True Blood: I Refuse to Accept That Thing With Tara

NOTE: I have no idea what the statute of limitations are for TV spoilers. My estimate would be somewhere between 12 and 48 hours, but there seems to be people still getting hissy fits over “Breaking Bad” and “Lost” spoilers—hence, the weird non-spoiling title of this post.

Sunday night was the premiere episode of the final season of “True Blood.” I am both happy and sad that the series is finally seeking an end (happy because the show has run its bloody course and should bow out with dignity; sad because I won’t get to see anymore of Lafayette’s fabulousness on Sunday nights).

What I am not happy about, though, is how the writers are playing with every one of my emotions with that thing with Tara.

Screw spoilers: Tara Thornton is “dead.”

Credit: HBO

Credit: HBO

That’s right—“dead” in hypothetical quotes, because I believe Tara is still “alive.” (“Alive” is also hypothetical because Tara is a vampire and vamps are technically dead, but you get what I’m saying.)

I’m kind of sort of definitely stubborn. Once my mind is made up about something, there’s nothing anyone can say or do to change it. Case in point: I believe mermaids exist. In real life. I am basing my stance on nothing other than this, but there’s absolutely no way you can convince me that they are nothing more than mythical, aquatic creatures conjured by someone who probably had a fish fetish. So, okay.

Back to Tara.

Rutina Wesley, the badass actress who plays Tara, recently gave an interview “confirming” that Tara is indeed “dead.” That’s cute, Rutina. But I, as well as other True Blooders (is that what the show’s fans are called?), know that there’s no way Tara is “dead,” i.e., met her True Death. Here are three reasons why:

1. Tara’s death wasn’t televised. We didn’t actually see Tara die in Sunday’s episode, nor in the season finale last year. If we didn’t see it, it didn’t happen (kind of like with The Hangover III, amiright?). And it’s possible that Lettie Mae didn’t see Tara die, either. Tara could’ve glamored Lettie Mae to believe she was dead, therefore leaving Lettie holding and crying over another vamp’s bloody insides. Gross.

2. Pam didn’t sense Tara’s death. Pam is Tara’s maker. A maker is supposed to feel when his or her progeny meets the True Death. Pam felt nothing. She didn’t react. Yes, she might’ve been on a fierce mission to find Eric (whom I don’t believe is dead, either) and not pay attention to or give a shit about anything else, but she still would’ve felt Tara’s death.

3. Rutina is listed as a series regular for the rest of the season. So there’s that.

Tara might be “dead” in the all-vampires-are-technically-dead-you-dummy sense. But she didn’t die a True Death in Sunday’s episode. She’s still “alive,” and she’s going to come back in future episodes like a true boss.

She better, or else everything I just said is pointless.

What’s Bush’s Baked Beans’ Secret Family Recipe? Let Me Investigate

Happy summer! Yes, I know it’s technically still spring, but dammit it’s June and 85 degrees outside. So summer.

And summer means hot weather and outdoors, and hot weather and outdoors means sunshine and swimming … and mosquitoes—but we won’t go there.

Hot weather and outdoors also signifies one of my favorite things ever in life, and a favorite American pastime: barbecuing (or grilling; there actually is a difference between the two but whatever). At a typical Luckey barbecue (in which my parents and sister do all of the cooking while I do nothing but sit back and look pretty), there’s always a pot of baked beans somewhere among the sea of various grilled meats (and other foods that I probably don’t eat).

Now, no one in my immediate family cooks baked beans from scratch, so for as long as I can remember, they’ve always opted for Bush’s Baked Beans, and that has always been OK with me (since, you know, I can’t cook and have no other choice). Seeing a flood of Bush’s commercials pop up on my TV during the summer always reminds me of a Luckey barbecue, and makes me always (angrily) ask: What is Bush’s coveted “Secret Family Recipe” to their baked beans?

Let’s recollect: Bush’s Baked Beans has been running a TV ad campaign since the mid-‘90s that centers around Jay Bush, heir to the Bush Brothers family throne, and a talking golden retriever named Duke. Jay knows the family’s secret recipe to those glorious baked beans, but he’s only told one other soul that secret: Duke. And, literally, since 1995, Duke has tried his best to spill the beans (see what I did there?) on the Secret Family Recipe.

To no avail, of course.

Honestly, I have no clue what the secret recipe is, other than that the ingredients call for cured bacon and brown sugar and … and … sorry, mouth is watering.

OK, I’m back. Apparently, the Internet doesn’t know either  (epic fail, America). But herein lies a list of what methinks are possible secret ingredients to Bush’s Baked Beans:

Diced bits of a “missing” Jimmy Hoffa. Where else could Jimmy be?

Sauteed moon remnants. Neil Armstrong takes his historic steps on the moon in 1969—the same year the Bush Brothers decide to venture into baked-bean making. Coincidence? Please.

Julienned lyrics to “Human Nature.” Seriously that’s the best song. Ever.

A heaping dash of Lupita Nyong’o’s wardrobe. And perhaps a pinch of her smile, too.

A tablespoon of glitter. Glitter makes everything better.

A reduction of Prince’s music videos. The majority of them cannot be found on YouTube, so baked beans is the only other reasonable location. Do not argue with me.

One cup of Superman’s blood. Deglazed.

Candied hey girls made by Ryan Gosling. They are oh so sweet.

Vodka. Enough said.

Obviously, none of these things are actually in Bush’s Baked Beans (duh—except for maybe the vodka), and no one, except Jay and Duke, knows what makes them so secretive and magical.

So there’s only one logical explanation to Bush’s Baked Beans’ Secret Family Recipe: Three drops of unicorn tears.

As Jay says, roll that beautiful bean footage:

Shonda Rhimes: Queen of ABC

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Shonda Rhimes’ official titles—according to Wikipedia, because we all know everything there is real—are director, producer, and screenwriter. But  she really needs to be called queen or empress or duchess, because her royal highness has basically colonized all of ABC (well, ABC on Thursday nights). And her reign at ABC will continue for another four years as she recently inked an 8-figure deal with the network through 2018. Bow down, ye faithful minions.

So what’s on the royal menu Thursdays this fall on prime time ABC courtesy of Queen Shonda (wait, that sounds like a character in a fantasy book; lemme get on that …)?

First, there’s the Cristina Yang-less “Grey’s Anatomy” (note: Cristina’s last appearance is tonight and I’m not emotionally prepared for it). And Queen Shonda used her regal magic to shift “Grey’s” to 8 p.m. from 9 p.m.

Now, I haz (yes, haz) my issues with “Grey’s” and was kind of hoping that this season would be “it” since Cristina would no longer be a thing. Plus, I feel as if the series has run its course (the storyline this season with the three siblings with the same rare heart condition made me want to both cry and throw my remote at my TV on many occasions). But, nonetheless, as with the past five seasons or so, I will watch next season, for I am a loyal subject of that which is Queen Shonda.

Then, Queen Shonda chess-moved to bump her crown of glory “Scandal” up an hour to 9 p.m.—much to the delight of us Gladiators because now we can go to bed an hour earlier. Right?

Haha no.

The Queen pulled another move and was all like, “I have this other crazy show about sex and drama and more sex and more drama and you will love it because I am Queen Shonda, ruler of ABC.” Her majesty and the rest of the royal family (aka her production company Shondaland) has developed “How to Get Away With Murder”—a legal thriller starring Viola Davis in the lead (look at God!). Yes, it will air on ABC Thursdays. Yes, at 10 p.m. Yes, you will lose sleep because you will stay up and watch. Deal with it.

And of course, the Queen’s ultimate power move is in her four-year extension with ABC, which means more hypnotizing, heart-stopping, blood-pressure-raising TV. Queen Shonda is prospering like a bawse and I am here for all of it.

But why should Shonda be hailed as a queen, especially of ABC?

For one, the Queen’s shows are so diverse—racially and sexual orientation-ally (that’s a word, right?). America is changing, and Queen Shonda does an amazing job reflecting these changes in terms of showing a wide-away of characters without trying too hard. (Fun fact: Shonda held “blind auditions” for “Grey’s” by not giving any of the characters last names so that the casting director could have free rein over which actor/actress got what part. Clever girl—err, queen.)

Also, her majesty just knows how to tell a story. Yes, sometimes her storylines are so outlandish (see “Grey’s” and “Scandal” season 3) that you have the fighting urge to fly 3,000 miles to L.A. to hunt down Queen Shonda and tell her she is really doing the most with these series, but you eventually come back to your senses and watch the damn shows remembering that it’s just entertainment. Or is that just me? (It’s not. It’s you, too. Don’t lie.)

Finally, she should be hailed Queen of ABC because I say so.

As you can see, I am way too excited about Thursday nights on ABC this fall—and it’s only spring. All hail Queen Shonda.

The Most Beautifully Ridiculous Moments & Reactions From the ‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’ Season 3 Premiere

Credit: VH1

Credit: VH1

While most sensible people watched the premiere of the limited series “24: Live Another Day” on FOX Monday night, I embraced my inner ratchetchess and turned the tube on VH1 for the Season 3 premiere of “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.” And it was magically ridiculous.

Here are all of the glorious moments and reactions from last night:

When the opening credits happened and you had no idea who Tammy was and you didn’t know what to do, then realized later on that it’s Waka Flocka Flame’s fiancée and then realizing that Waka is a cast member this season.

When Joseline appeared on screen more muscular than you remembered.

Credit: VH1

Credit: VH1

When Stevie J and Joseline finally confirmed that they’re legally married, and you couldn’t help but give a ridiculously big side eye.

Credit: VH1

Credit: VH1

When Joseline kept calling her herself a bad bitch, and you wanted to throw all of your feminism at the TV screen.

When Kirk was … just there.

Via Reaction Gifs

Via Reaction Gifs

When Mimi popped up on the screen with blonde hair and you weren’t prepared for it—but she still looked nice so you were OK with it.

Credit: VH1

Credit: VH1

When you couldn’t focus on Tammy and Waka’s first conversation of the season because you kept staring at the acne (?) on Waka’s forehead. Also, because you could barely understand what Waka was saying.

When Scrappy said he was so over his baby mama/ex-fiancée Erica and is now kickin’ it with Bambi (who, by the way, kicked it in a hot tub with Kirk and Benzino last season) and you wanted to cry into a pillow.

When Ariane revealed that she has a new lover—a woman—and you were like, “Yasss!”

Source: Broadway Box

Source: Broadway Box

When, in talking about Nikko to Erica and Ariane, Mimi used the term “dickmatized” and you took a mental note to use it in a conversation at a later time. Because ratchetness.

When Rasheeda was serving realness with the orange lipstick and gun earrings at her lunch meeting with Deb and Tammy.

When you realized that the Mimi and Nikko sex tape was definitely staged/leaked on purpose but you didn’t care because shower curtain rod.

When Mimi was crying after finding out that her and Nikko’s sex tape was “stolen” but her mascara and eyeliner stayed perfectly in place. (Seriously, what was she wearing? MAC? Lancôme? Dior? I need to know these things.)

Credit: VH1

Credit: VH1

When Momma Dee, even in season 3, was still talking kingdoms and castles and palaces and queens and OMG STFU.

Source: Wifflegif

Source: Wifflegif

When Momma Dee was talking about eggs in a basket and you were confused. As was Bambi.

Then, talking about Scrappy not being faithful to one woman, when Momma Dee said, “Can you eat just one Lay’s potato chip?” … and you were still confused.

When you squee’d at Baby Karter, but rolled your eyes at Kirk tripping over Rasheeda’s Momma kissing him. Oh, OK.

Credit: VH1

Credit: VH1

When Kirk tells Rasheeda’s mom that he’s going to have a paternity test because he still doesn’t believe that Baby Karter is his son. Boy, bye.

When you were mesmerized at how white Scrappy’s teeth were, but then snapped back to reality when you realized he still had huge commitment issues. And when he goes on to say that he’s “really in a lot of care” with Bambi, even though she poured her heart out and told him that she loved him.

1_Via Wifflegif

Source: Wifflegif

When Stevie and Joseline swapped cake with each other’s mouths at their birthday/wedding party thing. Gross.

When Joseline went straight boss and drove off in Stevie’s car at their wedding party because a) Mimi’s friends Ariane and Erica showed up (for whatever reason) b) she was mad that Mimi bought her and Stevie a wedding gift (again, for whatever reason) and c) Stevie went to a strip club. I guess?

When you watched the “This Season On…” clips at the end of the episode and hollered because you can’t wait to see every ratchet moment in every upcoming episode because you apparently have low standards and might secretly hate yourself. But you ain’t even mad, though.

2_Via Wifflegif

Source: Wifflegif

“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on VH1 … just in case you want to hate yourself, too … with another new episode premiering tomorrow (Wednesday) … so you can hate yourself a little earlier. You’re welcome.

The Following: In Which Joe Carroll and Ryan Hardy Are Actually BFFs

Last week’s “The Following” saw one shocking death of a fan favorite, and one possible death of another fan favorite (if we find out tonight that Mike Weston didn’t survive, we riot). These things were definitely “OMG” moments, as well as many other events during the course of the last two seasons. But no matter how much I clutch my pearls during any given episode of “The Following,” I can’t help but ponder on the weirdly beautiful relationship between the show’s two main characters: Joe Carroll and Ryan Hardy.

Courtesy: FOX

Courtesy: FOX

Under different circumstances—you know, if Joe wasn’t a sociopathic serial killer and if Ryan hadn’t had a passionate love affair with Joe’s wife and whatnot—these two would be the best of friends. In fact, they kind of already are BFFs. Here are five reasons why:

They’re able to speak the harshest truths to each other. Being completely open and honest with someone is part of the foundation for a close friendship. If your BFF’s breath smells like a vat of armpits after every time she eats Chipotle, then—for the love of every dentist from here to Kyrgyzstan—tell her (then kindly offer her a grocery bag of Tic Tacs). Ryan and Joe have this brutally-honest-with-each-other-even-if-the-truth-hurts thing down to a T, showing the truest testament of a solid friendship.

tumblr_mgkg83Zvvx1qf34gmo4_250

Source: Tumblr

They’re loyal to each other. If honesty is part of a healthy BFF foundation, then loyalty is another part, and Ryan and Joe are beyond faithful to each other. Think about it. What other serial killer is Ryan solely hunting down? What other FBI agent does Joe single-handedly taunt? Even if Ryan hunts down one of Joe’s cult minions, or if Joe trolls another FBI agent (hello, Mike), these people are still closely connected to Joe and Ryan. Loyalty, thy name is Harroll.

RyanandJoe_loyalty

They work hard to bring out the best in each other. The cat-and-mouse game between Ryan and Joe gets complicated with each episode; it’s because Joe and Ryan push each other to their limits to be better people at what they do—in Ryan’s case, his work as an agent (though he’s kind of a bad investigator, but whatevs); and for Joe, his, well, “hobby.” Consider your BFF: If he makes you a better person, then sweet baby Jesus you have a true friend; if he brings out the worst possible version of yourself, then you need a new friend ‘cause he is so not the one.

Ryan and Joe_tries to bring out best

Source: Tumblr

They have a lot in common. Yes, opposites attract, but opposites are also annoying at times. That’s why a person often grows a close bond with another person based on similarities he or she has with said other person. Look at Ryan and Joe: They’re both highly intelligent. They’re both resourceful. They’re both (irritatingly) relentless. They’ve both killed people. They’ve both slept with Claire Matthews. They are practically the same person.

tumblr_n4749rswWc1rjh2ymo4_250

Source: Tumblr

They might fight from time to time, but, like all BFFs, Joe and Ryan realize that they can’t live without each other. Until, you know, one or both of them dies. Obviously.

Source: Tumblr

Source: CTV

The Season 2 finale of “The Following” airs tonight on FOX at 9 pm EST.

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Source: Tumblr

BONUS: An extra Joe Carroll GIF that means nothing but it’s so incredibly adorable that I couldn’t resist not posting it.

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

You Can Tell Which Season of ‘The Golden Girls’ You’re Watching By Bea Arthur’s Hair

Every time I watch “The Golden Girls,” I discover something—like the fact that Sophia’s brother, Angelo, and father are played by the same person (actor/comedian Bill Dana), or “getting” one of the girls’ many dirty jokes told over the course of the series that went right over my head as child (and as a 20-something; seriously I didn’t get this joke about being able to “walk in October” until I was a junior in college).

Another something I discovered was that a person, with a well-trained eye, can determine which season of “The Golden Girls” she’s watching by examining the nuanced hairstyles donned by Bea Arthur/Dorothy Zbornak. Fa realz.

Betty White’s hair stayed practically the same during the entire series, so if you want to use her as a guide to what season you’re watching, may God be with you. Estelle Getty wore different wigs, and I’m guessing the show’s stylist(s) just picked whichever wig was (literary) within arm’s reach for each episode? It’s kind of random. And Rue McClanahan did what she wanted to with her hair because she was a fashion boss.

But Bea? Bea was all like, “I don’t have time for constant hair changes. Pick one style per season and stick with it for all 20-plus episodes—‘cause I’m Bea ‘effin Arthur and I run this.” (She really said that, by the way.)

So let’s take a look at that hair.

(All photos courtesy of NBC)

Season 1 (1985-86)

DZ_Season 1

Source: darlingtheyfoundthebody.tumblr.com

What This Hairstyle’s Giving Me: Wanting-to-let-go-of-Maude-but-can’t-so-distracting-viewers-with-shorter-and-grayer-hair Fierceness.

Season 2 (1986-87)

DZ_Season 2

Source: the-goldengirls.tumblr.com

What This Hairstyle’s Giving Me: Less-bangs-but-still-the-shiznit-this-season Hotness.

Season 3 (1987-88)

DZ_Season 3

Source: valleyseagull.tumblr.com

What This Hairstyle’s Giving Me: Hair-that-doesn’t-move-but-I-don’t-care-and-I-still-loathe-my-cheating-ex-husband Realness.

Season 4 (1988-89)

DZ_Season 4

Source: astartosteerherby.tumblr.com

What This Hairstyle’s Giving Me: I’ve-been-getting-laid-like-crazy-lately-so-I’m-gonna-part-my-hair-on-the-side-because-that’s-hot Sexiness.

(Also, this GIF is everything right now.)

Season 5 (1989-90)

DZ_Season 5

What This Hairstyle’s Giving Me: Longer-hair-after-four-seasons-don’t-care Fabulousness.

Season 6 (1990-91)

DZ_Season 6

Source: damnafricawhathappened.tumblr.com

What This Hairstyle’s Giving Me: I’ve-stepped-out-of-the’80s-and-into-the-‘90s-so-I-need-to-add-more-curl-in-my-swirl-to-stay-on-trend Sassiness.

Season 7 (1991-92)

DZ_Season 7

What This Hairstyle’s Giving Me: It’s-the-final-season-and-I-wanna-go-out-with-a-bang-therefore-I’m-gonna-give-you-big-hair-all-up-in-yo-face Boldness.

Now, go look at the entire “Golden Girls” series and try not to learn which season you’re watching by observing the hair that is Bea Arthur’s. Trust me—you can’t. You’re welcome.

The Case for ‘Mixology’

mixology-abc-poster-season-1-2014

Confession: I’ve been to many bars and clubs in my life. Even at the age of (actual age withheld), I still find myself droppin’ it like it’s hot (kids still say that, right?) and gettin’ slizzard (pretty sure they still say that) every now and then at some random place.

And many things have happened at said places: Getting hit on by men who are old enough to have most likely witnessed the Hindenburg disaster; overhearing someone on the dance floor arbitrarily shout, “I may be a white girl from the suburbs but I’ll cut a b!&%h!”; confiding to a friend over vodka cranberries that you used to date some guy—only to find out that she also dated that guy, then muting everything she says for the rest of the night because you keep daydreaming about throwing both him and her in front of a fast-moving steamroller; and so on.

But I can honestly say that the things I see Wednesday nights on ABC’s “Mixology” do not normally happen at bars. Probably.

And that’s one thing that makes the show amusing.

If you haven’t seen it, “Mixology” is a rom-com centered on the escapades of 10 people one night at a Manhattan bar. Each episode follows the first-time encounters of two (or three) characters. The final episode of the season (aka, the end of the night) will determine the outcome—who hooked up with whom, and who was left to swallow in a sea of perpetual singleness.

Basically, people at this bar are looking to get laid. Good stuff, right?

Unfortunately, the ratings for “Mixology” have not been so good. OK, they’ve been pretty bad, with no sign of a cult following. And reviews for the show have been mostly mixed (LOLOL pun intended).

But I’m captivated by the show—and unapologetic about it. So, despite dismal reviews and low ratings, here’s my case for “Mixology.”

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

It’s innovative and clever. It might not be the most original program, but it is intriguing and different from many TV shows currently airing on American television. I like how one full season takes place over one night instead of over weeks, months or even a year. (Yes, I’m aware that each season of 24 took place over a 24-hour period. But did Jack Bauer ever take a woman he met at a bar to a pizza place and tell her that if he could have sex with any food, it’d be pizza? Don’t think so.)

It’s funny. While some of the jokes in “Mixology” are sexist, those types of jokes, in my opinion (and my opinion only), can sometimes be funny, if done right—unlike what’s going on here. No, I don’t laugh at everything that’s said on the show, and there are times when I do a ceremonious eye roll at a line that’s supposed to be funny but in reality is not. But I do find myself laughing. A lot.

The characters are … interesting. I’m hesitant to say that the characters are likable (especially considering the red-headed fast-talking Bruce and everyone’s favorite frenemy Fab), but what they are is entertaining—even Cal, the stereotypical black friend (but seriously TV comedies, stop resorting to putting this type of character in things). They can, however, come off as typically two-dimensional (the women as brutal and bitter beings, the men hyper-sexed trolls) to viewers in the first episode. But after watching multiple episodes, you’ll find that the characters have more depth than you originally thought. Except for perhaps Kacey.

It’s not here to inspire or provoke intellectual conversations over a glass of pinot noir with your ivy-league contemporaries. The main thing I like about “Mixology” is, for many viewers, it’s doing one thing and one thing only: Entertaining. That’s it. It presents you with ridiculous situations with single bar-going 20-somethings who are looking for lust. Seriously, how much intellectuality should you expect from a show that’s written by the creators of The Hangover movies and co-executive produced by Ryan Seacrest? Really.

I get that people don’t find “Mixology” funny or amusing, but rather misogynistic and insufferable. Heck, I can’t even relate to most of its characters, and those situations on the show aren’t indicative of what actually happens in your average bar on a Friday or Saturday night (at least not in Ohio—probably). But there are times when I don’t want to think or overanalyze stuff, or worry about if I’m being offended. Sometimes, I just want to laugh and be entertained live vicariously through fictional characters’ hyperbolic circumstances. And “Mixology does that for me. Sorry, not sorry.

Having said that, with hope, the writers will find their groove with season 2 (though a second season is still up in the air) and create more likable characters, lay off the sexism, and come to a happy medium where both lovers and haters will find themselves laughing out loud.

Until then, someone go make me a vodka tonic … with a twist of lime.