iZombie 3.04: Wag the Tongue Slowly

Gossip is the word of the day in ‘Wag the Tongue Slowly’, with a scandal-obsessed Liv milking the tension in her friends’ lives for all it’s worth after she eats the brain of an office busybody. Though played mostly for laughs, Liv’s nosiness is used smartly as she looks to find dirt on the fallout of last week’s Ravi/Peyton drama, and pokes fun at how “boring” anti-zombie enthusiasts are. The case and all its candid details provided a good opportunity for the show to have some stand-alone fun, while still playing with serial storytelling at the same time. In other words, pretty typical iZombie stuff.

iZombie 3.03: Eat, Pray, Liv

Not much can be said for the case of the week in this episode, which provided little in the way of laughs and mystery. Instead, the drama that engulfed the lives of those around Liv takes centre stage, pushing likable characters to do very unlikable things.

iZombie 3.02: Zombie Knows Best

Clive has always been a good character. As Liv’s partner he’s capable, intelligent and strong willed; the perfect balance to the typically reckless and brain infected Liv, who’s at the mercy of whomever she’s embodying at any particular time. But it’s when the writers decide to break his harsh exterior and show a more sensitive side, one that’s caring and a little less stoic, that Clive becomes great. In light of the horrific discovery in the previous episode, ‘Zombie Knows Best’ gives us one of just a few peeks into that lesser seen part of him, though the strong characterisation shown here is lessened by a muddled and often confusing timeline.

iZombie 3.01: Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother

iZombie’s third season starts with an episode that dives head first into some dark and impactful themes. There was no case of the week here, as we’re faced instead with the aftermath of everything that happened in season two, and the potentially devastating consequences of zombies becoming public knowledge. Though it lacks the familiar structure of standard iZombie fare, it feels like a necessary stepping block given where things left off in ‘Salivation Army’.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - Spring

‘Spring’, the second instalment of A Year in the Life, sees the girls experiencing crucial moments of acceptance. Whether these were in their professional or personal lives, it seems like both Lorelai and Rory are heading into uncharted territory.

Rory is learning that the world of journalism in 2016 isn’t all that welcoming, with almost all of the doors open to her slamming shut in unison. Despite some desperate acts to keep it all afloat, including trying for a job she didn’t even want and asking Logan for Mitchum’s help in securing an interview with Conde Nast, she’s back home in Stars Hollow. It’s sad to see our girl struggle so much in the real world with all that intelligence and education behind her, but I’m sure it’s something a lot fans will relate to. It certainly helps to negate the problems some people had with how easily she gave up when she faced smaller hurdles years before. She didn’t go down without fighting this time, so you’ve got to give her credit for that.

She may have a fallback option, though. A visit to Chilton with Paris in tow saw headmaster Charleston offering Rory a position of her choosing. It’s a flattering offer to be sure but one that may not fit with Rory’s dreams of becoming a super star journalist. But who can deny that she’d make a wonderful teacher. Her talk to the current students seemed to go a little better than Paris’, for one.

She puts on a brave face, and she certainly talks a serious game, but we saw that Paris is just as unsure about the direction her life has taken as Rory. After spotting Tristan (not Chad Michael Murray sadly), she immediately reverted back to her insecure teen self. Even though her former frenemy Francie reminded Paris just how much she has actually accomplished, seeing an old high school crush brought all those old feelings of insignificance, and self pity back. Here’s hoping she can make things work with Doyle again, though. They were great together.

Meanwhile, Lorelai and Emily’s therapy sessions started with a bang. Though it didn’t help them to reconcile any of their issues by episode’s end, we do see Lorelai start to accept that something may be missing between her and Luke. What’s holding her back from moving forward with him? Claudia, the therapist, pointed out that a life without marriage can be fulfilling for a lot of people, but is this something Lorelai is content with? Does she want more?

Luke also seems to be toying with the idea of moving forward with something big. He didn’t exactly shoot down the idea of expanding his diner “empire” when he found out about Richard’s trust that he left to put towards such an expansion. It doesn’t seem like something Luke would necessarily want. Perhaps he’s looking for fulfilment in the wrong place.

Though this episode was focused mainly on upheaval in the girls’ lives, there was a little more Stars Hollow quirk to help ease the tension. Though I’m not certain I liked the attempt to out Taylor at a town meeting, I do like that they show seems to have broken free of its confines of ghosts of the WB past. It’s also a relief to see that the Palladinos have managed to retain the show’s charm, while still making it seem relevant and knowing almost a decade later. It doesn’t seem wrong to see Luke lie to diner customers about the Wifi password, or Babette looking up b-list actor’s credentials during a town meeting.

Plus

Paris’ old teacher running away from her felt like a fun re-enactment of the political leaders in Washington avoiding her like the plague in season three.

How great was it to have Rory, Paris and Francie going at each other’s throats in the school bathroom again?

I can’t decide if Mr Kim’s first appearance was clever or callous. Maybe it was both?

I really don’t like the fact that Rory is sleeping with Logan, despite the fact that he’s engaged. Didn’t she learn anything from the whole Dean/Lindsay debacle? On the other hand, I love that she had a one night stand with a Wookie.

He Said, She Said

Paris: "Take a powder, baby John. This is our turf."
Francie: Sure. Fine. We'll just catch up at the reunion of the Puffs next month. Oops, no we wont, because you never got Puff-ed."
Paris: "Screw you!"
Francie: "Eat me!"

Luke: "If something's good, keep it the same."

Lorelai: "Michel, he's for me what Paris is for you."
Rory: "Your angry friend?"

Rory: "I have no career, no apartment, but boy oh boy can I bang out a one night stand."

Lorelai: "Peaks and valleys, kid. The older you get, the more you have."

It’s fantastic to see how much this revival is thriving with the right creative team in charge. There’ve been one or two minor snags in adjusting to a modern landscape, but the series feels like it’s telling a necessary story. Add to that the fact that everyone involved seems incredibly enthusiastic about the project and it really feels like a good time to be a part of the Gilmore family.

9/10

Also posted at Doux Reviews.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - Winter

It’s hard to believe it’s been over nine years since I was last immersed in the quirky, outlandish and heart warming world of Gilmore Girls. I’m sure I’m in the majority when I say that the series finale left a bitter taste in my mouth. While I wouldn’t say season seven was entirely without merit, It was a cold slap in the face to see a series that had such heart and wit fade out so unceremoniously, and without the rightful captain at the helm; Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP from here on out). Now thanks to Netflix, the show and ASP are back again and after the dust finally settled from the initial rapid fire reunion between mother and daughter, it didn’t take long to see that although the show has been off the air for quite some time, life really has been moving on for these characters all these years. ‘Winter’ got us up to speed on where Lorelai, Rory and Emily are in their lives, and how a major loss has catapulted them into the unknown.

iZombie 2.07: Abra Cadaver

While the previous two episodes focused on two major cases that tied intimately with this season’s major arcs, ‘Abra Cadaver’ takes a step back from that, and has a little more fun with something a little less serious.