Lilith Luvs TV

I'm just a girl sitting in front of her TV asking it to entertain her.

Young & Hungry - 1.01 - Pilot - Review: Goodbye, Lily. Hello, Gabi.


OK, I’m going to start this review off with a confession. I’m not a huge fan of sitcoms. Sure I watched How I Met Your Mother faithfully for all nine seasons and there was a time in the not so distant past that I use to be obsessed with The Big Bang Theory. But before those shows came along I haven’t had comedy scheduled into my TV rotation for quite a while. If I had to guess I’d say I haven’t been into sitcoms since Seinfeld signed off and the cast of The Nanny took their final bow.

But when I was younger I would rush home to watch re-runs of Who’s the Boss, Golden Girls and I even got up early every morning so I could watch I Love Lucy (Lucille Ball to this day is still one of the people I admire the most in show biz) before I went to school. I can honestly say they just don’t make comedy like they use to. I have no idea how a show Modern Family gets all the awards and yet a show like Community trudges on in practical obscurity and fights tooth and nail for every single season renewal.

I say all that to say that deep down I’m a cheesy, hokey nostalgia driven kind of gal. So ABC Family comedies tend to be right up my alley filled with all the actors of my youth that I thought I’d never see again. I love Melissa and Joey and while I was initially skeptical about Baby Daddy being a Raising Arizona knock off I've grown to really like that show a whole lot as well. Heck I even liked State of Georgia starring Raven Symone back in the day.

But Young & Hungry is by far the comedy on ABC Family that I have been the most excited about to date. It reminds me of The Nanny with a little bit of ‘The Help’ thrown in for good measure. This show seemingly had a recipe to hold my attention span. For starters I love Emily Osment. I’m also a huge foodie. Throw in the fact that I’m a wee bit obsessed with puns, especially food puns (and you just know there are going to be plenty of those) oh and the backdrop for the story is San Francisco which is my one my top five favorite US cities. Right from the start I saw myself easily falling into heavy like with the show.

The premise for the show is a fairly classic one. You take one down on their luck character who has a chance at a getting hired for a job that could change their life. Throw in a some sexual tension and a don't forget to add some colorful side characters and violá instant romantic sitcom recipe. The game changer for this show is that they cut right to the chase of the will they or won't they question in the pilot and the answer is they do. I was shocked that this fact was just given away so freely in the promo for the show.

It's just so easy to tell that Gabi and Josh are meant for each other, I mean geez, they karaoke to the same Tegan and Sara song for crying out loud. I did enjoy their talk over dinner about Julia Child. Josh is already coming across as a little too wishy washy for me and I'm already rooting for another suitor to come and sweep Gabi off her feet.


Even though I’m not the much older than Emily Osment for some reason I feel like a proud parent. She is finally getting the chance to step out the shadow of the character of Lily from Hannah Montana and be a lead in her own show and it just makes me super happy. The character of Gabi is one of those adorkable girls you just can’t help to root for and I think Emily really sells that sort of character with ease. I thought that Jonathan Sadowski who plays Josh was a) a little too old to be playing tech genius boy wonder and b) a little stiff. My biggest hope for this show is for it to find its own way and not rely so heavily on done to death sitcom stereotypes such as ‘the sassy black maid’ played by Kym Whitley and ‘the sassy gay Asian male assistant’ played by Rex Lee that they've set up. The only POC actor on the show who wasn't made into a clichĂ© was Aimee Carrero who plays the character of Sophia Rodriguez and to be honest she was the biggest highlight of the episode.

My finals thoughts are that the show has all the ingredients to be pretty good. ABC Family comedies are not meant to be groundbreaking. They are meant to be tongue-in-cheek cheesy fun with a dose of nostalgia. I think Young & Hungry is very much on target for the demo that ABC Family is after and if given a little leg room will do just fine.

Grade: B-


Awards

Character of the Night
• Sophia

Best Character Interactions
• Gabi & Sophia

Most Memorable Moment
• Gabi & Josh sing a Tegan and Sara song

Line of the Night
• Gabi: I wanted to make tarts NOT be one.
• Elliot: No one has it harder than a pretty blonde girl.

Scene of the Night
• Gabi calls Sophia and Sophia gives a Hunger Games inspired pep talk.

The ‘Welcome Back’ Award goes to Rex Lee. I love Entourage and I love the character of Lloyd Lee even more.


Miscellaneous

The Ratings GameYoung & Hungry pulled in 1.09 million viewers for its inaugural outing.

Fun Fact: This show is loosely based on the life of a real San Francisco food blogger also named Gabi Diamond.

Style Spotlight - I liked Caroline's outfit. It very much screamed west coast socialite to me.


Connect with the Show
Facebook
Twitter - @YoungandHungry
Show’s hashtag: #YoungandHungry

Be sure to tune into Young & Hungry every Wednesday night at 8 pm on ABC Family.

What did you think of this episode? Will you be tuning in again? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments. You know I love you for reading…

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Beauty and the Beast - 2.20 - Ever After - Review: We are who we are.


Hey Beasties! Lilith here with a review on the latest episode of Beauty and the Beast, episode 2x20: Ever After. I’m afraid to say the honeymoon is over. This little Beastie is not happy with a majority of the events that occurred in this week’s episode. I do hate when the promos construct a better ideal for the episode than the episode does for itself. But I do have quite a few positive things to say about this episode as well. So, let’s just jump right in…

Honestly, I don't feel like a whole lot happened in this episode to move the story forward. I hope I am not alone when I say that these two past episodes have felt a little like filler when you stripped them down to the bare essentials. That is alarming and quite disappointing, considering we only have two more episodes left until a very long hiatus. Let me see, what did actually happen? Team Beastie now knows Gabe killed Watson the Witness, Gabe pulled the 'if I go down you all go down with me' card and we learned that Cat just isn't ready for a life in the 'burbs just yet.

This episode marked another new writer into the BATB family. Her name is Vanessa Rojas. I think she did a fantastic job with the pacing and exploring the budding relationship between JT and Tess. Which of course was very much appreciated. But I do feel she presented some out of character elements for both Cat and Vincent as well. While the moments were cute they fell short of my expectations (I guess I should stop reading fan fiction, LOL). But all-in-all I think this was a wonderful first outing. I felt that Ms. Rojas got what Beasties want for VinCat eventually but also showcased why it is much TOO soon for them to be even thinking of having a happy ending such as the one presented in this episode right now.

Steven A. Adelson absolutely knocked it out of the park this time around. This episode was breathtakingly beautiful. Mr. Adelson definitely made all the right moves on every front. He knew when to zoom, when to pan and when to give a wide shot to take it all in. Both the interior and exterior shots were wonderfully lit. The closeup shots were used sparingly and effectively and I feel like this is the best performance between JT and Tess since they've officially become a pair to date. I think Mr. Adelson really pulled some great performances from both Austin and Nina. If you appreciate the way he captured this episode be sure to let him know on Twitter via @adelsadelson.

The themes that I found to be most prevalent in this episode were 'you can't change who you are' and 'normal is relative'. I really loved that took back to season one and cooked up some classic recurring elements such as a wall of weird (this time it belonged to JT) and newspaper articles. They also revisited the 'Big Brother' element. I also love that we are seeing so much of the old Cat and Vincent who always tried to do what was right when they could. They make each other better people and are stronger together than they are apart.


While it was a pleasure to see Agent Knox once more, I'm just going to go ahead say it was a criminal underuse of Anthony Ruivivar. I like that he seems on the up and up and is doing his best to help Cat and Vincent. I also like that he seems frustrated with Cat and Vincent and their seemingly carelessness but also I feel like he admires them for trying to what is right under hellacious circumstances.

Let’s just address the elephant in the room that is Gabe, real quick so we can move on to happier topics. I feel that Gabe is taking up way too much time. Why can't we just throw him in jail? If they want to bring him back next season have him break out (and if they can swing it have him bring Papa Reynolds along for the ride as well). Right now we need to be focusing on Cat and Vincent rebuilding their relationship and giving us, the viewing audience, sometime to see them happy before this super long hiatus we as Beasties are about to embark on. I don't know why they keep letting Gabe get the upperhand. All I do know is that I want that character gone. I don't care how but it better be soon.

I don't know about you but I was absolutely thrilled to have JT Forbes back on my screen. He was sorely missed last episode and very much appreciated and showcased in this one. I love that we got to explore another facet of JT's personality, 'the doubting Thomas'. JT loves Vincent so much and puts too much pressure on himself. It just heartbreakingly endearing. I do wish we could have gotten a scene between just those two this episode but the scenes between JT and Tess more than made up for it. I'm really liking the dynamics between JT and Tess. We are getting to explore a lot of new territory with both of the characters.

Speaking of Tess... OMG! Vanessa Rojas knocked it out of the park when it came to writing for Tess. She allowed for the character to show a softer side. Tess was so nurturing and reassuring. It was a welcomed change from the tough girl act that is trying to hide all her vulnerabilities. I think she understands being on the sidelines and in someone else's shadow very well. I love storytelling that shows rather than tells. Nina handle the material very well and really added a nice touch to this new side of the character we got to see.

I don't know how to feel about Cat in this episode. Cat has always been presented in this series as a little wishy-washy not to mention self-centered and self-serving. But it has always been balanced by being such a kick butt chick, her being loyal to a fault when it comes to Vincent, being good at her job and always wanting to right a wrong. But all these things collided in a manner that rubbed me the wrong during this episode. Cat keeps saying she will do anything to keep Vincent safe. Just a few episodes ago she was willing to let him walk away from her and sacrifice her happiness for his freedom and safety. But it came across to me that Cat was actively trying to sabotage the situation from the moment they arrived in suburbia. I feel like she blew her cover on purpose. Maybe not consciously but definitely subconsciously. I've always felt like Cat was an drama junkie and loves what a relationship with a wanted Vincent provides. Cat wants to have her cake and eat it too. She very much wanted normal last season and was the happiest we'd ever seen her to date during 'Date Night'. They were ready to leave it all behind less than a year ago and I'd kill to get some of that brief happiness back. That's just my two cents though.

Vincent has been slowly fading into the background and becoming more of a plot device than an actual character lately. I do love Jay Ryan's performance from week to week but I just wish he had more to do than save the damsel in distress. I really do appreciate how far they've brought Vincent in such a little amount of time. I'm fascinated with the approach they've taken by making Vincent funnier, more mellow, more pragmatic and definitely more of a fighter. Deep down somewhere season 1 Vincent is emerging slowly but surely. I'm very conflicted about Vincent. He did kill Kurt Windsor and the way I see it wasn't exactly self-defense but it is still a very sympathetic situation. I want Vincent to come clean to world and beat Gabe to the punch. I think it's the only way out of this mess.

Grade: B-

Awards

Character of the Night
• Tess

Best Character Interactions
• JT and Tess

Most Memorable Moment
• JT calls Tess his girl.

Line of the Night
• Cat: Can we go home now?

Scene of the Night
• Cat and Vincent return to the streets of NYC (where they belong) and talk about what their normal is.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when Cat was channeling her inner Disney princess by communing with a bird. I thought it was cute and clever.

Classic or Cliché?
• JT utters 'I'm walking here,' as he gets splashed by a passing taxicab.

The Nail on the Head Award
• Vincent (to Cat): No! You like looking for trouble.

Miscellaneous

Spotted: Captain Ward actually contributing to the functioning of the 125th precinct

I Call Shenanigans - If it isn't revealed in the next episode that Gabe got a tail put on him after he left the precinct, I'm going to need the writers to stop trying so hard with the procedural and cop elements because at this point it is getting ridiculous.

That Looks Familiar - Well, you can tell me that BATB takes place in NYC all you want but you're going to have to try harder to conceal Toronto... I mean come on Urban Eatery is on full display. If I'm not mistaken I pretty sure that was Eaton Centre. Threw me out of the episode for a moment. Not to mention it made me hungry, LOL.

Style Spotlight - I loved EVERYONE'S Jackets/Coats. Send help! This is getting out hand. It's 90 degrees in NYC and I'm scouring the internet for outerwear. Not to mention I just ordered Cat's orange and black flannel shirt from two episodes ago.

Easter Egg - They made a Batman reference! As I mentioned in an earlier review, Anthony Ruivivar voiced the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the animated TV show 'Beware The Batman'.

Top Three Tweets







Shameless Plugs and Self-Promotion
BATB Podcast (now with improved sound quality)
BATB Podcast Fan Page
BATB Podcast Email

What did you think of this episode? How does it stack up against the rest of the episodes from this season? Is this reviewer off her rocker? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments. You know I love you for reading…

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Beauty and the Beast – 2.19 – Cold Case – Review: The truth will set you free.


Hey, Beasties! I'm back with another review about another stellar episode of Beauty and the Beast. I can honestly and wholeheartedly say there was a lot to love and not a lot to nitpick in this episode which is a sure fire formula for success. Despite the stakes still being really high, this was in a lot of ways, mellower than last week’s episode. I was happy with the themes presented and how they were executed. Nothing makes me happier than a VinCat on the offensive, working together and being on the same page and that’s just what I got in this week’s episode 2x19: Cold Case.

Remember when I told you to be patient on the Gabe front? Well, it seems we've done our waiting, practically a whole season of it and it looks a certain someone is about to get his comeuppance. Let the choir say amen and rejoice! Can I also mention that I love how even when I manage to stay away from spoilers, my rants usually point to something major that will go down in the next episode? Last week, I was all like can somebody, ANYBODY please find some dirt on Gabe so we can at the very least throw him and jail and in the very next episode not only do they attempt to do it but they pull it off as well. But of course sneaky old Gabe made bail but I have a rant for that later on in this review.

If I had to make a long story short and highlight the essentials of what went down this week, I would say: Nicole Gale Anderson graced our screens once more reprising her role as Heather Chandler, Cat's little sister. But surprise, surprise, she's a little more mature and not so flaky. VinCat is still playing a game of cat and mouse with the NYPD but still managing to find time to steal some alone time. JT was in Boston, for who knows what or why. Cat and Tess got suspended. VinCat was out for blood and looking for a way to turn the tables on Gabe and found it by revisiting some loose ends from last season. They fought the law and it looks like they’re about to win. But appearances can be deceiving, let's just hope that is not the case this time. Our heroes need a win desperately.

I'm not a fan of writing teams when it comes to Beauty and the Beast, unless it's Sherry Cooper and Jennifer Levin. But this week's team up of John A. Norris and Eric Tuchman surprised the heck out of me. They did better together than they did alone. This episode was fast paced and very engrossing. While, the episode lacked a lot of what I like to see (JT, Tess, JTnT) I still enjoyed it unlike the last episode that was JT- less. The episode was written tightly but still found the time to give us some humor, romance, action and even managed to tipped the scales in our heroes favor. So if you liked this episode be sure to tweet @BatBeric and @BatBjohn to let them know.

We welcomed a new director aboard this week in the form of Rich Newey. Newey is most known for being a director of urban themed music videos. I loved the performances he pulled out of the actors. I also really loved the way he captured the car chase as well as the outdoor scenes with VinCat meeting up at that pavilion. I could definitely tell that he was a new director because he used some angles and camera shots in some fresh and fun ways. I really loved his use of the two shots and over the shoulder shots. He also really seems to be a fan of the wide shot and mid-shot. I like when the filming of an episode surprises me and shakes things up. Fun Fact: This was his first time directing a TV episode. If you liked the directorial eye of this episode be sure to let him know on Twitter via @rich_newey.

Call me cheesy, if you want but I really like when Beauty and the Beast goes all in on their themes for an episode. The title of the episode was ‘Cold Case’ and of course that’s main procedural element of the episode and the plot device that will be driving the story for at least the next episode. But the underlying themes and motifs that jumped right out were, ‘the truth will set you free’, ‘mending fences’, ‘the importance of family’ and ‘recognizing your faults and trying to do and be better’. These were some of my favorite themes from the first season that were by and large not explored in-depth enough to my liking so I’m happy that we are revisiting them and going deeper. It feels as though the writers have finally for whatever reason decided to start addressing some of characters flaws and faults as well as have them learn from their mistakes. I don’t know about you but I do love the smell of character growth in the morning.


I absolutely LOVED the way this episode opened. I mean come on, if Cat racing around, trying to lose her tail doesn't get you excited, I’m not sure what would except maybe some VinCat sexy fun times. Of course this was just the set up to the crux of the episode, Cat and Tess getting suspended so that the stakes are upped even more and to show us just how far Gabe is willing to go to ‘keep Cat safe’ and away from Vincent. Once Cat safely makes it home to rendezvous with Vincent she is greeted with an unexpected surprise…Heather! Poor Heather, she always has such bad timing. Cat makes up a lame excuse to get to the roof and find Vincent.

In one of the most distracting scenes, a daytime rooftop scene (that was badly green screened by the way, yikes!) we find Cat and Vincent musing just how much it feels like they're right back to where they were when they first started dating at the moment. I was thinking the same thing; I mean Cat was still lying to Heather, needing Tess to cover for her and Vincent is once again the focus of a task force out for blood and needing to hide.

I loved that Cat acknowledges her faults in her relationship with her little sister (and says that Heather is the best because I agree). But in a scene right out of season one, Cat has an “emergency” and has to leave Heather high and dry. I chuckled really hard when Cat was walking through the precinct and all eyes were on her and even harder when the Captain called her into his office. The look of disdain and disgust on Cat’s face when she saw Gabe made me proud.

I don't know if anyone else got excited when the gals were told to turn in the guns and shields but I was. Sure I felt bad for Tess but my goodness I'm so tired of them being cops I don't know what to do with myself. When is the last time we even dealt with something that wasn't beast related or beast adjacent? The precinct setting is hindrance in my opinion and I just wish we could go with something else, end of rant.

Anyway, this prompts Cat to turn up the heat on Gabe and sets her and Vincent on a path to dig up some dirt on the “former” beast. Cat manages to find two cases (both of which have been driving the beasties a little mad with their unresolved status). The first one was the carriage driver and the second more viable one is the murder of Ray Scheckman. I'm pretty sure all of the Beasties went, ‘Oh, so that’s why Heather came back in this episode’ in unison at that reveal.

Cat and Vincent explore the crime scene and catch the scent of an unreported witness. Cat manages to track him down and gets him to make a statement. The witness ID's Gabe and this leads Gabe to being charged with murder. I'd say this was one awesome day for Team Beastie.

Cat is finally back at the forefront of the episodes and being the character that drives the action in a proactive manner and that gets me excited. You want to know something else that gets me excited? Cat repairing her relationship with her sister. I feel like Cat needs someone to slap some sense into her as well as have someone who isn't a part of this beast thing that can ground her.


The character of Vincent just keeps getting better and better. I’m really happy that Vincent encouraged Cat to tell Heather the truth. He knew what a burden and wedge issue it had become for Cat. I like how calm Vincent is about all of this as well. Vincent was actually the one to bring most of the funny in this episode which we haven't seen since he was on that ‘more beast than man’ vibe. I did miss my JT and Vincent bromance time but I think it was very important for Vincent to connect with Heather (especially since that character is going to be a season 3 regular, LOL!). I like how they revealed that he was the one to save her from Ray Scheckman.

It’s funny how little Vincent actually spoke in this episode yet he was the one that made the biggest impression on me. Honestly, when you boil it down, Vincent actually didn't have a lot to do but when he did do something it was HUGE. I love how Jay Ryan manages to find subtle nuances for the character of Vincent and breathes something new into every performance. This week was empathy for Cat and trying to get her to lighten her load by allowing her to share his secret with her sister. The micro expressions were phenomenal and I loved his choice in having Vincent be the calm one in this episode.


Did anyone else notice Gabe’s stubble? If you did notice the stubble did it bring back to a time in the first season when Gabe was at the height of evilness? When Gabe made his first appearance in this episode and I saw the stubble, I said to myself, ‘Yep, the writers are definitely going to make him a full fledge villain and he will hit his point of no return during this episode.’ And wouldn't you know it, that’s totally what happened. Apparently, with Beauty and the Beast all you have to do is ask and ye shall receive. Maybe, not on your time frame but eventually it might just happen. A lot of Beasties have been wishing for Gabe’s downfall and well, it seems like this is the beginning of the end for this character.

Gabe is just the absolute worst and I'm very glad the writers are not shying away from it. They are actually going all in. I loved to hate Gabe last season. He was a compelling big bad who was smart, charming and just absolutely didn’t give a flying f*** who he hurt on his quest for self-preservation. I loved his backstory it was interesting, complex and even fit into the myth arc and expanded upon it but I felt it was very much unneeded. Just let a bad guy be a bad guy is my motto. I feel that is definitely something that they should have done with Gabe from the beginning of this season. I think it would have been really cool if they showed Gabe pulling the wools over the eyes of Team Beastie while revealing to the audience that he was still up to bad things behind their back.

I was actually shocked that Gabe killed the witness. Man, these writers sure do love to up the ante at every turn! Loved the little touch of Gabe seeing flashes of the beast he used to be and perhaps implying he is turning into an even worse one than before (even if it is just on the inside).


Well, you obviously knew what one of my nitpicks for this episode was going to be. Yep, I'm about to go there: NO JT! I love way Austin portrays JT a lot. It’s no secret. Again, I'm sorry for being a broken record but JT is the heart and soul of this show and when the character is absent from an episode it is noticeable. That certain something is just missing. One of my favorite things about Beauty and the Beast is its unexpected quirkiness and comedy that hits you when you're least expecting it. This show can be dreary, moody and downright dark at times; it’s the lightness (which usually comes from JT) that gives the audience the hope and fortitude to soldier on. That is all. Moving right along…


There wasn't a whole lot of Tess in this episode unfortunately. I’m not a fan of how Tess was made to look in this episode either. She was the one that fueled the fire for the suspension by having loose lips. She was the one telling a secret that was not hers to tell. She was the first character to out and out lie to Heather.

But hey at least she got reinstated as a cop. They were doing so well with the first two episodes back by giving the show an ensemble feel and giving JT and Tess a lot more screen time and this just felt like a step back and I was a little disappointed on this front but there were plenty of other things to be happy about


I don't know about you but I for one have missed Heather sorely. I really like the chemistry between Cat and Heather as well as Kristin and Nicole. It's just something special about a relationship between sisters. Miami has worked wonders for Heather. She is happy, healthy and practically glowing. Turns out she is engaged to a guy name Matthew (who by the way has fantastic taste in jewelry) and has been in therapy. She seems more sure of herself and is very blunt when she figures she's being lied to by Tess.

Isn't great now that she's in the loop? Cat doesn't have to lie to anyone close to her anymore and that must be a relief. I enjoyed Heather's return and couldn't be happier that's she's going to be a season 3 regular. Nicole plays Heather with such a burst of energy that it's just hard not to smile when she's on screen with Kristin. This show definitely needed an 'every man' who can be a stand-in for the audience in a world that is as fantastical as Beauty and the Beast can be. Let's be real, if one our friends told us a story that Cat told Heather or if we saw someone actually beast out, we would all probably lose it a little just like Heather. No one has really had an epic freak out when they've discovered that there are beasts among us, this was a refreshing change of pace. I do think that this happened very quickly and was resolved a little too tidily but time is of the essence and I'd much rather spend more time on VinCat taking Gabe down, finding time for each other and repairing their relationship, so all-in-all, I'm totes fine with it.

Grade:B+

Awards

Character of the Night
• Vincent (Don’t look at me, I’m just really proud of him, OK?)

Best Character Interactions
• Cat and Heather

Most Memorable Moment
• Gabe being forced into a line up/Gabe being identified by the witness
• Heather uses the word cockamamie and storms off.

Line of the Night
• Vincent: Well, he's consistent, I'll give him that. I think I liked him better as beast. Because at least then he was only trying to destroy ME to stay alive.

Scene of the Night
• Cat tries to finally come clean with Heather and Heather doesn’t believe her.

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when it appears that Heather is smarter than the entire NYPD.
But bonus points for learning the Chandler's first pet was a cat and his name was Milo!

The‘Smooth Move Ex-Lax’ Award
• Really? Tess, just blurts out, ‘Tell Vincent I said hi.' And another really. It's at that exact moment the captain just happened to be walking by? Also Tess is still privy to things having to pertain to her partner that is suspected of aiding and abetting a fugitive? Not to mention the fact that Cat and Tess only got a suspension for said act of aiding and abetting.

That was the weakest point in the plot but it got us from point A to point G (as in getting rid of Gabe) so I'll just gloss over it.

Miscellaneous

Burning Questions
• Why was JT in Boston? (Fan fics/ficlets appreciated, LOL)

Fan Girl Rant (to be read in a semi-facetious tone but NOT taken with a grain of salt) - Something that bothered me during this episode was the continuous chatter between Cat and Vincent and their implied 'sexy fun times'. Um, when it comes to that more is more and you need to SHOW not tell.

I Call Shenanigans – Gabe made bail on a murder charge?! OK, sure, whatever but it would have at least had to have been a million dollars and he'd need at least 10% of that which would be $100,000, which by the way, the annual salary for an NYC ADA is about $69,000 and Gabe likes his fancy suits and watches (and let’s not forget manicures, pedicures and facials). Now, take all of that into account, if anything the fact that he made bail should raise even more red flags. I hope they at least took his passport.

Fun Fact: Heather’s dress was made by Valentino. I like that they didn't go with the obvious and cliche choice, Vera Wang.


Style Spotlight – Hands down, without a doubt, Heather’s wedding dress. And can I just say, ‘WOW!’ Nicole looked amazing in that dress. It’s definitely a tie for my favorite TV wedding dress this season (Reign’s wedding dress would be the other contender).

Crackpot (or maybe not) Theory of the Week - Gabe’s beast side is just dormant and it is about to resurface. I like this theory because that means Gabe can get put down in bloody, gruesome way, kind of like how he was supposed to die at the end of last season.

Top Three Tweets







Shameless Plugs and Self-Promotion
BATB Podcast (now with improved sound quality)
BATB Podcast Fan Page
BATB Podcast Email

What did you think of this episode? How does it stack up against the rest of the episodes from this season? Should Gabe be the big bad in season 3 or die at the end of this season? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments. You know I love you for reading…

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Beauty and the Beast - 2.18 - Cat and Mouse - Review: Fight or Flight


Hey Beasties! I’m back and still absolutely in love with the direction of this last part of the season so far. I don’t know about you but I’m smitten as a kitten with Beauty and the Beast’s latest installment, episode 2x18: Cat and Mouse. It was another good, solid outing for the show. The stakes are higher than ever but at least VinCat is finally on the same page.

I’m happy that the question of whether or not Gabe’s menacing smirk over a glass of wine while watching the news about Vincent’s unfortunate circumstances meant something or not certainly did get answered rather quickly. On the one hand, I’m a little annoyed that Gabe is going back to being a big bad instead being quietly shuffled off into oblivion. On the other hand, I’m glad they are trying to give Gabe a more believable purpose than being a White Knight and that means Sendhil can stick around a little longer. Y’all should know by now how much I really fancy the man (and what his purposeful presence if used properly could do for the show).

If I had to sum this episode’s events it would be rather simple: Cat and Vincent showed us yet again just how brave their love is. Gabe showed his true colors and ends up standing alone on the side of line he drew. Tess continued to be a damn good gal pal and JT continues to go above and beyond the call of duty thus solidifying his title as ‘Best Bro EVER’.

This week we had the story being written by Amy Van Curen (who you should totally tweet and thank - @BatBAmy) and the teleplay was by Brad Kern. Not to sound like a misandrist or anything but when it comes to BATB they ladies tend to knock it out of the park much more frequently than the men. At least in my opinion. This was another strong story where everyone got a chance to shine and gave an ensemble show vibe as oppose to the VinCat melodrama hour. I love how someone finally had the balls to just show Gabe for what he is and what he always has been. Gabe is the worst kind of guy, the guy that says if I can’t have you no one can. He preyed on Cat when she was vulnerable. Even last week when Cat flat out said she wasn’t a prize to be won he still said he would try. At this point he might as well put on a fedora and grow a neck beard (if you don’t get the reference Google dude bro or brony).

Jeff Renfroe returned to the director’s chair this week. Last seen directing episode 2x07: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? I have to say I love this episode more. He really focused on the actors and made all the other background stuff disappear. But we were back to the intentionally poorly lit scenes this episode for the most part, which you guys know I’m not a fan of. But it was done to match the tone and stakes of this episode. You can’t shoot happy cheery lighting if you want to get across a sense of dread and danger at every turn. He captured our cast’s performances to the T and that’s all that really matters in the end.

I definitely think this episode had one very strong theme running through it this episode; which of course is where the title of this review comes from, fight or flight. VinCat has had a notable stint of running away from each other when things get tough. To be fair, I know sometimes that decision was made to keep the other safe. But when has that every really worked in real life, or on TV? Just when they were ready to take on the world at the end of last season they were torn apart (which is something I’ll never be over, to be quite honest). It is also something that better not happen at the end of this season! I’ve been eagerly anticipating the moment VinCat collectively decided that they were mad as hell and they weren’t going to take it anymore. My wish has finally come through. Although, I must say that I really love how Cat is willing to sacrifice her/their happiness if it means that Vincent can be safe. Doing whatever is necessary for the other person despite the consequences truly is one of the hallmarks of love. It also was something Vincent was willing to do for Cat last season at various times, the high point of that situation being him taking pills that could kill him just so he could give Cat a sense of normalcy (never going to be over Date Night, sorry, not sorry).

There was a ton of Tess in this episode which of course I’m over the moon about. I really like how they showcased just how much Tess loves Cat and the lengths she is willing to go to protect her. Some of my favorite scenes in this episode heavily showcase Tess and toughness. We actually opened this episode with Tess and I don’t think we done that ever, at least not if Cat wasn’t talking to her. I’m a fan of this ensemble show take that these last two episodes have featured. And for the life of me I’m not sure why it hasn’t been sooner or at least more often. This show has a small cast and the fandom loves each of the core four fiercely. I noticed as I live tweeted last night there were still people who were readily willing to doubt Tess’s devotion to Cat. For the life of me, I’m don’t know why. Tess is just as loyal as JT despite the wishy- washiness of how this character has been written this season the underlying motivations have always been that Tess just wants what’s best for Cat. It hurts my sole whenever I see Tess hate. From day one I was drawn to the character and eager to know more about this tough chick who came across as a man eater. I’ve been enjoying the softer side of Tess even though it has been a more subtle style of showing and not explicitly stating.

Austin Basis as usual killed as JT Forbes. I really like exploring the other facets of JT besides the one liner king and the exposition machine. I like that he was vulnerable and a little whiney when Tess wasn’t taking his calls. I’m glad that even though he hates goodbyes he was still obviously affected by Vincent having to leave and it was displayed in a truly JT fashion – he drowned his sorrows with scotch and gummy bears. I love the bromance between JT and Vincent and that shouldn’t be a surprise because I say it often enough. Scrubs was one of my favorite shows because of the unique male friendship that J.D. and Turk had. It was really refreshing. The relationship between JT and Vincent is just as equally as refreshing. It obvious they love each other and the chemistry between Austin and Jay is amazing. I’m also always blown away that the friendship between the boys can at time rival the love story between Cat and Vincent.

Oh my god, just when thought the character of Gabe couldn’t get any worse there he go running for ‘Tool of the Year’. Seriously, just who the hell does he think he is? I’m going to need some people to remind him that he isn’t a cop. Somebody, somewhere has to have evidence of his misconduct from last season so we can take him down once and for all. I’m just glad the writers decided to vindicate the fans that have never trusted him. It’s a shame that we wasted most of this season on trying to make the audience believe that Gabe could be a good guy and pure intentions. Gabe thinks he is the smartest and coolest guy in the room and that smugness promptly got wiped off of his face as one by one the entirety of Team Beastie basically spat in his face. Did he really think anyone would join his team? It was far too much Gabe in this episode and you knew that was the case when they basically had to shove a scene in explaining why he was back at the 125th precinct and to add insult to injury he even commandeered the poor new captain’s office and made him set up in Joe’s old office. But bonus points for a Joe mention.

Cat rocked during this episode. The culmination of awesomeness was when she confronted Gabe. Now I’m not usually the type to the condone violence but when she slapped the dog mess out of Gabe I cheered. She finally said the words I’d been hoping to hear. She acknowledged that she remembered the crap he pulled last year. Now I can admire Cat for wanting to see the good in someone instead of chastising her for seemingly being an ostrich with her head stuck in the sand because it is convenient. Now, I wouldn’t go as far to say that Vincent is innocent or that it was self-defense but there were extenuating circumstances that Gabe himself witnessed. I honestly don’t know why Gabe is so obsessed with Cat but it has been off putting as hell and infuriating as frack watching her spend time with him when she could have at the very least been spending it with Tess. So glad that chapter is closed.

I was so proud of Vincent this episode. He finally made his intentions known and is ready, willing and able to make a stand. He wants to fight and if necessary go down swinging. A lot of the time, especially this season it has seemed as though Cat was the only one fighting for their epic love. I like this turn of events. Jay Ryan absolutely killed it each of the emotional gambits from angry, to romantic, to downright funny at times. The dinner scene with JT made me light up like a 90 year olds birthday cake. He even kind of patted JT on the back (which he doesn't do nearly enough) when they broke into Gabe’s apartment by acknowledging the lengths and extremes JT has been going to, especially as of late. Vincent is back to being a standup guy; though I wouldn't have even batted an eyelash if Vincent would have choked the life out of Gabe when he has the chance. I was rooting for it and believe you me, I was not the only one. I do admire the man’s strength on that front because if it were me, Gabe would be no more.

I’m still on the fence about Agent Knox. I know Dana vouched for him and all but he is FBI. When has anything good ever come out of our heroes being entangled with that particular branch of the government? I liked that Agent Knox seemed to care about the missing agent beyond her ability to burn a lot of undercover agents. I like that he seemed genuinely sorry that the exoneration was withdrawn. But he seems like he has a secret. I mean he did kidnap Cat and hold her hostage and his partner was very menacing and unaccommodating. He’ll be back in a few more episodes so that should answer my questions, hopefully. All in all I knew the deal was too good to be true. But a girl can dream, right?

A promise has been made and it better be fulfilled!
Vincent: … and I think we deserve a future.
Cat: And we’ll have one, together… I promise.

Another solid hour of BATB that went by much too fast but is definitely making all the right moves and making me a very happy Beastie. Also please don't be discouraged by the ratings dropping back down to our season 2 norm in the demo, we still had a more viewers than the average from before we went on hiatus. Remember Mark Pedowitz knows the show's strengths and weaknesses. We do good solid DVR numbers, are a social media powerhouse, stream online on all the various providers (The CW site, Hulu and Amazon) and purchase content like no other fandom. Not to mention, we do come on after re-runs of WLIIA. Not the best lead-in if they were really wanted our show to succeed. Just saying...

Grade: A-

Until next week Beasties… keep on roaring!

Awards


Character of the Night
• Vincent

Best Character Interactions
• Cat and Vincent (for the win)!

Most Memorable Moment
• It’s a tie: Cat slaps Gabe and Vincent blows down the door to breakout Cat and the FBI agent

Line of the Night
• Tess: So now, what? You’re the paragon of justice. After everything you use to do? Oh, give me a break.
• Vincent (to Gabe): Do yourself a favor and walk away because I do not have time for you right now.


Scene of the Night
• The VinCat leap of faith from the UN building.

Miscellaneous


Burning Questions
• Does anyone else ever feel just slightly annoyed when they recycle storylines? (I mean isn’t this just a Task Force 2.0 situation?)
• Why didn't Vincent just blur away with Cat when she needed to catch her breath?
• Why didn't Vincent beast out in the parking garage when the door was coming down?

Fun Fact – Agent Knox who was played by guest star Anthony Ruivivar just happens to be one of the few men to voice Batman. He voiced Bruce Wayne/Batman in Beware the Batman (2013-Present).

Style Spotlight – Vincent’s coat. Yes, I know, I’m aware of my coat and jacket fetish guys. The only thing missing was a Yankee or Mets baseball cap.

My tweets that resonated with the Beasties last night…







Shameless Plugs and Self-Promotion
Beauty and the Beast Podcast
BATB Podcast Facebook Fan Page

What did you think of this episode? How does it stack up against the rest of the episodes from this season? Are you jumping for joy that VinCat seems to be a united front on the same page finally? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments. You know I love you for reading…

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Beauty and the Beast - 2.17 - Beast is the New Black - Review - Never Gonna Give You Up


Welcome back Beasties! Did you miss me? I missed you.

Before I get underway with this week’s review I would like to say that I’m super proud of each and every Beastie who roared long and hard to help get BATB renewed for season 3. Beasties come together when it counts and this is honestly one of the most passionate and dedicated fandoms I have ever seen and I’m always going to be proud to be a part of this fanmily.

I feel like the renewal has given me a new outlook on Beauty and the Beast. Especially since I can gather what the end game for season 2 is and what they are planning for season 3 and they all appear to be things that I can be happy about and get behind wholeheartedly. I truly hope the feeling is mutual for the fans that have stuck around this long through so many of the ups and downs. I think they are planning on rewarding us for our loyalty by getting back to the basic tenants of the show.

There was so much that happened and a lot to process. So let’s see… Where should I begin?

Cat was running around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to save Vincent and in the process lost her badge and made a few people think she was an escaped patient from some mental hospital in the process. She got to flex her lawyer skills, have some girl time with Tess, comfort JT and still managed time to have to be shoved into quite a few forced, long, drawn out and unnecessary scenes with Gabe. Heck, she even stopped by to check in on her dear old dad. And let’s not forget she was handcuffed by Vincent, for like the 4th time (I mean if that’s their kink no judgments here just show some of that in bedroom already). Oh and of course let’s not forget that the writers came down with a case of Lana Lang syndrome by having Cat be kidnapped by the bad guys. Let’s just hope she manages to stay out of the hospital for these next five episodes or I might have a few choice words about that.

Gabe wasn't behind Vincent being arrested! Really? Are you sure writers? I mean sure it’s always great to see Ted Whittall again being the bad bio dad we all love to hate and as much as I love Sendhil I just don't see the point of keeping the character of Gabe around. One of the cardinal rules of writing is a character should serve the plot, the plot should haven’t to serve the character. For the life of me I can't understand why the writers keep trying to remind us of a plot that was nearly universally hated by the fans. They should be trying to gloss that over and phasing the character out or down playing his screen time for the time being. He’s pretty useless and one note at this point which is a shame because Mr. Ramamurthy can play evil in a wonderfully delicious manner. But the character of Gabe seems so neutered and lovelorn that I’m getting secondhand embarrassment for him at this point. For me personally, the character of Gabe can never be truly be redeemed for me no matter what the writers try to force down my throat. Gabe comes across as selfish, petty and arrogant. Those traits by the way are the prime ingredients for a villain, just saying. I truly hope they build on the evil smirk while drinking a glass of wine thing because I just can’t take the jealous puppy dog routine any longer.

OK, let’s just get this out of the way. You know it was coming and be honest, you know you love it when I say this, criminal underuse of Austin Basis as JT Forbes. But at least he was in the episode and clocking some pretty good screen time, well for season 2 at any rate. It absolutely broke my heart that Vincent wasn't able to say a proper goodbye to him. But JT knew in his heart that the day would come eventually. At least now he has Cat AND Tess to help him through this rough time. I’m really happy that JT got a little bit agro in this episode and all of his points were valid. It is nice to know that JT has a back bone underneath all that good guy armor. I have feeling this might come in handy over the course of the next five episodes as well going into season 3.

I loved everything about Tess in this episode. Tess was written a little more in character than she had been in quite some time. Tess is a good friend, fight me about it, I dare you! I was absolutely smitten with her concern for Cat and JT and how she was clumsily handling her inability to really help. Even Tess’s make up was well done and I guess the lighting guys who use to have a grudge against Nina finally let bygones be bygones because it wasn’t very often that the character of Tess had good lighting in any scene but this episode was one gorgeous shot after the next of Tess. It might also help they've been filming in the daytime and outdoors more, LOL! Tess’s dialog may not have been that great but Nina really sold the character’s social awkwardness that comes from always trying to be tough and being a tad bit rough around the edges. I absolutely can’t wait to see what sides her relationship with JT brings out in her.

I know we saw an awful lot of Vincent but I felt like he really didn’t have a lot to do in this episode per se. He got arrested. He was strip searched by Officer Miller (in a scene that didn’t last long enough or show nearly enough). Cat came to his rescue to keep him calm and discover the gem’s hiding place. He had a pretty cool scene with JT when he realized that his friends were willing to take huge risks to save him and decided he wanted to spare them. I really liked that scene especially since he acknowledged that he was guilty of the crime. That scene really felt like old Vincent from season 1 and it hit me hard because I’ve missed that Vincent very much especially the vulnerability that Jay Ryan gave in that iteration of Vincent.

What else? In another scene that made me tear eyed (there were quite a few, to be honest) Vincent has a heart to heart with Cat but much to my surprise and Vincent chagrin Cat chose a heck of a time to find her backbone and told him she was going to save him. That didn’t sit well with Vincent so naturally he started a fight with an inmate to facilitate his escape. Just when it seemed as if Vincent was gone for good we get another rooftop scene that just punched me in my gut. They proceeded to follow that up with a sexy shower scene of VinCat dancing to the song they had their first dance to. Some writers focus too much on the show’s pat and some writers don’t have a healthy enough respect for it; but as always Sherri and Jenny managed to find the perfect balance (which by the way, left me a little bit of an emotional wreck). Of course Gabe just sensed the perfect time to come and be a cock block (and I swear my whole timeline lit up like a Christmas tree when it happened). But at least it was with some semi-helpful news. But it doesn’t pan out and this leaves Vincent ready to run. Cat offers to go but it’s too late, the cops have her place surrounded and he has to blur away.

I really liked how this episode ended with shots of seeing what everyone is up to. Usually we just end with Cat, Vincent or VinCat, which is always nice but this definitely feels like a shift in the writers' focus to me for some reason. The music was also pitch perfect in my opinion for this episode.

I really liked the way this episode was written. It was hands down one of best put together scripts of the seasons and it should come as no surprise that Sherri Cooper and Jenny Levin were the ones who wrote this episode. I think the pacing was fantastic. The dialog was natural and filled with a kind of awkwardness that worked for the plot. All of our main characters got nearly equal attention. This is something I have been waiting for, for like 16 episodes since I was promised this show was moving in an ensemble cast direction way back during SDCC 2013. It’s such a pity that they haven’t be allowed to write much for season 2 and are getting knocked down to “consultants” for season 3.

I was absolutely in love with the way this episode was shot. It felt fresh in a whole lot of ways, so much so that I thought a new director had come on board. But that was not the case; it was one of my series favorites, Fred Gerber. He shook things up a bit by trying his hand at few new ways of capturing scenes. Some scene felt muted in a way that made me sit up and pay attention. The scenes were blocked and captured in such a way to put the focus on everyone in the scene not just one person for the most part and I really found myself liking that. Some directors make the viewer feel like an intruder verse an observer. Mr. Gerber makes me feel like a quiet observer and I think that for this show that fits best. I could gush all day about this particular technical point but I won’t…

For a show that has a fairy tale connotation for a title, our protagonists very rarely get those ‘happily ever after’ moments, do they? The cycle of being drawn together and torn apart is to be expected, especially since we answered that question of will they or won’t very early on in the series. The show shines best when Cat and Vincent (as well and Kristin and Jay) are allowed to play off each other. That’s the draw. They have amazing chemistry together. Every story needs conflict but I’m not sure if a story needs as much conflict as season 2 of BATB has had. It has quite literally been one thing after another without much of a break from the chaos, for the fans or the characters. I look forward to how they resolve this season over the course of the next 5 episodes.

I really hope they plan on getting back to the heart and soul of the show as well as revisit some of the overarching themes from last season such as: doing what is right, standing up for what you believe in, self-discovery, friendship and epic love. Because to me that what this how boils down and what makes it great. This show really does have something for everyone: a romantic side, an action side and a heavy Sci-Fi element that should totally be expounded upon, along with an awesome cast and a timeless story to be told.

I feel BATB has the potential to be a mainstream success if only the network would let it be. I’m hoping that next season there will be a lot more promotion for the show from the network as well as the fans. I’m happy to report that our ratings did go up from a .3 to .4 in the demo and we had the most viewers since last season’s finale (1.1 million). I'll chalk that up to the fans that created a street team initiative to literally put the butts in the seats and spread their love for the show the old fashioned way, word of mouth. My biggest hope is the ratings continue to climb for the duration and that the decision is made to make BATB a summer show, since it would mean less pressure for ratings, more time to promote it and also build up anticipation for the show. Only time will tell.

So until next week, keep roaring Beasties.

Grade: A-

Awards

Best Character Interactions
• Cat and Vincent (duh!)

Character of the Night
• Cat

Scene of the Night
•VinCat dancing in the shower

Line of the Night
• Vincent: Catherine, don’t you get it? You are my gem. I want to take you everywhere with me.

Most Memorable Moment
• The Cat and JT hug

Miscellaneous

Burning Questions
• Does anyone else feel like Gabe has been keeping in touch with Reynolds this whole time?

Style Spotlight - I was absolutely in love with Tess's coat. It wasn't already so damn hot here in NYC I would totally try to track it down.

Side Notes:
Do you guys still want a question of the week poll like I use to do before the hiatus? If so let me and leave some questions of the week in the comments below.

Shameless Plugs & Self-Promotion

Beauty and the Beast Podcast
BATB Podcast Facebook Fan Page

What did you think of this episode? How does it stack up against the rest of the episodes from this season? What do you think should be done with the character of Gabe? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments. You know I love you for reading…

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