mom power either since neither of them have displayed psychic abilities themselves… That is until the first episode. The show must have a purpose again.

And in order to be successful with the nostalgic adults and not just with a new generation of Disney kids, there have to be elements of the original. In this case, it’s Chelsea,  now a mother to super intelligent (it’s hard to believe I know) son Levi, who is also divorced and living with her BFF Raven. We have yet to meet Chelsea’s ex-husband but we do know Raven’s ex is Devon Carter, her high school crush. Disney Channel has always been known for it’s happy endings so it’s refreshing that they are actually acknowledging that sometimes, things don’t work out, especially between high school sweethearts. There’s also a beauty in Raven and Chelsea owning the fact that while their marriages fell apart, they are still strong, independent women.

But alas, just like in the original, Raven is up to her usual shenanigans. It seems like she hasn’t learned a damn thing since her younger years when it comes to misconstruing visions. Almost immediately, she gets a vision that Nia is going to realize that her favorite child is Booker. She goes through lengths to make sure that she shows her daughter a significant amount of love but Nia doesn’t really care. She’s more concerned with Booker’s claims that he’s getting psychic visions since he’s known to fabricate stories and exaggerate.

Surprisingly, everyone else – Levi and Tess, who is a little over exaggerated in my opinion – completely believe him. They brainstorm ways that he can convince Nia but it’s ultimately useless until Booker gets a vision of her getting hit by a punching bag in gym class and then it happens. Booker contemplates telling Raven but Nia assures him that “mom would never understand visions.” Oh, you’d be surprised.

And of course Raven went to gym class to prevent her vision from happening, only to contribute to it happening and instead of her kids getting suspended, she did.

The younger generation does a phenomenal job at matching the energy and up-to-no-good spirit of the season cast, who haven’t skipped a beat. The only thing I would change is toning Tess down a bit. That’s not to say her acting is bad, I actually enjoy her tomboy character but all the black slang will get old quickly.

It’s nice to see Disney Channel get some color again! Now don’t screw it up Raven… oh who am I kidding?!

 

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New Girl

Famous in Love – The Good, the Bad and the Crazy (2×10)

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FAMOUS IN LOVE the Good, The Bad and The Crazy

Without that wacky cliffhanger, the season two finale of Famous in Love would have been a fitting series finale. Not that any of us want that!

However, as of right now, the odds aren’t leaning in Paige’s favor. With weakening ratings, a season three seems highly unlikely. But if that’s the case, how will we ever find out who didn’t make it out of Tangey’s apartment?

My money is on Pablo. Jordan has killed someone before so, more likely than not, he’s got this whole defending himself thing down.

Tangey wasn’t anywhere near the two of them when they were throwing jabs and can be heard screaming last so I’m considering her safe.

And realistically, Pablo means the least to the series as a whole. The plot thickens if he doesn’t survive because once again, Jordan will be forced to stand trial for murder. How much can this man really take?

It’s a bit hard to believe that the chill producer went into full jealous mode over the girl’s ex but this is Hollywood and stalkers are aplenty. Though, did that iPad not have a time stamp on Tang and Jordan’s picture? How delusional was he?

And Jordan, you live in a hotel so why is your iPad not protected? This isn’t the first time someone robbed him blind!

They weren’t the only ones having relationship drama, however.

Paige and Jake weren’t on speaking terms after she confessed to cheating on him and I couldn’t have cared less. Jake is done in my book. He’s over.

Paige may have cheated on him physically because she was missing that connection but he cheated on her way before then and emotionally which is a hell of a lot worse. Everyone knows that! Everyone except for Jake, apparently, as he was annoyed that Paige had the audacity to blame him for the failed relationship.

At no point did Paige deny taking any blame for what she did. She owned up to it and explained exactly what led to it that night. But Jake is not blameless. In fact, he’s quite the coward in my book. A coward who couldn’t accept that he was part of the problem and also couldn’t acknowledge his feelings for Billy until Cassie pushed him in the right direction.

It’s unfortunate that Billy’s storyline is tied to Jake’s because I actually enjoy her presence. Him? Not so much. And that kiss wasn’t surprising. It’s been building up all season long and they finally gave into temptation.

His break-up with Paige, for a relationship that no one was rooting for, was the best thing to happen to this show.

Right after the split, I could actually feel this weight lifted from Paige’s shoulders. She could do anything she wanted.

And unfortunately, she chose to go back to school in Oregon. Seriously, did she bump her head on something? That’s not how any of this works.

Getting lost in the fame is understandable. I’m willing to bet every actor goes through it at some point. But you can’t lose sight of what you gained, of what the dream always was. For her, it was to become an actress.

I love how Marlene King utilized that full-circle moment bringing us to the private jet/paparazzi scene that we first saw when the series premiered almost two years ago. This really has been a wild journey, hasn’t it?

Paige’s acting dreams came true and yes until Locked comes out she’s only famous for being famous, but when people see the film, they’ll see just how talented she is! Even Nina said the studio loved it and her chemistry with Rainer, which is real, was also palpable.

Why throw that all away? And to pursue theater? It’s like becoming a doctor and then leaving after a year to go learn how to become a doctor. It doesn’t make any sense. Can someone explain that to her?

A year-long break might be just the thing to ruin her newly minted career!

And would she really be willing to walk away from Rainer? After that kiss? You know, the one we’ve been anticipating for quite a while now.

What I love most about Rainer and Paige’s relationship is how playful it is. They don’t pretend to be anything they aren’t with each other. They support each other, respect each other, stick up for each other and lift each other up.

They just work in ways that he and Harper and Paige and Jake never did.

When he kissed her for the first time without a million people watching, it was lighthearted and innocent. And so raw. Just a wonderful display of human emotions; the longing, the natural chemistry. There was nothing more to it than just two people who felt a connection and embraced it. Even the hardest critics couldn’t help but crack a smile.

Chances are Rainer will find a way to convince Paige to be his leading lady in Redemption Ridge.

Again, they are supposedly the Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. The networks will do everything to capitalize on the Hollywood sweethearts appeal.

But when it came down to Rainer picking potential leading ladies, I couldn’t help but chortle. Are there really only six promising actresses in LA?

Cassie was a favor to Paige so I understand that.

And he promised Harper he’d let her audition even though she’s definitely been manipulating him to revitalize her own career. She claimed to be so worried about him when he didn’t return from New York but then she was just sunbathing. Funny way of showing it maybe?

Who knows if she’ll even make it to the audition since she apparently turned to her old habits once she lost her grip on Rainer. And by old habits I mean cocaine.

Alexis was the most surprising face up on the board though. Did Rainer just forget how much drama Alexis put him through this season?

And is he so out of it that he isn’t getting TMZ updates about her 72-hour psychiatric hold? Yes, Alexis may have been faking it to get out of her reality TV show contract but Rainer doesn’t know that. Is his best option for such a hit film a girl who just chopped her hair off and slept in some kids bunk bed? I have no words.

Pretending to be insane was something only an insane person could pull off but hey, that’s why we love her, right?

I let out a sigh of relief when she admitted the truth to Tangey thought; she really had me worried for a second with that terrible wig!

But is Sloane really in Alexis’ corner? This whole season, I got some shady vibes from her and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she “found the nurse” who then told Alexis she was going to be committed for at least three days pending further evaluation.

If I had to guess, I think Sloane is gunning for the spotlight and she helped remove Alexis from the narrative in one fell swoop.

Famous in Love isn’t going to win any awards but it has all the makings of a guilty pleasure. One that I hope we’ll be tuning in for the third season.

Given the premieres for both season 1 and 2, I’m willing to bet that if it does score a renewal, it too will premiere sometime next April. That means we have a long wait ahead of us!

Thoughts on season 2?

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New Girl

Once Upon a Time – Leaving Storybrooke (7×22)

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Once Upon a Time Leaving Storybrooke

And they lived happily ever after. Although it wasn’t really an end, it was a second chance.

Once Upon a Time closed the final chapter in the fairy tale and everything came full-circle — but not everyone made it out alive.

That doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t get their happy ending, though.

Rumpelstiltskin showcased a newfound bravery which we’ve never seen before. Becoming the Dark One stemmed from his cowardice, but he finally realized that his power didn’t equate bravery or strength.

Throughout his time trying to find his way back to Belle, he learned what it means to be a true hero which led to his selfless choice; the choice to sacrifice himself and give his heart to his former enemy, and now, truest friend, Hook. Or rather, Nook.

Personally, I like Nook a lot more than Hook.

There was no guarantee his death would reunite him with Belle but given that this is a fairytale, it was pretty obvious that heaven would be an eternity with his love who welcomed him with open arms in her iconic yellow dress.

Once may have lost its way on multiple occasions, but they’ve never faltered when it came to really great love stories.

Even though it may have been sad, Rumpel needed to die. It was his biggest fear, yet Belle always taught him that life was less about how much time you had and more about the moments and the sacrifices.

Admittedly, the timeline/realm situation was pretty confusing, and I wish we hadn’t wasted so much time focusing on Wish Henry’s redemption storyline. Out of all the characters, he never needed redemption because, well, he wasn’t the real Henry.

Yes, it speaks volumes to Regina’s character arc to give this Henry a second chance. Being ready to die to prove to her son, whatever version of him, that she loved him unconditionally is not something the old Regina would do. And if it hadn’t been a series finale that was tight on time, this would have probably been an epic storyline that showcased the power of true love.

I found that both the scene of her discussing her fate with Wish Henry before he takes her blood to doom everyone to their own personal hell in isolation and the duel between mother and lookalike son took up too much time. I would have preferred some actual screentime with Emma. Or even the old Henry for that matter. Let’s face it, the truest believer was never meant to be evil and he didn’t pull it off all that well.

Maybe it’s because deep down inside, even alter-ego Henry wanted to simply be loved?

When Regina decided to cast one last curse — one that would negate all the bad that she’s done and unite all the realms so they could all be together — she insisted that her two boys could finally be in one place together.

But what happened to that Henry and that Regina? When Robin and Alice took the yellow beignet truck to Storybrooke, they came back to when Robin was five-years-old.

Did Regina’s curse send them to the present and thus, that Henry was now Hyperion Heights Henry? It’s really confusing just trying to explain it.

I’m glad Regina finally got some closure with Robin Hood through the dream-scene, which apparently happened in reality since she woke up with a feather in her hand. I didn’t realize how much I missed them as a couple almost like I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed the quaint little town of Storybrooke.

Regina is right; their love story was short-lived but it doesn’t make it any less epic.

Still, I wish that Regina found her happiness like everyone else. I know that she was crowned the Good Queen which means her character development was complete, the people loved and accepted her, and she was surrounded by her closest friends and family, but something was still missing for her.

She always wanted true love and all of the men she did love — Daniel, Robin, Facilier — ended up dead.

Becoming Queen of all the realms is still a pretty badass feat and proves what they were fighting for in the Wish Realm; their stories aren’t set in stone. They ultimately control their destiny.

I do wish that Regina’s coronation doubled-up as Alice and Robin’s wedding. Given that the writers made it a point for Robin to ask Nook for his blessing for the marriage and then how she pointed out that he would walk his daughter down the aisle, I was betting we’d see it.

Understandably, a series finale is supposed to pay tribute to the key moments from the original and honor the original fans but with this revamped season, I’ve grown a liking for the new generation. It would have been a nice touch to honor both fans, old and new.

If they weren’t going to do it, why even bring it up?

Emma Swan arrived at the coronation a bit late with Hook and baby Hope in tow. The minute Snow mentioned that “the baby got fussy,” I hoped we’d see their little bundle of joy. Next to Regina, Emma has always deserved a happy ending.

And can you believe how big Neil is already?

The finale as a whole wasn’t gripping nor was it shocking but that was the whole point. We’ve had several seasons for the finales that made us cling to our seats and worry about the fate of these characters. This wasn’t the time.

These characters have told their stories, they’ve lived their adventures. Whatever happens now, I’m sure it will be as thrilling as it always has been but sadly, we won’t be a part of it.

There’s something comforting in knowing that the stories will keep on going and that really, there’s no happy ending; the happiness has always been within us.

And as we leave behind characters that are stronger and more resilient than ever, we say goodbye to curses and departed Storybrooke, a forgotten town tucked away somewhere in Maine where incredible things are happening, one last time.

Other Thoughts

  • I love how the dwarves and Granny attacked the intruders. They aren’t too welcoming around these parts of town.
  • The Blue Fairy has always been so underutilized. And even in her final scene, she was just a prop to showcase just how bad Rumpel’s new curse could be.
  • Why did Wish Henry want everyone to pay when his gripe was with Regina?
  • Maleficent’s baby daddy was Zorro. I don’t know why we needed to know that, but I’m a better person because I do.
  • Not only was Alice and Robin’s lovestory never finished, we never even got a proper sendoff for Henry and Jacinda. It’s as if they were pining for each other during the curse and had about 3% of chemistry and then after that, poof, it was all gone.

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New Girl

Famous in Love – Look Who’s Stalking (2×08)

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Famous in Love Look Who's Stalking

Raise your hand if you thought that Paige’s stalker was, without a doubt, Eddie!

I thought it may have been too obvious, but the way he reacted when Paige told him she had a boyfriend made it very possible that he was at The Bixby only to lure her in and she just so happened to be at her lowest emotional state and fell for it.

In a shocking twist of events, the creepy home invader turned out to be bartender Shane.

Alright, it wasn’t that shocking cause the bartender was my third suspect. The second was the worker at Gold Brothers but if Eddie was obvious, the other guy was beyond.

And like Cassandra said, it’s always someone you know.

The bartender, in case you forgot, also served Paige a bottle of their finest alcohol one time from a secret-admirer so yeah, they alluded to it.

Paige’s self-defense was on-point; Shane didn’t stand a chance against her especially when she pushed him off the staircase.

Way to ruin her new house, bro.

When it comes to terrible boyfriends, Jake has to be at the top of the list.

He was so pre-occupied with what a flop the film festival was even though it was supposed to be since it was his first one, he didn’t reach out to Paige to see if she made it home safe.

Therefore, he knew nothing about the stalker situation.

And when he finally made it a point to come see her to “fix things,” he showed up after everything was said and done and the cops were there. We’re just so glad she picked Jake over Rainer (insert sarcastic tone here).

I’m still trying to understand what the writers are trying to achieve with their relationship given that he’s developing feelings for Billy. It’s only a matter of time before they act on that sexual tension.

Maybe he’ll run to her when Paige confesses that she slept with another man.

Despite how I feel about cheaters, it hurt me to see Paige regret her bad decision and state that Jake would hate her because she hated herself.

Sometimes, we’re harder on ourselves and less likely to forgive ourselves than those around us. I wish I  could say I hope that’s the case here, but I’m indifferent about this relationship.

Much like I am about Rainer’s with Harper. Since Sloane revealed that Harper goes wherever the wind blows, I’ve been skeptical of her.

This week, she brought Rainer the manuscript to “Redemption Ridge,” which she outbid the other studios, including Nina’s, for. Her idea is to star in the movie alongside Rainer which glosses over his decision to leave acting for good.

You can tell she’s in it for selfish reasons because she didn’t even ask how Rainer was doing following his relapse. And the only good outcome of that was that he made amends with Jordan who moved his deposition back a day to be there for his friend during a time of need.

Much of the story focused on Alexis who is on a downward spiral. Or at least Sloane wants everyone to think she is.

It’s a fact that Alexis is being overworked, stole a blouse, did some drugs and boozed it up way too much, but Sloane is loving every minute of it.

She’s putting on the act of being this concerned friend when in reality, she wanted Tangey to think Alexis was a mess so that she would call her mother and tell her to put the reality show on hiatus which would, in turn, allow Sloane to take over.

Yep, she’s sabotaging her own “bestie” for her personal gain.

Suddenly, I’m not even mad that Nina tried to sabotage Sloane’s chances of landing a role on that film.

Alexis can be catty, Tangey has had her moments but damn, Sloane is the worst of them all.

I really need Tangey to stop working with Pablo Money because honey, those songs are not money. That was the weakest song I’ve ever heard.

And why didn’t we acknowledge Jordan’s rekindled relationship with Tangey when it pertained to Maricel?

As for Cassandra, she’s getting a taste of what it means to be a Hollywood couple. Adam got an AD part on a new film in Iceland and while she was mad he didn’t ask for her approval, she was more scared that they would fall apart.

However, like Jake said, I think they might actually make it. I hope he doesn’t leave the show for good because he’s an enjoyable, neutral character.

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