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The Bickering Critics – Anita and George

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Rita Hayworth in “The Strawberry Blonde” (1941) – reviewed by George

Behind the opening credits there’s a lush and rousing arrangement of “And the Band Played On” which fades into a calm and sweet version of “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home” as the action starts, clueing us in that we’re in the early 1900’s.
Dentist T.L. Grimes (James Cagney) is playing horseshoes with his friend Nick Pappalas (George Tobias) and each thinks the other is keeping score. Next door a group of young college-age people are singing, first “Bill Bailey” and now “Meet Me in Saint Louis”. T.L. says he hates women who sing, give him a good bass anytime. T.L. is a challenger and he eventually expresses a desire for everyone next door to shut up. The response is quick and decisive. The young man who is the de facto leader, Harold (George Reeves), jumps the fence and starts fighting. He is joined by all the other young men, despite the shouts of Harold’s girlfriend (Lucile Fairbanks). Afterwards, as he and Nick continue their chat we learn T.L. is a jailbird, and fears that everyone knows. He has to keep moving his practice for lack of patients, and he’s been at this address for eight months, had only two patients, and one hasn’t paid yet.
And as they talk they remember a girl in the old neighborhood, a girl they were both in love with, and how Hugo Barnstead (Jack Carson) stole her away and married her, and of how much they hate him.
They quit the game, and T.L. starts to take a walk with his wife Amy (Olivia de Havilland), and then the phone rings with a man pleading for a dentist  – the others are all out walking with their wives. T.L. says no way, until he learns the man with the terrible tooth ache is Hugo. Now he says, “Send him over” and plans to kill Hugo with too much gas.
As he waits for Hugo, he thinks about a time about 10 years ago, and we meet T.L.’s dad (Alan Hale) and the married woman he flirts with, Mrs. Mulcahey (Una O’Connor) who is having none of it. Also “Biff”, Hugo’s nickname, who is working at the nearby bar, and the strawberry blonde, Virginia Brush (Rita Hayworth), the girl everyone is in love with.
Biff gets a date with Virginia, and because she always insists on having a friend along, Biff brings T.L.. with him. Virginia’s friend is Amy Lind, who arrives in her nurse’s uniform, spilling over with suffragist information and opinions. And Hugo is a hound dawg to Virginia and a bad friend to T.L.
And now we go into full flashback mode and learn why the four lives of the two couples turned out the way they did.
Then back to the present where T.L. finally grows up.
A really fine film, despite the casual racism of its time (one song), with strong ties to the setting and an ending that is truly earned. The performances of the young cast are first rate.
From a Play by James Hagar, Screen Play by Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein, Directed by Raoul Walsh.

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Jonny Lee Miller is Sherlock Holmes in “Elementary”, Season 6, Episodes 1, 2, and 3 (2018) – reviewed by George

Episode 1: An Infinite Capacity for Taking Pains
Sammy Olivetti (Trevor Van Uden), a man with tons of tattoos, goes downstairs in his apartment and does not turn on any lights. He is gobsmacked with something, and there’s a blood stain on the wall after he falls. A young couple comes to the police looking for Sammy. Sophie Bishop (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is the well-known star of many sex tapes and Ryan Hays (Brett Dalton) is in love with her despite her history. Sammy is not in his apartment and is not reachable on his cell, please help.
At 221B Holmes is finally explaining the wrecked room to Watson (Lucy Liu). He has suspected he had a brain tumor, but all tests proved negative. He has PCS, post-concussion syndrome. With his long history of putting himself in harm’s way, he thinks Shinwell’s (Nelsan Ellis) hitting him with a bottle was not the cause, but may have been a sort of final stressor. Recovery could take weeks or months or could never take place at all.
But life goes on.
Sophie and Ryan hire Holmes to find Sammy, and at Olivetti’s apartment he and Joan find tape residue and a heavy odor of plastic. Indications are that much of the kitchen was covered with plastic sheeting. So if Sammy is found, chances are excellent that he will be dead. (That bloodstain was on the plastic.)
Then Homes gets a call. “Bishop and Hays are paying you to find their friend. I’ll pay you a million dollars to walk away.” Sherlock counters, asking for five million, and gets it. Holmes then asks Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) to track the money backward (already deposited). He also learns that Sophie is an heiress in a conversation with her brother Drew (Wayne Wilcox) after SHE goes missing. Then Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) calls Joan to tell her that Sophie’s body has been found.
Sherlock solves the murders of Sammy and Sophie, and then runs into a man who was in one of his recovery groups a few years ago. Michael (Desmond Harrington), who found improvement using Sherlock’s advice, thanks him and offers to help Sherlock in any way he can. Sherlock is touched, but does not act on the offer immediately. Later he calls Michael and they agree to meet at St. Olaf’s at four for the meeting there.
Dr. Eugene Hawes (Jordan Gelber) is also featured in this episode in a morgue scene. And I think we’ll see Michael again.
Written by Bob Goodman, Directed by Christine Moore.

Episode 2: Once You’ve Ruled Out God
At the funeral of Watson’s father, who left home when Joan was quite young, married again and had another daughter Lin (Samantha Quan), Lin gives Joan a sealed letter from their father, “To Joan”. Obviously Lin is a little hurt there wasn’t a letter for her, but these two half-sisters are lovely people who want finally to have a relationship.
The next scene is at night with a man, Rohan Giri (Alok Tewari), walking down a midtown street yelling into his cell phone, “Hand to God, Heather, I am not having an affair!” There’s a bright flash and he falls down dead. Sherlock arrives soon after the first responders, who have determined he was struck by lightning, and reminds them it’s impossible to be struck by lightning on a New York street because the skyscrapers act as lightning rods. They say that he has burns all over his body, but Sherlock counters with, “He was struck by man-made lightning.”
So we have a story of plutonium theft, The Department of Energy for which Rohan inspected nuclear facilities for safety, an LIPC (Laser-Induced Plasma Channel) called Sparky built for the air force but still being worked on because it’s too big to fit in a jet plane, members of a gang from a prison, and a diamond heist. But the central question is who killed Rohan and the central problem is saving New York from a dirty bomb, and Holmes takes care of both (with a lot of help).
And that letter turns out to be all about Lin, and what a good person she is, and hoping that Joan and Lin can be friends. There’s also an apology to Joan for being out of her life.
Written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Directed by Guy Ferland.

Episode 3: Pushing Buttons
In a Revolutionary War re-enactment of the Battle of Harlem Heights, the Yankees win (surprise!), and the Redcoats are all dead. Then one dead guy’s cell starts ringing and the man lying dead beside him says something like Hey! No techs from before 1776! But the first man is already sitting up and groping for his phone. Then he notices the man on his other side and he says something like Hey, George! What have you got on your jacket? Is that a squib? It looks so real! And in truth George has been killed by one of the Yankee defenders.
Why is the hapless guy always named George?
When Captain Gregson arrives, one look and he knows somebody brought a modern gun to a musket fight. The victim is George Nix (Robert Vincent Smith), 55 years old, address on the Upper East Side, owns a chain of gyms – “And”, says Gregson, “he was a lieutenant in the British Infantry.”
They interview other men from the re-enactment, and one witness (Mike Doyle) tells them he knew George and, “He  had enemies. He didn’t own all the gyms – they were franchise operations, and the fine print said you’d buy the equipment from older franchises in the chain.” Watson says, “Sounds like a pyramid scheme.” And the interviewee says, “It is.”
Back at 221B, Sherlock and Joan are going over the threats to Nix that the police took off his computer. And there’s a big laugh: Sherlock reads one of the threats to Joan, something about beating you till you see stars in the daytime, and Joan says, “They’re all like this?” And Sherlock says, “No, this one stands out for its proper spelling and punctuation.”
But he doesn’t think any one of these people is the killer. How could they know that George was planning to time-travel back to 1776 and make himself such a ripe target?
The one good bet from the e-mails is George’ s daughter Marcy (Gia Crovatin). Joan reads a few and concludes that Thanksgiving at the Nixes’ wouldn’t be much fun.
So they split up. Joan and Bell see Marcy who is planning on giving her sizable inheritance away, and anyway has an alibi. Then as they leave the commune where Marcy lives, and regain their phones (not allowed), Bell gets a call from Gregson. Somebody just burned George’s house down. It’s a total loss. Meantime Sherlock has gone to see Michael (told ya!) and he gets some really good advice about his syndrome and his doctor’s treatment plan.
Holmes and Watson also have a talk with the NYPD’s historic artifact expert, Detective Mason (James Monroe Iglehart), and Captain Cruz (Juan Carlos Hernandez) who was in charge of the attempt to save the Nix home.
A really good episode, and now Michael is a regular.
Written by Jeffrey Paul King, Directed by Christine Moore.

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Wedding Band, Season 1, Episodes 7 and 8 (2012) – reviewed by George

Episode 7: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
At a Greek Wedding someone gives Tommy (Brian Green Austin) a Pot Baklava, a very large glass bowl with a lid, filled with baklava which is then doused with liquor (rum, maybe?), and he puts it aside – can’t imbibe while working.
Roxie (Melora Hardin) walks over and accuses the band of getting everyone drunk just before the cake cutting ceremony, because the bride is all alone at the cake eating greedily.
The band pleads innocence and Roxie goes to investigate further, and Tommy notices his present has been moved by someone to the dessert table.
Eddie (Peter Cambor), with a chunk of the baklava in his hands, howls – his company’s mandatory drug test is tomorrow. Tommy says all we need is clean urine, so Barry (Derek Miller) and Stevie (Harold Perrineau) challenge him to find some – look around, everybody’s stewed. Tommy looks around and spots Rachel (Jenny Wade). “You’re not drunk!” But she refuses until Tommy says, “Do you really want this man to lose his job?”
So she takes a champagne glass to the women’s room.
The next day at work Eddie’s boss Hank Henderson (Kurtwood Smith) has just fired one of Eddie’s work buddies because he didn’t like the guy’s submission for a slogan for the new expansion line “Crates and Crockery Kids – Adults”, and then Hank threatens everyone else if he doesn’t like their ideas. Hank’s wife Barb (Wendi McLendon Covey) is also a force at Crockery etc., and her opinions mean a lot. And Eddie’s urine sample says he’s pregnant.
At an after-work band meeting at Rutherford Events, Roxie tells them, “You have a gig that demands the zenith of professionalism.” And (you’re ahead of me again) it’s the Crate and Crockery Expansion Line Debut Party. And Eddie groans. He can’t play at the same time he’s supposed to be working, and he’s gone to great lengths to keep anyone at work from finding out he’s in a band. Plus his biggest competitor at work is Cooper (Ryan Hansen), who is an underhanded cheat (boy, I cleaned that up!).
So Wow! Is Rachel really pregnant? And what will the band do for Eddie?
Written by Alan R. Cohen & Alan Freedland, Directed by Phil Traill.

Episode 8: 99 Problems
The band is to play for a traditional Hindu wedding, and they are dressed for it, and Eddie has learned to play the sitar. But a while before the ceremony Thusari (Veerta Motiani) comes to Tommy to express her fears. She and the groom Jegdish (Lavrenti Lopes) have never met (as is right and proper), but she is afraid and does not want the first words she hears from him to be “I do”. So Tommy involves Eddie, who goes to talk to Jegdish, who actually feels the same way. So the band members and Rachel all get involved, and are the instruments that bring the bride and groom together to meet before the ceremony.
Then at the party after the ceremony the couple dances so incredibly well together that Roxie tells Rachel, “This couple has had a pre-meet!” She is really upset, and catches on instantly that Rachel is involved and gives the five of them yellow cards. The yellow cards mean that they have to play a gig at a nudist colony, and Rachel has to go too. They all vow never to get on Roxie’s bad side again, because the next punishment will be red cards, meaning you’re fired.
Then the couple whose marriage was the first the band ever played for Roxie, Dennis and Denise (Josh Dean and Ashley Williams), comes back to Rutherford to announce their divorce and to hire Rutherford to create a divorce party for them. And they want Mother of the Bride to play. Well, the guys can’t believe it. They talk it over about how they seemed perfect together, and then plan a scheme to get them back together at their party. “We’re running the Hindu Pre-meet in reverse.”
Funny and sweet and I love that Indian dancing.
Written by Josh Lobis & Darin Moiselle, Directed by Andrew Fleming.

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John Nettles is DCI Tom Barnaby in “Midsomer Murders”, Season 1, Episode 3, Death of a Hollow Man (2017) – reviewed by George

A woman is praying in front of an old-looking statue of a woman, who looks Chinese. A small scream. Sounds of bludgeoning and pain. A body is carried by car to water and is dumped in. And behind all of this is a soprano solo.
This episode involves a little theater group, The Causton Players, which is tackling “Amadeus”, and Tom’s interest comes from his wife Joyce’s (Jane Wymark) playing the maid. She likes the director Harold (Bernard Hepton), but we do not because we see the way he treats his timid wife Doris (Angela Pleasence), also cast in a small role. Plus, Harold’s ego could be described as “Raging”, expecting at any moment to be called to professional theater and remembering past efforts through a decidedly rose-colored prism. I can’t easily recall a character this full of himself, or so out of touch with reality.
However, despite liking him, Joyce is aware of his negatives, as evidenced in this early conversation. Joyce, smiling: “There are dark rumors on the horizon. Apparently The Corn Exchange is no longer good enough for Harold.” Tom, also smiling: “Was it ever?”
The leading man Esslyn (Nicholas Le Prevost), playing Salieri, is also conceited and hard to take. His first wife Rosa (Sarah Badel) is one of the company as is his second (much younger) wife Kitty (Debra Stephenson) who is pregnant. There are also Avery and Tim (Nick Woodeson and Richard Huw), a gay couple who own a bookstore. Avery designed the set and Tim the lighting. And the young man who lives above the store in exchange for tidying up the place is Nicholas (Ed Waters), who is playing Mozart.
Now: the bulk of the cast (including the killer) has been introduced and here we go. The second murder is onstage opening night, and poor Joyce Barnaby is standing nearby and sees the showers of blood up close. She has to see a doctor for the shock.
But who did it and why?
Screenplay by Caroline Graham from her novel, Directed by Jeremy Silbertson.

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Inkheart (2008) – reviewed by George

There are people who can read a story out loud and bring the characters right out of the book – living and breathing. These people are called Silvertongues, and some don’t know they have this gift until it is too late. The trouble is that someone listening to the reader has to go into the book to replace the character read out.
One night Mortimer “Mo” Folchart (Brendan Fraser), a bookbinder and repair expert so good he is known as the Book Doctor, is reading the book “Inkheart” by Foglio (Jim Broadbent) to his daughter, Meggie (Mirabel O’Keefe), and one of the characters, Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), a street magician adept at fire stunts, comes out, and Mo’s wife and Meggie’s mother Resa (Sienna Guillory) goes in. So Meggie lives without a mother, Dustfinger practices his stunts in the streets of today, and Resa is a servant in the castle of the book’s villain Capricorn (Andy Serkis).
Twelve years later Mo has not really talked to Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) too much, but he is still searching for a copy of “Inkheart” to try to get Resa back. In a town where Mo has a job he runs into Dustfinger and his pet marten, and avoids him. Then in the old bookstore he finds a copy! When he gets outside he’s ready to tell all to Meggie. She has already met Dustfingewr’s marten, and Dustfinge as well, whom she doesn’t like. Anger and distrust are abundant, but eventually they all travel to see Resa’s Aunt and Meggie’s Great-Aunt Elinor (Helen Mirren). Elinor is a collector of every kind of book, and Capricorn arrives to capture everyone and take her copy of the book. Then he takes them all with him back to Inkheart, which is the village close to Capricorn’s castle.
In the ensuing adventure all of their lives are threatened since  Capricorn and his thugs Cockerell (Matt King), Flatnose (Steve Spiers), Basta (Jamie Foreman), Fulvio (Stephen Graham), and more, really like to kill people.
Terrific, and not really a kids’ movie at all.
Based on the Book by Cornelia Funke, Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire, Directed by Iain Softley.

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The Wedding Ringer (2015) – reviewed by George

I thought this would be a good followup to “I Love You, Man'”, but it’s loud, it’s exaggerated beyond sanity, and it’s loud. It’s basically the same plot: Josh Gad has no male friends and has just become engaged to Kaley Cuoco. So he goes to Best Man, Inc. and hires Kevin Hart to be his best man. Then he keeps springing stuff on Kevin, like telling him that Kaley has 7 bridesmaids so he’s gonna need 7 groomsmen. Kevin puts together a group of guys who are wonderfully weird and weirdly wonderful, and then Josh says that he has explained to Kaley why she has never met his best friend and Best Man – because he’s a priest.
I wasn’t laughing at any of this, so at 46 minutes in (the film is 1:41) I cut it off and went to bed. Maybe in saner times I’ll revisit this movie.
But I don’t think so.
Written by Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender, Directed by Jeremy Garelick.

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I Love You, Man (2008) – reviewed by George

This soft-R comedy (lots of R talk, not much R action) is really funny, and deals with an engaged couple, Peter Klaven and Zooey Rice (Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones), who have just set a wedding date: September 30 in Santa Barbara.
She calls every friend she’s ever had, and he calls nobody. Then they tell his mother (Jane Curtin), his father (J.K. Simmons) and his gay brother (Andy Samberg), and it turns out he has had a lot of girlfriends in high school and college and lately, but no male friends in his whole life. Short cut to the point: Who’s gonna be his Best Man?
Peter is a realtor, and he has the listing on the beautiful home that Lou Ferrigno wants to sell, and he badly wants to sell it because the commission will sure come in handy since he’s getting married. Duh!
At an Open House showing he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) and immediately they like each other, but can he ask Sydney to stand up for him? As they get to know each other they become good friends, but it’s a new experience for Peter and he simply does not know how to handle a buddy relationship.
There’s also a competing realtor at Peter’s firm, Tevin Downey (Rob Huebel), who is a rat and keeps trying to get the Ferrigno listing for himself. And Zooey’s friend Denise (Jaime Pressley) is married to a real jerk, Barry (Jon Favreau), who doesn’t like Peter and is rude to him every time they meet.
So the friendship with Sydney is really important because it’s not only teaching Peter how to act around other men, but it actually seems to  be making him more masculine period.
Then their friendship hits a few rough spots with some serious disagreements… So: will Sydney be Peter’s Best Man or not?
There’s some really funny stuff here, and some embarrassing stuff too, and the last line (during the closing credits) is a gem.
Story by Larry Levin, Screenplay by John Hamburg and Larry Levin, Directed by John Hamburg.

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Rita Hayworth in “Down to Earth” (1947) – reviewed by George

At The Max Corkle Theatrical Agency Max (James Gleason) is being yelled at by a police lieutenant (William Frawley) and a bunch of policemen. They can’t figure how he could know about a murder five minutes before it happened. Max turns to the open window and whispers, “Mr. Jordan, Mr. Jordan, are you there?” And this only causes them to treat him worse. Finally when they let him talk, he tells this story.
In a Broadway theater Daniel “Larry” Miller (Larry Parks) is conducting a rehearsal where eight chorus girls dance around an airman who is the leading man and Danny’s best friend Eddie (Marc Platt). The girls sing about being goddesses who live on Mount Parnassus. They are joined by the leading lady (Adele Jergens) and her chorus, and she sings about being Terpsichore , the goddess of song and dance, who puts the ants in the dancers’s pants. The lyrics are really clever (still this is closer to burlesque than Rodgers and Hammerstain), and when the number comes to an end, the camera pans over to a backstage open window, and then in a second shot rises through the clouds, up and up, and stops in heaven at the Nine Muses. The real Terpsichore (Rita Hayworth) is outraged and quotes from the lyrics we’ve just heard, and tells the other Muses that Larry Miller is holding them up to ridicule in a theater, and since the theater is her special place she is going to do something about it. Messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton) tries to stop her from seeing Mr. Jordan (Roland Culver), but she is adamant. 7013 insists that she is a legend and was never real, but when they get to Mr. Jordan, 7013 gets corrected and he must listen. Mr. Jordan has Daniel “Larry” Miller looked up, and he has alternate death dates: one very soon, and one far in the future. So Jordan agrees to Terpsichore’s request and tells 7013 to accompany her and assist her in every way to insure that the theatrical endeavor is a huge success.
She walks in on a rehearsal and knows all the dances and all the songs and is dynamic and wonderful and Larry gives her the lead – Terpsichore. But she uses the name Kitty, she announces the newly arrived Max Corkle is her agent, she gets the last name Pendleton, and she is on her way.
As rehearsals proceed there is a very smart bit showing newspaper columns of the time. First Ed Sullivan’s column where he reveals that Kitty’s uncle is a Texas cattle baron with plenty of moo-moo-moolah.
Then Leonard Lyons writes that she hails from Oklahoma and the family is greased with oodles of oil.
And Sidney Skolsky reports that her money comes from California “Sunblest” oranges.
As Kitty continues to work to class up the show, it moves farther and farther from what Larry wanted, but he doesn’t care and refuses to listen to Eddie, until opening night in Philadelphia where the audience literally hates the thing. Larry and Kitty fight and she leaves.
And now we learn that Larry’s money for the show came from a gangster, and that the earlier of the two death dates comes because the gangster killed him after the bad reviews. Now Kitty understands and wants to make thing right, but is it too late?
A good movie, but remember that singing and dancing in a drama does not automatically make it a musical (helps though). Maybe it’s a musical drama.
The Jordan character taken from the play “Heaven Can Wait” by Harry Segall, Original Screen Play by Edwin Blum and Don Hartman, Songs by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher, Directed by Alexander Hall.

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Johnny Depp is the voice of “Sherlock Gnomes” (2018) – reviewed by George

This marvelous CGI animated feature stars Gnomeo and Juliet (James McAvoy and Emily Blunt) and Sherlock Gnomes and Watson (Johnny Depp and Chiwetel Ejiofor), and makes some interesting comparisons between the two couples. There’s also Moriarty, a devilish cherub voiced by Jamie Demetriou, and a luscious gnome (or is she a fashion doll?) named Irene (Mary J. Blige), who lives apart and is an entertainer.
Moriarty, who has endangered gnomes before, has announced to Sherlock that he intends to smash all of London’s garden gnomes on a certain date, and since Sherlock is the sworn protector of all gnomes (but especially London’s), he vows to thwart the plot, which at this time he knows nothing about.
Gnomeo and Juliet are part of a group of gnomes in a certain garden, and the group is led by Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine) and Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith). There’s also a ceramic frog named Nanette (Ashley Jensen), who loves a gnome named Benny (Matt Lucas), and gnomes named Paris (Stephen Merchant) and Fawn (Ozzy Osbourne).
The movie is great fun and shifts the winning side nicely (and frequently) between Gnomes, Watson, Gnomeo, and Juliet, and Moriarty and his two gargoyles.
It’s just as entertaining for adults as it must be for children (I didn’t try it out on any). You should know that reading the credits is a little like reading the London phone book, but you’ll keep watching (not reading – the print is too small) for the wonderful gnome antics that go all the way through, and anyway you should not miss the final seconds.
Original Songs: Music by Elton John, Lyrics by Bernie Taupin, Story by Andy Riley & Kevin Cecil and Emily Cook & Kathy Greenberg, Screenplay by Ben Zazove, Directed by John Stevenson.

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Wedding Band, Episodes 5 and 6 (2012) – reviewed by George

Episode 5: Get Down On It
The boys congregate at Stevie’s to go to their afternoon gig (a wedding) together. And they discover that Courtney Love has left her band’s instruments with Stevie for safe-keeping while she vacations a bit.
You’re ahead of me, I’m sure. The temptation is just too great, and Stevie is outnumbered three-to-one, so the band shows up for the gig with Courtney’s beautiful stuff. Well, what goes around comes around. When thy leave the stage after the opening number, “Get Down On It”, Rachel tells them that’s it. They have just opened for Roxie’s newest band, Justa Crush, a boys-band cover band, dressed all in purple and conceited as only a teenage band could be. They are jerks and when asked where are your instruments, they smirk, “Our voices are our instruments.”
They run out on stage to audience delight and sing and dance to “I Want It That Way”. Okay, they’re good, but a miscommunication somewhere between the script and the recording studio: there are instruments backing them up. Their manager (Roxie is the booker), Larry Pants (Greg Germann) is a sleaze, and so just grins when Justa Crush steals Mother of the Bride’s van with Courtney’s instruments inside. Major complications ensue, resulting in Larry donating the instruments to a charity auction.
As always there’s a secondary plot, and it deals with Roxie sponsoring the cutest kid you ever saw: Ben (Marcus Scribner), who helps the guys plot against Mr. Pants.
A good episode that involves a judge and a bailiff, and naturally some great performances of some super songs.
Written by Bridget Bedard, Directed by Kevin Dowling.

Episode 6: We Are Family
Tommy (Brian Austin Green) and Stevie (Harold Perrineau) are dating sisters (both played by Andrea Lynn Ellsworth), or were. Tommy just broke up with his twin right before the family reunion, which the band is playing right now. OMG, talk about bad timing! And it puts Stevie on the griddle too, because he was going to break up with his twin right after the reunion, and now he’ll have to wait until Thanksgiving. The first song played at the reunion? The title song of course.
When Tommy gets home, his dad Jack (Gary Cole) is there watching porn on Tommy’s computer. They have an interesting father-son dynamic – more like fraternity brothers. At a bar they even compete for a girl, Debra, (Vedette Lim), and Jack wins easily.
The next day Roxie (Melora Hardin) tells the guys that the Vincent Boboroff (Barry Watson) is coming to do a story on her, and she has prepared cheat sheets for them with amusing or flattering vignettes about her to casually drop into conversations with him. And she wants them “memorized and letter-perfect”.
When this paragon of a writer shows up, only Tommy, Stevie, and Eddie (Peter Cambor) are there, as is Tracey (Rachel Blanchard), who has just hired Roxie to plan her wedding which is taking place Saturday. And in front of Boboroff she almost spills that she doesn’t have a groom yet. She’s not crazy, exactly, she just believes in fate and has “always known” that the groom will appear on a given date (this week) and paradise will result.
Fortuntely before she can tell any more to the flabbergasted trio (plus Mr. B.), Barry (Derek Miller) walks in and Boboroff assumes that he is the groom. And Roxie tries to divert Boboroff’s attention by introducing her assistant Rachel (Jenny Wade) and Eddie’s wife Ingrid (Kathryn Fiore) as lesbian lovers. So now everybody is playing a part. And it all gets more complicated and less believable, but still Boboroff buys it.
Well, the episode is obviously supposed to end with a wedding, and after several getting togethers and breaking ups, it does. Just not the one you expected.
Funny and full of surprises, this is a very good episode.
Written by Alan R. Cohen & Alan Freedland, Directed by Paul Holahan.

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