Category Archives: Recaps & Reviews

Free Solo Movie Review

Photo by Mark Murphy // BY-SA 2.0

Out of all the brilliant movies and excellent tv shows out there, Free Solo is probably one of the most intense. A horror movie for anyone who’s scared of heights, this documentary does not disappoint. Imagine hugging a cliff face over a thousand feet in the air with nothing to hold you in your current position but your hands and feet. This is normal for the free solo climber, Alex Honnold. Where others would be terrified at the idea of climbing a mountain or cliff face without ropes and safety gear, Alex meets the challenge head-on with a no holds barred attitude.

Before El Capitan

Alex Honnold has conquered some impossible climbs by himself without safety gear as his movie, Free Solo, shows. The author and rock climber talks about how he doesn’t fear death when he climbs. He doesn’t believe that what he is doing is any riskier than living a normal life. He realizes any mistake could lead to his death, so he calculates his route and movements methodically to achieve his climbs.

Photo by Niccolò Caranti // BY-SA 3.0

The Free Solo documentary gives its audience an inside look at the day-to-day life of Alex Honnold as he prepares for his most significant climb: El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. When Alex is introduced, the audience learns that he lives in a van so he can easily travel to give speeches, book signings and, of course, climb. His simple set-up has served him for nine years, and he hasn’t considered changing where he lives. When asked about his dating life, he says he would choose climbing over a girl any day.

As the documentary continues, Alex’s life takes on some new changes. A girlfriend is introduced, and he begins climbing with her. Unfortunately, early in the movie, Alex falls while climbing a small cliff face while repelling, causing an injury to his spine. However, Alex doesn’t let his injury slow him down and continues on his quest to climb El Capitan. Alex faces another setback when climbing with his girlfriend; this time he’s climbing El Capitan with ropes as a way to figure out his route up the cliff face. He slips and injures his ankle. Again, the movie documents his no-quit attitude as he works on rehabbing his ankle and ascending El Capitan three weeks later.

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Drama On The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

This week, a new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills started on Bravo. If you watched at all, you can tell that this entire season is going to be drama. Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards are already yelling at each other. So what is causing this drama?

It looks like a big issue is that Dorit Kemsley adopted a dog from Lisa Vanderpump’s rescue, Vanderpump Dogs. Later she decided to get rid of the dog, and instead of taking it back to Lisa, she actually gave it to someone else. It somehow ended up in a shelter. They contacted Lisa to let her know so she could get it back. The dog had a chip in it, so they were able to track it back to Lisa.

Lisa was very upset about all of this, and somehow it looks like Kyle Richards got thrown in the middle. The preview for the rest of the season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills looks like nonstop drama.

Now, Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards aren’t even speaking to each other. These two Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars have been friends for years. Kyle doesn’t seem to be dealing very well with all that is going on either. She recently shared that she suffers from “crippling anxiety.” She actually had to start taking medication because of it. Hopefully, this season of RHOBH isn’t too hard on Kyle having to watch it all go down.

Rumors are that after this season, Lisa won’t even return to the show. She seems like she is pretty done with it and drama. Lisa is successful without it, so she will be just fine.

Make sure that you don’t miss watching new episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It airs on Bravo on Tuesday night at 9/8c.

— Mandy Robinson with TV Shows Ace.

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Kidding Season Finale Recap

Last week marked the end of a phenomenal first season run by Showtime Originals tragicomedy Kidding. I have seriously and consistently raved about this one since it premiered a few months ago. It stars Jim Carrey as Jeff Piccirillo, who is the star of a popular children’s TV program called Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time. The show is overseen by Jeff’s dad, Sebastian Piccirillo, and also features the puppet design work of Jeff’s sister Deidre. Deidre has been dealing with a fractured relationship with her husband Scott. Early in the season, their daughter Maddy had seen her piano teacher jerking Scott off one afternoon. Jeff himself has been dealing with a personal life that has been spiraling into darkness for the past year since his son Phillip was killed in a car accident. Phillip was survived by his parents & his twin brother William. The main theme of the show is Jeff dealing with the pain of this loss. For us the audience, it has been all torturous and unexpected delight.

Central to most episodes are Sebastian, Deidre, William, Jeff, and his ex-wife, Jill. Jill is now seeing a new boyfriend, Peter, who works with her at the hospital where she works as a nurse. Jeff has secretly bought the house next to her house but has never really moved in. William has found a new group of friends in his middle school who have gotten him into doing weird pranks and smoking marijuana. The whole family has tried to intervene, but he’s adjusting to his brother’s death in his own way.

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TVx3 Podcast – Jenny & Kyle Joined Jason to Talk TV!

Last week, I spoke with Jason (@theTVaholic) & Kyle (@kyool) on Jason’s TVx3 podcast. That’s always a lot of fun, especially when I’m feeling pretty passionate about a show or two! This time, we talked not only cancelation and renewal news, as well as our own TV recommendations (hint: mine was this season of SEAL Team!), but also about recent episodes of 9-1-1, The Big Bang Theory, FBI, & The Rookie plus the first episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Be sure to check out the podcast and see what the three of us thought. As always, it’s entertaining because of how awesome we are similar or differing our opinions can be, depending on the show! Find the podcast here on TV times Three.

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Shameless Midseason Finale Recap

I don’t know if the UK version of Shameless, which inspired the American iteration is any good, but I do know that I love Showtime’s version like Gay Jesus loves LGBTQ rights. After the midseason finale in October, the show is on hiatus until January 20th. Recent announcements from Emmy Rossum (Fiona) & Cameron Monaghan (Ian) about each of them retiring from their roles on the show leave the fandom worried about the future. But season ten has already been contracted, and we will go on without them. Perhaps this will see Frank returning to the folds of the major family arcs more often, whereas the first half of this season he felt like a third-tier character. Also I expect Liam, who finally started talking last year at like age 8, to continue to emerge as a central character. He’s about the age that Karl was when the show first started. Notably, he’s also smarter already at age 9 than full-grown Karl will ever be.

One fun story that will still be in play when they return in January is Frank’s budding romance with clinically insane psychoanalyst Ingrid Jones (played by the always marvelous Katey Sagal!). The last few episodes, she had been off her meds and having a torrid love affair with Frank that led to a few knife attacks and lots of broken glass. In Ian’s last episode, he went back to prison for blowing up the van as a publicity stunt when leading the youth Gay Jesus movement. The switchback happy ending was that Mickey, who we presumed was in Mexico, was in the same facility and arranged to be Ian’s cellmate. Wow. Small world, I guess, but those two will be happy off-screen, we can presume. Lip has a new love interest and is a sponsor now for a younger AA member. He’s arguably the most “got their shit together” Gallagher of the season so far. Though, Debbie has also been fairly responsible, while raising Frannie, working as a welder, and testing the waters of a lesbian relationship. Karl has a militant new girlfriend who is working on helping him get into West Point, and poor Liam is back in public school after a year’s worth of a free ride at a fancy private school.

The biggest spectacle coming into the mid-season finale last month was watching Fiona crash and burn. For a year and a half, she had her life going so well. She’s a realtor on the rise who owns a diner & an apartment building. She’s also invested in a large retirement home development project, which was where things started to go awry. New inspections came up and she needed to throw an additional 25k at the project, but her investments were already overleveraged and she couldn’t get another loan. Finding out that her bf Ford was actually married was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she wound up getting into a drunk driving accident and totaled her car.

Debbie helped her salvage some money for the vehicle and also put Ford in a giant metal pillory so that Fiona could blast his bare ass with paintballs as revenge for his deception. So Debbie is really on point lately. Her financial situation was balanced out by Max, her partner in the retirement home project, who offered to buy her other buildings in a way that let her stay in the investment. Because she lost the apartment building, she had to move back into the Gallagher house with the rest of the family. So her last seven episodes on the show have her back in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to see how crazy it all turns out. We miss Ian already and will value our last few months with Fi.

Don’t miss it when Shameless returns to Showtime on January 20.

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