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”).
  • Our 'Glee' Senior Class Superlatives Predict the Future
    By: Brian Moylan May 23, 2012 1:59pm EST
    Glee's Season 3 finale aired May 22 and delivered Rachel Berry getting on a train to New York just days after graduation, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Who knows where she'll end up? (Probably back in Lima in a week with nothing to do until September when she goes to New York for real.) And we don't know what's going to happen to the rest of the class either. We decided to write some Senior Superlatives, yearbook style, for the crew that might point us in the right direction for where they'll end up during Season 4. Class Heartthrob: Blaine Anderson Most Ambitious: Rachel Berry Stupidest Decision (male): Pvt. Finn Hudson Stupidest Decision (female): Santana Lopez Most Improved Over Her OCD So She Can Now Hug Every Student at Graduation: Emma Pillsbury Best Future Principal: Roz Washington Six Year Senior Award: Britanny S. Peirce Most Underappreciated: Mercedes Jones The Sue Sylvester Award for Character Inconsistency: Sue Sylvester Downright Creepiest: Will Schuester Most Likely to Meet an Untimely End: Quinn Fabray Most Likely to Be Written Off the Show and Given a One-sentence Explanation Why in the Season Premiere: Sugar Motta Most Likely to Get Held Down by Mitt Romney and Given a Haircut Against His Will: That Jesusy one Most Likely to Be Deported: That Irish one Most Likely to Never Be Heard From Again: Mike Chang's abs Future Substitute Teacher Who Will Let You Slack Off: Noah "Puck" Puckermann Worst Dressed: Kurt Hummell Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Glee Season Finale Recap: The Show Is Over, Say Goodbye PSAs Glee Should Actually Release Glee Stars Lea Michele and Cory Monteith Are 'Hooking Up'
  • 'Big Bang Theory' Star Jim Parsons Acknowledges He's Gay
    By: Brian Moylan May 23, 2012 11:00am EST
    Everyone let out a big "Bazinga!" for the actor who plays supreme geek Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory, the top-rated sitcom and out of this world syndicated hit. Today is the day that Jim Parsons finally put the rumor mill to rest and publicly acknowledged that he is gay and in a 10-year relationship. And he did it in the New York Times, so there is no taking it back. The small moment is buried deep in a profile about Parsons and his return to Broadway in the play Harvey, which Jimmy Stewart made famous in a movie in the '50s. "Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship," the story states matter-of-factly. Many believed that he was already as out as Neil Patrick Harris, but that wasn't the case. A National Enquirer Story from 2010 openly discusses Parson's relationship to his partner, Todd Spiewak, but Parsons hasn't talked about his partner or his orientation in the media before and didn't give any quotes to the tabloid. In 2010, during the acceptance speech for the first of his two Emmys, he said that he loved Todd, but in a long list of other people he loved including his mother and members of each gender. It wasn't the sort of on-stage confession that can really be used as a Wikipedia reference to point to his being a friend of Dorothy. But now it's over and done with and we can stop the speculating and worrying. It's a testament to how little it matters in his career that this moment doesn't come with an "I'm Gay," splash headline on the cover of a tabloid, but rather squirreled away as nearly inconsequential beneath paragraphs and paragraphs of his other achievements. Still it's a big day for him to be so open and a great day for the gay community, that finally gets to count another fine actor among its ranks. Now, let's get back to talking about Broadway. There's nothing gay about that. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More:Alec Baldwin Calls Jim Parsons a Bastard: Late Last NightJonathon Groff, Taylor Kitsch to Play LoversVin Diesel Addresses Gay Rumors From Our Partners:Miley Goes Braless for Magazine Cover (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
  • 'Real Housewives of OC' Recap: Brunchtime Brawlers
    By: Brian Moylan May 23, 2012 10:36am EST
    Hello, ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Real Housewives Institute. I'll be your host, Dame Brian Moylan. Before we start talking about last night's episode of Real Bandersnatches of Coochie Cutter County let us all take a moment to stare at the great face of Vicki, the Lady of Gunvalson. This is Vicki's real face. This is the face that hides behind the hair and makeup teams, this is the face that lurks below the whoo-hoo's and the stern rebukes, this is the face that she takes to bed at night and the face that is on the ever aging painting that she has ferreted away in her attic somewhere in a gated community. Behold the true, true face of the Gunvalson. Vicki didn't do much this week, other than make this contorted pig monster mask with her own flesh. She greeted Brooks at her office and was like, "What are you doing here?" And he said, "Oh, I'm bringing you coffee and casing the joint. Where do you keep the safe? How much do you have here in assets?" "Oh, the safe is in my office behind a picture of me winning an award for the insurance broker of the year and I keep about $50K in cash in it. And there's some change in the cookie jar at the secretary's desk." That is what happened, because Brooks, need I remind you, is a grifter. Vicki recapped her fight with Brianna and tells Brooks, "Brianna told me what she thought about me last night." Vicki, did you experience the same fight we did? Brianna, for some strange reason that must do with biological imperative rather than logic, loves you. She told you what she thought about Brooks, the Conman from Calloway County. She still loves you, she just hates your boyfriend. That is why Vicki has that face, because she makes everything about her own damn self. After Brooks leaves with a painting wrapped in a tarp and his pants stuffed like a scarecrow full of the cash from Vicki's emergency fund in her safe, Vicki calls all the girls and invites them for a "girl's weekend" to Costa Rico. Here is the entry on Costa Rico from the Alexispedia, the website of knowledge written by Alexis Bellino. "Costa Rico is is Mexico, so it is South from where I am always, unless I am in Brazil, which is where I go every six weeks when I get waxed. Then it is, what's the word for up? It's up. Costa Rico was created by my lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he created the whole world out of clay while he and his daddy were working on a class project together. Costa Rico is very pretty and my friend Vicki said that there are monkeys there. Monkeys are people who didn't find god and shriveled up into shrieking meanies that are covered in devil's fur. Costa Rico is a territory of the United States of America, God's favorite country. It should become a state because they don't pay for taxes and then all of my money goes to all these Costa Ricans on welfare. Why can't they just find jobs? I have looked into cosmetic procedures in Costa Rico, and they are very inexpensive." So, that's all we need to know about the trip for now. Thanks so much Alexispedia. Here is the entry about Alexis Bellino from the Dame Moylanapedia. "After God rested on the seventh day, he woke up and was lonely. He decided to make a man. He shaped him out of clay and breathed life into him. But after about six hours, the man was horny, so God took two of his ribs and some more clay and made woman. While they were fucking, God picked up all the extra clay that was just laying around the riverbank and created a sex doll for Adam with a little head, a crooked nose (don't worry, that can be fixed), and boobs even bigger than her head. Then, when Adam's wife was done getting drilled, she queefed life into this pile of tits and it gained life. It was named Alexis Bellino, the first and only of her kind." Yes, Alexis is such a freaking queefsleeve (that is an insult I just created, but will be using often). She had a stupid photoshoot for her Alexis Couture line that she says is going to be on red carpets everywhere and that all the stars are going to be wearing it. Do you really believe that, Alexis? Do you really think that is true? No stylist on God's green riverbank of sex is going to put one of your dresses on the famous back of a celebrity. Can you imagine Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan telling Ryan Seacrest she is wearing, "Alexis Couture?" No, you can not, because it is not even possible. Then, and then, Alexis calls Tamra to one of these confrontation lunches at J'Accuse, a French restaurant in a strip mall in Seal Beach. I don't get these lunches, but all of you who visit the Real Housewives Institute on a regular basis know them. It is a meal where one Screechmonkey confronts another Screechmonkey about why she doesn't like her or something that happened or some fight they just had. The thing I really don't understand is how do they work? Does anyone order food? Are there waiters involved? Who pays the check, because one of the women always walks away in a huff leaving the other one there with a half eaten plate of grilled salmon and steamed vegetables and the check. These lunches never go well and I don't know why the women agree to go on them, because as soon as they show up they should know that it's going to end in a big old brawl. Next:
  • 'Smash,' You Can't Kick Off Your Most Loathed Character
    By: Brian Moylan May 22, 2012 1:52pm EST
    Smash, NBC's busted love letter to Broadway, should know a thing or two about hate watching. Tons of people tuned into this show because we loved to hate it. It was wildly inconsistent, utterly unbelievable, more ludicrous than Debra Messing in a revolving wardrobe of sweater capes. It wasn't so bad it was good, it was so good because it was bad. Everything stunk to high heaven and made for as many mean-spirited tweets as there are light bulbs on the Great White Way. Well, everything stunk but the musical numbers, which is what everyone was tuning in for in the first place and always managed to deliver the thrills we were seeking. Now Smash going to get rid of its most hateful character. Entertainment Weekly reported today that the characters of weasel-faced assistant Ellis (Jaime Cepero) and the Prince of Yawns Dev (Raza Jaffrey) won't be returning for the show's revamped second season. The Hollywood Reporter says that both Julia's cuckolded husband Frank (the woefully underused Brian D'Arcy James) and her married paramour and Joe DiMagio stand in Michael (Will Chase) are being kicked out. Sadly Julia's son Leo, the mopiest teenager on all of television, will still be central to the story. Yes, you can't get Dev out the door fast enough (hello, this is a show about the Rialto, not some minor functionary in the mayor's office who happens to be boffing a chorus girl who isn't even a star yet), but Ellis? You're going to do this to our Ellis? It's my contention that Ellis was the only successful character on the whole show. He's the only one with a consistent personality from episode one right up until the season finale last week. Since we first saw the impossibly heterosexual Ellis everyone hated him. He was meddlesome, insincere, and always going where he wasn't wanted. He had no allegiance to anyone but himself (and a girlfriend who, shockingly he did not meet at summer camp in Canada). Ellis would do absolutely anything to get ahead and even though his methods were abhorrent, they always seemed to work. Everyone works with an Ellis and everyone finds him more detestable than spending your day off at the DMV. Know what that makes for? Good TV! As with every other character, whose story lines were as battered as the chorus boys in Spider-Man: Turn on the Lawsuits, we never quite knew how we felt. We loved when Ivy would triumph over diversity and hated her when she became a silly drug addict. We loved Karen when she finally got hip to what being in a show was like, but we hated that she didn't earn the part of Marilyn. We hated Julia when she wanted to adopt a baby and we hated Julia when she had an affair and we thought we were supposed to like her but we just hated her. Even then, we were conflicted. But Ellis, oh, everyone hated Ellis. And watching him get fired in the season finale was so incredibly gratifying, but everyone who has ever dealt with a real life Ellis will tell you that he's harder to get rid of than a Winona Forever tattoo. That's why the show needs to keep him around. A show is only as good as their villain is bad, and Ellis was bad in a million tiny deplorable ways. For next season NBC has hired Gossip Girl showrunner Josh Safran to get the show on track. The man who gave Blair Waldorf a million lackeys should know that having someone who is meddlesome, eavesdropping, corrupt, and craven can drive plots for season upon season. Yes, we all hated Ellis, but we hated him for all the right reasons. This kid should stay in the show. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: 'Smash' Season Finale: Hold Your Applause Uma Thurman Joins NBC's Musical Drama 'Smash' 'Smash' Covers Adele's 'Rumor Has It,' But Can It Compare to the 'Glee' Version?
  • Ryan Murphy Dishes the Dirt on the Upcoming Seasons of 'Glee' and 'American Horror Story'
    By: Brian Moylan May 22, 2012 10:50am EST
    Ryan Murphy is one seriously busy dude. Not only is the writer and producer busy corralling the jazz-handed squadrons on Glee, but he's also scaring up ghosties for the second season of American Horror Story and launching the new gaybie comedy The New Normal. Where did he ever find time to give Vulture an interview? Well, I'm glad he did, because we got all sorts of goodies about the next seasons of our favorite shows. As for Glee, Murphy says that the upcoming Season 4 gets the New Directions back to their underdog status, whatever that means. He says there are going to be fewer characters than ever (even though all the regulars from the cast will be back next year in non-central roles). He also says that Will Schuester will get something to do other than wear sweater vests and that Sue Sylvester will have a new villain to hate. Oh and (spoiler alert!) Will doesn't get married tonight. Oopsie! All of this sounds very promising. However, I disagree with his assessment that the show is doing what it has always been doing and the only thing that's changed is critics' perception of it. The show is remarkably different from Season 1 and it's possible that a failure to acknowledge that is what makes a series that was once universally loved now nearly unwatchable to many. Good news for Murphy fans though, is that Season 2 of American Horror Story sounds absolutely amazing. "It’s set in an institution for the criminally insane that Jessica Lange’s character runs, which is a really, really, really fun thing to do because you can write all these people locked up in it," says Murphy.  He adds, "And I guess if the first season was about infidelity, the second season is about sanity ... I haven’t said this publicly, but the new season is set in the sixties and Chloë Sevigny, for example, plays a character who was put in an asylum because she was a woman who likes sex, so her husband sends her away. At the time, you were able to put people away for that. Another character is institutionalized for being a lesbian." I was going to be watching already, but now I am more excited that Kurt Hummel at an ugly poncho warehouse sale. Who is Adam Levine going to be playing? A man who has multiple personality disorder and thinks he's Mick Jagger? Check out the rest of the interview where Murphy talks about his other new shows and One Hit Wonders a musical he's planning with Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, and Cameron Diaz. Yes, you read that right. Yes, your brain probably just exploded too. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Image:] More: PSAs Glee Should Actually Release Glee's Ryan Murphy Is Making a Musical Movie Starring Gwyneth Paltrow Ryan Murphy Remakes Old Horrors with Lea Michele, Heather Morris & More — PICS
  • 'American Ninja Warrior' Should Be Your Newest TV Obsession
    By: Brian Moylan May 22, 2012 8:55am EST
    On the evening of May 21, with all of my regular Monday night shows off the air or shamelessly moved to Sunday night (where for art though Nurse Jackie?) I just decided to take a gamble and see what was airing on network television. When I flipped to NBC I saw it immediately and knew I was hooked. Here were world class athletes trying out in round after round of qualifying competition and the action was peppered with their inspirational back stories. Sometimes the athletes were victorious and sometimes they fell flat on their faces, quite literally. We will only celebrate one of these prime specimens as a champion and an American hero. No, the Olympics haven't already started, this is American Ninja Warrior. For the uninitiated, Ninja Warrior is a Japanese game show that airs on far-flung cable channel G4 which features people both fit and otherwise competing to complete a nearly impossibly series of obstacle courses. They hang from logs, race across spinning pillars, climb inverted staircases using only their upper bodies, scale cargo nets that are hundreds of feet long, and complete an insane gym class torture known as the "salmon ladder" (imagine having to hang from a bar bell and raise it up four notches using nothing but your arm strength and will power). It is absolutely insane. One small slip and they are out of the competition. Four years ago G4 started producing their own competition in America and then took the final competitors to Mt. Midoriyama, the storied Japanese course that separates the supermen from the astronomically super men. This year NBC, desperate to air anything that gets as many viewers as a puppet show at your local mall, is airing American Ninja Warrior (and a day after it airs on G4, so this network is so hard up it is now airing cable TV reruns). You should be watching every damn episode. Ninja Warrior is ideal summer time television: something that you don't have to pay too much attention to, something where you can miss an episode or two and not feel left behind, and something that is going to make you feel absolutely awful that you haven't been doing squats, crunches, and sh**loads of cardio all winter long. It's sort of like Wipeout for smart people, where you are actually rooting for them to complete the course rather than get punched in the face and fall in the mud for our enjoyment. But there is plenty of falling off the course and landing in the water. Unlike Wipeout, this is empowering and belittling at the same time. So much television these days is about watching extremely talented people do things we couldn't even dream about. What do you think Project Runway, Top Chef, American Idol (and all its ripoffs), and even every show on HGTV is all about? We can't sew a dress in an afternoon, cook a gourmet meal with food from a vending machine, sing "Hallelujah" with a complete lack of irony, or set up a water feature in our backyards, but its as if we can watch someone doing it well then we can do it too. The same with Ninja Warrior. Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world couldn't get past the first two obstacles in the qualifying course nevertheless find a way up Mt. Midoriyama, a feat that only three people in the 25 seasons of Japanese Ninja Warrior have been able to muster. But, damn it, we're going to watch these men (mostly) try. They're the one percent you actually root for, and if we have to look at their wonderfully muscled physiques while they doing it, then so be it. NBC, as the nation's premiere rerunner of cable television content, has brought the fabled Mt. Midoriyama to Las Vegas so that we don't even have to go to Japan anymore for the big, multi-part final craziness. Yes, the American version is far more earnest than its Asian counterpart and could use with a bit more camp, but before we see our premiere athletes compete in the decathlon, the 100 meter freestyle, and the oh-so-serious art of synchronized swimming, I'm going to be riveted to Ninja Warrior. At least until Wipeout starts. Update: I guess I read the Ninja Warrior schedule wrong. The qualifying rounds air on G4 on Sundays and the final rounds air on NBC on Mondays. Guess they're not so much reruns after all. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Image: NBC/G4] More: G4 Making A Hurt Locker-Inspired Reality Series Wipeout Contestant Dies The Hunger Games, Bridesmaids Top MTV Movie Award Nominations
  • Molly Ringwald Outs Someone From One of Her Classic '80s Movies
    By: Brian Moylan May 21, 2012 3:27pm EST
    Molly Ringwald, the undisputed teen queen of the Brat Pack during the '80s era of blockbuster John Hughes movies, has found quite a successful second career playing a mother on ABC Family's teen pregnancy drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The big news is that Ringwald's character is about to come out as a lesbian for the shows upcoming season. Our Molly as a lesbian? No way. Yes way! But now she's saying she has plenty of experience working with gay characters thanks to her time on the set of cable movie rerun staple Pretty in Pink. Yes, she's talking about Duckie, the fedora-clad quirky kid played by Jon Cryer (of Two and a Half MenM fame) in the movie. She gave an interview to Out magazine airing all his big gay secrets. "Duckie doesn’t know he’s gay. I think he loves Andie in the way that [my gay best friend] always loved me." Well, now that she says it, he always did seem, you know, kind of gay. It seems like he's not the only one. She continues, "John wrote a lot of gay characters. But it was something that we never talked about. I would say in just about every movie he did, he had a character that easily could have been gay.” We always knew there was something a little bit different about Anthony Michael Hall's Brian in The Breakfast Club and what about the ever devoted Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Damn, we're going to have to go back to all of those movies and find the gays. Thanks Molly, we're glad that the secret lives of all these American teenagers have finally been set, um, straight. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Ringwald Didn't Speak To Hughes for Over Two Decades McCarthy was bald for Pretty in Pink reshoots Spader took Pretty in Pink role to pay bills
  • The Final Season of 'Breaking Bad' Is a Giant Lie
    By: Brian Moylan May 21, 2012 1:03pm EST
    Today AMC announced that Breaking Bad's fifth and final season will premiere on Sunday, July 15, at 9 PM. Excellent! I've been waiting for this stuff like a tweaker looks for his next hit of the good blue meth. I can't wait to see Walter White continue further down his spiral of destruction while waltzing away with a few Emmys. We're gonna get 16 more episodes and that's it. In 16 weeks, this will be over. Oh, no, wait. That's not it. There will only be eight episodes. So... what happens after two months? According to AMC's press release, the show will take an entire year off and the final eight episodes of Season 5 will air in summer 2013. What in the mother of methamphetamines is that all about? That is not a final season. That is two seasons. Two totally different things. It's sort of like taking a sandwich, cutting it in half, eating one half at noon and the other half at 7 PM and calling both times you eat the sandwich "lunch." No, the second one is not lunch, it is dinner. It is a totally different and separate event in the life of the consumer of that sandwich. With the rise of cable television, video on demand, live streaming, and next-day downloads the idea of a season is constantly shifting and changing. We no longer have a set "season" that starts in September and ends in May. Even the broadcast networks fill up the summer months with a bunch of reality TV boobs either bouncing off enormous balls (Wipeout) or accusing each other of not having any (Big Brother). Tyra Banks, ever the linguistic innovator, calls each new edition of her show a "cycle" so it can't be attached to a time or year. I get that what constitutes a season and when it airs may need to be redefined. I also know that this is not one season. They don't even know when the second half of this season is going to start. That has to render it somehow technically ineligible to be part of the same season that has a definite start date. The first time I remember a show breaking up a "season" over two different time periods is Sex and the City, which stretched its final installments over the course of the year, giving us 10 episodes in one chunk and six more several months later. Battlestar Galactica used to do the same thing, making it nearly impossible to know the number season that you were currently watching because Season 4 seemed like Season 7. The really infuriating thing is that in both of these instances the "half seasons" were sold in separate DVD sets. If they can't even be packaged together, then why the hell are they still unified as a "season?" They shouldn't be! This whole thing is so incredibly craven. You could argue that the people making the show consider these final 16 episodes of Breaking Bad to be thematically linked, to show one big arc over the course of the series. Then why in the name Gus Fring is the network torturing us super-fans by putting an entire calendar year between the first half and the second half? Doesn't that ruin some of the creative trajectory the show's trying to preserve by making it one season? Either this thing is one season and you treat it like one season, or it is two seasons and treat it like two seasons. We know the frakking difference (as they would say on Battlestar), so don't try to fool us. Otherwise this is just a cynical marketing ploy to coax people into the watching the "final season" before they miss out. The problem is, this is not the final season, it's just the tease before we get to the final season a year away. This is the entertainment equivalent of a store that has a "going out of business sale" sign in their front window indefinitely. I'm super stoked for every one of these episodes and will watch them as soon as they air, but don't call this whole thing a "final season" when it is anything but. Just call it seasons five and six. That's fine. We're still going to watch it just as hard. Now that we've settled that don't even get me started on a the "two-part season finale" nonsense. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: 'Breaking Bad': Breaking the Rules of Television 'Breaking Bad' Season Finale Recap: Face Off Paul auctions Breaking Bad gear for sick pal
  • 'Mad Men' Recap: Harry's Krishna
    By: Brian Moylan May 21, 2012 10:56am EST
    I'm pissed at last night's episode of Mad Men. Not only was it pretty crappy, but due to some technical difficulties, I lost my entire recap that I just finished writing so now I have to write it all over again and you're just going to miss some of my wonderful insights, because I just don't have the time or energy to devote that much time to writing about a crappy episode for another several hours. Oh, Mad Men and my computer, I am so angry at you both. Here's the recap of what my recap would have looked like. The episode seemed to be all about work and how it affects our lives and, for a show that's about an office full of people, that seemed a little easy-peasy pudding and pie. First we got Harry, who seems fine with his job until he goes a-chanting with Paul Kinsey, the old Sterling Cooper creative and civil rights warrior who is now the head recruiter for crazy cult Hari Krishna. After finding a bit of enlightenment (and getting a boner for Paul's girlfriend Lakshmi), Harry agrees to meet with Paul to discuss his crappy script he wrote for Star Trek that he thinks will get him and Lakshmi out of a cult and into a new life. Apparently Paul has struggled professionally ever since Don didn't ask him to join Sterling Cooper and his self-esteem never recovered until he looked for solace and human interaction in a cult. Lakshmi shows up at Harry's office and bends over the desk so he can Hari her Krishna, but her motivations don't make sense. She says she doesn't want Harry to help Paul because she wants to stay in the cult and she doesn't want the cult to lose Paul because he's their best recruiter. She's a former prostitute and drug addict so shouldn't she know to get her payment up front before sleeping with him? Why go crazy on him after she slept with him? Why does Harry think this whole thing is as crazy as we do? Are we supposed to think that it's crazy? Is this the "imitative fallacy" in action? Later Harry has a bit of a touching moment when he offers Paul some fake confidence and gives him $500 to go to Los Angeles and try to add himself to tap into the city's one renewable resource: struggling writers. We're not sure if Paul takes the money and gets on the bus or goes right back to his cult, but is Harry really saving Paul? Isn't he just setting him up for another failure and more disappointment, for another bruise to his already fragile ego? Why shouldn't he stay with his cult, where he found a bit of solace in the love of another and a job that he's actually really good at? Maybe he needs to be better at a job that's controlling his mind rather than bad at a job where he's free? Now we have to talk about Lane Pryce, who is embezzling money from the company so that he can pay his $8,000 tax bill to Queen and Country to keep from going to prison. His plot gets more and more complicated as more roadblocks stand in his way from dishing out his fake Christmas bonuses so he can save his ass and set up a scheme that could lead to his and the agency's destruction. What's surprising is that he is so proud and his self-esteem so low that he can't ask for help. He lies and makes it seem like he's needed and in control rather than saying to Roger or Don, "Hey, old chap, can you buy me an $8,000 hamburger today and I'll gladly pay you back on Tuesday?" The interesting thing about Lane's story is that Harry mentions something to him about the Russians plotting against America and later we see Lane in a Russian-style winter hat out in the rain. He's now a spy, a character in an espionage movie, where he's forging signatures and sneaking around in the middle of the night. It's as if the foreboding chaos that has been churning in the atmosphere all season is finally seeping into his pores. Joan, our Joan, is served divorce papers by her husband Dr. Capt. Rapist, and she freaks the flackentush out and throws a plane at a secretary. (Where, oh Internet, is the animate GIF of that?) Don makes her feel better by treating her the way she is used to, by taking her to buy a fancy car, getting her drunk in Midtown, and sending her flowers the next day (a touching gesture that we don't often see from Don). Joan's problem is that her life plan has completely fallen to s**t and she doesn't know what to do with herself. She says that her mother raised her to be adored but all that adoration has gotten her is a no-good husband, a lot of faded flowers, and Roger's kid. And while Roger is living in his past (hence his boozy observation of Pearl Harbor Day), Joan is trying to find a way into the future. Only her prominence in the office gives her a sense of fulfillment. She married a doctor like she was supposed to and it was a disaster. So, what is next for Joan when all the values she held in the past are discovered to be lies? We'll just have to find out (but we have a feeling it has nothing to do with more handsome strangers across the bar). Then there is Don, who Joan says got "something better" when he married Megan after Betty, but he's not sure anymore. First, Megan takes him to some really awful experimental theater (really, is there any other kind?) where the actors are making fun of the emptiness of advertising. This sticks in Don's craw because he just heard about this from Megan when she quit and now she's living the high life off of advertising's profits but also making him listen how awful it is. It may also be because he's starting to think that it's a little bit empty himself. Maybe that's why Don has been taking more naps than meetings this season. The real trouble starts when he gets home from his bender with Joan and finds Megan waiting for him with a cold dinner plate at the kitchen table, just like he found Betty all those times. She's pissed that Don didn't show up or call and orders him to eat dinner with her. (We know that Don loves a dominatrix.) Didn't he have this exact same fight with Betty? Don thought that he could change his life by changing his woman, that Megan was somehow better or different than Betty, but she's not really. It turns out that if you treat different women the same s**tty way, they end up having similar reactions. Megan tells Don that before he met her he loved his work, so he needs to get back to that. The problem is that there is a tie between Don's life professionally and personally. There always has been. Maybe his opiate daze at the office has to do with the lull of happiness in his home life. Maybe his sense of stagnation is from both or has one affecting the other. Either way, the show ends with Don giving a rousing speech at the office (his first in a long time) about how they are going to work their asses off and land Jaguar. It's as if this is a last-ditch attempt to save his agency as well as a last-ditch effort to save his marriage to Megan. Either that or he's rediscovering his old love for both. Either way, I hate this episode. Not as much as I hate my computer right now, but there is certainly plenty of hate to go around. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More:
  • 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' Premiere: What a Snooze!
    By: Brian Moylan May 21, 2012 7:54am EST
    From the way that everyone ends their sentences by going liiiiikkkeeee thiiisssss and that even girls at Sweet Sixteen parties in Sheboygan are wearing Herve Leger bandage dresses, it's apparent that the Kardashian Klan has left their mark on young America. What shocks me, based on the seventh (yes, seventh) season premiere is that Keeping Up with the Kardashians, a show that has spawned several spinoffs, a retail store, a clothing line, various assorted books, and product lines — not to mention a 72-day sham wedding — is such a snore. While I know plenty about Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, and the rest of their Kohort thanks to various and assorted tabloid stories and online rumors, this was the first episode of one of their assorted E! programs that I actually watched. Honestly, I have no interest in doing so again. I'm not one of those critics that is going to say that reality television is ruining our minds (and if that is the case, the Real Housemonkeys of Petticoat Junction have addled my grey matter a long time ago) or that the Kardashians are some symbol of the end of the American era. Not at all. In fact I respect Kim and the rest for being quite savvy and finding away to make their mark on the culture. That is no small feat. But what shocks me is that the TV program that gained them entrance into the conversation (other than Kim's infamous sex tape of course) is this gosh darn dull. It tries to turn Kris Jenner, her Olympian husband Bruce, and the pair's many daughters into a modern-day sitcom (a formula perfected by The Osbournes so long ago). Like Us Weekly, it's trying to say, "Look! This famous family is just like yours!" Bruce is a doddering husband and mom is a nag that means well and the sisters fight and squabble, but everyone makes up by the end of each episode. So what? Of course, their intent is to be relatable... except their life is not like ours at all. The central conflict of the first episode is that Kris wrote a book admitting she had an affair and now the tabloids are harassing Khloe, claiming Robert Kardashian is not her real father. Kris wants Khloe to take a paternity test but she doesn't want to. Sure, the whole thing becomes like a sitcom plot where mother and daughter fight and make up, but these are not everyday problems. My mother will never write a book and the tabloids will never care about who my father is. When I go out with my brothers, you won't see the paparazzi flashbulbs in the background, and when I see my sister (who I made up for the sake of this argument) wearing an outfit, I will never say, as Kourtney does, "Oh, you were in a 'Who Wore It Better' wearing that shirt with Nicole Richie and Nicole Richie won." No matter how hard they try, the Kardashians will never be like my family. Thankfully, they do talk about how being famous plays a part in their lives (unlike shows like Jersey Shore, which nearly buckles under the weight of trying to make it look like no one knows who Snooki is when she goes out in public), but that is the same thing that makes the show impossible to watch. We already know that all this happened. If we care at all about the Kardashians (or even if we don't), we read about the scandal while it was unfolding. That makes the show seem like a sadly out-of-date textbook rehashing information we already learned somewhere else. Where is the discovery? Where is the surprise? Not watching the Kardashians, that's for sure. Not even the promise of Kanye West joining the show will be all that thrilling. We already know he's going to be "dating" Kim, so why should we tune in to see if it happens? You can love them or hate them, but maybe it's time we all leave them, at least for a family with a little more oomph? Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Khloe Kardashian: Kanye Is Better for Kim Than Kris Humphries Kim Kardashian: Konfess You're Dating Kanye Jon Hamm Calls Kim Kardashian 'Idiot': Hollywood's Favorite Punching Bag?