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Posts Tagged ‘Make It or Break It’

Make It or Break It: “Dog Eat Dog”

Posted on May 17th, 2011 by annakjarzab

Hello everybody, and welcome to this week’s Make It or Break It recap.

Previously: Max told Payson he liked her, but then Lauren kissed him and he KISSED HER BACK THAT JERK! So I’m glad that Pay-Pay gave him the what’s-what about having to focus on her gymnastics and not get involved with anybody. Oh, and that’s it. Well, that’s enough.

Max and Payson are jogging (“yogging? I think it’s a soft ‘j'”) in some sort of wilderness and bantering. I won’t lie, it’s cute. A stray dog (?? okay…) comes up to them and they coo over him. The dog takes off and they chase her, but we don’t get to see where that leads, because we’re back at the Rock as Kim jumps out of her Saturn (or whatever, I don’t know cars) and sees that the Kelly Parker tour bus (not a euphemism) has pulled up. She approaches Kathy Najimy, who is Kelly Parker’s manager (and, spoiler, her mom) and is overseeing the hoisting of a Kelly Parker: World Champion banner over the door to the Rock. Kim puts the smack down on Mrs. Parker’s (actually, she’s got a different last name, but it’s hard to spell) renovations, and Sasha pulls up on his motorcycle. Sasha permits the banner, which makes Kim insane, but it looks like Sasha’s got something up his sleeve.

Our new golden couple (Max and Payson, I don’t fault you for not knowing who I’m talking about) chats about what they’re going to do with their new child puppy. Inside the Rock, Kelly is practicing while Kaylie and Lauren observe and bitch. Well, Lauren bitches and Kaylie pretends she doesn’t care. Lauren pretends she doesn’t mind Kelly’s crack about Carter, citing her new “official” status with Max (imagined) as the reason. Kaylie looks dubious, especially when Payson and Max walk in arm in arm, still chatting about that dog. Max loves that dog.

Sasha is going to have a mini-meet where Kaylie, Tessa and some extra compete for the last remaining spot on the World team. How this is even remotely legal, I have no idea. Apparently now that Sasha is Worlds coach he can do whatever the hell he pleases. The girls give Kaylie a pep talk as Kelly Parker gets a rather less supportive pep talk from her momager, who warns her that Sasha isn’t going to be impartial and Kelly’s already at a disadvantage because Kaylie beat her at Nationals, and you almost feel bad for Kelly. But then she decides to do some mental warfare on Kaylie and all that sympathy dissipates immediately.

Lauren gives Max the third degree about Payson; he insists they’re “just friends” and he’s “not sure” about what he and Lauren are. Max is sort of gross, still. Show, I want to get on board but you make it so hard! Kelly works on psyching Kaylie out and it looks like it’s working. Austin encourages Kaylie to shake it off and offers to help her practice, but she blows him off. Poor Austin. He tries so hard, unlike Max. Payson has fallen hard…for the dog. Lauren asks Payson if she thinks her largely absentee father is cheating on her mother, which is so weird it defies comprehension.

Erm, strip club? Oh, right, Chloe. She runs into Payson’s father, Mark. Awwwwkward. Next scene is Mark coming home to his family. Turns out Mark lost his job because his company went under. He’s interviewing, and “they wanted to finish the meeting” at the strip club, which he tells Kim straight out. He also tells Kim that Chloe is working at the strip club. Back at the Rock, Austin asks Sasha for his permission to work with Kaylie after hours. Austin mentions that he knows about Kaylie’s eating disorder and he has experience coaching someone (his sister) through one, so Sasha agrees to let Austin help her practice.

Payson sneaks out of her house to see Max, who’s brought the puppy. He had her groomed (she’s wearing an adorable little bow) and named her Phoebe. Okay, that’s cute. Max, I don’t know how to feel about you. The next day at the Rock, Kaylie and Austin argue about her training. She’s “tired of being treated like the tragic sick girl” and meanly brings up his sister AGAIN. Okay, Kaylie. Below the belt. Kelly, of course, swoops in and tries to go toe to toe with Austin, but he brushes her away like a fly–not before calling Tessa her “bootlicker”, though! Which is awesome. Lauren browbeats Steve about not setting a wedding date yet. Chloe comes into the Rock and Lauren and Steve argue about it. It turns out that she’s there to settle Emily’s Rock dues. Summer tells Chloe she’s not a bad mother and points out that Emily could give the baby up for adoption. Poor Chloe. She’s obviously devastated, but she does a super classy thing and wishes Summer and Steve tons of luck in their marriage.

Payson and Max narrowly avoid Lauren and head off to care for their puppy. Kaylie apologizes to Austin, and he points out to Kaylie that she doesn’t have to be strong on all the apparatuses in the mini-meet, just the vault, since that’s the void Emily left behind. It’s Kaylie’s weakest event, but Austin says he’s going to help her make it her strongest. Payson and Max are putting up signs in the park with Phoebe’s picture on them. Payson mentions that they’re just friends, and Max says–I kid you not–“Well some friends do come with benefits,” to which Payson deftly responds, “What, like a health plan?” He says he wants to be more than friends, and she pushes back again; he asks if it would bother her if he dated other girls, and she lies and says no.

Kaylie’s progressing on her vault work, but she’s not bad ass enough. He encourages her to bring it home with an increased difficulty level and asks Kaylie to let him in, let him help. “Something inside me wants the best for you,” he says. It’s so sweet. Who ever thought Austin would turn out to be the softie? Except he’s not that soft, because Austin’s allergic to dogs and won’t let Max keep him at their place (they live together? News to me). Payson’s going to take him home and beg the folks to let her keep Phoebe, but since Mark didn’t get that new job, they’ll probably say no. The Keeler’s are scared; how are they going to live in Boulder and support their kids’ gymanstics with him out of work?

Payson accidentally freaks Kaylie out by talking about how Tessa has a new skill on beam. Kaylie’s less and less certain about their “all vault, all the time” plan every passing second. Lauren sees Payson and Max conspiring over Phoebe and Kelly sees her chance to put some cracks into the foundation by making lewd comments about Carter. Lauren somehow interprets this as a reason to invite Max to play basketball? When he shows up to play with Lauren, she’s wearing a ridiculous basketball outfit. “Shirts or skins?” he asks her. GROSS I HATE YOU. Lauren opts for shirts and he takes his off, ignoring a call from Payson.

Lauren is, against all odds, a good basketball player? There’s a lot of sweating and touching in this scene. It’s hella yuck. They almost kiss, but Lauren stops him, insisting that he take her out on a date. Montage! Kaylie works on her new vault. She’s getting better, but Kelly and Tessa are there to undermine her. Kaylie betrays Austin’s secret vault plan to Payson, who disapproves, of course. The mini-meet begins.

Tessa kills on beam. Annie does nicely on vault (Annie is the other girl). Tessa kills on bars. Kaylie comes clean about not doing any apparatus except vault. Sasha feels betrayed by Austin, who insists that it’s not a surprise, it’s a strategy. Kaylie KILLS her vault. Kathy Najimy frowns as much as the Botox will allow. Sasha looks like he feels a little duped, but he gives the Worlds spot to Kaylie anyway. She thanks Austin and you can almost see the sparks.

Mama and Papa Keeler discuss Phoebe. It turns out that they had a dog once, McGinty, who died; they always promised the girls they’d replace McGinty but never did. Kim laments the fact that she and Mark are more afraid now than they ever have been. “Circumstances made us poor, but we’re choosing to be scared,” she says. Man, the Keelers. They decide to adopt Phoebe after all.

Kelly’s momager rages at her for allowing Kaylie to get the Worlds spot. They decide to tell the press about Kaylie’s anorexia, although Kelly points out that they can’t prove anything. Her momager puts everything on her shoulders, telling her that she failed, as Kaylie, having accidentally stumbled upon them, watches on. Kelly is devastated. Kathy Najimy drives off in the Kelly Parker bus without Kelly as her daughter cries. Kaylie comforts her, and Kelly reveals her soft underbelly–the pressure is getting to her. It’s real sad.

LOL. Max comes over to say goodbye to Phoebe, and Payson lays it on real thick about how the shelter is nearby, so maybe they will run into her new owners every once in a while. Then Max notices the bed Payson bought for her and Payson’s all, “PSYCHE! My parents are letting me keep her!” She’s adorable. Max is honest with Payson about his date with Lauren, and she looks put out, but, hey, she told him she didn’t want to go out. Looks like they’re just friends for now. Kaylie has Kelly over to her house for dinner, and Kelly thanks her for listening. She doesn’t have any friends, and Kaylie pointedly tells her that she doesn’t think she could do what she does (gymnastics) without her friends. The words seem to hit home with Kelly.  But when Kaylie leaves the room to set an extra place, Kelly goes through her stuff and finds the confession Kaylie wrote at the beginning of her recovery: My name is Kaylie Cruz and I’m anorexic. She takes the journal. Kelly, that’s not really proof, and also, your’e the worst.

Next week! WORLDS! The competition is fierce! And then my DVR cuts out. Oh well. Suspense!

Make It or Break It: “To Thine Own Self Be True”

Posted on May 12th, 2011 by annakjarzab

Okay, are you ready for this, ladiez? This is the episode where we see the fall out from all of Emily’s hormonal pregnancy decisions that she’s probably regretting. Although, I’m not entirely convinced we’ll actually see Emily. I bet people will just talk about her a lot, since Chelsea Hobbs is off having her real life bebe. Congrats, I’m sure!

PREVIOUSLIES! Damon kissed Kaylie after telling her that she helped fix his writer’s block, which, first of all, LOL, but also, UGH DAMON I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU ANYMORE. Damon, who five minutes ago was in luv with Emily 4 lyfe, sees no problem with the kissing of her friend the recovering anorexic who is most definitely going through some capital-E Emotional Issues of her own, but Kaylie knows what it’s like to be cheated on, and with a good friend at that, so she confesses to Emily and promises she’s not going after Damon. But that doesn’t really matter because, unbeknownst to Kaylie, Emily was in a manic post-I’m-not-getting-an-abortion spiral and was packing her bags to move in with a stunned and not at all excited Damon; when she found out about the kiss between Kaylie and Damon, she got on the first bus to Las Vegas and it looks like nobody’s going after her. Rock on.

Kaylie’s super stressed out about returning to the Rock after Emily split because Kaylie whoopsed the beans about Damon. “This is all my fault,” she says, and Dr. Empathy, her shrink, is like, “What? That she had unprotected sex and got pregnant? Puh-lease girl. That’s someone’s fault, but it ain’t yours.” (Spoiler: Emily and Damon’s faults.) The Doc points out that she tried to act with integrity by telling Emily the truth (fact) and she’s not responsible for Emily’s choices (also fact). But Kaylie still feels shitty about it, which is only natural because she’s generally pretty cool, and she’s anxious because she realizes just how much she wants this gymnastics business.

Lauren and Payton cackle about the Rock being the number one gym in the country again. Why? Because Sasha is Worlds coach? I still don’t understand why A.) that even happened and B.) it was something they slipped in at the end of the last episode like, maybe if we have Kim announce this while the credits roll nobody will notice how improbable it is. Whatever. Anyway, Lauren is all into focusing on teamwork for about five secs before she notices Max from across the room and goes trotting over to him like a pony, her blond tail bobbing up and down like a buoy upon the ocean. Payson rolls her eyes as Austin approaches and without preamble demands to know if Emily is really pregnant. I think it’s sort of funny that Austin even knows who Emily is. Have they ever once spoken to each other? Payson denies Emily’s pregnancy and turns the spotlight on Kaylie’s return to the gym; Austin, easily distracted by shiny objects, says he supports Kaylie and goes off to oil his muscles or whatever Austin does to justify his presence at the Rock.

Kaylie returns to the gym and immediately asks about Emily; Payson tells her not to think about it. Instead, she should think about the awesome surprise bridal shower Lauren is throwing for Summer! Psyche, nobody cares except Lauren. It’s a bit early for a shower, is it not? They just got engaged the night before, I mean, if we’re following the timeline. Right? This is the day after Emily left? Or has time passed? Sometimes it’s hard to tell with this show. Speaking of Summer, she’s busy losing her mind around Sasha at every opportunity, manufacturing reasons to talk to him then panicking and babbling about nothing instead of doing what she wants to do, which is tell him that she’s engaged to Steve and beg him to talk her out of it by kissing her a lot in rapid succession. These two idiots being who they are, this will never take place. And UGH, Sasha says this when she tells him he deserves to be the Worlds coach: “Well, I’m not entirely sure I’m deserving of it, but I intend to be worthy of it.” Okay dude. We get it. You are a Stand Up Guy. You are Yoda. Stop it! You’re making it hard to believe you could ever be real.

Press conference! How is it that Kelly Parker always enters places to a bevy of flashing lightbulbs and people calling out her name, even when she’s just going into her own (new) gym? You think it’s just a manifestation of Lauren’s jealous subconscious? Anyway, Lauren calls her “Satan’s spawn”, which is pretty funny because obviously Lauren’s Satan’s spawn, but whatevs! Kelly’s brought another girl with her–Tessa. New character alert! I’m getting sick of new people, and this one has the same braided Mickey Mouse ear buns (is there a better way to describe them?) Kelly loves to sport. The girls spar verbally, and Kelly makes digs about Kaylie’s rehab for her “ACL tear” (read: eating disorder). Which is super fun until Sasha announces to the press that Kaylie won’t be competing at Worlds. Gulp. He’s running out of series regulars!

Kaylie’s not thrilled about being kicked off the World team, but Sasha’s all about playing it safe this time around. The other girls are going apoplectic about it, but Kaylie decides to let go and let God–er, Sasha. She trusts his judgment and will do what he says. “My recovery depends on accepting that I can’t always be objective about myself,” Kaylie tells them. Wow. She has learned stuff! Teach some of this awesome wisdom to Damon when next you see him, won’t you?

Kelly Parker gives Sasha the what’s what about how she’s a star and she’ll be team captain and she’ll be speaking for the team whenever there are interviews and oh btw you should put Tessa on the Worlds team kthanxbai. Sasha is all “O rly?” and tells her that none of that will be happening, shut up. So she takes a dig by reminding him that his leave of absence coincided awfully well with Emily’s fall from grace, which leaves him with something to think about, since though Sasha has many gifts he is not impervious to the manipulations of twelve-year-old girls with Mickey Mouse bun braids.

The boys practice. That’s right, they’re gymnasts, too! I forget sometimes. Max grills Austin about Payson, going on about how she runs hot and cold with him. Dude still doesn’t know she’s seen the half-naked pics of Lauren, but come on, meathead, figure it out! Payson’s not the type to dissolve into hysterics at every little thing. She’s the type to shut down when her vulnerability is compromised by sleazy losers, of which type you surely are one. Austin just says that Payson’s the kind of girl you actually have to try with, unlike Lauren. He advises that Max actually give Payson a reason to like him. Austin is quickly becoming the moral compass of this show, which, OMG, the ice rink in hell is finally open.

This next part sort of confuses me. Sasha gives a speech about how he’s going to choose who’s going to Worlds in Kaylie’s spot. Everybody’s competing for the spot, except “those of you who are already on the Worlds team”. Well, that’s Lauren AND Payson, is it not? So why do they have to audition? Payson balks at the list of compulsory moves Sasha hands them, but he’s not budging. He also holds Emily up as an example of someone who couldn’t focus or do things Sasha’s way, so she had to go. Wow, Sasha. Way to use Emily’s personal tragedy to scare the other girls into cooperating! He really is Eastern European.

Austin finds Kaylie outside. She’s bummed because she won’t be training with the other girls, and he’s come to comfort her. She doesn’t like it, but she’s going to do it Sasha’s way. Good idea. Lauren’s going full-bridal on Summer, who’s more than a little weirded out by the whole thing. You can always back out, Summer! “Where’s my ring?” Lauren asks when she sees Summer isn’t wearing her engagement ring. Lauren, stop being so creepy. Summer also doesn’t want a shower, so of course Lauren continues inviting people to that ill-advised shower Lauren is throwing her, even going so far as to move up the date of the shower for absolutely no reason.

Kaylie goes home to the recording studio and sees Damon’s there. Kaylie (rightly) reams him out for not being with Emily, and he tries to defend himself but ends up sounding like MORE of a douchebag, IF THAT IS EVEN POSSIBLE. Kaylie tells him that Emily left town because Kaylie told her about their kiss, even though it didn’t mean anything and–“Wait, it didn’t mean anything?” Damon interrupts. Excuse my gif, but:

That’s your sticking point here, dude? Your pregnant ex-girlfriend has run off and isn’t answering your calls and you’re upset because Kaylie’s not falling into your arms swooning after one stupid kiss? YOU ARE THE WORST! “You do want to know where she is, don’t you?” Kaylie asks. Damon doesn’t respond. Oh my God. I’ve never before felt so much blind hatred for a character I used to love.

Max joins Payson (uninvited) on her morning run. He claims it’s a coincidence, but she points out that she told him she runs that route at exactly that time every day. She’s calling you a stalker, Max. Payson gives him the brush off, telling him to feel free to date Lauren but leave her (Payson) out of it. Then she runs off, leaving Max aching with embarrassment and sadfaces in her dust. What a woman. Kaylie’s on the balance beam, and Sasha reams her out for practicing skills when he explicitly told her not to. Payson comes to her defense, and Sasha (rightly) tells her to bug off. I mean, I love you, Payson, but you’re not his wife, or anybody’s mom. You’re a gymnast just like everybody else. Stop butting in where you don’t belong. Summer and Kim discuss the engagement and Kim calls her on avoiding announcing the engagement so as to not have to talk to Sasha about it. Knowing Sasha, he’ll pretend not to care, so whatever.

Damon shows up at Casa de Kmetko and Chloe makes the mistake of letting him in. First of all, we finally find out how the hell old Damon is–nineteen. WHERE ARE HIS PARENTS? I’ve been asking this since we first met him. I’m sure we’ll never get an answer to that, but at least now we know his age. Okay, so Chloe makes some excellent points about the fact that her daughter is pregnant because dumb ass Damon didn’t use protection. “I feel terrible about that,” he says, and she’s all, SO GLAD ALL IS FORGIVEN PSYCHE I HATE YOU. He makes some pretty salient points about the fact that Emily has pushed and pulled him since the day that they met and the minute he stopped letting her jerk him around she started talking about how being teen parents was going to solve all their problems. Chloe points out that Emily has made her choice, without reference to Damon, and now it’s Damon’s turn to decide what he’s going to do. I actually want to cry. I think Damon is being a horrible asshole right now, because he is complicit in the awful mess of his relationship with Emily, but I also feel super bad for him and Chloe in this moment, and especially Emily, who regardless of how whiny and annoying she can be is basically young and good and lonely and afraid. I think it was a bad move to leave her mother (I know they had to have a reason for Chelsea Hobbs not to be around for a while because of her own childbearing situation, but still), because she needs Chloe right now. And she needs Damon, too.

Kelly berates Tessa for messing up her bars, and Kaylie is there to help the new girl, at which Payson looks on in…admiration? Oh, wait, she’s annoyed. Stop pushing her, Payson! Although, she makes a good point that Kaylie needs to trust herself. Then Damon shows up and Kelly Parker says what we’re all thinking: “Wow, what a tool.” She also throws a cherry bomb at Austin by implying that Damon knocked up Emily and now he’s going for Kaylie, which, as you might imagine, freaks Austin out. Why is Damon wearing a purple leather jacket? He thanks her “for everything” (what?) and for helping him believe in himself again. Then Austin punches him! Damon limps off and Kaylie rips into Austin for projecting all his sadfaces about his sister onto her and not letting her take care of her own problems. She then channels all this self-righteous aggression into blatantly disobeying Sasha’s orders not to practice.

Lauren, Kaylie and Payson have a Laguna Beach-type convo at a juice bar (?) and strategize about how Kaylie’s going to get her groove back (at the gym, at night, when Sasha’s not there; well, if Emily and Damon can do it, then these three brain trusts can probably pull it off). On the wall of the juice bar (still so many ??s) Lauren sees a photograph of Payson practicing gymnastics–it’s beautiful, and it’s Max’s, and it’s titled “The Real Deal.” Lauren giggles–shouldn’t she be upset by this? Training montage to Superchick’s “Cross the Line”! There is a Superchick song in every episode of this show. Make It or Break It keeps Superchick in business.

Max wants to know if Payson saw the photo, and she denies it, but then Lauren tells him Payson did but didn’t appreciate it. He’s back to square one with Ms. Keeler. Maybe he should just tell her that he really likes her and he regrets all that weird shit with Lauren because he’s not at all interested? That’s what I’d want to hear if I was Payson. Austin comes up to Kaylie and apologizes for the anorexic-sister-projecting he’s been doing. He promises to support her, and Payson proposes he come help them practice after hours. Tessa overhears this and tells Kelly, who tells Sasha under the guise of fearing for Kaylie, which is, of course, bullshit.

More midnight training. The three girls plus Austin and Max are there. Kaylie nails her beam compulsories. They take five for Kaylie to grab water and Max confronts Payson about lying about seeing the photo. Well, Max, here’s the thing; you took that photo without her knowledge and hung it on the wall of a restaurant without her permission and are apparently selling it (??), so I don’t think you’re in any position to make her feel bad about “lying about seeing it.” That’s not a thing. Sasha comes in before she can tell him off. He’s pissed, of course, and tells Kaylie no, she can’t have a chance to prove herself, but the boys stand in the way of him leaving and he agrees to “see one apparatus.” Kaylie chooses the bars and nails it, but Sasha’s not convinced that she’s emotionally ready for the pressure, so he still says no.

Casa de Keeler. Payson’s anxious about “losing Emily” and now “losing Kaylie”–she feels as though it’s her responsibility to help people to believe in themselves. That’s the coach in her. You’re awesome, Pay. But also this is a little misguided, as she can’t take on the burden of getting everybody to the Olympics, including herself. Kim and Payson giggle over the picture at the juice bar (SO MANY???S) until things get serious (as they often do around Payson) and she tells her mother that liking a boy and having sex–all that stuff means giving up on gymnastics, as evidenced by Emily. Kim puts the kibosh on that real quick, reminding her that she’s not Emily. Over in the less functional mother-daughter land, Lauren is choosing Summer’s wedding dress. And she also wants Summer to adopt her. Summer, who is dumb when it comes to Lauren, says yes, she’d love to adopt her. Good luck with your hell, Summer, esp. considering that you don’t even WANT to marry Steve!

Meanwhile, Sasha is consulting Kaylie’s psychiatrist. Is that even allowed? What about doctor-patient confidentiality? Turns out Doc Empathy asked Sasha to come, because he wants to convince Sasha to let Kaylie compete at Worlds. Really? I don’t think so, but okay. He counsels Sasha to ask himself whether he’s worried about Kaylie, or he’s punishing her (and thus himself), but Sasha refuses to be analyzed and walks out. At the gym, Kelly Parker reveals her villainry and blah blah blah…I find her very boring. Sasha’s bringing Kaylie to Worlds after all! What? Fine. Just forget the logic and go with it.

Payson walks out with Max and apologizes for nothing. “I know I’m pretty, blah blah blah. I just don’t know what you want,” Payson tells him. God I love her. He wants her to know that it’s HER he’s interested in, not Lauren, but if she doesn’t like him then it’s cool. Of course she likes him. She wouldn’t even be speaking to him if she didn’t, because Payson Keeler don’t suffer no fools. And because of that, she tells him that she can’t get wrapped up in someone else and put her gymnastics at risk. Max gets it, as he should because he is also an elite gymnast. He’s not just a dirty picture taker! EXCEPT THEN LAUREN KISSES HIM AND HE KISSES HER BACK I HATE YOU SO MUCH MAX ARGGGGHHHHH!

Last scene of the ep (long recap, no?). Summer comes to say goodbye to Sasha. He’s shirtless and doing pushups on the parallel bars. Who could concentrate? Not Summer. She tells him she’s engaged to Steve and of course he plays it like he doesn’t care. That’s not how you get the girl, Sasha! J/k, not the last scene. Summer comes home to Steve’s place and puts her engagement ring on. She walks into the living room to find her surprise bridal shower waiting for her. Wah. End of ep.

Next week: Kaylie fights to prove herself (don’t call it a comeback!). Lots of shocked gasps, etc.!

Things that are brand new!

Posted on May 10th, 2011 by annakjarzab

Okay, so big news–Eric was able to fix the comment tool! For now I’m still going to moderate, so if your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry. I’ll probably take it off moderation eventually, but since it’s a new tool I’m going to try it out like that for now. And you guys aren’t seeing what I’m seeing, but the back end of my website is all slick and shiny and updated. I logged in (after being locked out for a little while, as you may have noticed if you follow me on Twitter) and was literally like, “Whoaaaa.”

Other things that are new: the All Unquiet Things paperback! It went on sale today, and you can get it…well, you can definitely get it online in a bunch of places, but also I think at the chains? I’m not sure yet because I haven’t gone in to check, but you can probably get it at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books a Million…basically any place that stocked the hardcover. And the paperback has a new cover! Okay, so it’s only slightly new. The photograph of Carly no longer wraps around, and it has a lovely blurb on the front from Nancy Werlin, New York Times bestselling author of Impossible!

Otherwise the cover is the same. I can personally attest that the paperback looks great in person. My editor sent me one, which I then stupidly mailed directly to my parents (where they can add it to what my siblings derisively call the “shrine to Anna” in their office, where two hardcovers plus the galley of AUT are on display) before taking a picture, so I guess you’ll just have to imagine what it looks like. It basically looks like a paperback, but with the above cover on it. When I get my author copies I’ll give some away on Goodreads, to spread the love a little.

Third new thing: the anti-Kindle policy at Yankee Stadium. I’m going to the Yankees v. Royals game tonight and my friend Nikki emailed this morning to warn me not to bring my Kindle–last time she went to a game, she saw a man and his daughter prevented from entering the stadium because she had her Kindle in her bag. What am I supposed to read on the train now? J/k, of course I always carry a real flesh and blood book with me, I’m not a robot! But I have a bunch of fun manuscripts for work on my Kindle that I was hoping to get a jump start on. Boo, hiss, Yankee Stadium! I think they’re just being ornery. I really cannot think of a single reason why they wouldn’t allow you to bring a Kindle into the stadium. It does less than an iPhone! It literally does only one thing. Mysteries.

For those of you who actually read my Make It or Break It recaps, I’ll have one for you today or tomorrow. I will say this about MIOBI–if that’s really how they’re going to leave Damon and Emily forever (not sure if Chelsea Hobbs is returning post-having her actual baby), they did a really terrible job of wrapping up that storyline, because at this moment I totally hate Damon after loving him for two seasons. I’m sure that’s not what they want, so I’m hoping the couple will be back.

Make It or Break It: “Requiem for a Dream”

Posted on May 3rd, 2011 by annakjarzab

So who’s ready for some Emily pregnancy dramz? But first, a gift. Or, should I say, a gif.

Remember when I said last week that I was hoping someone would make a gif of Payson’s expression when Lauren said that obnox thing about “Payson’s boyfriend” aka Max aka you might as well just fire that guy because I’m never going to like him now and he’s not good enough for Payson? Well, my friend Mardie made one. Because she’s cool like that. Imagine that being my expression last night while watching the news about Osama bin Ladin.

Okay! Previouslies: Sasha + Payson + video camera + Lauren = THE WORST. Everyone’s still feeling the burn from last season’s impromptu kiss caught on tape, even though it was almost completely innocent and not in any way Sasha’s fault. Lauren’s confessed her wrongdoing to her father, but she still hasn’t been forced to take responsibility. But Sasha’s back, so it sort of doesn’t matter? Kaylie’s had some emotional breakthroughs with Damon’s help, and a jealous Emily broke up with him. Then she found out she was pregnant with his baby! OMG.

Emily and Chloe at the doctor’s office–she’s six weeks along. “I can’t believe it? How did this happen?” Emily asks. Doc Obvious asks, “Did you use protection? That’s how it happened.” I like Doc Obvious. If she’d just come around a little earlier, she could’ve given Emily a what’s-what about her gymnastics that might’ve made her less completely awful. It also comes up that Emily’s only had one period ever in her whole life. And she’s seventeen. That solves that mystery, although doesn’t explain why she looks 27. Oh, because the actress is 27. RIGHT. Chloe explains to Doc Obvious that ladies who are gymnasts don’t get periods. Doc Obvious gives Em pamphlets on keeping the baby, giving it up for adoption, and terminating it, but tells her that until she makes a decision, no gymnastics. Chloe is NOT pleased, and I don’t blame her.

Sasha’s back! And he’s riding a motorcycle! What happened to the motor home? He walks in on Summer organizing a big PR thing for the girls that’s going to be televised, I guess. Sasha doesn’t want it to happen; he’s freaked out about Emily and carrying her secret all by himself, and he’s jittery about the girls given their defeat at the hands of the Russian team in Hungary. But Summer insists, and Emily shows up anyway and is in total denial. I’m confused about why they’re all acting like Emily’s World team status is still undecided–didn’t that World team coach say he was deep sixing her in favor of Kelly Parker? Didn’t that JUST HAPPEN last week?

Kaylie and Damon in the Cruz’s recording studio. Damon’s dumb record label loved the song Kaylie wrote and want Damon and Kaylie to record it together for Damon’s first single (“Yeah right” – everybody who’s ever listened to music). The recording label says that she has a “heartbreakingly pure voice.” LOL! “We have something hot going,” Damon says. “AS A DUO.” Back at the Rock, the reporter is grilling Em on why she deserves to be on the World team and Payson comes to her defense. Pressure’s on, Em! “Yes, yes it is,” Emily says. “But I can do it.” Oh, that’s a change of tune. Figures she’d pick now to be confident in her gymnastics.

Sasha assumes this means that Emily is terminating her pregnancy, but she hasn’t settled on that. Sasha says that she has to make the decision herself, but she has to make it fast. She’s waiting until she finds out if she’s really going to Worlds which…makes a little bit of bizarre sense? On an entirely different subject, how weird is it that John Krasinski is in Something Borrowed but he’s not the love interest? I don’t get that at all.

Woof, Kaylie, you cannot sing. Damon must be falling in love with her, there is no other way to explain how he can’t see that. I mean, hear it! “You’re helping me realize that I can do something else with my life other than gymnastics,” Kaylie says. Um, so we have Kaylie gone from gymnastics and seriously contemplating never coming back, we have Emily pregnant and probably having to sit out a year (if not all the years–being a mother is a huge responsibility!)…that’s half the team! Payson cannot carry the burden of this entire show on her shoulders, especially without a love interest, and I will NOT watch Lauren TV every Monday, I will NOT.

I will also not stand for Damon giving up on Emily like this. I’m not saying he shouldn’t, I’m just saying that it’s out of character. It would make more sense for Kaylie to latch onto him and manufacture some kind of romance out of the situation and for him to push back, not ready to move on from Emily–it makes NO sense, given what we know of Damon, that he would be like, “Meh, ok, moving on.”

Lauren, unsettled by Sasha’s return, encourages (browbeats) her father to propose to Summer so that Sasha can’t swoop in and snatch her back up. He, of course, is like, “I think you’re right.” It’s sad how much of Lauren’s puppet Steve is. Over at Casa de Kmetko, Emily’s in yet another strop with her mother. Chloe’s just trying to relate to her, saying that she understands because she was a pregnant teenager, too. “After fighting it my entire life, I ended up just like you,” Emily says, AS IF THAT’S NOT HER FAULT. Chloe brings up abortion and Emily wants to know if Chloe–who had Emily even though it meant being a teen mom–is okay with it. Chloe says she is, but Emily’s not sure if it’s morally right.  Surprisingly, Emily hasn’t told Damon, and Chloe tells her she doesn’t have to tell him.

Steve does a whole proposal schtick and asks Summer to marry him, but she needs to think about it. Not the answer Lauren was expecting. Chloe and Sasha talk about Emily, and how she’s not dealing with it. Sasha shoots down the suggestion that Emily can have the baby and then come back to gymnastics; once her body changes, that’s it. “She’s one of those girls who thinks she can have it her way all the time,” Sasha says. “This time she can’t.” Sasha doubts Emily’s ability to go all the way in gymnastics anyway, so he won’t tell her what to do.

Kaylie’s therapy session. SNOOOOOORE. Next. I hate this plotline so much. Oh, wait, therapist is giving Kaylie the go ahead to start training again if she wants. BUT DOES SHE WANT? No. She wants to sing bad songs and make out with Damon.

Lauren’s having a hard time at the gym and Sasha thinks it’s pyschological, but since she won’t admit to having anything on her mind, he suggests extra training to fix the problem. She balks at spending time alone with him at the gym, and he assures her that nothing untoward happened between him and Payson. I’m a little confused here…is Lauren doing this just to be mean to Sasha, or is she genuinely skeeved by him? I’m guessing she’s going to use it to manipulate Summer into turning away from Sasha and towards Steve, because that’s what she does every time.

Summer and Kim talk about Steve’s proposal, and I was going to skip over this, but the conversation is a little too weird not to talk about. “Lauren needs a mother, and I know it’s me, I can feel it in my bones,” Summer says. JIGGA WHAT? Seriously? Girl, do not get it twisted–this is your life. Lauren doesn’t need a mother, she needs a shrink, girlfriend is a straight up sociopath. Marry Sasha, have beautiful blond half-Romanian bebes with him, and just FORGET LAUREN ALREADY GOSH. “Even if I did still have feelings for Sasha, he doesn’t share my values.” Um, what values would those be? Not having sex before marriage? You were the one who tried to have sex with him and he pushed you away! He’s not a Christian, but so what? Neither is Steve! And neither is Lauren; she plays for the other team, and by that I mean Hell. Kim advises her to lay it all on the line with Sasha and see what he says. Yeah, Summer’s really the type to just throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.

Emily and Payson have a patently insane conversation where Emily asks if Payson’s BROKEN BACK ever feels like “just a blip.” Payson’s like, “Bitch, it was the biggest test of my life, TRUST.” Emily, you are not going to get out of this so easily! Stop effing around, make a choice, and deal with the consequences. I like that Emily is hanging out at the gym, conspicuously not working out. Simon Tam walks in and tells her that she’s officially on the World team again. Seriously, show? For real this time? I thought that she was on the World team when she EARNED A SPOT ON THE WORLD TEAM. Emily, of course, runs out of the gym. Because that’s normal. Payson follows her out and Emily confesses about her pregnancy. “How could you do this? You’re not stupid!” Uh, Payson, yes she is. Payson full on yells at her about how the rules are there to protect them, but Emily turns it around and is like, thanks for the support. Payson’s like, OH NO YOU DO NOT MAKE ME THE BAD GUY. She points out that Emily was never serious about her gymnastics, and everybody keeps giving her chances and she keeps screwing up. Emily rightly points out that she’s not special, that people just keep giving her breaks and nothing she’s got has actually been earned. Wow, a rare moment of clarity. Shouldn’t last long, don’t worry. “I know it’s hard, but you’ve got to stay mentally tough here.” Payson’s the best. Emily’s all, maybe this is a sign I should just give up. I mean, yes, it is, but also, don’t force a baby to live with the weight of your cowardice, Emily! You know she will resent the crap out of that child.

Summer’s getting it up to talk to Sasha about them, but then he drops the bomb on her about Emily, and she tells him to man up and give Emily some advice already. Seriously, if Payson and Summer and Kim teamed up, they could rule the world. Of course Summer assumes Emily’s going to have the baby, but Sasha doesn’t want her to–he wants her to go to Worlds (even though she doesn’t deserve it) and the Olympics (even though she doesn’t deserve it). I wonder if this will make up Summer’s mind about Sasha and his values? Oh, wait, yes. She’s pissed. That doesn’t mean you have to marry Steve you moron! Ugh. Never mind. Kim and Payson can rule the world by themselves.

Also, this Kaylie singing thing has to STOP RIGHT NOW. Ugh, they just hugged. And kissed. GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS. Damon’s all into it–“Emily and I are broken up now, it’s okay”–and Kaylie’s like, um, it’s not okay, she’s my friend. Damon, you spent two seasons of this show saying how you were going to love Emily to the end of the Earth, then you break up with her for like two days and you’re kissing her friend? You just lost ALL of my respect. There are no good men on this show except Sasha. Truly. Is that the message of the show? Men are the worst? Except the Romanian Olympic gold medalists?

Emily finally thanks Chloe for her support. DON’T LOOK NOW EMILY. Chloe has told Simon Tam (the NGO guy) that Emily is pregnant. Oh snap! He wants to help her. It’s happened before, they “took care of it”, and the gymnast went on to make the national team. Maybe I’m just dense or something, but I can’t tell what Emily’s going to do here. They’re doing a pretty good job of showing how she’s being pulled in a million different directions. And now things are even more complicated because Emily gets a sudden rush of paranoia–is something going on between Chloe and Simon Tam? I’d actually like to know that, too. I don’t blame Chloe if there is, he’s pretty hot. Emily decides that Damon will understand and support her even though nobody else possibly can. Woof. Chloe is getting desperate–she really does want Emily to have an abortion, you can see that in her reaction to Emily telling Damon about the pregnancy. I don’t blame her, but yeesh.

This is so intense. Chloe reminds Emily that lots of teen fathers ditch their babies and baby mamas, but Emily, who is totally spinning now, insists that Damon loves her and will be there for her and rushes off to see him. Eek. Can’t wait till she accidentally walks in on Kaylie finally giving in and making out with Damon. Should be AWESOME. She’ll probably have a miscarriage. I’m calling it now.

Lauren and Sasha are working on overcoming her case of the “twisties” (where her mind forces her body to add a twist to her routines out of fear of getting hurt) and she succeeds in beating it. When she realizes that Sasha really cares about helping her without any ulterior motive, she actually breaks down crying. Is that guilt I see dripping out of the corners of her eyes? She says that she never thought Sasha cared about her as a gymnast, that he always prioritized Kaylie, Payson, and even Emily above her. He said that he always thought she didn’t want to let him in. They hug it out. A surprisingly touching scene.

Damon is “playing guitar” in his apartment when there’s a knock on the door. Is it Emily or Kaylie? I think Kaylie. Emily will come later and catch them canoodling. Show, I thought you were better than that. Oh, wait, it actually is Emily. Damon gives her the brush off. “Emily, what are you doing here? You broke up with me, remember? You know, I’m kind of getting tired of this push/pull.” She asks if he meant it when he said he would wait till 2012 to be with her (you know, that’s just around the corner now, guys, let’s be for real here), that he would love her forever, and he’s all, “How many times are we going to go over this?” She does bust in on him a lot and give him the third degree about feelings he has already freely expressed to her. That’s gotta be annoying.

Emily tells him she’s pregnant. She’s manic about it. She’s like, we don’t have to wait, we can have the baby, we can have a family, I can come on tour with you, and meanwhile Damon is losing his MIND. Can you imagine? I bet he’s thinking, God, why did I ever think I wanted this? I mean, Damon made a good point last week about the weird tension in their relationship coming from Emily’s trust issues, not her gymnastics, but he’s also one of those guys who only wants what he can’t have! Now that she’s like, okay, this is real, let’s do this, he’s probably starting to realize he’s no longer interested. And that is WAY SAD YO. Poor Emily. I say that sincerely.

Damon deftly turns it around on her and is like, you’re really going to give up gymnastics? “What about your dream?” That’s, like, the show’s tagline. “My dream is killing me,” she says. “This is my way out. All I feel is relief.” She decides she’s going to go home and pack and she’s going to move in with Damon and they’re going to do the whole thing, and meanwhile he’s just reeling and not saying anything.  This is not good.

Lauren, finally realizing the harm she has done in nearly destroying the best coach ever, sends Ellen Beales the whole training cam video to clear Sasha’s name. What are the odds this’ll turn out poorly? At this point, everybody seems to be over that tape. I guess it could make Sasha eligible to be the World team coach. Kaylie and her mom have a little heart-to-heart, but I’m not sure what that gives Kaylie. Ohhhhh…she’s come to see Emily. As part of the whole honesty and integrity thing she learned in therapy, Kaylie admits she and Damon kissed but that she would never intentionally hurt her and it’s not going to become anything. Emily doesn’t respond, and Kaylie leaves, but as you can probably imagine it throws Em into a tailspin re: Damon.

Payson is reading a tabloid and lamenting the nation’s obsession with teen pregnancy, then she whoopses the secret about Emily. “We put up with so much crap from each other because we’re not just friends, we’re a team, and we go through the most grueling training together,” Payson explains. She feels let down by Emily, but Kim patiently points out to her that she’s not being much of a leader by villainizing Emily. Although, seriously! Payson’s right, Payson’s always right. But she’s not being super compassionate, which I guess was Kim’s point. FINE MOM.

The girls–Lauren, Kaylie and Payson–show up at Casa de Kmetko, but when Chloe answers the door she’s crying, and tells them Emily’s not there. She’s boarded a bus to Las Vegas, where she’s going to stay with her godmother. She’s having the baby. Oh man. You know, I give Emily a whole lot of grief, but I completely understand this turn of events and I’m brokenhearted for her about Damon. I loved him, too, girl. Even though most of the time I didn’t think you were very deserving of his unfailing support and encouragement, you don’t deserve to be deserted by him now. He’s having a real Adam Rove* moment here, and I’m just really disappointed.

Emily rides the bus and remembers the good times with her friends and family and gymnastics as “The Girl Who Broke In Two” plays. That’s actually on the Opposite of Hallelujah soundtrack! The Rock girls are at gymnastics camp. They talk about how nobody really understands what you go through as an elite gymnast except your team. Even Lauren agrees that Emily was a good enough gymnast (DEBATABLE) but she didn’t have the mental strength to do what was necessary to succeed at the sport. They look at the tree stump where the four of them carved their initials and the words “Olympics 2012” and they tear up over losing Emily. Kaylie decides that she’s not ready to give up on gymnastics yet.

What they don’t know is that their parents (plus Summer and Sasha) have followed them up there and are watching (sort of creepily) from the bushes while the girls mourn their lost friend (“It’s like a funeral,” Kim says) and reaffirm their goals. The parents finally crash the party with sleeping bags and tell them that Sasha is the new World coach. UM. TIMELINE MALFUNCTION. When did Lauren send that tape to the NGO, this afternoon? Sure. Fine, show.

Next week: The fallout from Emily’s decision. Damon’s not ready to be a father, Chloe doesn’t think Emily’s ready to be a mother. Damon comes to the Rock (I’m assuming to pursue Kaylie, what a JERK FACE) and Austin punches him, which should be GREAT. Also, shirtless Sasha.

*And by that I mean how in the second season of Joan of Arcadia, Adam Rove, Best Boyfriend Ever (TM), cheats on Joan when she won’t have sex with him. AS IF! This is why “nice guys come in last” is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Even nice guys are only nice when you’re not interested. Once you’re head over heels in love with them, they do something awful to hurt you. This is the lesson that television has taught us.

Make It or Break It: “Hungary Heart”

Posted on April 28th, 2011 by annakjarzab

Okay, ladiez (I assume everyone reading this is a lady–maybe I shouldn’t? Mens, you are welcome too), here we go. You know it’s a Super Important Episode because of the Pun in the Title, although personally I would’ve gone with “Hungary, Hungary Hippos” because IRONY.

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Anyway, previously: Remember how Kaylie and Damon sang together at his gig? Me neither! I had blocked it out entirely, and I sort of wish it had stayed that way, but no. They sang. Emily saw. She was not super excited about it. Kaylie wasn’t super excited about her friend Maeve’s death (legit) and ended up confessing to her new best friend Damon that she (Kaylie) has a real eating disorder and she doesn’t want it to mean the end of her life (versus just the end of her career). The girls were easily the dumbest I’ve ever seen them when they completely blew off trying to practice for a meet with some Iowa team they didn’t think was any good, only to get their asses kicked. Even Payson! Nobody’s thrilled with Darby as a coach, so I figure it’s only a matter of time until she splits and SASHA RETURNS YAY!

Payson’s at the Rock after hours looking for Kim, and she finds out that there’s a “way to get rid of” Darby, and also that Sasha is living in Romania. Steve’s giving Darby a lecture about being a serious coach and Payson and Kim overhear him expressing other people’s doubts about whether or not “the Rock girls” deserve to be on the World team. When Payson asks if that’s really true, Darby rips into her, blaming the Pinewood debacle on them, but as everyone knows, Darby, they are children and you are an adult and if you had not been the worst they might’ve listened to you about taking that meet seriously.

Damon shows up unannounced as Emily’s leaving for the airport. Chloe’s freaked out: “What if someone from the NGO is watching?” Wait, I’m sorry. Do we really think that the NGO has, like, undercover agents sitting outside Emily’s house day and night to make sure she’s not dating anyone? I’m pretty sure they don’t have the staff for that! Chloe has seen way too many Bourne Identity movies. Damon’s pissed because Emily is ignoring his phone calls; he doesn’t even consider that she might be pissed about Kaylie, because he’s sorta thick, Damon is. Emily: “Is she your muse now?” Are we just saying that like it means anything or isn’t totally lame? Damon insists that he loves her and that she needs to trust him, but she says she can’t. Even though he’s basically been totally trustworthy this whole time except for that jail thing in season one? She breaks it off with him for good. UGH EMILY.

The ladies gather at the airport. Chloe is wearing an extremely unflattering denim skirt. Darby gives them the same “I’m not your friend, not your coach, now RESPECT ME DAMMIT” speech, and it looks like Payson’s got a little scheme to get rid of “Coach Conrad” up her sleeve. Good. Don’t ask Lauren for tips on scheming, Payson, just a little friendly advice.

Kaylie’s therapy group. I’m starting to get pretty bored of this storyline, tbh. I don’t mean to be dismissive of Kaylie’s problem, but it’s just so endlessly uninteresting, made worse by the SINGING! And the Damon-befriending! I just want our old Kaylie back, although I do give them props for not abandoning this subplot after two episodes, Gossip Girl style.

Payson’s got an insane plan to get Sasha back–she’s going to get on a flight to Bucharest, Romania (as opposed to Budapest, Hungary, as Lauren points out) when they stop in Heathrow on their way to Worlds. Lol! Riiiiiiight. She’s going to buy the ticket on the gold credit card Steve just gave Lauren. “Look, I know you’re upset about your boyfriend,” Lauren says to Payson, and I seriously need someone to make an animated .gif of Payson’s expression upon hearing that, it’s so hilarious. Emily wants to help Payson because “Sasha’s the only person left who believes in me.” Um, no, I think that’s Damon. I doubt Sasha cares very much about you anymore, Em, and also way to make it all about you. They all–Emily, Payson, Lauren–decide to go to Bucharest. Good plan dummies!

The girls encounter Kelly Parker on their way to the plane to Bucharest; she tells them that the NGO called her in to replace Kaylie if she doesn’t show. Which she’s not going to, right? I mean, she’s in rehab, and she’s just started admitting to herself that she has a problem that needs fixing. So I guess Kelly Parker gets a spot on the World team without qualifying. Life is so cruel.

Summer does an excellent job of putting the smackdown on Darby, who’s ready to call the NGO and rat the girls out. Summer tells her that under no circumstances is she going to do that, and Summer’s going to fix it. Fix it, Summer! Payson does some quick math and figures they’ve only got two hours between planes, trains and, presumably, automobiles, to convince Sasha to come back and coach them at Worlds. That’s assuming he’s home when they knock on his door! He could be working out or grocery shopping or on a holiday in the countryside with his new chickadee or something. You guys, this is why you should call first.

Emily is drinking some Romanian energy drink and Payson ham-fistedly lectures her about energy drinks sometimes having banned substances in them, which is very obviously this episodes red herring. Will Emily get disqualified for doping? you ask yourself. No. She’ll be disqualified because SPOILER ALERT she has a human growing inside of her. END SPOILERS. She tells the girls she broke up with Damon, and Lauren says, “Look on the bright side–at least you didn’t sleep with him.” Payson and Emily exchange meaningful glances that tell Lauren everything she needs to know (learn how to play it cool, guys, honestly). And get this: Lauren TAKES EMILY’S HAND as if to comfort her. What? Lauren, you cannot be for real. Lauren also assures Emily that Kaylie would never, ever steal her boyfriend (unspoken subtext: because she knows what it feels like to have your boyfriend sleep with your best friend cough cough LAUREN), and Emily questions whether or not she’s made a mistake. So many, Em. So, so many.

Damon and Kaylie chat idly about how Emily is crazypants and thinks something’s going on between him and Kaylie. This is actually a halfway decent conversation. Damon correctly identifies what is infuriating about Emily’s personality, then Kaylie tells him that yes, gymnastics is that intense and dangerous, and it can make you nuts. But, Damon asks, would Emily always be pushing him away even if there was no gymnastics, and the answer is YES DAMON. She doesn’t trust anyone and she likes being the victim of other people’s lousy choices so she makes them into villains. Your heart will go on. Kaylie, though, gets a burst of inspiration: Maybe it’s not the sport, she writes in her notebook.

Payson, Lauren and Emily arrive at Sasha’s supposed home only to find out from a rather zaftig middle-aged lady that nobody by the name of Sasha Belov lives in the village. But he does work in the bar where the girls go to while away the hours until the next train to Budapest. FANCY THAT. Of course he yells at them, and tells them he’s not coming back. But he is keeping up with all their massive failures. The girls each try to get Sasha to come back, and when Emily and Lauren strike out (not a huge surprise, their respective strategies being to whine about how they might not be “good enough” and to tell Sasha that Summer doesn’t care about him anymore) Payson tells them to go on ahead to Budapest because she’s staying behind.

Damon is reading Kaylie’s thoughts about why she might’ve become anorexic in the first place and starting to get a new appreciation for how effed up gymnastics can make you. Kaylie explains, in a really succinct way, how everyone always expected her to be happy and confident because she was rich and pretty and a good gymnast, but she didn’t know who she was, so she focused on winning, until she did win and didn’t feel any differently about herself. That’s when she stopped eating. Yikes. Poor Kayls. Damon decides that he has to let Emily go, because she is who she is with or without gymnastics and she’ll never trust him enough to be normal.

Summer shows up at Sasha’s bar looking for the girls, but only finds Payson chowing down on some gulash. Summer begs Payson to get real about Sasha–he’s not coming back. Payson gives Sasha an impassioned speech about what a quitter and disappointment he is and gives back his gold medal before flouncing out of the bar. Summer also gives him an impassioned speech about how you do the best with what you have and how he’s not at his best unless he’s coaching the girls. Because she’s awesome, she doesn’t make it about her at all. Kim and Steve have a nice moment where they cooperate and are friends.

Payson and Summer arrive at the Hungary meet but Sasha’s not with them. Sad faces all around. Damon wrote Kaylie a song. BLECCCHHHHHHH. But behind all the extreme grossness of this encounter is a real truth: that when you want something for so long, and you work so hard, almost single-mindedly to achieve it, and you do achieve it, and it doesn’t change your life or who you are, doesn’t make you happier or make people love you more, the disappointment is crushing. They don’t kiss, thank God, but Kaylie is crying. Yikes.

Sasha shows up at the girls’ room in Budapest! He yells at them, of course, and says that if they want him to come back to coaching them they have to show him that they’re worth coaching by kicking ass at the meet. Then there’s this weird sequence where the teams participating in the meet are announced, with a weird flashback to…right before this meet? When Sasha tells them that he let them down and abandoned them, but they let each other down and abandoned his teachings, so they’re all going to be cool and get with the program. I’m confused. Anyway, the US team is announced in the arena and they stride out, smiling with their heads held high.

As Steve and Kim booze it up at home watching the meet, the girls perform. Where’s Darby? She didn’t even come into the arena with the team. We meet another gymnast who might be a problem for the Rock girls at Worlds, Ivanka Kerlenko (Russian, with the bangs to prove it). Lauren does well on beam, but Ivanka’s routine is a higher degree of difficulty. Emily falls on uneven bars. UGH EMILY WHAT NOW? Josh Whats-His-Name who may or may not be the Worlds coach tells Sasha he’s bumping Emily off the roster and adding Kelly Parker instead. Can he even do that? Kelly didn’t qualify, as we’ve heard a million times! Sasha tells him, “Emily can do this, she just needs to know you believe in her.” “That’s the problem,” Josh says. “I don’t.” Josh puts Kelly in. Can he do that in the middle of a meet? Kelly nails her vault.

It comes down to Ivanka and Payson on floor. Ivanka does a sort of witchy routine that gets wild applause. Payson does her ballet-y floor routine, which tbh doesn’t seem better than Ivanka’s, but the crowd seems to disagree. Still, the Russian team gets the gold, with US getting silver and Romania getting bronze. That team really is falling apart without Sasha.

Kaylie reads aloud from her notebook in therapy group. She deserves to be happy. Fair enough, Kaylie.

The chairman of the Hungarian National Committee (of gymnastics, I assume) wants to talk to Emily; Sasha comes with her. Something was weird with her urine sample. She starts babbling about not knowing that the energy drink had anything banned in it, and he’s all, girl, chillax, get upset about something REAL because you’re PREGGERS YO.

Next week! Nobody understands Emily (so just like every other episode). Chloe cries. Payson yells at Emily for screwing up. And my DVR cut off.

Make It or Break It: “Life or Death”

Posted on April 20th, 2011 by annakjarzab

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That’s kind of a heavy episode title, isn’t it?

Previously on Make It or Break It: Max is into Payson, and vice versa. Emily can’t have a boyfriend and breaks up with Damon after sleeping with him. Kaylie was in rehab, but she’s in denial about her problem, although it’s possible that she’s on her way to understanding because her friend Maeve from the clinic died of a heart attack brought on by her own eating disorder.

Kaylie reads an article about Maeve and is obviously disturbed. Emily’s still being stank to her mom since finding out that she works as a bartender at a strip club, which is uncalled for. She’s doing her best, Emily! Ugh. Max is taking some “action shots” of people at the gym, “people” meaning Payson. Oh, yeah, I forgot he was a photographer. Lauren, having dodged the bullet of her dad going to Summer about the fact that his evil daughter is the one who leaked the Sasha/Payson tape to Ellen Beales by crying a lot, is back to her old self; she strolls over to the beam to give Emily a hard time about Damon, implying that he’ll probably hook up with other girls while he’s “waiting” for Emily. True!

Speaking of Damon, he’s sitting in front of a computer screen looking at pictures of Emily while singing, I kid you not, the lyrics, “I see your face on my computer screen.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS? At least he agrees, because he crosses those lines out in his notebook. Kaylie walks in, listening to him sing (remember how he’s recording his album in Kaylie’s parents’ house?). Kaylie helps Damon with his song (don’t ask).

So the Dallas club is coming to the Rock. Wait, no they’re not–they canceled. Some corn-fed gymnasts from Iowa are coming instead. Darby’s pretending to be psyched, but she’s pretty transparent and the girls aren’t buying it. Darby tries to make friends with Payson, who’s being polite (barely) but distant, and it’s freaking Darby out. It’s obvious Payson doesn’t think this chickadee is cut out to be a real coach, and she’s not wrong. Darby needs to worry about getting the girls’ respect, not their friendship. She makes a deal with Payson: help her get everyone excited about the Pinewood meet and she’ll help Payson with her gymnastics. Wait, isn’t she Payson’s coach? Isn’t it her job to help Payson with her gymnastics? Where’s Sasha?

Summer and Kim have a convo that twists my gut. Kim asks her if she’s thinking about moving in with the Tanners (I’m assuming this means getting married to Steve, since Summer’s not that kinda girl, if you know what I mean) and Summer says, basically, that Steve and Lauren need her, so maybe. Kim asks what she needs and Summer says “I like being needed.” Oh, Summer, girl, get with the program. Meanwhile, Summer’s new faux daughter, aka Lucifer, is coming on so strong to Max. Yick. Lauren, have a little self respect.

Damon and Kaylie are working on the song and bonding. Maeve’s mother calls. I think she identifies herself as “Musak Benson”, which cannot possibly be right, but anyway she invites Kaylie to speak at Maeve’s funeral. The catch is that she has to talk about how Maeve was recovering from her anorexia, which is not true. Kaylie has a slight mental breakdown because everybody wants her to say what she feels but she doesn’t know how she feels. He advises her to write it down and…sing it?

Max and Payson talk; Payson never called him back after she told him to call her and he did. Also, he wants to take her new headshot for the Rock’s lobby, which is something Lauren asked him to do for her and I assumed she made it up. Apparently it’s real. I guess he, also being a Rock gymnast, would know if she was lying about that. But anyway, he decides to spend time with Payson instead. She’s not super great at posing, but she is “funny”–both haha and dorky. I don’t believe that a pro like Payson can’t take a freaking headshot. Kim invites him for dinner, but he has to take off–I’m assuming to take Lauren’s picture. Kim and Payson have another great mother-daughter moment.

Damon IMs Emily. He tells her he’s got a gig and wishes she would come, but obvs she can’t. She and Chloe have another barbed wire conversation about Damon. Meanwhile, Kaylie writes bad song lyrics and Damon interrupts her. He offers to go to Maeve’s funeral. Interesting. I thought that was Austin at the funeral in the previews. Maybe it is. She refuses his offer.

Lauren is dressed like Britney Spears circa “Hit Me Baby One More Time” while Max is taking her pictures. Payson returns his call. Max asks her out for coffee; she suggests they go for a run, because the whole date thing makes her uncomfortable (she doesn’t tell him that). You know what else is uncomfortable? Lauren has changed into a bra and underwear. She is really the least subtle person on the planet. AND MAX TAKES PICTURES OF HER. YOU DO NOT DESERVE PAYSON YOU PERV! Summer walks in and gets piiiiiiiissssed. She reams Lauren out and Lauren cries in order to get Summer to keep the peep show a secret. AND IT WORKS! SUMMER! I THOUGHT I COULD COUNT ON YOU! Ugh.

Emily’s moonlighting as Damon’s PR girl by putting up posters advertising his gig instead of, you know, practicing. Payson calls her on it, saying she’s not sticking any of her landings, and DO YOU KNOW WHAT EMILY SAYS? “Pinewood sucks, I don’t need to stick my landings to beat them.” Ladies and gentlemen, is that or is that not the attitude of a champion? Spoiler: it’s not. Emily, just quit and go back to Damon. You don’t deserve to go to the Olympics.

Lauren asks Max to go to Damon’s gig. When he asks if Payson’s going, she’s all, why, and he’s like, “She’s a nice girl, don’t you think?” LOADED QUESTION. “Sure,” Lauren says. “I also think she’s a lesbian, so you’re wasting your time shaking that tree.” Someone needs to smack her, pronto. Steve said that you can’t spank a teenager, but I’m not so sure about that.

Kim gives Darby a Kim-talk about setting boundaries for Payson because the girl thinks she’s the bionic woman. Because she’s a coward (not that Kim’s wrong, but Darby’s a marshmallow), she tells Payson she can’t do the high start value vault she’s been practicing. Does Emily do anything but sit on the mats and pine over Damon? Darby calls a sleepover at the Rock. Lauren tells Payson she has a date with Max. Not exactly, but all right.

Kaylie and Damon attend Maeve’s funeral. Yikes, Damon, what are you doing? Oh, Maeve’s mom’s name is Musette. That’s not a name, but okay. Musak (I’m still calling her that) is in such denial about Maeve’s death, it’s actually really heartbreaking. Kaylie can’t handle saying a eulogy about how happy and healthy Maeve was. She confesses to Damon outside the church about Maeve, and how she, Kaylie, isn’t getting better, and how she doesn’t want to die. Damon comforts her, and they go to the gig, where Damon reads her lyrics back to her. They helped him finish the song, and he wants to sing it tonight, with her, on stage. I wonder if Emily is going to show up?

More trust circles. Darby wants to psych them up by releasing their gripes and grievances to the universe with popcorn. That is not a metaphor. Lauren uses this opportunity to strongarm Darby into letting them go to Damon’s gig. Payson is so not into it. At the gig, Lauren drops the bomb on Payson about the half-naked photos Max took of her, then Damon drags Kaylie on stage, not noticing that Emily is there. When the song is over they hug, and Emily is bummed.

Back at the Rock, Summer sees that the girls are gone. Of course, Marcus from the NGO comes to check up on Emily. He sees the flyers and realizes that Emily and the rest of the team are at Damon’s gig, which is just wrapping up. He sees Emily and asks her if she’s going to get in trouble. “I don’t care, it was worth it,” she says. Erm…That’s committment, folks! Kaylie tells Emily Damons’ a great guy, she can see why Emily’s in love with him. Why not just stab her in the heart and get it over with? Oh, and Max is there. He bounds up to Lauren like a golden retriever puppy, but Summer swoops in to whisk her away. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, I’M AN IDIOT,” Summer says. Word. Payson breaks her date with Max after seeing the photos. Marcus arrives; Emily escapes, but Darby gets caught with a beer. Marcus isn’t pleased.

The Pinewood girls arrive. They’re kicking some Rock ass, and Darby tells Payson to do the high starting value vault she’s been working on, even though Payson’s never done it without the practice trampoline, in order to win the meet. Kim is not happy, and Payson of course misses the vault, landing on her back which, as you may remember, she BROKE last year. Darby is the wuuuuuuurst. Payson gives Darby a lecture about what a “real coach” does and doesn’t do, and Darby runs off crying. Even Lauren thinks she’s lame now.

In her room, Kaylie rips a page out of her notebook, the page with all her calorie and weight counts. “My name is Kaylie Cruz and I am anorexic,” she writes.

Next week: Damon and Emily argue, I’m assuming about Kaylie, and Emily throws some stuff, although I’m pretty sure that half of these scenes are from last season. Also, Emily’s pregnant.

Make It or Break It: “The Buddy System”

Posted on April 20th, 2011 by annakjarzab

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I’ve been very bad about doing these recaps. When the season started (uh, four weeks ago), I was so excited to recap! And then, as things tend to do when you commit yourself to them, it started to feel like work and I was like, meh. I didn’t even watch “The Buddy System”, the third episode this season, until tonight, and there’s ANOTHER EP still left to watch. Not that I don’t love this show–obviously, I love it way more than is really appropriate given my age. Right? But who cares! On with the show!

Previously on Make It or Break It: The Rock girls got a new coach, Darby, who is basically a cartoon so she shouldn’t last long. Payson and Lauren became co-captains of the Rock, inexplicably, because who would ever want Lauren as their captain? Lauren confessed to her father that she leaked the footage of Payson kissing Sasha to Ellen Beales, because she’s a moron. Damon discovered that Chloe works at a strip club (as a bartender, gosh!) and Emily and Damon slept together for the first (and last, because Emily’s not allowed to have a boyfriend or any sort of life outside the Rock per that contract she just signed with the National Gymnastics Organization) time and it was sweet and lovely despite the fact that Emily was involved.

OK, let’s get started! Darby’s gathered the ladiez of the Rock in a “nonheirarchical circle to affirm and support one another”, but Payson’s not buying it. She and Lauren share snarky barbs as they both check out new guy Max’s hot bod. Lauren takes her place in the circle and Darby calls on Emily to give her a warm fuzzy. To her credit, Emily gives it an honest go, but that’s probably because she’s so distracted thinking about how she doesn’t get to be with Damon anymore. Wah wah–tell it to your parole officer, Emily! Payson calls Lauren a slut, sorta. Having struck out with the respect circle, Darby decides that everybody’s going to have a partner (the “buddy” of the episode title) whose routine they have to learn, and vice versa. Lauren and Payson are obviously teamed up for maximum drams.

Emily wants to know who her buddy is. Darby: “Who’s got two thumbs and and choreography that one the Pacific Coast Classic in 2002? This gal!” She points to herself. You are no Liz Lemon, Darby! Stop it, MIOBI writers. You’re not pulling it off.

Elsewhere, in another trust circle, Kaylie is in group therapy, not even trying to act like she’s listening to a girl named Suzanne talk about how she struggles with the pressures to be perfect. After the session, Suzanne approaches Kaylie and tries to bond with her, but Kaylie’s not into it. Maeve, the bad influence from the treatment center, pulls up in a red striped convertible and woos Kaylie into her clutches by speaking those immortal words: “Baby, it’s time to shed some of that rehab fat.” Ugh. If I didn’t have a SNEAKING SUSPICION about what’s about to happen to her, I’d be like, go away. Also, she actually spoke the words, “I die.” Subtle.

Payson’s still bitching about the buddy exercise, and Lauren takes this opportunity to snake her in front of Max. “Are you always in heat?” Payson asks her, and Lauren calls dibs on Max. LOL to both things!

Back at Casa de Monster Child, Steve is watching Payson kiss Sasha on a computer. “Lauren, what did you do?” he says aloud when he realizes that Sasha was innocent. The question is, Steve, what are YOU going to do about it? And the answer, knowing Steve, is cover it up to protect his devil spawn YET AGAIN, I’m sure.

Maeve and Kaylie are blissing out in a sauna as they bond over their shared experience in high pressure careers. Maeve offers Kaylie some “over the counter asthma medication” that “keeps her energized, not munchy”, but Kaylie demures, fearing the random drug testing that comes with being an elite gymnast. They talk about Austin, and Kaylie regrets admitting she had a problem, because while it got her out of rehab, her parents are on her 24/7 and actually believe that if she returns to training she might die. So Maeve, Queen of the Brilliant (Awful) Ideas, tells her to turn her parents against the therapist. THIS SHOULD TURN OUT REALLY, REALLY WELL.

Darby is teaching Emily some sort of twist and shout type floor routine that won her a medal once upon a time. It doesn’t appear to have any real gymnastics in it, but okay. Oh, wait, there’s a tumbling pass. Instead of learning anything, Emily asks Darby if she regrets missing out on being a teenager. Darby gives her some tough love about how she has to get her shit together because she’s “running out of second chances.” Couch Darby: master of understatement.

Lauren is doing what basically amounts to a stripper routine on the beam as Payson tries not to get her eyes stuck from rolling them too far in the back of her head. Payson gives it a shot, but it ain’t good. “I’ve got more sass in my little finger,” Lauren tells her. “You know, they’ve got penecillin for that,” Payson shoots back. Gold, Payson. Everything you touch is GOLD.

Except Max, because he’s too busy ogling Lauren’s crotch. “Enjoying the view?” Austin smarms. “She’s like a Vegas show,” Max drools. “All she needs is a headdress and a G-string.” Lauren vamps for them, basking in the attention. I wish Austin and Max didn’t look so much alike. Again I ask: where’s Carter? I miss that curly-headed douche. Speaking of Carter, Austin warns Max against Lauren, who “mangled” Carter–um, not true? Because…what? Basically, Payson’s a lot of work and Lauren’s easy. Boys are gross.

Payson’s attempts to “be sexy” make her look like Frankenstein’s monster. I know she’s more power, less priss, but come on! It’s like she doesn’t know how her joints work! Austin gives her a pep talk and offers to help her. Payson says no at first, but Austin points out that, yes, the fact that sex sells is the patriarchy at work, but, well, you want to win gold medals? Payson wants nothing more.

Chloe gets all over Emily for looking at Damon’s web page. Are they seriously not talking on the phone? Or email? Dumb. Also: unbelievable. Chloe reminds Emily that she’d never been with anyone before Damon and “you went on, what, like five dates?” Oooh burn. Emily takes it personally, of course, and they fight, but Chloe assures Emily she’s just looking out for her and trying to be a responsible mother like Emily wanted her to be.

Kaylie turns her parents against her therapist by suggesting her parents made her feel less than perfect, thus bringing on her eating disorder. It works pretty well since her parents are overbearing hotheads who want her to be perfect! Well, her dad is. Ronnie just seems exhausted by the whole thing.

Steve lectures Lauren about the video, and she has a good point when she says, “Since when do you care about right and wrong?” Since now, I guess. Steve’s having some pangs of guilt about keeping this from Summer after promising her he wouldn’t lie to her anymore, but it’s not like he actually tells her.

“Do you ever get tired of being the ‘mom jeans mom’?” Payson asks her mother. Kim’s eyes bug out and then she parents her daughter with such grace and good-humor I fall in love with her all over again. There are many different types of sexy, she points out, and you don’t have to be good at everything. Payson listens, but also she hates Lauren, so she takes Austin up on his offer to help her. Austin helps her get in touch with her sesssssuality by waving some perfume in front of her nose and telling her to focus on her second shakra. Lol! Then they “walk like Lauren”, which what makes them both look like idiots. If this works, I’m going to die from laughing. He’s making her crawl across the floor like a cat! He calls her “pure of heart”! OMG!

Cruz family dinner with Maeve as a guest. Because the Cruzes are totally self-absorbed, they don’t notice that neither girl is eating. Maeve does some Jedi mind tricks on Kaylie’s parents. Another family dinner, at the Tanners this time: “It’s never too late to teach your children the right values,” Summer says vaguely, not knowing what it is that’s really bothering Steve. She suggests he make her accountable for her actions and it’s like his mind is blown. You are the worst parent ever, Steve!

Lauren nails Payson’s routine and Max compliments her teaching. Lauren clowns Payson in front of him, and Austin tries again to help. They briefly talk about Kaylie, but Austin insists that while he liked her, she has to focus on getting better. On cue, Kaylie strolls into the Rock with Maeve. Darby’s pumped, Austin’s not. I hate the way Maeve talks. “He’s the real deal, lemon peel,” she says of Austin. Man, I’ve got to give this show credit, though. That actress is convincing as an anorexic model.

Emily takes off to confront her mother for working at a strip club. I’m pretty sure Emily would never be able to get into a strip club because she’s a freaking teenager, but whatever. I’m not going to let that be the thing I take issue with here, because Emily is being the worst. “I’m paying the bills and I’m funding your dream,” Chloe rightly says, but Emily is embarrassed. Okay, well, don’t go to the Olympics, then, I don’t know, Emily! GOD.

Payson decides to tackle the Lauren problem the way she tackles all gymnastics problems: with military precision. She does a good job! Too much eye makeup, though. But Max asks her out! Yeeeeeah Payson, get yours.

Steve makes a valiant attempt at holding Lauren responsible, but she cries and he caves. OF COURSE. God, Steve. She didn’t learn anything! Speaking of not learning anything, we’re back at the Cruzes, and they’re arguing, but they decide not to let Kaylie go back to the gym and she flips. They see her total desperation and it looks like it really scares them.

Emily gets a visit from Payson, who channels her own mother when she tells Emily that she has to stop whining, stop thinking about what sucks and focus on her dream. I feel for Emily here, because the actress is really selling this, her confliction over giving up Damon for something that might never happen–going to the Olympics. But Payson tells her she can’t focus on the “what ifs”, only what she wants most. I’ve said this before, but Payson Keeler is my spirit animal. I love her so much.

Oh, and Maeve died. But that’s for next week’s episode!

Make It Or Break It: “Free People”

Posted on April 5th, 2011 by annakjarzab

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Previously on Make It Or Break It: Kaylie (sorry I spelled it wrong in the last recap, Kayls! I’ll do better this time) has an eating disorder and has been in treatment at the Willow Glen eating disorder facility, where she met a model/enabler named Maeve who’s going to help her beat the system and get out of the center with her anorexia intact. Emily and Damon both had “dreams” or whatever (I still think that Damon’s “music career” is an absurdity) but they’re still totally in lurrrrrve. Emily may or may not get to go to Worlds. Lauren was the worst and sent that tape of Payson kissing Sasha to Ellen Beales, so Sasha has taken off for parts unknown, he and Summer have broken up, and Lauren is hoping that will pave the way for her dad, Steve, and Summer to get back together, but…I doubt it. Lauren’s plans NEVER work out.

On to the recap! Kaylie’s gained three pounds at Willow Glen (like, total? Or in the last week, or…what?). She’s not super thrilled. She and Maeve are doing art therapy on the terrace, and the art therapist (real thing?) points out that Maeve is painting with the color red (duh). “Can you connect that with a feeling?” art therapist asks. Real subtle, lady. I bet you went to Harvard. Maeve is really laying it on thick. Kaylie’s canvas is blank, but she’s not doing a great job of selling her “I’m totally trying to recover from my eating disorder” script.

Payson is coaching the girls because they still don’t have one. I mean, jay kay! They have a new coach, Darby Conrad. Kim doesn’t like that she’s just twenty-five, but how old can Sasha possibly be? Thirty-five? Okay, that is ten years. “Lauren’s very excited about it,” Steve says in defense of Darby. Who cares what Lauren thinks? Apparently Darby and Lauren have a past friendship; she was Lauren’s big sister at NGO camp. “They were inseparable,” Payson tells Emily. “Oh, sorry, I mean insufferable.” Good one Pay.

Oh Christ, this Darby looks like she’s twelve and is already incredibly irritating. She’s just a silver medalist? Downgrade. Darby’s “so stoked” to be at the Rock. She’s not into rules like “no dating” and whatever. She finishes her speech with “Namaste.” I’m shocked Lauren likes this woman. Her “goddess within you” routine sounds like Lo Lo’s worst goddamn nightmare.

Summer’s freaked out about how Darby doesn’t respect the structure of the girls’ lives; “oppression encourages rebellion”, Darby says, which is not untrue, but Summer’s head basically explodes when she says that. Lauren is totally into Darby’s relaxed vibe, and when Payson disagrees Lauren calls her a lesbian. Good one? Shut up, Lauren. Payson is going to fall in love with Max and you’re going to be soooo jealous. Then to round off her carousel of insults, Lauren asks Emily, “Do you really think Damon’s going to wait around till 2012 to have sex with you?” Frankly, it’s sort of surprising they haven’t had a “Damon pressures Emily about sex” episode already in this show. Maybe that’ll be this episode! He was in the previouslies.

Emily’s off probation. That was fast. It’s been like a day. Whatever. So she’s free to see Damon, but he’s in LA. Lauren makes a great point that Damon’s always grand gesturing for Emily, bringing her brother to see her at Nationals and bailing her out of jail and all that shizz, and what has Emily done for Damon? Well, she did sneak away to Paris that one time to see him while he was touring in Europe, but yeah–Emily’s a shitty girlfriend and Damon’s the best.

Darby’s really trying to be friends with the three Rock girls. She’s already bosom buddies with Lauren, but she tells Emily and Payson she’s big fans of theirs (the fact that she even knows who Emily is is pretty astounding), and she tells Emily that she totally gets it, our health care system blows, “power to the people.” No. Just…no, Darby. Don’t encourage her. Also, Lauren’s declaring herself team captain because with Kaylie out she’s the highest ranked girl at the gym. Darby decides that Payson and Lauren should compete for team captain. Rock on.

Damon’s back in Boulder! Emily’s starting to drink the Darby Kool-Aid when she realizes that she can see him without breaking the rules. Not that she’s above breaking the rules. She just likes not to feel so terrible about it. This should turn out well.

Kaylie is still toeing the party line at Willow Glen, so she gets to go home. The doctor wants her to complete an outpatient program and not train at the Rock. Uh oh. She’s PISSED. Her mom is all for it, but her dad is just as annoyed as Kaylie is.

Damon’s taking a break from recording his album, but he says that everything he’s written sucks. The label is asking why his new stuff isn’t as good as his old stuff. I wonder if that means he’s going to break up with Emily so that he can write sad love songs about her. Well, at the very least he’s going to finish his album in Boulder. He calls Emily his muse. Barf. But he’s pretty over the moon about Emily being free to date him, which is cute. “Has anybody ever told you that you’re the most amazing girl in the world?” he asks. Just you, buddy. Just you.

Darby’s living with Lauren and Steve while she looks for a place. You know what I just realized? Lauren’s last name is Tanner. If Summer married Steve, that’d be the second TV show Candace Cameron was in where her last name was Tanner. Never thought about that before. Tangent! Anyway, so Lauren of course tells Darby that Payson doesn’t want her at the Rock and thinks they’d be better off coaching themselves. JSYK Darbs! Darby’s sort of cool about it, though, but that doesn’t stop Lauren from sowing her poisonous seeds in Darby’s mind.

Lauren’s not wrong about how Payson feels about her, though. Payson thinks she’d be a better coach. “Steve bought Darby for Lauren, and I’m not going to let them take over my gym,” she tells Kim. Summer’s having the same thought, asking Steve, “You didn’t hire Darby to buy back Lauren’s love, did you?” He denies it, but not without giving Summer shit about dating Sasha! Wait, are these two together again? Why? Summer, you are so much better than that. Steve’s laying it on real thick, even promising to have more kids, but Summer doesn’t look convinced. She insists that he promise not to lie to her again, which he does, but I’m not buying that Summer’s heart is in this, even after Steve throws the word “God” in. Still, they’re back together. Lauren’s so thrilled. I’m the opposite of thrilled.

Emily and Damon are laying on the ground, looking up at the stars and holding hands while Damon says, “Star light, star bright, first star I see to night.” Oh GOD YOU TWO. Put. It. Away. I’m sorry, I was wrong, they’ve reclined the seats in Damon’s car. They say I love you, and YES, it’s SWEET, OKAY? I’m not a heartless automaton.

Emily gets home and finds that NGO guy (what was his name again?) waiting at her house. At, like, nine o’ clock at night? Whatever. Emily’s still on the National team. She has to sign an honor code. LOL she has to give up her job and her boyfriend! And the kicker is that she’s still on the National team, but they haven’t decided if she’s going to Worlds. EL OH EL. Cream pie.

The ladies are meditating with Darby at the gym. Emily and Payson are not into it; Em tells Payson about the honor code, and Payson’s like, “What matters but gymnastics?” I love how Payson is always like, “Don’t you losers get it? Gymnastics are ALL THAT MATTERS. If you want to win, you do what it takes, you morons.” She apologizes later for being harsh on Emily, but let’s face it: she’s right.

OMG! Cardboard cutout of Ronnie Cruz in her Paula Abdul one hit wonder phase! Delightful. Did you know the Cruz house has a recording studio in it? Well it does.  Of course it does. Ten bucks Damon’s going to end up recording his album there. Kaylie’s being a real beeyotch to her mom, and even her dad’s not into it anymore. He seems to see that she’s in deep denial crazytown, and just to prove it she throws one of Ronnie’s awards at a framed gold record. Yeah, she’s fine. Totally normal behavior.

Payson v. Lauren!! They battle it out on the various apparatuses (apparati?) as Tokyo Police Club’s “Bambi” plays. Lauren blows the landing on vault, they both do well on parallel bars, and Lauren decides to do a dangerous move to best Payson’s (nonexistent) double Arabian dismount on beam. They try to talk Lauren out of it, but she refuses to back down, and Darby is powerless to stop her because she’s got no real control over the girls. Payson concedes to stop Lauren from doing the move, but Lauren won’t accept it, and wouldn’t you know it? Lauren nails the move, but she falls off the beam on the dismount. Payson does a flawless beam routine and they tie. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re both winners,” Darby says, then gives them a long speech about the ancient Olympics or whatever. So Lauren and Payson are co-captains. HA. HA. HA.

Kaylie and Emily are having a smoothie or milkshake or something. Yeah right. Like the two of them are even friends outside the gym. Emily gives her the low down about Damon, pointing out that she hasn’t even given him sex yet. “That’s a big decision, Em,” Kaylie reminds her. At least Kaylie hasn’t completely lost it. But Emily loves Damon and wants to be with him “in every way.” AND GUESS WHAT? Kaylie offers up her family’s recording studio to Damon. What did I tell you?

Lauren rails at Steve about being co-captains with Payson, and then she threatens him: if he doesn’t make Darby make her the only captain, she’s going to “tell the whole world what I did.” For someone so selfish, she has not an ounce of self-preservation in her body! Steve, parent this child already! Do NOT give in. Let her ruin her life. She’s really, really good at it.

Kaylie shows Damon around the studio, and the truth comes out–she’s using Damon’s music as her anorexia art therapy beard. Maeve and Kaylie Skype and Maeve encourages her to crush on Damon. Don’t do it, Kaylie! Remember Austin?

SPEAKING OF DAMON! Emily shows up at his (pretty amazing) pad and asks him what he would say if she told him she was giving up gymnastics for good. He tells her he’d say she was making a mistake. Then she tells him about the contract, about how she’d have to give him up, and he pauses to take it all in for a second before saying, “Well I hope you signed it.” DAMON. YOU ARE UNREAL. But awesome. Emily is so overwhelmed by his willingness to support her, and to wait for her, until after the Olympics that she gives him the business. And by “the business” I mean the sex business. THE END.

Next week: Something something with Lauren crying something. Kaylie’s “friend” from Willow Glen dies, I’m pretty sure. Is Sasha really gone for good?

Liveblogging the Make It or Break It season premiere

Posted on March 29th, 2011 by annakjarzab

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My love for Make It or Break It is well documented, so I probably don’t need to explain how much I’ve been anticipating this premiere. I know it’s a cheesy little show, and apparently the gymnastics is ludicrous, but quite honestly I don’t know anything about gymnastics so I don’t care about that. I find MIOBI soooo entertaining, and I can’t possibly watch it without liveblogging my ridiculous thoughts about the premiere after the jump.

Make It or Break It

Posted on September 23rd, 2010 by annakjarzab

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m sort of newly obsessed with Make It or Break It. If you follow this blog (and if you don’t, I’m not entirely sure how I think you’re reading this now), you know that I recently went through a spell of self-doubt, negativity, and creative doldrums that were all the cumulative result of a long, hard year and a very bad book that I ended up having to abandon in July. Whatever! I started watching Make It or Break It on a whim when I ran out of episodes of Greek to watch, and IT IS THE BEST SHOW EVER YOU GUYS. I’m being a little bit hyperbolic here, but not much. Because the show isn’t what it appears at first glance–sort of a low-rent Gossip Girl with tumbling. It’s actually far more accomplished than that.

I love three things about Make It or Break It, and because I’m in an organized mood, I’m going to lay them out for you here in bullets, from most frivolous to best:

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  • Damon Young: Yeah, he sort of looks like a douchebag. And, yeah, he’s being sort of a douchebag right now (I’m in season 2A, episode 9, the penultimate episode of the series so far), with his skinny jeans and his emo haircut and his, “But I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to take the money to continue doing gymnastics from your mother’s morally questionable boyfriend!” BS. But Damon starts off as the snarky, brooding guy we all love to love (or is it just me? I know it’s not just me), a boy scared of his own dreams who is inspired by a girl who lives by the skin of her dreams to make something of himself. You know, that old yarn. I find it particularly compelling. Damon is pretty consistently supportive of Emily’s gymnastics; he helps her sneak into the Rock to practice when Sasha kicks her out for disobeying him, he brings her brother Brian to Nationals and cheers her on from the sidelines as she makes the National team, he’s constantly encouraging her and telling her she’s great and talking through her problems with her. He’s a pretty great boyfriend, all things considered. He’s even willing to put their relationship on indefinite hiatus while Emily gears up for the 2012 Olympics and he mopes around Europe singing sappy songs about her. Right now, I’m sort of annoyed with him, because he’s feeling so sorry for himself at this point that he’s lying to her about how he feels (that speech he gives her about how he “doesn’t have time for love” in the second to last episode just about made me want to punch him, because it’s so pathetically self-pitying, and meanwhile here’s Emily about to break down in tears because her life’s falling apart and the one person she wants to count on is giving her a brush off because after all this success, he’s still totally insecure about her), but even he can’t resist telling her, “Good luck at Worlds–I’ll be thinking about you,” and you know that guy’s going to be glued to the TV. I don’t really know what they’re going to do with Damon in the next season; as far as I can tell, he’s one of the most beloved characters on the show, and if they’re in the midst of character assassinating him so that Johnny Pacar can go off and actually be a rock star, I’m going to be so annoyed–but I think probably they’re either 1.) being lazy and throwing wrenches in what is by far the most angst-ridden-for-almost-no-good-reason relationship on the show just because they need to create drama, or 2.) being much craftier than that with their character arcs, which is what they’ve shown themselves in the past to be capable of. For now, I’m going to trust the MIOBI writers and assume they know what they’re doing. They rarely let me down, character-wise.

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  • Mama Keeler: Pop Quiz: Who’s the best mom on TV? That’s right, Tammi Taylor from Friday Night Lights. But Kim Keeler (Peri Gilpin) on Make It or Break It is the second best mom on TV–I like to call her Tammi Taylor Lite. Actually, Make It or Break It has by far the best group of parents on television, and that’s not to say that all of them are especially good parents, but I feel like they’re all realistic and act according to their personalities and also like real parents with children whom they love (exactly the opposite of, for instance, Lilly BassderHumphrey and Rufus “The Worst” Humphrey from Gossip Girl). Kim is the best of them, but of course Chloe Kmetko, Emily’s lovably trashy loudmouth of a single mom played by Susan Ward of Sunset Beach fame (!!!), follows at a very close second. I just got done watching the episode where Payson kisses Sasha (her coach) in a moment of emotion, and her mother counsels her through the abject humiliation and resulting awkwardness with him at the gym. And when Lauren sends a photo of Payson kissing Sasha to Ellen Beals, Nationals Committe Chair/horrifying beast of a person, in order to discredit Sasha and have him removed as the coach of the Rock, Kim doesn’t keep it from Payson as she would do if this was any other show. Look, I’m not a gymnast or even a huge gymnastics enthusiast, so I don’t know how realistic the gymnastics portion of this show actually is, but you know what? The human portion, exemplified by Kim Keeler but also by every other character on the show except Carter because YEAH RIGHT, is so spot on most of the time. If I didn’t already have a great mom, I’d want Kim Keeler to be my mom. She and Tammi Taylor are the sorts of characters that TV writers should aspire to create.

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  • Payson Keeler: I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Payson Keeler is my spirit animal. I gave my friends this whole speech the other day: for the past nine months, I’ve been Emily Kmetko. I’ve been given some wonderful opportunities, and all I’ve been saying is “I can’t, I’m scared, I’m not as good as everyone else,” etc. But when I started watching this show, I realized that there’s another way to be: The Payson Keeler Way. The Payson Keeler Way consists of just believing, really believing, to the point of delusion (like when you break your back and every doctor says “You can’t ever do gymnastics again” but then you read some new age book and convince yourself you will, in fact, do gymnastics again–although look, she was right!), that you will succeed. It means saying “I will”, not “I want” or “I’ll try” or, GOD FORBID EMILY KMETKO, “I can’t.” Payson believes she’s going to win an Olympic gold medal; she just does. She knows she’s the best, even when she’s not the best, and she knows she’s going to win. She doesn’t need to be sneaky and underminey and awful like Lauren, because she doesn’t think about anyone else, she doesn’t even entertain the possibility that someone might beat her. Who’s going to beat her? She’s Payson Keeler! She’s the best! She’s totally focused and dedicated, she works hard and she listens to her coach and she adapts to her circumstances and she still believes she’ll be on the top of that Olympic podium someday. That’s the sort of dreamer I want to be. I’m sick of saying, “I wish I had this” or “I want this”–all I’m saying now is “I will.”

In general, MIOBI’s agenda is to continually discuss, from all possible angles and points of view, what it means to have a dream and to sacrifice for and work hard in the pursuit of that dream. When you should give up, if you should give up, what you should be willing to put on hold or wait around for, who you should trust and who you should avoid, what you deserve–all of these things are constantly being talked about and figured out and revisited. But it’s not boring–it’s actually the most interesting part of the show. It’s the best show I know of that does this, and does it so well. Look forward to (or avoid!) my MIOBI recaps when the show comes back in 2011.