Author

Brian Moylan
After getting his master's degree in poetry, Senior Writer Brian Moylan started writing about television and pop culture for Gawker, The Guardian, The Washington Blade and a few other reputable publications. Brian has an honorary PhD in “Jersey Shore” studies from the University of Chicago. He's shared his often hilarious views about the tube on VH1, MSNBC, TV Guide Channel, MTV (Canada), BBC radio, and NPR. He can usually be found at his apartment in New York yelling at the TV and dodging calls from Real Housewives. He is a Taurus and likes long walks on the beach, fried chicken, and almost every reality television program ever created (especially “The Swan”).
  • Create Your Own Adventure: 'Revenge'
    By: Brian Moylan Sep 07, 2012
    You've always watched your favorite soapy dramas and waited for the show's writers to surprise you with twists and turns and triumphs and 'tastrophes (sorry, needed another T word). But what if you got to call all the shots? What kind of show would you make it? How would you resolve the make-ups and break-ups and blow ups? Well, now you finally get a chance. We know you love Revenge and can't wait for Sept. 30 to find out how the loose ends from the end of Season 1 are tied up. Today you can play along with our little game and we'll walk you through just what is going to happen. Read the passage below and click on the link that you prefer and follow the story until the end. You'll be thinking us later. LAST SEASON ON REVENGE Victoria Grayson, in her ever-icy splendor, walks up the steps onto a private plane that is about to fly her and her best frenemy Lydia to Washington D.C. to tell the FBI about all the illegal shenanigans that are going on at Grayson Global and about the cover-up that framed Amanda's father. (Note: For the sake of this adventure, Amanda refers to the real Amanda Clark, not the homicidal stripper Emily Thorn who is pretending to be Amanda Clark.) The White Haired Man creeps under the plane and does something dastardly, like a mustachioed villain tying a damsel to the train track. Later we discover that the plane has blown up en route to Washington and someone is certainly dead. Could Victoria and Lydia be among the rubble?
  • 'The Office' Final Season Premiere Pics: What Is Everyone Looking At?
    By: Brian Moylan Sep 06, 2012
    Just like a work Christmas party where everyone is a little too drunk, The Office comes back for its final season premiere Thursday, September 20, on NBC. If you don't know the deal with Dunder Mifflin by now, then where the hell have you been for the past nine years? Sure, the show is introducing Clark, a new character played by Clark Duke, but we've spent so much time with Jim, Pam, Dwight and the rest of the crew that there aren't many surprises left. But we are left with one question: What are all these people looking at? In each picture it seems like someone is staring at something, but just what the heck is it? We're here to answer the question. Next: What's Clark looking at? Porn. [Photo Credit: NBC]
  • Sorry, PBS, the Brits Put Out a Far Better 'Downton Abbey' Trailer
    By: Brian Moylan Sep 06, 2012
    These days there are trailers for everything. Not only for movies and TV shows but video games, books, perfumes, albums, wedding dress rehearsals, and even trailers of trailers. Somewhere in this trailer frenzy some people lose the art of the trailer. This time, it is PBS. ITV, the British home of bi-coastal hit Downton Abbey put out a trailer for the upcoming third season of the show. Yes, another trailer! It mops the floor with the one that PBS put out just a few days ago. Both are a minute long and while the PBS version is long on exposition – explaining about new cast members, the arrival of Shirley MacLaine, and the Crawleys' financial doom – the ITV version is long on action. We see everyone running, kissing, cuddling, dancing, jaunting across the wide lawn with a letter snatched in hand (which is the 1920 version of getting a text message), staring wide eyed at some unknown fright, unbuckling their pants, being discovered. What little snatches of dialog we see are more about creating mood an emotion than setting up a story. We don't know exactly what is happening, but we want to watch it even more. That's what a trailer is supposed to do. All of this over a classical music inspired version of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day." It's, well, perfect. ITV gets to air the show starting September 16 and the Americans are forced to wait until January. Thank god the Revolutionary War is long settled, because right now, the Brits are kicking our ass.   Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: ITV] More: The New 'Downton Abbey' Trailer Introduces New Characters 'Downton Abbey' Season Three Trailer Is Full of Spoilers TV Network Swap: What if 'Downton Abbey' Were on CBS?
  • 'Big Brother' Recap: Welcome to the Dan Show
    By: Brian Moylan Sep 06, 2012
    There comes a moment every September when you decide to wear a short-sleeved shirt to work and you exit your front door and realize that it's too cold to be walking around without long sleeves. But still, you suffer through the day, determined that summer is not over. You will not give in to fall's chill. You will not give up on summer, you just won't let it go, but you refuse to admit that trying to live in the past sort of sucks. There is a moment in every season of Big Brother, the consummate summer show, where that happens too. When the season begins there are so many players, so many possibilities, so many alliances and configurations that anything can happen. We expect the unexpected, as we have been trained to. But when the show rolls past Labor Day, it's losing a bit of its heat. There are no longer so many players that interesting things can happen. Sure there will be a surprise or two, but we just all kind of want to get this thing over with and give Dan or Ian the million dollar prize and call it a summer so we can do the whole fall thing and wear flannels and watch new shows like Elementary and The New Normal. You know, things that don't have any yahoos on them at all (except for maybe Johnny Lee Miller). After all, Dan's coup was the big move of the summer (possibly of all time) and there is going to be no topping that. I reached that point last night, after a rather predictable hour of television. Ian put Frank and this nasty ghost up on the block. There was some talk about taking them off and how that is best for everyone's strategy. There was a veto competition, the yearly one where they take some figure – an Aztec god, a Giant talking sculpture, a Rock Lobster – crown him Otev, and make everyone pray to him. This year it was an alien who crash-landed in the back yard and the remaining house guests had to answer questions about the game and bring the answers to Otev (which is "veto" backwards for those of you who didn't figure it out and for the dyslexic people out there who already thought he was named "vetO"). Sidebar: Shouldn't they just name him Vito? Couldn't he be Italian? I mean, Vito is a name. No one wants to say Otev out loud. No one. The competition comes down to Dan and Frank, but you can't even recognize Frank because he's wearing a do-rag. Yes, it's like seeing Felicity without her curls, Kate Gosselin without her signature wedge, or Gayle without Oprah: you have no idea who you are looking at, even thought it is vaguely familiar. That is a very off-putting feeling. I thought it was ridiculous when he was in a carrot suit, but Frank without his Bozo wig is a whole different animal. Speaking of Frank, he has finally started playing the game badly. Frank would have been my pick to win up until this week. He didn't trust anyone but Boogie (remember him?), he fought hard to get himself off the block and win HoH, and he was well-liked by the rest of the house, even though they wanted him out more than Lindsay Lohan's hotel wants her to pay her bill. All along, Frank was paranoid about Dan trying to get him out of the house, and Dan was never really working that hard to get him out. Now, after one week of being in an alliance, Frank trusts Dan and Dan's finally trying to get him out of the house. Frank, you did it all backwards! Frank trusted Dan so much, he even thought about throwing the Veto competition so that he could stay in the game. I'm not exactly sure how that would work, but Frank had it worked out in that curly little brain of his, so that's all that really matters. Frank decides not to throw the competition, but Dan still beats him, making this the first thing that he's won this whole season. This thing really has turned into the Dan show. All we saw last night was who Dan was talking smack about (everybody), who Dan has a final two deal with (everybody), who is going to lose to Dan (everybody except maybe Ian). And I have to give Dan mad credit. He is the only coach who came in and played a different game than the one they played the time before, and that is why he is the only one who is still in the house. Dan is also a master at getting other people to do what he wants without strong-arming them or making them think they're doing what he wants. He's a master influencer. He should be in marketing rather than coaching. Dan decides to take Jenn off the block knowing that Ian will put up Joe. He makes both Ian and Frank think that this was their idea (I don't know why Frank would want to have Jenn off the block, because he stand zero chance against her or Joe, but whatever). He also ingratiates himself to Jenn, who saved him last week. She was in no danger of going home anyway, so Dan did it only to curry favor with that evil red-headed ghost that has been haunting the game all season. Yes, it is Dan's game at this point, as it limps slowly toward the finish. Time to pack away those short-sleeved shirts and finish this thing up for another year. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: CBS] More: 'Big Brother' Recap: On Comet, On Stupid 'Big Brother' Recap: Pleas and Carrots 'Big Brother' Recap: Dan's The Man
  • The New 'Downton Abbey' Trailer Introduces New Characters
    By: Brian Moylan Sep 05, 2012
    Between the upstairs and the downstairs, the masters and the servants, there are more characters on Downton Abbey than there are free tote bags at your local PBS station's pledge drive. And now there are going to be even more. The newest trailer for Season 3 of the hit drama gives us a preview of some of the new faces. Thanks to the contraband trailers that already came out, we've seen Shirley MacLaine work her bitchy wonder already. We also met the accountant who tells us that the Crawleys are now without any money. But there is still another newbie to keep track of: Alfred, a very very tall footman. He seems to be the dastardly O'Brien's new ally (maybe a family member?) after she had some sort of falling out with the equally dastardly but twice as gay Thomas. Not sure who he is or what he's going to be doing, but Lady Edith seems to find him a little bit amusing. All of these little details keep rolling out and we're still so excited for the season to start. Too bad we have to wait until January for it to start airing Stateside. It begins soon across the pond though. Any British friends want to send us over a synopsis? Thanks!Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: TV Network Swap: What if 'Downton Abbey' Were on CBS? 'Downton Abbey' Dish: Season Three is Shirley vs. Maggie 'Downton Abbey' Season Three Trailer Is Full of Spoilers
  • 'Real Housewives of New York' Recap: Butt Pirates
    By: Brian Moylan Sep 04, 2012
    Alright, I'm going to get right into it, because there is really only one thing I want to talk about today. Okay, there are two things I want to talk about, but the first one I want to talk about so badly that I can't even finish this sentence without saying that Sonja Tremont Morgans, of the Lake Winnipesaukee Morgans, likes to take it up the butt. Yes, this is a real thing that happened on national television last night. This is a watershed moment, people. Anal is now on the table in reality TV. It's just like in a relationship, when you give up the old stink eye once, you have to keep letting your man go back again and again as often as he wants. This is now true of the Real Housewives. The seventh seal has been broken and sodomy is not only a topic of conversation but a behavior that is documented and encouraged. Of course we have "sex positive" Housewife Sonja Morgan to thank for this. I love this slut (and where I come from – the Meat Rack in Fire Island — slut is a term of endearment and a badge of honor). But what is doubly amazing is not only that Sonja got it where the sun don't shine, she got it where the sun don't shine from Tomas, the Johnny Deppelgänger that LuAnn may or may not have banged in last week's episode. Okay, on the subject of LuAnn and Tomas, I don't know whether or not she went for a ride on his seven seas, but something fishy definitely went on. She absolutely took him back to the house, as Ramona's relentless interrogation of him helped ascertain, but whether or not she got to find out the size of his wave or the motion of his ocean is up for debate. They could have just come home together and made out. They could have just played Parcheesi in the bunk house and showed off their bad tattoos (Countess Crackerjacks has a tramp stamp of a dolphin jumping over a music staff.) Ramona says that, "Balki [Bartakamous, LuAnn's boyfriend] isn't going to be very happy about this." How do you know Ramona? How do any of us know? He might not care at all. They might have an open relationship and they're allowed to sleep with whomever they want on vacation. After all, Balki is a foreigner and you know how none of them respect traditional marriage. That's why we all need to elect someone who will keep them out of our country with their devilish and duplicitous ways. Romney for President, 2012! Yes, Crackerjacks might have yo-ho-hoed on Tomas' bottle of rum, and good for her if she did. She screwed a hot guy while on vacation. Who hasn't done that? Well, most straight guys I imagine, but I doubt any of them are reading this recap anyway. If you are, wanna go on vacation? What is crazy is that LuAnn continues to spin her story about a group of Italians even after everyone has already figured out that it was Tomas' plank she was walking the night before. Give it up, Lulu. (Oh, she already did!) What we do know for sure is that Sonja T. Morgan let him in the back door. He showed up at their little party, which was just CJ's French friend and Tomas, who appears to be a major Cougar chaser. Yes, he is a 30-year-old Johnny Depp wannabe who performs on a Disney Cruise and hits on all the MILFs so that they get up on their deck chairs and sing, "If you could see me now, out on a fun ship cruise." Sonja was initially concerned that Tomas was "bee-sexual," which means he only likes to have sex with winged insects that travel in swarms, but he was determined to prove that he wasn't "bee-sexual." He was 100 percent bona fide heterosexual, so he did the absolute straightest thing he could think of to prove his love of ladies. After some flirting, Tomas took Sonja down to her room and he poked her in the pooper. The only reason we know this is because Carole told the world that is what happened. It might not be true (but it is) but when all the girls were on the yacht the next day, a rippling rumble came out of Sonja's bikini bottoms and there was a strong gust that swept the hair of all the Housewives and Carole, the slight little thing that she is, was blown all the way to St. Kitts like she was some sort of hang glider. Yes, it was like Aeolus opened up his bag of winds and blew out a fart so powerful that it caused a tsunami in the Caribbean. But that wasn't a fart. It was a buttqueef. It wasn't gas that Sonja was experiencing, but all the air that Tomas pushed in there the night before, and when it came out, it smelled like stale lube and bad decisions, which has sort of a rosy smell to it actually, but one that still leaves a strange after taste in the back of your throat. Okay, that was the first thing I wanted to talk about. Now we need to get to ¡Que Viva! Next:
  • It Is Impossible for Walter White to Have a Happy Ending
    By: Brian Moylan Aug 31, 2012
    From the very beginning of Breaking Bad, when Walter White was a sympathetic and pathetic high school science teacher with cancer who decided to cook meth to provide for his family, we knew it was going to end badly. There was only one way this was going to end: with Walter dying. It was either going to be the cancer, some drug lord like Tuco with more power than sense, or his wife Skyler when she found out. Well, there was also the possibility he would get caught by Hank, his DEA brother-in-law... but even after that, the tumor would finally get him. Breaking Bad started with the promise of death, and then slowly took it away from us. It put Walt's cancer in remission and made him and his bumbling partner Jesse just good enough at the drug game that they could escape the law and the bad guys for a little while. In Season One, that's what we hoped for: a happy ending. We wanted Walt to be okay, to figure out that drugs were bad, but to somehow find some redemption and justice in a life that seemed to be unnaturally hard on him. It's time to realize that happy ending is never going to come. As I said, we knew it from the beginning that it would end badly, but we still hoped for the good. We've been trained by every movie, TV show, book, musical, song, and even instant coffee commercial to root for the protagonist, even when your protagonist turns into an amoral megolomaniac willing to poison a child just to stay alive. But still, we root for Walt. We root for him not to get caught as he hijacks a train for methylamine, even though a child dies as a result. We root for him to figure out a way for "everyone to win" as Mike points a gun to his head even though he shoots and kills Mike in the next episode. We somehow root for Walt, through all the atrocities. This is because even in the great age of the TV anti-hero, ushered in by The Sopranos, we've still been granted happy endings. It seemed like things for Tony Soprano, another crime-happy family man, could only end with him getting killed or getting caught, just like Walter White. But, in the much debated series finale, he got as close to a happy ending as he could have gotten. When the bell on the door of the diner where he was dining with his family rang and the screen cut to black, he was essentially absolved of all his sins. That bell could have signaled the arrival of anyone: a hitman there to kill him (dead), the FBI there to arrest him (caught), or just some guy there to have the meatloaf special. The ending leaves us to imagine our final chapter for Tony, and I think many believe that he just continued his life, hoping and striving to make himself better as he always did. That, as far as I am concerned is a happy ending. While it's easy for anti-heroes in comedies to have happy endings – while it always seemed like Weeds' Nancy Botwin would end up dead or caught, it looks like she'll end up finding a legit life of selling dope through pharmaceutical corporations – it's not so easy in dramas, but it still happens. We all know that Don Draper is going to grow old and die and, if the last season of the show is any indication, fade into cultural irrelevancy. As long as he doesn't turn out to be the guy plummeting from the top of the building in the show's opening credits, that is seen as a victory. This can't happen to Walter. In the opening scene of the show's final season (which I still say is the show's final two seasons, but that is a different argument), Walt picks up a car with a gun in the trunk. This is not going to end well. And it shouldn't, for Walt. He stood there and let Jane die, he raped his wife and continues to emotionally terrorize her, he's mowed down dozens in his path for glory that now has nothing to do with drugs or money, but feeding some insatiable need inside himself to finally be the best at something. This is a very bad man who deserves a very bad ending. We should stop being relieved when he evades the law, usually at the expense of Hank who is helping to raise the man's children. We should stop being glad he finds a way to keep producing drugs, at the expense of all the drug addicts whose lives he's helping to ruin. We should stop hoping he'll find another way to not get killed, at the expense of someone else losing their life. Even saying Walter White deserves to die sounds unkind. He is a fictional character after all, and one who has done awful things. This is what it is going to take, either his death or something equally awful. I only hope that it's not at the expense of his children or the other innocent people caught in the black hole of his sociopathology. Walter White can not have a happy ending, the writers must see this, and we have to deal with it. We can no longer rationalize rooting for him. Instead, we should just brace for impact. [Photo Credit: AMC] More 'Breaking Bad': An Ode to Mike 'Breaking Bad' Recap: Say My Name 'Breaking Bad' Recap: Buyout
  • The Best Labor Day Television Marathons
    By: Brian Moylan Aug 31, 2012
    Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving, or July 4th, there aren't really any traditions on Labor Day. You can go to the beach or have a barbecue or something nice and outdoorsy like that before the chill of fall takes over, but why would you want to do something crazy like that? You can be sitting inside watching hours upon hours of television shows and ordering delivery. You don't even have to change your clothes! So here are some of the best marathons (there are even more, so just check your local listings because they're pretty easy to spot). MOVIES Vampire Movies (Syfy, 8:30 AM Monday, Sept. 3, until 1 AM Tuesday, September 4): A whole host of blood-sucking fun 30 Days of Night, Blade II, and the ever popular Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. Don't worry, there's no Twilight allowed. Perry Mason Movies (Hallmark Channel, 6 AM Sunday, Sept. 2, until 6 AM Tuesday, Sept. 4): You're grandmother is going to be so excited when she finds out they are airing everyone of his the late, great Raymond Burr's made-for-TV movies. Clint Eastwood Westerns (AMC, 10:15 AM - 8 PM Monday, Sept. 3) Watching all of Clint's famous cowboy operas has to be a whole lot more fun than yelling at a chair. TV SHOWS Dr. Who (BBC America, 8 AM Friday, Aug. 31, until 10 PM Saturday, Sept. 1) You may not know what a Dalek is, but after watching the fifth and sixth season of this British import, you'll be plenty educated for the seventh season premiere which caps it off. Law & Order: SVU (USA 10 AM - 11 PM Sunday, Sept. 2): You've already spent plenty of Sunday's trying to help Stabler and Benson solve grisly crimes, what's one more? M*A*S*H (TV Land 8 AM - 6 PM, Monday, Sept. 3): Somehow watching a whole batch of episodes of this army medical sitcom for Labor Day seems very appropriate. Until you realize that Labor Day is not Memorial Day. But it's still good. Hatfields & McCoys (A&E, 6 PM - 12 AM Saturday, Sept. 1): Did this down-home ratings smash catch you by surprise? Well, if you missed it the first time around, you can watch the whole six-hour miniseries in one sitting. Gossip Girl (Style, 9 AM Monday, Sept. 3, until 3 AM Tuesday, Sept. 4): Remember Blair, Chuck, Serena, and Dan back when they were young and beautiful (they're all old trolls now) and relive the first season of this guilty pleasure. REALITY Real Housewives of New York and New Jersey (Bravo, 6 AM - 11 PM Sunday, Sept. 2 and 7:30 AM - 10 PM Monday, Sept. 3): The worst ladies in the mid-Atlantic region won't stop shouting on your TV show all weekend. Better to just give into it and enjoy the fight. The Hills (MTV, 12:45 PM Friday, Aug. 31, 9 PM Sunday, Sept. 2): Watch every single episode of this constructed MTV relic. Yes, Every. Single. Episode. Don't worry, Heidi still has her old face, so children can watch with you and not be frightened. Push Girls (Sundance, 1 PM - 8 PM Sunday, Sept. 3): I know you didn't watch this feel-good documentary series the first time around because no one really watched it. But if you need something that's like Real Housewives but smarter, meet these inspirational ladies who are all young and beautiful and confined to wheelchairs. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: How to Binge Watch a Show 'Avengers' Returns to Theaters for Labor Day: How to Rewatch This Summer's Biggest Movie Mystery Speaker Revealed: Clint Eastwood at the RNC
  • 'The Company You Keep' Trailer: Robert Redford & Susan Sarandon Are Terrorists
    By: Brian Moylan Aug 30, 2012
    Do you ever see old suburban people riding around in their Audis and Saabs, thinking, "Wow, that guy is a total terrorist." No, you do not. But that is what happens to both Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon in The Company You Keep, set to debut at next week's Toronto Film Festival. They're just taking their kids to soccer practice and buying organic Mac 'N' Cheeze at the Whole Foods and then, wham, the cops show up to arrest them for terrorist acts they committed in their teens. This movie seems to mix an old generation of greats — Sarandon, Redford, Nick Nolte – and a new generation of greats – Anna Kendrick and Shia LaBeouf. Well, the noted indie actor and penis shower Shia LaBeouf is in it, anyway. He's central to it, even. He's wearing glasses, so he's trying to look older and smarter (sorry, Shia, there is nothing smart about that haircut) as a journalist trying to track down an old white guy who used to be part of the Weather Underground but now likes to watch the History Channel while falling asleep on couch. At least Robert Redford is finally back on screen. He looks really good...for a terrorist. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Shia LaBeouf Is 'Done' Making Studio Movies 'The Company You Keep' Enlists Chris Cooper and Stanley Tucci 'Company You Keep' Ropes Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard & Others to Earn a Diverse Audience
  • 'Jersey Shore' Will End After Upcoming Season
    By: Brian Moylan Aug 30, 2012
    We have learned to say many things thanks to the cast of Jersey Shore. Strange terms like "GTL," "guido," and "gorilla." But there is one G word we haven't had to say yet: "goodbye." Yes, MTV announced today that the upcoming sixth season of the greatest sociological experiment of our time will be its last. Maybe that's because in Season 6, Snooki is pregnant, The Situation is sober, and almost everyone is in a relationship. Yes, even Deena! Once Deena has found love, you know it's time to put all your thongs in your luggage (which is really just a Glad bag) and call it a day. As someone who possesses an honorary doctorate in Jersey Shore studies from the University of Chicago, it is my contention that Season 5 should have been the end. We have learned all we can from these tanned creatures and their exploits weren't as exciting or revelatory as they once were. They didn't even visit their mating ground (the hot tub) even once in the last season. Who are these people? We do not know them. They have been touched by fame and forever changed. But we all still have one last season. It starts October 4 on MTV and there will be some clip shows and other nonsense to celebrate the end of this blip in the zeitgeist. And we'll only have to wait 18 years for this to all come full circle when Snooki's son gets his own show. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: MTV] More: Snooki Gives Birth to a Baby Boy 'Jersey Shore' Renewed for Season 6 How Will Snooki's Pregnancy Affect 'Jersey Shore?'