Archive for the ‘Alias’ Category

Oh, snow. You crafty bastard. Always using your wiles in the most inconvenient ways. You show yourself at the most inopportune times, blanketing our fake towns in fluffy white mush (that is CLEARLY not real snow), stranding our favorite fictional characters in cars and cabins and forcing dramatic, and sometimes hilarious, confrontations. You are cold, you are ruthless, you are unforgiving.

Keep up the good work.

5. My Boys “Madder of Degrees” (2009)

Ok, so TECHNICALLY this episode of the cable series is about what happens when a heatwave hits during a typically brutal Chicago winter but, in this case, I think it works since the absence of snow, really, is the device used here. Also, it’s -5 in Chicago right now and the very notion of a day when it’s suddenly warm enough to wear SHORTS and eat ICE CREAM makes me want to recite all of the episode’s lines by memory. I mean, it’s so cold that you actually have a moment, while walking outside, where you wonder if maybe you should just give up, if you should just lie down on the snowy sidewalk and let the cold take you. You wish for death, basically. I’m not even kidding. That’s how cold it is right now.

So yes, when PJ states that a warm day during a Chicago winter leads to 24 hours of temporary INSANITY, believe her. It’s the truth. Chicago winter will make you do insane things. Like spontaneously getting a super-nice condo with the guy you’ve only been dating for three months. Or getting a dog. And a Jeep. With no windows.

4. How I Met Your Mother “Three Days of Snow” (2009)

I just re-read the description of what happens in this episode and am amazed, once more, by how much plot HIMYM can cram into 22 minutes of air time. Basically, it boils down to Ted and Barney getting to man the bar in a blizzard (which goes great, “it’s THE DREAM”, until it’s overrun by college kids), Lily having a bunch of hilarious run-ins with her old car service driver Rajit at the airport, and Robin and Marshall stuck in the classic “It’s snowing really hard so of course let’s get stuck in our car” device. Does this ever actually happen in real life? Or is this a result of all these television episodes being written in Los Angeles, where a dude in a Hawaiian shirt sits at his desk, trying to guess how snow must feel and what it’s like when it actually falls from the sky. “People must get trapped in their cars ALL THE TIME,” he mutters to himself and reaches for another Corona Light. Yeah, I thought so.

3. Gilmore Girls “Love and War and Snow” (2000)

It’s hard to imagine a list about snow without mentioning Lorelai Gilmore. Lorelai loves snow, to the point that she can SENSE when the first snowfall of the season is coming, dragging everyone (her daughter, her boyfriend at the time) out into the middle of Stars Hollow to enjoy the first flakes. She’s crazy. About SNOW. (God, I’m tired.)

Anyway. Though there is a lovely episode in later seasons where Lorelai and Luke battle over whether snow is the most magical thing on Earth or just a royal pain in the ass (culminating in Lorelai getting all grumpy about her former BFF snow and Luke feeling bad so he builds her an ICE RINK on her front lawn. He really would’ve gotten the prize for Best Boyfriend Over 35 Ever if he hadn’t, you know, hid a secret daughter from his girlfriend for two months.) I prefer the Season 1 episode, where a snowstorm forces Rory’s adorable teacher/would-be boyfriend of Lorelai to stay the night with the Gilmores. If only for Rory, who gets to display a LOT of awkward small-talk with her TEACHER who woke up IN HER HOUSE the next morning.

2. Alias “Cipher” 2002

Let’s all agree to pretend that 1) the last season of Alias didn’t exist and 2) Season 2 of JJ Abrams’ spy show is seriously fantastic. “Cipher” is one of my favorites, with Sid’s near-death experience once of her most harrowing, involving Siberia, some thin ice, an ICE CAVE and a creepy music box.  The ending succeeds with a nasty cliffhanger. Just watch.

1. Taxi “Scenskees From a Marriage (Parts 1 & 2)” 1982

Back to the old “car stranded in the snow” routine! This time there’s SEX involved. Hol-ler! Latka is sent out to rescue a female cabbie who’s trapped in the snow. Unfortunately, he gets trapped with her and that whole “body heat” thing comes into play. So, yeah, Latka gets lucky, his wife Simca is pissed and their only solution (clearly) is for Simca to now have sex with one of Latka’s friends. Alex. Resulting in one of the show’s best lines ever- “Now peel me like a grape so I can get out of here.”

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by Judi

5. Will (Bradley Cooper) as Sydney Bristow’s best friend on Alias

Picture 4Granted, I just finished watching all five seasons of Alias so likely Bradley Cooper’s face is fresh in mind. But still, as best friend choices go, his is a remarkable one- basically because if the mark of a best friend is staying power through the tough times, then Will deserves a friggin’ medal. It’s bad enough your best friend from college is a super bad-ass spy and never told you about it. But then she starts getting you almost killed, tortured to nearly the point of death, scared to death and then her involvement with you kills her other best friend/your girlfriend. Then she “dies” and you get shipped off to witness protection. Except she’s not dead. And even though you’re now forced to live in Wisconsin and work in construction, she still shows up every once in a while to almost get you killed. Again.

In Bradley Cooper’s final appear as Will in the last season of Alias, Sydney makes a big speech about apologizing for ruining his life. Again. Sadly, everyone in Syd’s life has turned out to be worse with her in it- which really, really sucks when you repeatedly sacrifice your own life to, you know, save the fucking world. Will, being the true blue friend that no one is saint-like enough to deserve, tells her that she’s only made his life better, more exciting, and that his love for her has made it all worth it.

4. Shawn (Rider Strong) as Corey’s best friend on Boy Meets World

rs4(Note- Boy Meets World is to me what Full House is to Beal. I won’t apologize for it or withdraw my plea to the network powers that be to put the show back into syndication already). So here’s what I love about Shawn- 1) He’s super white trash- trailer (check). Deadbeat Mom AND Dad (check). Half brother he didn’t know about played by a Lawrence brother (check). Likes flannel (check). 2) The only reason he’s friends with geeky Cory Matthews is because they’ve been friends since the first grade – a point acutely touched on in an early episode when the boys enter the 7th grade and Cory suddenly realizes that Shawn is cool and he’s not. But Shawn sticks with him anyway. He could care less about being cool, which of course makes me even more cool and I would stop using the word “cool” but we’re talking about Boy Meets World here, as well as the better part of the 1990s. So suck it. 3) We get a good level of angst for a sitcom BF (Shawn blows up a mailbox! Shawn gets drunk! Shawn joins a fucking CULT! Shawn’s parents leave him and he has to live with his teacher! Shawn’s dad dies! Shawn hates living in a trailer!) that provides those touching sitcom moments that I could eat up with a SPOON.

3. Rayanne (AJ Langer) as Angela’s best friend on My So-Called Life

Picture 3If you’re going to have a full on teenaged identity crisis, you need a friend like Rayanne- it’s practically in the Angst Handbook, as well it should be.

I think we all know where this friendship would’ve eventually headed had the show not been brutally murdered. After all, despite the fact that she’s a high school party girl dream, Rayanne is slightly unhinged- you just know she would’ve been “that friend” for Angela- that friend in school who used to be your  BFF before her problems sprung out of your control and then she wrote those kind of crazy letters to you and you suddenly realized she was completely bonkers and had to, for the rest of your life, refer to her as “that friend.”

Until that all goes down, however, you have the ultimate catalyst for prime teenage drama. Exactly what a girl like Angela Chase needs to realize her full potential. Exactly what a prime time soap needs to get in its patented overdose storyline.

2. Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendan) as Buffy / Willow’s best friend on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Picture 2

Xander Harris was so instrumental to my idea of what a male best friend should be that when my friend Vic and I moved to LA, we posted an ad on Craigslist with the title “Looking for a Xander,” explaining that what we really needed was a guy who was always there with a shoulder to lean on, quippy jokes, a slightly wimpy demeanor and, oh yes, looked surprisingly hot in a speedo. (What we got was a slightly crazy alcoholic with a boxer- aw, I miss Pablo.)

It was established through the show’s long tenure that while Xander was pretty much the most “useless” one (Willow becoming a powerful witch, along with her girlfriend Tara, werewolf Oz, vampire Angel etc etc), he was also the “heart” of the group. It’s Xander, after all, who’s able to snap Buffy back when she starts acting like a bitch because she accidentally died at the end of the semester and now has a major ‘tude about it. It’s Xander who’s able to stop Willow when she goes psycho witch crazy after evil-doers kill quiet Tara. And it’s Xander who ends up losing an eye in the battle of good versus evil. All key best friend attributes. Hmmm. Maybe I should’ve put all that stuff in the ad.

1. Turk (Donald Faison) as J.D’s best friend on Scrubs

Picture 1 The first TV couple to demonstrate the powerful force of straight man-love, Turk is, let’s face it, pretty much the love of John Dorian’s life. They met in college, went to med school together and lived together for an eternity until Turk man-upped, got married and JD moved out. How close are Turk and JD? Everyone in the hospital, including Turk’s wife, thinks that the boys are super gay for each other- which they are- and the greatest step the show took was to admit that and then have JD and Turk decide that they didn’t care. So, yeah, the guys are close. So close that JD showed up during Turk and Carla’s honeymoon (Turk sneaking off for some buddy time instead of sex with his wife- super gay for each other indeed).

So close that in (what should’ve been) the series finale of the show, JD and Carla have a touching moment where he thanks her for guiding him all these years. And when he asks if there’s anything he can do for her in return, they have the following exchange:

Carla: Tell me my husband loves me more than you.

JD (considering it seriously): It’s about the same.

Carla: I’ll take it.

And yes. We’re totally ending on a sappy note. Whatever, you know you love it too.

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by Beal & Judi




season passing immediately
Beal: right?!!
that literally happened
i had a conversation about DYING to watch that show
and nothing i could do about it
and then, Lifetime coughed it up
Judi: it’s incredible
what else should we ask for?
i could go for some “Head of the Class”
Judi: ask for “Head of the Class” for me
maybe on…. We.
Beal: okay
i’ll work on it
i like, for real can’t believe it
cybill!?!? where did that come from?
i watched it last night
JUDI, it’s fucking hilarious
they mock the shit out of LA and the people in “the industry” and their families
Judi: omg i’m so excited. i just season passed it and it’s set to tape like a hundred episodes next week
by this time next week i’ll be like “fucking cybill”

Beal: i have my dvr saving only 3 episodes
Judi: and that’s really funny that you say that about alicia witt because it’s EXACTLY how i remember her too

Beal: we might be the only people that do that
Judi: “oh look, cybill’s daughter is in Mr. Holland’s Opus. Nice for her.”

Beal: and actually, i think you and i had a discussion about it before
Judi: did we?
Beal: i was like, “the daughter from cybil l was in it” and you were like, “oh.” didn’t bat an eye, knew exactly what i meant. i committed that to memory
Judi: hmmm
i’m not really surprised
a little saddened but not surprised
Beal: i think it was
i watched a movie in which she was raped
and it was a terrible movie anyway, and then like, what you raped cybill’s daughter, stop
Judi: i remember watching Two Weeks Notice and being like “wow, Cybill’s daughter has really turned into a bitch”
ugh that movie is so bad.
Beal: oh yeeeaa
can we talk about real housewives ending
Simon’s final outfit
Picture 11
i feel bad too because Alex actually looked halfway decent
Beal: like, actually the most offensive part to me
was the like, scoop neck t shirt underneath
Judi: i’d have been pissed
i did love
that the final scene
he and ramona are obviously shithoused dancing like that
Picture 9

i loved that they almost forgot to give kelly her “award”
Judi: kelly might be the stupidest human being on television ever
and i’ve seen audrina on the hills


Beal: i would vote for her
Judi: they must be related
Beal: yea, “nooo judie
[frowny 3rd grader face]
eeewww sttooooop.
i don’t know how the fuck she got a degree from columbia

Judi: i’m confused as to why she dressed like a whore on her birthday invite
kelly invite

and then went dressed like she was going to pick up Bridget Fonda and the rest of the cast from Singles

wtf Kelly?

wtf Kelly?


Beal: i’m confused why she threw a party in her house and didn’t know anyone there
i LOVE singles
Judi: because she sucks?
singles is great
Beal: top 10 maybe
Judi: starring The Closer?
This door just confessed, y'all

This door just confessed, y'all

just great
Beal: which now reminds me
i need to finish watching the profiler
Whatever, you'll always be Ashley Bartlett Bacon to me

Whatever, you'll always be Ashley Bartlett Bacon to me

do you watch weeds?
Judi: no i don’t have The Showtime
i’m still plowing through Alias on Netflix
Beal: have you dvd’d it at all?

its one of my faves, like top five easy
Judi: i heard the last season hasn’t been as good though
care to comment?
Beal: and i just watched all 4 seasons in two weeks
the fourth season, they really blew shit out of the water
it’s kind of a different show than it once was, but they obviously have to keep like, one upping, cause there can’t be four seasons of “suburban widow sells dime bags”
season 3 is the best (i’ve watched 1-3 probably 5 times)
but 4 is cool because she gets involved in bigger crimes, which is the only way the show could keep going
Judi: hmmmm
i enjoy MLP
Mary Louise Parker

Mary Louise Parker

love her
Judi: “Boys on the Side” was on the other day

can i just say
the scene where she takes control of the nick situation is maybe the most brilliant in shitty-movie history
Beal: i would have to rewatch to comment
been a long as time
Judi: so so good
she’s dressed like a real estate agent and just comes in and handles everything
as if someone is freaking out over spilling something on the couch instead of a drugged out maniac beating up Drew Barrymore
Beal: then you would love weeds

Judi: ok done
Beal: that’s kind of her character
she like, enters a super fucked up situation, and she handles it like someone broke a plate
but then sometimes, when shit really hits the fan, she has like, really great like meltdowns, that are always very rational and you like, really feel for her
she’s great
Judi: ok i’m with you
man, thank god for netflix
Beal: i don’t have it
Judi: uh oh
Netflix will let me watch Weeds season 1 and 2 on my computer
this could be a problem
Beal: DO IT
you’ll fall in LOVE
it has really great characters in it, which is actually why i like it
fuckin Kevin Nealon is great
Judi: wow i never thought i would ever hear anyone say that about kevin nealon
Beal: and elizabeth perkins
she really takes the cake
Judi: i LOVE elizabeth perkins
randomly enough
Beal: oh my god, judi, a must watch then
Indian Summer???
Beal: YES!
Judi: liz and i JUST watched that!
Beal: no one else has ever seen it!
but fuck
it has perkins
and diane lane
kimberly williams
its terrible
but great
alan fuckin arkin
i OWN indian summer
Judi: i said to liz- “i wonder if diane lane and elizabeth perkins were excited to work together again on ‘must love dogs’
and liz said, “I’m worried about you for so many reasons.”
WTF are Rizzo and Dermot Mulroney (aka the Poor Man's Dylan McDermott) doing there?

WTF are Rizzo and Dermot Mulroney (aka the Poor Man's Dylan McDermott) doing there? Oh wait. Are they IN the movie?

Judi: ok seriously that’s just fucked up
Beal: i was like, “oh, i bet they’re friends from indian summer”
i have to go to work
Judi: You got a job?
Beal is offline…

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Getting Ready

My brother’s coming into town this weekend- BIG PLANS A BREWIN’. We’ve had this trip planned for about four months now, all centering on the debut of X-Men Origins: Wolverine tomorrow night. I know, I know. You’re just all a-giggle over my geek joy.

Well, it just gets better. Because what better way to celebrate a comic book movie weekend than with


1) Wolverine movie on opening night.


2) Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry (I can practically FEEL Beal rolling her eyes. I DON’T CARE)


3) Little brother’s second comic-book signing at The Comic Vault (we call this pic from the first signing “The Claw”)


4) My 9am soccer game on Sunday morning (that’s about right)

Ok, so the last one will really be joyful for no one but I had to throw it in there. Besides, after the mountain of Chicago beef, brats and pizza I’m going to be inhaling this weekend, the exercise will surely come in handy.

It’s a testament to how much I enjoy my brother’s company that I’m not even upset, not even a little bit, that a weekend of fun plans means delaying my dive into Season 3 of Alias, courtesy of Netflix. Even though I just survived the Season 2- Sidney wakes up in Hong Kong after two blank years and Vaughn is now married WTF cliffhanger and need to see what happens next IMMEDIATELY.

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On Saturday I helped my friends move. All day. There was talking and human interaction and a lot of physical activity involved. Therefore, I felt justified in wasting all of Sunday. So yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I watched TV all day. Literally. And just in case you don’t believe me, here is solid proof.


10-1pm “Million Dollar Baby” on AMC. I had never seen this movie. I want you to note the running time- 3 hours long. That’s because far from being the AMC of my childhood, the one that played glorious old movies commercial free, AMC has become a mainstream bitch and now runs decent-to-mediocre fare and plugs in about 7,000 commercials between movies like The Postman and Apollo 13.


1-1:30pm- TiVoed “Wings” episode. Lowell’s mentor died and in tribute he finishes the plane they were working on together. I get slightly choked up. I get horrified that I’m choked up and then I check the calendar. I breath a sigh of relief. Not deranged, just hormonal. I once cried during a “Brady Bunch” episode. Sniffling at “Wings” is nothing, trust me.


1:30 to 3:30pm- Season 1 of “Alias” on DVD, courtesy of Netflix. I think it’s kind of hilarious that “Alias” is really “Lost” meets “Felicity.” JJ Abrams is just right there in the middle with this one. Poor Jennifer Garner gets to kick ass like Buffy but then has to sit in her tub with candles lit all around her while some middling pop ballad plays in the background. It’s distracting and weird. Also, for a spy, she cries a LOT. Like, I get it- your fiance was brutally murdered but you’re a SPY. Victor Garber is your DAD and he’s Beyond Awesome. He’s also clearly unsettled that you’re so emotional and so am I.

3:30pm to 4:00- Break. Walk the dog. I would’ve ignored him but I really didn’t want to clean up his urine on the hallway floor. Would’ve been much more inconvenient for my schedule.

4-5:30pm- More “Alias.” I think Michael Vartan is kind of pathetic, all puppy-dog eyed over Sidney. Maybe he doesn’t know how hot he is. Is that possible?

1011974600__will_lAlso, Bradley Cooper, I know you’re in EVERY movie now but I can’t wait to meet you and embarrass you over your bleached blonde hair on this show.

5:30- 6:30pm- Two TiVoed episodes of “Barefoot Contessa.” Sadly, none of her gays are in attendance. I really, really want them to rename this show “Ina and Her Hampton Dandies.”

6:30-6:35pm- I die laughing at the fact that TiVo taped “Time Life Music” for me. It literally taped me a 30 minute commercial for Time Life Music of the ’70s. Then I stop laughing and realize that this is just how well TiVo knows me. I’m disturbed. I readjust myself on the couch and try not to think about it anymore. I then do a little stretching because I remember how Hillary Swank got all those bed sores from not moving enough on her hospital bed.

This is the expression I have when I see your movie is on, Elle. The beginning anyway.

This is the expression I have when I see your movie is on, Elle. The beginning anyway.

6:35- 7:30pm- A little “Legally Blonde.” I love the beginning of “Legally Blonde.” Everything until she takes the internship is top-notch. I could watch the beginning of “Legally Blonde” every time and not get over it, especially the whole section where she tries to get into Harvard. Well done all. (Another point for Victor Garber)

7:30-10pm- “The Incredibles” / Jim Gaffigan’s new stand-up special “King Baby.” Short text-fight with Beal, who refuses to watch the new Sandlot movie this week even though Luke Perry is in it. I don’t even know who she is anymore. I ate dinner somewhere here too but I don’t remember what it was.


10-12pm- A few episodes of the “X-Men” cartoon because I could watch Cyclops yell at people for no reason for HOURS.  Interspersed with “Charlie Angels: Full Throttle” and I can’t even explain the appeal of this one. It’s so COLORFUL. The fight scenes are so hilarious and the air-brushing. My GOD, the AIR-BRUSHING. Why don’t they just peel Drew’s skin off altogether? And SHIA. And that crazy Irish dude who I am scarily attracted to. He walks through FIRE. This movie is amazing. I’m so happy it’s on but I can’t bring myself to watch the whole thing, not even for the chance to watch Joey Tribiana act in a scene with John Cleese or give Demi Moore the usual standing ovation for her truly SPECTACULAR plastic surgery.

Collapse in bed. Am exhausted. Check TV schedule for the week on my iPhone. Go to sleep, dreaming of good Gilmore Girls reruns expected this week. I hope “Heroes” is as middling-good as it was last week. Excited for new “Bones.” Angered that every new episode of Bones only comes every two weeks. Hate stupid American Idol. Wish “30 Rock” was slightly better this…year…snooze.

The End

– Judi

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