Category Archives: television

Two Things Forgiveness Should Never Mean (i.e. Learning from the Duggars)

On May 19th In Touch Weekly published an article alleging that when Josh Duggar was a teenager, he molested five underage girls, including several of his sisters.

I didn’t want to write about the Duggars, but I felt compelled to. I wanted to write about this case because I am a Christian, so I understand a lot of the rhetoric of forgiveness that the Duggars and their supporters have used to explain their stance towards the eldest son. However, I am also a feminist, and I have seen the effects of sexual violence on the lives of people I love. So for this post, I want to explain why the Duggar’s act of forgiveness doesn’t make me angry, instead, it is the decisions they made along with that gift of forgiveness that have left me in disbelief.

We Need Forgiveness More Than We Realize

Those of you who know me in person have probably chatted with me about Christianity. I’ve struggled with it a lot over the last few years, and considered throwing the label out the window altogether. However, there are a few things that keep pulling me back to the faith I grew up in. One of these things is the tenant of forgiveness.

You have probably all heard some kind of variation of the quote I included above. While most of these sayings have essentially become cliches, I honestly believe the act of forgiveness can help wounded individuals in their journey of healing. In my own life, I’ve had experiences that could have easily led me to foster an intense bitterness towards certain individuals. The theology I grew up with helped me to understand those individuals as damaged people, which made it much easier to move on from those events.

The tenant of forgiveness extends far beyond the Christian faith. Forgiveness is a valued aspect of most world religions, and is even recognized by doctors and psychologists as a key part of healing. However, there are certain aspects about the Duggar case that undermine their appeal to forgiveness. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls And the Interview with Federico Dordei, Part 1 – What Happened To Luis?

fedluisLast Friday I was blessed with the opportunity to have a very lengthy conversation with actor Federico Dordei, who appeared in a number of episodes of 2 Broke Girls as Luis, the day waiter at the Williamsburg Diner. He initially left a comment on one of my reviews of the show and agreed to answer a few of my questions about what it was like to be a part of it. Given that we ended up talking for a full hour I’ve opted to split the interview up into two parts.

In this first segment of questions and answers Fed [I can call him that since we are friends now] reveals what his time on the show was like, as well as what ultimately ended up happening to both him and Luis. My questions and comments are in bold, with his responses as regular text.


Your character Luis is one of my all-time favourites on the show, and reading back on my review of the first episode he appeared in it’s pretty apparent how much I liked him. Now you appeared in nine episodes of 2 Broke Girls-

I actually shot ten episodes, not nine.

I was supposed to start out as a guest star for an arc of three episodes, then it was renewed to six and they finally brought me back for four more. During this time I got the assumption that I may become a regular due to numerous comments made by some of the executives, such as “This is your home now!”, “This is just the beginning!”, etc. [Creator and producer] Michael Patrick King loved me and the character I brought to life.

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The first episode was great, too, the writing was sarcastic and very funny. It was a little bit exaggerated, but I felt like I could bring it to life and have a lot of fun with it. The next two episodes you saw, the writing was kind of off with Luis. Not that funny, I didn’t know what to do with it. I was worried the live audience wouldn’t laugh!

For the most part it seems like things were looking pretty good for both you and Luis.

Well, after the third episode I shot I was invited to the birthday of one of the show’s producers. I was drinking and partying with some of the writers, talking about the show, and said that I really loved the writing for Luis, but that the next two episodes were not as funny for that character. It was a simple fun chat between co-workers while enjoying ourselves. One of the writers, he went to Michael Patrick King telling him that I was complaining about lines. Took things out of context and made it look like I was talking shit.

What Michael Patrick King does, he calls me and rips me a new asshole. Got me on the phone and shredded me to pieces, asking how dare I talk shit, I should be lucky he gave me any lines at all. He went on and on. At the end of the conversation I explained that I wasn’t talking shit, that it was just an innocent and honest chat between party buds having fun! And that it was passed on to him out of context and that I felt utterly blessed to be part of the show. He said “Have you ever heard the Girls [Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs] complain about lines?” Of course I said “No,” ’cause I’m not a snitch… But if he was ever with us in the makeup room he would have known the answer to that [laughs].

I thought it was just a normal comment, but he said that writers are like babies; they’re very difficult and very sensitive, especially when their words on paper are criticized. The writer was very young, too. He said this can’t happen anymore. He said “Do you know why I’m calling you?” I said, “You’re firing me?” He told me, “Nope, I’m calling you because I want to keep you and for you to rectify this. I don’t want this to happen again.”

Now, I’m Italian! Before I was making lasagna for everyone (around 200 people) and treated every single person on Stage 21 as family. But Michael Patrick King told me to be a professional, that this wasn’t a family, it’s work! Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E22 “And the Disappointing Unit”: A TV Review

disappointingunit

Here we are at last, presented with nearly twenty-two full minutes of television to cap off the fourth season of 2 Broke Girls and set the stage for the fifth. As I’ve pointed out in the past few weeks leading up to this one there is a lot riding on season finales, so it really pains me to say that this one does not deliver.

In my review of last season’s finale I listed off the momentous events that closed off the show’s first two years, which are as follows:

  • Season 1 –  they meet Martha Stewart, a gigantic leap forward when it comes to them opening their cupcake store
  • Season 2 – the decision is made to open a new store in a hidden room adjacent to the rest of the diner [given their old location having a car in one wall]

I also noted the way that that particular season ended:

  • Season 3 – Max passes a US History final and gets her GED

Which, let’s all be fair, is and was not the biggest deal. I mean, yes, it’s great that Max now has a high school diploma, but what does it mean for her and Caroline moving forward? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. This season’s finale does at least include both girls, but can unfortunately be summed up as:

  • Season 4 – Max and Caroline remember that they have a dream of their own, ie. their cupcake shop

That’s right, it dawns on them that they once had a plan to start their own business, a plotline that can actually be traced back to the very first season. What’s really jarring about this epiphany is that they’ve been in possession of their very own cupcake shop with its new storefront from the beginning of Season 3 to the end of Season 4. To have that fact in mind and then hear Caroline say that they “haven’t abandoned it, [they] just haven’t paid attention to it in three months” only makes it that much weirder. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E21 “And the Grate Expectations”: A TV Review

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I, Evan Yeong, do solemnly swear that I will keep it together when reviewing this episode. This close to the end of Season 4 and it only makes sense that I remain cool, calm, and collected as I chronicle how 2 Broke Girls concludes its fourth year and prepares for its fifth. In retrospect, given how things have gone as of late, I was kind of a fool for not instituting the EVAN YEONG MADNESS WATCH I considered back in my first ever review of the show.

This week’s episode is the first in over a month without Nashit, a poor character portrayed by a very stand-up dude named Austin Falk. His tenure as Max’s love interest lasted all of five weeks, which doesn’t quite match up with reigning champion Deke [Eric Andre] who holds the title at eight episodes. Let’s all pour out a bit of our beverage of choice for poor Sebastian who was with us but for a single installment of the show. And no, I haven’t forgotten about Johnny, but he’s from a time before I was officially reviewing 2 Broke Girls when it was somehow worse than it is now-

-and before you remind me of the first line of this entire review you need to hold on just a sec, because this episode was actually pretty good! There were some terrible “jokes” as per usual but also some very funny ones! I’m actually in a good mood because of it! Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E20 “And the Minor Problem”: A TV Review

2brokegirlsminorproblem

I like DC Pierson. He’s one of the members of Derrick Comedy, a YouTube comedy group that featured the now relatively famous Donald Glover, AKA Troy from Community, AKA Childish Gambino. He actually appeared in a few episodes of the former-NBC-sitcom, and it saddens me to see him again here. Mostly because he doesn’t do anything of note.

No, DC Pierson merely serves as yet another eccentric diner customer, and one who doesn’t contribute to the overall plot at all. As far as I can tell, anyway. He plays “a legit psychic” who doesn’t tip Max but does end up reading Caroline’s palm where he initially sees two M’s and then “a small failure”. What could those letters represent? She comes up with “male”, “model”, “making (it with)”, and “Max”. That’s all pretty relevant to the happenings in this episode, except that she misses out on one key word: “Mother”.

[I’d just like to very quickly mention that Pierson has his own Wikipedia page, so who am I to criticize, really {and I mean that sincerely}] Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E19 “And the Look of The Irish”: A TV Review

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I was going to start this review off by wasting a paragraph on how neat it would be to eat at the Williamsburg Diner, what with its eccentric clientele and all, but instead let’s dive directly into the latest 2 Broke Girls character to rake in the site hits: Nashit. What do we know about him? He’s a poor Irish immigrant, apparently half-Indian [uh huh…], and he has sex with Max. I could go on, but his entry on the 2 Broke Girls wiki [at the time of this writing] sums him up pretty well:

tba

Yup. At this point in time Nashit’s undisclosed middle and last names could be “Tabula” and “Rasa”, because there’s really not much there at the moment. As mentioned in my review of the episode introducing him, Nashit didn’t have that much say in his relationship with one half of the titular duo. Max wants him and he more or less responds with an “okay”. He clearly doesn’t mind being with her, but it’s really hard to ascertain how much he actually likes her. Also, and this is important to mention, he has very few lines. It’s hard for a character to be well-rounded if you barely let them speak.

In this week’s episode Max decides that she’s been seeing altogether too much of her boy toy, and does what she can to get him out of the diner so that they’re not hitting the interaction trifecta [working, living, and sleeping together]. His new career path is chosen for him once he very ineptly handles Han’s gift to him [for being an employee who actually works hard], the Spritzy 5000. There’s more of that at the bottom of this post, so stay tuned. Short story shorter, he sprays himself and it turns out he’s hot.

The two girls teach him how to model, specifically for a Cocoa Puffs commercial. That’s fairly uneventful. At first he is terrible at it. Like really, really bad. Then we come back after a commercial break and he is good at modelling and all that. But it turns out that “Cocoa Puffs” is code for “pornography”! They’re at an audition for a porn movie! Specifically Sorest Rump!

At this point we get a little more of Nashit’s personality, specifically that he would do anything for Max, even “gay for pay”. Actually it’s never revealed if he understands what that really means, but at the very least he would be willing to make porn for his girlfriend, if we can call her that. It’s sweet, I guess. It’s not the best character work by any means because it’s really still just Nashit doing what Max wants. He knows that she wants him to do this [even if he doesn’t realize it’s to get him out of the diner], so he also wants to do it. Next week is, ostensibly, his last episode, and I really hope he gets to be a little more of a pretty face before his inevitable exit.

Elsewhere Oleg and Sophie practice celibacy before the wedding because it’s what her grandmother would’ve wanted. That doesn’t last for long, though Oleg does get a few great lines out of it. Joedth is looking for love after her junkie ex left the picture. Big Mary/John is beginning to get on my bad side because he only has one line and it obviously has to do with gay sex, which is his shtick now I guess. You’re more than that Big Mary/John, I know you are.

Oh, before we get to Stray Observations I should share one of Austin Falk’s tweets that provides a behind the scenes look at how this episode was filmed:

Current Total: $711.

New Total: $1,211. Last week they made $425, so with only $75 more this week I guess they’re being somewhat consistent. Again, I’ll just chalk this up to their combined three jobs.

The Title Refers To: A play on words that I actually really like! It refers to Nashit being Irish, him being good looking, and even sounds like someone with a terrible accent [see: Nashit] saying “the luck of the Irish”! This is the best title the show has ever had.

Stray Observations:

  • “Sad Ladies Book Club is reading 50 Shades of Grey again. There’s not a dry seat in the house.”
  • “Apparently the something blue at the wedding has to be my balls.”
  • “I feel like a bull in a vagina shop.”
  • “Move to call a moratorium on the words “grab”, “squeeze”, and “spray” until after the wedding-“
  • Something something what you say to get lesbians to exit a building: “There’s a Subaru outside that’s about to get a ticket.”
  • Joedth was using a dating app/site called “Lez Meet Up”.
  • “I had the decorator redo it nine times. You can feel his anger in the walls. It’s electric.”
  • “You’re eating is so punk rock. Tell me everything right now.”
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake/Beefecake Menu: You’re welcome.

nashit1 nashit2 nashit3

2 Broke Girls, S4E18 “And the Taste Test”: A TV Review

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Just to start, I’d like to offer a brief apology for my review of last week’s episode. For the most part I try to keep a pretty even keel and take each episode as it comes, especially since I try to judge 2 Broke Girls on its own merits. That means acknowledging that it is very far from high art or what I consider to be good TV, lauding it for when it is funny and appropriately criticizing it for when it’s racist or needlessly crude or very poorly written.

I still don’t think it was a good episode by any means, but I could’ve handled it better. Here’s to me getting through to the end of this season, guys and girls and everyone else. Continue reading