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The Good Place Monday's Am I Right? Review The Good Place Monday's Am I Right? Review

TV Reviews

The Good Place Review – The New Afterlife (4×11)

THE GOOD PLACE -- "Mondays, Am I Right?" Episode 411-- Pictured: (l-r) Manny Jacinto as Jason, William Jackson Harper as Chidi -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

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“Mondays, Am I Right?” starts and completes the human’s new afterlife plan. Michael and Shawn begin working together, Vicky and insecure Chidi return, and Janet reveals her dirtiest secret.

The return of insecure Chidi is a little surprising, since he seemed so fully transformed in the previous episode. I feel like this storyline maybe should have happened earlier in this season, but that wasn’t feasible due to Chidi’s erased memories. At worst, it felt like a regression of his character, but on the better side, it reminds us that the Chidi we’ve spent the last four seasons with is still in there and still has fears. Just because Chidi is his “best self” doesn’t mean he’s his “perfect” self, and he shouldn’t be. Nobody is perfect and we all have fears.

Jason, on the other hand, proves his worth by knocking some sense back into Chidi. Jason (for probably the first time in the series) slightly grated on my nerves last week, as he played no major part in creating the new afterlife system and his dimwittedness actively interrupted their planning. He seemed prepped to continue on this track at the start of “Mondays, Am I Right?” when he is helping Eleanor and Chidi sort out good people. He quickly names the Kool-Aid Man a top person (which isn’t necessarily a wrong choice), and then leaves Eleanor and Chidi to do all the work.

Instead of being superfluous, though, Jason gets to not just help Chidi with sound advice, but show genuine irritation at everyone’s assumption that he’s a total idiot. I really wish he would have been a more integral part of the creation of their new system because this moment would have landed even better, but as it stands, his reference to Romeo and Juliet and the offense he takes to Chidi being shocked he read it reminds us that Jason is a product of his environment and not necessarily just a dope.

Tahani hasn’t had much to do this season, but she gets a good showing this episode. Not only does she participate in the training of the demons, but her experience in swallowing her pride makes her a natural fit to encourage Michael to bring Vicky back. Her and Janet’s assumptions as to Michael’s motivations may have been wrong, but they display growth none the less. Janet’s growth comes from her admittance that asking for help is necessary sometimes, not because she ever had trouble asking for help, but because she’s grown human enough to realize that even she needs help sometimes. I can’t imagine what Alexa knows that Janet doesn’t, though.

Michael’s journey is the heart of this episode, and as it has in the past, parallels the show’s own journey. Michael, throughout the series, has been a demon with a purpose; whether that be torture, redeem, or save humans, he’s always had a task driving him forward.

With the completion of the new afterlife system, and having found someone who can run it better than he can (which is Vicky), he’s essentially out of tasks. He doesn’t know what his purpose moving forward will be, and the purposelessness scares him. What’s eternity mean if you’re doing nothing with it, anyway?

I don’t know. Not even Janet knows. But Michael does the right thing and places Vicky in charge, sacrificing his purpose for the betterment of all humans.

The rock has been pushed up the hill. By Michael, yes, but by The Good Place as well. “Mondays, Am I Right?” basically completes the show’s storyline, but we still have two episodes left.

So what’s next?

The team ends the episode sailing upwards towards the real Good Place, and having completed the overhaul of the afterlife, there seems to be no goal left for them to chase after. So some sort of conflict must arise once they get there.

“Mondays, Am I Right?” will be difficult to have a fully formed opinion on until that new conflict starts. The episode seems underwhelming, but its position in the narrative implies that this isn’t the endgame, and therefore it will be naturally underwhelming so close to an unknown finale. What sort of conflict will this system lead to? Will it end up not working? Will it continue to work perfectly and the final storyline only be tangentially related?

The other reason it feels underwhelming is it doesn’t lead anywhere. There is no implied next chapter within the episode. All there is is Janet telling Michael that he’ll just have to find out what is next. Once again, Michael’s journey reflects the show.

The fate of humanity may be solved, but what is next on The Good Place will determine the fate of this series. Until we can see where it goes, my understanding of this episode’s design is limited.

I’m optimistic, though.

Other Musings:

  • “It’s the way it’s always been done” is my least favorite reason for anything.
  • Vicky’s use here pleased me. I don’t know why, since I don’t feel she ever did anything to deserve getting her dream of being in charge, but it seems as though she chilled out once she felt someone trusted her. Maybe that’s just me trying to find a reason I liked her here.
  • 1.28 Jeremy Bearimy later, so we have zero idea of how much time passed.
  • The golden balloon is back!
  • FOLES!!!


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Big Brother

Big Brother Recap: The Final Push (23×36)

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Big Brother Preseason

It’s the final episode before Wednesday’s big finale, where either Derek, Azah, or Xavier will be walking away with a $750,000 check. The final HOH competitions began this evening, with the rest of it on Finale night.

Despite it not being a live episode, Julie Chen Moonves hosted the show, foreshadowing the upcoming finale. Each finalist laid out their case to the viewers as to why they deserve to win the game.

Xavier went first, and described how he laid low as a physical threat, but kept a very strong social game, by being in alliances like the Slaughterhouse, Royal Flush, and of course, The Cookout. He also talked about throwing most competitions, because he knew that it was better to rely on his social game. He then talked about how he pulled Kyland’s strings to eliminate Tiffany, as well as Derek’s strings to eliminate Kyland. He then said that he targeted Brent in his first HOH reign, because with Brent being a strong threat (and not likeable by the whole cast), he could build a genuine trust level with everyone. He definitely has done the most work out of everybody in this final three (Tiffany did more, but I digress), and he has a strong case to win it all.

Azah was second, and she said that although she wanted to be a competition beast when she started the game, she discovered that she wasn’t even a competition beast. She had to completely readjust her game to make it all about personal relationships. Not just a general social game, but real connections that will last outside of the house. Those connections have not made anyone want to go after her, because of how good a person she is. Once The Cookout made it to the final six, she knew that she had to give some proper allegiances, like lying to Hannah during the Double Eviction about not targeting her. She knew that Hannah was a bigger threat to her chances of getting to the end, which is why she went for that target. She believes that it’s because of those connections, along with her ability to win competitions when she needed to, could get her the win.

And then there’s Derek. Oh, Derek is in for a rude awakening when he gets out of this house. He has not won a single competition all season long, and yet thinks that he’s been pulling the strings along the way. He said he has the best social game in BB history, which he certainly does not. He said he formed strong bonds with whoever was the HOH that week.

Then he said the biggest lie that I couldn’t help but laugh at: Derek said that HE created The Cookout. It’s utterly false, as it was Tiffany that formed the alliance, and Derek has been carried by that alliance this whole way through. I’m looking forward to when Derek sees how the jury will react to this whole situation. By the way, vote Tiffany for America’s Favorite Player.

Julie then introduced the first part of the final HOH competition, which is played in three parts. All players are allowed to play, with the winner of part one advancing to part three, and the other two competing in part two later on.

The first part of the final HOH competition has historically been an endurance challenge, and that was the case again tonight. The final three were balancing on big bouncy boats that shook left, right, up, and down, and they had to hold on for dear life. All this while freezing cold water, and fake fish were thrown at them.

Xavier had an interesting strategy of properly adjusting his body weight to the opposite side that the boat was leaning so that he was not too thrown off balance. From the beginning, Azah found a very comfortable position and was solid like a rock. Derek, however, well, let’s just say he was the first one to fall off. I do have to give him credit, he stayed on longer than I thought.

With the competition being between Azah and Xavier, it felt like it could’ve gone on for days, because they were both solid as rocks. However, Azah made a slight adjustment to her position, which was what knocked her off the boat, and Xavier won part one of the final HOH competition. Azah and Derek will face off in part two on Wednesday.

After the competition was over, Derek and Xavier solidified that they are going to be the final two, and that Derek wants to win the competition so that it doesn’t matter who wins part three. Later on, Azah and Derek also solidified their final two, mentally gearing up to take the shot at Xavier if need be.

Wednesday is Finale Night! Everyone’s reuniting, and of the winner will be crowned!

Who will win Big Brother 23? SPOILERS AHEAD!
Part Two of the HOH competition already happened, which Azah won, and will go up against Xavier live during the finale. This also means that Derek has gone through the whole season without winning a single competition.

The most interesting part of the finale will be that final HOH competition, because Xavier and Azah are playing for third place. It’s astounding that a player as bad as Derek will be sitting in the final two, as well as at least getting the second place prize.

That said, either Xavier or Azah is winning the game. They’re only going to sit next to Derek because they know that the jury does not respect him as a player.

Xavier vs. Derek: Xavier wins 8-1 (Kyland being the one)
Azah vs. Derek: Azah wins 7-2 (Xavier and Kyland being the two)
Xavier vs. Azah: Xavier wins 8-1 (Britini being the one)

I don’t see that last scenario happening in the slightest, because both Azah and Xavier understand that sitting next to each other might lose them the game. They are fully aware that Derek has the smallest chance of winning, and unless the jury got bitter, they’re going to vote for the strongest overall game.

Only a few short days before the finale. It’s gearing up to be an exciting conclusion to one of the best seasons in years.


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Dynasty

Dynasty Back-to-Back Episode Review – Affairs of State and Affairs of the Heart (4×20 and 4×21)

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Dynasty Review Affairs of State and Affairs of the Heart Season 4 Episode 21

Ahead of the season finale, Dynasty delivered a supersized penultimate episode. 

The back-to-back episodes raised the stakes, changed the game, and then flipped the narrative on its head. 

Nothing was the same, and no one is coming out unscathed.

The most heartbreaking turn of events was the expected but unnecessary demise of Liam and Fallon.

Things between them were pretty bad this season when Fallon prioritized her career (and quite literally everything else) over her relationship with Liam, but the damage wasn’t irreversible. 

It’s not the kind of stuff you want to see from newlyweds that are still supposed to be waist-deep in their honeymoon phase, but this is a primetime soap, so drama is par for the course. 

Liam instituted a break, but not the Friends version of a break; all he really wanted was some time and space to figure things out. 

Eventually, he did while talking it out in the Truth Tent. 

Liam realized that he wasn’t just upset that Fallon was investing so much time in her career. He was projecting and taking his frustrations about himself out on her. In reality, he felt less than and inferior to his boss babe wife. 

This was the very definition of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

Of course, Liam’s behavior up until now wasn’t excusable as he made Fallon feel guilty for being such a go-getter, but it made sense.

Marriage comes with its fair share of gray areas, but communication and over-communication are the keys to working it all out. 

Sadly, Fallon broke the cardinal rule when she let her inhibitions go and slept with Colin. 

Yes, I know she was being manipulated by Eva, but that doesn’t excuse Fallon’s behavior. 

Regardless of how sad and lonely she was feeling about the possibility of Liam wanting a divorce (which was a lie planted by Eva), she knew better than to cheat. 

She’s a grown woman who can clearly understand the consequences of her actions. 

Plus, she was simply guided by assumptions rather than waiting for Liam to explain himself. Does she think so low of him that she thought he’d seek a divorce without even talking to her about it?

But most importantly, Fallon’s biggest mistake was allowing too many people into her relationship. She’s trusting, which is nice, but too many people had a hand in this demise that shouldn’t have even been involved.

Had it not been for Fallon’s deception, she and Liam would’ve found a way back to each other and likely stronger than ever. 

Of course, Liam is also at fault because he allowed Eva into his life as well by being so friendly and kind.

Eva just jumped in and took advantage of it all.

Dynasty Review You Vicious, Miserable Liar Season 4 Episode 20

Dynasty — “You Vicious, Miserable Liar” — Image Number: DYN420a_0002 — Pictured: Rafael de la Fuente as Sammy Jo Jones — Photo: Wilford Harewood/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Fallon and Liam’s crumbling marriage played exactly into Eva’s hand. Fallon confided in her, and she sold the supportive employee and act friend all too well while being a meddling menace in real life. 

Sometimes the biggest villains look the sweetest. 

Eva set her sights on Liam, and there was no stopping her. I wonder if she purposefully took the job with Fallon because she wanted Liam, or if she decided to pursue him after she got the gig. 

You would think someone as obsessive would be sloppy, but her approach was pretty strategic and impressive. 

Sadly, that delusional book will be her undoing. I just hope Fallon figures it out before Eva does any real damage since she’s a serious threat to Liam. 

Liam might be hurting after what happened with Fallon, but I don’t think he’d just jump into bed with Eva as he considers her a friend.

And if he rejects her, I could see Eva snapping. 

The biggest surprise with this storyline (aside from my disappointment in Fallon’s actions) is that Eva and Colin weren’t working together. Wouldn’t that have made so much sense?

Eva would’ve pursued Liam, while Colin could’ve taken over the company. I guess, in the end, Eva didn’t need anyone. 

While those two weren’t in cahoots, Alexis and Brady surely are. I’m not sure what the connection between them is but considering Brady showed up shortly after Dom told Alexis about him, it’s not a surprising twist. 

Though I was rooting for Brady to be a good guy, I realize there’s no fun in that! 

Whenever a woman gets any bit of success, there’s always someone ready to bring her down and take it from her. 

You would’ve hoped that Alexis would’ve learned her lesson by now as she’s already alienated most of her children. 

Colby is losing it, which doesn’t bode well for any of his space race plans. 

It’s unclear why he stopped taking his neurotoxicity medication, but it’s also a nice loop back to that storyline and a reminder that Adam Carrington was once a really dangerous man despite taming his ways and finding the light or whatever. 

The writings of a mad man on the walls could either be a stroke of genius or something genuinely concerning. 

Only time will tell. 

Adam may not be poisoning people or stuffing their faces into the fire, but he’s not that innocent either. 

He stole research from Dr. Larson, a former colleague, to inform his own drug anti-aging drug trial, which he fast-tracked in hopes of making millions and starting his own dynasty. 

It’s strange that I find myself rooting for Adam in the Adam versus Amanda saga because it’s clear that Adam is in the wrong, but he’s turned into such a likable villain. 

Amanda is hard to stomach, even if she is helping a man take back the research he’s entitled to. 

Shouldn’t Amanda just be above all of this?

Adam was ruthless in his pursuit by calling in every “IOU” card. 

Cristal and Sammy both came through for him, reluctantly. 

You can say whatever you want about Adam, but at least he’s had both of their backs. He was there for Cristal during her brain tumor scare, and he helped Sammy eliminate Leo after he was hurting his business. 

The Carrington family may be a lot of things, but they rarely turn their back on family. 

Sammy learned just how much he mattered to the family when Cristal and Blake sold him out to the media to divert the negative attention away from Blake’s campaign. 

While Sammy was hurt by their actions, Blake reminded him that it’s how the family treats each other.

However, Cristal really came through this episode and managed to right the wrongs and deliver on promises. 

She convinced Blake to hold his campaign gala at the hotel as his support would restore La Mirage’s image. 

And when Blake decided to pull out of the Senator race and disappoint Culhane, she found a way to play to Blake’s desire for more power in order to convince him to stay on the ticket. 

Cristal is proving that she’s a real one, and it’s nice to see her finally get a strong storyline of her own. 

She’s no longer Blake’s shiny accessory — she’s the brains behind. the operation. Blake’s motivations for running may be vain as all he really wants is the land for his airport, but Cristal wants to power to evoke real change, and she wants Culhane to also have that ability. 

The two of them are doing it for charity and community. Culhane’s storyline is also a nice circle-back to his father’s death. The writers are embracing some continuity, and it makes the storylines that much stronger. 

And then there’s Kirby. No one pays really notices her, but she’s the one that actually yields all the power. 

Thanks to Anders’s burn book, she has the power to destroy the whole dynasty!

While it was noble of Culhane to suggest that they destroy it to keep her in check, I’m glad Kirby had copies stashed in her drawers. 

Even if she never uses it, she’d be stupid to destroy that kind of leverage. Anders loved Blake beyond words and still wrote down all those secrets as collateral. 

Kirby’s made some pretty stupid decisions but this wasn’t one of them. 

And my guess is that the copies will come in handy one day when Blake finally crosses her. 

Other Carrington Musings

  • The scenes with the medium were pretty pointless but hilarious, nonetheless. Sammy is a scene-stealer, and it’s all because of his great chemistry with Fallon. 
  • Sammy and Kirby bring such a lightheartedness to the series — her quirky comments and his telenovela acting at the hospital were some of the best parts of the episodes. 
  • Seeing Liam cry made me really sad. He was so hurt and broken. 
  • Colby’s self-funded space mission is going to bankrupt him! 
  • The question isn’t whether Beto will sabotage Blake’s campaign, it’s how. 
  • Who would have thought we’d ever see Blake in plaid!
  • I’m just waiting to see Blake and Fallon get revenge on those who wronged them; it’s going to be delicious. 

What did you think of the two episodes — Dynasty Season 4 Episode 20 “You Vicious, Miserable Liar” and Dynasty Season 4 Episode 21 “Affairs of State, Affairs of the Heart.”


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Big Brother

Big Brother Recap: Two Jokers and a King (23×35)

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Big Brother Preseason

Azah, Derek, and Xavier. The final three that not everyone saw coming. One of them will walk away with $750,000.

But before we get there, we have to do an annual tradition: the recap filler episode.

This is the episode where the final three reflect on their time on the house, and we see them eating a very staged dinner, saying very scripted things about things that have happened in the season. This would transition into showing montages of these specific moments. However, I was kind of excited for this one, because this season was full of fantastic people, with outstanding personalities that made this season so memorable.

Before all of that started, the finalists reacted to Kyland’s controversial exit, and Xavier was commended for keeping his cool while Kyland went on and on about Xavier’s nephew. It was incredibly admirable that Xavier stayed strong and calm, despite the fact that he was about to punch Kyland in the face. It’s a move that is going to bite him in the butt after the game is over, and according to Ky, he doesn’t regret saying those things.

Kyland’s gone, so it’s way more important for the final three to celebrate! While they dined on steak and potatoes, they talked about some of the people who left the show early. The biggest topic being the farmer himself, Frenchie. We basically got the whole rundown of Frenchie’s Funhouse, where he made the super Slaughterhouse alliance, destroyed the Slaughterhouse, tried to recreate the Slaughterhouse six more times, and targeted basically everyone in the house. Oh yeah, and it was only week one. It was great to reflect on him, because he was the craziest player that the game has ever seen, and it was fun to reflect on his crazy two weeks in the house.

We got to see the cast’s failed attempts at cooking, with the nightmare scenario being Hannah putting beans on rice.

There was a segment of everyone playing jump scares on each other, where people jumped behind couches, from behind walls, or sneaking up to others and scaring them. They showed each scare twice: once in real time, and once in slow motion.

With this regular episode also showed two regular staples: Diary Room exclusives. Diary Room sessions give the viewers the chance to know the contestants thoughts during the game, but there’s so much that they have to give us for the sake of fitting everything into an hour, so this gives us some of the leftovers! There’s always a montage of crying, because let’s be real, if you don’t cry in the Diary Room, you haven’t played Big Brother! The second montage is always when the players come into the room to ask the people behind the cameras for food, clothes, or any other amenities that they might want. Like every year, there’s usually an infestation of ants somewhere in the house, and the most popular request was for ant spray or bug spray.

The final three also reflected on the Cookout, and the impact that it had on the season. We got to see a segment of the famous alliance talk about how their life experiences being a person of color has fueled their fire to come to the game and make a change. It further solidified that this alliance has worked so hard to get this message out, and put an end to all of the stereotypes and norms that this game has seen in its 23 seasons.

To give them one final push to the end of the game, they were treated to video messages from home. Derek’s mom, Xavier’s parents and younger brother, and Azah’s parents sent a video to them congratulating them and wishing them luck as they enter this final stage of the game.

Part one of the HOH competition will play out on Sunday, with Wednesday’s finale soon approaching!


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